Long-time readers might recall that I have written liberally (some might say, ad nauseum) about clothing and appearance in Second Life, and some few posts about gear and appearance in WoW. In SL, I embarked on long and arduous quests to acquire apparel that suited my whims and fancies. But in WoW, although I have periodically reacted to dramatic gear looks, I rarely think about what Lan looks like. Yes, I attend to her hair, and I was awfully fond of one cat-like helm in particular, but I never thought much about what my gear looked like, just what its stats were – like most folks are – er, used to be.
Transmog has changed everything! Now I am a self-conscious mess, despising how incredibly poorly my different pieces of gear match each other. “I look ridiculous!” I could be heard saying. “Those shoulders are horrible!” And etc., and etc.
In the old days, with no control over my gear appearance, I had nary a thought about matching bits and pieces. But now that it is possible to make decisions about how I look, I find myself taking communicative repsonsibility for what I look like.
Yeah, that was totally academic-talk. And made-up academic-talk, at that. What I mean by that is that I suddenly feel that something is being read about me based on what my gear looks like.
Now, gear has always been read by players in WoW, but it was the stats, not the appearance as such, that communicated status, achievements, participation, etc. If someone had the complete Tier Latest set, representing the best in the game, it said something about that player. But now… now there’s a new dimension possible: what you’ve decided that tier gear looks like on your toon.
Oddly, I don’t actually read others based on their matching or mismatching pants and chest and shoulders or what-have-you, but I feel as though I have to decide what and who to be in my appearance. I feel as though I want to express myself through my appearance, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ve got a few transmog’d pieces that I like, but my damn pants don’t match.
Plus, now I have to desperately run to the transmog services as soon as I get a new snazzy piece. The other day those new fabulous shoulders made me whinge until I could get myself back to Org, and then, what a relief! Back to the pretty Tier 7 (ish?) blue ones.