Tobold's Blog
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Choosing my look

For a lot of people playing a MMORPG, the look of their character is very important. So over the years in World of Warcraft systems that let you choose your look were improved. The latest pre-expansion patch again changed the transmogrify screens to give you a huge choice of possible looks based on any gear the system is aware that you ever possessed. You can assemble a look, save it, and apply it for a small fee to your character if his look changed due to gear upgrades. So far, so good.

But two of my characters aren't really profiting from this. One is my shadow priest. Shadow priests used to have the ability to change into and out of shadow form. But now they are permanently in shadow form, and whatever look you choose for them is barely visible in game. Even worse is my balance druid. His talent choices gave him a permanent buff, which like the shadow form makes him half transparent, colored either yellow or blue. But in addition if he wants to adventure, he has to change into moonkin form. So in spite of all those transmogrification options, he looks like a transparent yellow chicken most of the time.

I'm not sure that this is really such a good idea. At the very least these characters should have a display option to turn of the transparency. And ideally they should be able to turn off all look-altering class talents and abilities and appear like they look on the character screen. Otherwise, what good is the transmog system for them?

No system is perfect. I don't have a priest but you're right on my druid wardrobe is pretty much useless. But whatever, that's just one of my chars.

But the wardobe system has some unexpected nice effects too: a decade ago I got both paladin and rogue D2 sets which were awarded via quests. Now I also have warrior and druid D2 in my wardrobe = all available plate and leather sets. Best thing is they don't even have class restriction and I fully intend to abuse that with my demonhunter :-)
I hate when they change stuff, even when it's an upgrade. The new graphics may be nicer but they are not your character. Imagine being forced to have a makeover in real life that made you look like somebody else. Most people would hate that, even if it made them look better!
I agree completely. The weirdest thing is that they have a possible solution with minor glyphs. Allow people to slap on a minor glyph that lets them get out of shadowform and moonkin form.
Those minor glyphs exist. One will make the shadow form less transparent, the other will let you retain a non-boomkin form.
The existing minor glyphs are only minor improvements. The druid one still has you transparent, only turns off the chicken look. The priest one is only slightly less transparent, and the purple overwrites other colors.
Well, you have obviously picked the classes where this is the biggest problem. I'm not sure you would have picked either class if it was important to you to show your "actual" appearance. You wouldn't play a warrior and then complain that you don't like the look of plate armor.
Blizzard's problem here is that one hand doesn't seem to know what the other is doing.

The class team is all "Class Fantasy!" and pursuing that in a vacuum on a class by class basis.

Look at DH double jumping. Cool, but unbalancing if they can jump over stuff other people can't jump over, and pointless if they can't. The DH starting area had gaps no one else could get over, but that only works there. If DHs can get to the mining / herb nodes a lot easier, that places others at a disadvantage. (Not in a competition sense, as the nodes in Legion, I understand, are personal nodes, but in speed. faster gathering is a huge advantage early on when the prices are high.)

Druid Flight form. Instant and you used to be able to gather in it. They got rid of the gathering part finally. I think early on, someone high up in the company "played a druid" so that class was just OP for a long time.

Shadow form was originally to differentiate the Priest when they were DPSing, back when there was no transmogs. The "always on" aspect of it now implies the complete tunnel visioning on "class uniqueness" and ignores all other aspects of the game.

Look at the fiasco of EXP from mobs in Legion invasions. It was clearly and massively broken to the extent that it was probably not even tested. If you only ever went into invasions with level 100 chars, you wouldn't notice, but it becomes obvious once you are trying to level with them. EVERYONE I know with level 100 chars (A lot of people, in 2 casual guilds.) are now using this to level their alts. Leveling is a huge pain in the butt if you have already "been there and done that" and the paid option (60 bucks in the item shop.) is too pricey. So which hand does Blizzard use? I can imagine the conflict at Blizzard, you don't want to piss people off, but you don't want to reduce cash shop revenues either. And so, leveling remains generally borked.

Developers can't operate in a vacuum, focused only on one thing.
When I played EQ I had a Shaman that I was an Ogre. One of the perks as I saw it was having a gigantic character model, which was simultaneously a disadvantage depending on the circumstances. At some point they revamped the character models and I went from having this hugely rotund character to a big buff looking guy, so I then just ran around in bear form all the time instead.
The new wardrobe is mostly cool for saving bank/bags space. It's nice, don't get me wrong, but it came with tons of restrictions: level, class, reputation, needs the vendor npc, costs gold. It would be perfect if you could, for example, swap outfits at will with just one click, anywhere. I also find irritating that you need the proper faction reputation to wear faction-gear, which kills most of the old reputation stuff if you didn't play it.
Druid is not so bad. You can show off your appearance out of combat. If moonkin transparency buff is permanent, you can change your spec. In combat, nobody is looking at you from aesthetic viewpoint, that is for sure. People mind their rotations, look for bad things on the floor etc. And for healers, you'll always be a health bar, no matter how pretty you look. :-)
I stopped looking at mounts, pets and fancy stuff since the game added so much variety. Back in the day seeing someon with the blades of Azzinoth meant you were looking a unique badass player. Right now there are so many cool gear pieces and mounts and pets that ... everything looks "cool". Except WoD boars.
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