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This will probably be my last post about MMO outfits. Maybe.

Before I begin I should update you all on the personal goings-on of my Final Fantasy XIV character. She recently has had a couple of character breakthroughs involving an in-character fight with another member of my guild, some introspection about how good that fight felt, learning how to harness her combative strength and come to grips with it by learning how to use a gunblade on the sly, and slowly sinking deeper into a life of underground crime and debauchery as the person she fought with takes her under his wing to learn how to be a contraband smuggler.

All of this has been a delight for a number of reasons. It’s finally allowed my character to have some progression; it’s finally seen some character daggers actually get used by people; and as a writing exercise, it’s given me the opportunity to finally challenge myself by writing a character that can be soft, alluring, and loving as well as a badass without falling into edgelord traps. On top of that, though, it’s allowed me the chance to create new outfits.

For the most part, my character has been exuding an air of elegance and class, which is (ideally) quickly shown to be a lie when people interact with her over time. And while that’s perfectly fine, to be sure, I ended up kind of hiding her a little too well, which ended up seeing her relegated to barmaid or background NPC roles — roles that need to be filled in roleplay, I contend, but were not what I was seeking for her.

As a result of those recent character events I described above, however, I’m starting to use cosmetics as a way to showcase how she’s slowly growing and changing. Elegance is slowly giving way to daring and unafraid looks. Even her dancing outfits are entering risque territory as she becomes more comfortable with the woman she is and unafraid of the vices she enjoys, as she’s still a virtuous person.

The most overt of these updates, however, are in regard to her new training regimens. At long last, and for the first time in her in-game life, she has a reason to wear a set of armor:

And just last night she went on a job with her enemy-turned-friend, taking his advice to wear something a little more appropriate and utilitarian for someone running goods and smuggling illicit drugs or materials:

Why am I showcasing all of this? Is it merely to show off some new outfits? Yes, but also I wanted to highlight how these new looks can illustrate character growth, which in turn has made more new people curious about my character. Which means more potential interactions and stories. Which means more fun.

This doesn’t just apply to roleplayers either, I should point out. What better way to celebrate the achievement of a new hard-earned weapon than building an outfit around its design? Whether it’s statistically or personally, a great look can show off how far a character has come. And I suspect I might be preaching to a couple of choirs here, but for some reason I hadn’t really considered how hand-chosen cosmetics can tell a character’s story and in my case draw more people in for more roleplay.

Also, I’ll admit that I’m more than a little proud of the outfits I’ve put together. Let me be showy for just a little bit.