Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Transmog Tuesday: So You Want To Be A Necromancer

In my continuing desire to find ways to look one's best when running around inside raids, I've decided to present a new ensemble, somewhat darker than my last offering. This is for those of you who want to be a necromancer (or "dark wizard" archetype of your choosing) for Halloween your next post-4.3 raid.

I want to reiterate that I'm probably taking far too much glee in the upcoming transmog feature. For me, a game like World of Warcraft is just as much a venue for self-expression, if not moreso, as it is for exercising game play mechanics. I've sometimes thought that the two points of fun for me are character creation (when I can visualize a character concept while playing with the customization options and names) and raiding. Everything in between (questing, dungeons, professions, etc) is filler. That might be putting it in overly extreme terms but, suffice it to say, character customization means a lot to me.

So let's dive right in!

Head (Or "The Evil Is In The Eyes")

I knew that to be dark, my clothie had to be wearing a cowl or hood. It had to hide some of the face. You see the full face of your neighbor, your co-worker, your mother. Those who work in the shadows (assassins, necromancers) hide at least part of their faces.

There was a specific looking cowl I wanted, one I had seen on my rogue when leveling using heirlooms. The Stained Shadowcraft Cap has a really nice, secretive look to it. So I dialed it up on wowhead and clicked on their wonderful "Same model as" tab to find a cloth version.

There was precisely one. The Abjurer's Hood. It wasn't black as I would have desired, ideally, but the rich blue was something I could work with in a dark set. If it had been yellow or green, I'd have been quite out of luck!

It really can't be farmed out in the world, as the drop rates for it are abysmal. Rather, I had to count on the combined farming efforts of the entire server (it's the Ahn-Qiraj war effort all over again!) and camp the auction house patiently. It took a few weeks, but I successfully stalked my prey and put the trophy in my bank.

Shoulders (Or "The Dark Cloud Around You")

This one was fairly straightforward. I wanted black shoulders with either silver or white accents, and there was an extremely accessible set that looked very nice: the Black Mageweave Shoulders.

Now, the Black Mageweave set has a measure of infamy for the Playboy Bunny-style garters and bodice that are a part of the set, but not all of it is for tarting up your female character, as you can see above! Necromancers don't have sex (at least, unless you're into certain fetishes).

Chest (Or "Everything Goes With Black")

Clearly, I'm not trying to reinvent the necromancer, here. This is going to be a dark set. There are several "actual black" looks (there are some other robes that are "off-black" but don't have that same, satisfyingly inky look), and I narrowed it down to one look that can be created with either one relatively rare robe or two not-too-rare pieces of gear.

This is the look:

There are two routes to this silver-and-black look. One is the Black Velvet Robes. This is a reasonably rare drop blue item, so it may take a while to find it on the auction house. The other option is to combine the Silver-Thread Robe with the Stylish Black Shirt. The shirt, obviously, you'll have to actually wear since you can't use a white no-stats item for transmog...but shirts aren't stat-generating gear, so it's no hardship to actually wear it. The Silver-Thread Robe leaves one's arms bare, which is why the shirt is needed, to provide the sleeves. Bared arms can be a sexy look, but it looks passing strange on a srs bsns necromancer.

Waist (Or "Free Accent Piece!")

Hey, remember that blue cowl-mask-thing? Well, I think it looks pretty cool, but it's going to look more than a bit out of place if it's the only blue in the ensemble. Maybe there should be a little bit more blue in order to make blue a true accent color, rather than a jarringly out-of-place color choice on the head. Fortunately, blue makes a nice accent to black.

Focusing in on the waist, we have:

It's a black belt with a sapphire at the center, as the buckle, known as the Sorcerer Sash. It matches the hood rather nicely, setting it off strikingly!

Cloak (Or "If You Have No Shadow To Stand In, Bring Your Own")

A good cloak or cape is essential to a strong outfit. Sure, you can hide your cloak (and I've done that often, when I've had an ugly cloak) but there's no fun in that when you can select your cape!

It's actually extremely hard to find a pure back cloak, more's the pity. Most of the darkest are very dark purple or brown. The closest I could find was a dark gray one that's almost black. A guildie of mine mentioned it on the auction house. I had already looked at it (on wowhead) and dismissed it as "not black." But after re-evaluating, I realized it was my best option. It cost quite a bit (it's a hard-to-find drop from Doomwalker, a world raid boss that is rarely wandering around) but it was worth it to me. What's gold worth, really (at least until the real-money auction house tells us!). Since she didn't want it, I figured I'd pick it up.

So, this is the cloak that you've probably seen peeking around the robe in some of the above screenshots, the Black-Iron Battlecloak.

Boots And Gloves (Or "No Big Deal")

I won't say much here, or bother with screenshots. They're just black gloves and shoes. I chose the Heroes' Gloves of Faith and the Black Mageweave Boots (again, nothing salacious!), but there are a lot of ways you could go here.

Weapons (Or "How To Make A Necromancer Look Like She Wants Your Gizzard")

There are a couple of choices, here. I focused on a staff option and a dagger plus off-hand option. Maces just don't "feel" like necromancy. Not sharp enough to make dark sacrifices, I'm sure.

Let's start with the staff. There are a few nicely evil staves, but I think nothing quite encapsulates the life-stealing bad of a scythe. More specifically, Lord Ahune's Frost Scythe.

It's got blue highlights, fitting the accent color we set with the cowl and belt, and a scythe has a very grim reaper feel--which has a pretty clear connection with death. In addition, it has a wonderful icy glow. It just screams death, as far as I'm concerned.

The other option here is the dagger and offhand combination. I selected this sleek, understated dagger that looks perfect for disemboweling innocents in ritual sacrifice (not that I busy my mind thinking about such things...) with an eerie purple glow. I paired a book-model offhand with it, as a grimoire, conceptually.

The dagger is the Mindfang (Horde) or the Sageclaw (Alliance). The book I used was the Fire Runed Grimoire from Molten Core, but there are many off-hand options that look like books. Another option for that model of dagger is the Sorcerous Dagger, also from Molten Core. It looks the same but has a green glow. Ultimately, I felt the purple fit better.

Putting It All Together

So there we have it. Here's what the completed outfit looks like, front and back.

I'll also provide a wowhead export for the ensemble, with the three-dimensional modeling, so you can examine it yourself and play around with it, adding and subtracting to it as you please.

Model It!

So, why would anyone want to be a necromancer? Because dark and dangerous is sexy, regardless of your affiliation. I play a priest main, a healing priest no less...and I will greatly enjoy sporting this look at some point.

As always, I hope this spurs you into pondering how you can tailor a look for yourself, possibly one that goes beyond tier sets. There are a lot of lovely weapons and pieces of armor out there, many of them merely uncommon and rare. Play around with them, find something that suits you!

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