Thursday, July 22, 2010

WTB a Good Looking Cloak

I always hide the helm on my WoW characters – for two reasons.

1. 99 percent of those that are available to me are plain ugly or laughable.
2. They cover my pigtails. Not cool.

There was one exception: the Mana-etched crown, which I displayed with pride back in TBC. It was awesome, adding a mystical and yet powerful look to my mage, without hiding the hair. But normally my heads remain invisible.

The issue of cloaks is a different matter. Regardless of how they look, I will always display them on my mage. Not on my rogue, since I believe that a rogue should be very agile and that a cloak might be a hindrance to her swift movements and high kicks. Cloaked rogues doesn’t make sense to me.

But show me the wizard that doesn’t wear a cloak! It doesn’t exist. So it must be there to be seen.

This doesn’t stop me from frowning a bit at it from time to time. I really don’t like the looks of most of them. The cloaks aren’t really cloaks in the way I think of them. They’re rather some sort of capes, which is a different thing.

In fact, our toons often look as if they have got a towel knit around their neck in order to look like some sort of flying superhero. “Look ma’, I’m Superman!”

Some of the cloaks are even striped, like Syrannis’ Mystic Sheen, which I for some odd reason had as a part of my equipment for a while in TBC. (+ 12 resistance of everything? On a mage? What was I thinking? Don't ask me. I'm clueless.) Dressed like that you’d rather believe I was going to the beach than to the dragon’s den.

The cloak of my dream
So how would I like the cloak to look then? Well, it doesn’t have to be exclusive and decorated (even though Spink's LOTRO cloak that she posted about recently was impressive). It can be single coloured as far as I’m concerned. It’s more about how it’s draped around the body. I’d love to have one with a hood, something that I could wrap up Larísa in, as the night falls and she warms herself by a campfire under a starry sky, waiting for the upcoming adventure.

I’m currently preparing myself and one of my daughters to go the yearly Medieval week on Gotland. We won’t be there acting in some sort of character; we’re not dedicated members of SCA or anything on those lines. We’re very casual about the whole thing. But we do dress up in reasonably medieval looking clothes, because it makes the whole arrangement so much more fun. And the most essential part of this is the cloak, so when my girl had grown out of her old one, I had to make her a new. The Medieval week without a cloak is unthinkable.

I can’t praise the usefulness of this garment enough. It protects you against rain and wind, but also – strangely enough against heat and sunshine. And whenever you want to sit down on the ground to watch some fools, jousters or musicians, you already have a blanket ready at hands to fold out. Not happy about your dress? No problem, the cloak can cover it all. Everyone - thin or fat, young as old - looks beautiful in a nice cloak.

It’s just a pity that you can’t get it in WoW.


Cap'n John said...

I always preferred the full-length cloaks, but those little short ones that barely came to your waist, the ones with the split up the middle? I hated those, and when Stats and common sense demanded I trade up to an ugly cloak that would look more at home on a Paige than a demon-conquering Hero, that Hide Cloak box got checked faster than...well, as fast as I could open the Settings menu and check the Hide Cloak box ;)

Rades said...

I would love to see some cloaks that aren't just the plain rectangle shape. Maybe some that are tattered at the end, or ones that taper to a point (like the early-early level lowbie half-cloaks), ones with hoods, ones that partially cover the front (like Batman's cape), ones that are thrown over one shoulder, etc.

Or maybe you could have cloaks with hanging gold tassels, crumpled-looking cloaks, cloaks that fade from one color to another, even cloaks that are "dirty" at the bottom to look like they've been used. Really, there are so many possibilities!

Anaia said...

It's one of the frustrating things about playing a draenei - having your cloak jut out at a right angle all the time. Tails and cloaks don't match.

Prelimar said...

i turn off my helm AND my cape, haha. after all, it's the ROBE that makes the mage!

Kurnak said...

Cloaks... after swords (something I've mentioned two times in my blog) it's been a big fail of the design department imo. When you start playing cloaks look more like some scarf or handkerchief tied to the neck than a real cloak, they're sooo short... anyway as your progress you start getting longer cloaks. It's a good idea that the lenght of your cloak reflects your level to a certain degree, but the biggest problem is how cloaks look. White and green ones look simple, no problem with it. Some lev60 cloaks look good even if they use simple coloring with just some simple border and a different inner color. TBC cloaks didn't change much and we started seeing repeated patterns, but Wrath has been terrible to cloak designs. There're exceptions like the cloaks you can get in the DK starting quest, but the rest of cloaks, even end-level cloaks look the same as a level 30 green. And don't make me talk about the Naxxramas stripped cloaks with that ugly skull design on it. What were designers smoking? It's some poorly executed homage to Superman or what?
During TBC I was wearing Nomad's Woven Cloak for a long time and ended very tired of that design. Now I'm using Might of the Ocean Serpent... imagine how do I feel seeing it again!
When you're clad in T9/T10+ you really need an epic looking cloak, not something you used when you were 25.
Oh, and after fixing the designs/patterns they should think about the cloaks forms too. Something more ellaborated like the cloak going over shoulders (complicated to match with the shoulder armour, I know), a hood (even if it just hangs on your back) and some enchant effect (sparkling borders or leaving some kind of trail like the shoeshine effect in Dalaran).

Anonymous said...

@Rades, have a look at Lich Wrappings. It's the standard square shape, but fades in color but the bottom is worn and has been poorly repaired. It's the one cloak I've seen with that sort of character.

Tessy said...

Like Anaia said, cloaks look ridiculous on a female draenei because that sharp outward flip of the cloak over her tail makes it look like she is constantly farting. My shammy has never had a cloak showing, not even the pretty-colored ones :-(

nowiamtree said...

I love cloaks, you just can't get enough of them in real life (I had a green velvet one for my winter wedding many years ago!)

I think one of the things I miss about the cloaks in WoW is their lack of hood. In LotRO I remember being able to turn off the helmet, but still be able to have a hooded effect - and I'd turn my cloak option on when it was raining, it just felt appropriate! I miss that in WoW.

Oh, and while I remember, I made this dress for a medieval fayre a few years ago, it was so easy to make, and worked pretty well, I was even mistaken for a medieval re-enactor! (We know Sally in real life, and she's one of those sickeningly really crafty, beautiful,intelligent and lovely people!)

Larísa said...

@Cap'n John: Oh don't talk about the short one, they're just laughable. I think they're mostly around for very low lvl characters. You know the ones where you've tied a little skin around your neck... I suppose they make sense in one way - you're young and poor and take what's available. (Blanchy's blanket in Westfall, remember that one?)

But still - they're really not nice to look at. However I stick to displaying them on my clothies. It feels as if a cloak is mandatory.

@Rades: I think the hoods is what I miss most. But yeah, more variety would be nice! After all you spend quite a bit of time staring at that cloak. More than you look at the chest...

@Anaia & Tess: oh, the tail issue... I'm sorry about that. It's hard to get around it. You don't want it to make a hole in the cloak. Shouldn't they be able to like... fold their tails in so they don't stick out?

: the dress? Hm... But there are so many dresswearers out there... locks, priests and other mage impersonators.... We need to distinguish ourselves.

@Kurnak: sparkles! You can never get enough of them! Actually I loved the red glowing effect I think we saw on the... hm... was it T5 shoulders? It was beautiful.

I can appreciate cloaks in either way - more simple, down-to-earth ones with hoods, like the one I'm sewing. Or majestic, impressive ones with glowing effects and stuff. I think what's crucial is the draping - how it's flowing. I'm not happy with the stiff little squares we currently see. It doesn't look like cloth.

: oh yeah, wouldn't that be the greatest! If my head actually was attached to my cloak, if it was the hood of it... then I'd not hesitate to display it, at least when it was raining.

Thanks for the link to that dress pattern. It looked remarkably simple, absolutly great! That's what's so lovely about sewing this kind of stuff. A cloak isn't really hard to make - anyone can do it. A figure shaped dress is more tricky, but that pattern... looked very much doable.

At Gotland, fortunately, so many of the visitors are dressed up that you don't really risk to be taken for an actor. Actually you feel that you melt in way better if you at least have a cloak. That's the cool thing about this week. It's massive - and takes place in a medieval town with ruins literally everywhere, surrounded by a huge wall... Can't wait to get there!

Daergel said...

Going back to the helm, I always hide it for the same reasons as you, except for the mana-etched crown which my warlock is still wearing, although he is still level 70!

But yes, my gnome (tank) tanks with pink pigtails flying!

Ephemeron said...

"Cloaked rogues doesn’t make sense to me."

There's an expression "cloak and dagger", used to refer to situations involving intrigue, secrecy, espionage, or mystery.

It originates from an actual combat style. The purpose of the cloak was to obscure the presence or movement of the dagger, to provide minor protection from slashes, to restrict the movement of the opponent's weapon, and to provide a distraction. Use of the cloak and dagger was considered a "dishonest" method of combat because of its deceptive tactics.

Gevlon said...

Syrannis’ Mystic Sheen link is wrong.

The cosmetic cloak system of some games is a good idea to handle this problem.

tufva said...

I always wanted to visit the Medieval week in Gotland when I still lived back home - so envious!

Also, proper cloaks with hoods are awesome - I 've always wished it would be possible to wear one normally, but it might get some odd looks in the office. :-)

Larísa said...

@Daergel: a gnome tank with pink pigtails flying? How adorable. I've never seen anyone. Maybe about time I rolled a warrior...

: Oh, that sounds a bit like Zorro. And yeah, it makes sense. It's just not the way I see my rogue. To me she's more of a streetfighter. But then she's mostly been combat, I suppose that makes a difference.

@Gevlon: Oh, that item was something entirely different. Thanks for the heads-up, fixed.

@Tufva: oh yes! It bugs me a little that it's only one week a year that I'm allowed to use my awesome cloak without people turning their heads in the street. It's way better than my ordinary jacket in some ways.

Prelimar said...

speaking of cloaks, last night on a Molten Core fun run to celebrate a guildy's birthday, i got a Fireproof Cloak ( perfect for me as a fire mage. : D

now i have something to wear with my spellfire set for a halloween costume at this year's guild halloween function.

SpiritusRex said...

In my one nod to public role-playing I only show my helm and cloak when in raids/dungeons. Otherwise, between my hunter's helm, shoulders and cloak, I like like some Night Elf amusement park made out of pieces of a leftover boat - with the slide included. More importantly, as I am not quite as vain, ahem :p, as others, I prefer to show off our guild tabard when in the city. Further, showing the cloak can be quite troublesome. In fact, the last time I had my cloak "viewable" and exited a raid and then hid it, I found that two gnomes had been cohabitating amongst the folds - quite embarassing I must say.

Gronthe said...

Cloaks with hoods = awesomeness.

What I really would like is Harry Potter's invisibility cloak - nobody would ever be able to see how hideous my helm was if I had that thing over me.

Bri said...

Something being added in Cataclysm that I've heard mention of .. but not much .. is overcloaks. These will be cosmetic items applied to your normal cloak to change their look .. maybe a guild crest, or a city crest, not sure what Blizz's plans are.

I read somewhere that there will be overcloaks as a reward to be associated with the Gnomeregan/Echo Isles events.

Ah, here, I found the link ..

Twan said...

Is it time for vellums to be able to die armor like in EQ1?

Daergel said...

@Larísa - check out Daísy on AD, Alliance Side!

Larísa said...

: Awww... That one was actually quite pretty.

: Bugger! You weren't supposed to talk about how cloaks make such a great hiding place for gnomes! Now I'll have to crawl in under the skirts of you.

@Gronthe: hm... would be quite an awesome item, wouldn't it? A cloak that you could stealth in. You could give it a long cool down not to make it too OP. Or make it super-rare. Whatever. But it's a nice idea.

@Bri: yeah, I remember those... I never quite figured them as cloaks, more as yet another handkerchief to hang around your neck. But we'll see.

@Twan: or in LOTRO. Before seeing it I shrugged at it as a silly vanity thing. Now I'm actually a fan of it.

@Daergel: ?

Yaggle said...

Cloaks would be a good start to player-based designs on equipment. The tailor would need certain materials from other crafters such as dye or ink from inscriptionists. And of course a hard-to-get recipe. They did it for tabards, I think they can do it for cloaks, too. Even if the choices were more limited, it would solve this problem, and I agree it's a problem. You'd think I could buy a nice looking cloak on the auction house or make one with my tailor, but nooooooooooooooooooo.

StClair said...

This blogpost is longer and more interesting than your average cloak or cape. ;)

I've been mourning the lack of decent-looking (IMO) cloaks in WotLK, especially compared to vanilla - say what you will, at least those cloaks had some style and variety. The 70-80 leveling cloaks are terrible and the raid loot isn't much better, with a few exceptions.