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Guild Wars 2 armour "sexy" by design

ArenaNet shows "strategically placed skin".

Would a female warrior really charge at the opposing ranks wearing a metal Basque, boobs wobbling enticingly and legs flashing alluringly?

It's an argument Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet hears time and time again - but that hasn't hindered the decision to show "a generous level of strategically placed skin" in its new MMO.

"I would like to say a quick word about where we stand when it comes to the sexiness of our armours and costumes," wrote lead character artist Aaron Coberly on the ArenaNet blog.

"I understand that many players feel that armour should be practical, realistic and shouldn't leave skin exposed to attack. When coming up with ideas for armour, the character and concept department try to balance the practical with the fantasy. We make armour that looks protective and functional, but we also make armour that looks sexy and shows a generous level of strategically placed skin.

"We recognize the fantasy aspect of our game," he added. "If you are able to rain down balls of fire from the sky, your clothing should not be a factor when it comes to body temperature, whether you are wearing your underwear or a fur coat.

"We've always intended to create outfits for male and female characters that are appealing and attractive without making our players feel uncomfortable about what their character or other player-characters are wearing."

Guild Wars 2 adds "a great deal" of appearance customisation beyond what Guild Wars 1 offered.

A hero's body has six interchangeable armour slots: helmet/headgear, shoulders, coat, legs, gloves and boots. You can either cobble together a piecemeal armour set - a modular approach - or try something new.

A human warrior might have an elaborate coat that has its own shoulder-pads and helmet, for instance. It's considered one piece of equipment but takes up three armour slots. And there are other pieces that occupy all six slots.

This allows for "greater diversity". Couple that with an improved dye system as well as a "refined" character face and body customisation element and the chances you'll create a unique look are strong.

Coberly's post coincides with a week-long spotlight on humans in Guild Wars 2. There are five races in total: Asura, Charr, Human, Norn and Sylvari.

A human from Guild Wars 1 and Guild Wars 2 are stood side-by-side for a comparison. The new model is more relaxed, believable, and although similar, has "a lot of upgrades" technologically: "normal maps, real reflections, per vertex specular, new skin shaders, more polygons..." listed Coberly.

Also, Guild Wars 2 won't alter your body shape depending on your class - the change now correlates to armour-class. This means a Warrior and a Guardian, both heavy armour wearers, have access to the same equipment, which increases variety.