I'll let you in on a little secret: Sometimes, the real impetus behind getting featured here among our 15 Minutes of Fame interviews is to get enough people drop me a note telling me what a nice person and great resource a player is. That's the case this week with Kirina of WoW fashion blog Kirina's Closet. Yeah, she runs a pretty mean blog and forum for enthusiasts of unusual and unique WoW outfits -- but I ended up pinging her because I kept getting notes about what a helpful, welcoming resource she and her site are to other players.
I can only wish my high school chemistry teacher (yep, that's Kirina's calling during offline hours) had been so sympathetic. With the ability to change the outward appearance of our gear right around the corner for all of us image-conscious players, I knew Kirina would have some pointed comments about the advent of transmogrification. Will transmogging be as significant to the mainstream player base as it is to fashion fans like Kirina? She thinks it will be, and she tells us why after the break.
Main character Kirina
WoW Insider: I'll bet you're so excited about the advent of transmogrification. How does transmogrification change the "fashion" game of WoW?
Kirina: I am excited about transmogrification! And I do think that having this ability will change the fashion game in WoW, but only slightly. Transmogging focuses WoW fashion to what type of armor and weaponry your character uses for gear, instead of what your character can equip. I did not realize how many of my favorite outfits for Kirina were cloth armor until I started looking into what I could transmog for her. When I started delving into leather armor for transmogged outfits she could wear, it introduced me to pieces of gear that I hadn't thought about using or remembered to use, and it allowed me to see more possibilities and unique combinations within her armor type. The same goes, I'm sure, for the other types of armor.
I do hope that it will impact every type of player, max or not, though, a character at the max level has the advantage of using any armor level in game and the resources to get it. But there are some great outfits to be made at the lower level, too.
For roleplayers and fashion lovers, they can finally wear their one-of-a-kind outfit while raiding, PvPing, or even when questing alone. Even simple in-game chores like mining or herbing can have a special outfit that fits the job without sacrificing health or armor if attacked by random mobs in the area. And transmogging does not replace other outfits that roleplayers may have; you can still change out of your heavy plate armor into that gorgeous robe if you'd like to.
What's the best and broadest benefit transmogrification will bring to the game?
What I love about this ability is not the possibilities for WoW fashion addicts but how it has opened other players' eyes to WoW fashion. Everyone wants their character to be special and unique in their own way. My husband, Waddell, used to tease me about wanting "play outfits" as he called them, but hearing about transmogging, he's been asking me where to get this or "Will this look good with whatever?" Of course, he's focusing on the badass tier pieces of yore, but it's still nice to see a hardcore player excited about something as frivolous as an outfit.
On my forums, readers have come up with some amazing outfits of their own that were inspired by a favorite weapon or piece of gear that they've kept throughout their time playing the game. It's nice to see that not only has transmogging inspired more players into putting time into a different outfit for their character, but unique ones at that. I have yet to see a transmoggable outfit that used a whole, named set; it's always been different pieces to match a theme.
What about void storage? How much of an impact will void storage have on the typical WoW fashionista's collection? Is this the solution we've all been waiting for?
Ahhh, void storage. I don't know if it is the answer to all our storage needs, but it will definitely help with my diminishing bank and bag space. I will use the void storage for those pieces of gear that while I can't transmog them for Kirina, I don't want to give them up. So I see myself storing non-transmoggable gear, holiday items, and different trinkets and quest rewards I hold dear.
I think, though, that players are a little turned off by void storage because you have to pay for it. It's really not a place to house stuff that you want to take out and use on a daily basis ... It just clears up space in your usual bank or inventory for those type of items. And (LOL) I don't think it will replace the need bank alts either ... Kirina's bank alt Kirinacloset (tee-hee) will always have full bags.
What I do love about this new storage feature is the search bar aspect that comes along with it for any bag/bank space. I cannot tell you how many times I've had a mini-heart attack because I couldn't find a prized item that I was looking for and thought that I accidently deleted it. Having some type of help with searching for in-game items and abilities will always gets my vote.
What other in-game features do you think would help fashion collectors enjoy the game?
I think that there needs to be a feature to hide shoulder armor much like we have the option to hide cloaks and helms. With the transmog ability, players are searching for unique outfits to match those of their favorite NPCs, most of which do not have shoulder armor, or they are like me and have just designed outfit(s) that look best without shoulder armor. Having the ability to hide shoulder armor would cut the cost down of having to transmog them into something that may match their outfit, which in turn would cut down on the bag space needed for these extra armor pieces. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing designs in all armor types for shoulder gear that can potentially inspire an entire outfit, but for those who'd like a more simple design for everyday wear, we have to sacrifice the entire look to include something for that slot.
Other features, I'm not sure, as it really depends on the personal preference of the player. Myself, I'd like to see the in-game outfitter be updated a bit. I actually use the WoW addon Outfitter for my account, and I find that it's much more user-friendly when creating different outfits. Maybe there can be an option to save different outfits that I could transmog? That way, I just choose one of my preset styles, pay, and be on my way rather than having to click and drag items each time I want to change my look (which will probably be very frequently).
What are your favorite resources for putting together specific outfits in WoW?
One of my favorite in-game tools is the Outfitter addon. It allows me to click back and forth between my PvE and PvP gear or PvP to play gear without having to open up my character screen, and I find that extremely handy.
WoW Model Viewer is a must! I use this when creating outfits for Kirina and for my site and when helping out my site's readers with any outfit needs they may have. (LOL ... I just told them my secret.) You can see all the armor and weapons in game, past and present, on any model skin. It also includes all the different tabards and allows you to create your own tabard, much like you could a guild tabard in-game -- and, not to mention, the amazing poses you can get your character in. Sometimes I wish I had that type of control in game to get those amazing screenshots all the time.
I use Wowhead a lot, as well. They have the great feature on their site that allows you to look at other items with the same type of model, which is extremely useful when I list other armor possibilities for an outfit in my articles. Some of their authors have also put together an amazing list of all the transmoggable sets in-game -- what a greatly needed addition!
What's the main attraction of collecting and assembling outfits for you?
I get my enjoyment from searching and farming for the pieces needed for an outfit -- the harder it was for me to find or obtain the pieces, the more likely I am to show off the outfit. Collecting and wearing different outfits in game enhances my gameplay, and I like showcasing pieces of gear that aren't commonly seen anymore. I'm sure a lot of other WoW fashion collectors make and collect outfits for the same reason that I do without necessarily roleplaying along with it.
Does your outfit madness cross over into real-life costuming and cosplay?
No, I don't participate in real-life cosplay. In fact, I think the love of outfits and collecting different pieces stems from the fact that in real life, I'm a pretty conservative dresser in colors and styles of clothing I choose to wear. WoW allows me to wear beautiful and different garments on Kirina that I could never wear in real life. I do, however, wear the things that I knit that were inspired from in-game items ...
We hear you knit some mean WoW gloves! Tell us about your WoW crafts.
Knitting has got to be my favorite hobby along with playing WoW, and, sometimes the two cross together. I did design a very simple-to-knit fingerless glove pattern that was inspired by the Knitted Gloves in game. I wore them one day when I was still going to school -- someone noticed and asked if I played WoW!
Other patterns available on my site are a Brewfest Hat pattern and a small Jack-O'-Lantern inspired from the ones that rogues can pick pocket from certain mobs. Another WoW-inspired craft that I have done was making large coasters for Waddell and other guildies. These were stitched on plastic canvas circles, and the designs were their name or Horde symbol along with their character's class symbol. To this day, those guys still rave about getting them.
I have a whole list of things I'd like to knit or craft from WoW and I hope to get to do them soon. One of my bigger expected projects I have is to knit a real-life Simple Dress to wear around the house.
How did you get started playing WoW, and how has your involvement evolved over that time?
I actually started to play WoW as a way to keep in touch with Waddell, who was then my boyfriend. For about three years of our relationship, we lived two hours away (we only got to hang out during the weekends). During the week, interacting with his character in game and talking to him in Vent meant a lot to us and to our relationship -- having that common interest gave us even more to talk about and bond over. Waddell started playing the game about a year before me, and what finally sold me on the game (aside from playing with Waddell) was that I could be a "pretty blood elf" and get holiday items. The different holiday items and clothing was actually what got me started into investigating different and new items to collect in game.
While my involvement in game has been pretty much the same (I've never been a hardcore raider or PvPer), I've seen my site's purpose evolve greatly. It started as a place to show my outfits on Kirina, which it still is, to a place where others can share their outfits and offer or ask for suggestions, especially on the forums. I never thought that my site would go in that direction, and some of my readers have told me that my site inspired them to create their own site; I'm very proud of the fact that some of my ideas have influenced others in this way. In fact, I thought my site would have gotten the complete opposite reaction -- where people would balk at the idea of outfits in WoW.
Waddell is a very seasoned player -- he started way back in vanilla. He's been a guild and raid leader for the majority of his time playing the game; he started and led the guild Praetorian on Lightninghoof for about four years. He's a network engineer by trade and a programmer by passion, so just like my knitting crosses paths with WoW, he dabbles in writing WoW addons. HeroStatus, a PvP addon, was his first, and it is also the name for our little guild of friends, as we mostly PvP now (of course, it's a required addon to be in the guild). Another addon he created is RememberWhen, which takes a screenshot for a first time boss kill and achievements or levels gained.
A family of WoW hobbyists --very nice! So when you're not playing WoW or working on Kirina's Closet, what are you doing?
When I am not playing WoW or working on my site, I am either knitting or crafting or spending time with Waddell and my family (or working ...).
You're a teacher, right? What ages? Do you tell your students about WoW and about collecting outfits?
Yes, I am a teacher. I teach high school chemistry. Some of the students do know that I play WoW, and they think that's pretty cool, but I haven't elaborated on why I play WoW (not too many people understand collecting outfits, and it's rather hard to elaborate to those who don't play WoW without sounding kind of crazy). In a broad sense, I reference Memes and other computer games while I lecture, and the students really seem to enjoy it.
I am also a new teacher, so something that I hope to incorporate in future school years is having a sort of achievement system like how we do in WoW to reward the students for the work they do. This includes general achievements anyone can try for, like Completed 5 Homeworks in a Row to higher-level achievements like Independent Researcher. I haven't mapped out all that I'd like to include, but I do know I'd like some of the achievements to come with "titles," and the students can accumulate their points to turn them in for prizes.
Sounds to us like a motivational way to learn chemistry!
Visit Kirina's Closet for more WoW-related inspiration on in-game outfits for every character and occasion.
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with these players, from a player battling Alzheimer's disease to Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn), gaming industry insider Liz Danforth and El of El's Extreme Anglin'. Know someone else we should feature? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.