The Vanguard: Saga of Heroes forums have no less than seven pages full of
fashion- or clothing-related topics on their Art
and Graphics Forum, and the game has yet to be released. Other examples
of the interest MMORPG players have in fashion include the EQ
of Warcraft (WoW) Fashion, and Star
Wars Galaxies TK Fashion websites.
Fashion rears its stylish head in MMOG research, too: as many as a third
of respondents who were asked
to rank the appeal of fashion designer or stylist as an occupation
in MMOGs said they would enjoy providing other players with fashionable
clothing, hair styles and personal flair. More females than males said
they would take pleasure in providing fashion-related services in an MMOG
(no surprise there), so clearly, the occupation of image consultant will
be both important and necessary in Telon, the Vanguard:
Saga of Heroes world.
In anticipation of Vanguard's release sometime this year, I thought I
should assist future Telon inhabitants with some fashion do's and don'ts
I've picked up during my travels through various MMOGs. Achievement and
skill have their places, but there are no substitutes for beauty and style.
"Beauty is only skin deep," my granny used to saybut,
then, so are flesh wounds. A neglected appearance is like a neglected
flesh wound, likely to get uglier.
To begin, DO focus on color coordination. During your early days on Telon,
probably no one will notice that the gloves you're wearing smell faintly
of dead badger and don't match your sleeves, or that your belt looks suspiciously
like the tail of that rat you just killed and clashes with your trousers.
But at the mid- to high-level range of experience, ladies and gents, it
is all about color and fabric coordination. The well-dressed dark elf,
for instance, knows that black and gold are both regal and sexy, and that
blues and violets will blend harmoniously with her skin tone, while oranges
and yellows may produce unwanted, even violent, results. It's a well-known
fact that aggressive gnolls are made even more aggressive by clashing
colors. Adventurers, take note.
Try not to blend plate armor with chain, or chain leggings with a cloth
tunic. To make such a mistake is like wearing white shoes in snow, or
carrying a bloody mace to a state dinner: it is simply barbaric. In Vanguard,
we can see that the well-dressed dark elf is attentive to coordinating
her armor weight even if she is merely venturing out to harvest a few
rat heads for a simple candlelight supper later.
DO accessorize. I cannot emphasize enough that the battle ensemble can
be ruined by just one ill-advised handbag or one misplaced brooch. Weapons,
too, should blend harmoniously with the outfit and add sparkle, splendor,
or just the right touch of intimidation to the occasion. A disproportionately-sized
battle axe can simply ruin a girl's outfit! There is no reason why a lady
should be mistaken for a man when she goes to battlea well-placed
necklace or artfully draped cowl will display one's form to fine advantage.
Accessories are hot items, and you will be, too, if you use them cleverly.
definite DO is to dress appropriately for the occasion. I cannot help
but shake my head when, while shopping at the market or enjoying a leisurely
stroll through the city, I encounter the boorish fighter type who has
worn his helmet inside the city gates. Oh, the lack of respect! Gentlemen,
please, take that silly bucket off your head! And, even more I urge you
to refrain from using it as a foot or elbow rest at formal dinners. It's
no coincidence that one rarely sees the female adventurer running through
the streets with a helmet smashing her hairdo.
The trend in the ever-enlarging MMOG universe we inhabit is toward more
colorful, cultural, and elegant ensembles for both males and females.
However, clothes do not make the man or woman in every situation: an
ogre in a sexy outfit is still an ogre. For some races there is no such
thing as too many clothes! Larger and uglier races must simply limit themselves
to plate armor, cloaks, and even bathrobes so as not to offend the sensibilities
of the more genteel races. The thoughtful goblin, troll, or half-giant
may want to fabricate or purchase a large cloak that will cover offensive
body parts such as the face or any extremities that tend to peep out from
under the regular clothing.
While we do not have details about much of the special clothing, casual
attire, or other fashion items that will be available in Telon, we do
know that MMOG enthusiasts think that individuality is important. Debate
over whether or not to allow EverQuest-style armor dyes will continue
to rage, but one thing is certain: the trend in MMOGs is toward increasing
individuality, whether this is achieved through dyes or tattoos, crafted
armors or clothing, or simply through a multitude of possibilities at
This brings me to my final point, which is DO be as beautiful as possible!
Certainly, all creatures cannot high elves be. Though no other race epitomizes
beauty, grace, and wisdom like the high elf, attractive attire can go
a long way to making up for the deficits of lesser races. For instance,
Vanguard is teaching us that even the human female can look attractive
in exceptional armor.
I'm sure I am not alone when I say that I'm excited about discovering
all the fashion possibilities that will be revealed to us once Vanguard
launches, beginning with character creation. While mastery of the environment
will depend on more than looking good and dressing well, it certainly
won't hurt to go to battle in a color-coordinated, appropriately accessorized
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