It has been discussed so many times – the Tailor, aka the customization tool of the Star Trek Online. The opinions on it vary, but I believe I speak for quite few people, when I say, that most of us want to be able to customize our characters as much as possible. Unfortunately, as it is now, there are huge restrictions placed onto it. In this article – I’m going to summarize, as to why this is bad – from my perspective, as an enthusiastic Role-player, who’s been RP’er for over 17 years. Please note, I only speak for myself, and do not represent opinions of anyone else, than myself. However, if anyone inclines to agree with anything said here – you’re very welcome to do so!
Why restrictions are bad?
First of all – when you want to portray a character, any character, you want to make sure that its’ design is eye-catching, unique in some way, so it captures the nature of the character, visually. After all, the visual design is the first thing others will notice, upon encounter, so it’s important! While the game itself offers wide-variety of assets, their restriction and unability to mix and match freely, limits their usage, and thus, limits potential combinations. That’s why it’s harder for us, to create a character, which doesn’t have a ‘twin’ on every corner of the galaxy. Granted, this is a game, with limited engine-capabilities – but I believe, with less emphasis placed on tailor restrictions, it’d be easier to create more unique characters. Mind you, creating an unique character is not only about adding some ‘cool’ piece. It comes down to many aspects. There are just few examples, to illustrate my point.
One aspect being denied to us in our (player, restricted) Tailor, is ‘face preset’ – which lets you set even such thing as facial-expression, of sorts. I saw some nicely looking grumpy/scowling faces, by usage of those. Klingon males have the scowling preset by default for example; female Klingons, for some odd reasons, don’t. There are not many face-presets available, from my little testing, but even so, there’s no reason to deny this to us, is there? People have expressed desire for having any sort of facial expressions, and this would cover it, for some of us. For me, surely would.
A nice example of groan-inducing NPC, with outfit we can’t mix & match.
Another example – It is also perfectly possible to use the Borg-implants on humanoid-shaped faces, without any jarring issues. Again, seen it first-hand, tested across the board. Why aren’t the Borg implants a costume unlock, after Lifetime-Subscription has been purchased? I’ve always wanted to create a crew (so yes, Bridge officers too), based on Liberated Borg-theme. And I can’t. It’s 25th century in STO, liberation is happening left & right, it’s not like Liberated Borg are any scarce, in the galaxy, across the Quadrants. And, the limitation of Liberated Borg Captains to just Klingon/Human/Romulan, based on faction? Why? Liberated Borg Unlock on Life-time Subscription should be just called ‘Liberated Borg’ and offer Alien-Gen customization. After all, currently “Liberated Borg” species Traits are all the same, no matter which ‘origin’ species we pick!
Hair restrictions, please no?
There’s no reason to lock hairstyles to any species. As long as the species are capable of growing hair on their heads, any should be accessible, for any species & gender. Again, this restriction is arbitrary and unnecessary.
Costume restrictions, my pet-peeve!
It is huge part of Tailor, costumes being divided into ‘Off-duty’, ‘Uniform’, ‘Rep armors’, each rep armor having its own sub-cathegory, unable to even mix with each other, ‘Club wear’, ‘Formal wear’ and recently added ‘Swim-wear’. It has been voiced many times, that such restrictions are not desirable, by people on the STO forum alike. It is my firm belief, that these restrictions are one of those, which people would love to see gone, or at least, leveraged… a lot.
Wouldn’t this be nice, if we could do this?
I can see why they’d restrict the ‘swim-wear’ to just some locations. However, as for the other cathegories – I’d remove ‘formal-wear’ & ‘club-wear’ cathegories entirely, and place them into ‘Off-duty’ slots. Roleplayers quite often, use outfits in other, than ‘original’ intent, wanting to make casual-shirts and stuff, as one example, for further enriching their own character designs. People should be able to use the belts, pants & upper-parts with any outfit, additionally, if someone wants to go bare-feeted, why not let them?
Likewise, it is entirely possible, within the game-engine, to let people put in, for example, upper-torso, as ‘Uniform’ cathegory, and ‘off-duty’ pants into their lower-part. Again, for some arbitrary reason, the developpers don’t let us do this under normal circumstances, and instead, we’re forced into one cathegory, per costume slot. I’ve seen this first-hand, there are no large issues, unless we’re talking clipping, but clipping issues are present across-the-board, and honestly, even so, it’s not broken feature, it’s working perfectly fine – another reason for me to shake my head, at the Tailor-restrictions.
If you want to see a gallore of groan-inducing NPCs’ which we, players can’t create.. just head to Club 47 in Earth Space Dock. One of reasons I don’t go there, personally.
But.. but.. Trek CANON would be broken!
I’ll address this straight out – As character artist joejing mentioned & addressed my post recently, that there are players, who are keen on Trek-canon and they want to keep this for them. First of all – unrestricting things doesn’t steal the option from these fans, to create purely canon-looking characters. They can still stick to the canon, if that’s what they want. This would merely enable wider-variety of assets to those, who want to get a hand on free-hand creating & being creative. Other players should not be restricted from option of creating, because of these players, though.
Not to mention kind-of-oddity – there are ships playable by players, which are absolute-nonsense from the canon standpoint. No humanoid would be able to fly Tholian ships, for example. Or Undine ships, which are alive. Don’t take possibilities from us; when rather canon-jarring issues are already present in the game.
Unavailable outfits. ARGH!
There are also many outfits, which are unavailable to the player-base. I’ll go onto a rant here – as we see NPCs flanting outfits & combinations we cannot make on our characters. Why is this bad? First of all – if you restrict your players so badly, posting such NPCs around is as if you wanted to rub it into our faces, that we can’t create that & that unique look, with our characters. I’m not trying to be mean – but I’d say, this is pretty silly, let alone poor advertisement, as such NPCs/in-game pictures sported some of the combinations impossible for the players. And, in my opinion, it’s the players, who create the environment we walk in, not the NPCs. Sure, I’ll stop and glare at the ‘super-fancy’ NPC, but mostly only because of reason ‘I want to be able to create something like this’, rather than returning to the place, because of the NPC being super-cool, OMAGAWD >_<
There are also outfits, only available to say, specific Bridge officers. Like, the Borg-suit, or pieces unique to Tovan (Die Tovan, plz). Why? Again, let people create. Appreciate that your game has an artistic influence over some of us, and let us utilize it. It’s in a way, compliment to the in-game assets the developpers have created, therefore, compliment for the game-devs & the artists too. But, have they created them for us? If we are so limited in using them? Again, not trying to insult. Merely, brainstorming.
I’ve always wanted to use the Borg-body as a concept for my character, for example; who is more Borg than human. And, “legally”, I can’t. Not unless I resort to tricks.
The Borg-body suits do exist in game. Seen on NPC’s & Borg Boff!
There are also parts of the costumes, which should not be unusable in some cathegories. For example – as a Roleplayer or even, character-designer – A shining example of this – My character has some Borg implants, clearly visible; and it’s needed, that these pieces are constant, across the board, as the implants aren’t supposed to just disappear, because in-game terms, I wear a costume, which doesn’t let me pick that option. The 7 of 9 hand is not useable in some costume cathegories, and it flat out disappears. That creates, at least for me, aggrivating in-character inconsistencies.
I’m quite sure that this can be applied to other costume-parts; across the board, but my example, I believe, illustrates quite simply, and well, what I mean. I’d say the kit-pieces costumes would be another good example, as to what should be useable in any costume-slot, no matter if it’s ‘uniform’ or ‘off-duty’ slot.
Full-body skins, pretty please?
Again, a feature desired, as observed on the STO forums, by quite few people. There are some available, but in limited capacity. Liberated Borg have been at loss for years though. Add that dissatisfaction at the top of the fact we can’t even use the Full-exoplating suit, which *is* available in the game, as shown by our Liberated Borg bridge officers and there’s a mild… slightly big disappointment right there. Although, I did notice, that when using bare-feet, in an off-duty slot, has, instead of ‘skin’ option, ‘Borg-feet’ even for our Captains. Why isn’t the same doable with the skin, body-wise/torso as well, showing off the Borg-suit, instead of skin? I personally think that’d be cool & would use it, especially with the newly released Aloha shirts.
Poor folks who have Alien-Gen characters are totally at loss with the full-body skins, as their possibilities in that capacity is also very limited. And, I feel, that sometimes, unique, Alien-Gen characters, are one of the most interesting created, running around. It’s shame, and I feel this too, would be nice, if it was addressed.
It’s nice they have introduced the full-body skins for Klingons, Remans & Talaxians though, so I’m hoping they’ll consider this, both for the Alien-Gen characters, as well as others, such as Liberated Borg too.
But.. how can we market & sell this?
It often comes down to money, as sad as this reality is. But, how can the devs market this? Quite easily. By offering no-restrictions or even less waaay less restrictions, by letting us mix and match as we please, it has actual value to purchase more costume slots. I know I did purchase at least 36 costume slots in last month. I’m a person of creativity, enjoying to fiddle with my character and her concept, to create as accurate portrayal of what I envisioned my character to be, and it’s work of passion and love, quite time-consuming, but, in a very pleasant way. I am of belief, that I’m not alone in this thinking. Again, imploring on the game-devs, to consider this.
This free-hand mixing & matching of the costumes could easily be even a gold-sub feature, or a C-store unlock. Speaking of C-store unlocks – even C-Store playable species unlocks would be made into more valuable, if their assets, once purchased, would be available to Alien-Gen characters. The possibilities are huge.
This has been onto a long rant. But this is my long-standing pet-peeve. There’s some re-organizing happening with the lower-parts of the costumes in the works right now, so I’m hoping this will reach the developpers, as something to take into consideration. After all – it’s our game too, and we want to see it thrive and flourish, and let every player to find what they want to find, in the game. Thank you for your time!
[10:20] Your Lunge deals 4798 (2580) Physical Damage(Critical) to Tosk of Borg.
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