The Daily Grind: Do your MMORPG characters primarily wear in-game armor or cash-shop cosmetics?


Take a look at your main character in your main MMORPG right now. What is he or she wearing? And did you get it through play or from the cash shop?

This topic came to me as I was surfing the Guild Wars 2 Reddit earlier this week; a Redditor was polling players on whether they thought there was a good balance of cash-shop cosmetics vs. cosmetic gear acquired through actually playing the game. It’s a tiny bit hard to answer this one for Guild Wars 2, as multiple people pointed out, as you can convert the gold you get while playing legitimately into gems to buy cash-shop cosmetics (or just buy lockbox skins with gold from the gamblers). Plus, GW2 isn’t called Fashion Wars for nothing. But still: Almost all of my characters are running around in cash-shop cosmetics there. I may complain about the lack of new skins and the overabundance of buttcapes, but I like to spend money on games I want to support, and cosmetics are one of the least objectionable ways to do it. And GW2’s are still slick (vs. a lot of the in-game armor, which is grindy or group-centric).

In Trove, which is another of my favorite games lately, most of my characters are running around wearing at least core outfits from ancient Steam pack sales.

Do your MMORPG characters primarily wear in-game armor of cash-shop cosmetics? And do you see that as a problem, one way or another?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Always ingame armour.

First, I have never spent a penny in a cash shop and never will. It’s not a business model I can support. Second, all the cosmetics look terrible to me! TOR was terrible for this when I played. Not only was their armour design awful to begin with, their cash shop seemed to be worse.

Finally, going F2P is usually the signal for me to leave an MMO, it’s not a business model I can support and the quality of the games that go F2P is too low for me to enjoy properly.

Ben Stone

Depends on the game and items. I haven’t played GW2 in ages, but when I did I actually wanted something pretty to buy in the cash shop, but thought all the cash shop appearances were gross compared to in-game.

GW1 I rocked the Dwayna set. It was amazing and great to dye.

I have one cash shop outfit in ESO, but its the same thing, the in-game sets and costumes look way better than the cash shop.

I had quite a few in EQ2 back when I played, because the cash shop items were significantly nicer than what you could get in-game.

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I rarely buy cash shop cosmetic armor in either GW2 or Lotro. It’s not a moral objection. It’s just that both games have perfectly fine options available in game.

GW2’s outfit system really fails for me, too. They create some great looks, but there is almost always something I don’t like about it. Since an outfit is an atomic unit, that means I can’t “fix” it, so I buy very few of them. I think I own…3?

I’m a sucker for cash shop mount skins, though, in both games.

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Really depends on the game, pay model, and how they handle the cash shop. I guess I should only speak about games with cash shops that have armor skins in the cash shop.

For GW2 I usually used the in-game armor because they had some really nice skins… however I did also use a lot of the cash shop skins. Depends on the class and what is available.

For TOR I used cash shop skins on my main (a vanguard trooper wearing the Mandalorian armor) That is only because I love the mandalorian culture (in lore, not the crap from the cartoons) For everything else I really didn’t care enough to invest.

In ESO I haven’t spend any meaningful amount of time in it since the conversion. Just a little time here and there to see how the game has changed. I think I picked up the thieve’s guild and dark brotherhood packs… can’t remember. So that I’d say in-game, but again, I haven’t been around much since the cash shop was a thing (chased away by paying to beta test).

In all reality GW2 was the only game where I liked the cash shop and most of the prices. For a while I had every armor skin purchased but that was to show my approval for the game. I stopped playing once I did pretty much everything and I really didn’t like the death of the trinity (yeah I know they brought it back).

Robert Mann

Armor. I do tend to support games I like, but generally armor. Outfits tend to be one of the things I look at last in whether or not a cash shop is acceptable (and generally one of the things I accept the most, unless there is in game power creep there.) I usually find something else that isn’t a deal breaker for me on a shop if I want to support a game.


in Guild Wars 1 and Star Wars TOR i bought alot of cash shop items


Blade & Soul’s best outfits are almost exclusively cash shop outfits, so I have a smattering of those I split between my most-played characters. Generally speaking, however, most games with actual armor won’t have good cash shop outfits and I mostly stick to the actual armor pieces when given the option. I especially dislike the more immersion-breaking stuff and actively avoid that sort of aesthetic.

Jeromai _

GW2: nearly all in-game armor. It helps that I’m very particular about armor that looks like it fits the theme of the character – cultural armor pieces are nearly always the best match for something that doesn’t look horrific on charr or doesn’t chop off asura toes. Barely anything on the gem store looks good on my non-humanoid characters. Then there’s legendary gear – if you ground for it, you may as well flaunt it. Mount skins are gem store, for lack of any real in-game alternatives, but paid through in-game gold.

PoE: All microtransaction bling, baby. Bought supporter packs to support and since one has points handy and stuff goes on discount every now and then, why not? I play SSF and never group, it’s for my eye candy only.

Bruno Brito

Mix and match, i don’t use outfits.

Terry Shull

We get a lot of cosmetics as rewards in LoTRO, so I tend to use those if I like them better than the equipment visuals that are also part of questing rewards. However, in STO – omg I’m a cosmetic hoarder. I WEAR ALL THE THINGS!