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Should transmogrification limits be lifted?

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I love transmogrification -- it seems like every week I have a new arrangement of armor. But there are limits to what I can and can't do with this feature, limits that simply can't be worked around. As a rogue, I'm limited to leather items -- and there aren't a ton of really fashionable leather items out there. Some of the best sets I've seen and craved have been druid tier, or druid restricted PvP items. As for weapons, as an assassination rogue, I'm limited to daggers. I can't use any other weapon in that particular spec choice, and that's frustrating.

We had a brief hint earlier this week that we might see some changes to transmogrification limits in future patches. Nothing set in stone of course, but the thought of being able to transmogrify weapons with similar animation styles is a pretty cool one. A sword and a dagger are fairly similar in animation style, right? Well ... maybe not so much. Still, it's nice to see that they are considering stretching the limits of transmogrification as far as weapon choices go.

But is that enough?

Should transmogrification limits be lifted
There are two major issues with transmogrification as it stands at the moment. First, there's the matter of space. Void storage helped in some aspects. And for tier sets, you can always go back and farm any sets you don't keep. But when you collect an item that's a quest reward, and you really like the way it looks, you can't delete that item and just go back and get it again. Once you've completed a quest, it's done -- and that means that any fashionable quest rewards are being squirreled away and taking up space, which is a pretty scarce resource to begin with.

The other issue is far more subtle, and I've only slowly begun to notice it myself. In Burning Crusade, there was the notorious rise of the clown suit -- leveling gear and random greens in Burning Crusade contained a lot of items that were identical to pieces from vanilla. On the one hand, it meant that you looked really, really silly while you were leveling. On the other, it offered the one thing we are sorely lacking with every expansion since TBC: variety.

In all of that crazy gear were pieces that could be mixed and matched to create a lot of really different looks. I still use pieces with vanilla and Burning Crusade models in the sets I put together. Not because they're the most elegantly modeled pieces in the world, but because mixing and matching means that I'm throwing something together that I'm not likely to see anyone else wearing in game. However, throughout each expansion from Wrath until now, leveling sets have all followed one model, with a slight variation in color scheme.

Should transmogrification limits be lifted
This was introduced just to avoid that whole clown suit horror of a leveling experience that existed in Burning Crusade, and it made sense. Here's the problem: We have transmogrification now. We don't need to have matched sets while we level, because we can just make them ourselves. The option has been given to us. If we don't want to look like a clown, we'll visit the nearest transmog facility and fix it.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but ... we could really use a return to the clown suits, please. Don't worry about making everything match, just give us some different stuff to play around with, in color palettes that work within the scope of what we've gotten over the years. We'll totally do the mixing and matching ourselves. It's not a problem. It's actually really fun to do, as some have happily discovered.

More importantly, we're limited to the type of armor we can transmogrify at the moment. I can only use leather pieces to transmogrify my gear. That's fantastic and all, but ... there are some days when I look at the utterly gorgeous cloth or plate pieces out there and wish that I could use those in my sets. Leather gear isn't particularly huge on style, and neither is mail -- there's not a ton of variety to choose from.

Should transmogrification limits be lifted
I'm not saying lift those restrictions altogether. It wouldn't make sense for my rogue to suddenly be perfectly fine wearing plate. But what if that restriction were widened a little? Not in the sense of "if you can equip it, you can transmogrify it," though -- that would mean that cloth wearers would still be limited to just cloth items, nothing more. But what if we let cloth and leather wearing classes use leather and cloth pieces to create a look? And let mail and plate wearers use mail and plate to create a look?

You could argue that this would confuse players, particularly in PvP. But we've already shaken the groundwork of the silhouette theory by allowing players to change the appearance of their gear. A level 90 raider that is toting heroic gear can look like a brand new level 5 player, if they choose to do so. This hasn't stopped people from identifying that level 90 player. If transmogrification was limited purely as an experiment to see how players reacted to it, I think we can call that experiment a rousing success.

As for me ... well, it'd be a little nicer to have more of a variety of choices when I'm playing dress up. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that feels this way, but I'm curious. What do you think about transmogrification limits? How far can they be stretched, before they go too far? Is it time for those limits to be loosened up a little?


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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