In continuation of my earlier post about Priest PvE Tier sets, in this post I'm going to cover the looks of the Priest armor sets from The Burning Crusade.
The Burning Crusade introduced multiple sets of the same Tier due to the differences between valuable stats, and set bonuses, for Healing and Shadow spec's of the class. The sets looked the same, but the stats and bonuses differed depending on which set you opted to take. This change was not added for the Dungeon 3 set, but the "heroic" Dungeon 3 set was focused more toward DPS.
Hallowed Raiment (Dungeon 3 set)
This set utilized the "halo" theme that Blizzard used for the Faith T3 set from Nax. Keep in mind that at the time TBC was released, due to the difficulty of Nax prior to TBC's release, not many priests actually ever had the chance to get their T3 sets.
Many of them had seen pics on various websites, or had dressing roomed the set from linked items, but had never actually gotten it themselves. Many priests thought the Halo was really cool, and therefore the D3 set right off the bat in TBC was a real treat for many players.
Overall, the set is very simple, yet good looking. There are no particle effects on the shoulders, and very little on the halo/helm. The Hallowed items dropped in non-heroic versions of the instances, but had a level requirement of 70. Making it possible to get the items before one could actually utilize them, if they did the instances prior to ding-ing 70.
Incarnate Raiment/Regalia (Raid Tier 4 set)
Tier 4 was the first Raid set that dropped from raids in TBC. Many pieces dropped from Karazhan, the first 10-player instance of that expansion. TBC utilized a new(ish) system of "tokens" for the raid Tier drops, wheras in [most] prior raids, the actual items dropped. Blizzard began the idea of Token systems in AQ and Nax, but in TBC is where they really took off with it. Once a token dropped and you received it, you then took it to a vendor that sold the actual Tier items, and traded the token for the item from the set (either DPS or healing) that you wanted.
Due to the vendors selling these sets being in Shattrath City, it allowed for players to Dressing Room the items prior to even doing the raids.... meaning many players were drooling over these sets (T4 and T5) shortly after setting foot in Shattrath, prior to even reaching 70.
This set had a particle effect that "flowed" up from the shoulders, and helm. This set also introduced the "collar" themed helms for caster classes, a theme you'll see many times over in sets to come. The helms from Prophecy and Transcendence were not so much "collars" like this one was.
The only problem I have with this set (and every other set that utilizes the "collar" helm) is the helm looks incredibly lame with long hair-styles. This is a graphics issue that really irks me (they still have not fixed it), since Blizzard seems to enjoy using the "collar" theme. In my opinion, if they can't get it to work and look good with every type of hair style they put into the game... then they shouldn't make armor that doesn't work with it. The barber shop addition helped with this a bit, since you can now change your toon's hair style to something that works if you choose, but prior to that option being available... my Priest looked like Darth Vader when he removed his helm in Jedi when I used this helm.
Avatar Raiment/Regalia (Raid Tier 5 set)
If you thought Blizzard was leaning heavy toward the "angel" theme with the wings and halo on the Faith set, and again with the halo on the D3 set... they really went to town here.
This set was (in my personal opinion) really cool looking... simply because it was so different than any other priest set to date. It was drastically different than the set before it, much like Transcendence was vastly different than Prophecy in Vanilla.
No particle effects on the shoulders for this set, and a few sparkly stars on the helm. Simplicity is the key here, but that does not make the set look any less "epic." I feel that the name of this set is very fitting for the way it looks. This set made you look like an Avatar of some angelic being.
Blizz went with a hood-type helm for this set, which was also bugged with long hair styles for a long time. Unlike the collar-helm graphic issue, they fixed this one a few months after the expansion was released.
Vestments of Absolution/Absolution Regalia (Raid Tier 6 set)
This is the only set I never actually used as a Priest (I had switched to raiding on my Shaman throughout my Black Temple/Sunwell experience) but I feel that again, Blizzard really nailed it with the looks of this set.
This set looked like something that should come from a place called "Black Temple." This set is Night and Day in terms of looks with the set before it.
There were particle effects on both the helm and the shoulders, although they were not overwhelming, and are not shown very well in the pic above. Personally, I feel the shoulders used for this set were some of the most unique shoulder designs they've used on any set to date. It shows that you don't need a ton of flashy particle effects and blinking lights to make an amazing looking set. It's an art that I feel has died a little bit with Wrath... but that's for another post.
This set also used the Hood-type helm, but in a drastically different way than the Avatar set before it.
I'll continue this later and go over the Priest sets from Wrath...