Hyperspace Beacon: What you need to know about SWTOR’s Outfit Designer

Update 3.2 for Star Wars: The Old Republic is, in a lot of ways, my update. From the beginning of the game, I wanted to visit the planet Ziost. My favorite Star Wars comic book of all time is the Tales of the Jedi series. The part of the series appears to revolve around Gav and Jori Daragon, but the truth is that Tales of the Jedi is about the old Sith Empire. The wintery world of Ziost was the capital planet of the old Sith Empire. I’ve always wanted to know what happened to that world during the time of The Old Republic, but the writers have been rather silent about it.

As many of you are aware, I’m a big roleplayer in all the MMOs that I play. I like to immerse myself into the world, the lore, and the community of each MMO. That’s probably one of the reasons that I can play only one or two MMOs at the same time. Unfortunately, SWTOR has never been particularly roleplay friendly. It’s always seemed that we roleplayers RP in spite of the mechanics of the game. And now, for the first time in the history of the game, we have been given a tool that is completely designed for roleplayers: the Outfit Designer.

I’m not in the mood to spoil too much for you right now as far as the story is concerned, so I will stay away from talking about Ziost for a bit. But the Outfit Designer deserves some ink, so I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about this new addition to the game.

Overview

Many other games have something similar to the Outfit Designer. Games like Star Wars Galaxies, EverQuest II, and even World of Warcraft had or have something very similar. The basic premise of the Outfit Designer is to allow players to have one set of gear that grants character stats and a second set of gear that signifies the character’s appearance. In my circles, it is often called the “appearance tab,” and based on the UI design of the Outfit Designer released so far, “appearance tab” is a very appropriate name.

Unlike some other appearance tabs, the Outfit Designer gives you multiple tabs for outfits. The Outfit Designer actually gives you access to up to 16 different outfits, clearly for your night out on the town, the morning after, the walk of shame, the eventual wedding, and everything in between. Each outfit has its own hide-head-slot and show-dark-side-corruption buttons that work independent of each other.

How much does each tab cost? Just like the crack that it will ultimately be for me, the first one is completely free when Update 3.2 goes live. The second, third, fourth, and fifth tabs cost 20,000 credits each. (The Cartel Coin cost hasn’t been implemented yet). The sixth to the 10th tab will cost 40,000 each. The 11th to the 15th will cost you 80,000. And the last tab will cost 200k. All total, it’s only 880k credits. Bear in mind, however, that this is how much it costs per character, and there are other stipulations and costs that I will mention in a bit. But overall, that’s really easy pricing.

Credit sink outfits

I have seen many systems in MMORPGs to make one outfit look like another. Most of the time, it is super simple and not as effective as you’d like it to be, or it tries to be a credit sink and becomes so convoluted that no one wants to mess with it. I think SWTOR‘s “appearance tab” hits a sweet spot.

As I mentioned, each outfit cost in-game credits or Cartel Coins, but it also costs credits to put an item into the Outfit Designer — 14,000 per item, to be exact. Each outfit can have up to seven items, so if you replace every piece in your outfit, it will cost 98,000 credits. As far as prices go, that’s not too bad. I spend that much every time my guild runs into a new hard-mode boss encounter. (Yes, I’m saying we wipe a lot.)

You don’t have to replace every piece of armor. You can, for instance, just replace your chestpiece. It will then pull all other clothing articles from the items you are wearing for stats — par for the course. Also, the item used in the Outfit Designer stays in your inventory so that you can use it in multiple outfits.

Special colors

One thing that I heard several streamers on the PTS this weekend say about the outfit designer is that the color-match-to-chest was broken. I thought the same thing at first, too. But it’s not. When you’re placing items into the outfit tab, you will not be able to match to chest from there, even though the buttons show up. However, once you’ve committed the outfit, you will be match the color to the chestpiece as normal. You can also unify colors, hide your head slot, and show your dark side corruption without a cost. However, if you replace a clothing item in a tab, it will cost 14,000 credits apiece.

hsb-mop-head-outfite-designer-sub05There is another special option for the outfit designer called Stamp Dye. This allows you to use a dye on an outfit item without affecting the base item. Let’s say your chestpiece is black and red normally when you put it on. If you commit that item to an outfit, you can change its dye color with another dye from your inventory. You can now change the dye color for that outfit to black and blue, for instance. This will not affect the base color dye. In fact, if you want your character wear the same outfit in 16 different color patterns with each armor piece being a different color, then you can do that.

Mind you, if you remove that item from the Outfit Designer, it will destroy the dye just as if you had removed the dye from the item itself. And obviously, if you remove the dye from the Stamp Dye, then that will destroy the dye.

I had hoped that the Outfit Designer would allow us to start actually creating our own outfit designs, but this is a wonderful compromise. You can use any gear that you’d like in the outfit designer, assuming that your character could wear it normally. Sorry, Inquisitors; you can still wear only light armor. And it does bind to you when used in the Outfit Designer.

I am already mapping out my characters’ future outfits and making dyes to sell. Let me know your thoughts on this new addition in the comments below.

Every other week, Larry Everett jumps into his T-16 back home, rides through the hypergates of BioWare‘s Star Wars: The Old Republic, and posts his adventures in the Hyperspace Beacon. Drop him a holocom on Twitter @Shaddoe or send him a transmission at larry@massivelyop.com. Now strap yourself in, kid — we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!
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43 Comments on "Hyperspace Beacon: What you need to know about SWTOR’s Outfit Designer"

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adamph1974
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adamph1974

RIFT has the BEST outfit system. Jeeesh I was leveling armor and everything I made became usable in the ui and I could even sell off the armor. :D

adamph1974
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adamph1974

Fantastico Willy Wonka it is, Star Wars it is not.

adamph1974
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adamph1974

Grimmtooth Golden_Girl I would like to know this as well.

Ravanel Griffon
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Ravanel Griffon

Kass40 The outfit system & wardrobe function wasn’t there at the start of LotRO, actually. At the very beginning, your character looked like what it was wearing. Remember the SoA armour? It didn’t look very charming – especially those hats! The outfit system was indeed implemented reasonably early after ~1 year after the game’s release with Book 12 in 2008. The wardrobe system got implemented in September of 2010, so we’re talking 3,5 years after the game’s release. However, it didn’t allow for showing different armour classes than your own for your character initially: that was added later in September 2011 as far as I can tell, so after 4,5 years after the game’s release.

So if SWTOR manages to add all these things within their outfit system, they are technically even *earlier* with their finished product.

It is indeed relaxed for players that the outfit system in LotRO is free to an extent. On the downside, everything not costing all that much is also the reason I have several hundreds of gold sitting in my inventory with nothing to spend it on. The economy in that game is non-existent. Although I agree with you that the high expenses in SWTOR are a bit annoying, it does feel like my money in that game is worth more.

spoilofthelamb
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spoilofthelamb

Bannex19 Actually, that’s close to what happened, minus the end result: Someone asked on the forums: “Why not lift armor restrictions?” And the community manager wrote back : “I don’t know…let me see if that’s possible.” A week later, and they’ve announced that there will be no armor restrictions when this launches next month:

SWTOR Armor Weight Restrictions removed from Outfit Designer

Fantastico
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Fantastico

The recent outfits (last two years) have been absolutely atrocious. This person has no idea what Star Wars is.

Techbot Alpha
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Techbot Alpha

Khorrax And, before any of them, there was City of Heroes, the first one to do it right. One of these days Devs will realise that de-coupling appearance from stats is a much, much better way of doing things….

mrnastybutler
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mrnastybutler

I do hope someone some day writes a paper on the suggested evolution pattern a MMO should take through it’s life.  Cause I could see TOR being a footnote of what not to do or examples of a day late and a dollar short.

mourasaint
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mourasaint

Estranged direpath sets for climate are the first thing you ought to think about, but is completely meaningless unless there is a correspondent game system implemented to go with it (as in, weather actually does things and certain items offer certain resistances).

2sumextent
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2sumextent

This game just keeps getting worse and worse. 

The new U.I. on the character tab looks like it was designed by Somalian amateur graphic designed at gunpoint. New players in particular will flee in horror.

Shaddoe
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Shaddoe

GeekFitness The items, as I said, have to be in your inventory. That means, yes, you have to have them on your person.

GeekFitness
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GeekFitness

Do you have to collect the items you’re putting into the outfit (like WoW’s transmog)? Or is it something you can just select from a list containing everything?

Ernost
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Ernost

Kass40  Well, SWTOR is the only MMO to charge for hotbars, they have a reputation to maintain…

Kass40
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Kass40

If there’s armour class restrictions, then shame on them. LOTRO is a 8yr old game, that’s had this wardrobe function since launch, however unlike tor and wow there is NO wardrobe restrictions at all for armour. MY cloth based RK. wears mixture of leather, plate cloth and mail for one of my main custom designs.
As for pricing quote”but it also costs credits to put an item into the Outfit Designer — 14,000 per item,” end quote. Huh ?? What ? to place a peice of gear into a wardrobe slot costs you in game credits ? Why would they create a credit sink where none is needed, it’s FREE in LOTRO. Sure you have to pay for xtra wardrobe slots in lotro, so why on earth charge players to slot the gear ? This is just greedy crazyness!

Grimmtooth
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Grimmtooth

Golden_Girl I have a Q GG. Is there a game or company you actually like or at least don’t hate?
There have been 2 articles relating to City of Titans and there is silence on your front. Do you not have spite filled venom for your competion?

Khorrax
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Khorrax

Motodew melissamcdon Khorrax On top of that, there’s some new stuff with the current event. Managed to get some bling sunglasses and a new T-shirt from the folks that open the bags of goodies :D

Motodew
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Motodew

melissamcdon Khorrax Not a full solution, but they have added a clothing vendor in London who has a rotating inventory of new items and some of them (at least for the female character I have) are pretty nice!

Bannex19
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Bannex19

Dude, yes. This dev team is notorious for taking half steps in the right direction.
It’s like there are 5 guys that ask “why not do this too? It makes so much sense!” and the one main guy says “because.”

Archebius
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Archebius

SteinarB “Generic Spiky Doom” would be a great name for a band.

melissamcdon
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melissamcdon

Khorrax The Secret World is the game that gets it “right”.   The clothing you’re wearing is purely for cosmetics, and buff items are a whole different tab and have nothing to do with the clothes you’re wearing.   That’s how it oughta be.   Now, if only TSW would pay someone to make a new batch of clothing.    The limited choices spoil a perfect system.

melissamcdon
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melissamcdon

Unfortunately this isn’t Galaxies, where I had a 250-piece cosmetic wardrobe including a rather nice (for the game) wedding dress… 
But it’s progress, and I approve.    Cosmetics are in short supply in way too many games.   It’s dumbfounding too, they are SUCH a cash cow

Budukahn
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Budukahn

Armour class restrictions really do feel like a stupid hold over from the earlier lazy ass design decisions in ToR that basically went “When in doubt, copy Warcraft”.  Especially given that every root class uses completely different stats there’s really no point in the restrictions as they stand.  Playing my Bounty Hunter, I would never seriously wear Inquisitor gear for gameplay even though mechanically I can because it has no Aim stat.  And even without the restriction I wouldn’t wear the Bounty Hunter gear on my Inquisitor.  
Given the plethora of cartel shop items easily available ingame it seems even more arbitrary and ridiculous.  Mr Inquisitor can wear a full set of Shae Vizla cosmetic bounty hunter armour from the lockboxes, but I can’t dress him in a nice bit of green rated Imperial Uniform armour I found out in the world because of lazy arbitrary rules.  I’ll agree that this new system is an improvement, but it’s a shame they didn’t take the opportunity to get rid of this pointless restriction while they had the chance.

Koolthulu
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Koolthulu

I don’t mind paying to open a tab, but a fee every time I add an item is a bit much. Also hate the “only wear what you can equip” thing. Once again light armor wearers get screwed.

FeveredDreamer
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FeveredDreamer

Khorrax To date the LotRO wardrobe system is about the best I’ve seen in an MMO.  Many other games have tried to replicate and failed, one of my bigger frustrations with GW2 actually is just how far short of the LotRO model it falls.

Step 1: Allow PCs to have a different set of gear equipped in “wardrobe slots” than stat slots
Step 2: Allow PCs to change shades/colors etc
Step 3: Allow PCs to purchase additional wardrobe slots if they’d like more than one appearance setup for their characters.

Quick, easy, something plenty of folks would spend money on… yet everyone tries to reinvent and ends up with a few cool things and plenty of suck instead.

Golden_Girl
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Golden_Girl

You don’t really need a big article for this – it’s SWTOR, so all you need to know is that it’s not as good as it could have been :-p

Shaddoe
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Shaddoe

SallyBowls1 You have to keep the item in your inventory for the moment because it doesn’t’ actually remove the item. And this allows you  to use the same item in multiple sets.
And no, there is no weapon appearance mod, yet :-D

Khorrax
Guest
Khorrax

From what I read, the LotrO wardrobe system is still superior to this. It doesn’t cost anything to change or add armour pieces and it even remembers the dyes you applied to a particular piece (correct me if I’m wrong on this last bit, it’s been a while since I played).

Still, I’m sure many people will appreciate this addition even though it doesn’t persuade me to reinstall the game, yet.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

direpath Yeah. Once you reach higher levels ripping mods out gets incredibly expensive. If you can set one outfit for 98k instead of ripping all the mods out for 500k, that’s a big improvement.

deganderson
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deganderson

CTRL-F cartel coins, 4 found. Ok no surprises here.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

direpath SallyBowls1 Disappointing but e.g. LotRO does not do weapons either.

SteinarB
Guest
SteinarB

So you mean they’ll actually add the ability to look like a Star Wars character without nerfing yourself statwise?  Amazing.  Maybe I should give the game a second look again sometime then.  Last I played (some time ago, admittedly) most of the high-level Sith Warrior armor sets looked…  horrible to me.  Not Star Wars at all,  More like Spiky McSpikerson’s Spiky Armor of Generic Spiky Doom.  I just couldn’t bring myself to make my Warrior look that bloody stupid, so I was pretty much stuck with lower power and self-crafted stuff to get a look I was moderately happy with.

Honestly, all MMORPGs should have this kind of mechanic, if only to avoid the “covered himself in superglue and ran naked through an exploding Halloween costume shop” look so many characters have while leveling up.

direpath
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direpath

SallyBowls1  Just noticed that in the screenshot. That is disheartening. I thought we might have the same love for weapons =(

ArtemisiaWS
Guest
ArtemisiaWS

It’s funny how in this game I already like pretty much any armor already, so I’m very unlikely to use this system. In most games I don’t like many of most armors and usually those were I like the less don’t have systems like this, oviously. :P

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

Thanks for this and your ongoing SWTOR efforts!

So I can have good mods in ugly B2L gear that is mailed between characters yet get my look with appearance tab?

Once an item is in the appearance tab, can I then delete it (it came from Collections tab) or mail it away (b2l)?

Like a puzzling number of games, it appears weapons are not covered by appearance?

direpath
Guest
direpath

Estranged direpath  Yeah on my last play through I did this with my scoundrel and it was a bit of a time and money sink to move all my mods over and then back once I was done. no more!

direpath
Guest
direpath

I like the idea. No longer do I need to wait until I can mod gear at level 9 to get that sweet look. Now I just need the startup cash to set the first outfit. I saw many people balking at the cost to setup an outfit on Dulfy’s guide. To them I say, have you seen how much it costs to swap mods at cap? The cost to swap mods at low level is minimal, but in the end if you get that Basic comm gear and you don’t want to look like a clone, it will cost you a lot of credits. Instead, now I can set my wardrobe once for 98k and call it a day. No swapping mods around every few levels, just one consistent look.

Looking forward to this, greatly.

Reesracer
Guest
Reesracer

I already spend an inordinate amount of “playtime” window shopping (and occasionally purchasing) at the GTN for various outfits for three or four of my 12 characters. I think it’s always funny and annoying when I’m logged out automatically for being away from keyboard for too long just because I haven’t physically moved my toon from in from of the terminal, even though I’ve been opening and closing windows constantly. I can’t imagine how this is going to affect my actually spending time leveling my new Chiss Jedi Knight that is not capped.

Shaddoe
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Shaddoe

Polyanna If your character cannot wear it without the Outfit Designer, you will not be able to wear it with the Outfit Designer.

ColdinT
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ColdinT

Well that sounds like it’s going to be super expensive to do any in-depth customization, though I suppose a bit cheaper than if you swapped out an entire set of modification.  Though, I’m betting those costs are for subscribers and Preferred/F2P costs will be a lot more. Or will have to pay exclusively with Cartel Coins.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

Overall, a good update. As an altaholic though the credit and cartel coin costs are going to add up for me.

Wratts
Guest
Wratts

Polyanna “You can use any gear that you’d like in the outfit designer, assuming that your character could wear it normally.”
I’m guessing no

Polyanna
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Polyanna

Stupid question maybe, but: Do class locks apply when stamping items into an outfit? In other words, can I stamp something into an outfit that I can’t equip on my character (e.g., the Jedi Battlelord set that is class-locked; various low-level craftable shells with faction locks, etc.)

StonerMk2
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StonerMk2

Man i cant wait for this update.

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