No matter which way you slice, dice, torch, or explode it, The Secret World has one of the best systems for player creativity and flexibility in clothing. In this system, clothing is not armor; it is completely cosmetic. Clothing has no stats attached in any way, freeing players to wear whatever they want with only a few restrictions (gender being one). Players also have unlimited access to their personal wardrobes, allowing them to change outfits whenever desired.
This guide will give you the basics of where to find the various clothing pieces throughout the game so you can create "The Look" that's perfect for you. And then we'll finish off by telling you how you can get your own design into the game!
So how can you build your look? You have to collect the pieces, which are stored in your personal dressing room on your character tab instead of clogging up inventory space, allowing folks to collect as many as they want. And there are plenty of ways to acquire new pieces for your wardrobe.
The first place you start to define your look is at character creation. There, you can select what shirt, shoes, pants, coat, and eye-wear you will begin the game with. The selection isn't extravagant; players are meant to expand their wardrobe through play. But I would suggest that even if you think your perfect look doesn't need a jacket or glasses, select some anyway. That means your wardrobe is expanded a bit already without your having to purchase those particular items in game.
The next articles of clothing that a player is most likely to acquire are special pieces from completing the inner circle of the ability wheel for any given weapon and the starter decks. After purchasing every ability in the inner wheel of a select weapon, players are given a unique coat. After completing a starter deck, players will be granted a full uniform (but only after they actually click "claim reward" on the ability wheel). There are nine starter decks, each with a unique uniform. These coats and uniforms are the same across all factions.
When players complete an advanced deck requiring select abilities from the outer ring of the wheel, they can claim a faction-specific uniform. I'll admit that when it comes to the faction decks, I think Templar wins for best selection.
Shopping in London
The next way is how most players will increase their wardrobe: by shopping in London. All players have access to the vendors in Pangaea, and those vendors offer a variety of gloves, jackets, shirts, pants, and shoes. The merchants are split up by by type (vintage, expedition, streetwear, etc.) as well as gender; the male clerks sell the men's clothing and the female clerks sell women's. Sorry folks; if you have a male toon, you can't buy him a dress from the woman's department, nor can the ladies get the trench coats from the men's department. Clothing in TSW is locked to character gender.
To see how different items look on your avatar before committing your PAX, highlight the item and click preview all; just don't move your character because that would reset you back to your original clothing.
While not the most common way of adding clothing to your wardrobe, questing does have its cosmetic rewards. The most notable ones for me were the Innsmouth Academy hoodie from Savage Coast and the necklace I received for completing the Tyler Freeborn arc from Issue #5. Getting that second reward actually opened up the neck slot in the dressing room (a fact that escaped me initially since I so wasn't expecting it!) and was a very nice surprise at the end of one of the best storylines. And there are many more instances of getting rewards after completing certain achievements -- too many to list.
PvP and rankings
As players reach certain faction ranks, they earn special uniforms for their particular faction. As with military uniforms, the changes usually involve just a spiffier version of the last one. With the new PvP ranking system, players can use their Distinction of the Council tokens (explained in the currency guide) to buy PvP uniforms that can be worn in and outside of PvP.
Special Issue uniforms
Along the same lines as the tokens from PvP, which are available to everyone, there are outfits that are available only to those who have purchased specific DLC. Currently, there is a special outfit available with The Last Train to Cairo and A Dream to Kill. These two outfits, an Indiana Jones-inspired ensemble and an Orochi uniform, are purchased with Credits of Ca' d'Oro from Envoys of Ca' d'Oro located in the Maryah encampment of the Scorched Desert and the Romany camp of Shadowy Forest, respectively.
Those who've bought the Grandmaster lifetime sub, whether it was back when the game launched or in an upgrade since, have access to a snakeskin outfit available only from this. Pre-order players also got a Cthulu T-shirt.
Another way to collect costume pieces is special events. However, these pieces are usually no longer accessible after the special occasion passes. The most recent Guardians of Gaia event offered a Gaia Rocks t-shirt and various eye pieces: a monocle, an eye patch, and glowing eyes. Those who logged in for the first anniversary got a T-shirt, and another special occasion granted a fireworks T-shirt. Players who still have Mayan K'In from the End of Days event can still purchase the Mayan clothing off of the special vendor inside of London's The Underground nightclub.
ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) have also awarded clothing items, like Morninglight robes, a motorcycle outfit, and an awesome X-Files T-shirt (which I so badly want!).
The final place to collect more clothing is the item store. With plenty of items, players can use purchased Funcom Points or saved Bonus Points (that come with each month's sub) to get full outfits or just collect individual pieces to create a unique look or twenty. Players with subs will also find certain items appear free for purchase. One of my favorite free pieces is a tactical earpiece.
With Veteran Points, rewarded each month, players also have access to some special pieces that cannot be acquired any other way.
Now here's the kicker for you really creative types who want your own signature look in game: The Secret World has a clothing design competition going on right now! Through September 15th, players can submit entries to this contest for a chance to have their clothing reproduced for the item store. All designs must be an original creation of your own or used only with the consent of the creator. Now, there's no reason to say you can't find exactly the right outfit; design it yourself and send it in. For full details on the competition, head to the official rules.
Conspiracies, paranoia, secrets, and chaos -- the breakfast of champions! Feast on a bowlful with MJ and Justin every Monday as they infiltrate The Secret World to bring you the latest word on the streets of Gaia in Chaos Theory. Heard some juicy whispers or have a few leads you want followed? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and they'll jump on the case!