Away From Reality

December 9, 2011

AFR #160 – Leading by example

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — tabulacandida @ 11:53 AM

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Okay, Blizzard, we need to have a talk.  You make a great game and I love you for it.  I have a laugh at your expense sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like what you do.  I wouldn’t have kept this comic going for years if I didn’t love your game.  Even when I don’t agree with everything you do, I usually understand and respect your choices.  But sometimes you make no sense.

Take this nonsense about not being able to transmogrify with gear that was “originally added to the game as absurdities“.  World of Warcraft is a silly game.  You know it and we know it.  You designed it that way.  You’re the ones who decided to make random NPCs into pop culture references.  You’re the ones who wrote all the /silly emotes.  You’re the ones who brought us drunk ram racing and plopping jack-o’-lanterns over people’s heads and scarfing cupcakes in front of poor orphans for an achievement.  You’re the ones who decided that half of Uldum– that’s 10% of the levelling content in Cataclysm– should be an extended Raiders of the Lost Ark riff.  You’re the ones who are planing on giving us bouncy panda people.  And you know what?  We love it.  We love the spice that the silliness adds to the game.  We keep coming back to dance in the streets, toss paper zeppelins to each other, and click on NPCs until they get snippy and tell us to go play in traffic.  You gave us lots of fun silly stuff to wear and now you’re getting in a snit because we actually want to wear it?  If you really didn’t want us to be running around in Santa hats and invisible vests wielding fish daggers, may I humbly suggest that maybe you shouldn’t have put Santa hats, invisible vests, and fish daggers in the game.  The time to make WoW into a Very Serious Game where nothing silly happens was seven years ago, not in the last patch of your third expansion.

“But we want the hard work done by our artists to be seen!” you say.  Well, sure, what artist doesn’t want their work to be seen?  And your artists deserve it, too; they do some danged good work.  But what about the artists who made the fish daggers and the fire festival regalia and the chef’s hat?  Don’t they deserve to have their work seen?  We can already turn off cloaks and helms, the game mechanics encourage us to wear tabards that cover up our chestpieces, those of us who wear robes never get to see our pants or boots, and most gloves cover up our bracers.  That’s a whole lot of artwork that’s already not being seen.  Before transmogrification came in, all the hard work that went into high-level vanilla, Burning Crusade, and Wrath gear was not being seen at all, so how is this any different?

Is that really what you think of us?  You think that if you give us the chance to wear Santa hats and wield fish daggers we will never use anything else ever again?  Just take a look at what we’re doing with transmogrification in game.  Some people are showing off the awesome old gear they got doing old-school raiding.  Some people are making colorful combinations of assorted pieces.  Some people are dressing up like their favorite in-game or out-of-game characters.  Some people are role-playing the way they see their characters dressing.  There’s a huge amount of creativity out there.  Sure, some people go for the cheap joke, but that’s not what all of us or even most of us want to do with transmogging.  If you really want to make sure that your artists’ work is seen, the solution is really very simple: make sure your artists do awesome work and someone will want to look at it on their character (and they already do, so stop worrying about it).

Why do you even care if we want to go forth and vanquish world-destroying dragons while wearing a little black dress?  How does it hurt anyone?  It doesn’t unbalance the game.  It doesn’t make anyone else’s experience worse.  It doesn’t break our immersion any more than finding ourselves in the same group as someone named Immatbagumofo Jenkins from the guild <HYPERSONIC CHICKEN KABLOWIE> with his pet fire-breathing murloc.  Maybe some people would rather deck themselves out in silly-looking gear than wear the serious gear you’ve made for us, but so what?  Those people will have more fun without taking away anyone else’s.  Let us transmog whatever we want and you will have increased the net happiness of the world.  What’s so wrong with that?


  1. There, there, darling… *pat pat* I’ve fixed you a nice cup of calming chamomile tea. Now, put the mouse down, and walk slowly away from the computer… We’re going to take a week off WoW.
    (Like that’s gonna happen! 😀 )

    Comment by Mrs. AFR — December 9, 2011 @ 12:11 PM

  2. I was so set to have my priest raiding in a tuxedo. 😦

    Comment by ~LC — December 9, 2011 @ 3:08 PM

    • The name’s Priest. Aedhan Priest. of rotMI6.

      Comment by ~LC — December 9, 2011 @ 3:09 PM

      • lol. If only!

        Comment by wowafr — December 11, 2011 @ 1:07 AM

  3. Ah, yes. I too have heard the moans of those who have found transmogrification to be less than all encompassing.
    I must agree. The game is full of silly stuff, cartoonish graphics, references toward culture, and even honest to goodness mistakes that are just ‘Failty’ *As Malygos put it*.
    The naming policy is enforced… if you have a horrible enough name to make Benjamin Franklin roll over in his grave -and- you are on an RP server. It’s not like people are expected to be serious with these names, is it? If so, one would expect a far more stringent naming policy.
    What we have here, I believe, is a case of blizzard being too silly for their own good. They must have simply gone bonkers at some point, and we now see the effects of that more and more in the decisions for things like this. Oh well. Retribution is simple, my friends. Simply find the most jarring, garish, annoying combination of colors on gear that you can transmogrify with… and you can still look scary silly. Next, take group photos and send them to blizzard with the caption ‘Because we can’t have silly transmogrification gearz.’ At the very worst, they have to see that. Maybe it will haunt them at night.

    Comment by Robert — December 9, 2011 @ 10:08 PM

  4. YES. So very very much. /cheer

    Comment by Ayshela — December 10, 2011 @ 3:11 AM

    • Glad we agree. 🙂

      Comment by wowafr — December 11, 2011 @ 1:07 AM

  5. Please tell them to let me transmog my Shadowmourne while you’re at it. I guess that would ruin others’ immersion too, though.

    Comment by Josh Skeens — December 18, 2011 @ 9:31 PM

    • Amen to that. Among all the things I don’t get about the transmogrification restrictions, I really don’t get why they said no legendaries, given that those are things you’re supposed to be showing off for bragging rights.

      Comment by wowafr — December 19, 2011 @ 11:58 PM

  6. I pass by transmogrification…vendors?…from time to time, but I’ve never actually stopped and looked into the service. NOW I’m curious. *logs back in*

    Comment by ButMadNNW — July 29, 2013 @ 12:49 AM

    • Ooh, transmog is fun! I love being able to make my characters look the way I think they should look.

      Comment by wowafr — July 29, 2013 @ 10:19 AM

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