WoW Wednesday: Transmog for Fashion

All about the Details

Today, we are going to talk about making your Warcraft character look fabulous.

Transmogrification was introduced in Cataclysm, to coincide with the Dragon Soul raid, and radically transformed how players both see themselves in game, and how others can react to their presence. Since then, it has become a fairly contentious subject: in fact, if you wanted a part of the game that players have a strong reaction to, then Transmog will do the job. Some consider it the Warcraft equivalent of Marmite, and either love it or hate it. Those who embrace the idea appear to do so with an almost boundless enthusiasm, the only limit being the amount of bag space a player possesses, as to ‘dress’ with an item you need to own it first.

However, all that’s set to change with Legion, as Blizzard introduce a Transmog ‘Wardrobe’ feature that will allow you to use an item on any character linked to a account, assuming you meet the Transmog rules to ‘equip’ it. As a result I’m seeing a renewed interest in the concept, from an increasing number of people who’ve never considered using the feature before. It seems logical therefore to spend a bit of time explaining how the concept works, and then to give you some ideas on how there’s a wealth of potential dress-up available for very little if any work at all. You don’t need to be like me and spend hours faffing with outfits, but if you’d like to start? Well, let’s do this by the numbers.


Of course, there are rules: mostly self-explanatory, but they deserve repetition from Blizzard’s own post on the feature: your character must be able to equip both items: uncommon (green), rare (blue) or epic (purple) items may be transmogrified, with a few exceptions.

  • Items and Weapons must share the same armour type (plate for plate, cloth for cloth)
  • Guns, Crossbows, and Bows can only be used to transmogrify Guns, Crossbows, or Bows.
  • Main hand weapons can only be used to transmogrify Main hands.
  • Off-hand weapons can only be used to transmogrify Off-hands.
  • One handed weapons can be used to transmogrify a Main hand or Off-hands: however, Polearms and Staves can now be used to transmogrify Two-Handed Axes, Maces and Swords, and vice versa, assuming the character can use both items.
  • Using an item to transmogrify makes it soulbound, non-refundable and non-tradable.
  • Heirlooms and Account Bound items can be transmogrified and used to transmogrify.
  • Legendary Items and Fishing Poles cannot be transmogrified or used to transmogrify.
  • Mailing an item, placing it in Void Storage or vendoring an item strips its transmogrification.
  • The displayed enchant will be that of the currently equipped item, though certain weapons will overwrite the displayed effect. Blizzard also introduced a range of enchanting ‘illusions’ in Warlords that allow players give the impression their enchant is hidden.

Assuming you’re willing to bear all this in mind? It’s time to work out what you want to wear. Some people simply decide to pick one of the hundreds of pre-built sets of armour available via either farming Legacy content or for purchase on the Auction House. Wowhead has the undoubtedly comprehensive guide to everything you can find current in game but there are some of us that like to play fast and loose with their choices, and use a custom set builder. If you fancy this yourself, let me introduce you to the Mog It addon:


Options on the left, your outfit on the right. Simples!

I’m someone who likes to construct my outfits a piece at a time, which can be great in principle but can often fall down when I discover the belt I’ve picked is a 4% drop from a Heroic Pandarian Raid and can’t be farmed alone. Needless to say, when you’re designing an outfit, having half a mind on how much effort you’re prepared to put into its completion is probably as important as the overall look itself. Mog It will helpfully let you know which items you already own to make this process easier, and you can assign items on your ‘Wish List’ so you know what you’re looking for. If you choose a set that can be sold on the Auction House, be warned: Transmog is big business on certain servers, and you can expect to drop a lot of money for certain sets, especially those that are more revealing for particular character models. I’d strongly suggest a trip to your Server’s AH before you begin any endeavour, if only to see what items are currently available, and what budget you’ll need to bear in mind. That’s why legacy farming is a better solution all around, but then it’s the time spent offset against the free time you have to make something you’re happy with in the end.

There are certain items I find crop up in my designs again and again, and as a result here’s where a word about the single colour item is worth holding onto.

It’s no wonder such staples as the Little Black Dress are indispensable in a woman’s wardrobe, or why a well-made men’s suit will serve for both day and evening wear with the right accessories. Single colours form a great foundation for any outfit: as you can see on my Hunter below, those black trousers act as a focus, complementing the ‘redness’ of the rest of the outfit. Sadly, those trousers no longer exist as a drop in game, and here’s where understanding the limitations one has has in terms of outfit selection is painfully obvious. For somebody like me, not being able to have a single colour item available across the range of armour types is an oversight Blizzard could easily amend using Professions: either dyes to recolour existing items, or Tailors, Blacksmiths and Engineers able to produce foundation pieces that can then be individually coloured/altered by Scribes, Jewelcrafters and Enchanters. Needless to say, being able to create your own foundation pieces is an oversight I’m really hoping Blizzard will address in Legion.


The importance of block colouring

Outfit alteration in other games is nothing new, but Blizzard seem for many years to have actively resisted such calls for variety, some feel based on the sanctity held by Tier gear and the undoubted status it granted to end game raiders. However, the Transmog Wardrobe arrives as the first real concession that the Company understand that many simply don’t care about looking good in the ‘latest’ level of gear, especially if they are in no position to run the content to begin with. What used to be the adage that ‘looks beat stats’ is no longer true: it doesn’t matter what your gear resembles, simply that players look at the iLevel and not the shoulder animation to ascertain whether a player has completed a level of content. In fact, some might argue a well-structured Transmog says more about the player’s commitment: farming and producing a unique style takes time and effort, after all. Whatever your personal reason for Transmog, Blizzard themselves have clearly begun to grasp the significance of a more cohesive look for each class, with Warlords’ final Tier gear making a distinct shift towards reflecting/complimenting the official Blizzard Class Crests. In my mind this is a deliberate move to highlight the concept of the Class Order Hall (more on which next week.) The concession that many people’s storage woes is now directly linked to excess Transmog gear and this needs addressing is also especially welcomed in this quarter: I’ve got a gun/bow/crossbow collection spread across multiple Hunters which frankly would get me arrested if this were the Real World.

There has undoubtedly been a distinct shift in interest towards aesthetics in the last few years that Blizzard has already attempted to capitalise on with limited success. They however are learning the lessons and have started dropping specific items into the game, testing the waters on what is and isn’t popular. The Wardrobe feature now shows a distinct and long-term commitment to those who wish to be truly individual in the game, and this move is to be soundly applauded, especially by me who would spend far more time farming Legacy and less vendoring, because what I think Blizzard may have failed to register but I know will happen is that this, like Pets and Mounts, will become yet another avenue of collection. If there’s an Outfit missing a Belt, you’ll want to try and get it. Those boots? Yeah, I can farm that Instance a few times, or drop some Gold on the AH to grab it. This will become yet another displacement activity in lean times for the committed, and a fun way for others to spend a few hours adding useful items to their wardrobes. However, for me the real goal is customisation: stock items I can colour and recolour to my hearts content, because that then means the possibilities for outfits are truly limitless. However Blizzard choose to do this, I for one am already preparing myself for spending hours at a time sitting and dressing characters in a selection of outfits, because this then makes them truly my own creations.

After all, customisation beats everything.

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