Appearance changing effects

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A variety of appearance changing effects are available in World of Warcraft. They change your character's visual appearance beyond what a barber shop can do, often by applying a buff that alters your size, race, or gender. These effects can be gained from items, objects, spells, or even by being in a certain zone or phase. Though some appearance changing effects come with additional gameplay uses, they're most commonly used for vanity, fun, or roleplaying purposes.

Appearance changes have been given many names by players, including transformations, costumes, disguises, and shapeshifts.

Items

Item name Source Effect Buff duration Charges
 [Dire Brew] Blackrock Depths Turns you into a Dark Iron dwarf. 1 hour 1
 [Savory Deviate Delight] Cooking Turns you into a ninja or pirate. 1 hour
 [Noggenfogger Elixir] Sprinkle Noggenfogger, Gadgetzan Can turn you into a skeleton or shrink you. 10 minutes
 [Orb of the Blackwhelp] Wyrmcult Provisioner, Blade's Edge Mountains Turns you into a black dragon whelp. 15 minutes 3
 [Pygmy Oil] Alchemy or  [Bag of Fishing Treasures] Shrinks you; stackable. Turns you into a female gnome at 8 or more stacks. 10 minutes 1
 [Winter Veil Disguise Kit] Mailed after completing B [60] A Smokywood Pastures' Thank You! Turns you into a snowman. Until canceled Infinite (toy)
 [Hallowed Wand] Found inside:  [Treat Bag], given by innkeepers during Hallow's End. Depending on the type of wand, it can turn you into a skeleton, bat, ghost, leaper gnome, ninja, pirate, or wisp. 1 hour 5
 [Hallow's End Pumpkin Treat] B [60] Free at Last! and H [1-60 Daily] Stop the Fires!;
Katrina Shimmerstar, Dun Morogh;
Rachelle Gothena, Orgrimmar
Makes you "larger and oranger" or turns you into a human, goblin, or undead pirate; a human ghost; or a skeleton. 20 minutes 1
 [Weighted Jack-o'-Lantern] Drops from: The Headless Horseman

Found inside:  [Crudely Wrapped Gift]

Places a pumpkin on your target's head. 1 hour
 [Blossoming Branch] Quest reward of:

Sold by: Noblegarden Merchants

Turns your target into a rabbit. ??
 [Spring Flowers] Sold by: Noblegarden Merchants

Found in: Brightly Colored Eggs

Places rabbit ears on your target. 2 minutes
 [Faded Wizard Hat] Quest reward of: H [19] Farewell, Minnow Turns you into one of Xylem's apprentices of (fairly) random race and gender. 30 minutes
 [Stave of Fur and Claw] Sold by Meilosh in Timbermaw Hold Turns you into a Furbolg. 3 minutes
 [Iron Boot Flask] Sold by: Turns you into a Iron Dwarf. 10 minutes
 [Gordok Ogre Suit] Made by: Turns you into a gray ogre. 10 minutes
 [Orb of Deception] It's a world drop. Turns you into a member of the opposite faction. The race you become depends on what race you are. 5 minutes
 [Orb of the Sin'dorei] Drops from: Turns you into a Blood Elf. 5 minutes
 [Hook of the Master Angler] Quest reward of: Master Angler Turns you into a fish. Until canceled
 [Time-Lost Figurine] Drops from: Terokk Turns you into an Arakkoa. 5 minutes
 [Murloc Costume] You needed to attend Blizzcon 2007. Puts a poorly made murloc costume on your character. You also hold a Blizzcon flag! 1 hour
 [Frenzyheart Brew] Sometimes made from  [Ripe Disgusting Jar]. Turns you into a Wolvar. 5 minutes
 [Darkspear Pride] Was earned by completing the Zalazane's Fall world event prior to the Shattering Turns you into a Darkspear Warrior. 30 minutes
 [Gnomeregan Pride] Was earned by completing the Operation: Gnomeregan world event prior to the Shattering Turns you into a Gnomeregan Infantry. 30 minutes
 [Rituals of the New Moon] Made by: Scribes who have obtained  [Technique: Rituals of the New Moon] Turns you into a wolf. 2 minutes
 [Carved Ogre Idol] Earned through the TCG. Turns you into a red ogre 10 minutes
 [Bones of Transformation] Rare Night Elf Archaeology Reward. Turns you into a Naga. 20 seconds
 [Wisp Amulet] Rare Night Elf Archaeology Reward. Turns you into a Wisp. 20 seconds
 [Blessing of the Old God] Rare Nerubian Archaeology Reward. Turns you into a Silithid. 20 seconds

Teleporter malfunctions

Engineers can use their teleporters,  [Ultrasafe Transporter: Toshley's Station] and  [Dimensional Ripper - Area 52], in an attempt to disguise themselves with a debuff that lasts an hour. Unlike other disguises, these can stack if you logout then log back in after 4 hours, but people prefer just to have fun with the malfunctions while they have them.

Mount appearance changes

Your mounts' appearances can be changed with certain items:

Item How to obtain Description of effects Buff duration
 [Fresh Holly] Kiss a Neutral Winter Reveler found in inns during the Feast of Winter Veil. Turns your mount into a reindeer. 1 hour
 [Fresh Brewfest Hops] Sold by: Turns your mount into a Brewfest ram or kodo, depending on your faction. ??
 [Fresh Goblin Brewfest Hops] Sold by: Alliance Belbi Quikswitch <Token Redeemer> Turns your mount into a Brewfest kodo. ??
 [Fresh Dwarven Brewfest Hops] Sold by: Horde Blix Fixwidget <Token Redeemer> Turns your mount into a Brewfest ram. ??
 [Preserved Holly] Quest reward of:

Found inside:  [Ticking Present]

Turns your mount into a reindeer. 1 hour
 [Preserved Brewfest Hops] Sold by: Turns your mount into a Brewfest ram or kodo, depending on your faction. ??

Quest items

These only last until the quest they belong to are completed. Most are limited to a certain zone. A [28] Raene's Cleansing is one of the only quests that you can abandon and keep the item forever, but you can never finish the quest or [Dartol's Rod of Transformation] will be removed from your inventory. [Overseer Disguise] can be made continuously, but it's limited to its quest's zone.

Item Quest
 [Dartol's Rod of Transformation] A [28] Raene's Cleansing
 [Tree Disguise Kit] A [9] Tree's Company
 [Overseer Disguise] N [68] Meeting at the Blackwing Coven
 [Sunfury Disguise] N [68] Information Gathering
 [Blood Elf Disguise] N [70] What Illidan Wants, Illidan Gets...
 [Orb of the Crawler] N [60] An Innocent Disguise
 [Shabby Arakkoa Disguise] N [70] A Shabby Disguise
 [Worg Disguise] A [71] In Worg's Clothing

H [71] In Worg's Clothing

 [Warsong Orc Disguise] A [72] It Was The Orcs, Honest!
 [Overseer Disguise Kit] A [75] Put on Your Best Face for Loken

H [75] Loken's Orders

 [Sandfern Disguise] N [76] Crocolisk Mastery: The Ambush

Objects

Object disguises come from objects you can interact with in the environment. They can either be clicked on or you must walk on top of them.

Spells

Appearance changes can be applied to players through spells. Both NPCs and players can cast them.

Player spells

Some classes come with spells which let them disguise themselves. They are normally used for combat, but they can be used for fun as well.

  • Druids can use shapeshifting to turn into certain animals.
  • Shamans can turn into a [Ghost Wolf].
  • Shadow priests can use [Shadowform] to turn themselves a dark purplish color. Some may argue that this is not a disguise, however, at one point it uses to share the same blanket effect as disguises. That means it actually removed disguises once.

NPC spells

If you interact with certain NPCs, they can provide you with a disguise. While there are a few NPCs that will give you a disguise just by speaking to them, a majority of NPCs will only cast spells on you for certain quests until they are complete.

  • The Pirates' Day buffs alter only the appearance of the character's clothes, but are disguises in the sense that they bypass the normal clothes mechanic of having to equip the items to display them and overide the appearance of equipped items. The buff can be obtained through talking with one of the commoners that spawn in the capital cities. You can get a longer-lasting buff from Dread Captain DeMeza who's in Booty Bay during the event.
  • During Hallow's End, sometimes innkeepers will trick you instead of giving you a  [Treat Bag] by turning you into mini diablo, a cat, a miniature sand worm, or a frog. The debuff from being tricked only lasts for a short period of time, but some players like to run around with it.
  • Horde Bom'bay <Witch Doctor in Training> provides several short term spells; one enlarges the character, and one makes it a "ghost" - makes it more transparent.
  • Using the item  [Brazier of Dancing Flames] and then selecting the NPC that spawns, Dancing Flames, will allow you to interact with her through some emotes. The emote /dance will turn you into an enlarged version of her.

Zone-related appearance changes

When you step into certain zones, your character will become disguised.

Other

  •  [Elixir of Giant Growth] and  [Deviate Fish] (one effect is shrink) are on the periphery as they change the character's size but none of the graphic elements.
  • You can trick appearance change buffs into swapping your character's gender. All you need is  [Pygmy Oil]. Make sure you drink enough to turn into the gnome, then use any other disguise which adjusts to your gender. The disguise you use must have a duration lasting over what's left of the  [Pygmy Oil]'s buff. For example, if your disguise duration is 5 minutes long, you must wait until the oil buff duration reaches 5 minutes or below.

Patch changes

  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): The Transformation system has been improved. Characters can now be affected by multiple transformation effects at once. While multiple transformation or shapeshift effects are active, only the highest priority one will be visible. This allows transformation effects to persist while shapeshifts are active. Additionally, many restrictions on being transformed have been removed.
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2013-12-19): Effects transforming a player's appearance should no longer prevent them from being able to interact with a defeated Paragon.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-13): When you have more than one transformation aura (Orb of Deception, Noggenfogger, etc.), the last one applied is the one that is shown.

See also