Thursday, September 09, 2010

Tier Sets in Wrath

For some reason, I feel like the Tier sets in Wrath were less ... effective, maybe ... than the Tier sets in TBC and Vanilla. For me, the main differences are colors and uniqueness.

When I think of old Tier sets, I remember the colors more than anything else. The red and gold of Lightforge, the black edged with red/gold of Judgement, the blue and gold of T6, and even the purple of T5. The Wrath Tier sets, on the other hand, have as many as 3 different variations, and that greatly decreased their memorability. You couldn't just look at someone and recognize the Tier set, like you could in the previous version.

Of all the paladin sets of Wrath, the white T8 may have been iconic enough to stand near T2 and T6.1 But having the other recolors of the same set diluted the effect.

The other issue with Tier armor this time around is that the non-Tier armor shared the same look with the Tier. Perhaps that this was done so people would look more cohesive, not have the "clown" effect of TBC. But it just made Tier feel less special. You couldn't just look at the crowd and pick out someone in her full Tier set.

Blizzard should step back a bit and make Tier armor feel a bit more unique. Use a single, iconic, color scheme for both normal and heroic variants. Use a different, more generic, armor model for non-tier gear. Tier armor pieces are the main Loot as Reward items in raids, the armor you collect and save in your bank. Someone in full Tier should look significantly different than someone in mixed gear, and that really wasn't the case for most of Wrath.

1. Also, T10 should have gone with pants. I like the plate skirt/cassock of T2, but it's something that should be used sparingly, and regular plate pants worked better with the rest of T10. The skirt/cassock works better with sets that have a cleric-ish vibe, but the dragon helm of T10 evokes knights.


  1. I think what hurt the tier sets in WOTLK the most was the simple fact that they were purchasable with nothing but emblems. Tier used to be something special, and even if you raided regularly you weren't guaranteed to get a full set. With every alt sporting full tier nine in Dalaran these days it feels more like a set of hand-me-downs than epic armour. On some of my characters I even trashed old tier nine armour without a second thought, simply because it's so common now that it feels worthless. I never would have done that in BC and still keep all the t4 that I ever got for example.

  2. Oh another Tier topic, hehe =) It seems we'd both love more unique sets again in the future - I was sometimes under the impression that I'm one of the few moaning about this..
    concerning the skirt vs. pants debate for plate-wearers, I always found it a pity that Blizzard never actually created sets with proper, realistic knight skirts. IMO that would be your best look and it's what knights used to wear after all, not simple pants and certainly not full skirts (riding hellou?), but those semi-long tunics / knight skirts over their pants.

    not sure you get what I mean, but basically make longer chestpieces that reach down to your knees. or maybe they could produce this look via a 3rd item, like the belts.

    and t2 was clearly the coolest paladin tier! =)

  3. I was extremely disappointed when I equipped my Rusted Bonespike Pauldrons and found that they looked exactly the same as my T10 shoulders (slightly darker maybe, but otherwise identical). It's not that I disliked the look of T10, but it would have been nice to see something different.

    On the other hand, at least we haven't been cursed with anything as horrible as those Zul'Aman shoulders!

    On the whole, while I'm not so driven by looks as some (I did wear those ZA shoulders, after all), I would like to see a little more variety in the armor than we currently have.

  4. T2 looks the best imo, followed by T10.

    Personally, I think every expansion should have the easy/hard/elite mode (T9/T10/T10.5) Tiers.

    I'm casual and it took me a long time to get 2 pieces of hard mode. Never even whiffed elite mode, unfortunately but no time for that.

    I agree its sad all the sets looked the same in T8/9... blah.

  5. I prefer the discretion that kilts offer, given the stubby legs of my dwarf. However, I do agree that the tier sets are somewhat lackluster in appearance. Although, it may be a welcome change, given how flashy some of our tiers were in the past. I don't like the fact that I have to share my tier appearance with off-tier items, but that may be a blessing in disguise, given that I don't really make much use of my 4pc set.

  6. The same could be said about the pvp sets. The vanilla ones were, for the most part, very memorable. Some people loved them, others hated them, but the fact was you could see a horde warrior on the other side of warsong gulch with those big 'ol serrated blades on his shoulders and know he was in some pvp gear.

  7. First off I'd like to say that I totally agree with the you all on the topic of memorability. If someone was to ask me "what does the hunter T9 look like" I wouldn't have an answer. Sad.

    However I'm starting to think that the vanilla sets are so memorable by us just because they were the first sets we ever encountered. And for the fact that we saw them for a lot longer period than sets have been around in the expansions.

    As goes for looks in WotLK it's all kinda dark and loomy and I don't like it too much, but it follows the lore and I'd say I'm still grateful for that. Blizzard even wrote themselves that it's time to be more epic and shiny again as we return to the old world in Cataclysm! Yay!