Monday, August 22, 2011

The transmogrifier will make us all special snowflakes

So Blizzard have announced what probably is their best idea yet, or at least not far from - the Transmogrifier. In case you've been living under a rock the last week it'll basically allow you to convert your current gear into looking like any gear in the game (that you can wear). Yes, that's right - you can finally run around with those banana shoulders like a boss. DISCLAIMER: Banana shoulders are limited to plate using classes.

I can't even express how happy I am about this implementation. There are so many things I like about this idea.

First of all, it'll allow me to tailor my character - the thing I am currently spending several hours a week looking at - to look exactly like I want her to. I've collected rp gears before, but the only time I've had a chance at using it was when idling around in some major city. Now I'll be able to finally wield my Benediction/Anathema in a raid with pride!
Secondly, it will allow me to go back into old raids/dungeons/farming mobs and actually be happy about the gear drops. Eventhough I enjoy doing old instances and raids from time to time I usually don't do it very often because it doesn't feel like well spent time. I could've spent that time getting VP for better gear. You all know the choice - doing something boring for something good or doing something fun for something bad. Unfortunately I am not that hedonistic that I always choose the latter (only in real life). But now I can run Karazhan and be as happy to be there as I will be happy when the Masquerade Gown drops.
Thirdly, I am no longer at the mercy of some mere gear designers flimsical will. No longer will I have to dress i horribad creations, I can finally turn my character into an individual and not into something that looks like every other of my class on the server.
Fourthly, with more and more people gearing the way they prefer, we'll hopefully no longer be able to exactly see someones progress in raids based on their gear, which somehow always have reminded me of how you can see what people with beards had for breakfast and lunch. It just aint cool.
Fifthly, no gear piece will ever be thought of as useless crap ever again. It is all a potential piece in the puzzle that is your future magnificent looking gear. There are so many really cool looking green items out there that never get seen, so this is a great way for Blizzard to get full use of all their skins, and even make midlevel crafteds worthwhile.
Sixthly, maybe it will have the gear designers actually make an effort to invent some cool looking gear, since no one will bother with it if it looks too boring (like so many cloth tiers do nowadays).

When I first read about this change
I seriously thought it would be impossible for anyone to find anything even remotely negative about it. I am sure something will turn up eventually of course, it always does, but I've also seen a couple of posts that have voiced some concern. More specifically they're worried that it will make everyone run around looking exactly the same. I don't see how people can look more the same than they already are. And also, since when do people want to run around looking like everyone else, if they have the choice not to? As soon as there is one type of gear that is the most popular, you can bet your ass that no one will want to use it anylonger. Especially since basically any gear is attainable by anyone who has a handful of friends who can run raids with them. This means people who care will bust their asses to find either the gear set that make them look the craziest, the most original or just exactly like they've always wanted their character to look. I'm not worried that everyone will run around in the coolest looking tier set for their class. In fact everyone looking the same is exactly what the Transmogrifier is trying to fix.

Some argue that it is coming too late and yeah, I can agree with that. Together with the Void Storage (which is something I recently asked for), this is something I've been wishing to get into the game for ages. Blizzard have implemented flavor changes like these occasionally before, but never these many and these changing at once, not counting new expansion releases. Becoming rocking-chair-on-porch-musing I think this is an indicator that Blizzard think they need to keep us in the game increasingly more through these funsie things rather than just adding new content, which seems to not satisfy us enough anymore. For me this is one of the things that, more than any new instance could, will add countless hours of extra fun into the game trying to collect the perfect gear for myself, so in this case this really feels like any huge-content-patch-game-revival.

Blizzard answers some of the questions regarding the details of how the Transmogrifier works and I'd like to comment some of them myself;

You will not be able to transmogrify using a legendary item as either the source or the recipient of a change.

Initially I thought this was a good idea since I thought legendaries should be kept legendary by not having anyone and everyone run around with them. And this is also probably exactly what Blizzard have thought as well. But then I remembered that whoever wants to transmogrify a legendary also must have said legendary, and then I don't think it would be too lenient to allow people to fully enjoy those legendaries that they've probably spent an awful lot of time to get. And again, if they become too prevalent, people will stop using them. I'm never worried that people will actively want to look like everyone else.

We have an obligation to players and to our hard working artists to keep the game from looking too silly. I know looking ridiculous is fun for some players, but World of Warcraft was established with a design that the game overall kept its silliness in check. That's one of the reasons we resisted adding a feature like Transmogrification for so long.

So weapons that look like fish, for example, probably won't be available as source items for Transmogrification, even if one is technically a dagger and has stats. There are a handful other weapons with "silly" models (such as frying pans, brooms, etc.) that may or may not be allowed -- it's still under discussion.

In a way I agree with this. Whether or not you play on an rp server you don't want people to ruin the immersion too much by being called Hulkhogan or yet another Sephiroth dk. The same would probably go for gear where, if you would allow people to really wear anything, there will always be some wise guy who has to run around looking like a Christmas tree on crack (or a penis). But on the other hand I wonder how many of those people there are? Maybe one is too many. And then I also wonder if a person running around with a Frying Pan really would be that horrible? Maybe I shouldn't underestimate the ingenuity of people who like to be the server idiot.

Sunnier over at A Sunnier Bear (and plenty others since I wrote this post) actually has the best approach to these news - she goes on to offer some tips on what kind of gear you should get to your druid to make it look really cool. And that is exactly what I am going to do as well, so here are a couple of interesting gear choices to make for your priest once the Transmogrifier is in place (I'll only mention the visible gear)

Head: Cowl of the Illidari Highlord - this bad girl makes even the wimpiest of gnomes (sorry for the tautology) look like a mean-bean killing machine. Raid bosses will whimper, cry and run away in fear when they see you in this. Another option to attain this effect would be by using the Red Winters Hat. Cowl of Malefic Repose is another good head. Or The Hexxer's Mask.

Shoulders: Shoulders is what makes me sad that I can only Transmogrify cloth items, but on the other hand if there were no restrictions that would have me spend endless hours sifting through cool shoulders, trying to gather them all and still not be able to choose one to use, so it's probably just as well. If I had to choose one, why not the tier 5 shoulders? Or the tier 7 ones, seen above.
As close to banana shoulders as I'll get.

Back: For a back, either something that fits the rest of your gear, or Stoneskin Gargoyle Cloak for old reference. Actually I usually hide my back, whether it looks good or not totally depends on race.
Still longer than average?

Except perhaps on a goblin...
Chest: There are many good chests. If I had to choose only one it'd be the Venomshroud Silk Robes, because they're simple yet so cool looking. And they're part of a complete set which of course also would be totally awesome to own. Or maybe finally there is some use to Queen Azshara's Dressing Gown? Or what about that endless list of world event/holiday chests you've got molding in your bank?

Weapon: This is your best opportunity to brag about that Anathema/Benediction you've got. Yeah, I'll totally do that. In case you weren't able to get one, Sulfur Stave is pretty cool too.

And it is two weapons in one too!

Bat on a stick.

1 comment:

  1. Like you, I'm sure I'm gonna love this addition.
    I already have a bank full of all kinds of gear and clothing for rp purposes.
    Also I like to do old quests/quest chains I didn't do before in different fancy good looking gear because on these occasions stants doesn't matter.
    Only my main gear is still the same all the time except when I upgrade a piece.
    The idea that I can make my main gear as gorgeous as possible or maybe some different looking sets, exites me.