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A Tempering Suggestion For Once

Jagrevi's Avatar


Jagrevi
02.09.2013 , 05:34 PM | #1
I'm not usually that enthusiastic about reigning in potential game features, but I've noticed alot of people on this forum requesting 'armor dyes' and combined with community anticipation of some potential aesthetic game features (largely based on one or two admittedly vague hints), I thought I'd share my concerns. Now, I don't know how positively or negatively the developers actually look at such a suggestion, but under the assumption that they are-actively-considering/would-actively-consider it, some thoughts.

Like alot of MMO players, I derive alot of my enjoyment from the more "frivilous/sandboxy" gameplay elements woven into the game, particularly outfitting my character, outfitting my companions, and so on. Why do I REALLY want that new piece of loot? Because I like the way it looks. Why do I REALLY enjoy running this new flashpoint with people? Because I get to subtely show off all my hard work in all the awesome cutscenes (if just for a moment). Essentially, a large portion of my enjoyment of the game revolves around the visual aesthetics, and, unsurprisingly, the majority of my gameplay relates in one way or another to armor outfitting.

As it stands, the real structure of much of the game revolves around the 'color unification system'. This is what provides the interconnectivity between all of the game systems. If I want these gloves to be this color, I'll need to either get this PvP armor, or this social level. 'Hey, what happens when I combine this chestpiece with these leggings? Oh my goodness! Look at how it color unifies them!' For me, and I know I'm not alone in saying this, the color unification system really IS the game (Okay, that's a bit of hyperbole, but not by as much as you might suppose.) Color unification is the toy that we play around with, it has set and established the rules of armor customization.

Now, I'm not entirely against the idea of adding some sort of armor dyeing system to the game; in fact I think done carefully and conservatively it could add a huge amount of satisfaction and character-attachment. My concern is that I wouldn't want to see a "No Hold Barred Color Dyeing Free For All" be implemented that would, let's be honest, obliterate the gameplay that has emerged and been defined by the color-unification-system. The rare-drop Jedi Battlelord set would become nothing more than a green-colored CM outfit. It would be an enormous blow to my game satisfaction if my white hat was no longer a symbol of the legacy level gear I color-matched it to. It would be quite sad to see that all red color-matched-to-rated-pvp gear set suddenly becoming meaningless as anyone could simply dye the other models red and get the same look without putting in all the effort - and if all these things can be done without the gameplay, than why game-play?

What I would like to see, if an 'armor dyeing' system were to ever be implemented, would be one that was consistent with existing game systems and the landscape of pre-existing looks.

I think there are tons of design possibilities that still are sensetive to this. Some possibilities might include:

1- Only new armor models, but all new armors from here on out, can be color-dyed. This ENTIRELY preserves 'existing outfit uniqueness' while still expanding outfit possibilities IMMENSELY.

2- The color dyeing is restricted to the crafter-end of the system. Not only does this allow for a measure of developer control over what can and cannot be easily color-changed and in what ways, but it provides a HUGE amount of revitilization to armor crafters and allows a chance for MANY armor crafters to also be what they wanted to be in the first place. FASHION DESIGNERS (As an ex-Galaxies players, I cannot overstate how many players would get how much pleasure in dyeing their own crafted gear and putting out their own looks onto the market, my own wife included).

3- Only certain colors are available, carefully chosen with regards to existing gear. Perhaps other colors are available as well, but may be harder to aquire.

In the end, I could easily be quite excited about an armor dyeing system if the developers ever chose to develop and incorporate one - but would also be very wary, as if it is too open, easy, and free, it would destroy alot of the emergent gameplay that already exists around the color unification system. If it removed ALL limits, as much as we might THINK we want that, I think in the end we'd end up getting bored.

Because that's what fun really is. Playing with limits ... so you can think of "clever" ways around the side of them, and feel proud about what you did.

Just my thoughts.
Planned Twi'lek Scoundrel