Lord of the Rings Online's next content patch, Book 12, is shaping up to be full of great additions to the game despite its lack of a new adventure area. Today the Turbine devs posted a new Dev Diary to explain more fully how they're going to implement two long-requested cosmetic features: the Outfit System and the Barbershop.
At level 20, the Outfit system allows players to equip a second (and third!) set of gear. This gear doesn't provide any stat boosts or buffs, but will change the outward appearance of your avatar's equipment. This system will be disabled in PvMP to prevent players from tanks disguising their heavy plate with light cloth. New dresses, satchels and other non-combat equipment will also appear in the game with this patch.
This is a great feature for a game where lore and roleplaying have such a large fanbase. Though not the first to do it (EverQuest II also has this feature), it's a welcome addition to the world of Middle-earth. If only Blizzard would get a clue and implement the same idea for those of us without armor sets. Looking like a clown at a kid's party with mismatched and garishly colored armor does not make one feel heroic.
The Barbershop acts like the character creation screen. Want a new hairstyle? Regret coloring your toon's hair white? Need to add a scar to reflect winning a recent raid? Players will be able to do all this, plus a number of new hairstyles will be added.
We're still am not convinced about the importance of facial features in game where you stare at the back of your character's head the whole time, but at least you can turn off helm/hood graphics so hair style and coloring choices still have impact.
Book 12 just hit Roheryn, the Test server. We'll have a write up covering the notes shortly.