No cosmetic gear or overcloaks for Cataclysm

via rpg.net

Anyone had a chance yet to reclaim Gnomeregan or the Echo Isles in the Cataclysm pre-quests which were patched in this week? I’ve tried both (yay for level 80s on both factions), and thought they were good fun. Short but fun. I’d say Echo Isles had the better story but I laughed aloud at Gnomeregan. Gnomes are brilliant.

When you do the questlines, you will notice that the final quest reward is .. a cloak with no stats. “How useful,” you think, “NOT.” I’ll grant it has some RP potential, and am sure the active troll RP guilds on my server are thrilled.

But what happened to the promised overcloaks? Originally these quests were touted as offering a new type of item that would allow you to overlay the cool cosmetic overcloak over the dull but stat-laden frost badge cloak that every darned raider is wearing these days.

A U-Turn is what happened, as reported in this thread on the official forum:

“It is true that the cloak rewards had overcloak functionality when these events were up on the public test realms some months back. In the end we decided that implementing the cloaks in such a way that players could aesthetically change the cloak they’re wearing could set a bad precedent. We like customization and flavor items, but we don’t want to start implementing aesthetic items in the game which allow players to look however they want while keeping all the stats they want. We felt the overcloaks were breaking that barrier a little too much.”

I call technical issue shenanigans. There are already items in the game which let players shapeshift into completely different races, complete with full disguise. And if it’s so important that gear should be identifiable by sight, why doesn’t hard mode gear look different from normal mode? It also surely couldn’t be impossible to turn off cosmetic options in battlegrounds or arenas if that was seen as an issue.

It’s a shame. I never thought of myself as one for dress up but I have loved the cosmetic clothing in LOTRO, and I know it’s been a popular option in other games too.

Still. Enjoy your pointless cloak, everyone.

Cosmetic gear – the best rewards of all?

burcosmetic I am very proud of my new cloak in LOTRO. It has no stats at all, and cosmetic gear allows me to wear it and have my ‘real’ cloak hidden at the same time. But more importantly, it matches the rest of my gear perfectly. I even have a smokey black horse to go with it, another reputation/daily quest grind reward.

The designers have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into cosmetic rewards and into creating hundreds or even thousands of pretty pieces to let players play dress-up. They appear as rewards for just about anything that isn’t raid related – they can be bought with skirmish marks, or from reputation grinds, or from holiday festivals (which is where this cloak came from).

Because there are so many, and they turn up from so many different and diverse sources, putting together a really good cosmetic outfit can be a challenge. Especially when you can mix in crafted and raid gear which actually does have good stats but also matches your look.

In fact, cosmetic dressing is part of an interesting endgame which mixes collection with fashion. And in which, even if you ignore the pieces which would require you to do content that you hate, there are plenty of other options available.

It also gets people talking. Because I’m relatively inexperienced with LOTRO, I often see really cool looking gear that I don’t recognise at all. Every player is happy to talk about where they got their nice cosmetic item from, bar none. All you have to say is, “That XXX looks great, where did you get it.”

lotro_cloak

I liked this cloak a lot, for example.

And by having cool gear from lots of different places, there’s not a huge amount of min/maxing involved in the gameplay.

Yes, some raid gear can look amazing, especially if you set it off with the right cosmetic accessories. But people also appreciate well put together lowbie costumes.

From being somewhat dubious (do I really want to play burglar dress-up?) I’m becoming a fan. Even if I’m lazy with collections, it’s so much more fun to people-watch in LOTRO where people put some effort into their costumes than in WoW where raiders all tend to look the same.