Should Diablo 3 Armor Have Customizable Appearance?

A fan brought up a common request and asked for a way to change the appearance of his character’s Diablo 3 armor (other than with dyes and invisibility). A blue replied that such an option is indeed on the drawing board, and then quoted a bunch of past blue comments on the issue. Here’s the start with the new comment:

We’ve seen a number of post letting us know that there are a lot of players who want to be able to customize how a piece of armor appears, and the good news is that we agree. Being able to distinguish yourself from other players can be compelling, and it goes a long way to enrich Diablo III’s experience. We don’t have an estimate on when this feature will make it into the game, but it’s something we’re working on. Travis Day is one of the game designers on Diablo III, and this is what he had to say on the subject.

Travis: I agree, visual customization has a lot of value, people like to differentiate themselves from each other or sometimes just get bored of looking at the same thing all day every day. In fact we agree SO much that we have plans to add this feature in the future.

Is this a priority to you guys? I don’t much care, personally, but then I have only changed my banner once in 11 months, and of the time I spend thinking about my gear, 99.9% of that is about the function, not the fashion. Plus, most of the high end gear in D3 matches pretty well. (My only real objection is the Vile Ward shoulders, AKA the reason Vanishing Dye exists.)

Personally, I’d have been much more interested in these sort of features back in D2. In that game we had exceptional and elite items that repeated the same item graphics three times, and thus created end game characters clothed in a clown suit visual mixture of cloth + leather + chain + plate. There weren’t armor dyes either, and there were a few items so ugly it actually hurt to use/wear them (SHAKO!!!1!).

That said, more armor customization options isn’t a bad thing, and it’s not like D3’s been abandoned to one patch maker; they have enough devs to work on multiple things at once, so the really important fixes/improvements to item stats can proceed while other guys work on superficial fashion accessories.

Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Items


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  1. I read the word “armor” and “customizable” and got extremely excited, thinking we’d get a snippet of info on new and fun mechanics to customize the stats of your gear to make the itemization of this game more engaging and in depth! something this game really needs right now.

    But then I read the word “appearance” …

  2. I would most likely monkey with it; there have been times when I thought a new, better piece of armour looked ugly (mainly w/helms). In general, though, I think the armour is often a bit too intricate and the dyeable parts aren’t always where I expect them to be, or in some cases don’t alter much of the armour (ie. some of the demon hunter gauntlets have very small dye patches, resulted in a drab, steel look that I don’t much care for).

    So, yeah. If it’s anything like Transmogrify from WOW then it couldn’t hurt, I just hope it wouldn’t be too expensive.

  3. world of warcraft already does this I think. Its a concept they could copy pretty much straight up.

    But I do agree. Out of all the things that need work, this isn’t one of them.

  4. If they’re serious about “scaled up” legendaries dropping at ilvl 63, they should do the same for ALL kinds of gear (mainly rares). There are a lot of good looking nightmare sets. Instead of straight up Transmog, just let any kind of gear (visually) drop w/ ilvl 63 stats.

  5. “… it’s not like D3?s been abandoned to one patch maker …”

    Sometimes I wonder…

  6. I’d love if I could customize the appearance of my char’s armor.

  7. They put a lot of detail into “tiers” of gear that people had a chance of getting for maybe 45 minutes before they out leveled that tier. A transmog type of system would be more entertaining than always having the 63 appearance and random dye.

  8. This might matter if there was actually a spot to show off your gear.

    Kinda like the D2 channels did.

    • What I envisioned/hoped for during the developmental stages of D3 was to have a lobby system in game where you’re hanging out in Ogden’s Tavern of the Rising Sun and would be able to see other players, interact with them, trade with them face to face, challenge them to duels, and spark party formation based on common interest. A true dynamic experience.

      Instead we get empty voids staring at our own characters and a lifeless auction house with no player interaction.

  9. Lol, whats wrong with Blizz? Is this realy the thing, customizable armor? that need to work on? Have anybody there played D2 realy? They must work on goals, when reach the endgame, rethinking about the levelcap and not a pseudo think like 100 Sublevels? Whats with ladders??? Whats with the good old chatchannel, where everybody can show, how “good” looking he is or chat with friends???

    I dont understand Blizz, if i would a feature, that i can pee with my char in a dungeon, would Blizz think also about it? Damn, i wish me back the good old times…

  10. I agree that customizable armor would be a nice feature.

  11. Would be a nice feature but not a very important one for a H&S. I find it especially important in MMOs where you are playing with a lot of people and where you see your toon from a closer view. From the quite distant view used in D3, it is not that easy to distinguish the different pieces of equipment, except perhaps for the helmet, shoulders and weapons.

    So a nice feature that I would certainly use but definitely not on top of the list.

  12. It would be a great feature, one that I would constantly use. I much prefer the look of level 30-40 armors on most chars.

  13. great thing , i love this in wow also.
    making an already great game even better !!

  14. Good news, but also of no importance. It’s all about function, not fashion, as mentioned.

    Concerning fashion, I still remember the old medieval feel of D1 and D2 items. That is what I want. No sci-fi suits. Or there could be both styles (wow what a brilliant idea! how much would take for blizz to think of this?!). But since item mechanics is broken and problematic, I really don’t care about the appearance that much.

  15. I prefer to have my gear define the look of my characters, rather than the other way around. I kinda feel like D3 gear is already lacking in the personality department by being stripped off its base name (e.g. Archon Armor -> Chest Armor) once identified, so the least one can do is to keep the original appearance (color/model).

  16. I’d love full visual customization I guess, including color (i.e. you like the item but not the color, like Inna’s pants baby blue). But as already said by many: not a priority.
    Itemization issues must be addressed, I was in the AH to find an upgrade for my monk when I saw that the min BO for a Dex LS EF is some 40x higher than an Int LS EF… I do not want to be a hater, but sometimes I wonder why they focus on minor things while there is an elephant in the room.

  17. I think Diablo 3 should have customizable code.

  18. I want my monk to be shirtless but without the stupid tattered robes hanging off the back.

    • I would totally use any other customizations unless they have grindy requirements to obtain. Looks over function, to a certain extent. Just say no to bright green head condoms!

      I even use a specific banner for each of the 5 character classes, depending on their build or theme. Like my Comet wizard uses a banner signifying the meteor impact: white star of xiansai with the cracked pattern. I wish you could save a banner per character, but thats just for us OCD folks I guess. I think I actually twitched at Flux’s comment about never changing his banner.

      Admittedly, I also use vanishing dye on all female character pants. If Blizzard could get on some sort of chain mail bikini or the fold-over biblical diaper for more pants-less options, that would be great. Both genders to be fair.

      Here are some Legendary suggestions for no reason at all:
      Charsi’s Treasure (Chastity Belt) – socketed, thorns dmg
      The Flapper (Leaf Patch, WD only) – +movement speed, better cooldowns
      Unmentionable (Chain Thong) – chance to charm, gold find, mf
      Stain (Trunks, Barb only) – +durability, poison dmg, bonus to Ignore Pain
      Adria’s Secret (Garter) – +vitality, chance to confuse/blind
      Tyrael’s Mortal Woe (Loin Cloth) – chance for resurrection on death

      • Yes, I say looks over function as well. I care tremendously about my character’s appearance because I look at them at all times. The banner matters less in that regard, but I still want it to look decent.

  19. Can’t decide if… Going to hjappen late expansion… or never going to happen.

  20. I Would already be happy if you would be able to dye legendary items.

    My toon looks like a clown that is ready to go to a goa-party because of the different (fluo) colors legendary items have.

  21. I think the current armor design is very stagnate, yes there are more *important* developmental idea from the community. However, I would love a little versatility on armor design. This is largely due to the fact that I dont like the gawdy and more so embellished/cartoony armor design the dev’s chose for Diablo 3. I would love the ability to change the armor design up to a more classic medieval design or just have some damn options. I was very unimpressed with the armor and weapon design on launch, the Colossus blade looks like a damn pirate sword, Ilvl 63 armor looks atrocious on every character, most of the uniques look too extreme, and a lot of the good designed armors are too low a level to ever wear at level 60 and beyond. so YES PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GIMME SOME O DAT

  22. I thought Shako was one of the most awesome looking items in D2 >.>

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