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WoWSep 12, 2018 3:30 pm CT

The two Khors and how Blizzard should handle transmog-only loot drops

On the first night of Uldir raiding, my casual raid guild went in and after a lot of wiping and figuring out the mechanics, killed the first two bosses . And on Taloc, I got a 2h weapon called Khor, Hammer of the Guardian. I was ecstatic — weapon drops have been hard to come by this expansion and to get a 355 weapon the first night of raiding meant that I wouldn’t have to sweat it until we went into Heroic raids. I was so happy that I ported out and runeforged it so I could start using it in the raid immediately.

I noticed that the name wasn’t quite the same as the weapon in the Dungeon Journal, which is Khor, Hammer of the Corrupted. And the appearance wasn’t quite the same, either. It’s still the same model, but it has a different color palette much more in line with Taloc himself. Eventually, I decided it must have been a special transmog appearance item similar to the ones that dropped in Legion raids, but it was still a cool 2h weapon that was an upgrade so I was still happy with it. I didn’t understand why the weapon Taloc drops is so similar to the transmog option when you could have easily put a different looking weapon on him or even given them different names so as not to confuse anyone, but I didn’t concern myself too much with it.

The Two Khors

The very next day, after I got exactly one day of use out of the weapon, Blizzard hotfixed my 2h mace to item level 120 with no stats. I went from getting loot in Uldir to not getting loot in Uldir, and getting a transmog appearance that frankly isn’t that distinctive from the actual weapon he drops. This isn’t like Taeshalach or Scythe of the Unmaker, which were very visually distinct weapons with stats that dropped when we were using Artifact weapons — and thus were clearly intended to be transmog options. When Khor, Hammer of the Guardian dropped, there was no way for anyone to know it wasn’t intended for use.

Now, in the one day that Uldir was open, I have no idea how many people got the Hammer of the Guardian. At least a few people got it, believed they’d upgraded from a 325 or inferior item, and then logged in the next day to find their weapon was now just a pretty lollipop. Trust me when I say this is not a good feeling to have had. I went from having had an excellent night of raiding to having had the crushing disappointment of this hotfix in one day.

While it’s hardly the end of the world, it was me being punished for Blizzard’s mistake.

Useless similarity

To their credit, the folks at Blizzard realized that this was a bad fix within another day, and reverted the hotfix. But that leaves us with an issue, here: why did we need two Khor hammers in the first place? How should Blizzard approach the idea of transmogrification option weapon drops vs. actual, useful weapon drops? I get that the weapon was never intended for use. I understand that Blizzard didn’t mean for Taloc to have twice the chance to provide weapon-hungry characters with the weapons that they desperately need the expansion after Artifacts.

But to help clear up when a weapon is (and isn’t) meant for transmog, I propose:

  1. Never make a transmog weapon that looks practically identical to a weapon the boss drops that’s intended for use. Khor, Hammer of the Corrupted and Khor, Hammer of the Guardian are the same model. They have different skins but that’s about it — they are not particularly visually distinctive weapons.
  2. Never made a transmog weapon with practically the same name as a weapon the boss drops that is intended for use. This one feels like an easy enough decision to implement — if you’re going to have a transmog only weapon that looks like the mace Taloc is smashing the raid with, then have the weapon he drops that’s actually intended for use be a mace or a polearm or a sword, something that no one would confuse for an actual drop. At the very least, change the name of the mace he drops to something like “Construct’s Cudgel of Gore” after the attack Taloc uses in the fight.
  3. Perhaps consider making these appearance-only items. I can buy items from vendors on the Broken Shore for my DK or Paladin that unlock various weapon appearances, so I know you don’t have to actually make transmog appearances weapon drops. Just put an appearance-only item in my bags, I click on it and I learn the appearance. That way it feels like a nice extra.
  4. Put the transmog weapon on the loot table and make it clearly marked as such. This one hurts entirely because there was no reason to expect that the weapon wasn’t intended for us. It had stats and was the exact same ilevel as every other drop on Taloc’s loot table. The fact that it appeared in your inventory instead of on his corpse was easy to miss.

Having special transmog weapons with the appearance of iconic weapons used by bosses is a great idea, especially in Legion, when we were using Artifacts and so it was a way for us to get cool special appearances not tied to our Artifacts. But in Battle for Azeroth, if you want to have a weapon drop with an appearance similar to or the same as the boss, just do that.

Getting a weapon, thinking it is your weapon (in some cases it even could Warforge) and then finding out the next day it isn’t your weapon is the kind of decision that angers and upsets players for no reason So while I believe that the current decision to revert the hotfix was the correct one, in the future, care should be taken to make it so transmog option weapon drops are either clearly transmog options and not usable weapons, or they’re simply allowed to be usable weapons.

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