The Daily Grind: Do you play MMOs for the fashion wars?


Whether you call it “fashion wars” as in Guild Wars 2 or “space barbie” as in Star Trek Online or “dolly dress-up” as in Warframe, decking out your character in pretty gear is a big part of the fun of MMOs, right? We mock newbie “hobo” outfits, we vie competitively for the most particle-effect-laden armor, and we pay through the nose for cosmetic gear.

And yet, I know PvP players who take this idea to the opposite extreme, intentionally wearing trash armor just to add extra embarrassment for victims. I also knew a group of dudes who PvPed in hotpants, to say nothing of the ubiquitous “naked PKs” who used to gank miners (it wasn’t a fashion statement so much as a desire to lose as little as possible if the miner happened to fight back!).

Do you play MMOs for the fashion wars? What percentage of your MMO gametime is spent planning, acquiring, and donning your character’s outfits?

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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I don’t play games specifically for the fashion aspect, but I refuse to play a character who looks aesthetically “wrong” to me.

They don’t have to look archetypally “attractive”, but they do have to look good, or appropriate to the game, in my eyes.

I spend too much of my free time gaming to look at something I consider hideous. :-)


I spend a lot of time on my character’s outfits. In ESO, cosmetics were the main reason I got into doing dungeons, they locked color options and pieces of gear behind achievements related to them. Never thought I’d go out of my way to get a new pair of gloves, or whatever, yet, I did it. I tend to go for what can be earned by playing the game, rather than buying it in the cash shop. Still think buying cosmetics in game is wasting money I could be spending on real clothes, or whatever, but getting it as a bonus from buying the content itself or from playing the game is nice.

Alex Hyer

Guild Wars 2 was mroe fun with this kind of shit before they got lazy as a dev team and started making Outfits only, that cannot be broken down into separate pieces.

It fell to the wayside of being a fun element of that game then and there.

Not to mention I bought stuff in their cash shop back before their Wardrobe update that I don’t even have anymore, which is irritating beyond words. Pretty much stole money from me and there’s nothing I can do about it.

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Rees Racer

I’ve been enjoying Destiny 2 since launch 2 years ago, but there has certainly been an influx of new(er) and returning players since Bungie parted with Activision and migrated to Steam. So looking good (better) against the mish-mash of armour for them is important. ;)

I think the fashion options in D2 are fairly underrated, and I’ve taken great care in stockpiling shaders for everything from costume ornaments to weapons, ships, and ground vehicles. I try to coordinate all my equipment as best I can, because even though I’m not the min-max sort who raids constantly to collect the the very best gear, I like to look good when participating in public events, strikes, and that sort of thing.

For my Hunter, it’s the Qiao set in the Flavedo Core shaders, and my Warlock favours the Optimacy adornments with a mix of Indigo Matrix and Metallic Sunrise colours.

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Good to see you post, Rees.

Robert Basler

Sometimes you just have to splurge and get the pretty thing.

Deadly Habit

It’s a fun distraction and way to customize your avatar to your own personality or RP’d personality, but I dislike when there is anything that is beyond cosmetic changes that venture into P2W models. I also think that all cosmetics should be available via in game grinding/resources as well, not purely with cash.

Cosmetics I think are one of the lesser necessary evils if you’re not gonna have an optional sub or some other long term monetization model to generate new content and can give an otherwise idle art department something to do as well and ways to express their creativity.

The Weeb formerly known as Sray
The Weeb formerly known as Sray

Dear God yes. When I create a new character in SWTOR I spend close to an hour designing multiple costumes slots for them before I even play through the opening cinematic.

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A fair bit of time if I’m honest as I do like my characters to look good and in theme, with the mental concepts I had for them. I do not do it to compete with anyone else though it is purely for self-gratification and pride in my creations.

The one caveat to that would be in games like COH and Champs back in the day I used to make a hefty fortune from costume contests lol

Sarah Cushaway


Malcolm Swoboda

I don’t play the ‘fashion wars’, but having cash shop visual gear is a major downside in a game’s design for me, as I lean heavily RP (even as I don’t explicitly RP) and I keep getting reminded that those looks came directly from money, not effort or time.