Milan? No – Rivendell! LoTRO’s Fashion Week begins.

I love LoTRO. They just do things… a bit differently. Whether we’re talking in-game music festivals or poetry contests, LoTRO is the MMO that marches to the beat of a slightly different drummer.

And this week, they’re thoroughly different. Because Turbine, the game’s developers, have kicked off what is as far as I know a completely unique MMO event – LoTRO’s Fashion Week – an event that’s also a joint venture between LoTRO and some of the biggest LoTRO blogs.

They’re not only offering Turbine Points as prizes, but also special titles for the forums – this fashion stuff is a big deal in Middle Earth, it turns out.

Needless to say, the big LoTRO fashion blogs are getting into the action too. The arguably top three LoTRO fashion blogs, Cosmetic LOTRO, LOTRO Stylist and LOTRO Fashion, are all offering coupons for free dyes on the LoTRO store.

And you can follow the action by following @LOTROFashion on Twitter.

This is a really cool event – not only for the theme, but also the extent to which Turbine are interacting with and relying on the blogosphere. I don’t think I’ve seen a major MMO publisher work with its associated blogosphere to this extent before, and it’s extremely cool – let’s hope it sparks more openness within other MMO developers too!

Spread the word – it’s LoTRO fashion week!

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HOWTO: build a transmogrification set

With transmogging around the corner now, more and more WoW players are waking up and realising that we need answers to questions we didn’t need before – answers like “does this axe go with blue?”, “where can I find a shield that matches my hair?” and “does this robe make my toon’s butt look big?”.

In all seriousness, for the next little while advice on What Not To Wear In WoW is going to be valuable. Thus, today, I was particularly cheered to run across an excellent piece from a blog I’ve only just started following, Dreams of Isorath, with Aeliel discussing exactly how to go about choosing a transmogrification outfit

“What looks good on one character might not necessarily look good on another, even if they’re the same class. There are factors such as gender, skin color, hair color and race to consider. Because of this, I always use WoW Model Viewer to build my sets. If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to use WMV – well, there are other ways to build a set, such as using Wowhead’s item comparison tool to view the items you’re picking on a 3D model. Whatever way you use, always try out the set in game using the dressing room once you’re done with it, just in case.

… Unless you plan on scrapping your set when you get a weapon upgrade of a different type than the weapon you were using when you built the set, you should try and find matching weapons for every single type of weapon your character is likely to end up wielding.”

This post is mostly fairly simple advice, but it’s also solid, and not all of it had occurred to me – in particular, the idea of checking for other appropriate weapon types, so that you don’t end up wrong-footed when an upgrade drops, and also the suggestions about basing the entire outfit around a single piece. The latter’s very sensible – although there are other ways to do it, such as basing your outfit on a colour palette or a real-world equivalent, building from a single piece is easier to start on, visually, and will create some pretty awesome looks for your character.

Do you have any other advice on how to start building your transmogrification set?

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Making sure your outfit matches your… horse?

I’m continually very impressed with what I see coming out of Lord of the Rings Online these days. There’s so much interesting, creative stuff out there, from the music festival of Weatherstock onward.

Today we’ve got another great post of LoTRO goodness.

Have you ever gotten a new mount and felt that your character just looked slightly wrong on it? Like something clashed, jarred, didn’t quite make sense? Well, Cithryth of A Casual Stroll To Mordor has been there, too – but being an experienced virtual-world couturier (and just saying that phrase makes me look around for the telltale signs I’ve accidentally stepped into a Charles Stross novel), she knew what to do about the problem:

I’ll be honest – when I first saw this horse I thought it was ugly. As soon as I found an outfit I liked that matched it though, I stopped feeling that way. So my new ideology is that a horse is only ugly until you find the right outfit for it!

As I said earlier, the key is color and styling. The main colors for this horse are gold, silver and brown. I’d say the brown dye in game that matches it best is Sienna. This doesn’t mean though that these are the only colors we can use. If you look closer there is also some white along the borders of the gold coverings. On the horse’s forehead and chest plate is also a brilliant pink jewel. The styling, since it is the Prized Rivendell Horse, is of course elvish.

Quoting this particular article can’t really do it justice – you need to look at the pictures. I’ve seen a lot of virtual world fashion, and this is some really impressive work – elegant, graceful and distinctive. And even though I’m no newcomer to costume design either (14 years as an indie filmmaker means you’ve taken on a lot of roles), I learned a fair bit from the article.

I hope the series continues – I’ll be looking out for the next installment!

What are your top MMO fashion tips? Ever sat on your new mount, zoomed out, and suddenly gone “Oh dear god, my outfit totally doesn’t match this steed!”?

_Quote taken directly from Cithryth’s article.

Find A Casual Stroll To Mordor’s homepage at

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MMOs Are Like Dresses

Slinky dressees. Svelte cuts, fancy materials, unique patterns. No, I’m not talking about your female character’s unfortunate clothing, I’m talking about Syl’s latest post in which she compares the MMO and fashion industry.

How? She says globalisation is killing them both. I know, it sounds like a grandiose statement but bear with her – it’s not far fetched at all. Her inspiration came from catching an interview with a fashion designer who’s just got out the business and which Syl quotes. Syl’s noticed that her #1 reason for leaving is how grey suits have marched in and stomped all over the delicate, unique and beauty in fashion.

Ring any bells? If not, try the following experiment: substitute all the words highlighted in red with the following replacement words:

Prêt-à-porter shows = PR/game conventions, fashion = games/MMOs, handbags = item rewards, Vogue = Blizzard, French publisher = investor / Activision, Jonathan Newhouse = Michael Morhaime, dress = game, women = gamers, collections = content patches, haute couture = major content patches / special promotions.

And then let’s assume Roitfeld = Ghostcrawler. Maybe few years from now. ****Or let’s assume he joined Blizzard in 2004 and this is 2014. ****In any case you get the point.

Syl goes on to make her point well – and while it’s been said before, it’s rarely been said this bluntly or with such a sense of surity as can happen when brainwaves hit you in the bath like this.

What do you think – are companies and businessmen ruining MMOs and their creative qualities, or is this a bit too worry-wort to you?

_Quote taken directly from Syl’s post

You can find Syl’s Raging Monkeys homepage here_

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