When You Wish Upon A Dev: Appearance Tab

There aren’t too many thing’s i am not happy with wow about.  Clearly, given it’s ginormous player base, there aren’t too many thing’s that most wow players aren’t happy about either.  However, someone once made a profound statement in saying “There’s always room for improvement” (believe it or not Google actually doesn’t know who said that… and here i thought Google knew everything)  So with that, if a genie (or Dev) were to grant me some “WoW wishes”  one of them would HAVE to be the appearance tab.  Why? you ask.  So that i can fight while looking like this of course…

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If you are not familiar with what an Appearance Tab is, it is essentially a second gear slot for each item for your character that when utilized will make your character appear as though they are wearing that gear, but you would still receive the benefits stat wise from your primary gear that you equip.  And I mean really, who wouldn’t like to appear how they wish rather than look like the armor of whatever random stuff you picked up that happens to have the best stats on it. Well, given the amount of responses on the wow forums, i am not alone.  Fortunately, a blue decided to respond to this over the weekend….

From Zarhym

We have discussed these types of ideas with the developers several times in recent history. We’re not entirely opposed to some of the ideas, though the feature would probably be more limited than the functionality many players are asking for.

This is still largely a contested concept though, as we’d want to make sure it’s done well and doesn’t have unforeseen negative impacts on gameplay/art style. When we have more information to share with you regarding our decision whether or not to move forward, and how, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Also, thank you for taking the time to arrange your feedback and ideas in a well-organized, constructive manner, Sharkon, and everyone else who’s keeping the positive creativity flowing. 🙂

The jist of that post: the news on the appearance tab is that there is no news 😦  Though, it is nice to see them acknowledge the general populace’s issue with not having this feature.  Everquest 2 and LoTRO both have this feature.  I was able to experience both of those games, and this feature was on the small list of few things i really liked about those games.

Gear is a matter of aesthetics, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the negative impact of being able to manipulate the in game aesthetics.  One of the long standing arguments by those opposed to this feature has always been that in PVP, you would not know how well geared the person you are about to engage is.  Well, the answer to that problem is simple really.  Add to the in game menu the option to toggle on or off people’s appearance gear, so if you really wish to see what it is they are receiving stats from, you can.
Hopefully this feature will go through, typically if we ask enough in a constructive manner, Blizzard hears us and follows through.  If you’d like to add your two cents feel free to comment here or better yet on the thread on the wow forums.

Update to reflect a new blue post from this morning:

Q: Will we ever see a feature like the Appearance Tab – some way to make use of all the different equipment art for items we already have without having to give up on stats in order to do so? If no, then why not? – Welcome (North America/ANZ), Ферундал (Europe [Russian])
A: Having more ways to customize the appearance of their character is something players often ask for and something we’d love to improve. Seriously. We hear you loud and clear on this one. We do have some ideas we’re discussing, but we’re not ready to share them quite yet. Our concerns have always included making sure that the character art still maintains a level of quality even if extensively customized, and making sure that character silhouettes are easily recognizable. Those aren’t show-stopping concerns that would prevent us from ever taking the plunge, but they are concerns.
My favorite part here…  Seriously. We hear you loud and clear on this one.  At least we know they are going to throw us a bone, time will tell to see just how big that bone is.

  • Patch 4.0.6 Monday, 3/14/11


  1. Chatmay said,

    March 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    If they would just design some decent looking gear in the first place, we wouldn’t need an appearance tab! ha ha

    • March 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      LOL! Excellent point. I saw the data mined pics of the next season’s armor on MMO Champion last week and was like… um ok, looks like regular old armor to me. Meh.

      • Chatmay said,

        March 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm

        Gear was ok until Lich King. Almost everything since then has been boring looking or like in Cata- I got the same helm 3 times, in a different color or stats each time.

    • Astoreth said,

      March 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      The only itsy-bitsy quarrel I have with this take is that one person’s “decent” is another person’s “pinnacle of earthly beautiful” and someone else’s “barf-ugly”. I know people who loved the warlock T8 (for example), aka the Putress Set — but to me it was Ol’ Dead Buzzardface, and I haaaaaated every second it was on.

  2. Fuzzy_Magicz said,

    March 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Personally, I’m a fan of mismatched, random looking gear. It makes WoW WoW – much like the post about how shoulder armour is such a defining point of this game’s aesthetics (can’t remember where that’s from), the ‘clown suits’ of WoW are an endearing factor to me. When you do finally get a set that looks ok, it makes the accomplishment that much better – people can see, at a glance, that you’ve got what it takes to get that gear.

    I can honestly say that if this feature was implemented, I wouldn’t use it.

    • March 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      Oh i agree, someone with a full set of gear does show accomplishment, but how often do we actually get that? It’s rare as all can be, and two months later, your back at the bottom of the stairs walking up to the top again when new gear releases 😦 It gets old. Though, as you say, if the feature was implemented, you wouldn’t use it, and that is the beauty of the toggle, so those that want it can and those that don’t wont. It’s a perfect compromise.

  3. firatwithin said,

    March 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    An apperreance tab with the toggling ability is the awesomest of ideas.As much as I don’t enjoy how my Paladin looks with the final set armor and I want alternatives for it, I also wouldn’t enjoy a protection paladin running around with a tuxedo or a robe in instances…

    • March 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      LOL, that would be pretty silly, but then at least it would bring a smile to your face if only for a second, and that’s what this game is all about! The toggle is certainly vital though.

    • Edge said,

      March 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      Anarchy Online did this also, Ioved doing everything in an old set of matched armor. Eventually nobody cares as long as you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. I think it would be great for role players obviously, because some people just imagine their characters as killing machines in tatter rags…so be it. The idea to be able to toggle this also makes good sense too, however AO limited items to armor only, not weapons.

  4. Vidyala said,

    March 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I’ve heard about this feature in other games and I would love it in WoW so much. Even though I’m not an RP server anymore, I still can’t stop myself from collecting outfits and dresses. It’d be brilliant if I could raid “wearing” the dungeon set I spent so many hours assembling and grinding rep to upgrade, or an old tier set, or whatever. It would make people more interesting to look at, too.

    Right now in Stormwind (or I suppose Orgrimmar, whichever faction you’re playing) you generally just see a whole lot of people wearing the ubiquitous green mountain shoulders or giant WWF belts. Variety is the spice of life!

  5. muneraven said,

    March 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I could live with just being able to change the color of my typically drab brown plate armor. I’m a grrl pally, dammit! If females in this game care enough about appearances to emphasize their breasts with everything they wear, then wouldn’t they maybe want pretty colors on their armor as well?

  6. March 17, 2011 at 1:10 am

    […] Corner explains why the introduction of an "appearance tab" in WoW would be […]

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