I’m too sexy for my… chain mail?

This isn’t about super sexy night elf chicks in chain mail bikinis… although that’s a cool topic in its own right I must say.

No, this is a rant against MMOs and their ilk forcing your characters to dress up like clowns in order to be worth a damn. I’m sure you guys know what I’m talking about. Strangely, this is rarely an issue with single-player games. Of course, there are exceptions such as Morrowind, where glowing armor just looked wrong. But you didn’t actually need that armor to be successful because MW was a pretty easy game. And thankfully, there were also mods that completely removed that lame-ass glowing effect.

Anyway, here are a few noteworthy culprits over the years:

Ultima Online – UO was generally free from this type of crap until the Age of Shadows expansion, which forced all of us to don neon purple armor, green weapons and samurai hats in order to be competitive.

Diablo 2 – I hated the fact that my sorceresses were forced to use shields in order to PvP effectively. Why couldn’t I use a staff? I’ll tell ya why – it’s because staves sucked ass compared to shield/orb combos. Why the fuck would a sorceress be forced to use a shield?

World of Warcraft – Two words: Lawbringer Spaulders.

So please, kind and wondrous game developers; hear my plea and don’t taint our future games with this nonsense any more! Not that I won’t buy ‘em or anything… :P

At least WoW lets you turn off the helmets. With one not-so-easy-to-get exception all of the plate helms in WoW look terrible. I think they just need to expand the feature so we can have nude battlegrounds while still retaining all of our super abilities and bonuses.

A friend of mine got a “Girdle of Comeliness” from the Daggerfall random item generator once. Yes, it was a jockstrap of +3 Charisma.

IMO, what blizzard should do is let players expend money to change the look of their armor. Have high end armor sets get more access to the cooler looks. They should also allow color customization.

They claim that having color customization / dyes will screw up the subtle colors and shades already inherent in the textures. I.e., it will look like EQ1 crap. They’re probably right.

I agree with Shadari about over the top graphics, especially where Blizzard and shoulder armor is concerned. However, no matter how stupid it is for me to be a nature-loving type of guy in game, I’m not paying Blizzard $15 just because I find it absurd that as a protector and equalizer of nature, most of my tier 0 armor involves me running around with stuffed, dead birds on my body. I’ll just quietly ignore the fact that Blizzard’s armor set design is some of the stupidest I’ve seen in fantasy and fantasy parody both in quite a while.

(Lawbringer has little on moose antlers, TV antennae, and the godawful Wrath set. Nothing screams “They can’t be serious” like a gnome running around in a Wrath helmet. Except maybe a dwarf, elf, or human running around in a Wrath helmet. Or the Wrath shoulderpads.)

Actually a gnome with the tier 1 mage set has a highbacked chair on his head. Pretty fun.

Also, I actually meant in-game money. Blizzard is always a fan of the money sinks. Customization and coloring would fit perfectly.

Ah… yeah… I could see that. They seem awfully proud of their crappy armor design though. (And I know some people really like it.) I doubt it will happen.

And to be fair, it’s not all horrible… despite the incongruity, i rather like the warlock horns/helm that gives them glowing red eyes as well. It’s a nice (and relatively understated!) effect.

Why the fuck would a sorceress be forced to use a shield?

Because we’ve been brainwashed by Gygax to absolutely KNOW that magic users NEVER EVER wear or use armor?

Hey, I didn’t have a problem with the metal armor my sorcs wore, it was just those damn shields. I hated the way they looked.

They seriously need to get a new direction for their helms and shoulders. At the very least they need to let you turn off shoulder graphics.

olaf

You can’t waggle your fingers if you’re loaded down with plate mail.
Plus the thamaturgic energy bleeds into ferrous materials.

I think you KNEW that and you’re just being difficult.

For some reason what bugs me most in games like that are when there is one clearly winning weapon/armor choice that seems to make all the other stuff they put in the game pointless. This is mitigated somewhat in MMORPGs when you may not be able to find the clear best choice, but still annoying to me.

There are two versions of this (one with an example I can immediately think of):

  1. World of Warcraft - Priests (and I assume most other casters) have to be absolutely stupid to use a staff in combat, as they will do much more damage with a wand. It does not matter what range you are at, what type of mob you are fighting, the wand does more DPS. You basically carry the staff around to give bonuses to abilities - it’s really kind of pointless to even put a DPS on it (at least for anyone who has half a brain for maximizing damage). Why not have the staff be better than the wand for melee, or better under at least some circumstances?

  2. The “this is the set/item type that works best for your class in this slot” item. Unfortunately I can not think of anything I can confirm right now, but one that I think I am seeing is every warrior in my guild wanting to get Quel’Serrar. Wouldn’t it be cooler to have 3-4 weapon types (at least) that may do different things, but end up with roughly the same utility (or have better or worse utility under different circumstances)? Instead, there usually ends up being a clear best choice.

<nitpick>

So Spineshatter and Edge of Chaos aren’t viable alternatives to Quel’Serrar? Uhh…

</nitpick>

<nitpick>

Quel’Serrar - Onyxia
Spineshatter - Razorgore
Edge of Chaos - Nefarion

So, no, not necessarily viable alternatives for everyone.

</nitpick>