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Fashion in this game frustrates me

Here is a collection of thoughts and grievances. As I wrote I started off very candid but I think my tone got lighter toward the end. IDK by BFF Jill.


Armor sets are (presumably) not designed first and foremost with the player's pleasure in mind. Most of the time what we are receiving are the assets that are used on the dungeon mobs with each DLC, and occasionally what is worn by the NPCs in expansions. There are a few outliers, but for the most part these sets follow a very restrictive design formula that results in all of them looking more or less the same.

I want to talk about the chief offenders.
    Every weight class will follow the design cues of the jerkin (the robe is a jerkin with a skirt sewn on). Each set creates a similar silhouette on the PC, one that is closely fitted and grows bulkier as it ranks up in weight class yet still implies the same shape. With few deviations, this will be a leather piece with a metal plate in the center that grows larger and eventually subsumes the surface area as it ranks up in weight. Regardless of weight class or aesthetic, the chest piece will almost always include tassets and/or a loin flap. The tassets will be bulky, which along with the fitted top will create a very bottom-heavy appearance on the toon. There is probably fur somewhere. The waist line will hit very low, creating the illusion that the legs are short and the torso is quite long, especially on the men. Many chest pieces abruptly end at the collarbone.

    I'd really like to see some different silhouettes. There are so many practical things that people would wear. Coats, surcoats, doublets and actual jerkins. There could be more stand-up collars, more lapels and visible toggles that make one believe things could be realistically taken off and put back on. There could be asymmetry. It'd be interesting to see a coat thrown over a heavy armor set, or for a dress to make its way into the selection now and then.
    These are a part of the chest piece but they bear closer inspection. As I mentioned, they will generally be very bulky. A lot of them have this very odd shape, like a solid chunk of metal that would be quite heavy. They appear chitinous to me and make me think of crab claws. They don't seem very protective, in fact, they feel as though they would be a hinderance. They are, of course, not actually attached to the chest piece, even though they share the same model space. They seem to be affixed to the thighs. They float away from the hips dramatically, especially near the top, and create a gap (in which weapons would surely become lodged). I have a theory that the reason they float away from the hips like that is so that they don't clip into the PC's hips while in a combat stance or mounted. Here's my argument: if it can't be rigged correctly, so that they don't float off the character model while idling, they shouldn't be included. It feels like a stubborn half-measure tbh.
    These also have a tendency to float off the character model, presumably to avoid clipping. Pauldrons and arm cops from different sets look virtually identical. They all follow the same basic shape and occupy the same very specific region on the PC's geometry. They will almost always be symmetrical. Most of them are absurdly oversized.

    People desperately want the ability to hide shoulders. That should absolutely be an option, though the desire is borne out of the fact that shoulders are the most reviled pieces. More interesting things could be done here. A skin thrown over the shoulders, a capelet, a leather holster, an amulet. These run the risk of clipping with other items, but the onus is on the player to find a combination that doesn't clip. Or, maybe it does clip a little, and that's okay.
    Ah, vanity belt buckles. Everyone gets a vanity belt buckle! Everyone is channeling their inner McCree here. These are dreadfully boring and smell like missed opportunities. My suggestion would be to remove items that are normally on the chest piece and shuffle them to the belt model space. So, tassets, pouches, vials, spell tomes, knives, other trinkets. Actual belts could also be modeled, as well as scabbards for those that want to look "more equipped," even if the "weapons" are just fashionable and never drawn.
    My criticism here is actually very simple. It has to do with the modeling. All of the boots have a completely flat sole. It'd be great to see more nuanced modeling happening here. A stand-out example are the boots on the Queen's-Eye Spymaster costume, which have a visible heel. I know that's a costume, but it demonstrates that exceptional boot modeling can be done.

Tl;dr summary of criticisms: all of the armor sets follow the same shape cues. They're wanting for variety, and also in believable practicality. I'm wanting for more care given to the character silhouette and the shape language of individual pieces. I want to see coats, doublets, and other varieties of gear.


As armor sets become more graphically and conceptually complex, they have necessitated more than three color channels. I applaud the devs and artists for moving in this direction! That being said, we could really use access to a fourth channel. A lot of the time there's a very distinctly colored portion of a piece that clashes with whatever color scheme we have in mind. It'd be a great boon to character individuality to have access to that channel.

  • Well, releasing a greater variety of costumes could actually go a long way toward addressing some of the dissatisfaction with the armor sets. This would be a great place to give us some coats, surcoats, doublets, jerkins and dresses with interesting shape language. It feels like the costume designers may be in a sort of a rut. They released a couple costumes with backpacks, which were long requested, but that seems to be their area of focus lately. We love the backpacks, but it's time for something new! Sidebar: I think the waist line on costumes, especially on the men, tends to hit very low, too.
  • Style pages are amazing. The pro of style pages: they effectively give us a "costume" that is modular. The con, however: they can't be changed at a whim through the collections menu. It'd be interesting to see more categories of adornment so that we could get more modular costume pieces. That way they can be changed from the collections menu, and they can be combined with outfit pieces.
  • Now, I don't know if this one can technically be done. It'd be great to be able to link collections to our outfit slots, so that when you change an outfit your favorite hat is automatically included and so forth. Changing your look can get a little tedious when you feel the need to go collection fishing. This could also provide an avenue for different dye presets on collection pieces.

I'm tired now so I'm done. XD
PS4 NA // ♀ ☽
  • Kiralyn2000
    I'm pretty sure that a good % of the issues you list (everything has the same silhouette, floating shoulders, "look virtually identical") are so that things fit with the animations & skeleton rigging. And to reduce clipping with other motifs & with the various weapon locations.

    (coats, coats over things, and big collars definitely seem like they'd be clipping issues waiting to happen.)

    "Mix & Match" clothing systems frequently have "same outline" issues, because they want every top & every bottom to be able to fit together. So the waist will generally be the same size. Ditto for any other "interface" locations, like the wrist, the neckline, between the leg & the foot.

    MMOs also tend to simplified systems in general, because there's going to be lots of them on screen at the same time, wherever there are lots of players & NPCs (if the NPCs use the same bodies & clothing). Part of why we'll never get cloaks or any other "physics" fabric. And why as many things as possible get reduced to "just a texture painted on" instead of being modeled with polygons.

    (I would love to be able to hide shoulders or gloves, personally. Tassets, too, but I know that'll never happen, because they'd have to re-model every chest armor & redesign parts of the armor system.)
  • Athan1
    Tassets are annoying because they clip with everything. Also some chest/belt/leg pieces have different kinds of tassets, leading to insane clipping. Idgi...

    Lots of floating pieces as well, especially our weapons, they essentially float in midair (staves and dw being the most obvious examples).
    Vakka-Tsona Saxhleel Mender (AD)
  • Slyclone
    All of this could be done, but their thinking is the less polygons the better. For performance reasons. I love that they fixed the lighting in the game to make the older sets seem newer, but again not every artist is the same.

    One of my biggest gripes with their thinking is everything is indeed 2Dimensional. The 3D aspect of the game is illusional. This is why the PC face is perfect, but the rest of the body is blocky when looking from above. This is why the camera is limited.

    At least they're trying with what tools are at their disposal.

    But you can totally see where the texture layers meet.

    If they removed all the flaps and lowered the beltline on the tops there would be 1000s more configurations opened up and those artists who bust their butts on the sets would see their work used much more often imo.
    That's it, that's all.
  • LostHorizon1933
    @Versispellis is that you, Tim Gunn? I’ve missed your show.

    This is one of those posts that makes the forum worth reading.
  • Slyclone
    I will post a few examples later to show the potential.
    That's it, that's all.
  • LadyLethalla
    I'd really like more dyes that aren't shiny. Fair enough if you're wearing heavy, but light armour...
    x-TallyCat-x // PS4 EU DC - For the Covenant! // Max level CP since idk when. // ESO Platinum trophy - 16th May 2017

    Proud member of the Aetherium Alliance.
    Melbourne Australia - the land of Potato Internet.

    Looking for PS4 EU Oceanic players
  • Eccentric_Vampire
    I need a cape or cloak because reasons.
  • Mettaricana
    We need a underwear selection option with more than black bra and burlap sack to make various armors amd costumes look better like the timber crow burlap diaper
    Issue, and a hide all armor individually as an option. Cannot tell you how many times id see an armor that would make an overall neat dress and tunic length while showing off leg tattoos... but of course we cant get a invisible armor style page or illusion bs to say why we can't see it.
    Also take belts and add the hip flaps and crotch tassets to the belt so we can use cool chests and leg combos without all the flap clipping. Some armors have better hip plates at different weights as it stands now briarheart is only belt with flaps attached to it
  • JTD
    Imagine having a dedicated screenshot and positioning system in the game.. :wink: FF14 would like to have a word with us.
  • Scardan
    Fashion designs in this game are weird for my tastes too, starting from swords that look non functional and silly (and oversized maces and axes, god help me) ending with really weird armor pieces and helms with horns and additional non functional armor pieces.

    I mean, you can design good looking, functional looking weapons and armor even in high fantasy setting. Some of ESO weapons look fantasy and functional, kudos on that and many are just ridiculous. For my taste.

    Let's be extremely precise in our use of terms.
  • kaisernick
    i mentioned in another topic of my own that TASSETS should be linked to belts so we can change them as right now belts are just kind of lame and some chests have great replacements of the armor hip with books and bags if they reworked them to fit onto belts then more varity would really spice up the outfit system.
  • ZiRM
    We need capes and codpieces! Well, I do anyways.. :(
    PacMan wakka...wakka...wakka....wakka...wakka...wakka....
    ESO Server Status. ( ^_^)o自自o(^_^ ) SkåL!!!!!
  • kaisernick
    ZiRM wrote: »
    We need capes and codpieces! Well, I do anyways.. :(

  • colossalvoids
    Would agree on most points, tassets one could be a toggle for ones who find them unappealing.

    Also on a dye slots, everything should be dyeable as they already making more and more styles where some golden parts or cloth pieces aren't dyeable killing the whole motif and this needs to stop for sure. Dyes themselves should get some attention also, or better say materials part of the outfit as some are impossible to dye well, have them to lose their gloss or make darker for example.
  • DMuehlhausen
    I need a cape or cloak because reasons.

    Due to game engine restraints this won't be happening.
  • DMuehlhausen
    My two biggest issues...

    1. The camera angle. The camera should be more free flowing to take better screenshots.

    2. Sticking with the armor theme...stop making colors looking different on different weights and even different styles. It's so frustrating finding a good looking combination, but then the same color be completely different looking.
  • hands0medevil
    For all fashion problems I recommend wearing Nordic Bather's Towel. Problem solved.
  • Olauron
    "Mix & Match" clothing systems frequently have "same outline" issues, because they want every top & every bottom to be able to fit together. So the waist will generally be the same size. Ditto for any other "interface" locations, like the wrist, the neckline, between the leg & the foot.

    Yes, with the exception of Alliance styles (AD, DC, EP) and a few others I don't remember. As a result it is possible to get belt either in the air or deep inside the chest armor.
    The Three Storm Sharks, episode 5 released on may the 4th.
  • JKorr
    Yes, yes. Everyone wants capes and cloaks to clip with scenery, hair, helms, shields, staffs, and bows as well as weapons hung from our belts. Life wouldn't be complete without a large sheet of non-mobile fabric stapled to our behinds, like the breton hero outfit. Oh, they could turn ESO into a MYST style point and click while they're at it, because thousands of flowing fabric capes and cloaks would *never* cause lag issues or anything. /sarcasm

    I'd love to be able to play with color more, but considering how detailed things can glitch, not sure I want to ask ZOS to program more ways things can get screwed up. And with the variations for characters, I can believe there would be some "gotta post a screenshot cause no one would believe me" glitches.
  • stupops
    Soul Shriven
    I find the clothing system in this game ridiculously hard to fathom. On Xbox anyway.
    I have been playing for a while, mostly solo when I get the chance. I am a newbie when it comes to PVP. and a terrible player.
    Anyway, I dont have much time because of real life - so my go to games are basically ESO and Destiny 2. For all of its faults, Destiny 2's armour and dyes are super easy to do to make your guardian look cool.
    I decided that I would try the same approach with my ESO character.
    It makes NO SENSE to me.
    I have a costume over my armour that I got for getting to CP 160. Looks kind of cool. But its red and gold. Like Arsenal. Cant be doing with that.
    So I bought some hair for 400 crowns as I had that 'remove helmet' add on.
    I wandered up to the 'clothing station' and before I even tried to add a dye to something my character the armour changes before my eyes.
    In the game I have one helmet - at the clothing station its completely different.
    No explanation.
    I watched a you tube vid and gave up. Why make it such a chore from the start?
  • Madhojo
    How about making it so the colors actually look the same on all pieces of armor? I'm tired of seeing blue become grey or red become pink, its frustrating.
  • Chips_Ahoy
    I need a cape or cloak because reasons.

    I don't understand the forum's obsession with cape or cloak, is it some kind of fetish?
  • stupops
    Soul Shriven
    Madhojo wrote: »
    How about making it so the colors actually look the same on all pieces of armor? I'm tired of seeing blue become grey or red become pink, its frustrating.

    If I knew how to do that I would!
    I am going to try again when the EU servers are up and running.
    I just cant get my head around it.
  • Mefromnorway
    Must be the worst game ever with so bad fashion. Looks so bad.
    Have fun and dont be rude. Im Norwegian so im sorry for my spelling, but hope u understand.

    Grand Master Crafter.
    5 chars full 9 traiter.
    3 chars Flawless
    2 chars Stormproof.

    Total 13 chars, evryone got full gold armor both roles.

    PS5 Europe.
  • myskyrim26
    Oh well... Are you serious? Don't you remember the time of red gear and weapons mess? I'm quite happy with ESO fashion. Tassets and shoulders are nonsence compared to the look we had before outfit system appeared....
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