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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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.