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Thursday, February 09, 2012


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Pussycat Catnap

A feature like this was recently added to WoW: the ability there to make one item look like another.

It has always been part of Everquest 2 according to the marketing material of such.

And in City of Heroes your appearance has no bearing on your abilities at all. When you gain advancement through "loot" it is in the form of components used to build up the potency of your powers - with no cosmestic effect. You can still customize your look constantly - but this is not connected to game advancement other than higher level characters being able to save more preconfigured 'costumes' to switch between.

Champions and other similar MMOs have followed the City of Heroes model to one degree or another.

So, nothing new here with Star Wars - already a common feature.

Adeon Writer

YES. This feature is known as "costume" slots in the few MMO's I play. You put armor there, it doesn't effect your stats, but it overrides whatever REAL armor you have equipped. I'm very thankful when games allow this.

Iris Ophelia

Well this particular slotting system is a novel approach. There was also Aion which, with higher level equipment, you could pay to skin one piece of armour with the appearance of another. It's definitely more prevalent now than ever, but I particularly like the finer control SWTOR's system allows you to have over your gears stats.

Arcadia Codesmith

One of my favorites is Ultima Online's Enchanting system. Despite being a blatant (read: effective) money sink, it allows you to customize armor and weapons to suit your play style and taste.

SWTOR has a good design, but it's not a strikingly original one. Their approach in general seems to be the same as WoW: take bits and pieces of other MMOs, fit them together with loving care, and polish the result until it gleams.

The innovators doing actual risk-taking and creativity often don't have the millions in marketing and production to make it shine, while the people investing millions have a strong aversion to any sort of risk. So we have a proving ground where the smaller titles make things work, the bigger titles emulate them and rake in the bucks, and in compensation, the bigger titles give the smaller titles jack all.

Iris Ophelia

To be fair, Arcadia, I think Ultima Online was also a Bioware game. :)

Pussycat Catnap

"It's definitely more prevalent now than ever, but I particularly like the finer control SWTOR's system allows you to have over your gears stats."

Yes, it sounds like an exact duplicate of the enhancement and recipe system in City of Heroes since about 2006 or 2007. :)

- Except in that you apply these mods to powers, not to equipment. But they are otherwise the same in concept and execution.

Arcadia Codesmith

Ultima Online is... complicated. It was originally developed by Origin, which had been acquired by Electronic Arts. In 2006, EA bought out Mythic, which produced Dark Age of Camelot. In 2007, they acquired BioWare. Then in 2009, EA announced that they were restructuring all their MMORPG efforts under the BioWare banner, and the Mythic studio (which had taken over UO development) was renamed BioWare Mythic in 2010.

The imbuing system was also added in 2009, with the Stygian Abyss expansion, but was therefore developed before UO fell under the BioWare banner.

It's a weirdly incestuous business.


Where did you get the fabulous fur Iris? I would like it for my characters :)

Frans Charming

Lotro has a costume feature too, where you drop clothing items in that you just want the visuals off. It allows you to have several outfits in there, ready for different occasions, while still wearing your armour underneath.

Though what you describe here in swtor does sound more immeresive.

Iris Ophelia

@Daniel Hoth, of course!

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