Saving TOR Fashion

Fan sites are a big part of an MMO's life blood. Even as someone who likes to go in "blind" most of the time when it comes to exploring new content, sooner or later there'll be a point where I get stuck or confused, and being able to look up a guide - or even just finding out that other people have been having the same problem - can become an important part of continuing to enjoy the game.

With that said, I was not best pleased to find out about a week ago that TOR Fashion was going to shut down. TOR Fashion and its sister site TOR Decorating have been on my blog's side bar for a very long time now. Back in 2014, which must have been around the time they started giving people the ability to submit custom outfits, I uploaded one of my own. Other than that, I don't recall using the site much since I'm not hugely into fashion or decorating (I know...) but I'm sure it came up in quite a few of my Google searches over the years.

Fortunately, I then found out that Swtorista was going to preserve most of the content from both sites, hurrah! I gave the virtual equivalent of a thumbs-up and didn't give it any more thought beyond that. I was therefore very surprised when I received an email from Swtorista a few days later in which she asked me whether I was interested in helping out with a small task related to the project. While she was busy figuring out how to export all the data and incorporate it into her site, she'd come across a few pages that defied automatic processing due to weird layouts, and she was wondering whether I'd be up for helping to manually move those into her Wordpress account.

To be honest, I'm not sure why she picked me - maybe because I'm clearly somewhat familiar with blogging software, even if this site runs on Blogger? Maybe because this blog is evidence that I love documenting and preserving things? No matter, I was honoured to be asked for help, and after some careful inquiries about how much work would be involved (I do have other things to do as well, after all), I agreed to take care of transferring twenty odd pages.

Of course, it wasn't until after I'd started that I realised that some of those pages consisted of a multitude of tabs, and included a total of over a thousand images.

Still, you might think: How hard can it be to copy and paste some text and click "save as" on a bunch of images? Well, you'd be surprised! For example, it turned out that not all of the images were saved in the same file format, and Wordpress wouldn't let me upload one of those formats, so I had to then go back and find all the odd ones out and manually convert each one to something that would be accepted. It's not difficult, but it can be pretty time-consuming, and before you know it you've wasted an afternoon and are wondering where the time went.

I have to admit there were moments when I thought to myself, what am I doing here? How many people really care about what outfit Mako wears when you first get her as a companion? But then I thought, well, someone cared enough to make a page about it and upload 300+ images of companions in their starter gear, and I respect that.

On the stronghold pages I worked on, I learned a lot of new stuff about each stronghold actually. I technically own them all, but I don't really use any of them other than the Coruscant and Fleet apartments, so I never knew that the Alderaan stronghold has a "Killik Dispenser" in it for example. What the heck? The more you know...

In general, trawling through the old TOR Fashion site filled me with mad respect for the old owner. You could kind of tell that her enthusiasm diminished many years ago now, as some pages were extremely outdated, but in general there was so much stuff there and it was all managed in an incredibly manual way.

I learned that the site was originally founded by Dulfy (yes, that Dulfy) and then handed over to Exile, who continued to expand into something like a dozen different games (even if some of those expansions didn't last very long - both the sites and the games. Rest in peace, "Wildstar Fashion".) Exile did so much work behind the scenes; she just never reached quite the same level of notoriety as people like Dulfy or Swtorista (I guess it helps your brand if your name is literally your website's URL).

Anyway, I think it's nice that most of her work will now be preserved, and I appreciate that she actually went out there and offered people the opportunity to do so before shutting the site down. I remember way back in 2012, when Torhead was a thing, I went through a phase of compiling and uploading about five hundred screenshots of things like armour pieces and NPCs for them because I wanted to help make it more useful... and then a few years later it just went away.

Or take the aforementioned Dulfy! She lost interest in the game many years ago, but her site remained up and running, and even with no updates it continued to be a valuable resource for certain aspects of the game that hadn't really changed and simply hadn't been covered by anyone else. And then a few months ago, it just went offline! I've bookmarked an archived version of her "Dreadseed and Star Forager armor locations guide" because I'm not aware of any newer sites having content on the topic, and I'm not sure the old site is ever coming back. It just sucks! (EDIT: Swtorista pointed out to me that she does have an article on that subject too now!)

So I'm glad that all the stuff gathered on TOR Fashion is getting a new lease on life for now and that I've been able to contribute at least a small part to it. A site like that takes a huge amount of effort to build and maintain, and it would've been a shame to have it all just disappear.


  1. Go you!

    I do understand the grind at migrating a site, so all the more impressive that you assisted to the degree you did. You and Swtorista are two of the Senior sites on SWTOR these days, and the enthusiasm you both have for the MMO helps to keep the game alive. So consider this a virtual pat on the back and salute for all of your work.

    1. Daaamn, you're making me blush just mentioning me and Swtorista in the same sentence like that! She's a hard-working guide writer, while I'm just... a person with a lot of opinions. 😝 But it's not a contest and I agree that the more people you've got generating positive content about your MMO, the better.


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