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Visual Equipment in RPGs - How do you feel about it?

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First of all, if any of you are wondering what I mean by visual equipment, it's basically just the process of making your characters equipment look different after equipping new stuff like armour and weapons... easily implied by the name, right? So if you equip new clothes or a weapon, your hero looks different. 

Visual equipment is more common in WRPGs, a few well known examples being Skyrim, Fallout and The Witcher 3, whereas in JRPGs such as the Final Fantasy games, visual equipment isn't quite as common, only really becoming a thing, in Final Fantasy at least, with the MMOs and XV, although the series does feature weapons that change appearance.

The reason I ask this is because, as a few of you know, recently I've been playing Xenoblade Chronicles, and it has full visual equipment, any new armour you find changes the appearance of your characters and such... and honestly with some of the crazy armour designs, my characters look really dumb, especially when there's a serious cutscene happening and one of my guys is stood in nothing but a pair of boxers, there's a woman with glasses and a bikini, and a ginger guy with a huge metal helmet, gloves and armour... and sandals. 

Of course, they're most likely wearing those items because it gives them great stats, but it can really kill a cutscene because they look SO out of place.

This is one reason I'm not a huge fan of visual equipment, moreso on the armour, weapons can look different since they're not really shown as much in cutscenes in games unless there's a fight or something happening, but I do like my characters to wear their vanilla (Starter) gear so they don't look odd or out of place. There are games (Mostly western it seems, some Japanese games can have really odd gear selections) where all the armours and stuff fit a very similar style and work well together so your characters actually look like they belong in the world and in the moment.

On the other hand, I do enjoy games that have visual equipment because it's nice to have some customisation in games. Personally I usually just go for one armour set that looks nice and never swap it through the game unless I find something that looks similar with better stats... and I need the full set too, I can't mix and match, my OCD won't allow it! And I'm completely fine with weapons appearing different, it only makes sense... it was a bit dumb when I played Star Ocean 5 last year and realised weapons don't look any different in battles despite having cool art on the equipment screen, lol.

I think what I like best, and what I personally think works best is only having weapons look different, since these character artists have worked on these designs, they should be shown off and not hidden under a variety of different armours that make you look like you've fallen out of a flamboyant knight's wardrobe... although right now I'm probably only thinking like this because of how many times it's slightly annoyed me during cutscenes in the game I'm playing lol. Also I wasn't a fan of wearing different costumes in Super Mario Odyssey, which isn't an RPG but just thought I'd put that out there, as cool as Mario in trunks is, I always stuck with the original outfit unless I needed to buy a new one to get power moons, then I'd swap back.

What about you guys? Do you think I'm being crazy and being able to change all aspects of your clothing etc. in games is amazing, or do you think it makes sense to keep a character's design intact throughout the game to avoid silly situations etc... or maybe you just don't care either way?



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Well not being able to change my character's design gives me a whole lot less freedom if I'm trying to "role-play" ...

If other players don't like it then there should be "default" character design option regardless of equipment ...

Last edited by fatslob-:O - on 01 February 2018

I think you meant "visible" and I support it.



I support it fully, and I flat out hate it when its not there. FF15 managed to skirt this bit by only have different weapons but not a whole lot of amour. They instead went with accessories. But when a game tells me I am wearing something called Raven God armor and I still look like i did when i started the game and yet I spent 10hrs completing the task required to get the damn thing, then be rest assured that the immersion is broken. One of the most rewarding things for me of recent was the armor in horizon..... and yes it shows on your character. My only grip was that it came at a time when I had already completed the bulk of all the other difficult stuff.



Insidb said:
I think you meant "visible" and I support it.

Well I do actually mean visual equipment since as someone that's had to deal with actually making this sort of stuff, it's what I refer to it as lol, but yeah it's basically the same thing regardless. 



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fatslob-:O said:
Well not being able to change my character's design gives me a whole lot less freedom if I'm trying to "role-play" ... If other players don't like it then there should be "default" character design option regardless of regardless of equipment ...

Yeah this would actually be a nice option for games to include, although freedom to pick your own appearance etc. is something the majority of people want, and despite how easy it'd be, developers tend not to care about the not-so-vocal minority, lol.



I really love it myself. I suppose I like the idea that your character development shows in the game with the changing of your gear. I found it kind of weird myself when your characters would be shown with default equipment despite all the better items you get in your adventures. It just seemed weird to me. So I was quite happy when I saw that in XC2. Also, thanks to the costumes in SMO, I got to play the game as a Mexican, and that was awesome xD



 

              

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Cloudman said:
I really love it myself. I suppose I like the idea that your character development shows in the game with the changing of your gear. I found it kind of weird myself when your characters would be shown with default equipment despite all the better items you get in your adventures. It just seemed weird to me. So I was quite happy when I saw that in XC2. Also, thanks to the costumes in SMO, I got to play the game as a Mexican, and that was awesome xD

Yeah I see where you're coming from with this, and I do agree, but at the same time I disagree based on my experience with the first XC game so far lol, having to dress looking like an idiot because it gives me better stats shouldn't really be a thing in my opinion, it sort of ruins the experience a little, and as for progression and character development, yeah okay so I get better gear as the games goes on, and I can see that visually... but please tell me why a literal bikini and pair of smart glasses is better than the armour I was just wearing beforehand? I've already mentioned how it look silly in cutscenes, lol :P 



Bristow9091 said:
Cloudman said:
I really love it myself. I suppose I like the idea that your character development shows in the game with the changing of your gear. I found it kind of weird myself when your characters would be shown with default equipment despite all the better items you get in your adventures. It just seemed weird to me. So I was quite happy when I saw that in XC2. Also, thanks to the costumes in SMO, I got to play the game as a Mexican, and that was awesome xD

Yeah I see where you're coming from with this, and I do agree, but at the same time I disagree based on my experience with the first XC game so far lol, having to dress looking like an idiot because it gives me better stats shouldn't really be a thing in my opinion, it sort of ruins the experience a little, and as for progression and character development, yeah okay so I get better gear as the games goes on, and I can see that visually... but please tell me why a literal bikini and pair of smart glasses is better than the armour I was just wearing beforehand? I've already mentioned how it look silly in cutscenes, lol :P 

Yeah, that is a fair point. It does look silly if they're wearing a ridiculous outfit during a really serious moment in the game. I think XCX remedied this by allowing you to pick your appearance gear apart from your actual gear, though for this game I guess you just have to deal with it, unfortunately : / I don't have much experience with the 1st XC.



 

              

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Bristow9091 said:

Yeah I see where you're coming from with this, and I do agree, but at the same time I disagree based on my experience with the first XC game so far lol, having to dress looking like an idiot because it gives me better stats shouldn't really be a thing in my opinion, it sort of ruins the experience a little, and as for progression and character development, yeah okay so I get better gear as the games goes on, and I can see that visually... but please tell me why a literal bikini and pair of smart glasses is better than the armour I was just wearing beforehand? I've already mentioned how it look silly in cutscenes, lol :P 

Suspension of disbelief ?