Vongola the Wise
I personally think that the problem with AQW was that it was a fashion game. Because the items' value is either only design or rarity, and that means there's no incentive for a player to wear anything uglier (or DIFFERENT). There's a massive amount of items in the game that players no longer wear because they're "out of style." No one wears armor from Dwarfhold anymore nor does anyone pretend to want to be werewolves. I think that cosmetics is a big problem because, I would argue, that kids these days don't understand the fantasy archetype anymore and don't realize how cool it could be if you were a Dwarf, Vampire, or a bearded Wizard. Most players begin to develop their fashion sense when they see that someone professional happens to be wearing Dage items (which are gotten through grind) or from the anime they've watched (usual consensus of this isn't like Dungeons and Dragons; cool characters aren't generic Dwarves or Wizards they're edgy anime characters with dual swords and whatnot) -- in other words people develop certain fetishizations of what is cool and what isn't while they seem to ignore this original, humorous and imaginative world meshed with sci-fi and fantasy elements inspired by various popular culture. I think it's a disrespect to AQ's identity. I think the solution to maintaining this immersive world is to have to force players to wear fat ugly armor, while that may not seem ideal at first people will adopt to it and we then realize that true value exists in stats not appearances (those who played the original AQ/DF would understand). In the end players will develop affection for these items, and this will reinforce a change in their paradigm of what's cool and what isn't. When players wouldn't have any choice in what they want to look, we would arguably have more Werewolves-looking players than what we used to have (I've never seen anyone in AQW dressed as a werewolf except for comical reasons)
While you may argue, this also somewhat ruins the game (i.e. it's kind of stupid that you'd have to give up a certain piece of armor which looks cooler than the next stronger armor). I think there ought to be reforms in the categorization of armors and classes.
The cooler the armor/weapon/item looks, the higher level requirement it is. For those with subjective tastes, there should also be SOME cosmetics involved but not to the same extent as it ruined AQW. Also heavy armor sets should belong to warriors, berserkers, paladins, deathknights. Robes should belong to mages, necromancers, clerics. Coats should belong to rogues, pirates, Shadowslayers. Also to expand on this new system I would want to add a certain algorithm (armors that reminisicent goodness should belong to Paladins, armors that reminiscient of evil should belong to Deathknights, generic armors should belong to warriors, armors that reminisicient what it feels like to be a Berserker should belong to Berserkers -- armors that seem appropriate to where they should belong).
Also there should also be some alternatives to what you get to wear, if you don't like how x armor looks then you can use y armor as an alternative which has the same stats. To make the game mechanically more complex, we should also put different builds/pathways for a class such as if you want to go for this certain build then you would have to wear x armor and another build with the y armor -- we've seen the absurd amount of items AQW had and this idea should be perfectly plausible.
In conclusion I believe that with this system that it gives the thematic archetypes that this fantasy game has more context and a bigger emphasis on roleplay. No longer would we have players whose classes have certain roles that correspond to the lore but is ruined by his appearance (for example his class is barbarian but he happens to be incredibly skinny and wears elegant pink robes). While I admire Artix for having this clever idea of having this game where players can choose to be whoever they want, I personally don't like the cause it has because players develop weird fixations of what to wear and usually their ideas are antithetical to the game's themes. And perhaps this whole suggestion is a bit too late for an already established game like AQW. That's fine, but I hope they return to their roots in the original AQ.