Saturday, February 26, 2022

Who Wears Short Shorts?

I find it very difficult to get a close look at my character in Lost Ark. To be honest, that's not all that unusual for an mmorpg, even one with three dimensional graphics and a fully maneuverable camera, but it's more awkward in LA than in most.

Fortunately there is a "Selfie" function that's clearly designed to make the purchase of cosmetic outfits in the cash shop more appealing. At least I'm guessing that's what it's for - I haven't actually looked at the cash shop yet. They do sell fancy outfits there, don't they?

The Selfie system itself isn't nearly as user-friendly as it could be. No-one seems to have seen fit to add it to the otherwise exhaustive tutorial, although since my character's still getting regular tutorial tips in her thirties I can't say for sure a lesson on posing for the camera isn't coming. 

I could probably use one. It was only last night that I noticed a large pull-out panel on the right side of the screen. It offers a whole range of options, including zoom and panoramic views as well as toggles for mobs, NPCs, other characters, their pets and all names including your own. If I'd spotted that sooner I wouldn't have had to use's blur to hide my character's name in the two older shots in this post.

The camera is still sluggish and it only rotates in something like a 180 degree arc. Even more annoying, your character can't move at all other than to rotate in place. You can slide the frame from left to right or up and down but if you want to stand somewhere else because, as happened to me this evening, you're being photobombed by a gigantic blade of grass, you have to close the Selfie function to move your character, then start again, whereupon, likely as not, you'll find something else has put itself in the way. 

The reason I was fiddling about with the thing in the first place was because, at half-way through level twenty-nine, my character finally got a pair of long pants! That seriously felt like a moment worth recording and I am not being ironic.

As it happens, I'd taken a couple of selfies of her previous look, which hasn't changed an awful lot since the day she arrived. I'm no expert on this, having only created a single character so far, but it's my understanding that each class has a look that doesn't change a whole lot for quite a while, if at all. 

That was certainly the case for my... I want to say Gunner but I realize I don't actually know the name of the class I'm playing for sure. That might say something about my levels of engagement but I think it probably says more about my memory. I can barely remember the names of the classes in Guild Wars 2 and I've been looking at them for a decade.

Whatever her class is called, its official uniform seems to be early 1970s Hot Pants. I don't particularly mind short shorts as an option (As discussed in a previous post, it's more the ludicrously inappropriate footwear and the obnoxious way the high-heeled catwalk strut has been implemented that's the problem.) but it would be nice to be given some kind of choice. 

In nearly thirty levels I must have had a couple of dozen items drop for the leg slot and every single one looked almost identical. I did eventually get something that, bizarrely, added knee-length boots to the look. It made a change, but the shorts stayed short.

I'd managed somehow to acquire a top that included a shirt, waistcoat and belt combo. I was happy enough with that. I thought my character looked pretty good from the waist up. From the waist down, though, she looked ridiculous, especially when the King insisted on presenting her to court.

Then, finally, gloriously, astoundingly, an item dropped that, when equipped, turned out to be a pair of 1970s-style leather-look loons! They cling skin-tight to the thighs, then flare wildly from the knee.

It's a look not everyone could carry off but she rocks it. I thought I did too, back when I was about thirteen or fourteen. I had two pairs of loons just like hers, only mine were a lot flashier. One pair was bright red and the other bright yellow. As far as I know, no pictures exist. At least, I hope they don't...

She's beginning to look something like the version shown in the cut scenes at the start of the game. Not as stylish and svelte, more's the pity, but a recognizable approximation. 

I just hope this is a permanent change. If I start getting shorts again I don't think I'll be able to persuade her to put them on, no matter how much of an upgrade the stats might be. 

From the minimal research I've done, there doesn't seem to be any kind of wardrobe or transmog system in Lost Ark, which frankly beggars belief. If you think gender locking is archaic, what would you call that? 

If there was a way to do it, I'd keep the look she has now as a default "acceptable" appearance in lieu of something better turning up. As it is, I guess I'd better just enjoy it while it lasts. It'll probably be shorts season again soon enough.


  1. Argh!! You're killing me with this. I'm now having flashbacks from the 1980s with Nair commercials.... 1987 - Nair - For Short Shorts (15 Sec Spot)

    But outside of that, yeah, good thing that apparently you don't need armor.

    1. Oh no, I am way to good at that fighting stuff to need armor! Everyone else wears full plated but that's because they're babies!


Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide