Redesigning Town Clothes
Note: This article is an opinion piece. It does not reflect the views of GWO, nor does it represent any upcoming changes to Guild Wars 2.
Town Clothes are a great idea. They are an evolution of costumes from the original Guild Wars. If you did not play GW1, you can check out the wiki article on costumes for the full rundown and images, but here is a quick overview: You purchase a costume in the store, equip it, and can then toggle it on or off to change your armor’s appearance, in or out of combat.
Fast forward to Guild Wars 2: You purchase a piece of town clothing and you never wear it ever. If you’re wondering why not, it’s because in GW 2, you can only wear Town Clothes when you are out of combat. This is, by far, the largest problem with the current system. While I really do not like how it functions right now, there is definitely hope: Other MMOs have systems that work well, so there’s no reason we can’t see one here. Below, I have outlined what I consider the biggest problems with the current system and some recommendations on how to improve it. Reminder that these are my opinions only – discussion is absolutely welcome, of course.
As mentioned above, the number one reason most people do not bother with Town Clothes is that they cannot be used in combat. As a result, even if you remember to turn them on (and I often forget they are even an option), there are very few situations you will be able to keep them on in: They are automatically turned off if you draw your weapon, take damage, or go underwater.
If you purchase town clothes in the gem store, you only get one set to use. This means if you like a skin and want to use it on all of your characters, you have to buy multiple versions of the same item. Not only that, if you destroy it, it’s gone forever and you need to purchase a new one.
This will probably solve itself over time, especially if the system were to change and more players took advantage of the system. While there have been some pretty cool additions, so far there is currently only one pant skin available for purchase.
You can wear them anywhere. Once you toggle them on, they stay on until you turn them off. Costumes worked like this, so why not Town Clothes?
Limited to armor usable by your profession only. This may be a little controversial, as it effectively removes Transmutation Stones from the game. However, I believe it is way more valuable to be able to change skins whenever you want instead of a one-time use. I played Mesmer in GW1: I owned and carried around several sets of armor just because I liked the skins. In GW2, I have one. I am afraid to buy any new armor because I don’t want to lose my skin or transmute a rare skin on to exotic armor: It feels like a waste and it’s too permanent. If you want to use an old skin after transmuting, you need to farm a new set. Bonus: This would immediately expand the available selection of fashionable clothing.
This is simple: Storage for your town clothes and skins. It could be expandable with gems and shared between all your characters, just like the bank. It would be accessible as a tab within then bank, like Collectibles. This also solves the issue of losing that first set your character starts with.
Instead of being limited to a single set of Town Clothes, let players have multiple choices. Two are standard, with additional slots purchasable with gems. (Account slots? Pretty please?) This gives all players a minimum choice of three outfits: Standard armor, and two style sets.
You would not actually equip the piece of clothing. Once you put it on your character’s style tab, you can put it back in your Wardrobe. This would allow you to use the same piece of clothing across multiple characters.
I know I did a bit of bashing here, but I do really want this system to work out. I love the idea of customizing my outfits and changing them depending on my mood. And, to be honest, I’m not too crazy about the armor skins to begin with, so this would give me some great stuff to play around with instead. Plus, I really, really want to buy one of those hoodies for my warrior and one of the vests for my mesmer. I can’t justify spending the money until I can use it in combat.