Outlandish Gear


World of Warcraft started the whole crazy gear trend. Gear in raids has always been more elaborate, but when it comes to massive shoulder pads, flaming eye-hole-thingies, and ridiculousness, WoW remains king. The preview for Tier 17 (sheesh) was revealed by Blizzard today. Is it outlandish (pun intended) enough for you?

Paladin from Dark Age of Camelot

The point of today’s post is not necessarily to discuss WoW latest fashion trends. I’m thinking about gear in general. On one extreme there’s WoW. The other side of the coin is realism with basic chainmail, leather, etc. It’s plain. There’s something authentic about it, especially if wearing it matters more than looking cool in it. More on that tomorrow.

I like somewhere in the middle. I remember the raid gear in EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot. Those looked just cool enough for me. Ornate enough to stand out yet at least within the realm of fantasy believability.

What do you prefer? Do you prefer the glowing eyes and flaming swords or the realistic metal?

  • At least they have transmogrify. Those shoulder pads look like they are wielding swords! I like the more believable look myself.

  • In most MMOs the best looking gear comes at the beginning of the level curve and things slowly deteriorate from there. I like things to look plain and simple, the fantasy equivalent of jeans and a sweatshirt if you like.

    Fortunately nowadays most games allow you to either transmog the gear or overwrite it with appearance options so I usually don’t need to sacrifice simple good looks for stats.

  • I too like the armor and gear usually found in the starting levels. Transmog itself is cool because it lets us take this ridiculous and often dumb looking armor and make it look… real. It’s also bad because more people will use it to go to the other end of the spectrum.

  • People will always make themselves look ridiculous in a game. That is why Blizzard makes these inane outfits. Like anything else that is made it is because there is a demand for it. There are many people that want to look like walking fortresses where their shoulder pads are wielding swords and their helms seem to be literally bursting with energy.

  • Too bad armor weight/bulk doesn’t change attack and movement speed.

    To be fair It has to be really tough to be an art designer for the same game for 10 years. They have created a LOT of armor sets.

    I love a lot of the old stuff and I hope they revamp a lot of the older sets with up to date models.

  • I too prefer something in the middle. My favourite sets in WoW are invariably the more simple, cleaner looking ones. This new tier is a mess, it’s hard to know what you’re even looking at.

  • I like more true to life looking but still gritty hardcore style of armor. I don’t mind having somewhat large shoulderpads that you wouldn’t use IRL because they would limit movement too much, I’m not looking for a mediveal combat simulator, but spare me the bling of particularly the Draenei themed armor, I don’t want to look like a walking talking coca cola advertising neon light board.

  • I enjoy it smack bang in the middle of realistic and over the top, just enough glow to make it look important but realistic enough not too look like a cartoon(wow)

  • I prefer realistic looking clothing and armor.

    In medieval times only the very wealthy had amazing looking and decorated armor.
    That should be enough to make you stand out.

    I never liked flashy things in my mmo.
    In the begin of WoW everyone stood inline to get a glow on their weapon by an enchanter.
    Not me.. I prefer weaponry looking plain and sharp.

  • In a world filled with so many fantasy races and creatures, I fully expect my armor and weapons to be over the top too. In that sense, WoW art never bothered me, except for the shoulder armors. Seriously, these things look to account for over 50% of the weight sometimes !

  • Realistic base design with special effects pertinent to the magical enchantment, although I do like it when the latter is a bit over the top.

  • I am leaning towards the simple and realistic gear…in most games that I play, I usually keep the armor from the early levels, which usually is very simple and basic.

  • Again show the “Monty Haul” type of attitude to gaming that Blizzard represents. There isn’t much subtlety to WoW, which for myself ends up desensitizing me to what normally could be cool loot.

    That really took place in TBC when I was able to craft greens that were better than the blues and purples (especially with the set bonuses). While short term it felt amazing to make my own relatively OP gear, in the long run drops became less exciting.

    I am not sure which way is a better way to go though.

    As an analogy to gear design, WoW is so over the top that one cannot get around feeling like it is now an inside joke between the devs and the players, both daring each other about how big shoulder pads can go before they can no longer be taken seriously.

    If one instead had armor resembling that found throughout history, and varied different styles of chain link and so on, then picking up a dragon shaped clasp or a gem studded onyx scabbard would truly stand out.