This week’s game update 7.0.2 to SWTOR has delivered a long requested feature to the outfit designer: the ability to add weapons to outfit slots. The Outfit Designer has been one of the best, if not the very best, features for player customization for its ease of use and versatility, but expanding it to include weapons was a notion that seemed like it would never come down from Bioware’s infamous “Wall of Crazy.”
I know that adding weapons to outfit designer was far more complex a task than it might seem since weapons come with a host of unique characteristics: color crystals, tunings, sound effects, visual effects on individual weapons and more, things that the outfit designer wasn’t originally built to track. I imagine it took a lot of rejiggering to make weapons to work, but I’m glad it’s finally made it into the game. For me the most frustrating part of Legacy of Sith‘s launch was having to retire weapons I’ve been using for years in favor of the non-moldable gear we’re earning now. To be completely honest, I did not care for some of the weapon models I’d been sporting the last couple of months.
But now that it is here, I gotta say this upgrade to the outfit designer is darn good. Obviously its nice to be able to draw my first choice of blasters and sabers again, but it’s even neater to dust off some old favorites from the bottom of my cargo hold to use with different outfits. Since the stats on the weapon being plugged into the outfit slot don’t matter, it’s also been fun to have an excuse to craft some low level, non-moddable weapons with designs I’ve always liked.
The system does have limitations mostly related to what your active Combat Style is and the weapon skills that come with it. If you have two styles that use the same main hand weapons, say Power Tech and Mercenary, you’ll be able to share the same outfits with both styles. Off-hand weapons won’t apply to your PT style, but main hands will work for both Loadouts. However, if your Combat Style uses different weapons and you want to apply the same armor set to both, you will have to set up a second outfit with that second weapon type. This is an inconvenience and a bit of a credit sink, but spending credits is what they’re for. There is an exception is for Snipers who can apply Rifles to their main-hand slot and still access all their sniper abilities. This little loophole dramatically expands the number of options for Snipers, and at last allows rifles to be used by a ranged DPS class! I suspect this exception is because Snipers are the only class that can use two different weapon types that share the same animations.
Should the Outfit Designer allow this exception for other classes? I can see an argument for Vanguards and Operatives to use Sniper Rifles, since it wouldn’t affect their combat animations. But for the other classes the weapon types they use are so strongly tied to their “class identity” that even if there weren’t conflicts between the weapon abilities and animations, it would still seem weird to me to see a Shadow using single bladed lightsabers. Likewise a Gunslinger crouching down with a massive auto-cannon doesn’t quite makes sense to me either. In that last case, however, I would gladly make an exception for Vette so she could use her beloved Spewie again.
Finally it should be noted that color crystals and tunings cannot be stamped into weapon slots in the outfit designer in the same way dye modules can. So if you want to change your lightsaber color or blaster tuning, you’ll need to plug them onto the original weapon and re-stamp them on your outfit.
I make no apologies for caring about how my characters look. Whether it’s with the Kell Dragon lightsaber I fondly recall earning with my operations team, the blaster I got after kicking Skavak in the nuts, or a swanky rifle inspired by The Mandalorian that I just bought from the Cartel Market, I’m glad my characters will be charging into battle with their preferred ray guns and laser swords again, and I complement the designers at Bioware who have made it easier than ever to take advantage of every iron in my golf bag of destruction.
2 Responses to Outfits, Guns and Money
Caring about your characters’ looks needs no apology! I share your pain about those weapons we’ve been forced do use – I winced every time I looked at the horrific implement my sniper was forced to carry instead of her accustomed elegant rifle. No point in traipsing around the galaxy if you can’t do it in style 🙂
I think very few long time SWTOR players aren’t at least a little bit into space Barbie. That’s certainly a big draw for me. Further, appearance slots let game designers add a deep gameplay loop a lot of players really dig to their game nearly for free, in terms of the amount of “content” it adds.
No doubt the overhead for making the system in the first place can be fairly high, but then once you have it every single piece of gear in the game becomes a potential item worth seeking out regardless of the stats. Low level crafted gear and stuff from vendors that would otherwise be useless junk is suddenly potentially relevant to players of any level. I’m always baffled when MMOs don’t include them