The basic faction styles for armor and weapons (Breton, Altmer, Dunmer, et cetera) are actually far more varied than most of us get to experience. Each piece at each weight and each weapons or shield has four variations for everything, except helmets which have only three. The first three crafting materials all make sets that look unique, but by the time you get to the fourth material everything after looks the same. Homespun Robe looks different from Linen Robe which looks different from Cotton Robe, but then Spidersilk, Ebonthread, and all others look the same.
I happen to think that the Breton Linen stuff looks perfect, but with the Cotton hat. And I would use the Imperial medium stuff if the helmet didn't look so ridiculous at the final variant. There are so many shields, weapons, and simpler armor pieces that look great but won't be crafted past the first few days or weeks of a player's time.
Anyway, this stuff is all very subjective so many might not care. But it's there in the game and it would be a great resource to tap into for characters at any level.
SUGGESTION: When crafting a piece of armor, add a new setting that appears when one of the basic faction styles is selected. Alongside "Type", "Material", "Style", and "Trait" would be "Variation". It will only need four options. When the variant that looks like Jute is selected, some quantity of Jute will be added as an additional crafting material. 3-5 Jute sounds reasonable to me. When the variant that requires Flax is selected, it takes some Flax. The normal variant at higher level that most of us are used to would require nothing additional. The low level material cost is not something I consider essential to this idea though, simply giving us the option to choose appearance regardless of material would be amazing.
- Effectively adds a very significant quantity of sets to the crafting system at higher levels
- Vastly expanded options for those who enjoy simple arms and armor (On a related note, thank you for the new Soul-Shriven plain wooden staff!)
- Low development time I hope compared to entirely new armor sets
- Increase in demand for low level crafting materials boosts value of those goods that usually get vendored
- Not the flashiest feature to be able to announce and might not appeal to everyone
- Slight increase in the complexity of the crafting UI
- If ESO goes ahead with zone scaling for all zones, low level crafting materials might become prohibitively difficult for most to obtain. If this were to happen, the cost could simply be removed at that time.
Thanks for reading!