Underwear fashion show

This interview with Martin Kerstein (German Community Manager at ArenaNet), taken by Fesra and al’Ellisande, is from the RPC Cologne. It’s all in German! One question seemed a bit silly to me. They’re asking whether we’ll be able to change our character’s underwear in Guild Wars 2. Martin Kerstein doesn’t think that this’ll have a high priority because it’s not the intention of the game to run around in your underwear. I got curious and actually had a look at what my characters are wearing below their armour. Then I compared it to other games (I’d actually never paid attention to that before but I do know that you can’t strip your character naked. Probably wouldn’t be a game for 12+ anymore then, right? ;) ).

First, let’s start with World of Warcraft: The goblin (on the right ;) ) seems to have a few more details and the underwear looks sharper.

On to Warhammer: Again, a goblin. Also a dwarf and a member of chaos (human). Not much to say. It (the underwear. Not the character models!) looks similar to WoW, actually.

LotRO was disappointing. The characters wear very conservative underwear. In some cases, probably even more than when you put on some clothes. ;) Then again, it fits to the world, so I won’t complain! I don’t need to see sexy lingerie. I definitely prefer cohesive character designs (on the other hand… ).

Last but not least, Guild Wars! The game that started this whole expedition of mine. ;)

Top to bottom, left to right:
Necromancer (Nightfall), Warrior (Nightfall), Monk (Prophecies)
Assassin (Factions), Elementalist (Prophecies), Mesmer (Prophecies)
And on the far right, in white: Paragon (Nightfall)

The assassin is by far my favourite! If I’d ever tried to imagine what my assassin could wear below, I definitely would have expected there to be some extra weapons. The necromancer, warrior and monk are a bit bland but the others make up for it.

I only got screenshots of female characters here because I don’t have a male character and all my character slots are filled. So I couldn’t take one of a male character. According to al’Ellisande, male mesmers also wear purple underwear, though.

In closing, I can say that I was positively surprised to see the underwear in Guild Wars. Obviously, the artists put a lot of thought (and a lot of details!) into it. So I hope that we’ll get something similar in Guild Wars 2. Yes, it might not have a high priority but it probably didn’t have a high priority with Guild Wars either and yet, we got different underwear for each class. Maybe we can at least put dye on them to change their colour (by the way, Martin says that Kristen designed 255 different dye colours for Guild Wars 2 – I’m definitely looking forward to *that*). I’m not sure how popular purple underwear is (looking at the mesmer here, obviously ^^). And hey, LotRO lets you give a name to your horse that nobody but the player him-/herself can see. So why not be able to change the colour of your underwear even if nobody else will ever see it? Or maybe at least beachwear? To be appropriately dressed for the underwater areas. ;)


  1. now, how funny is it to see where a single question can lead to? ;) indeed, paeroka, I agree that Guild Wars has the underwear with the best design. I guess that Kirstin is not only responsible for the armor design, but for the undies as well. and she has done a very good job. but before I go deeper into the world of undies ;) in Guild Wars, one remark: the questions that got the most feedback in our interview with Martin were the one about the dances – and the underwear. there was a huge responds on twitter with ppl agreeing that we need changeable or at least dyeable underwear. I mean, we can dye our pockets in GW, why not the underwear?

    so why did I ask the question in the first place? not to be funny, I really meant it seriously. I’m a role player (and a fashionsita, but you’ll find that out soon enough ;) ) and I have always at least one spare set of armor in my char’s bag. if I’m walking through the icy storm and the snow of the shiverpeaks I’ll put on a suitable armor. a long and heavy coat for my ranger, a dress made of velvet and fur for my mesmer and – after nightfall- long trousers to keep my elementalist warm. in the desert I’ll change to somthing light, if I do the solo-mission, in which we’re on a feast, my char will wear the most sensational gown I own.

    now you understand where the motivation for that question came from. I don’t want to run around Lion’s Arch in undies – that would be out of character, but not being able to change the underwear is out of character as well.

    the underwear in GW tries to display the class. the mesmers’ undies in purple with a golden rim are as gaudy as himself. the rangers’ undies look like they were handmade of natural material like a lot of rangers’ armors. the warrior have nothing special, since they keep more an eye on their weapons.

    the underwear became (like the armor) more detailed with Factions and Nightfall. I agree, that the assassines’ underwear is the best. when I first saw the little weapons attached to the undies or strapped around the arm (male), I was like “wow!” it makes sense! an assassine would keep weapons in the most weird places and you would expect him to have weapons attached to his body. btw: this is one reason why you’ll never see my assassine in undwear – he won’t give away his last secrets ;)

    Kristin has definitely done a great job and I’m so happy to see the love for the detail shimmering through everywhere in the game.

    as for the purple of the mesmers’ underwear – I think it serves the purpose all mesmers’ clothes do: it’ll distract you and while you’re dazzled by the purple with golden embroidery, you’ll be dead ;)


    1. Yeah, I meant “silly” in a “funny” way but not in the “nonsense” way. :) The funny thing on my part is that if they’d asked that question in LotRO, I wouldn’t have thought twice about them being serious.

      I’ve never seen Guild Wars as a game where you can roleplay. Which is probably because when I first started playing, I had a hard time getting into the game because of it’s instanced areas and the resulting lack of an open world feeling. Lots of invisible walls and no jumping, too! I admit, I squealed, loudly, when they announced that you can jump in Guild Wars 2.

      In LotRO, I once was in a raid with my kinship and we were in a snowy area. I opened my character panel and equipped my thick hooded cloak for my character because obviously, that’s what she’d do in such a cold region. On Teamspeak, I had people comment on that immediately and the comments were mostly “Ooooh, graet idea, Tene!” etc. ;) We’re not roleplaying but the whole scenery of LotRO makes it so natural to do stuff like that. My hobbit switches her two cosmetic item slots regularly depending on which season we currently have. I like having her dressed appropriately. All that without ever roleplaying (apart from what I call “light roleplay” in my head. My character is happy when she buys herself a new cloak, for example, and sad when she’s eaten the last Lembas ;) ).

      LotRO also offers a feature that some people would call useless: You can give a name to your horse. Right-click on its healthbar, rename, save. Nobody but you can see that name! But I use the feature and give my hobbit’s mounts names that’d fit into the “My little pony” world because those names are names my hobbit would definitely give her ponies. It doesn’t add anything to the actual gameplay or content of the game. But it makes me happy and it makes the virtual world a bit more like the real world.

      And all of that, for me, is easy to see and accept in LotRO. Guild Wars, as I said, is different for me. But when I start thinking about it – which I did when I looked at all the underwear ;) – I realised that this is what I enjoy most in MMOs. Even without roleplaying, I want the world to feel “real”. And stuff like that is what it makes it real.

      I somehow feel like I should make little protesting banners for my Guild Wars characters asking the devs to consider giving out new underwear. ;) And hey, it’s ArenaNet’s fault! Why did they design such gorgeous underwear in the first place? Of course, we want MORE now! ^^


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