Transmog strategy and tactics

“Really, Sha?” Zavannah shook her head. “You actually gonna wear that? Or let me rephrase: Did you forget to pick up your robe from the dry cleaners again?”

Sharenne scoffed. She looked down on her clothes. From her vantagepoint there was absolutely nothing wrong with her ‘adventure outfit’. Pandaria could be hot as Molten Core and wet enough to drown a Kraken. Heavy robes was impractical in a climate such as that. Especially armor of the kind the Alliance insisted on; triple layers of heavy duty cotton, woven cloth armor upgrades and the occasional gemstone (not to mention smoking shoulders and uncomortable hoods).

“There’s nothing wrong with these clothes,” she said. “They’re perfectly safe, sane and I guess consensual. So, there. Besides, maybe you should take a look at yourself. What’s that – a bikini made from ghost iron?”
“It’s iron!”
“It’s still skimpy, miss I’m Not Dead Yet.”
“It’s practical!”
“So’s mine.”
“But that’s … ” Zavannah sighed. “It’s underwear!”
“Well well well, look who’s talking.”

Zavannah opened her mouth to protest but fell silent. She was almost about to admit Sharenne was right when a thought struck her:
“This isn’t ‘sexy wear’. This is a mind trick. Strategy! Tactics!”
“So’s this,” Sharenne said – and struck a pose.

*****

World of Warcraft is in it’s essence ever since patch 4.3 a dress-up game. Much like the Sims you earn gold to buy new clothes and spend even more gold on shiny bling (that’s epic gems for you). In fact, I’d go as far as propose that World of Warcraft is akin to paper dolls.

Now that I’ve effectively newtered every single (male?) gamer who thought it was all about stats and progression raiding, let’s get on with the topic at hand: Clothes, ladies and gentlemen (and that goblin over there)!

By chance I happened upon a must read-blog for anyone who’s A) in love with one or more draenei, or B) likes the wonderful art of transmogrification. Pretty Fly For A Draenei is a virtual goldmine of the most amazing transmogs. This is one of those moments I wish I hadn’t deleted a slew of old screenshots. It’s also a moment where I’m distracted from my actual work by a whole legion of draenei – most of them in really nice clothes. I guess that’s the downside of working from home; my discipline is at times somewhat lacking.

Anyway. Looking through the screenshots I have left following my clean-up mania I’m struck by how there’s more than discipline that’s lacking. Armor, for instance. There could be a long post about objectifying and the male gaze here, but I won’t go there. Not this time anyway. While I am a feminist, I’m not always a good feminist. Case in point: I like my skimpy armor. So, there.

Over time the bank and void storage has filled up with tons of items. Transmog revitalised the game in a way I, at least, didn’t think was possible. Before 4.3 we had to accept either a serious lack of stats – or go with the warsaw pact black-and-brown that’s the prevalent color scheme from Wrath of the Lich King up to and incluing Cataclysm. Mists of Pandaria came with a lot of color, wich was nice. Surely you know all this so I’m not going further with the ‘haute couture’-analysis.

There’s a glaring lack of armor in most of my draeneis armor. I pretend it’s by their own free will. The “Maker” has nothing to do with it. Ahem. Still, there’s a certain sense of Doom Is Coming Your Way when the big Bad Boss looks up from his paperwork just in time for the arrival of five stalwart heroes. Then one of them steps up … in a bikini. “Oh, this won’t take long” I bet the Big Bad Boss thinks. “She’s virtually naked!”

that’s the mind trick, you see. Take a look at any boss and there’s a lot of pent-up testosterone there. not to mention an often glaring lack of mindfulness of Current Topics. Ol’ Rag (or someone else) sees nothing but “breasts” (much like the poor sap in Coupling).

About that time Zavannah unleash her powers … probably with a snicker. “Never knew what hit him”.

(I’ve been yelled at by a tank once when I got involved in a complicated transmog debate and tactical analysis of the skimpy outfit; the other DPS was almost as fond of underwear in metal a I. We sort of … held up the run through I believe it was Grim Batol. Nice one, that other DPS. The tank was just like most tanks are; Grumpy. It’s possible the tank had seen discussion such as this before; after all – the tank was wearing the Saltstone Set … )

These are just but a few of the multitude of fashion statements I’ve made over the years. Sorted in no particular order but starting with the piéce de resistance: Creannah, aka “the Dark Shaman”. To be honest I’m a bit proud of this outfit (just a tad, I don’t want the Sha of Pride to come sniffing, we all know what happens then).

WoWScrnShot_050712_212807

Shoulders: Spored Tendril Spaulders

Chest: Dark Iron Mail

Legs: Ebonhold Leggings

Gauntlets: Ebonhold Gauntlets

Belt: I can’t for the life of me remember the name! Something something belt something.

I actually built this set from skintone and up. The belt was a nice touch, I think. I’m not overly fond of Wrath of the Lich King gear but the spaulders really made the whole thing. It’s a Cataclysm-screenshot so teh dagger is … something from Dragon Soul, I think. Or something. It’s a dagger, allright? It’s made for poking people with!

skimpy

(Don’t mention this image for Shuanna. She still don’t know it exists. You don’t want me to develop a speach impediment now, do you? She’s pretty good with her mace and, well, getting maced by a paladin hurts. A lot.)

I was once lucky enough, way before 4.3 came around, to own the (almost) complete Jade Plate Set. This was … I think around 2008, just a few months after I started playing World of Warcraft. Back then before transmog green items were still real cheap on the Auction House. As long as stats didn’t matter complete sets could be found for less than 100 gold. As far as I remember there was a lot of stamina and spirit once I had equipped it. I never ran dungeons back then. I solo-played. Stats like strength etc wasn’t that important to me. Look was important however. I died. A lot. With this set. But it was so gorgeous I couldn’t help myself. That spider ate me, by the way.

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Shoulders: Laughing Skull Shoulders*

Chest: Bucaneer’s Vest

Legs: Cournith Waterstrider’s Silken Finery

Sharenne isn’t a draenei but since Blizzard in their stupidity has decided that draenei can’t be warlocks I had to adopt a human. Grrrr. Still, she’s pretty fly for a ‘naturalized draenei’ (she’s adopted, allright?). I ran almost every zone from Jade Forrest to Dread Wastes with this look. There was quite a fewe raised eyebrows; I didn’t even know Mantids had eyebrows!

*: the Laughing Skull Shoulders are one of the really rare shoulder models that don’t look like a 24-wheeler with a skyscraper with spikes and fire. It’s almost not noticeable … wich is why I love them. For any mage, priest or warlock who don’t like big shoulders they’re an absolute must – just like the Aurora Mantle (a clean, white and almost invisible shoulder model).

Sharenne would probably feel right at home with this:

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Alas, it’s not a warlock. It’s Cahanna, a mage who sometimes … joins the dark side. Notice the hot poker. On rare occasions a cloak can actually be pretty nifty.

Shoulders: Sorry, can’t remember. I think it’s something from old Scholomance.

Chest/Robe: Black Velvet Robes

Head: Aurora Cowl

The sword … Can’t remember, possibly a quest reward from (old?) Scholomance, but not sure. The Red Hot Poker is (was?) a drop from the inquisitor mini boss in normal Scarlet Monastery (I think).

This is one of the rare moments when Cannie actually looks demure. Speaking of wich, I ran around Black Temple with a few guildies once dressed in ‘lingerie’ … (Screen from an earlier moment in Searing Gorge).

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Shoulders: Aurora Mantle

Chest: Polychromatic Visionwrap

Legs: Pants of the Naaru

Headpiece (eyepatch) belt, bracers and gloves – those I can’t really remember. (It’s been awhile since I could actually play due to a sick computer so I’m relying on memory alone.)

While in Black Temple, typical friendly banter ensued. I’m the in-house confirmed transmog addict after all. Once we were back in Stormwind Cahanna had an epiphany. Well, actually I just wanted to show that blasted Death Knight, the banter leader, that I could be well behaved too!

She dug deep in her wardobe and ended up looking pretty bad-ass – but very moral. Almost too moral. Except the inherent “By hale Magefire be purged!” zealotry … uhm … Yeah. Sometimes even Cataclysm wear has its place.

WoWScrnShot_030912_204145

Those occasions are rare ones. Cahanna might be a good enough mage, she relies a lot on her draenei looks in order to survive. There she is, happily traipsing along some long forgotten path in Kun Lai and a Mad Yangol shows up. The war cry is cut short. The bovine brain can’t think of anything but … yeah, you guessed it. Evil schoolgirls.

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While the cruel confused cow blinks away the images of “Yangol Centerfold Weekly” (if there is such a magazine) Cahanna slips away.

Ever since they nerfed Arcane, she’s the Rincewind of Azeroth. I just can’t get the hang of Frost. Blurgh, as the water elemental said.

In fact, the mage nerf in Mists of Pandaria was the only reason I rolled a Death Knight. Once I’d lived through the harrowing experience of the more than cruel starter zone I found that Death Knights … was a lot of fun! sometimes you obviously has to be “dead” in order to live. Strange. Zavannah became my new main in almost record time. Not only that, she’s also the one I identify with the most (even though I’m very much alive). There’s a certain misantrophy in a Death Knight that’s just impossible to resist. As a bonus she’s a one-draenei army; She’s survived the most impossible things!

She’s a terror in an armored bikini.

WoWScrnShot_051312_181053

Shoulders: Unknown (blame it on a slight memory lapse)

Chest: Warrior’s Embrace

Legs: Cenarion Thicket Legplates

Gloves: Unknown (blame it on a slight memory lapse)

And for the slightly colder climate, the “wicked witch of the West” version.

WoWScrnShot_112612_010815

I’m not too fond of the Acherus starter gear but the cassock (or skirt) is sort of a favourite.

There you have it. An assortment of fashion statements. It’s hard to grow tired of transmog so for once the “GG Blizz” actually means something positive. All we need now is an expanded Void Storage.

then I’ll go really crazy.

*****
The healer, a priest, fully decked in cloth armor so thick she could hardly stand up straight, gave Zavannah an incredulous look. A raised eyebrow, a slight smirk. It was clear there was more than just Zavannah armor at stake: Light versus Darkness and all that. Politics rarely mix with mercenary outfits.

“Not much to wear there,” the priest said and chuckled. “You sure you won’t catch a cold, hon’?”
“I’m frost specced,” Zavannah said. “Immune.”

Ten seconds later the tank dropped his sword. As the group made a hasty retreat (“a negative advance”, as the tank called it) they blamed Zavannah. She stopped dead in her track, turned around towards the incoming minions of evil …

And slaughtered them.

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