I’m going to tell you all a little secret about myself. I am a digital fashion maven. When it comes to MMO clothing, I am known far and wide as The Guy. My keen sense of digital dress has earned me a spot on magazines so ahead of the curve, they never even made it to print. So believe me when I tell you that honey, I have seen it all. Whether the occasion is for battle in the hardest dungeons, for downtime at the greatest pubs or for standing around at a mailbox, from the dreadful to the droll to the drop-dead divine, players have staggered and impressed me with their ability to dress up. This creativity is seconded only by the imagination of the MMO designers – those daring explorers who push cloth, leather and metals to their limits.
But sometimes, those limits push the envelope a bit too far. Like buying a five pound gummi bear, it seems like a good idea until you actually execute it in reality. So, with that in mind, I’m going to go over some of the sort of outfits that put the “Awww!” in awful. Consider this your guide to what not to cosplay. Or even wear in private. Just saying…
Male Castanic Heavy Armor – TERA
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a football player’s protective gear and the font from a black metal band name melded together? Well wonder no more! This suit of “heavy armor” is either inciting me to tickle Elmo there or laugh before I slice him across the middle. I assume the tactic in wearing this to battle is hoping that the magnificence of a Castanic’s abs are enough distraction to let your weapons get to work. Then again, I’m a little distracted by the edgy butterfly wings this outfit is rocking as well. You may try to play this off as cool indifference, buddy, but trust me, we’re all staring for reasons that have nothing to do with your demeanor.
Rating: Weird Bellybutton out of 5
Arcanian Force Master – Star Wars the Old Republic
This armor has everything you could possibly want in useless protection, from the hoses that apparently pump lower back sweat to your waist all the way to a helmet that would give H.R. Giger the heebie-jeebies. There doesn’t seem to be any conceivable way for that thing to work, leading me to believe that the wearer suffocated shortly after that image was taken. Inquisitors are supposed to be the dark wizards of the Force, but it is incredibly hard to take that power seriously when you look like you’re wearing Garrosh Hellscream’s pauldron for headgear. And that’s to say nothing of the goth tablecloth that’s being used for a robe.
Rating: Pudding Head out of 5
Sight for Sore Eyes – The Secret World
Ladies, have you ever wanted to make people play a game of “Eyes Up Here” but thought it wasn’t challenging enough? Do you want to win every staring contest you enter? Would you like eyeballs for a bra? Well the Secret World has you (barely) covered with this understated ensemble. The reasons above are the only possible explanations for why this horror-show Muppet for an outfit exists. Either that or one of the clothing designers for TSW had a fever dream and decided to cope with it in the only way they know how…by sharing the unblinking boob-eyes with everyone. Look upon them and despair
Rating: They Winked At Me out of 5
Engineer Tier 1 PvP Set – WildStar
There seems to be this unwritten law in MMO Design School that mandates that PvP’ers get some of the dumbest outfits out there. Perhaps there’s some parallel here – most PvP’ers are the sort to make sure you’re aware of their abilities, and you want an outfit that exudes that confidence. If you’re wearing this with pride, though, I’m not sure I’d call you a killer so much as a kaiju-fighting robot fan who went too far. It’s the small details in this outfit that get me. The useless exhaust pipes on the pauldrons. The completely weird soles of the boots. The overcompensating codpiece. But what really throws me off is the little bitty smiley face that’s projected on the chest-screen there. Nevermind you have a CRT monitor for a face, you also have an emoji on your breastplate. That’s not threatening, that’s adorable.
Rating: ^_^ out of 5
Ashes in the Fall Dobok – Blade and Soul
I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed at the androgynous look of some of my character outfits. Sometimes, I need something that screams “I am woman, and just in case you weren’t sure, here are my breasts!” Luckily, the Ashes in the Fall Dobok comes to the rescue! It’s a celebration of the fact that humans are mammals with those Doritos of Minor Modesty covering the truly naughty parts. About the only thing nuttier than this ensemble is the outfit’s name. “Ashes in the Fall” sounds less like a piece of clothing and more like a pedantic Tumblr account. And just in case things weren’t batty enough, this outfit also features platform heels…because screw comfort or combat effectiveness, lady, you need an extra four inches of height!
Rating: Nacho Cheese Doritos > Cool Ranch
Moogle Paladin Outfit – Final Fantasy XIV
If you’re on the Balmung server and have walked towards the shops of Limsa Lominsa, you may have already noticed this fluffy-headed haka dancer just nearby. I have literally never seen him move from this spot, which leads me to think that this noble moogle knight is dancing in the hopes that his beloved will return to him. Or perhaps he’s just excited to have opposable thumbs. Or maybe he’s psyching himself up for the mother of all grand battles. You know what? I change my mind – this outfit is outstanding. It’s regal, it’s effective, and it makes me wish that I was also a moogle. Along with having the coordination to do an effective haka dance.
Rating: Noble, Kupo!
Do you have some outstandingly awful outfits you’d like to share with me? Then by all means, post them in the comments! If I happen to receive enough of them, maybe I’ll be able to re-visit this wonderful and wacky world of digital fashion. In the meantime, this is Wolfy the Fashionable Dog saying “Watch what you wear, because so will I”!
…someone get me another cosmo and the number of that Moogle Paladin.