All the MMOs I’m playing are providing ways that separate how you look from the Stats of your gear. People want to dress up, Either for the current holiday, or in keeping with their character self image.
Wow added “Transmogrification” which changes gear to look like other gear. And of course then began providing “Templates” which were stat-less gear either for $$ or for achievements.
GW2 added a similar way to change the look of gear. Every piece of gear that you own locks that look into your whole account so you can modify any like piece of gear to have that look. And you can mix and match pieces of gear.
Tera had a scheme similar to Wow’s Transmog, but removed it and now has Costumes which are special templates that are overlays for your entire armor set or weapon. No mixing and matching with armor pieces for this scheme. Costumes, both weapons and armor, are purchased with points from Achievements, like the Battlegrounds [aka Arenas], with “Fashion Coupons” that are farmed from large monsters, or purchased in the store.
Tera and GW2 both provide these Costumes. GW2, it seems, cannot make up their minds about whether to have transmute or costumes. They have both. Costumes are primarily obtained from the store and cover up all your armor. Weapon and armor skins are obtained as achievements or in the store.
Here’s a particularly silly example of a costume for Wintera. An Elin dressed up in a snow suit. Don’t get me started on all the swimsuit costumes for both male and female characters. You get the idea. There’s even an achievement, in both Wow and Tera for killing a Boss in a swimsuit. Of course any costume will do to get the achievement.
Where Does This Lead?
It seems obvious that the next step is to completely separate the “Look” from the “Stats” and give the Stat’s portion of your gear no look at all. In this scheme, Armor and Weapons would be only items with Stats and no look at all. The look would come entirely from the Costume portion of the choice. If you had no costume for that portion of your gear, you would get some butt-ugly default to encourage you to get with the program.
Consider what Stat’s on gear look like:
Gear provides buffs, can be enhanced, and provides slots for upgrades. This scheme is universal in one form or another. But it need not come with any look.
What if Gear Had No Look?
What if gear had no look of it’s own? The separation of Form and Function. No problem really. Once you buy into the idea of costumes and wear them then you don’t care what the gear looks like. If you are used to Transmogrification then you check out the look of gear since you might want to “harvest” the look for use now or later, or on another character. But if all you have is costumes in your game, like Tera now after they removed Transmog, then the look of gear is irrelevant since you are looking for costumes not the look of armor.
The only disappointment comes with you find a piece of armor that you love, but can’t wear later as you level up. I got a very nice little dress for an Elin back in the days of Fed Bill’s transmog templates that is completely useless now and there is no equivalent Fashion Coupon costume for purchase. Oh well.
It will be interesting to watch to see when gear begins to have no look at all.