Monday, September 19, 2011

#choosewisely: Transmogrification and the Future of Questing

When the Transmogrification feature was announced as part of patch 4.3, most of us initially felt the pain of having sold off or destroyed gear and weapons from previous tiers and seasons of PvP.  If you look deeper, you'll see that Transmogrification will actually forever change key aspects of the game, including how players manage Quests and Quest Rewards in the future.

You have chosen wisely. The De-Raged Waraxe is one-of-a-kind.

During our ongoing evaluations here, we've uncovered a number of weapons and shields that are extremely rare, even one-of-a-kind models that are only attainable upon completion of certain Quests.  We've already heard from a few players that some of the items we've selected in our editors' picks, such as the King's Bulwark and Revilgaz's Cutlass are long lost for them because they've already completed the Quest lines and have sold/destroyed the items.

Now with Transmogrification on the horizon, Quest Rewards have some new value.  If you're relatively new to the game and plowed through levels 58-68 using the LFG tool, chances are a number of the rare and one-of-a-kind items available via Outland Quest lines are still available to you.  Consequently, if you've been around for a long time on your main and haven't completed some of the new, lower level quests introduced in Cataclysm, you might get quick and easy access to these items.  And who knows, maybe Darkmoon Faire will reintroduce some of these items that players have considered lost long ago.

Regardless of any heartache you might have when looking closely at what you've already completed in-game, the way you Quest in the future is going to change.  We're sure of it, and it could change significantly from an interface and external resources point of view.  

Let's jump ahead in time and take a look at a Quest you will have just completed.  Perhaps it's a Quest line introduced to raiders or 5-man dungeon runners in 4.3, or perhaps it's simply the first Quest you complete at level 85 as part of the upcoming expansion.  You are presented with four (4) potential Quest Rewards.  You now have another means with which to consider these items:  what they look like.

Quest Rewards will no longer simply be fodder for sale or disenchanting, they will also be candidates for your endgame wardrobe.  And from what we've learned in conducting these evaluations here, you must be very careful about what you select.  One of those models that you can technically equip may be a rare or even one-of-a-kind model.  If you pass it up, you may be negating your one chance at ever getting that look again.  So yes you must choose, but #choosewisely

The dilemma here in the future, and why we claim that the face of Quest Rewards may change significantly going forward, is there is currently no easy way of determining the availability of an item from a Transmogrification point of view in-game.  There is for everything else including stats, power, rarity, etc in the tooltip.  When you see a purple drop, you've been conditioned to know its value is higher than something green or blue.  When you've got an orange in your bank, you know what it means and how rare it is.  But how can you tell from the current in-game tooltips, or even external resources in a very quick fashion, just how rare a particular model or skin is?  Will Blizzard alter the design of the tooltip to include a new feature?  Will WoWhead enable you to search for items by number of shared models?  Will the in-game character model viewer get bigger and experience a visual overhaul?  Believe it or not the landscape for identifying in-game items is evolving in 4.3 and will need the support of new solutions in the future.

The way you go about Questing and selecting the items you will take with you is going to change.  Get ahead of the game, and get the word out because you can start now.  If you're leveling a character, stop selling your quest rewards and do a bit of research.  Yes, this is going to slow you down incredibly, and this is why we strongly feel new solutions will be implemented to remedy these stalls.  But if you don't double check before you select, you could be missing out on some of the coolest items in-game.

Get the word out, #choosewisely and stay tuned for our two-handed axes review due out this week!



  1. It's worth noting to your readers that if there's a particular quest item they want, but have already vendored or destroyed, it is of course possible to ticket a GM — either in-game or through the email ticketing system at WoWGM at blizzard dot com — and ask for a restoration of the item. It may be helpful to provide them with quest and item IDs, available for lookup on Wowhead.

  2. Hiya Vannevar! While it's technically possible to ticket a GM, we were under the impression the going rate of return on those requests was extremely low. We've seen their feedback regarding tier gear not being candidates for restoration in 4.3, but have you seen anything from Blizzard specifically addressing restoration of quest rewards? It would be great to put a bit of weight behind a recommendation before we make it so post back if you have something and we'll drop it in! -Keel

  3. As for identifying the look of a quest reward I'd recommend looking into the addon MogIt. In addition to being a great interface for looking through game models it also has a feature that visually previews the look of any item you mouse over including quest rewards.

  4. Good stuff. I'm noticing as i'm leveling a Druid in Power Word Guild Eu that I take my time to choose between rewards before moving on. I like it.