Once again, one of the new gear sets has set off a huge debate. This time it’s yesterday’s male wizard gear set, which featured armor liked by almost everyone, but topped, like a living Christmas tree, with that huge, shiny, silver “starfish” hat. Since giant hats have been a theme of most of the wizard gear shots, fan patience has grown thinner, and it didn’t take long for people to turn on this new image.
While plenty of fans here and on B.net were willing to defend the big helm, a clear majority of posters are critical, and almost everyone for the same, “it’s too big/impractical” reason. What’s the other side of the argument? Looking over the supportive posts, including several by Bashiok, I see three prongs of defense. 1) Historical Asian armor was similar to these Wizard outfits. 2) Lots of D2 equipment would have looked just as silly blown up to this size and seen in the head on view, and conversely, 3) these D3 items have to be oversized to show up distinctively on on the characters in isometric view, but they’ll look fine in the game.
As for #3, Mr Bartuc did what he could to answer that question, by sticking the starfish on top of the Monk’s head in a recent screenshot. It’s not quite the same thing as seeing the wizard with this hat in the game, but it’s a reasonable comparison. Click the thumb to the right for a full sized view.
As for #2, that’s the easiest to answer, since there’s no guessing involved. The D2 team released lots of head on, large-size images of their characters in various gear sets, and they’re all preserved in our D2 character art gallery. There are about 25 such images in the gallery, a few of which I’ve attached below. Click them for the larger view, or browse the gallery for lots more. This art was produced 10 years ago and there have been big improvements in computer graphics since then, especially with human faces, but take a look and see what you think.
Click through to see these stacked up with the D3 gear sets for easy comparison.
So what do you think? The D3 armor is more colorful and fantasy-styled, while the D2 stuff tends much more towards realism. But do you want realism in armor in a game where your character shoots fireballs? How does the D2 stuff, viewed like this, compare to how it appears in the game? All of us have seen these characters wearing these exact items in the actual game. Does it look how you expect it to in this view? Does this make you more or less sympathetic to the bright, oversized elements of the D3 armor that look funny in these views?