More on female costuming in games: Dragon’s Dogma, Tera, Guild Wars 2

So, which of these games is the odd one out among Dragon’s Dogma, Tera, and GW2? If you answered Dogma (because it’s PS3 only) or GW2 (because it has no release date yet), then you’re technically correct but go to the back of the queue.

The answer is Dragon’s Dogma because it gives you a very wide range of looks to pick for your character, covering all the fantasy staples from full ornamented platemail to viking chicks in string bikinis and furry boots.  Unlike the others which stick you in something godawful. I’ve been intrigued with Dragon’s Dogma for awhile since playing the demo at ComicCon last year, and downloading the demo convinced me that it is the one to look out for if you’re interested in an open world fantasy game with a more active combat style than typical MMOs.

You also get to customise your own companion/ pawn, so I made a wizard who looks a bit like my RL partner so I can order him around (don’t pretend you never do this either! Smile ). There’s a good set of choices including fat and skinny characters, stances that are hunched at the shoulder or shoulders-back/boobs-out, and choices of voice actor too. One other thing, which works surprisingly well, is that all the hair and makeup options can be used for characters of either gender. So if you want that gothy male mage with eyeliner or a female warrior with a buzzcut and tattoos, you can do it (or, ya know, vice versa).  I’m really taken with what I saw on the demo, and especially liked being able to target specific parts of the monster in ways that affect the fight. For example, shooting a flying monster in the wings to bring it down, or cutting the snake head from a chimera to stop the poison. Also there seem to be different tactics that can be used, depending on you and your companions skillset and size/bulk – for example a large (and fearless) companion can grab the griffon by the leg as it takes off and wrestle it to the ground.

So thumbs up for Dragon’s Dogma from me, not sure if I’ll buy it at release but definitely aim to pick it up at some point. If you have a PS3 and like that type of game, try the demo.

Apart from the flexibility, what I really liked about the character generator was being able to create just about any fantasy character stereotype that I could imagine. See, I’m not against characters fighting in string bikinis or casting spells in belly dancer outfits, but I want it to be thematic and I want to have choices. Despite some of the clothing being quite skimpy, none of the characters actually looked like strippers. They looked like characters from fantasy art.  I think that’s a powerful point to take away.

More on clothing

Rohan has some screenshots of the crazy stuff his TERA character is wearing, this isn’t one of the prepubescent looking race, just daft armour. I rarely wish ill on any new MMO, but I won’t cry if TERA crashes and burns purely because those design decisions don’t deserve to be rewarded.

Kadomi has a brilliant three part roundup of her experiences in the GW2 beta (which are mostly positive). Go check them out:

Quest Mechanics

A look at the design manifesto (does GW2 fit with what arenanet have claimed?)

Barely covered (clothing for female characters in GW2)

The last link includes pictures of the cloth casters. Having looked at the TERA pictures first, my initial reaction is that GW2 isn’t that bad (see, it could be worse!). The Mesmer looks terribad in both male and female versions, however. Purely from a point of taste. I never really got that ‘dresses like a showgirl’ vibe from GW, the Mesmer there was more of a semi-kinky aristocrat which I think is a look I could go for more easily on a mage of dubious ethical purview. If I can’t have my frockcoat, breeches and riding boots back, I’m not going with the Mesmer for sure.

There’s also something very teen about the Necromancer look. I think it’s the somewhat gothic vibes along with fluffy pompoms on the boots.  I assume ‘perky goth’ is the design goal, but it makes her look about 14.

It is one thing to have a strong design direction, but I’m not fond of the look. I’m just glad I’ll have Dragon’s Dogma to fall back on for my fantasy staples. Even Diablo 3 is starting to seem more appealing, gearwise.

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17 thoughts on “More on female costuming in games: Dragon’s Dogma, Tera, Guild Wars 2

  1. Oh god… Tera is a bit of a mixed bag for me. On one hand it’s got prepubescent panty shots, tea-cups for bras and all sorts of other creepiness. On the other hand it has a race of playable puppies that smoke pipes.
    The pre-pubescent-looking race wouldn’t be that creepy if there weren’t these highly-sexualised characteristics in the other races standing *right next to them*. Like someone took their 8 year old to a strip club.
    I wouldn’t miss Tera if it goes under, but I would miss the puppies.

  2. Something interesting about the current samples of high level armour on the profession selection screen in GW2 is that they were first seen in-game in a demo tailored for korean audiences at g*star, and it hasn’t been modified since. There was some complaining at that time that Arenanet were trying to appeal too much to asian audiences, and didn’t match the tastes and sensibilities of western players. I’m not sure how much they are going to change the character creation for different markets but all these armours are going to be in every version of the game, but maybe with different prominence, like the ‘shining blade’ (mesmer) armour is going to take a lot of karma grinding to look trashy and removed from the character creation screen, so I’m interested in seeing how many people would end up wearing it.

    • Apparently they’ve increased the skirt length for the child-like race in the US release. That they needed to in the first place makes me seriously facepalm.

  3. I kind of feel sad that the armor will steer a lot of bloggers that I enjoy reading away from TERA. It is a very enjoyable game, with a lot of little mechanics that are out of out of the norm.

    In some ways, I’m treating the armor as if it was a bad cult movie. I keep playing just to see how bad the armor can get. As well, apparently there is a male race (the Castanics) which has terribly revealing armor as well.

    • I would say it was a good thing that there are enough good games around that anyone who really dislikes that art style can stay away from it. I find it personally interesting to see where my boundaries are with costume art, and TERA has been a great example of this.

      I’d still like to see the game nosedive to discourage future devs taking the same course. But hey, all in good time ;)

      • Unless, of course, the game is a success (because of the combat), but future devs ascribe it to the armor, and start following that art direction.

        Then you’d be in a bit of trouble. :)

      • Yup, then I’d have to go take up some other hobby like knitting or something, so let’s hope it doesn’t happen ;)

      • TERA will fail, but costumes won’t be the reason for that. Actually they’re probably one of the selling points of the game.

        Now the cocktail of subscriptions, pointless text-quests of endless fetching and killing stuff is a more likely culprit. I got bored for an hour or two i played it in one beta weekend and most of my circle of friends testifies to the same effect.

        I’m kind of bummed actually, because i’d like games with this combat system to succeed.

    • I’m not avoiding TERA because of the trashy female appearance directly (although my own tastes in womenfolk runs to something slightly classier). I’m avoiding TERA because of the sort of players and community that seem to be drawn to a game with a steady diet of panty shots…

  4. spinks :) you’re not doing due justice to GW2!

    this is the only one of the three that has the transmutation stones mechanic that actually frees one entirely in regards to their wardrobe. One can be trashy or wear burka if they like – it’s totally up to them!

    (And before u ask, T-stones are karma vendor goods as well as RM Shop items, so – pretty accessible)

    • That’s a fair point, and this is just a single represenation of one set of gear – there are bound to be alternatives.

      Having said that, the mesmer in those shots just looks awful. Both male and female. It’s not a good look.

  5. The Male Mesmer…I’m not sure what look he’s going for there. There is some hope for Mesmer fans, though-we haven’t seen Sylvari or Asura. They could well look great in the Mesmer outfits.

    I like how my beefy dudes look in their armor overall from GW2 pics. In Dragon’s Dogma I can make a female that looks like my Spell Archer in my stories(she just wears, like, normal leather and cloth as befitting a magician/archer.) My first character is going to be my 212cm huge Wood Elf Stonemason with his sword and board Farm Boy partner(whose at a rather matching 199cm. :))

    Tera’s armor though…yeah. I enjoy my High Elf Berserker guy, but high elf dudes get some really killer armor in that game.

    At least, Tera did something that not many other games do-they made Castanic Men show some serious skin in several of their outfits. My alt Castanic Slayer has half a shirt on right now. Literally, the shirt covers half of his torso; the other half is bare for the world to see with a few strings. Later, he covers the other half of his body, but removes the bottom half of his shirt to show his impeccable, Bruce Lee would be jealous abs. Protective? Nah, but at least they actually went as far as to make a stripper dude race. ;)

    Male High Elves in cloth actually show quite a bit of stomach, and Male Amani in cloth wear no pants(admittedly, I mean, I’m not one for Monster Guy without pants but for those ladies and gents who like their Monster Guys without pants, there ya go!). I’m beginning to think Tera was made ”let’s see just how little we can put on everyone. Yes, even the dudes. Go.”

    If people ask me ”what’s the most normal thing I can play in Tera’, i find myself saying ‘The big stone castle guys or the butterball ferret dudes.’.

    • Keep in mind that the mesmers, elementalists and necromancers are all scholars and thus they all wear the same type of armor – light armor.

      The armor system in gw2 is different to that in gw1 – professions are divided into 3 types or armor classes and don’t have purely profession-specific armor sets.

      So the visuals in the class previews are purely down to aesthetics – some dev has picked up 3 different sets of Light Armor and colored them to their liking as to represent the professions. This doesn’t mean that the mesmers can’t look like the eles or necros in the same previews (down to the same colors even).

  6. I really wish the starting cloth armor in GW2 wasn’t all miniskirts. I LOATHE miniskirt/frilly teddy-style armor for female casters. They look like a joke compared to the male clothing.

  7. Huh! That intrigues me, actually. My character in Guild Wars 2 ended up looking like this by the time most was said and done, and the only thing I regretted was having THREE collars and they were -all- popped.

    I was more let down about the lack of… rounded and plump bodytypes. If I’m going to be an aristocratic engineer on her first time out on the town, I’m gonna have a bit of -weight-, okay? But… no. I guess not.

  8. Pingback: Biggest MMORPG’s of 2012: Pros and Cons | Bug-Eyed Updates

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