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Appearance is everything. Just ask anyone who has farmed ectoes for Obsidian armor, dyed their non-elite armor black, or purchased a Makeover Pack from the in-game store. Hell, people have been making a case for hairdressers for quite some time now. Skipping over the personal story, role-playing, profession selection, and play style for a moment, I want to talk about what your character looks like and how much attention you pay to your character’s (hereafter: avatar) appearance.

Avatar appearance customization will be a big part of character creation in GW2. This was glossed over entirely in the Gamescom and PAX demos, because really, lots of people (myself included) would have spent all of their demo time on making their avatar look just right. Some gamers don’t spend a lot of time on avatar appearance, but a great deal of gamers spend a lot of time and money on the appearance of their avatar. And I’m not just talking in-game gold.

Areate Aegis Dye Chart from GW Wiki

Avatar appearance, in my opinion, consists of 3 different factors:

  1. Customized appearance including facial features, body type, hair color/style, etc.
  2. Threads. We’re talking clothes and armor.
  3. Weapons. Form over function baby, afterall, even pretty swords make people bleed.

Let’s break it down.

Appearance

I don’t want to spend a lot of time here, because frankly, we don’t have a whole lot of information about what we can expect in GW2, other than lots and lots of options. This is the first opportunity to make your avatar look how you want him/her to look. Simultaneously the most important and the most cost efficient way to customize your avatar’s appearance.

GW2 Dye System from Gamescom Demo

Armor and Clothing

Very big in GW and, I predict, also very big in GW2. Two articles came out from ANet this week that are extremely important in this regard and have received a lot of discussion on sites and blogs. The gist of all of the new information we’ve gained about armor and loot this week is this: There will be lots of stylish armor available to players in GW2, including, but not limited to, armor sets unique to dungeons. You can give it the stats you want (in some cases for an in-game store price) and dye it just about any color(s) you want. And the best part (in my opinion): you don’t have to farm dungeons waiting for that rare drop to get the loot you want.

Stylish, no?

Weapons

Weapons are as much a part of avatar appearance as armor, and just like armor sets, unique weapon sets will be tied to dungeons. Acquisition and customization, as far as we know, is similar to that of armor. In GW1, certain weapon skins sell for lots and lots of gold/ectoes. It really is all about wielding a cool and/or menacing weapon. I mean, really, would you rather have a gothic battleaxe or a boy scout hatchet?

In Summary

I am extremely pleased with what I’ve read this week about dyes, armor, and loot. Lots of very stylish and unique weapon/armor options for me to try out. A new dye system that I’m dyeing (ok, everyone else got to play the dye-pun game, I couldn’t let it go without one!) to play with. The promise that if I participate I can get the loot I want. The only downside is that I have to pay real money for transformation stones to make the armor I like function the way I want. To be honest? I can live with that.

A sword for every occasion!

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