Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Gamble of Transmogrification

You're doing it wrong...

It's already been discussed when the feature was announced, I know.

However, I did not see a lot of gold-makers jump on the transmog train (or just not mentioning it a lot).
I suspect that the thinking behind this is that aiming to make gold with transmogrification is time and energy consuming: you have to peruse the database and look at every wearable item and discover the drop rates, then farm or get mats to craft.
While this is true, it is surely something that is still manageable for gold-makers.
We just have two simple problems to deal with before we actually see gold coming from that.
#1 - How do you go about looking for transmog items ?
#2 - Which items will people be wanting to buy ?
But until transmogrification is added to the game, the heart of the gamble is this: we don't know how people will react to transmogrification.

First reactions
When the feature was announced, some people cried of joy, and a rather large part of the community were angry buggers grumbling that it was a complete waste of time.
Then the PTR happened.
And I don't know if you keep your ears open for the echoes from the PTR, but something fascinating has taken place.
Players that had no intention of using the transmog feature now are constantly looking for ways to acquire sets, dressing rooming every piece of wearable gear.
To some of them, every green item now holds the possibility of being a part of a set, as if behind the fact of the item rarity was hiding a design secret, a jewel, something incredible.
Remember the outcry over the original cost of the feature ?
Yes it was because some players couldn't afford it, but it was also because some people that had a lot of money were running out of it because they've been using the transmog feature so damn often.
That should be telling you something.

You just wait until it's unleashed onto the majority of the WoW population.

''Wait - I thought you said we don't know how people will react to it ?''
Yep. But for gold-makers, there is still a risk.

Will people buy the items you post on the AH for their looks ?
Won't people go farm their Tier sets ?
How can you be sure that your items will be considered by buyers ?

Let's get something out of the way immediately : some players will want to spend no time on it, either because they want to progress with the current content or they have no time to peruse the old content and acquire the pieces or simply the time to run the old instances.
Okay that's them out of the picture (until other people make them change their mind about it).

One thing's for sure: not everyone will go transmog into their Tier sets - or if they do, it won't be for long.
My hunch about that ?
WoW players are very fickle.
Think of the mentality that is embraced by a lot of players of wanting items and sets that are exclusive and will show their 'status' (which is a way of being 'cool', because we all want to be the coolest of the cool) - if you don't know what I mean, I'll point you towards the thousands of threads about Legendary items.
Since the announcement of transmogrification, I have seen a growing number of people running old content to get gear - and it's a trend that will only get stronger.

I know most of you know this, but just in case of you don't - something NOT to invest in: Molten Core items.
If it's not already like that on your server, those BoEs will be littering your AH.
On the upside: if you have Thorium Brotherhood reputation to complete, there will not be a better time to do it, with tons of rep items at a very very low price. (Note that the reputation grind has somewhat changed in Cataclysm.)

Anyways, after running all those raids, people will have their sets completed.
And then what ?
Well, if you've poked around in the transmog discussions going on left and right, you will notice a trend: people discussing the most fashionable Tier sets for each class.
They come up with a consensus of which ones are awesome, which ones are not, and people go out and farm them.
So you will end up with a whole bunch of Paladins in Judgement set, and equivalents for each class.

Players will not have that.

(To be read with a wowcrendor ''rage'' voice)
''So many people dressed just like me ?!
That doesn't make ME special !
Aw, that set doesn't look cool anymore...
You've ruined it all for me !
I hate my parents !''
And then they'll blame Blizzard for not coming up with new cool items and blah blah bitch moan...

Enter You, the gold-making Transmog Extraordinaire.
What can You bring to the table ?
All the other items that people have forgotten about.

LF Transmog
That's when we tackle the two questions that I've mentioned at the start.
First, how do you find your items to sell ?
Well, take a look around!
You can always start by looking at all the items that the vendors are selling (Example: Ethereum Phase Blade - go 3D view it).
Then you can run some 5-mans and pick up all the BoEs and dressing room them to see the artwork.
You can look at all those sets you can find in the 5-mans that are not tier gear but still look pretty cool to run around with. (Of course you can save yourself the farming trouble by checking AtlasLoot...)
You then can start thinking to accessorize those sets.

You could also start parsing through the Wowhead database, but needles and haystacks aren't my bag.
There must be a better and quicker way to make some sort of sense in all those items, right?

That's when our often-maligned population of Role Players take the spotlight and show us the result of their research.
If there's one thing that you can say about them: they like to show their items.
Go find their sites and forums and check out the sets they are coming up with!

Here's a few links to get you started and check out their lists of other sites to consult :
The Visual Roleplay Gear List:
Disenchanting Azeroth:
Flux's WarcraftLooks :

And a fun mod to have:
MogIt :

WTB Transmog
What do I have to do to get some attention on my items ?
Bark about them!
I'd come up with some original material specially tailored to the item.
Make sure that you mention who's the best class to be wearing it and what attitude it will give the character - those are your two important selling points.
However, I'd want to be careful about the downside of barking for every item you'll be putting up on the AH...

The important task that the gold-maker will be doing in barking about items, will be to raise awareness about the esthetic qualities of items that were previously not desirable to the eyes of most people.
An in-game gold-making clothing designer is what you will become.
The money opportunities are still to be discovered as the population will play with this new toy and Blizzard will make some changes and tweaks here and there...
As with all of the new systems that are added by Blizzard, I'm excited about what will happen with this feature.

Tip #1 : Your new friend on Wowhead is a little tab that's called ''Same model as'', where you will find other skins for the same weapon model. You may find some surprises!
Tip #2 : Sets don't have to absolutely be combat-related. It will get better once they will remove the armor type specification (crosses fingers for that) and you'll be able to make situational sets and goofy combinations, such as using a fish for a weapon.
Tip #3 : Crafting alts and crafting friends that can make interesting BoE items are also your new best friends. Take the time to check out what your alts can make and hurry to make them and stockpile before the mat costs start rising when people will figure out that they can already craft it all themselves instead of buying them from you.
Tip #4 : Elixir of Giant Growth - because everybody's ego will need to be inflated on patch day.

An example of what can be done...

Here's my friend's bank alt: Trinkets !
She is wearing:
Dress shoes - Craftable
Gem Studded Bracelets - From the end quest of the Zandalari chain
Dalaran Wizard's Robe - A somewhat rare drop from mobs in Silverpine Forest that can only be killed by a Horde player
Violet Hat - Bought from a Dalaran vendor, this item will not be allowed to be transmogged because it does not have an armor proficiency (ie: ''Cloth'' would be written in the tooltip to make it Ok)
Farmer's Broom - Very rare drop from Tirisfal Farmhand in Silverpine Forest - My friend put an Unholy enchant on it, making it a DOOM BROOM!!! However, remember that mogging will remove any enchants and gems that were put on the items beforehand! So don't waste your time putting those fiery and frosty and mongoose enchants on them to make them more attractive (unless you want to get extra gold and be a little shady, but I don't recommend doing that lest your AH reputation take a hit).

Can we see the gold-making opportunities yet ?

EDIT: Added precision about the weapon enchants.


  1. Fantastic post! I've tried to get gold-makers interested in looking at selling mogging items. This post does a better job than any I've written.