Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Why We Transmog

Transmogrification is like Naboo Royal Starship, not Millennium Falcon.

There are probably hundreds of different reasons why we use transmogrification in World of Warcraft. Most probably each and every one of those hundreds is valid in their own way, and has some weight in this argument. The most obvious answer would be, that we transmog our gear because we like a certain look much more than the default look of the gear we currently deem superior in the merits of its statistics. I guess stats cannot always buy the looks. It much depends on a personal preference as well.

What sparked me into writing this post is the recent writings of Alternative Chat, she posted on her blog. The thing that did not sit well with me, was comparing transmog with Millennium Falcon, I think Millennium Falcon is the greatest example for the case of why transmog does not matter. Better argument could be made, comparing transmog to Naboo Royal Starship. It might get old, but it will still remain beautiful. While Millennium Falcon will be ugly as sin until the day they send it to the junkyard, but it will be superior when it counts. Like in battle, or running away, or racing someone. Just like all the newest gear. Ugly as sin, but in possession of superior stats.

I understand the fact that we all try to be unique. I understand the fact that we all want to stand out. But I cannot really understand the reasoning of why you would want to be different just for the sake of being different. Ok, I do, but still. To give this discussion a frame, Alternative Chat states she will transmog the new gear, even if it is the best stat-wise, and more importantly, she really likes the look if it, just because other people are wearing it because it is the best gear right now. This presumes that we know why others are currently wearing what they are wearing, which is in the end only blind guessing. And it presumes that showing off the gear you earned is wrong because of some hidden elitist attitude.

People wear what they wear in World of Warcraft for various reasons, if we do not ask, we do not know why they are wearing what they are wearing. Some people simply do not care, and the only thing that matters to them are the stats on the gear. Those I presume are the same people that will race-change because currently Forsaken's racials are better fit for their Warrior, than being an orc. It is an example. Some people love to show latest and greatest piece of gear they acquired. Others actually like the look of the latest gear, and thus wear it. I know, I wonder at their self-induced blindness and ignorance as well.

Some people think that transmog is just a waste of their gold they can live without, and are probably saving for something else. While others will transmog to the set of gear they love the most, the set they spent time to put together, and feel a certain pride in wearing it, and showing it off to the crowd in the middle of Silvermoon. The latter works only if you are on a RP realm. Otherwise Silvermoon is a ghost town. Certain lack of portals being the main cause of that. I know, it should be a crime.

I for example have two go-to transmog sets that I change to every so often. My Blood Knight set, and my White Knight set. I will most of the time walk around clad in black and grey with a touch of crimson simply because that is my favourite set, and I look forward to Warlords of Draenor knowing that I will finally be able to upgrade it to the current standards, and the legplates will actually look like legplates and not like Batman's yoga pants.

And every so often, I will put together another set entirely based on a certain concept, like Archangel for example. I do not put these sets together because their stats are impressive, or because others might wear them. I put those sets together because I find certain aspects of the newest armour sets repulsively ugly, and I take it upon myself to improve those sets. It is fun little exercise changing the armour set you would not want to be caught dead in, into something wearable, something that is not a total fashion disaster. Looking at at you Paladin T11.

I always thought transmogrification was there to put our individualistic urges at ease. I thought we used it in order to be ourselves, whatever that means in the frame of an MMO where we have five faces to choose from and seven different hairstyles. Yes, there are more, humour me. I never imagined there were people in this world that try really hard to be so anti-transmog through transmogrification. To transmog not in order to be different, but because everyone else is the same. It's the Holden Caulfield's "They're all phonies" all over again.

If you use transmogrification, if you actually like it, then please for your own sake, do not use it it because of others. Use it because you want it, because you like the set you want to wear, not because you simply want to be different than everyone else who happen to like the same thing as you do. There is nothing wrong if you do that in any case. But seriously, it looks like a scenario where two girls find out they are wearing the same dress, and they both want to change clothes.

If you transmog, do it for yourself, not because of the others.

#Transmog #WoW

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