New outfits

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Everyone’s favourite data–miner and bane of developers everywhere, that_shaman, has been at it again, uncovering a handful of unreleased outfits to the game’s data files in recent patches.

First off are the Raiment of the Lich, a Halloween costume from Guild Wars 1, and presumably due to be added to the gemstore when the Mad King decides to show his ugly mug again.

Raiment of the Lich
Raiment of the Lich

Next is a commando–style costume, perfect for trekking through the Maguuma Wastes, crag–hopping in Dry Top, and (apparently) breaking immersion.

‘Commando’ outfit
‘Commando’ outfit

And finally, something to keep us snug when Wintersday rolls around.

‘Winter’ outfit
‘Winter’ outfit

I think that they all look awesome, and can’t wait to try them out in–game. I’m a big fan of outfits, very much appreciating the way that they enable me to have a stylish and consistent appearance on low–level characters without the need to continually spend gems on transmute charges.

There has been a lot of criticism of the decision to add so many new looks to the game as single item outfits as opposed to multiple armor pieces which can be mixed and matched to create unique appearances. I totally get this, but think that there are a couple of factors to consider.

There are new armor skins on the way

‘Before you all grab your pitchforks and start complaining “oh noes outfit” like last the time I’ve tried to post something… do keep in mind that this (and the previous) patch also added a substantial amount of armor models but those are much harder for me to render’ — that_shaman

Outfits are (probably) quicker to create

I don’t have any experience of 3D modelling and I’m sure as heck not a visual artist, but I do know about software. It stands to reason, I think, that a single slot outfit is likely to have fewer clipping issues than a new six–item armor set which could be combined with any already existing piece of armor. ShiverpeakOwl on Twitter makes the good point that there are already clipping issues in the game, but I don’t think that ArenaNet would be doing themselves any favours in terms of public perception or technical debt (what we call the long list of ‘shit that I need to fix one day’) by releasing skins that they know have clipping issues.

Something is better than nothing

Following on from my previous assumption that outfits are generally easier for ANet to create and release, I would prefer to have them in the gem store than not have them. Of course, I would love to see a swathe of new armor skins added to the wardrobe, and I believe that they will before too long. My preference would actually be to see some new skins added to the open world and as non–ascended crafting recipes, but I expect that we’ll be waiting for an expansion for that to happen.

In the mean time, buy these new outfits if you like them (or not, if you don’t) when they’re released, get creative with dyes, and try to make your characters look awesome. I can’t wait to see what people come up with.