Earlier this year, you said that mailing transmogrified heirlooms would strip the transmogrification. I was disappointed – I have a lot of alts, you see, even if I’m not the game’s best leveler – but I figured it was a technical limitation that you couldn’t work around in time. Got it! Spend your development resources elsewhere.
And then you released Patch 4.3, and OMG the excitement! New raids! New 5-mans! LFR! Bag searching! (Very slick UI, by the way.) Void Storage! And our very own transmogrification box! All my old gear is new again!
So I was testing things out, mogging all the things, when I decided to try mogging a loom and sending it one of my twinks. (It sounds cooler that way, you see. Saying that I altered the appearance of virtual gear bound to my account through transmogrification and then sent it via in-game messaging systems to a low level alternate character with locked experience might be correct, but it doesn’t flow. It’s kinda dorky to be that precise, if you want to know the truth.)
You can’t imagine how surprised I was when it worked!
I did it again, and again, and again. Usually it worked flawlessly, but sometimes it didn’t.
This was amazing. Wow. WOW. A world of possibilities opened up to me – of being able to create my own look for my leveling alts. I didn’t mind some of the heirloom sets the first few months I lived with them, but this world you’ve created has so many more clothes, and being able to create unique looks for my toons made me love the transmogrification feature all the more.
This … bug, as I suppose it is, made me really happy. It makes gearing up alts fun. Yes, I like PvP, and killing Internet Dragons, and leveling, and playing the Auction House, and leveling Engineering over and over again.
Ok. Maybe I’m exaggerating about Engineering. But I’m not exaggerating that having the ability to transmogrify my heirlooms and mail them to my alts rekindled my interest in the game because it is fun. It’s fun playing dress up. It’s fun making your characters look the way you want, of trying to find just the right look for them.
I told my friends about it, and they found it to be a lot of fun too. A LOT of fun. Simple things like character appearance matter. Looking put together makes you feel better about yourself, and it’s no different for our characters, too. People are embracing this possibility, of breathing life into the same old heirlooms and the same old leveling grind.
People are having fun mailing mogged looms around.
And that’s why I’m writing to you today, to ask you something kind of odd.
Please leave this bug alone.
Really! Just … don’t fix it. Leave it be. Ignore it, turn the other way, close that bugzilla ticket. It adds fun to the game. It doesn’t harm anyone – no one really believes that a level 10 Mage is in S10 PvP gear – but it sure makes the game more lively and interesting. Being able to change the same old heirloom into a Frostscythe for one character and a Warstaff for another is awesome.
There are other, more boring reasons I could ask you to keep it in place. Transmogrification extends the life of content by giving purpose to unused art content, and adding heirlooms to the list extends them even further, thus increasing the yield for your investment in the artwork. There are more important bugs that you can focus your effort on now, issues with the UI and gameplay which are normal after any given patch. There’s Mists of Pandaria, which I’m hoping you knock out of the park.
But I’m going to make a more straightforward appeal: being able to mail transmogrified heirlooms makes leveling fun.
I thought about not saying anything to you directly, of quietly mogging my looms and rolling alts. No one wants to be the person who spoils fun, and if this isn’t what you want transmogrification to do, well, you’re going to find out about it eventually. You probably already know about it already.
And that’s why I wanted to say something to you now, and let you know how ridiculously fun I’m finding this new feature to be. I’m spending hours combing Wowhead trying to make up outfits for my alts. I’m looking at each of my alts and wondering how to make them even more fun to play, how to let them acquire gear but still have a look. I’m suddenly looking at my cache of 30 or so heirlooms and going, this is not enough. I need more heirlooms.
This bug has made me pretty happy to be playing Warcraft this week. So please consider leaving this bug alone.
Some bugs actually ARE features!
(This letter originally appeared at http://cynwise.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/an-open-letter-to-blizzard-about-mailing-transmogrified-heirlooms/ - I welcome comments here or there.)