In the gaming scene, the term „transmog“ is usually used as an abbreviation for the word „transmogrification“. A literal translation could mean something like „miraculous transformation“. In computer games, it simply refers to the ability to visually customize one’s equipment.
The term „transmogrification“ was significantly coined by the computer game World of Warcraft, even though similar systems had been integrated in other games earlier.
What is Transmog? Meaning, definition, explanation
In many computer games, a character’s equipment is of great importance. This is because the items usually have special bonuses and unique abilities, which can have massive effects on the game style. At the same time, all usable items look different. Too often, situations arise in which visually less appealing items have to be equipped because they bring better bonuses or even indispensable skills. In order to be able to wear the perfect equipment, the Transmog system was developed. Here, the appearance of an item can be combined with the stats of another item. However, it should be noted that only items of the same type (for example, two headgears) can be combined.
How Transmog works
In every computer game that offers transmog systems, there exists a certain number of different skins for the respective items. As soon as one of these skins is collected in the game, it is unlocked for transmogrification. This ensures that the collecting instinct remains and the desire to own as many items or skins as possible drives players.
Game developers are thus given the opportunity to incorporate special visual effects and representations in retrospect, without having to take the associated values into consideration. It can also provide additional incentives for fans and collectors. For example, individual transmogs can be offered as an extra with the purchase of a Collectors Edition or when visiting a convention. In this way, the rarity value of certain visual items is clearly marked and the (virtual) self-confidence of the player can be pushed.
Predecessor systems of Transmog
Even before Blizzard introduced their Transmog system in World of Warcraft, there was a possibility to combine visual representations and the values of used items in some games. This wish was implemented especially in some MMORPGs. As a simple solution, two separate equipment slots were integrated here. One set was used to calculate bonuses, skills and values, the other set was actually visually represented. In some cases, the unconditional use of all items for both sets was possible here, while other games had their own items integrated for visual representation.
Transmog in World of Warcraft
Players have been able to visually customize their equipment in World of Warcraft since 2011. For this purpose, a special NPS has to be visited. This combines the values of one item with the appearance of a second. As a prerequisite, it is stated that the character is allowed and able to wear both items, that the items have stats, and that weapon and armor type are maintained. This means, for example, that plate armor can always be combined with another plate armor, but not with cloth armor. This is to ensure that the individual character types can always be recognized visually. A warrior who visually gives the appearance of a mage is thus not possible in WoW, unlike in other games.