Random thoughts on the Guild Wars 2 mesmer starting costume

This post about a relatively minor detail in Guild Wars 2 has been brewing in my head for a while now.

When I logged into Guild Wars 2 for the first time, I knew I was making a mesmer. That was the first profession I played in the original Guild Wars, and though I honestly didn’t get that far into the game (Am I about to date myself here? I was using dialup at the time, so I would frequently lag out and get dropped from groups…also had issues soloing.), I’ve always loved the idea of playing a mage that was more about befuddling enemies than shooting fire at them. No offense to anyone going elementalist, of course.

Anyway, since I knew my first character was going to be a mesmer, I had to decide on a race. I figured I’d try out a norn since they have the ability to turn into animals, and that is awesome. I am a girl, so it will come as little surprise to you that I wanted to play a female. I made my selections, clicked through to begin character creation, and was met with this starting outfit.

Ugh. That mask. It’s creeping me out a little bit. Also, that miniskirt is a little unrealistic for a character setting out from the norn homeland, dontcha think? She’d freeze to death! Well, I guess this is pretty much a typical mage’s starting costume, but I wonder what the other races got. (Click an image to open the gallery and see the versions without people’s heads cut off.)

The humans and sylvari didn’t fare any better…they just look like standard cutesy mages. I’m not a fan of the charr mesmer’s jumpsuit thing, but the asuran costume is significantly more awesome. Still, it pales in comparison to this:

That’s the mesmer’s starting clothing from the original Guild Wars, and something similar to this is what I was expecting to get. Doesn’t she look dignified? The mask is classy, too.

On further examination, it looks like all of the mage classes get the same starting costume as the mesmer in Guild Wars 2, which was even more disappointing. I liked how when I jumped into the original game for the first time, I could tell who was playing which class by their armor (at least when they were starting out). Now, anyone who wears the same armor type looks the same out the gate.

In any case, I was really happy when I finally got to chance to change my miniskirt out for something with leggings. I wasn’t a fan of the upskirt peeks I kept getting at my mesmer’s undies.

This costume probably wasn’t designed with me in mind, and yes, that annoys me a little bit. Maybe I’m being unrealistic, but would it be too much trouble to provide a second, less scantily clad starting option? Just let me pick whether I start off in a skirt or pants. I know you’re going to say “Play a charr or an asuran if you want pants to start with.” But think about it: only the humans and the two races who look most like the humans ended up dressed in miniskirts and skimpy tops with push-up bras. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the female charr and asura don’t strike me characters that would be considered sexy by most people’s standards.

Clothing rant aside, at least you get out of the starting armor pretty quickly and you never have to look at it again. Thanks to transmutation stones, if you find a piece of armor that looks awesome but isn’t as good as something you think is ugly, you can even fuse the appearance of one thing with the stats of the other. Many levels later, my mesmer looks a million times better than she did to start with:

I wear a cowl now. Cowls are cool. Well, cooler than masks.

Apart from silly clothing peeves, I am absolutely loving Guild Wars 2. It’s fantastic, and everyone with even a shred of interest in MMOs should give it a try. My friends and I have even formed a guild! Expect some kind of post in the near future in which I do nothing but gush with love and sing this game’s praises endlessly. :)

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