Mise en place makes mogging my leveling joie de vivre

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.

Ah well. What do you want for nuthin; a rubbbbbbber biscuit?

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!


I Got the Transmogging Blues

I’d like you to say hello to my Rogue.

I am obviously biased, but I happen to think my Rogue looks incredibly badass wearing full Darkmantle gear, especially considering how suddenly rare that look is thanks to Blizzards rather draconian class quest slaughter, and insanely high priced replica Darkmoon gear.

But the awesome look is part of the problem.

When you look that good, a crappy looking weapon stands out like a zombie in the nursery.

The dagger isn’t an issue, I’m not sure I’ve even seen a bad dagger design.

The fist weapon though… blech.

I searched around, found a really nice fist weapon design I thought would look great with the Darkmantle set, the Nexus-Claw.

Nexus-Claw, part of a set of claws released in Burning Crusade that mirrored an awesome but hard-to-get set from Zul’Gurub, is eminently easy to obtain. You simply fly out to Netherstorm in Outlands, visit the exotic weapons dealer at the Consortium area of the Stormspire, and buy them. You don’t even need rep. He only has one of each of the claws at a time (the other one is the Void-Talon), but wait for a day or two, they should return. It’s not like Netherstorm is a hub of activity anymore.

I went out and bought them, and thought myself something of a smarty-pants for getting great looking items without effort. You know, because Darkmantle was so freaking easy to get.

When I went to transmog my main hand weapon, though, the Perforator, I encountered a teeny, weenie little problem.

They are indeed both Fist Weapons.

The problem lies in the fact that the Perforator is a one-hand weapon, and thus can be used in either hand. The Nexus-Claw and Void-Talons are hand specific, main hand and off hand respectively. Or the other way around, whatever.

What I have found is that I can’t transmog my one hand Fist Weapon with the hand specific Fist Weapons.

Son of a bitch.

Do you know how many great looking Fist Weapons there are in the game? And of those, do you know how many old school ones are hand specific?

Just… crap.

In retrospect I understand what the deal is. The one hand Fist Weapons display bilateral symmetry. Most of the hand-specific Fist Weapons do not. Pop the appearance of an Off Hand claw on a Main Hand weapon, and you’ll likely be holding the blade or something, while the handle is waving in the breeze.

I guess if I had given it any thought, I’d have thought that the appearance would mirror over if on an opposite hand.

Clearly, I was wrong. Damnit.

Fine. Be that way.

I’ll just have to go to Badlands and do The Day That Deathwing Came quest to get Theldurin’s Fist.

So there, nyah.

Mogging Screenies!

I was reading a post by the WoW Noob today, and I liked her screenshots of what choices she’d made so much that I wanted to post my own current stylish fashinista statements too.

Whereas she’s going with truly custom, non-set looks, I kinda went the other way. Yes, it was less imaginative, but I like the looks I’m sporting. 🙂

First, my Druid. I love the look of my Druid, I really do.

I love the Sporeggar tabard, hair and gear color blending. Plus, shrooms! Considering I like to try to make everyone’s life a little more surreal, I think a mushroom makes for a great icon.

Next, my Hunter.

Yes, I am proud of having almost gotten 100% of the Firelands tier. I’m just missing the shoulders, and the ones I’m sporting actually blend in pretty well. And I am enjoying an embarrassment of riches, having both the staff AND the bow from Dragon Soul LFR. I’m not sorry.

After that must come the infamous Arms Warrior, sporting the very latest in OMG WTF is THAT?

I did subtle on my Druid, I did raiding on my Hunter, but for my Warrior I went for making a bold, offensive eye-searing statement.

And that statement is, “This dude is color blind.”

Finally, my Paladin.

My Paladin is still leveling, but withe very upgrade I’ve had since early 70s I dutifully go and mog it. I may not be able to sport the full Field Marshall PVP set, but this still achieves the look and feel I was hoping for. Plus, this character actually looks the way I feel. Old and cranky. 🙂

If you have screenshots of your own looks, by all means, shoot me a link in the comments to whatever site hosts them, or blog post you made with them. I’d love to see what you actually wear around Azeroth!

If you’re doing SW:TOR instead of WoW these days, you’re not left out… if you’ve got a screenshot of your favorite character looking badass, link that too!

It turns out it’s easy bein’ green

As a quick follow up to my previous post, I have found an armor combination that goes pleasingly well with the Horseman’s Honkin’ Hat.

The blacksmith-crafted Fel Iron Plate armor set, with the Fanblade Pauldrons which drop from the first boss (Shirrak the eyeball dude) in Heroic Auchinai Crypts.

The colors of the shoulders may not be a perfect match, but the itty bitty little skulls had me sold!

Mogging for fun and… well, fun!

No big guides here, just wanted to make sure everyone interested in MOG planning had whatever little tips I could pass on.

I’ve been having lots of fun designing just the right look for my Worgen Warrior, and hopefully some of you out there are enjoying spending time doing the same thing.

Now, if you want a big guide, I’ve got two suggestions for you on picking the right set for the appearance you want in the armor style you wear; WoWhead News, and the Visual Roleplay Gear List.

The Visual Roleplay Gear List is fantastic. It is, in my opinion, the best place to go to browse armor sets and find just the right look. You can pick from among the Tier sets of your Class, OR you can browse the sets that are of your chosen armor type that are non-class specific. Plus, there are accessories to browse. The name of the game here is ease of use and quick visual links of complete set styles.

WoWhead News, on the other hand, has been running a brilliant series of articles on Transmogrification by Perculia, articles that really are going to end up being THE definitive guides on learning about mogging, getting started, and understanding just what all the choices can be. For the newer player that started after earlier content was obsolete and don’t understand what might be involved in getting, say, Tier 2, WoWhead News is already the cats meow.

So far, there are four Transmogging articles by Perculia on WoWhead News that I know of.

The first one is a comprehensive compendium of Tier, Class and PvP gear sets with selectable links and ‘how to get them’ discussion. A great starting point, and some might say enough to satisfy anyone, right?

Perculias second article is an awesome piece delving into some Top Picks of the most interesting and unique items out there, weapons and dungeon gear and such, for you to browse through in the database. Also touches on some of the non-class specific recolored Tier lookalikes.

The third article goes into much greater detail on all those Tier lookalike sets out there, the ones that aren’t class specific.

And finally, the fourth article that is out goes into the most useful for our low level alts… the armor sets that can be made by matching Green quality items at all level ranges. Now that… that is service above and beyond the line of duty. And written with such charm and flair!

Okay. Now that I’ve directed you to the true guides and exhaustive resources… let’s get personal.

What I’m finding to be the smoothest way to plan my stunning fall ensemble is to start with the Visual Roleplay Gear List.

With my class in mind, and the type of armor, I consider the backstory for my character, and then begin browsing the lists looking for something that takes off.

Now, this is NOT what I’m doing with one of my characters, but I decided I should have an example.

Therefore, I present to you the Worgen Death Knight, CharliFoxtrot

CharliFoxtrot, or CF for short, was, in her life, a Paladin, brave and true. Doubly cursed, first with the Worgens bestial nature and second by death and raising as a Death Knight in Arthas’ service, CF spends her time warring on the undead, seeking to single-handedly rid all of Northrend of the foul undead abominations. For fun, she likes long walks on the beach, pina coladas, and timed runs through Undead Stratholme.

CF wants to put aside her Worgen curse and forget the horrors of unlife as a Death Knight and resume her former life as a Paladin, but she can’t. She has not forsaken the light, but as one of the undead the light has forsaken her. 

So, CF cannot take up the blessed mantle of Judgement, the Paladin Tier 2 set available from Ragnaros, Onyxia, and Blackwing Lair. The iconic set.

But if she could, what would it look like?

Well, we know what the Paladin Tier 2 set looks like courtesy of the Visual Roleplay Gear List website, which shows the set on a female Draenei.

But, how would it look on CF?

That’s where the WoW Model Viewer comes into play.

The WoW Model Viewer, which can be found in its most recent incarnation here all suited up for Cataclysm, allows you to define a character by model, appearance and such, and save it. Then, you can pick and choose what gear items you’d like displayed in each slot. Including items in hands and tabards. You can also use the built-in filter when entering the names of items (you get the names from the VRGL) for each slot to keep from having to scroll a billion items each time.

So, with the magic of the WoW Model Viewer, we get this for a female Worgen in Paladin Tier 2;

Umm, interesting cowl on the muzzle there, but hey, not too bad.

But I already determined I can’t wear that.

But wait! Browsing the VRGL shows that under plate armor, there is a very attractive set that uses the exact same models, but has a different color scheme. It’s called the Recolored Judgement, and it has no class restrictions.

Oh my! How does it look on my Worgen?

Okay, now maybe it’s just me, but for a fallen Death Knight that used to be a Paladin and yearns for what can never be, I can really groove on that set.

But we’re not done yet. The set is only half the battle. We still need weapons!

This is where the WoW Model Viewer really shines.

Once you have your character and set saved, you can load it up any time you’d like, and then start browsing through all the weapon styles in the game, right hand or left, writing down the names of those you really like as matches. Then, you can go back to WoWhead and start looking them up in the database, finding out who drops them, where they come from, what you’ll have to do to earn that yummy two handed sword that complete you.

Let’s take a look at my favorite one handed sword choices for CharliFoxtrot.

As a Death Knight using two swords, one in each hand, browsing led me to these beauties;

That would be a Worgen in Recolored Judgement with Latro’s Shifting Sword and Latro’s Dancing Blade. Mmmm, yummy! They have the same model as the epic Blinkstrike, but probably easier to farm.

Ahh, the good old days when one handed weapons were larger than two handers are today.

But wait! What if your tanking Warrior wants to go with this style as an Anti-Paladin, rocking it AD&D style? You are a Warrior, you rock the mace and shield, and you want to have your backstory be that you were a Paladin that willingly turned to the darkness, and not only were you abandoned by the light but your very armor tarnished and darkened!

Well, we’ve got your mace and shield covered, too.

That would be the Northshire Battlemace and Titansteel Shield Wall.

Pretty cool, huh?

As you can see, simply picking the perfect set is only half the battle. Knowing where to find those awesome weapons is the other half.

Yes, that’s right. Knowing is half the battle. Hail Hydra! Err, I mean Cobra! Oh, GI Joe! Dangit, I still want to see Cap’n America in theaters, grumble.

Now, that’s not what I’m doing. That was just an example of the fun to be had.

What I AM doing on my level 85 Worgen Warrior is, well… slightly more garish.

You see, I like bold, bright, festive colors.

Colors like… well, let me show you.

That is the Recolored Lawbringer on my Worgen Warrior, Bigfurrybutt.

That’s right, my Warrior is going for the recolored version of Paladin Tier 1. Which, lemme tell you, I think is too one-note.

The original Tier 1 Lawbringer was, well….

It’s pretty, but it doesn’t quite have that “I am a super hero!” vibe I’m going for.

Now, the Recolored Lawbringer is cool, I really like it. But I really wanted the perfect weapons to go with it. 

I used WoW Model Viewer, and fell in love with Corruption as the new model for my tw0-handed sword;

Fortunately for me, checking WoWhead led me to discover it was a Blacksmith crafted Bind on Pickup weapon, and you can easily get the recipe since it comes from a quest done in undead Stratholme!

My Warrior just happens to be a Blacksmith. Oh, happy day!

Five minutes later I had the recipe, and two hours later I’d farmed the Demonic Runes (16 of them) from Dire Maul East, which turns out to be the best place to farm them, thanks again to WoWhead and their comments. 

I also found some models for Two Handed Axes, should I ever get one;

That is with the Dark Edge of Insanity (the eye in the hilt blinks!) Good luck on this one, it drops from C’thun. A good challenge to while away the lazy Sundays, right? It doesn’t really fit perfectly, but hey, eyeball can’t be passed up.

And also;

Draconic Avenger. Just saying. If you’re gonna kill internet dragons, why not kill them with a weapon festooned with stylized versions of them? Can’t have enough dragons, I always say.

Those poses with weapons were done choosing the “Ready, one handed weapon” pose. It displayed the weapon better to me eyes than the two handed pose.

In conclusion, if you are going to plan the perfect mogging experience, there are only three tools you need to make it easy and fun; the Visual Roleplay Gear List, WoWhead and the WoW Model Viewer.

Without them, I’d be wearing a white sheet covered in holes, and my sack would hold a rock.

Have fun, and if you have time, by all means, share with me what your mogging plans are. It would be cool to know what some of my friends are planning for their appearance and weapon combinations.

Heck, link to screenshots or email ’em to me if you can! I’d love to see them.

I think a call to action is needed here

With Transmogrification becoming a reality, there is only one thing I think needs to be done to make our gaming preparations complete.

WoW Insider, this is a call for you to step up.

Dawn Moore wrote an article, an excellent article, under the heading “WoW Fashionista”

It is time to make that a weekly feature.

Do it. Make it so.

World of Fashioncraft is here, but I am too masculine a Bear to understand which boots go with what leggings. I can’t color coordinate my staves with my gloves. I need help!

I need Queer Eye for the WoW Guy, or something. I need guidance on my Extreme Makeover, WoW Edition.

Just… come on, help bling a home bear out?

Much appreciated, kthxbai!

PS. I really like the Visual Roleplay Gear List. If you have other websites/blogs you like to visit for gear set suggestions, why not link them below? They will be most appreciated.