What happened to TOR Fashion & TOR Decorating?

News Date: September 1, 2023 Patch: 7.3 News Source

On August 20, 2023, ExiledMessenger, the owner of TOR Fashion ( torf.mmo-fashion.com ) posted this message:

“It’s been apparent for the last two years that I no longer have the time to maintain the sites properly. Consequently, I no longer earn enough money from ads to pay for my website expenses [$600+ per month]. Tomorrow, I start a multi-year journey to return to school full-time and get a degree. This leaves me no choice but to shut the sites down. Let me know if you want to move the sites to your server to keep them up. Otherwise, I must shut them down on September 1, 2023, along with Twitter, Facebook, and Discord. – Exile”

TOR Fashion was an incredible resource of both information as well as inspiration. She was incredibly kind and also decided that rather than shutting down the site, she would pass over the information and images without asking anything from the community in return, so it can be preserved for future fashion enjoyers.

If you ever used the site and want to say thank you, I’m doing a fundraiser on GoFundMe to celebrate ExiledMessenger returning to get herself a degree, and gather some extra funding as she starts this new adventure. I have set her email as the “beneficiary” of this fundraiser so anything you’d like to contribute goes straight to her once it ends.

UPDATE: The fundraiser is at almost 2x the original goal! :)

Preserving TOR Fashion & TOR Decorating

When I saw her post, I immediately did a quick audit to see if I had the skills and time to preserve the data. I’ve learned a lot about scraping, mass-formatting, and automation lately, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to. I’m also lucky enough the like Exile, I run my own business from home, and can decide how I want to spend my time – and I decided this was a project well worth investing into saving, especially as I’ve enjoyed it so much over the year myself. So I spent a frantic five days downloading all the images from both sites, and formatting the data in a way that I could re-upload it onto my own site in a way that wouldn’t cost $600 a month to host. My goal is to get a very rudimentary version up so it’s at least not “lost”, and then eventually incorporate it more fully into my own site and databases.

This backup and preservation included:

  • 700,000+ images files
  • 7,000 Custom Player Outfits
  • 4,000 Armor Database Entries
  • 2,000 Weapons
  • 2,000 Decorations
  • 700 Custom Stronghold tours
  • 18 different spreadsheets
  • 111 written Blog Posts & Guides

This took about 4 days straight of work. In addition, I had some really nice help from Smitty who helped me narrow down the files, Shintar from the Going Commando blog, and some nice tech tips/investigation by Afflixion and Gisornator, and a lot of nice words and encouragement from the community.

How to View TOR Fashion / TOR Decorating

Who ran TOR Fashion?

TOR Fashion was run by a player named ExiledMessenger. Here’s what she wrote about the site!

MMO Fashion is a network of visual databases for massively multiplayer online (MMO) games where the game community helps populate the database by uploading images. In addition, the sites maintain a character gallery of user-generated fashion and creations. The main page, MMO Fashion, is a blog that covers information about each of the other sites. We created the sites because we enjoy playing MMOs and want to help out the various gaming communities. We’ve continued to add additional games even though we don’t have the time to keep up with every game because we believe these sites are useful to the community. Unfortunately, that means we must rely on user submissions to help keep the sites updated. Please note the game companies do not give us any special access to items or test servers. We pay for our own subscriptions and all in-game shop purchases. We have the same access to live and public test servers as any other fan site. All images available on the network are taken in-game by Exile, Dulfy, or users who have submitted them to the site. The MMO Fashion network is separate from Dulfy.net and does not share resources or ad revenue/donations. MMO Fashion is a woman-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small business.

I asked Exiled, “Would you be interested in writing something to go on my site? I know when I’ve seen other sites go down, I’ve always been concerned/worried about the owner. It would be nice to share the good news that you’re moving on to cooler IRL projects (degree woohoo!!) rather than something bad happened to you. It would also be neat to share a little more about yourself and the project if you’d like?”

She sent me towards her own personal blog where I learned she has a wide variety of hobbies and interests – no wonder she’s going back for a degree! I was surprised to find out she had such a high interest in Gemology, as I do as well and have worked in the industry before. On her site she shares rock-based presentations she has shared, coral identification guides, her catalogued rock collection,

Here’s what she wrote about herself to share:

My name is Angel Doran. This is my blog about whatever happens to interest me at the time. Currently, that is rocks and minerals. My other hobbies include tinkering around with website and logo design, camping, hiking, reading (science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries mostly), world mythologies, and researching for fun.

I am a retired US Air Force Master Sergeant Intelligence Analyst who is 100% permanently and totally disabled. I also have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and fibromyalgia. After retirement, I created a one-person company where I “worked” from home on massively multiplayer online (MMO) game visual databases.

Last year, I started part-time for K and C Stepping Stones as their IT specialist, webmaster, and social media manager while doing website design, graphics, and audio/video editing on a case-by-case basis. I recently gave up the MMO databases to other community members to return to college.

I am majoring in Geology with a minor in Inorganic Chemistry and a Certificate in Paleontology at Missouri State University. I plan to finish a Master of Natural and Applied Science in Geology and Chemistry in Spring 2027 and then attend the Gemological Institute of America Graduate Gemologist program.

Additionally, I serve as the secretary, webmaster, and newsletter editor for the Ozarks Gem & Mineral Society.

I have two dogs, Kai and Zeke. Kai is a 10-year-old Belgian Malinois who failed out of the police academy. He has mast cell tumors, which’ve been stable for nearly a year. Zeke is a 4-year-old Texas Heeler (1/2 Australian Shepherd, 1/2 Australian Cattle Dog) rescue. My parents live in my walk-out basement with three dogs and two cats.

I am originally from Michigan. I was born Down River in 1974 and graduated from Petoskey High School in 1992. In between, I lived all over the country (Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and central Michigan). While in the military, I traveled the northern hemisphere. I was stationed at:

  • Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas (six weeks)
  • Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, Texas (four and a half months)
  • Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska (three years)
  • Osan Air Base, Songtan, Republic of Korea (one year)
  • Royal Air Force Mildenhall, Mildenhall, Suffolk, United Kingdom (two years)
  • Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Chania, Crete, Greece (one year)
  • Ramstein Air Base, Ramstein, Germany (two years)
  • Hurlburt Field, Fort Walton Beach, Florida (one and a half years)
  • Camp Slayer, Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq (one year)
  • Aviano Air Base, Aviano, Pordenone, Italy (three years)
  • Defense Intelligence Agency, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington D.C. (one and a half years)
  • U.S. Embassy in Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia (three years)

I also deployed/TDY for extended periods to:

  • Incirlik Air Base, Adana, Turkey (recalled home after two weeks the first time due to Allied Force, two months the second time)
  • MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida (nine months)
  • Balad Air Base, Balad, Iraq (six months)
  • U.S. Embassy Kosovo, Pristina, Kosovo (two months)

I’ve been married and divorced three times, each lasting the same number of years as the marriage number (i.e., marriage one lasted one year) with no children. Between my two brothers and one sister, I have nine nieces, nephews, and non-binary siblings. I’m dating a fantastic person who motivated me to return to college. He also pushes me to try new things and tutors me in Pre-Calculus. Luckily, it’s making much more sense than it did 30-some years ago.

Wishing her the best of luck as she goes back to get her degree!