The graphics for tier 11 were released a bit ago but MMO Champs uploaded some high def versions of it. With that in mind I wanted to go back and take a look at the previous tier sets and how they have evolved since. WoWWiki has a good list of priest tier sets as well as PvP, non raid sets and such with some cool looking pictures if you want to check those out.
Tier 1: Now, let’s get started with the first, Vestments of Prophecy. Back then having tier pieces was a huge accomplishment. You had to wrangle up 40 people and kill bosses that only dropped 3 pieces of loot. A far cry from today’s 10mans that drop 2! The first raid set also had 8 pieces. It made choosing what gear you wore pretty easy (but then again we didn’t have all these crazy different bonuses we have now).
I was a big fan of the color scheme for this set. The white and gold give off the holy feel while the black and red help to give the battle hardened look.
Tier 2: Everything looks better on a dwarf but this… this looked like a crack head with crayons designed it. The colors are great but the armor itself is busy Busy BUSY! It lacks the sleek and clothie look of tier 1. Luckily I never had to wear most of this because I had piss poor luck on drops.
Tier 3: This is a set that I never got to, also the last of the classic armor sets. The guild I was in had just started Naxx when TBC was releasing. I realize this will sound sexist but this set looked horrible on male toons. It felt very delicate and accented female toons very well.
That being said it did look good though. You can’t see it in my pic but the helm was a glowing halo. They toned the busy of t2 down and focused it on the center of the robe to add intricacies without muddling up the overall look. The color scheme was nice but lacked any sort of masculinity that made it feel like my priest wasn’t in fighting robes but merely a dress.
Tier 4: The first set of the Burning Crusade and the new theory of having only 5 pieces instead of 8. Casters lucked out in this department since our robes cover up our hideous shoes or whatever we are forced to wear that probably doesn’t match. The shirt and pants wearing classes aren’t so lucky. I hate when my shoes don’t match my outfit!
I don’t think I initially liked this set (it’s the helm, I hate the big collars) but it grew on me. The grey / white is always great for our gear and really helps the purple to pop a bit better. The purple has a nice deep edge to it that brings back the fierceness that I was looking for and the gold accents, yep. This set had it.
Now we move on to what I consider the best two tier sets to have ever existed… EVER.
Tier 5: This is where sexy was brought back. Not only was tier 5 ri-god-dam-diculously awesome looking it was also a status symbol. Raiding in TBC was difficult (not as difficult as classic but still pretty hard). A lot of people never made it out of Karazhan, where tier 4 was located. Getting tier 5 showed that you were raiding AND KILLING higher end bosses in Tempest Keep (Kael’Thas’ house) and Serpentshrine Cavern (home to Lady Vashj… the best boss fight ever). Killing Vashj or Kael were HUGE things.
Sorry, I’m reliving the glory days!
The textures, even now, still look really good. The colors mesh well and the set design harkens back to tier 1 with the shoulder hangy things (someone tell me what they are called?!) The wings are big enough to make a statement but not a crazy gaudy glowey thing. This set also introduces the hooded priest. Thank you tier 5 designer, kick ass job.
Tier 6: This is completely being made up in my head but I think the t5 got a bit of flack for being too pretty. Maybe someone was talking about t3 and he mistook what they were talking about? No idea. Tier 6 was a marvel in simplicity. You take a monochromatic blue color scheme, shuck away all the repressive detail, grab a hood and add in some shoulders sculpted by Leonardo. Then you have the paragon of perfection itself, tier 6. Need I say more?
Tier 7a & 7b: This is the first raid set from the Lich King(LK). Blizzard realized that most people never even got to step foot in Naxxramas because it came out just before the Burning Crusade. With that in mind they revamped Naxx and moved it to Northrend where everyone got a chance to do the old 40 man raids as revamped 10 / 25. The only problem was they nerf’d it so hardcore that people who had never been there (ie. me) were clearing it within the first week or two. Then you had this stupid long wait for Ulduar.
That revamp though caused them to bring back updated tier 3 armor. Looking at the textural difference between t3 and t7 is huge. The game has certainly come along way.
LK also introduced the 10 / 25 man raids so you had two copies of the same set just different colors. The set didn’t look bad but everyone and their mom had it due to the ease of New Naxx. The colors go well though and the added texture looks very good on the suit, adding depth to it overall.
Tier 8a-8b: Sorry that my pics didn’t turn out so great for this… normally your beard won’t come through the front of the mask but I’m not completely literate at how to work wow model viewer. I had some reservations about this set when it first came out, mainly the fact it didn’t look cloth at all. Then you have that collar… wtf is that?! I loved the smothering turtle neck but the collar left something to be desired. It was poorly implemented and just about every race (ESPECIALLY the females) had major clipping issues with it. The colors were fine, plain and simple. Nothing new in that department for the priest.
I could definitely see that mummy wrapped helm make a come back though!
Tier 9abc: Confused? We all were when we first heard about it. LK had the 10 / 25 raids, tier 9 was about the Argent Dawn Coliseum. You had 10 man, 10 man heroic, 25 man, 25 man heroic. You had 3 different sets of tier for it. 10 man heroic had the same tier gear as 25 man normal and then 10 and 25man heroic had different sets. BUT! All the graphics were the same?! I already bitched about this so let’s talk about the armor.
Their must have been someone new at the office because the texture jump from 8 to 9… wow. I could reach out and run my hands across those smooth marble shoulders, rawr! The helm? Stupid. The rest of it was pretty cool though. The horde had a different look but since I’m Alliance… I don’t care.
Tier 10a-b: I couldn’t get the wow modal viewer to display t10 correctly so I loaded it via WoWhead, and it didn’t work perfectly there either (see the face?!). I wrote a big deal about t10 when it was announced so I’ll only rehash it a bit. I’m always a fan of the drapery from the shoulders but the orange / purple was really awful. They did a really bad job melding the colors poorly. The only good places are the foot of the robe where it gets a deep purple.
The blue / grey though was, as usual, a good choice. It was implemented well and worked really well.
Tier 11a-b: This is going to be an iffy set, that’s for sure. Texturally it’s a great set. Areas of it are extremely busy but at first glance it seems to be well contained by big broad borders. I haven’t seen the glow effect in action but I’m hoping it doesn’t slosh out like some sort of holy fountain. I wonder if they right click for drink?
The abdomen area gives me a pause though, ya know those giant chunky belts from ICC? I wasn’t a big fan of those and I’m hoping this isn’t a preparation graphic for that. This helm puts a whole new spin on harem though when you add in the context of a priest… JUST SAYING!
The arabian nights inspired armor though does look pretty cool.
I’m a thumbs up for the green and holding my opinion in reserve for the purple.