It seems as though the World of Warcraft community was far more excited about all of the changes to transmog with the 7.0 update that the class overhauls — and I can understand that. Transmog is one of the few areas in the game where players can exercise any measure of creativity and visual agency. Plus, we just wanted to free up all of that bank space.
I actually did not do a lick of transmogging before this week. I knew that the update was coming, so I was patient and waited for the new system before trying it out. Plus, I figured that hunting down new pieces would give me something to do in August before the expansion (I’m sure I’m not alone in that).
First things first: Transmog 2.0 is well-done in general. It’s certainly nice to be able to save all of your visual options and especially do so across your entire account. I think it was a master-stroke for Blizzard to tell you where you can find each piece in case you want to hunt it down. And the addition of illusions to add more flair to your weapons is a wonderful touch as well. Oh! And saving multiple outfits, great move.
It’s certainly made getting loot more exciting, since now you’ll see notices that such-and-such has been added to your transmog library. Cosmetics are insanely compelling as rewards and I hope that the studio continues to pursue this.
But for those endlessly gushing over how Transmog 2.0 has brought in the Age of Aquarius and such, I have to say that while it’s a great step forward for World of Warcraft, it still is a sub-par cosmetic system compared to the industry standard.
For starters, I cannot believe you have to visit a specific vendor just to work on your outfits. We hated this in WildStar in the beginning and that was quickly changed so that you could do wardrobe stuff anywhere — which is how most MMO systems operate. But in WoW? I have to cram myself into a house with a few hundred other people to try to talk to a specific NPC every.. single… time that I want to work on or change an outfit. That’s just silly, especially now that the collections screen shows you your transmog stuff. Just let us do it wherever, Blizzard, or at the very least let us call up saved outfits so that we can switch between them.
Another quibble I have is with the lack of dyes, although I think this isn’t really a possibility for WoW considering how the armor was designed. Still, it’s a shame, especially when you have to pieces that would go well together if it wasn’t for clashing colors.
Finally, I’m not overly fond of the armor restrictions on transmog. Different MMOs handle this in different ways, but generally I am of the opinion that if you have a wardrobe in a game, you should let your players dress up their characters the way they want. Why not? Why can’t my mail-wearing Shaman put on a cowboy hat? And do not pull out the immersion argument, because this game has ridiculous visuals all over the place.
Hopefully the current system won’t be seen as the end of transmog development, but part of an effort to continually make it better.