Please read: Vanity slots being discussed

Cosmetics and vanity slots.

I am so hopeful about this feature that I’m often worried about what get’s discussed, when our illustrious devs discuss a feature. Do they talk about the technical side of it, or the feasibility side of it? Or both? Well. Only Funcom can talk about the technical side of it, but when it comes to the feasibility side of it, I believe we can help.

This subject is something I hold close to heart, and I want this subject to be discussed and explored thoroughly. I’ll add pros and cons to this post, as we discuss it. What I don’t want is the feature to be cut, just because it wasn’t explored enough, or given the attention that it deserves. So I’d like to temper the subject through the harsh fires and ice of the forums, so that the devs don’t have to collect pros and cons from scratch. I hope this can serve as a springboard for the discussion, if used at all.

I’ll set out a table with pros and cons, then add a reference pointer to the details, linked to paragraphs.

Pros Reference
Augments DLCs A
Removes pet peeves like ugly helmets E
Fits the Conan setting via lore F
Hairstyles DLC
Facial hair DLC
Optional to use G

Cons Reference
Obfuscates specific stat loadouts in PvP B
Trivializes the inherent character of armors C
Incongruence D
Takes time away from other features

  • A. Augments DLC’s
    If one can overlay DLC assets on any vanilla armor and vice versa it inherently increases the value of such DLCs because it becomes more accessible to being experienced or…well… Used, independent of how niche a favored stat is (i.e. agility, or grit), or wether heat insulation vs cold. Or Encumberance VS. Str. People can mix and match both style and substance within an armor class.

  • B. Obfuscates loadouts in PvP
    When shooting at someone wearing Lemurian Royal Armor, expecting easy pickings, then realize they are wearing heavy armor; it isn’t very conducive to fairness in PvP…. Which is why cosmetics should only be retricted to being overlaid over armor of the same weight class only. But doesn’t restriction kind of trivialize vanity slots to begin with? Well. Survival games always had to take PvP into consideration, like that one child in the canteen with nut allergies.
    This is nothing that hasn’t been done in many many other games that feature PvP. Even Ark and Rust feature skins. Funcom has one of the best vanity systems in place in Age of Conan, or Anarchy Online. In some MMORPG’s (Blade & Soul) the enemies cosmetics are temporarily disabled in PvP encounters, whereas the player’s gear still remains unaffected, which brings me to point C and D.

  • C. Trivialization of the inherent character of armors
    In a survival game, what you craft needs to maintain its identity (or be congruent) as a palpable entity in it’s own right, so as to not challenge the suspension of disbelief.
    You have crafted a piece of armor with a very specific set of ingrediencies that are suppose to represent the item’s substance, which affect it’s appearance. It’s appearance should be it’s substance. WYSYWYG principle. What you see is what you get. Wouldn’t vanity slots undermine this relationship between appearance and substance?

    No less than putting 50 thralls in a small box would. But why exacerbate a compromise, right?

    Conan Exiles does take a lot of influence from EverQuest. When you see someone wearing Silent Legion, you kind of know it’s a player who’s done some research on the game. There is this aire of superiority. Like “that person’s a badass and he knows it.” I think even the appearance and the entire idea of the silent legion armor is to convey a sense of intimidation, so far as to have a chilling effect quite literally, that would be lost to cosmetics.

    In EverQuest, a legendary weapon, which practically augments your character to godhood, has a very specific and iconic look. People instantly respect you (or pity you) for the amount of challenges you had to go through for that privilege. … Now imagine 2 expansions later, you are to forgo this status symbol for better stats. Well… With vanity slots your legacy is preserved.

    All armors have item descriptions which justifies the character each armor has. Wouldn’t cosmetics undermine this?
    I believe that as long as the substance of the armor is honored, an overlay is just a cosmetic choice, because this is what really matters to a player. How often do you read item descriptions… Really? Compared to the sighs that a horned pi$$pot helmet on a lady induces; not that often.

  • D. Incongruence
    It feels more real if your actions are driven by what you wear.

    Carl Rogers introduced the concept of incongruence to psychology in the 1950s. Although general use of the word has come to mean inconsistent or incompatible, Rogers had a more specific definition in mind. He defined congruence as the matching of experience and awareness. Incongruence was therefore lacking congruence, or having feelings not aligned with your actions.


    There’s a certain charm about seeing someone looking like a thrall, because they are wearing flawless epic vanilla metal armor, not because they want to, but because they have to. Their encumbrance build depends on it.

    It created many a situation where people laughed cuz they thought I was the thrall guarding that specific Maproom, when wearing metal armor. The irony was not lost on me, and I have to grin about it a little.
    You want people to WYSIWYG, or be congruent with whatever they are wearing.

  • E.Removing Pet Peeves like Ugly Helmets

    In a game where you spend a great deal of time seeing your character from behind, a helmet does receive one’s undivided attention, occupying a relatively sizeable screen real estate closest to the center of the screen. Imagine the game experience when you hate that helmet, and have to wear it for congruences sake.

    This becomes most noticeable on female characters, who’s long hairstyles are usually mesmerising to behold as it sways during movement during long travels. (especially the lara-croft braid). Male players who play female characters don’t (usually) project/relate themselves upon the character, but more for visual enjoyment which enhances the gaming experience (visually).

    It’s substantial enough, that ARK, which is a rather first-person-centric game, includes a “hide hat” function within the emotes radial menu! They are rather proud of their work on the hair-growth system.

    Players are used to protagonists missing helmets, due to movies and such. There is no spec of incongruence to be felt, doing this.

  • F. Fits the Conan Exiles Lore
    “Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.” - Conan, in “Queen of the Black Coast” (1934)

    The Ymir Trainer even questions the reality of the exiled lands to begin with. He does ask us if we remember our lives as the character before we arrived on the exiled lands.

  • G. Optional to Use

    Now…this one is interesting. Choices vs choices.
    Everyone has their own choices.
    If people want the game to remain congruent, have them turn overlays off on their client. They see the world without cosmetics.

    If people want to use cosmetics, then one would assume they’d be ok with others using cosmetics too.
    Otherwise, client only cosmetics?

    Much is possible to accommodate choices. The real question lies in the technicalities. This, only Funcom can decide.

Finishing words:
I do hope vanity slots get implemented.


I am all for vanity slots or some way to overwrite the default appearance with one of our choosing. Recently started playing Nioh as its on sale, in it you can unlock various character appearances to “wear” so you see that char rather than your own and all the random gear you have on. In the options you can simply enable or disable that same alternate appearance on other players. So those who want to see what people actually are wearing, can. Its simple and it works. :slight_smile:

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I am not a fan of vanity slots. It trivializes the distinctiveness of armor. Part of the problem is that armors in this game try to do too much. Protection + stat buffs + temperature resists. If they do implement vanity slots, I hope it is restricted by weight class. Dressing in full Darfari for the looks but wearing silent legion underneath is not something that I am a big fan of.


Obfuscation in PVP is a myth. Here’s the difference:

Guy in Heavy Armor, takes a few more swings to kill in PVP. That’s it. Whether he is wearing STR, GRT, or SL, its all the same. The only difference is when someone is in Exile/Conan Royal. They might be a noob, or they might be a sapper.

In either case I’ve PVP’d a bit and never really changed up my tactics based on armor being worn. Weapon yes. Weapons have far more impact on how I approach a guy in PVP then what they are wearing. This one would especially apply if they fixed archery. If someone’s using a bow, and skirting and avoiding melee, they’re probably an archer. Last server I heavily PVP’d on ran my Archery Fix and so I’ve good experience against Archers as well, most don’t.

One issue with vanity slots is how it talks to the server. If it works like the Fashionist mod. RIP any server over 30 players. I had an idea for a mod that would hide the helm graphic, but would be its own item so that it wouldn’t have to have players talk to each other in a networking sense.

Hopefully if Funcom decides to do vanity slots, they do it a bit differently, and doesn’t cause more network chatter on the server.


Not a fan, because you may approach a fight differently based on appearance.

Oh this guy has a stone sword and rags? Great. Oops, it was actually top tier everything. This only works if it’s somehow client side only.


Yeah, get what you mean.

^^^ It’s a WoW transmogrification ruleset that works. But this is in a MMORPG PvP setting. I hope it would work well in a CE setting too.

A specific PvP scenario: If your chased by someone in silent legion gear, but they won’t let up, it’s usually a good idea to run to the frost bridge. Cosmetics hide that particular tactical information.

Ahh yes. This one i have been thinking about for awhile and it causes a dilemma in terms of incongruence.
What happens if someone dyes armor nicely in clan colors, and wants to show this? Or use a particular dye to use as camoflouge. Not all dye would look the same on different armors, if dye layer is cosmetic as well.

I see! Very good point. I suppose this is why ARK uses skins as opposed to vanity slots.

As for toggling helmets;
In Unity one can simply renderer.enable=false something to make it invisible, then use a bool i.e. "helmet_visible = false " to toggle back on the hair renderer. but on unreal, it’s different i think. There is a hide geometry function on unreal AFAIK… but it also depends how helmets are actually handled. Does it occupy the “hair slot” ? Isit a Hair slot toggle? And I suppose that method has to be called, when a player enters in range?

Also, i get the impression that armor is by default slotted over the body, and only a few parts are culled, to prevent clipping.

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If they wanna dye in clan colors, then they can do both sets. This is very much an “I want to see my character like this” concern. If vanity is that important then you can take the hit in function, it’s that simple

I don’t believe there is a means or a desire by anyone to use vanity with weapons.

So if you see someone with a high tier weapon. They’re likely in Exile Epic. Or at least Flawless Exile if not Flawless Epic. In which case you’ll likely get your junk blown off by orbs.


@Halcyon WOW…You make HUGE posts! Almost largest I have seen! hehe :heart_eyes::star_struck::yum: As always, great posting and well written. Thanks!

Been down this road already in game design. In fact, once again recently. I always return to how Bioware did it in NWN1 and how I layered on a framework to make ‘Cosmetics’ a thing. Other games like SWTOR LoTRO and others do it, so how would Funcom/CE need to do it? The answer is crazy simple.

The secondary benefit for Funcom is that going the route of the following would drastically simplify balancing damage and armor math…since there would only be less than 10 math attributes to check and adjust for…not >THIS MANY< as it is currently. The math formulas for this game are really simple, which is a good thing, but balancing those is a nightmare with all the variety in Armour and Damage numbers. The curves are all over the place.

Task 1 (Current System is EASY to modify):

  • Armour and Weapons are equalized. Meaning Light Armour is always this much armour, Medium is this amount, and Heavy is this amount.
  • Weapons have Base Enhancement Bonuses. Call them Tiers if you want, same thing.
  • Armor also has Base Armor Bonuses plus Cold or Warm properties.

Task 2 (Current System ALREADY works well):

  • Armor and Weapons need to be able to accept craftable ‘inserts’ to add ‘flavour’ and individuality.

Task 3 (New):

  • Slot added to Base Items that accept another item dragged on top of it (or could be via a crafting GUI).
  • Light Armour would only accept Light Armour Classified pieces. Same thing for Medium and Heavy and Weapons. (i.e. no worrying about obfuscated visual to real values)
  • The drag and drop scripts are already in place so it is simply adding What an Item is Classified as (already somewhat done) and adding that table to the receiving item script.

Task 4 (New):

  • Hide Headpiece button. Easy to enable just before battle then when roaming easy to hide and breath. :laughing:

Lastly, I think it is fine if the transformation is a 1-Off. Do it incorrectly so be it. Just craft up another and get it done. :smiley:

So as you can see from the above CE is ALREADY very close to a Vanity Based System. Just needs some tweaks and for Funcom to stop trying to make all pieces stat individual which is not necessary and again makes balancing incredibly difficult.


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Sorry for my lack of activity on the forums.

I’ve been embroiled in a turf war against a griefer:

I protect obilisks at all costs.

Turned out, he was a hardcore roleplayer, who refuses to use global chat or even voice chat.

This is how role players communicate… We take telecommunication for far too granted…

He offered to meet me in “person”.

Roleplay, I can do.

Peace deals are serious business on PvE servers. It’s a matter of lag or no lag.
Especially if they build a highway from one end of the map to the other.

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