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MMO Vanity Items and Why They Make Life Better

Any expert World of Warcraft player, particularly those from Burning Crusade or later days, displays a particular pattern – they can, or at least believe they can, discern the relative skill level and worth of another player simply at a glance. How is this possible? What visual indicator is there of my gnome warrior’s ability to fight against Ragnaros, or whether or not she could keep four core hounds from chewing on the hunter’s neck, or even of whether or not she’s done these things before? It boils down to something more obvious than one might realize.

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Darkfiber2555d ago (Edited 2555d ago )

I do this same thing in other MMOs (since WoW sucks). I always think a player will suck at something if they are wearing a certain type of gear. Usually I am right, but sometimes I am wrong, and that's one instance where I like to be wrong. Who knows, the person could know the game in and out and just be playing an alt that hasn't obtained great gear yet but still know exactly how to play their class or know exactly how to do a certain instance or encounter. Oddly enough, vanity is probably one of the most important things to a person in an MMO, even if they don't admit it, and even if they don't even realize it.

I believe all MMOs should have some sort of vanity or custom appearance system. It just makes more sense. Sure, you might get a piece of amazing gear, but it might make you look like a pink power ranger. You should be able to customize your gear to look however you want it to, especially if you are paying monthly for it...

The reason WoW doesn't do it is because the look of gear is tied in directly to their business model. With so many players online, low level people see the high level people in cool looking gear and want to obtain it, therefore paying for a subscription a lot longer than a game that might offer a system that lets you look any way you want to right from the start of the game. They already look how they want, what's the point of playing for months on end to obtain the cool looking gear? That's the reason WoW will never have this feature. They love money too much to give their players something they might want if it means they might not stay subbed to the game as long.