The Daily Grind: How realistic should MMO armor be?

    
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One of the things that has me excited about New World is the specific realism of its armor. If I’m playing a warrior type of toon in a more realistic MMO, I really strongly prefer to have heavier armor. Maybe I don’t want to fully rock the “boxy” armor look, but I also don’t want my character’s boobs hanging out while she’s fighting. New World seems to be striking a good balance, with realistic-enough armor and a ton of detail to make it not just look like a blob of leather and metal.

Of course, if I’m playing a cartoony game, boob plate bothers me less, and I’m way more likely to dress cute. And no matter what, I want good hair!

How realistic do you want your MMO armor to be?

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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camelotcrusade

To answer the question: no. But I really enjoy youtubers taking it apart in any case.

Speaking of that, my mind went to this video, since I’m sure you can wear a wedding dress in at least some MMOs.

She also has a good video on boob armor and on shoe choice, too.

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Bruno Brito

Options is always good.

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Bryan Correll

Is the game’s overall art design aiming for realism? Then, by golly, gear and weapons should be realistic.

If the game has a more stylized design then gear doesn’t really need to be any more realistic that the game world. Overcompensating shoulder armor? Bring it on. Weapons that weigh more the wielder? Where would Final Fantasy be without them?

I also don’t want my character’s boobs hanging out while she’s fighting.

I don’t want to dress my female characters like they stepped out of Crimson Blade either. Battle lingerie is pretty damn stupid. Good for a laugh at the pure ridiculousness of it, but otherwise….nah.

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Croquantes

I like how the fashion meta for a lot of MMOs is shifting towards inclusivity, in that whenever possible you’ll see scantily clad muscle men posing in the least amount of clothes possible. An extreme example is FFXIV and how most male Roegadyns seem to be interested in wearing only a tiny pair of briefs.

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Bruno Brito

It’s because the more you make things inclusive and less shaming, the more creativity runs rampant. Having male characters going full “hawkeye project” or females going full plate is great. Options is always good.

The moment people finally realized that outfits and social positions are NOT inherent to gender, the best we became as a entire species. Everyone has something to offer, and it’s not based on your genitals.

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Rndomuser

It should be attractive enough for players to make them want to grind dungeons for it or buy it for real life currency. This includes the armor that is supposed to look amusing in some way (for example a suit which makes you look like a frog or Playboy bunny or anything like that). This is the only thing that matters, unless the game is based on real life setting. And people who complain about armor not being “realistic” in a game with made-up setting and lore should simply be ignored if game developer wants to maximize the income and the in-game population.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I’m not interested in “realism” as much as I am for “internal consistency.” If it’s a sci-fi / high magic setting where the armor is as much skintight force-field or magic as it is actual armor, then fine, whatever. I play Warframe – the *restrained* Warframe designs look like people in skintight bodysuits. But it should apply to *both* sexes. What annoys me is when *female* armor is Combat Lingerie, but the male version of the *same items* has them as armored up as a Space Marine Terminator.

For the record – male and female Warframes have form-fitting looks, so much so in a few cases it goes so far past “skintight” that bones are sticking out. And *several* male Warframes have ridiculous codpieces – Rhino and Volt being two early and, erm, standout examples. OnO It’s weird, but at least it’s consistent. The original Mass Effect was consistent as well – everyone wore form fitting bodysuits, most of the protection came from the space-magic shielding built in and that allegedly worked best if there weren’t random bits sticking out. Where I start to have a problem with it is when *male* characters are Space Marines, and women are wearing latex bodygloves when equipping the *same item.*

(Not that anyone cares, but I’d love to be able to wear the latex bodygloves in real life. I do not have the body for it. OnO )

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Rndomuser

But it should apply to *both* sexes. What annoys me is when *female* armor is Combat Lingerie, but the male version of the *same items* has them as armored up as a Space Marine Terminator.

I agree with that, all armor should be unisex, especially the cosmetic outfits which you can put on top of the armor. I like how in FFXIV you can wear items such as 2B leggings both as female and a male character, or specific armor set such as Doctore’s Harness chest piece which exposes chest on both female and male characters (see the screenshot of this chest piece below), though even in this game this does not apply to all armor or cosmetic outfits.

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Bruno Brito

We need more himbos in games.

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NeoWolf

So long as the aesthetic is good I have zero objections to realism or not.

But when it comes to armor specifically I think a few more developers could benefit from remembering armor is Functional it has a purpose, it needs to protect and look like it protects otherwise it isn’t really armor.

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Zero_1_Zerum

I like armor that looks functional, like you could get smashed in the chest with a mace, and still maybe walk away afterwards.

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Bereman99

Sorta related to the argument, but as soon as you start adding in over-sized enemies, like 40-60 foot (or bigger) dragons, I feel like basing armor on “realism” gets thrown out the window and you should be looking at the kind of aesthetic you want to sell.

If the idea is a practical armor aesthetic, then go for it – though don’t be afraid to spruce it up here and there…but also don’t pretend you’re going for that style because you want realism. A dragon the size of a building would crush you whether you were naked as the day you were born or wearing a full suit of plate armor.

Own up to the fact that you want the game to have a certain visual style associated with it.

Otherwise you’ll get people like me pointing out that for all the talk about going for realism when it comes to the gear in New World, you’ve also got a game that treats everyone like they can’t even float in water – regardless of what they are wearing – and can only hold their breath for 20 seconds. So much for realism.

Or that the posh “aristocrat” style light gear they have looks almost as out of place in a frontier setting as a leather speedo would.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Yes.

Okay, in all seriousness, if a game can have more options, that’s all the better.

One of the things that throws me off from a game is giant arm pauldrons that stick out in all directions 3 feet from the body. Obviously, more than a few players like that so, more power to them. As long as there are alternatives without the giant arm pauldrons.

One thing that does irritate me (even in some of my favorite games) is to make everyone look the same to avoid the ‘too sexy/not sexy enough’ debate. People don’t look the same. Don’t make people look the same. Realistic does not necessarily mean formless.

I’ve seen one or two really good genderless creators that basically gave all characters access to any and all sliders and clothes. They were all very limited (because the more options you give a player, the more hideous you can make a character and many devs fear their work becoming a meme) but had potential.

TL:DR – Sometimes I like having bulky, heavy armor that still ‘fits’ my character and sometimes I like stripping it down to something pretty with some armored bits tacked on. And other times, I want something hyper-realistic. (Takes this moment to post screenshots)

P.S. – Yes, codpieces like that below were totally real (though probably not often used in battle, but more to show off to other nobles). One could argue that had women occupied similar places of power in more frequency in that time, that similar accents would have been made to their armor, but that’s entirely academic.

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Bryan Correll

Yes, codpieces like that below were totally real

This is Henry VIII’s actual armor. Really.
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Ken from Chicago

Why not paint a target on your groin? It’s faster and easier. 😱🤣🤣🤣

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Bryan Correll

I have a feeling there’s a lot more steel than Henry there.

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Ken from Chicago

Me thinks the man protects too much. 🤣

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Bruno Brito

Of all the heads he cut off, that one was pristine, eh?

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Brown Jenkin

Honestly I’m cool so long as there are realistic “options” available without having to cash shop. I get that not everyone’s gonna want the same aesthetic as me, but it’d be nice to have a consistent diversity of options for base players. To date I still think LotRO has handled cosmetics better than most games on the market.

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mars omg

I like more realistic armors :)