standing at the back in my sissy robe

June 21, 2009

Goth of the lichking

Filed under: Bitchin 'n' Moanin,Diversions,Real Men Wear Purple,Vainglory — Tamarind @ 9:55 pm

I do have some irritated, semi-serious things to write about but I like to reserve weekends for fluff and frivolity.

So let’s talk about the gear in Northrend.  No, no, I don’t mean the stats, I mean the important stuff.  I mean, how it looks.  Last weekend I posted a picture of Tam sporting his most deadly off-hand weapon yet.  I think part of the reason the pretty bouquet looks more absurd than usual is because the rest of his get-up is so Very Dark and Serious.  He looks like Valentine’s Day at the Inquisition.

Say it with flowers (and pilliwinks).

Since then I’ve actually been playing quite a lot, meandering rather than slouching towards 80, the upshot of which is that my entire outfit has pretty much turned over.  Unfortunately, this also includes the pretty flowers, which have been replaced by … well … some kind of dildo?  Anyway, horror of the off-hand item aside, Tam now looks like this:

tam again

Spot the difference?

No.  Neither can I.

I’m not seriously pining for the days of the Outland clown suit and I know there are different design principles underlying Northrend gear (everything goes with everything, I think?) but I’m sick of looking like I bought all my clothes from Alchemy Gothic.

Once you hit endgame, you obviously want to look as cool as possible, especially in the shoulder department, the bigger the better, oh yeah, if they don’t look like a psycho’s bonsai collection something has gone horribly wrong. I swear to God those Aged Pauldrons of the Five Thunders look like they come with cup holders.  But I actually believe one of the diversions of levelling is the regular turn-over of utterly ludicrous outfits.  You know, the gimpy helmet, the blue trousers that look like they’ve shrunk in the wash, the nerdy sandals, the bright orange arse-length cloak, combined with a midriff revealing shirt in alternating purple and green stripes.

And very, very occasionally it would all come together and, for a brief shinning moment between level 42 and 45, by pure luck, you’d somehow contrive to look like you hadn’t got dressed in the dark without your thumbs.

Aaah.  Those were the days.

I remember fondly the sweet moment mid-instance when some awesomely powerful piece of blue loot would drop (awesomely powerful for level 35 at least) and you’d click need with trembling, excited fingers.  And then, yes, joy of joys, it would be yours.  Yours!  And gleefully you’d equip it, ready to take on all the world … only to have the rest of your party fall about laughing at the ridiculous figure you cut.

I’m not in the habit of taking WoW-screenshots (it feels rather like taking photographs of yourself, i.e. a bit vain and weird) but here are a couple of Tam from his “glory” days of sartorial desperation.

This was a particular disaster – damned if I can remember what it was, I’ve probably erased it from my mind for self-protection.  Weirdly immodest and impractical, to say nothing of the dungaree-style Noddy buttons.  No wonder Tam looks so pissed off.

Naked Robe...dear boy!

And this is the famous sissy robe.  And there is a Tam, resplendent and really very very purple, a man entirely comfortable with his masculinity.




  1. this post raises a lot of questions: what is a pilliwink? why are you writing about them? should i know what a pilliwing is? and why can’t i get over the fact that you mentioned pilliwinks?!

    But more importantly, I did spot a major differnce between Tamarind, Then and Now: what the hell happened to your shoes?! Dont tell me you pawned the old ones for respec gold and have now resorted to wrapping green carrier bags round your feet? 😛

    Weird phallic/masturbatory off-hands aside (which, lets face it, is nothing new for blizzard – hammer of judgement, anyone?), you do raise an interesting point about the northrend gear – it is all identical. I’ve been levelling my druid through howling fjord and dragonblight, and i’ve noticed that every single piece of leather gear i have gotten has been the same model – those rugged grey shoulders, that browney tunic thingie and the brown helmet. Furthermore, it seems that as you travel progressively northwards through the zones, your gear gets progressively darker; is blizzard accessorizing with the surroundings, too?

    All in all i think this trend is a disappointing one – who could forget that moment in hellfire peninsula where the first spellcaster ‘trousers’ from a quest reward consisted of knee high nylons worn with matching panties? Or, back in Old World where your female pally would pick up a plate chest piece that was actually more like a strapless bra, which actually sort of went with the plate ‘thong’ you got off the last boss, and, when put with the knee high boots that you found inside a panther in stranglethorn vale (because that makes sense..) it actually makes something commensurate to an outfit! (I tell you, there must be something about that 42-45 bracket..)

    Gear used to be so much more exciting and fun, and whilst nowdays you rarely look like a clown, you also never exciting and different from every other NPC in the camp. Barring the first discovery of the gimp/bondage mask, nothing stands out in my mind as the gear my lock or priest wore through northrend, and yet I can remember vividly the midriff showing purple robe or the golden bloodrobe which took a whole questline to make.

    As for the screenshots, i suspect that the immodest and impractical ‘ensemble’ was following an audition to be one of conqueror Krenna’s toyboys, whilst the second one seems to show off the extraordinary length of Tam’s legs which go from here to Yaya.

    Seriously, it might just be the camera angle but if you compare the size of the torso with the size of his legs, they seem ridiculous! Just what are you hiding under that skirt?! o_O

    As for the shoulder-porn department, shaman tier 8 on a tauren male seems particularly well-endowed. Seriously, you could go into orbit around those things…

    Comment by uke — June 22, 2009 @ 3:08 am | Reply

    • A pilliwink, I believe, is a torture device popularised (if popularised is the right terminology) by the Inquisition; I understand it’s similar to a thumbscrew. The only reason I remember it all – not being an expert on Medieval torture – is because of its absurdly harmless sounding name.

      And you’re right – those dreadful sandals, I’ve been trying not to think about them. Honestly, for all the “darker tone” of the Northrend gear, you think they’d give their spellcaster classes *boots* for tromping around in the snow. But, now, flip flops. Because Tam is just that hardcore. He’s sacrificing his toes for the salvation of Azeroth.

      I’ve managed to avoid lingerie-armour for most of my female characters although M’Pocket Tank (who is a female blood elf) has often been standing between me and oncoming enemies in little more than a few straps of metal. The one advantage of Northrend gear, as far as I can see it, is that she is, at least, dressed like a mighty warrior, these days, rather than a hooker.

      Of course, the question we’re all ignoring here is why Amnennar the Coldbringer was wearing a thong and knee high boots in the first place…

      Comment by Tamarind — June 22, 2009 @ 11:30 am | Reply

  2. And what, pray, is wrong with gimp helmets?

    Comment by Claire — June 22, 2009 @ 10:07 am | Reply

  3. Confession: I’ve given up on the aesthetics. It is terribly annoying to me that, as uke points out, everyone kind of looks the same at 80 now. Plus, I am eternally annoying that shaman gear is all dresses. I mean, I like the dresses, I’m a dress kind of person, but I want my troll to be a pants kind of girl. It makes her blue behind so much cuter. Especially when she’s enhance, I can’t get over the feeling that she should be tripping over her hems in those things when she’s Sotrmstriking and EarthShocking. Healing in robes, yes. Melee? Bah.

    So, I avoid looking. Does that mean I’m in denial? I think it probably does. I need troll therapy for my gear issues.

    On the bright side, I have taken to carrying around what a friend calls “the hotness outfit.” Some awesome little grey-level hat, a fabulous purple shirt (lvl 52 blue, the Songbird Blouse from Stratholme), and these crazy slivery threaded pants I got on the AH (lvl 35 greens, I think?). Can’t forget the Spring Flowers in one hand, the Bouqet of Ebon Roses in the other.

    When the opportunities arise (and you’d be surprised how many there are) I quick change into the hotness outfit and do my thing with a sigh of relief. Whatever that is.

    Comment by lantanasham — June 22, 2009 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  4. Hehe, there is a slim moment in each caster’s career when skin-tight trousers are available and, indeed, recommended: But I’ve always pointedly gone with the sissy robe but then holy priest healing always looks slightly more refined that the shaman equivalent, and I think if I was casting earth shock or chain lightning, I’d certainly want to be wearing trousers.

    *confession* Tam is far too serious for multiple outfits (he does have a rich purple shirt, though, of course, which no blood elf should leave the house without) but my vanity alt has a bank absolutely stuffed with ridiculous robes and trousers that made him look like a rockstar. He was adventuring in black velvet robes long after they ceased to be useful because they looked, err, so terribly chic:

    I will be sure to keep an eye on possible opportunities to affect a hasty costume change 🙂

    Comment by Tamarind — June 22, 2009 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

  5. RE: Shoulders.

    I’m currently a level 80 tank wearing what looks like elaborate paper plates bought for a graduation party on my shoulders. No wonder nobody wants to take me on raids.

    Seriously, I’d give anything to still be using my level 70 shoulders that looked to be able to saw through a wrecked car to rescue the passengers inside.

    I do NOT miss Outland clown suits, though. I think most of the aggro I drew in TBC was simply due to my goofy purple chestpiece. Bosses just wanted to kill me so they wouldn’t have to look at it anymore.

    Comment by Misneach — June 23, 2009 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

    • Oh come on, you have admire a man who can wade into battle against untold horrors and multiple enemies, holding them all at bay and beating them back, facing them down and putting his life on the line … and all the time doing it in purple…

      Actually as someone who spends a lot of time standing behind tanks, there’s something really reassuring in enormous spiky shoulders. I think it’s the thought that any enemy trying to squeeze past to get you would get impaled.

      Paper plates, huh? That’s not so reassuring. On the other hand, I suppose you’d be really useful at festivals.

      Comment by Tamarind — June 23, 2009 @ 11:35 pm | Reply

      • I suppose I could be an exceptionally successful waiter, come to think of it.

        Comment by Misneach — June 24, 2009 @ 12:42 am

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