Help! My Hat Shaved My Head!
by Cameron "Aelryn" Sorden
If you've spent any time playing Lord of the Rings online, you've probably stumbled across the headgear. In fact, the last quest in the newbie instance usually grants you a nifty hat, so you've definitely seen your fashionable choices. And by fashionable, I mean in no possible way are they fashionable. Am I the only one who thinks low level headgear, especially light armor headgear, looks ridiculous at low levels?
That's beside the point, though. They do get better as you level up, and if you're going to look stupid you're better off doing it at low level. My issue is that any time you don a hat, you doff the hair. Seriously. Take a look at that fetching, full-haired lore-master on the left. As soon as you put a hat on her, her hair vanishes. You might think that makes sense, right? I mean, why not? Can't we pretend that you just put your hair up in your hat? Well, that would be fine, assuming there was a thin layer of visible hair still left... but your character is obviously bald under their hat.
Take a good look at that screenshot on the right. Do you see any trace of hair? Nope. That's because in LoTRO, the hat and hair graphics take up the same slot. You get hat or hair-- not both. For many hats, that's not such a big deal. Especially helmets. But there are also plenty of hats where it just looks downright strange. Take the big flamboyant bard hats, for example. They only go halfway down the back of your head. It's weird enough to see a crop-haired fellow put it on and have the hair on the back of his head vanish, but it's weirder still to see a woman with hair down to her shoulders suddenly have it all vanish because she put a hat on.
There's obviously a reason for it, or it wouldn't be this way. Maybe they decided it was too graphic intensive to add it. Maybe it was too much art work. Maybe they just realized that they didn't have a good way to model a hat on all their hairstyles. In any case, it's annoying. Hopefully they'll fix this in an upcoming expansion, and our characters can stop having their heads shaved every time they put a hat on.
I, for one, look forward to the day when I can wear my big floppy hat proudly atop my full head of hair and continue menacing the orcs and goblins of Middle Earth in style, instead of hiding my hat graphics in shame.
What do you think? Feel free to jump over to our forums and discuss.
- Cameron "Aelryn" Sorden
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.