Stolen Pixels #150: +2 Shoes of Floppiness

By Shamus Posted Friday Dec 11, 2009

Filed under: Column 30 comments

Q: What do Ronald McDonald, Bozo, and the Grey Warden have in common?

A: Far too much.


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30 thoughts on “Stolen Pixels #150: +2 Shoes of Floppiness

  1. krellen says:

    The saddest part is I can totally buy Alistair exclaiming “Winged Helmets are awesome!” in a totally-serious tone of voice.

  2. Jeremiah says:

    Know what else is awesome? Spikes on top of helmets. Aww yea

  3. RustyBadger says:

    Know what else is awesome? Spikes on the front of bustiers. Although technically she’s not wearing a bustier…

  4. JMobius says:

    Spot on, Shamus.

    That WRPGs feel compelled to continue to force us to play dress up, in a manner that always results in laughable mismatching, whilst *also* making the majority of the options look ridiculous is a trope I cannot grasp the longevity of.

  5. Joe Cool says:

    I totally disagree. Winged hats are awesome. If I could, I’d wear a winged hat every day.

  6. Jarenth says:

    Winged helmets so are awesome. I don’t care how much lies you try to spread, mr. Young, this will always be true.

  7. Vegedus says:

    I agree with the hats. The only cool hat is the templar helmet, face obscuring and all. Mage hats are downrigh fugly.

  8. Yar Kramer says:

    How about These +2 Boots of Made For Walkin’?

  9. Morrowind was particularly guilty of this, what with characters running about with green boots, yellow greaves, a white cuirass, brown right pauldron, golden left pauldron, silver right gauntlet, black left gauntlet, bone-helmet, wooden shield and a crystalline dagger.

  10. Zombie Pete says:

    Fable II was the best for customization, hands down. Except for when you stripped down to change clothes and realized how fat you’d gotten from eating those delicious pies.

  11. Al says:

    I’ve been (belatedly) playing Saints Row 2 all this week whilst ill. The character appearance customisation in it is outstanding, especially for tweaking facial characteristics. Clothing is a bit of a pain, hunting down through the different shops for what you want to wear (though with items that you can change the colour and pattern of, you can do that in your wardrobe happily) though you can save combos as outfits.

    Also, if you’re not happy with the way you look, you can change mid game. You can have a sex change- I went from being a buff young black guy to being a slim blonde white chick- the game has no problem with this. None of the NPCs have a problem with this. All the speech for the central character is available in a multitude of voices, seamlessly. The only point anyone comments is at the start of the game, with a few “did you do something with your hair?” comments.

    It’s ace.

  12. Magnus says:

    Tin foil hats are my favourite.

    As a mage, you don’t really have this problem so much. I was wearing funny robes, sure, but I didn’t have the mismatched armour.

    I suppose this is one point that Mass Effect does a bit better.

  13. Artillery_MKV says:

    See, this is something that the Superhero games, despite all the ribbing that Shamus gives them, get spot on. Both CoX and CO don’t have the items change your appearance (with a few exceptions like the halloween costume/disguise items in CoX which are SUPPOSED to change your appearance temporarily).

    Of course this has the drawback of making the loot you receive less immersive. One way CO handled this is by making certain items unlock costume options when you receive them. Thus by picking up that blunderbuss, you can now add it to your costume, but stealthy ninja-man doesn’t HAVE to while getting the stat and defense boost from the item that unlocked the costume piece.

    Still not a perfect compromise. I’d look for some system to give out loot that does add it’s appearance to the PC (when you equip the hat of vigorous running it shows up on your character), but gives the option to customize the item. I’d imagine getting the chance to alter items at a shop, or a tailor NPC, yet another sink hole for your money in the game. Of course I’d also like to have a sort of ‘default appearance’ setting that would display my character in a particular way during cutscenes, etc.

  14. Jabor says:

    Are you now making in-jokes about your previous comics (in this case, the very first Stolen Pixels)?

    1. Shamus says:

      Thank you Jabor.

      I was really starting to worry when nobody brought it up.

  15. JimminyJoJo says:

    Haha this is so true. The only armors that look truly awesome are some of the Massive sets.

  16. acabaca says:

    Superhero MMOs can let you freely choose what you look like because superhero MMOs don’t have the mechanic of having to constantly swap your Pants +5 for Pants +6, soon to be exchanged for Pants +7. It could be argued that regular RPGs don’t really need that mechanic either (or that it could be limited to, say, getting different sorts of chest armor, instead of micromanaging every imaginable article of clothing), but as long as they have it, it would be really lame to not have your gear choices show on your character. We’ve already given up on being able to drop items or interact with the scenery in any meaningful way. Let’s hold onto the last bits of naturalism we’ve got left.

    They could stop designing the sort of items that are individually patently ridiculous to look at though.

  17. Jack of Spades says:

    acabaca, I wish that were true of superhero MMOs. It’s the most annoying part of playing Champions Online for me.

  18. Taellosse says:

    @ Zombie Pete #9: Well, to be fair, the various clothing (and hairstyle, tattoo, makeup, and beard) options did nothing for you in combat. They were entirely cosmetic (though they would impact how the citizens reacted to you, by altering the various social statistics you had). Fable 1 had real armor, but they gave up on that entirely in 2. Presumably because this is set in a time analogous to the early Industrial Revolution, where guns have become prevalent, and armor was largely abandoned because no one had come up with kevlar yet.

  19. Atarlost says:

    See, rougelikes never have this sort of problem. You can, for instance, in Steamband wear petticoats, a silk shirt, and a fez and you still look like an @.

  20. Winged hats suck. Winged helmets on the other hand? Wrought of awesomite.

  21. Pickly says:

    When thinking about it, though, it does seem sensible that collecting random items off of different dead enemies would likely result in a rather hodgepodge looking collection. :)

    (I wish I knew smileys better also.)

  22. Cat Skyfire says:

    “Bateau de sauce” cracked me up. Wonderful!

  23. someguy says:

    Hehe, here’s something from AoC:
    I’m cool with the clothing, can’t go wrong with a blood splattered hauberk, but… can I please get a weapon that is both badd-ass and NOT looking like the Gem-Crusted Scepter of Bling?
    (Nah, it’s not that bad, but I’m very often very tempted to ditch a whole lot of dmg, just to have a plain blade)

  24. Zaxares says:

    This is why in games like Neverwinter Nights? I typically end up using the Toolset to create my OWN gear, smuggle it into the game via pre-generated characters, and then wear those instead.

  25. IgnusDei says:

    Oh man, the costume options in Dragon Age have been a pet peeve of mine. I’ve been designing new equipment for a mod, so we’ll be able to fix that as soon as the toolset can accept new art assets.

    Interestingly, AION has an interesting system that allows you to alter the appearance of just about any item into that of another (of the same class, of course). For example, if you upgraded from a +1 Leather Jerkin of the Rat to the Armor of Shadowy Stabbity Shadows, but find that your new armor is just too ugly, you can go to a shop and have the elite item look like the starter gear you were so fond of. For a price, of course. And a level restriction of 30 and up, for some unfathomable reason :/

  26. Jonathan says:

    Since nobody’s said it yet… Baldur’s Gate II doesn’t have this problem, either.
    I keep coming back to it as the best CRPG ever. In fact, I’ll be playing it 15 minutes from now.

  27. Telas says:

    It’s not much better on the tabletop side. Judging from the artwork, there’s not a single backpack in the entire D&D 4E ruleset.

    And Fable? Please don’t get me started on the proportionality of the hands… It’s either a sad attempt at ‘cute’ or a sad attempt at a sexual innuendo.

  28. IgnusDei says:

    someone’s figured out a way to import new models in Dragon Age via Blender. Expect sillier hats :)

  29. acabaca says:

    “Since nobody's said it yet… Baldur's Gate II doesn't have this problem, either.”

    …In the sense that in BG2 you look like a midget with Down’s in the inventory screen no matter what you wear.

    BG2 is a classic, but if you want to see this sort of thing handled well, you need to take a look at Lineage 2 or some of the other Korean MMOs. Your gear affects your looks, but the art design is so strong that it’s impossible to not look cool in them.

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