I like some of it, I hate some of it. It's odd how these things are important to us, how we're all basically little girls wanting to dress up our Barbies in these games. But, there's something very masculine about it that we thrive on. New gear should get your blood going when you see it. It should stir up that insane, primal urge of envy and man-lust for conquest when you see another player wearing it in-game.
"Ahhh that son of bitch has a full set of that awesome, beautiful armor! I hate him. That should be my stuff! I am going to strangle him and take what's rightfully mine! My preciouses! "
But ... if the gear looks MEH, that's all you think. Meh. I don't want to think 'Meh', I want to log-in, see guys showing off their shiny new gear in the middle of the city, and I want to poison them and steal their shit. I want to want things.
You lust after really beautiful things and that gives you purpose. Conversely, silly-looking things are repulsive. It's a fine line and it seems very trivial, but it's wildly important. Sexy drives you on, Ugly drives you away.
Put it this way, there's a reason the Stanley Cup is the Stanley Cup and there's a reason the other trophies are all just "other trophies".
Adding in a couple new pieces and then just re-texturing old, recycled shit is not going to cut it.
Aesthetics in a game - the gear, the character designs, etc - are as important as the gameplay. Don't think so? Ask yourself if you'd be playing whatever you're playing now if it was exactly the same game - except everyone played as pink kitties and purple bunnies dressed as sailors. You wouldn't use guns or axes, you'd fight with pillows and rainbow muffins that charge up using a mechanic based on accumulating Hugs.
Case in point: AION.
Are people are going to lose interest and quit in droves because Black Guards will look like tie-dyed insects and Witch Hunters look awful? I would hope not. But it's extremly disappointing to see people already saying "MEH, the shit we have already is better." Ideally, you want guys to kill for their gear and have hysterical shit-fits when they lose loot rolls to some other lucky bastard.
WAR players needed something to look forward to, and so far all the newness (the gear, Skaven Play, the Skaven Dungeon) all seem far short of Sexy and way nearer to Ugly.
How I Would Have Designed the New WAR Armor Sets
|Zealot by Mr. Jack|