Transmog : Shoulders from hell

Before I start, let me say that I am not a huge transmogger. I really like that Blizz implemented the concept, and I end up transmogging almost all of my alts. But I am not exactly what you would call fashion conscious, either in game or real life. Still, I do have definite ideas about how my characters should look.

I think a character’s look is closely tied with the little fantasy persona we give them. I am not talking about formal RP character stories, but we all have a certain sense of each of our characters’ personalities, and what they wear reflects that. For example, I like to think of my hunters — one worgen and one night elf — as quietly competent, not drawing attention to themselves unless they are forced to fight, blending in with the background so as to be better able to observe and learn about their enemies. Thus, they tend to dress in browns, greens, black, with as little bulk as possible in order to easily slip in and out of the shadows. (OK, my alt hunter did have a flirtation with stunning blues, but that was mainly because she was entranced by a particular blue bow, needed an outfit to go with it, and really she is over it now. We all fall prey to Madison Avenue once in a while.)

My panda mistweaver is just a bit vain, but let’s face it she has a definite tendency towards chubbiness, which means many things that look maah-velous on a long, lean night elf just aren’t for her, to her everlasting disappointment. Her fashion challenge is her backside, which in addition to being “ample” has the requirement that all pants have a tail hole cut in them. Personally, I think she should stick to skirts or dresses, but she insists on pants, so what are you gonna do? Also, she has very large wide feet, combined with short fat legs, so tall boots are a real disaster for her. At least I have been pretty successful persuading her to stay with sandals. Still, transmog for her is tough, and she looks her best in simple garb that downplays her natural bulkiness, with maybe just a touch of color around her head.

My gnome warlock is completely uninterested in fashion, she is strictly about kicking ass and taking names, and she won’t have anything that gets in the way of that. We have discussed it a few times, and she understands that her tiny size means there is an unfortunate tendency towards cuteness — an idea that enrages her, but then most things enrage her, so…. I do my best to keep things very basic and business-like with her wardrobe. Sometimes I have to lie to her a little, to persuade her that she is absolutely NOT cute! No! (“See? This basic black outfit looks just like the one that the Big Bad Worgen Hunter wears. Ferocious! Mean! Grrrr!”)

My mage is my clothes horse. She loves nothing better than to get all dressed up in a stunning gown, with eye-catching headgear. She often complains that it’s a shame her gowns frequently cover her trousers and feet and even wrists and hands, because she goes to great pains to make sure they, too, are stunning. One of her biggest fashion disappointments is that rings, neck pieces, and trinkets are not visible. She is not flashy, exactly, but there is nothing she loves more than something that screams elegance. Unfortunately, she is not all that active in the world these days, so does not have a great number of acceptable transmog items. Isn’t that always the way, my hunters who are interested only in utility have a huge wardrobe, but my fashion-conscious mage has a very skimpy one.

Which, finally, brings me to my point: shoulders. WoW has absolutely the most god-awful assortment of shoulders anyone could imagine. Those of you who have read everything up to here might notice that most of my characters favor clean, classic lines in their outfits. Very few shoulders in this game qualify as “clean, classic lines.” No, most are better described as “drug-induced hallucinatory nightmares that make you wake up screaming for your mommy.” They feature carcasses of dead animals, human and other skulls, giant spikes, burning embers, live snakes, actual blinking eyeballs, and who knows what the hell else some of those things are. One popular item is something that looks like the dead body of a set of bagpipes, big old sticks of some sort. A few look like they were inspired by moldy shower curtains. In Cata, there was a popular set of priest shoulders that I swear looked like matching bird baths perched precariously on the priest. Even the ones without disgusting features are invariably massive, to the point of looking ridiculous.

This makes it very hard — often impossible — to achieve anything close to the understated look my characters favor. Usually I end up finding a crafted set of shoulders, many of which are actually reasonable looking, but they are limited in color so I often have to amend everything else to accommodate them. It has gotten to the point where my first choice for a transmog item is the shoulder piece, then I build the rest of the look around that.

Blizz, I implore you, please do something about this. Here are some possible fixes:

  • Allow shoulders to be one of the items you can elect to not display, like you can do for head and back gear. In fact, I would not be opposed to making every piece of gear something that you could elect to not display. If your character wants to run around naked, or fully dressed except for no pants, or barefoot, while fighting mobs and bosses, what’s the harm?
  • Allow players to transmog the invisible shoulders from mission salvage. Yes, I know it is against your high moral principles to do so, but I am not asking for all invis pieces to be moggable, just the shoulders. Surely we have the technology.
  • Hire a gay guy to design your shoulders, or even all your gear. My friend Dave (who reads this blog and said I could use his name) would be perfect for this — he is not much of a gamer, but he certainly understands the principles of good design, whether it be understated classic, contemporary eclectic, bikers gone wild, or punk rock. And I believe it is safe to say he would never ever include matching bird baths as part of any design.

As I said at the start, I am not overly involved in transmogging, but I do like my characters to look organized and professional rather than disheveled and ridiculous. I am hoping that the transmog changes promised for Legion will be more than just storage tweaks, and that they will make it easier to get the looks each of my characters wants.

(And see, I told you I would eventually be reduced to writing fluff fashion pieces in this dry info period prior to Blizzcon!)

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

3 Responses to Transmog : Shoulders from hell

  1. Grumsta says:

    I can’t recall a single piece of WoD gear that dropped that didn’t make me run straight to the Transmogger, screaming in horror all the way. It is just awful.

    My Panda hunter wears the chainmail set from Timeless, with the “Rambo” headband instead of a helm. It’s all bright red so I can see him in the raid confusion, and clashes lovely with the bright green bow I found 🙂

    My warrior wears a full set of Cobalt armour that he made himself. It looks superb on a dwarf.

    My mage wears the nearest thing I can find to a black robe (it’s from BT), with no helm. I found the plainest, smallest shoulders I could and use them. They’re more brown than black but at least they don’t look like Ikea shelving or anything equally insane. IIRC the current set he has have wings sprouting from the front – they looked utterly ridiculous, and got transmogged as soon as I could summon my Yak.

    I’m with you that any gear slot should have an on/off display button. Simplest option to implement and gives even more choice.

    The fact that transmogging is available means that Blizz can go as wild as they like with their designs. Probably stops them getting bored, and of course takes gold out of the game as we try to undo their fabric faux pas.

    • Fiannor says:

      I am a big fan of the Rambo headbands as well as the pimp hats. If I can’t use one of them on a character I turn off the headgear display, because imo head gear runs a close second to shoulders for hideousness. There is an annoying bug that Blizz seems unable or unwilling to fix — on my worgen, all headgear disappears from the display as soon as I mount up, and stays gone, no matter what my display settings. This is annoying because I spent a lot of time and effort gathering the patterns and mats for the mail “stylin'” hats, which if I do say so myself look pretty badass on my worgen.

  2. Roo ! says:

    Many a day I looked at the “shoulders from hell” that are the heirlooms. It is the only thing (next to the terrible skull bow) that I transmog. And most of the shoulders are horrible.

    I like the chubbiness of my Pandas, 🙂