The Witcher 3 Needs A Transmog System

The best part of any RPG Is the fashion. I’ve written about as much with Elden Ring and Dark Souls, and The Witcher 3 is no different. When you’re dredging through swamps to kill nekkers, for some poor sod in a nearby town who will spit in your face when you’re done, you want to look good. You want fancy, gold-adorned pauldrons, and luscious red fabric flowing behind you as you run, not ill-fitting stuffy sweaters with generic stripe patterns and baggy brown trousers. Weirdly, that’s all I’m finding in The Witcher 3, with all my current craftable gear being much worse, and all the unique gear quickly fading out as I level up.

I haven’t crunched the numbers, but I’d wager that 90 percent of The Witcher 3’s gear is ugly. Every new piece of armour that gives me a +5 percent increase to defense and a stat boost in some sign I barely use tends to be uglier than the last. Yet, I’m craving the Pavlovian green that offers a slight stat increase, even if it means Geralt looks like he’s wearing a Christmas sweater he was gifted from his nan (read: Vesemir). My favourite set is still the one Geralt started out in, but that’s long gone, sold to the first merchant I met as I found a black felt-looking tunic with white wavy lines pulled over a stripy blue top that offered a one percent bonus in some stat I can’t even remember.

I wish I could go back to that first outfit, but I can’t. There’s no way to transmogrify gear, and The Witcher 3 has a looting system that’s based around getting ten million pieces of the same set with miniscule improvements. Where Elden Ring and Dark Souls have beautiful sets scattered around their worlds, unique to certain spots, The Witcher 3 chucks armour and weapons at you every time you kill a lowly bandit. They might be better, but they’d be perfect if I could take them to a blacksmith and have them turned into something a little prettier.

My one hope for the current-gen update was that it’d finally offer that choice, especially given how quickly gear becomes outdated as you travel Velen and Skellige, completing side quests and exploring. You’re always stumbling on something better than what you have, and unless you want to go toe-to-toe with tough bosses later on using the equivalent of a wooden training sword, you’re probably going to need that better gear.

What’s funny is that Cyberpunk 2077, a first-person game where you rarely see yourself, does have a transmog system, so you can make V look as stylish as you want. You won’t see them often enough to warrant bothering, but the option’s there. The Witcher 3, in which you spend the whole game looking at Geralt’s backside, doesn’t offer the same, even if it does have a hairdressers where you can get new cuts and beards. It doesn’t really make much sense, leaving the Witcher school sets as your only options for fashionable gear with good stats. But the current-gen update also dumped a whole load of unique, stylish gear into my storage that’s useless now, even if it does look great.

RPGs are ultimately about expression. Even if you have a named character, the best part is making them unique to you, picking out what weapons they use and how they look. Geralt will always be the white-haired wolf with a death glare, but my Geralt isn’t one to wear stuffy tunics – he’s one to fight drowners in stylish Nilfgaardian black, wielding a purple-rune laden longsword, embracing Yennefer’s gothic side for himself, even if it isn’t the most practical.

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