Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Noobs Simple Guide to the SWTOR Outfit Designer

The SWTOR Outfit Designer feature added into SWTOR allows the player characters - not companions - to benefit from the appearances of wearable items - not weapons - regardless of the statistics of the items. This separation between appearance and statistics opens up many options for character appearance because without this many unique clothing items with poor stats would only be sold to vendors and never seen. However the outfit designer and its slots and stamping would benefit from a little more explanation than the in-game help provides. So this blog post just explains the basic capabilities that I have found in my experience with the feature.

Basic Feature Explanation:

You have gear and you have outfits. Gear is what you actually wear and all statistics are inherited from the gear. Gear is restricted based on armor type, class, etc. Outfits are appearance only and are created by "stamping" items into them. The statistics of stamped items do not matter at all.  So generally, if you like the look of an item you stamp that item into an outfit and activate that outfit.  If you like the statistics of an item you put that item in the gear slots rather than an outfit. If you like both the appearance and stats of an item then you might put it into the gear slot and not use an outfit at all, or you might put it into both an outfit slot and the gear slot.

Restrictions of the Outfit Designer (note - I am a subscriber so there may be additional restrictions for F2P and Preferred)

- Companions do not get outfits. Only the player characters.
- Only wearable items can be "stamped" into an outfit, not weaponry, carried items, or earpieces.
- Each character gets one free outfit slot. Additional slots can be purchased. If you really like characters having multiple outfits you may want to purchase the additional slots for your legacy rather than just one character. Stamping items into an outfit also costs credits.
- There is no means to duplicate an item in an outfit into another outfit. So if you think you will want the same item in multiple outfits make sure you retain the original item. If you sell it you will not be able to add it to any new outfits.
- An outfit does not need to have each piece filled in order to be applied. However, if you leave a piece out (for example, you do not include a head piece) then whatever is actually being worn on the body (referred to as "gear") will be shown. This can be worked around for the head slot because of the ability to hide what is on your head (each outfit has this option independently), but for other body pieces this can be a problem. Say for example, that you want to have your character's hands showing, then that would require that in the outfit you do not stamp any gloves and ALSO that in the gear you do not have any gloves. Because stats are applied only from the gear slots that means you will not have the benefit of gloves.  For this reason the Energy gloves and other items that are invisible have gone up in price in the Galactic Trade Market.

Some things that surprisingly are NOT restrictions:

- Clothing that is a type that you cannot normally wear can be used in an outfit. For example, a Sith Inquisitor who can only wear light armor can use a medium or heavy armor item in an outfit.
- If an item has a dye in it when added to an outfit, then the outfit inherits that dye. Once an item is in an outfit there is no connection between the original item and outfit "stamp", so you can freely change the dye in the original item or apply a dye to the stamped item in the outfit.
- Items that do not take dyes normally, can be dyed when part of an outfit.


Here is Natiri, a Jedi Knight wearing the fetching Aspiring Knight clothing. She has all of the pieces that can be stamped into an outfit: chest piece, gloves, belt, pants, boots, and gauntlets.She is also wearing a helmet with the option to hide the head piece enabled so that it does not appear. At the top of the character dialog it says "Active" which means only that the clothing shown in this panel is what is appears on her character in the game. Important Note: The statistics of the items on this body panel are always what is actually used to determine the character statistics even if an outfit is active.

Showing what Natiri is currently wearing

At this point in the game I have decided that regardless of what other clothing items I find and choose to use, I want Natiri to continue looking like this. So it makes sense to create an outfit with these items. The ifrst thing to do is decide which outfit tab I want to use. So I click on the first outfit tab labeled "1".

Showing that Natiri's outfit 1 is empty

The information on the left indicates that I am currently looking at outfit 1 and what is currently active is the gear outfit from the earlier body panel. That the body pieces are all grayed out means that they are empty. The grayed items are shown only to indicate what appearance will be inherited if you do not put something else there when this outfit is activated. Note that the Customize Appearance options are specific to this outfit. Now that I can see that this outfit is available I need to put the individual clothing pieces I want to use into it. So I need to return to the original panel and do the first totally non-obvious thing, take off all of her clothing. This is necessary because you can only add items to an outfit from your inventory.

Natiri with her clothing moved into her inventory
Natiri with her clothing "stamped" into outfit 1
Last warning before charging the credits
Once the clothing items I want to "stamp" into an outfit are in Natiri's inventory I can return to the outfit appearance tab "1" and add them to the outfit.  There is no need to take off her helmet because I do not intend to add the helmet to her outfit. I instead leave the helmet spot in the outfit empty and hide the helmet using the hide head piece option.  If I later find a head piece that I like then I can add it to her outfit at that time, but there is no benefit in paying the credits to add a head piece I do not like to an outfit. Note that there is a cost in credits to stamping items into an outfit. Clicking "OK" in the last dialog will create the outfit and charge the credits. The "Activate on Modification" checkbox means only that the character should immediately be shown with the outfit changes you have made. Note that adding items to an outfit DOES NOT remove them from your inventory. That is because it is only copying the appearances of the items. Once an outfit is made you can do whatever you want with the items it is based upon.  They will however be bound to the character by the process of adding them to an outfit, so you will not be able to give them to another character.  You can add the same item to multiple outfits for the one character though.

Natiri now has an outfit created and activated based on the Aspiring Knight items
While it is tempting to think that at this point everything is finished, that is not the case.  The reality is that because I had to take off all of the clothing to move it into her inventory prior to creating the outfit, Natiri is still in fact naked and is not getting any of the statistics bonuses she would have from actually wearing these items, even though because of the outfit being activated she appears to be wearing them.  So after creating an outfit it is important to return to the body tab and put any items back on that are desired based on their statistics. Note: There is no need to press the "Apply" button after putting the clothing back on. Doing so means that you want the appearance to be based on the actual gear worn rather than the outfit.

Appearances can be deceiving. She is naked but looks clothed. Gotta fix that..

Her clothing is now back on. No need to press the "Apply" button!

At this point Nariti is wearing the gear that I want and also has the active outfit that I want so I am good to go. When I find gear with better statistics I can simply put it on in the body slot and her appearance will remain unaltered. When you look at gear the statistics comparison is always with what you are actually wearing not based on the outfit that is active.

Items that cannot be dyed normally, can be dyed when in an outfit

Items that cannot be worn due to armor type restrictions can be used in an outfit

Over all the Outfit Designer provides some interesting options for character appearance. This is all at a cost in credits of course and if you enjoy having multiple outfits then the cost can get high.  I have found that it is far more convenient though when finding items because even if an item doesn't look good you may want to use it because of its better stats and that is easily done as long as your character is using an outfit.

If you found this article useful and you choose to begin playing SWTOR or are already playing but have not yet indicated that you were referred by someone, then you can show your appreciation by using my personal referral link.  This will give both you and me in-game rewards as documented at the Friends of Star Wars site here.

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