Thursday, June 1, 2023

Ripped Black Leather

Another month, another outfit. That's about how long it's taking me. I'm starting to wish it was faster. 

It could be faster if I'd either play the game properly or spend some money on it but I'm too lazy for the one and too mean for the other. Still, just doing it the way I am, as and when I remember, it's ticking along.

After almost nine months I have a choice of eight Outfits, six that I've worked for and two that I don't remember how I got. Events, I think? I also have three Fashion Sets that came from doing the main storyline. I guess I might get a few more that way, if I ever finish the thing.

All of the above come in pieces that can be mixed and matched so my potential number of looks is already considerable. In practice, of course, although all the pieces fit together very neatly, most of them look terrible jumbled up.

As well as the three central pieces that make up each outfit - Top, Bottom and Shoes - there are display slots for Headwear, Hairstyle, Backwear, Accessory, Face and Umbrella, plus a dye system as well. I haven't managed to get myself many of any of those.

About all I have are my rabbit ears and my headband and a bunch of dyes that I still can't figure out how to use. Right now there's an event going on that rewards a backpack for logging in at least ten days out of fourteen. Since I log in every day without fail, I should soon be sporting a Spotty Basket, which looks like a small bear sleeping in a picnic basket. I suspect there may be translation issues. 

The last outfit I worked to get, the one worn by the Phantom Urian, turned out to be a bit of a disappointment in that it was much stiffer in action than the loose, flowing look the picture suggested. It's the only one that hasn't come out exactly as I expected.

With that in mind, I thought for quite a while about which to get next. There are a lot of fluffy, frou-frou or fancy looks but I was a little gunshy of trains and flounces after the last one so I decided to go for something close-fitting instead.

Simone Michealangelo is an artist and a sculptor. She's also a punk. Why whoever designed her decided to shunt those two apparently unrelated ideas together I have no idea but it works for me. 

In her SSR card, she wears what looks like the ripped and tattered remnants of a white t-shirt, held together by two enormous safety-pins. It's also attached somehow to her neck and shoulders by a kind of leather bondage yoke. A large, metallic symbol dangles from the leather collar and a long strip of white cloth goes all the way to her thighs from the safety pins.

She wears ripped leather jeans, held up by a heavy leather belt, with what looks very much like the head of Michaelangelo's David hanging from one of the loops. On her left wrist she wears some kind of fingerless leather gauntlet. Her right wrist is wrapped in bandages.

Her leathers fluff up in a most unpunky way below the knee but she avoids the embarrassment flared pants by stuffing them into her heavy motorcycle boots. 

It's a great look. I wanted it.

And now I have it, even if the outfit I made from the pattern she gave me isn't exactly the same. I'm beginning to realise that's not guaranteed. It adds a certain element of risk to the choosing which, now I'm aware of it, I quite enjoy. And honestly, I think mine's the better version.  

The main differences are: 

Two leather gauntlets instead of one. No bandages. 

A double leather strap around her left bicep, with a stiff tie-off that sticks out several inches at right angles.

A large, leather pouch attached to her belt on the right hip.

The whole look just works, especially in combat. It has a freedom and a forcefulness the fancier sets can't match. Simone may be an artist by profession but she's clearly a fighter, too. I'm very happy with the result although I really do need to work out how to use the dye system. It'd be even better with a splash of color here and there.

Now I just have to decide which Phantom to work on next. I'm leaning towards Leona da Vinci, Auria Aurora, Kristen Andersen or Antonia Leeuwenhoek but there are so many good ones it's hard to choose.

Nice problem to have.


  1. Would you say that fashion is one of the primary parts of the game? I hear the oft repeated joke that the real endgame of FF XIV is actually fashion, so I wondered.

    1. I was thinking about this as I wrote the post, funnily enough. While I'm always interested and invested in how my characters look, there have only been a handful of mmorpgs where I really put some effort into it and this is definitely one of them. How much that has to do with the way the game is designed and how much with how I play it is another matter.

      Noah's Heart started with quite a lot of content and more was added steadily for a few months but I think the game has been pretty unsuccessful commercially and new content has dried up, leaving players with what was there already plus some rotating events and cash-shop driven minigames. I lost patience with the combat aspect of the MSQ when the instances started to take me more than a few minutes so I don't know how far the storyline goes in terms of progression but there are a bunch of ladder instances seperate to that, where you can keep going up levels of diffiulty, maybe forever for all I know. People LFG for those quite often so I assume there's a motivation there, somewhere, although I fdon't know what it is.

      There are two kinds of competetive PvP with rankings and league tables, so I guess that's another target for some people. It's a Gacha game, so obviously there are all those characters to collect and develop, which is a HUGE commitment. I imagine that occupies some people's time. There's a fairly well-developed housing system too, which is another niche interest catered for.

      I still see quite a few people playing, even after the merges, or possibly because of them. Lots of people seem quite fancily-dressed. For a game of this kind, though, the fashion options don't seem that foregrounded. The cash shop is surprisingly thin for a game of this kind, both in general and in terms of fashion. Other cash-shop-led imports I've played have had far more and GW2 puts pretty much all its creative effort into the Gem Store when it comes to clothes - they give nothing away.

      From my perspective, I think I'm enjoying the fashion aspect of the game mostly because the results are characters who look convincing and complete. The only other mmorpg I've played where I liked the way my characters dressed this much is probably The Secret World. I'm slowly realizing I like my characters to wear clothes rather than armor. I think that's the key to it. It's probably why I prefer the low-level look in most fantasy mmorpgs - those leather and chaninmail basics look more like some kind of regular clothes than the insanity that inevitably follows.


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