State of Glamour Address: Shadowbringers

Ms. Editor In Chief, Artistic Director, Aetherflow Staffers, and my fellow Warriors of Darkness,

these last few weeks we have said goodbye to the eastern wilds brought to us in Stormblood, and have immersed ourselves into the trials and tribulations of the world of Norvrandt. With this expansion came new stories, new NPCs to call waifus and husbandos, new dungeons, and the only bit of it I typically care about: new glamours.

I stand before you today to discuss current glamour affairs and if we, as fashionable heroes, are fit to stand trial against the true endgame. Were we able to look presentable during the leveling process? Did we look a fool in these climactic cut scenes? Did the artifact gear live up to our lofty level 80 expectations? Will our glamour dressers be so full they are liable to burst? Or will they be barren and left with voids meant for glams that we never got?

Point A

Glamour dressers and plates

Since their creation in Stormblood, the most common outcry regarding this feature was simply, “It’s not enough.” We were only given 10 glamour plates to work with- an amount that was abysmally small for even the most half-hearted and casual of glamours. But Yoshi P heard our cries, and as our savior was quick to promise at Fan Fest that we would soon see the numbers increase! We were all overjoyed. Rumors and assumptions were made that everything would be doubled- maybe even tripled. We were finally going to get enough plates to create at least 1 plate per battle job. Then 5.0 finally released, and instead of an outpouring of joy we were again met with that same chant of, “It’s not enough.”

While that’s not to say we aren’t grateful for an increase of any kind- we are. But ideally, it would’ve been nice to have at least one plate per job. For me personally, when I say “per job” I don’t only mean battle. One per DoH, DoL, and all the different battle jobs we have. With the exception of dragoons and ninjas, all those jobs share items with at least one other profession and it would be nice to be able to have different looks for each of them. If we were to do the mathematical breakdown, to do this would’ve required 29 plates. Don’t like odd numbers? Well then let’s round it up to 30 and leave that unassigned plate for some weird and wild glamour you want to photobomb all your friends’ screenshots in. Did you see that new frog suit? I’m just saying…

While we don’t know why they didn’t just go ahead and do this, (though if you ask one of my friends he will snarkily respond about PS limitations) perhaps it will be done in the future. Hopefully not so far in the future as in “next expansion,” but I’m sure we can do as Yoshi P always suggests and please look forward to it.

Point B

Leveling sets

Over the course of the last few expansions, we’ve come to expect that some previously undyable dungeon sets get re-released as leveling gear with the capability of being dyed. The assortment we gained in Stormblood was wonderful! Some of my favorite items suddenly became way more versatile and I was able to pitch most of their Heavensward counterparts. Pre-early release, I went to bed with thoughts of which sets I’ve long wished would be dyeable would finally be made a reality. Dyeable versions of the gear from Labyrinth of the Ancients would’ve been amazing! Or, versions of the gear from Shisui of the Violet Tides would be great for people to make seasonal swim glams with.

The items we got, at first, seemed a bit lackluster. Obviously, this is personal opinion- but their choice of dyeable gear from Castrum Abania and Fractal Continuum definitely didn’t make it into my top 30 of sets that I would like to have that capability. We even saw tweaked remakes of already dyeable gear make the cut. The true MVP and standout of the leveling gear items is the Swallowskin/Dwarven Mythril gear. I may be totally biased in thinking so, seeing as I, myself am a popoto and this gear is like a heritage set for my kin on the First. I loved its rustic appeal, huge skirts, and true Dwarven helms. Bias aside, its truly unique look was definitely a welcomed addition to the glamour options within this game.

Point C

Dungeon sets

PRAISE BE TO YOSHI P (Ha! That rhymed) that the team finally got the memo that the more dyeable gear we have, the happier we are. I love that we are finally making a bigger shift to having more dungeon gear already come dyable, and the sets they delivered us were outstanding this expansion.

I doubt I’m alone in thinking this, but the Ravel Keeper’s dungeon set from the level 75 dungeon is top-notch. The overall tribal aesthetic is something we haven’t seen since the Bloodhempen set in early Stormblood or the Woad sets from Heavensward, but this particular set blows all those out of the water. It dyes like an absolute dream and is heavy on those accented details. Mama not only likes, but loves. Even the sets that weren’t dyeable were incredible. The Voeburtite gear from the level 73 dungeon is 100% farm worthy and are great, neutral colored pieces that can easily be mixed in with a wide assortment of other items in game.

Point D

Artifact sets

Artifact gear is always one of the biggest reveals to happen when it comes to new expansions. Well, I mean, at least it is for me. Rock back and forth for an hour trying to predict which ones will be your favorite… then basing the order in which you level jobs off of how much you like them. Anyone else? Just me? Well then.

The first one I remember seeing was Astrologian- and I felt all excitement sort of rush out of me. Pausing and rewinding the Fanfest video, I kept going back to the image on the card she held up so proudly and couldn’t shake the feeling that I had already seen gear like that before. It reminded me too much of the level 70 Astrologian set. While perhaps disappointed, I was hopeful that it was just a fluke. Surely the other job gear sets were going to blow my mind…and some of them did. But there were also a few who definitely didn’t.

For me, two of the worst offenders of seeming too similar to their predecessors were the paladin and white mage sets. By no means does this mean they’re bad glamours, because they’re both beautiful in their own right. I just found they weren’t progressive enough.Think of it in terms of Pokemon evolutions: you start with the cute and cuddly Charmander, then the awkward teenage years of the Charmeleon, ‘til you reach the full, glorious might of a Charizard. Design-wise they are three very distinctly different Pokemon, but have a few subtle similarities that make it easy to tell they’re related.

I just wish these designs had a bit more flair…and oomph. The white mage set in particular felt like a sister to both the level 50 and 60 sets, in a disappointing turn after they finally had branched into a more unique design in Stormblood. I would’ve loved to see something in their typical white and red color scheme in a totally new silhouette. Their standard A-line gowns are getting too repetitive- maybe something with a fresh and more masculine touch. I love the pleated neckline, but perhaps we could’ve attached it to an over the top jacket and had a pant or short combo with it?

I did feel like Bard and Black mage did manage to create refreshing style changes while still staying true to the aesthetic of the job quite well. You can see the trajectory of growth across very different stylings, yet still can easily identify the job the sets are meant for.

Overall, I’m excited for the path in which glamour is headed down for this expansion. I think the decision to have more dyeable gear in dungeon content was a smart one to make and the overall designs have been unique wardrobe additions. And with those additions, I hope we continue to see expansions to the glamour dresser because, honey… I’m running out of room again already.

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