Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Evolution of Priest Tier sets

Regardless of the reason(s) someone may play the game, a major part of the WoW universe will always be gear. Gear is the driving force for many people in any type of MMO, and WoW is no exception to this.

Upon reaching the max level, the most obvious way a player can advance their toon is by getting better and better gear. New raids are released with more powerful bosses, who in turn drop more powerful gear. It's the circle of the MMO life. Upon the release of a new expansion, the circle starts all over again.

If you play WoW and haven't been living under a rock, you likely know that sometime in the near future, Blizzard will be releasing the 3.3 content patch for the Icecrown Citadel raid instance.

Icecrown Citadel... Home of the Lich King himself, Arthas. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of end-game raiding for this expansion. Arthas has been taunting us since level 70 in Howling Fjord, and it's finally time to stick it to him and give him what he deserves.

You can find all kinds of info floating around about the new raid instance, and the new bosses from the PTR, but the real question burning on many minds is what will the gear be like?

Well, aside from a few crafted pieces, the majority of the gear that drops in ICC has not been released yet. What we have seen though, is what the new Tier 10 sets will look like for most classes. The real question now is.... will we be well dressed when it comes time to mingle with Arthas on top of the Frozen Throne?

Personally... I'm disappointed with how the new Tier 10 sets look for all the classes released so far. They are no where near as lazy as the Tier 9 sets were (only one model for each armor type per faction), but they are no where near as badass as I was expecting them to be in terms of looks. Sure... looks don't kill bosses... but I spend quite a bit of time playing this toon, and I want it to look cool. Making your toon look cool is just as important as many players as the stats on the gear itself is (anyone else remember making obscene amounts of money in vanilla selling beastslayer enchants for the red glow?).

In the name of reminiscing, and because I'm incredibly bored on a non-raid night... Let's recap on the different priest sets Blizzard has released to us over the years. This is strictly going over overall look of gear, and isn't hitting on the stats/set bonuses. I'll go over that more once the T10 stats are out.

Since this is already an insanely long post, I'm going to split this up over a couple days... covering the gear from each expansion.

Vanilla WoW Priest Armor Sets.

Vestments of the Devout (Dungeon 1 set)This set may not look like a whole lot now... but back in Vanilla prior to setting foot in Molten Core, this was some amazing looking gear. Think about it. You've just spent the entire time of your WoW career leveling up and now you're level 60. Time to collect some gear. This was the first "set" of gear available for priests that "matched" when it came to looks. People could look at your toon in IF/Org and see that you had put in the time to do the end-game instances like Stratholme, Scholomance and LBRS/UBRS.

It may not look like much now, but at the time when this was end-game... this was pretty awesome looking gear.

Vestments of Prophecy (Raid Tier 1)

This set was the first "epic" gear that most priests saw in Vanilla WoW. It was an epic eight-piece set that dropped from Vanilla's first Raid instance, Molten Core.

Many priests criticized the head-piece saying they looked like bunny-ear TV antennae, but overall the set looked very nice. It was extremely different than the Devout that most priests had going into MC, and again... distinguished that you were a raid-experienced priest just by looking at you.

Overall, a simple set by today's standards... but given the context in which it was used, it was pretty amazing looking.

Vestments of Transcendance (Raid Tier 2)
This set introduced particle effects to Priest armor in both the head-piece, and the shoulders. Again, the set is an extreme difference in terms of looks from the set before it. This set looked much more powerful than the Prophecy set before, which gave a visual sense of your character getting more powerful as they progressed through the content.

Vestments of Faith (Raid Tier 3)
While not as an extreme difference in looks from the set before it as Tier 2 was to Tier 1, this set had a distinctly different look. The particle "angel wing" effect on the shoulders was cool, even though it looked funny from certain camera angles. Due to the scope and difficulty of Naxrammas back in Vanilla, priests in full T3 gear were not nearly as commonplace as those in Prophecy or Transcendence... making gear even more of a symbol of accomplishment.

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