With the addition of transmogrification, the ability to change the appearance of your equipped gear without affecting it’s gameplay stats, the World of Warcraft has seen the rise of many new mogging-related resources.
Dawn Moore wrote a good compendium on WoW Insider of transmogrification resources.
From databases to addons to blogs devoted to mogging, transmogrification has clearly taken WoW by storm.
There have even been contests going on amongst bloggers I follow, where some beautiful outfits are shown off, following themes and individual stylistic choices to show how talented fashion artists can create sets out of disparate pieces that look better than some items that were intended to be sets in the first place.
This post ain’t about all of that. Not really. For one thing, I’m not that talented. I go to the masters when I want true art.
I love how much this one feature has added to the fun of World of Warcraft for so many people, myself included. I’ve enjoyed designing a ‘dream outfit’ for a favorite established character, and then going and running content in search of specific items. It has added a lot replayability to the game for me.
But I am also the kind of person that envisions that one wonderful set, seeks out those items, and then once they are acquired… well, that one is done. Next!
Except for my Priest, all of my other level 85 characters are actually done. I love their look. I’m good. My Priest isn’t, because of course for my Priest I still want the one set I always wanted since I created her; the Tier 5 set from Serpentshrine Cavern and the Eye, along with the angel-on-a-stick staff from Black Temple. Since I don’t have an old-school raid group in my back pocket, I’ll just have to wait for pug groups to form, or wait until 90 and solo them with Cassie, whichever comes first. This is what comes of not raiding in BC, right?
What I did want to talk about was my favorite feature of transmogrification; setting and maintaining a personality while leveling.
I love the fact that the way transmogrification works is you acquire a piece of gear that provides the look, and as long as you own that gear (and are high enough level to equip it), you can apply that appearance to any upgrades you ever get. Your gear changes and evolves and grows more powerful, but your character (if you so choose) looks the same.
You can even pick out and acquire item sets you love that are equippable at different character levels, so that once you are high enough level, you could change your overall appearance to something that represents a major change in your characters Role Playing life.
As an example, you could have a set that is quite dark (even emo) in tone to show how depressed or crushed by rage your character was when first setting out on the road to vengeance, and then change that up over the levels to show character growth as you slowly develop a more positive, selfless attitude.
Or you could go the other way, with a bright and cheery start, gradually changing in tone as you descend into cynicism and inner darkness. I won’t judge.
You could even have a Mage who goes all flame colors for Fire spec, and Blue colors for frost, and pretend you’re a DC Comics superhero that has to color coordiante their costume with their powers. It’s a rule, you know.
All you have to do is set the scene once. Get that one set that you can equip early enough to use as the foundation of your appearance. Hide hat and cloak appearances, get chest/legs, shoulders, gloves, belt and boots and you’re good to go. Oh yeah… and that perfect weapon (or range of them for the different types).
From that time on, as you level, your character can maintain an appearance that over time adds some consistency to how you think of her.
I love that. You don’t HAVE to spend all your time constantly looking for new gear for mogging, you can get one outfit early that you dig, and go with it.
Over time, it seeps into your imagined personality for the character.
Let’s look at my Mage alt (created in honor of Gnomeaggedon) as an example.
My Mage has a fairly simple outfit. I intentionally chose race and appearance with the outfit in mind, intending to go with a stark color scheme, minimalist pattern, and clean lines with just a touch of color and style here and there to show that her heart wasn’t completely closed off to beauty, but that she was very focused and even resentful of distractions and ‘unnecessary frippery’.
She’s meant to give the impression of being stern, even harsh, but to still have just enough softness of appearance to indicate she would be willing to pause in the pursuit of her own important personal goals to aid others who have gotten themselves into trouble.
She may scorn the poor planning and lack of common sense that caused other people to get themselves into trouble and need help, but she will act out of consideration for the innocents who had no choice in being born to such idiots, innocents who shouldn’t be made to suffer for the stupidity of others.
Of course, as soon as this piece of business is taken care of, I’m returning to my own pursuits. Next time, use your head, fool. Don’t plant your damn beans next to the active volcano whose magma is alive with cranky elementals. And if you do, harvest them your own damn self, don’t send your kids in to do it for you, or I’ll come back and show you what a terminal case of indigestion is really like. You thought your chili gave you burning pains? You are NOT prepared! Are we clear?
This is my favorite thing that mogging has brought to the game. The option to choose an appearance early on with just a little prep work, and allow that prep work to feed my perception of the character as I level for 60 or even 70 more levels.
The only thing that could be even better would be a ‘master mog option’ of tweaking the color palette of a single item during transmog, so that if you have a model you dearly love, you could then change it’s color just a little (or a lot) to better match the other items in your set.
Who knows? They may add something like that someday. With the way things are going, I never would have dreamed we’d see some of the features we’ve gotten so far.
My only sadness is the knowledge that, so long as Blizzard maintains a stated desire to keep people wandering around in capitol cities so they artificially seem active, vital meeting places thronging with crowds, we’re never going to see guild housing, where a guild could have their own customizable meeting place, a place where their trophy kills could be mounted on walls, and RP meetings could be held.
Considering the brilliance of websites and their artist/owners devoted to mogging, I’d love to see “This Old Guild House” as a blog.
Oh, and the title of the post is in honor of our traveling Navi. Have fun in all those British places with fancy French accents!