Clothes make the (wo)man

Earlier this week I was playing some Final Fantasy 14 and chatting with friends when Scarybooster, who is new to FF14, got his subligar. The subligar is the bottom half of a gladiator get-up. You can learn (a little) more about subligars in the real world on this Wikipedia page about the history of the bikini but for the purposes of this post, let’s just say it looks like leather underwear.

Of course Scary being Scary, hilarity ensued as he went on about his butt cheeks hanging out of his underpants and so forth. Another friend, Oakstout, who was hanging out in chat but not playing, said that he wasn’t sure he could play a game where you had to wear such ridiculous gear.

I am ~almost~ in agreement with Oakstout, but not quite, and I think I’m exactly who the subligar was designed for. I wear it because when you get it, it’s the best armor for that level. But I hate how it looks, so that gives me an incentive to level up and get better gear to replace it.

In general FF XIV goes old-school with gear. You are ‘born’ wearing decent looking street clothes but soon you find yourself in what are essentially burlap sacks (‘hempen’ clothes) and oven mitts and stuff like that. But then you see a level 50 person strut by looking really cool and you have this aspirational moment of “Whoa, I gotta level so I can look like that.”

I feel like this method of coaxing players to level up used to be a lot more common than it is now. Just one more way FF 14 is a bit retro. I kind of dig it, but I also completely understand folks like Oakstout who aren’t interesting in spending $$ to look like a fool in a game.

Then there’s also the issue of gender. I am guessing that people who frequently play female characters don’t give the subligar a second thought. Female characters so frequently wind up wearing ‘armor’ that barely covers anything that the subligar (it is a ‘unisex’ bit of gear) probably seems conservative in comparison. That’s just a theory. Would appreciate comments on that.

Here’re a few subligar shots… when paired with a war harness they do look slightly less ridiculous then when you’re wearing one with a leather jacket or something:

2 thoughts on “Clothes make the (wo)man

  1. I remember coming across that outfit and thinking how ridiculous it looked. To be honest something like that doesn’t put me off a game, it just amused me more than anything. I’m not sure if you’re even stuck with that gear for long. Personally I preferred the system in Guild Wars where you had several aesthetic choices with your gear at different armour intervals, but then you still had the awesome elite stuff that kept you playing to get it. I do have a ‘keeping up with the Jones’ complex when I play so I will keep going if it means getting something awesome to show off. Besides, it’s kind of your reward for putting in the effort.

  2. No, you’re not stuck with it for long at all. And if you really hate it you can buy stuff at the vendor… maybe the vendor stuff requires 1 or 2 more levels but you’re leveling so fast at that point…

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