There’s always been a bit of fashion stuff in World of Warcraft; certain items of clothing or other gear that you could buy or get that were valuable not because of their stats, but because they looked cool (or unusual, or weird, or extra-ugly).
People would make up elegant or funny or whatever outfits out of these sometimes and stroll around in town showing off, or wear them to RP (Roleplaying) events, or costume parties or whatever. See for instance the famous picture of Spennix in the pimpin’ Crimson Felt Hat, which is actually useful for about twenty minutes at level 48, if you’re a Priest, but looks good on anyone:
On the battlefield (or out in the wilderness or the necromancer’s tower or whatever), however, you generally wore whatever you could get your hands on that had the best stats, with little or no regard to how it looked. (’cause of otherwise you would like die an’ all.)
The Blizzard folks did put some thought into gear design, and there are various sets that go together thematically at both high and low levels. But even at that if you’re a holy priest or a warlock or a retribution paladin or whatever at a certain level, there are a very limited number of things that are Best In Slot (BiS) for you at that level, and at most a couple of different integrated outfits, and even those will have been designed by, well, by Blizzard.
And they ain’t exactly fashion designers.
But now that is all changed!
Using Transmogrification, you can make any piece of gear look like any other piece of the same sort of gear (with various complicated rules like you have to own and be able to use both, both must actually have some kind of stats bonus, etc, etc), and that has completely opened up the WoW fashion scene, both in town and in the fray.
(Well, not completely-completely as in Second Life, because you still can’t quite make your own stuff, but you can combine various of the lots and lots of existing-looking stuff in multiplicative ways.)
For instance I hadn’t taken pictures to speak of of Spennatrix, my healer Priest, or even played her all that much lately, at least partly because she looked stupid in her gear.
Here, for instance, is the Mask of New Snow, the best healer headgear she’d come across and/or been able to afford to that point:
I mean, yuck! And also, eek! Is that a look you’d want to trust your life to in battle? More like something you’d expect to be battling against.
A bit later she upgraded to the Cowl of Destiny, which looks like this:
Again, omg and/or wtf rofls. Blizzard’s style choices at high levels have always run to more or less elaborate more or less dark and threatening things, which is fine if you’re a
necromancer warlock or a mage or even warrior or whatever, but Spennatrix is a humble Priestess of Elune, the WoW Moon Goddess, and is not really interested in looking like any of those things, thank you very much.
(And her staff, for that matter; Chelly’s Staff of Dark Mending isn’t exactly In Character, but it’s what she’s got.)
So, transmogrification! Being an Illustrious Grand Master Tailor and a Night Elf, it was no problem to cleanse some Felcloth into Mooncloth at the ancient Moonwell over in the mysterious Twilight Grove over in Duskwood, and make a lovely set of Mooncloth robes. Then taking out the elegant Imperial Red Circlet she’d saved from her early adventures, and the Moon Staff of Elune that she quested for in her novitiate (if priestesses of Elune have novitiates, I dunno), and then down to the Ethereal’s place in Stormwind for th’ Transmogrifying (not to mention a trip to the barber for a little magical dye job), and viola:
Now there’s someone you want at your back when you’re tanking Mannoroth at the Well of Eternity, eh?
(Her next robe upgrade, to the Robes of the Cleansing Flame, didn’t look too bad:
but still too much like a Fire Mage or a UPS deliveryperson or something (not to mention making her bottom look huge; what were they thinking with that pattern on the hips??). Much better in Mooncloth:
don’t you think?)
So that’s fashion in WoW! None of my other toons (haha, “toons”) have made as much use of it as Spennatrix, although my
necro warlock did use it to color-coordinate a piece of what was really Priest gear that he was using for awhile, and Spennix has used it to get back the look of her very very cool goggles from awhile back. But Spennatrix is definitely my most fashion-conscious WoW character. :)
And back in SL, boy Dale has a rather new look, too! We’ll see how long that lasts. Fortunately, no annoying raids or prolonged quests or tedious grinding are required to change looks in SL; just shopping!