Guild Wars 2 is an MMO Fashionista's Dream, If You Know What You're Looking For
Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style
I haven't exactly been powering through Guild Wars 2 since its release, but I'll admit that I was starting to get a little bored with the rather small pool of armor sets I had access to. New meshes are introduced every 10 levels or so, but nothing felt very different or appealing to me. That is, until I crested level 40, when a beautifully ruffled skirt from the Cabalist set dropped from a centaur massacre, and I snapped up the matching blouse and gloves for cheap from the player auctions.
Finding this set encouraged me to research what other gear is out there waiting to be unlocked... And it's something just about every style-savvy Tyrian adventurer aught to do. Here's what I found:
The set that I'm most looking forward to wearing in the future is the second tier cultural armor ensemble for humans, which seems to be a mixture of a gothic harlequin and a pirate halloween costume. With the right combination of dyes (which are one of the more useful collectables in Guild Wars 2) I think this outfit could be drop dead gorgeous.
If you want to take a look at what else GW2 has in store, this post from GW2Guru (where I got the picture on the right) has images and names for just about every known set of armor in the game, including dungeon and PVP gear. The downside is that the pictures only show the equipment on female human avatars, so males (and even female Charr and Asura) may need to search elsewhere for an accurate idea of what they'll be wearing. Though I haven't been able to find anything quite as complete for them, you can find male and female versions of dungeon and cultural/race specific sets here, demonstrated on a variety of different character types.
It's not just about the overall design of these outfits, though. Let me gush a bit more about my current set to give you a better idea of why GW2's game fashion has me so worked up.
The Cabalist jacket's elaborate sleeves and brocade bodice sit with the set's skirt perfectly, but the detail that blew me away, as mundane as it might seem to others, was the lacing on the back. In most games, this would be a detail in the texture and not the mesh itself. At best, the laces would be a little raised. On this top, however, the thin little laces are fully modelled, coming out of the eyelets of the corset and crossing, with a space left between them and the character's back. Maybe in the big picture that's an insignificant detail for developers to include, and maybe the laces of a character's corset don't impress anyone but me, but it's that same attention to detail in everything from quests to clothing that makes this game such an interesting MMO experience.Tweet
Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.