Lord of The Rings Online: Book 12 Preview

WarCry shows you how you too can look swanky in new digs. WarCry digs in and takes a close look at Lord of The Rings Online's big patch, Book 12.

WarCry shows you how you too can look swanky in new digs.

WarCry digs in and takes a close look at Lord of The Rings Online's big patch, Book 12.

When MMOs were translated from pen-and-paper games and later MUDs (text-based forerunners to the MMO), the addition of graphical presentation created a new dilemma: how the character looks. To date, most games have ignored the problem and simply made graphical representations of each item the character wears. This means that players need to make a choice: do they want to look good or do they want to be good? Inevitably, looks lose to function, but that doesn't mean people are happy about it. The initial launch of LotRO was no different.

In Book 12, Turbine addresses this problem with the Outfit System, which allows players to both maximize their stats and customize their look in a unique way. This system adds a second layer to the character sheet; on top of the page where players put on their gear, they also have a page where they can design what their player looks like. It is totally cosmetic, as it visually replaces what's under it and creates a solid, if completely unrealistic compromise that allows players to both maximize their character's stats and sex appeal.

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