By Meredith Watson, OnRPG Tyrian Reporter
The look and designs of the armour in World of Warcraft has never appealed to me. Luckily, there are plenty of other aspects to the game that I do like to keep me playing. So, with that being said I had a brainstorming session about which tiers I did like and those tiers which never should have seen the light of day to come up with my top three best and worst. Enjoy.
Tier 9 was introduced with patch 3.2 and it was quite clear that giving us unique gear was not a priority. The only difference between mage, priest and warlock gear was only in the slight variation of colour. Other than that the gear was identical between the three. The warrior, paladin and death knight also shared the same look as did the hunter and shaman and the rogue and druid. Tier 9 was an unmitigated disaster.
I am not sure what the designers were thinking when working on tier 12 other than fire. We get it. Cataclysm was fiery. The death knight gear can only be described as some sort of deranged moth. The druid’s gear didn’t look any better and had exactly nothing to do with being a druid. Unless druids look like fireflies which if that is the case they did an outstanding job. The druid didn’t even get proper shoes as his toes were left hanging out. The mage had a fiery ponytail coming out of the helm and the hunter was non-descript (other than being fiery of course). The collar on the priest set is so huge you could fit a gnome in there and again, it is fiery. Blizzard very rarely gets rogue gear right. Actually, I am not sure they ever have. The Tier 12 rogue gear had bright blue glowing bits on it. You know, because nothing says stealth like bright glowing bits. Just cover the rest of the classes in fire and you will have a pretty good idea of the remaining sets.
Before patch 1.9 Tier 2 was just placeholders. After 1.9, tier 2 was just bad. Druids seemed to have it the worst. Their helm consisted of what is quite possibly a disastrous attempt at moose horns. The hunter’s gear was purple and orange with huge dragon heads on the shoulder. It was called Dragonstalker and was absolutely ridiculous. The paladin set was also a bit odd for the class which was a red, gold and black robe, facemask and swords on the shoulder. While it looked interesting it didn’t exactly imply holiness. The priest also didn’t fare well in this tier. The shoulders looked like bananas and the whole ensemble had a disturbing black outline. The mage, shaman and warlock gear wasn’t horrid but the poor warrior had a rhinoceros horn for a helm.
Without a doubt, for me, there is only one tier for this spot and that is tier 6. The druids were again back to nature. Their set had a Native American vibe to it and put one in mind of totem poles and birds. The hunter’s Gronstalker had moving eyeballs inside the shoulders. It was creepy and delightful all at the same time. Finally with this tier the mage, who normally has uninspiring gear, looked arcane and the paladin emitted holy light from their shoulders and wore an angelic crown. The priest gear, along with tier 5 was stellar. For this tier the shoulders of the priest set had a chained blindfolded woman’s head attached to them. Warlocks almost always get great looking tier sets and tier 6 was probably the best of the best. The helm which was brilliant looking on its own proc’d demon wings every few minutes. What tier 6 gave us was the much coveted uniqueness. We hadn’t seen anything like tier 6 before and wouldn’t again which is probably why it is so desirable for transmogrification these days.
Where tier 9 got it all wrong, tier 10 got it all right. The designers came back with a vengeance and once again gave each class a unique look. The only real problem with this tier is the colours were off. Again, the rogue is not wearing black. Would it really be so difficult to give rogues a black ninja like set? The rogue’s helm was very good though and had a sinister quality to it. Like tier 6, warlocks got the best set again which consisted of a bizarre facemask and long pointy hood. The overall theme was creepy meets frozen.
Tier 1 makes the best list mainly due to nostalgia. Admit it-you were proud to be strutting around Orgimmar or Ironforge in your tier 1. For druids, this was the most perfect set. It was all about nature down to the twigs and clumps of grass hanging off the shoulder. The hunter’s Giantstalker had nothing to do with giants or stalking but at least it wasn’t purple. Yet. Really only the paladin suffered in this tier looking like a large plate banana. This is possibly the only tier that got the rogue set even partly right. It was black, grey and red and had D cups for shoulders. While not ideal it was a good start. Tier 1 isn’t amazing but it hinted at things to come.
Do you have a favourite tier set? Do you think you could do a better job of designing the tier gear?