I've had an idea for what to do in regards to character customization where armor is concerned for a long time now, and I suppose this Q&A is a prime place to put it.
The basis of my idea is the fact that there is a ton of art in the game already that has been added over time, and we get more every content patch. Many, many items and their models are in the database and MPQs and sit there taking space on our hard drive, which very rarely get used. So a question I ask is: If a player had the option to hunt down the gear they want to be seen in, would they? And I came up with this:
With a similar interface to that of the Reforging masters, have an NPC with an interface that allows them to take an item they wish for another item to appear like and put it in one slot, then the item they wish looked like the item in the 1st slot in another slot, and develop the tech for an item to permanently take on the look of another item. This would destroy the old item in the process so there is a cost involved, if not a monetary or material cost as well involved. However this would be limited to armor, and not available for weapons.
I don't like the look of Warlock T11's Twilight's Hammer Tent theme, so every week I'd run BWL for Nemesis Raiment drops. I obtain the shoulders and toss them into the GUI's first slot, then toss my Shadowflame Mantle in the other slot. Hit the button, pay some gold or something, then the Nemesis Spaulders are destroyed and now my T11 shoulders permanently display the Nemesis Spaulders model.
To avoid players making light of this feature, you could limit the items available for copy to only be dungeon and raid drop items, so that people replacing raiding gear aren't getting quite as ridiculous as replacing their T12 or 13 helms with a fishing hat; As well, you could limit an item to only be able to go through the transformation process once, but with the ability to revert back to the original model just incase. If you want to transform an item you're wearing again, you're going to not only need to hunt down the model you want to replace the current one with, but also a new shoulder or whatever to transform. Lore-wise something like this wears and tears on even magical armor or whatever.
Also, there are still class requirements on older tier sets so you'd be looking at people wearing their own tier sets still, unless they went out of the way to get the offset pieces that often mimic a given glass's tier sets.
The thing I feel is great about this if it could be developed, is that it would allow for really unique set ups, and players would have to work hard if they wanted to have matching sets. For example the conversion to the Nemesis Raiment look aboved, there is also the red, recolored version found through Outland heroic dungeons. And, in many tiers there is two or three recolors of tier sets available through non-set pieces players could chase down.
Something like this, would really encourage people to revisit old content, and the best thing is because it destroys the base item the model is copied from, they wouldn't want to do it all willy-nilly. Ultimately I think this is the solution to people who have been asknig for armor dyes and other than developing the tech to do it, it uses resources already in the game.
Edited by Daoloth on 4/5/2011 6:19 PM PDT