Item Transmogrification and PVP

Posted Tue, Sep 13, 2011 by Messiah

A few weeks ago Blizzard announced that very shortly, in patch 4.3, players will be able to modify the appearance of their character’s gear so that they can look the way they want rather than how the gear looks by default. The new ability is called Transmogrification and is a long talked about feature in the game. Heck, I remember Blizzard talking about players eventually having more control over appearance as far back as the initial launch. Well it is finally almost here.

Overall the system looks to be extremely elegant, requiring you to simply have the item you want your other item to look like. This makes it simple to track what who can change items to look like what for Blizzard, and also ties in well with the other new feature being added: Void Storage. It does however mean that many players are going to be forced to go back and complete some old content again to get some favourite item looks again. Some are not happy about this, but again, it makes the system very simple and elegant.

Regardless of how the system works and how you go about changing items, there are some restrictions that have been announced already such as no legendaries, and any BOE used for Transmogrification becomes bound. However there is a big question that many players have raised.

The question that I am referring to is how and what does all this mean for PvP?

Since it has not been announced yet that PVP gear is being blocked from being Transmogrified, everyone is under the assumption that it is allowed and this creates some big concerns.

Let's assume for the minute that it is going to be allowed in PVP and look at why it is such a big issue.

The PVP Transmogrification Problem

The issue with Transmogrification and PVP is that for the serious PVP player looks are seriously important. And no I don’t mean that they are really fashion conscious and should be hosting What not to Wear. What I mean is that they study and memorize what different sets look like so that they can tell at a glance roughly what to expect from an opponent.

This is critical in high-end arena combat where knowing what you are up against and how you should react to it can make a huge difference. Learning the appearance of the available sets and what they mean about a player and their abilities is a skill and something that really separates the great players from the crowd. It allows them to make snap decisions based on knowledge rather than basing choices on blind luck.

It is important as well in battlegrounds for skilled players, and even unskilled players, but those smart enough to watch for certain pieces of gear.

By being able to pick up the appearance of high-end PVP gear help players greatly for two main reasons. Firstly, several of the PVP sets are very distinctive, making them easy to pick up and identify at a distance. Even if a player isn’t always aware of what exact set they are, meaning which season it is, most sets give a solid idea as to the character class at first glance. This makes it extremely easy to identify a Warlock at range compared to a Warrior. Sure you could click on the enemy at range and be able to see for sure right away, but right now you can tell by looks alone.

The second big reason is the same as in Arena combat, by seeing the players gear you can know how much of a threat they are. The same as in arenas this is a skill and takes work and memorization, however many players do it here as well. If you are able to look at 5 enemies on your screen and immediately assess roughly how dangerous they are if puts you ahead of those that can not. This is a great skill and ability to have and helps separate the really good battleground players from those that simply participate.

The Benfits of Transmogrification in a PVP Environment

The ability to Transmogrify your gear is easy and cool, but how badly will it affect PVP?

For all those upset about this change, there are even more that are thrilled by it. After all there are always two points of view.

The issue to remember here is that those against this change are the skilled players that make use of a know element to gain benefit. Everyone has equal opportunity and ability to make use of this for benefit if they choose.

The ones that are excited about this change in PVP are those that either are incapable of remembering the appearance of PVP sets, don’t try to remember, or are too lazy to remember.

Does a change that benefits any of those types of people sound like a good change?

The Word of the Messiah

Being that there has been no Official word that I have seen on Transmogrification and PVP, I am really hoping that we have nothing to worry about and that you will not be able to Transmogrify PVP Gear.

However since it has been noted already that Legendaries are out of bounds but nothing has been said about PVP, so I doubt they are off limits.

If players are allowed to transmogrify their PVP gear I foresee the end of flashy looking PVP sets being seen in PVP. After all why on earth would I advertise that I have good gear, it would only hurt me. The smart players will all go and find the crappiest / plainest looking gear possible to transmogrify it’s appearance onto their high end PVP gear so that they will not be identified as an immediate threat.

To be fair, appearance is not everything, nor should it be. There are players with awesome looking gear that simply cannot play. There are those with horrible gear that always seem to have your number. That happens. However, you should be able to have a rough idea of what to expect when you look at someone. Also I like the look of the PVP sets in general, when I earn a new piece I want to equip it and look cool, not hide it.

Because of all the negative aspects that transmogrification brings up if allowed in PVP I am begging Blizzard to please block it on all PVP items. If not it only detracts from the game and allows players that don’t take the time and effort to learn the sets to improve, while hurting those that have taken the time to better their pattern recognition abilities.

I would be even more negative about this whole transmogrification and how it affects PVP, however I really am hoping that it is just a Blizzard oversight and they forgot to put it in the initial announcement that PVP is off limits. Steady yourselves for a really nasty view point if this goes live and PVP gear is allowed.

World of Warcraft - Related Content
Trasnmogrification Guide| PVP Battlegrounds

Isn't a decision based on no information and made blindly, just a guess? So you would rather guess than learn what to expect based on visuals and make informed decisions?

Not everyone has the "time" to study PVP gear. I am in no way lazy, or incapable of learning anything and I would rather pvp then anything. But in my world learning different sets of PVP gear comes around last on my list of things to learn. With transmogrification being available to PVP gear it will put everyone on the same playing field. This will also make things a lot less frustrating for most people (those of us who don't have the time to study pvp gear). If you want to go all out and win achievements on WoW battleground's and Arena's to the extent that you study all the sets of PVP gear you really need to ask yourself, wtf?

What a bummer of a read, full of opinions stated as fact.

I look forward to the change if they allow you to transmog PvP gear. Arena is boring, even on the competitive level [I don't mean professional though].

Not knowing exactly what I'm up against should make 3's a hell of a lot more fun than it is in it's current state.

Oh and as someone who does Arena quite competitively, we pay more attention to the group make up than what they're wearing, as our tactic doesn't change because they're wearing season 9 gear instead of season 10 gear etc. etc.

Now if you're talking about the top 1% where every little thing matters, than I agree with you....which then my argument is "You want them to prevent transmogging pvp gear as not to upset the balance for the top 1% of the arena players?".

All in all it's not a very big deal and I find it amusing how big of a deal you're making it....anyways....see you in the arena....hopefully in my Season 11 gear dressed up as t2 cuz I'm a douche like that.

So is what your saying is true, then pvp is based on only looks? Not on actually clicking on them, seeing how much mana they have, how hard they get hit, how hard they hit to determine how a fight will turn out?
I think this COULD be a negative but also it will also give players a diverse feeling to pvp and those who do transmogify are just looking to have some fun, possibly those at high end wont due to your reasons but there are still those out there just looking to have fun, it is a game after all. Shouldnt you be asking Blizzard to allow this for battlegrounds but could also fix this for arenas and Rated battlegrounds?

Actually, speaking from the rank and file random BG players, I look for whether a player appears to be geared for PvP. Low resilience players are excellent targets in group situations, as they cause a lot of damage but go down quickly. For example, I will almost always kill a Feral with the Firelands form modification. This really does affect my ability to rank kill targets by ease/threat. I can blow all my cool downs and not kill a good geared PvP healer, sometimes even an uncoordinated group will struggle, but PvE geared healers will drop in a silence+stun. So, I can decide whether to CC the healer, or kill them. The changes to stamina are part of the issue, too, as the health pool of a PvE player can be quite large now, and is no longer a good indicator.

see the upside

Look a benediction ^^ :D ...

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