When patch 4.3 dropped, we didn’t just get a new raid tier to play with, we got two new game changing features, LFR and transmogrification. Before transmog your character wore whatever gear had the best stats and if they looked like a clown, they looked like a clown. Tier sets had a cohesive look but tier doesn’t cover everything so the boots might not match. Even if everything did match it might not be to your taste, I personally loathe paladin tier sets that look like dresses. So transmog is a huge feature.
I think that blizz did exactly the right thing here in keeping it tightly controlled. The warcraft community isn’t always as mature as it should be, and had they allowed something, and then had to take it away, the hue and cry (whether people cared or not) would have been enormous just on principle. However, the system has been out for a while now and I don’t think it would hurt to open it up a little.
Weapons for example I think should be opened up more. Right now hunters can transmog guns into bows and vice versa. However, the rest of us if we’ve equipped a sword we can’t transmog it into a mace. In terms of bis items there’s a certain tradition in terms of stats, my prot pally bis will likely be a sword, as holy it’ll likely be a mace. However, there are sometimes intermediate weapons where it’s an upgrade but not the bis and I have to equip different kinds of weapons. This really breaks my transmog sets sometimes. I think that the one-hand to two-hand limit should definitely stay in place as that would affect the animation. I don’t really understand the main hand, one hand deal and unless it affects the animation I think that limit should be removed as well.
Armor types is a bit tricky. Sometimes there are some very good looking pieces that are the wrong armor type, but on the whole to maintain character integrity the armor limit should remain. However, paladins for example can’t equip place until level 40. I can’t be the only one that would love a Scarlet Monastery look but that dungeon is under level 40 and the pieces are mail. When a paladin is going through that those pieces are upgrades for them but afterwards they’re no good. I think perhaps a partial limit removal would work best here. Allow paladins (or warriors) to transmog mail that is under a certain ilevel, so mail that they would have equipped while levelling. This allows blizz to keep creating iconic mail sets for hunters, shamans etc. at max level but still allow classes that could have used those items to transmog them. This of course wouldn’t just apply to plate and mail, but to mail and leather etc. wherever the level 40 armor type changes.
Transmog allows blizz (in my opinion) to be a lot more creative and ‘out there’ with any future tier sets as everyone has the option to change it if they don’t like it. I personally absolutely love the priest tier 13 set. I actually rolled a priest just so that I can get that set, and I will be transmogging into that set forever. Honestly that tier 13 set is probably, again in my opinion, the best looking tier set in the game. This is coming from someone who didn’t even play a priest until they saw that tier set. I’ve actually found that I quite like my priest, well the disc spec anyway. I’d previously tried to level a couple of priests and deleted them by level 20-30 as I hated them, clearly holy and shadow (the specs I’d gone with before) aren’t for me. However, if it wasn’t for transmog I likely would never have tried that class again, and that would have been a real shame.
Creating that perfect look
When transmog was announced I worked out my main set, and collected the pieces, before the patch even dropped. I went with the Lightbringer set, had to choose a cloak, shield and weapon but the set was fundamentally the tier 6 paladin set. It wasn’t exactly original (although at least it wasn’t Judgement) but I still use it as my holy pally set. I like it and it’s what I wear when I raid.
However, probably 75% of the time, or a large amount of playing time anyway, I’m not raiding and not in my holy spec. Healing isn’t good for dailies, and definitely not for the soloing I like to do. Therefore I actually spend the majority of my time in my off spec which is protection. Again I pretty much got this sorted before the patch dropped and wasn’t feeling terribly imaginative so I went with Lightforge, plus my own weapon, shield and cloak choice. It wasn’t until the patch dropped and I downloaded the awesome addon MogIt that I truly got bit by the bug.
I have spent rather more time than I care to admit creating different sets in that addon. The vast majority I probably won’t ever collect and use. However I have collected a set for the rare occasion I use my off-off-spec and go ret and also one for my pvp set. There’s two sets that I like and might craft one day (Dark Iron and Imperial) but for now they just sit in the addon. I’m currently building the most awesome transmog set that will replace my boring Lightforge set but Nefarian will not give me the last piece I need, my chest piece.
I really like transmog. I know there are lots of people out there who don’t care, and maybe it’s a girl thing, but I absolutely love creating transmog sets. I really think blizz struck gold with this. 1) it gives people more control over the look of their character and therefore their feeling of uniqueness (specialness) in game. 2) it makes all content, whatever your level, relevant again. Now people who’ve got all the achievements, and maxed out reputations etc. have another reason to go back and run old raids. The game was already expansive, and what to choose when logging on, but this makes it even bigger. What’s even better is that it’s an appeal that will never stop. You can’t complete transmog so even when you think you’re done, you’re not.