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The limits of transmogrification

Matthew Rossi

I love transmogrification. I'm ridiculously enamored of it. I transmog all the time. Like, three, four times a day some days. I have specific looks for my DPS and tank sets, I work constantly on gathering that one iconic piece or weapon to tie a set together. I have sets based on old tier sets, sets recreating old looks from WoW's history, and sets I just made because I thought they looked cool. I am potentially a transmog junkie.

With that in mind, please take this as it is intended -- I think it's a good thing that there are some limits to what you can and can't transmogrify. Rygarius' response to a recent post about letting players transmog from grey items made me start thinking about how much is too much when it comes to transmog. Now, our own Anne Stickney made a post about whether or not we should lift transmogrification limits, and her post is well worth reading, because I think there's an ideological tension between the two conceptions that is worth discussing.

In short, there's a difference between the idea of lifting some transmog limits, and not having any limits, and I'd argue for erring on the side of caution.

The limits of transmogrification
As Rygarius points out, it's fairly easy to look ridiculous now. Not only would opening the floodgates to grey and white items make that still easier, it would encourage people to hold on to grey and white items that currently exist primarily to be vendored (the origin of the term vendor trash, in fact) and it would make an already bad situation in terms of bank and storage space even worse. Imagine having to constantly mail and re-mail all of your grey and white items between various alts in order to use the mail as an ad-hoc second bank (something people already do too much) and how much additional strain that would put on a mail system that has to deal with a lot already.

That doesn't even address Rygarius' point about how allowing so many items to be eligible for transmog would mean having to then go through and weed out all the items Blizzard wouldn't want eligible. Even some green items are currently not eligible due to their not being within the bounds of what Blizzard wants to see in transmog, so imagine how many weird options would have to be pruned. At that point, do we even get any value from allowing grey and white items to be transmogged? You'd end up adding a ton of restrictions to the system, ultimately.
The limits of transmogrification
But I might as well admit that, as well argued as Rygarius's post is (especially his point about how we've lost the ability to know how progressed a player or her guild may be just by looking at them) the real reason I'm against simply throwing the doors open on transmog is that I already feel like transmogrification does the job well enough, and that if we're going to relax the limits, it shouldn't just be something like grey and white items, because you don't have to do anything to get those. One of the things I like about Anne's ideas is, you'd still have to go on farming runs and plan out which bosses drop what you want.

I don't want transmog to become boring. I don't want it to ever be as simple as going to Org or SW and finding one of the old vendors with a set of white gear on them. I like that there are some pieces only some of us will get to use, some pieces that require a rare mob to get, and some sets that make you perform whole quest chains just to get them. I like the hunt of transmogrification. Some of the limits can be removed without harming that -- allowing leather wearers to wear cloth would just get them to hunt for cloth drops, as an example -- but some of them would make the process feel too mundane. I don't think transmog should be used to take away the game's visual flair, only to add to it. Moorg'than, Orcish Blade of a Thousand Severed Throats, should not be xmogged to Grey Vendor Dagger. I accept that this is completely subjective on my part, but it's still a strong feeling I have about the feature.

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