#1 - 2011/03/05 04:33:00 AMContinuation of Snarky's (post capped) original thread, found here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/981899278?page=1
How to Read This Post for the Attention Impaired:
Yes, this is a very long post, as posts go on these forums. You don't absolutely have to read the whole thing, though it's highly encouraged. At the least, start with the "What's an Appearance Tab?" section to get the basic jist of the feature, then skip ahead and skim the bolded and italicized headers for any questions or concerns you may have after reading that first section.
What's an Appearance Tab?
An Appearance Tab is an interface not unlike the current equipment window used in-game. The only difference is that items equipped to this window do not give you any stats, but instead overwrite the appearance of items equipped in your normal equipment window with their own. Equipping T11 shoulders to your equipment window while equipping T10 shoulders to your Appearance Tab, for example, will give you the stats of the T11, but the appearance of the T10 on your character.
Because the Tab functions just like the normal equipment window, any items you wish to use the appearances of must currently be owned by your character, and your character must meet the level, class, rep, and armor/weapon type requirements to use them in the Tab. It is just as impossible for a level 10 hunter to wear a full set of warrior T11 in their Tab as it is for them to wear it in their normal equipment window.
The Tab also allows for the notion that some players would simply prefer not to see others' appearance gear, and includes a toggle in the game interface menu which allows players to turn their personal perception of Appearance Tab gear on and off either completely, or for individual factions. Players who disable their Tab in this way will go right back to seeing their fellow players in their normal gear. Note that turning off the Tab for your own faction means that you cannot display your own appearance gear, either.
The feature is automatically unlocked somewhere around the 10-20 level range, to give new players time to get used to using the normal equipment window before interacting with the very similar Appearance Tab interface, but still gaining access early enough to know that they should start hanging onto any items they might want to wear in the Tab later on.
Why Do You Want One?
I like to look good.
It's that simple, really, and WoW provides me with the opportunity. WoW boasts an impressive array of armor and weapons with which I can deck out my characters as anything from the basest scrub farming level 1 boars in Durotar to the most pimpin' dragonslayer in the Twilight Highlands. I can collect, combine, and create the most mundane or the most epic sets of gear to personalize my character as my own, to distinguish myself from my peers and set myself apart as an individual player.
That is, until I actually want to go out and do anything without getting gibbed.
Let's not mince any words here: WoW is a stat-based game, and the stats are on the gear. This is all well and good for gameplay, but it presents a problem for individuality and customization. Specifically, it removes them entirely. Our characters' appearances are strictly dictated by which pieces of gear have the best available stats for our current role, and because of this arrangement, we often end up with clashing colors, mismatched designs, or cohesive sets that we just plain don't like to look at. WoW's art team has made valiant efforts over the years to keep us looking good, but the simple fact of the matter is that it is impossible for the art team to please everyone with any one set of gear.
Whether it's the players complaining about the plate bikinis in Vanilla and BC because they want more practical armor, the players complaining in Wrath and Cataclysm about the lack of plate bikinis because they want more fantastical armor, the players complaining about looking like they fell in a drag queen's closet on their way to get dressed in the morning before they get to Northrend, or the players who can't take one more second of wearing the exact same shoulder model over the course of twelve upgrades once they hit 70, every one of us has different tastes, and we can't all be placated by one set.
But we all have a set of gear we love. Maybe it's the first tier set we ever completed. Maybe it's one of the 5-man sets from a Vanilla instance. Maybe it's not even a real set, but an outfit we put together ourselves from gear we acquired while leveling. Maybe we even have multiple sets of gear we love.
As it stands, those sets of gear are good for nothing but standing around town /dancing. Step out of the city in that gear, and you're mob fodder or a free HK. Our appearances are slaves to our stats, and everyone has at some point been stuck wearing something they could hardly stand to look at because it had the best stats at the time. With the Appearance Tab, we can wear those sets we love while we're actually playing the game.
You Just Want to Wear Gear You Haven't Earned!
Not so. Refer to the second paragraph of this post, and you'll see that this feature's setup requires the user to not only possess, but be able to normally equip any item they want to use in their Tab, just as they are required to do to equip those items normally. The Appearance Tab does not allow players to do anything we can't already do in this game, except go out and participate in current content while wearing the appearances we can already wear in the game currently.
Isn't Visual Identification of Gear Vital to PvP?
I'm not much of a PvPer myself, though I've heard enough arguments to entertain the notion that this could be the case. This is one reason for the inclusion of a manual toggle in the game interface menu which allows players to switch their personal perception of Appearance Tab gear on and off. The Tab is also likely to be disabled in Arenas and possibly Rated Battlegrounds, as appearance-altering effects like Noggenfogger Elixir are.
I Need to See a Player's Real Gear Before I Invite Them to a Raid!
In which case you will get far better results by inspecting the player, since visual identification of gear only reveals about half of a player's total equipment at best, or by checking their Armory or WoW-Heroes pages. Even so, this is one reason for the inclusion of a manual toggle in the game interface menu which allows players to switch their personal perception of Appearance Tab gear on and off.
I Don't Really Care About Appearances....
What If I Don't Like What People Are Wearing?
These are two reason for the inclusion of a manual toggle in the game interface menu which allows players to switch their personal perception of Appearance Tab gear on and off.
Doesn't Disabling the Tab Defeat the Whole Purpose of Having One?
About as much as my decision not to participate in Arenas defeats the whole purpose of having PvP in this game. Just as with any feature, making use of the Appearance Tab and interacting with those who are using are optional, and one player's choice not to do so should not detract anything from the experience of those who do use it. The main purpose of the Tab is to be able to see our own appearance gear, and that of others who are actually interested in doing the same. Forcing uninterested players to participate in our game is like making Honor Points the sole source of raid tier sets.