A new alpha build for Warlords of Draenor is on the way and that can only mean one thing: making catty comments about the recently released Tier 17 and Mythic Armor previews. Now, this is all still in alpha, so there’s a chance things might change before WoD is finally released, uh, whenever its release date is.
(I am so not up on that sort of thing. I’m here for the clothes, people.)
Still, might as well get an early start, right?
Hunter Tier 17
Would you like some bland with that bland?
I know I shouldn’t be so quick to judge, but, while this surpasses the shockingly low bar set by Tier 16, it looks this tier isn’t going to restore hunters to their former glory. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it, really. This isn’t a cyclopean laser helmet or weird orbs stuck to your shoulders. It’s just… boring.
I mean, the shoulders have to have a cool animation or something, right?
Um, I’m going to assume that’s not working as intended.
EDIT: Ohhh, okay. This makes a lot more sense.
In this version from MMO Champion, you can see the shoulder animation (badass), the belt (also badass, but a little big), and the gloves. The overall effect is better than Wowhead’s version and definitely elevates the set from snoozefest to pretty cool. Still not impressed by the helm or boots, but I’m sold.
Pros: The shoulder sculpts are awesome. The belt is awesome, but probably too big for a lot of transmog sets.
Cons: Wowhead’s renders suck sometimes, you know?
Okay, I kind of like this one. The helm is awful, but they almost always are. The rest of the set, though muted in palette, has enough to hold my interest. The robe is subdued, but unlike the Hunter Tier 17 the metalwork around around the waist looks like it has some craftsmanship to it.
And that belt.
Blizzard, the next time you’re drawing up a massive, face-covering helm adorned with ridiculously large horns, I want you to stop, look at yourself in the mirror, and whisper, “Why.”
EDIT: MMO Champion has a version that includes the spectacularly large shoulders. They’re worth talking about.
Here they are from the front in all their pointy glory. From this angle, they’re kind of cool but not all that impressive. I have to say, I’m 100% done with toxic green smears and particle effects on Warlock gear. We get it, you’re evil, move on.
But just check out the back! I am loving, loving, those horns. You can actually see where they’ve been severed and fixed onto the back.
Now if only I could give that green paint a scrub.
Pros: The belt is awesome.
Cons: The helm makes me cry, sure, but it still sucks less than Tier 16.
Alternately, check out the male human on MMO Champion.
Welp, you know, I actually kind of like this. The helm is a little much (well, unless your guildmates need a coat rack), but I like the colours and I can see the individual parts having second lives in other sets.
Even if the overall effect is a little more Madame Hydra circa Secret Warriors than any druid I’ve ever met.
But while the set may be all business in the front, there’s most definitely a party in the back. Seriously, check this out.
Those wings are something special. They flutter, they move. Sure, they’re attached to pauldrons that frankly aren’t that great — workable, but the bug aesthetic makes them hardly everyday wear — but with those wings you just don’t care.
Heck, they’re almost enough to get me leveling my druid again. Wait, do I have a level 90 druid? I can’t remember.
I have too many alts.
Pros: Solid colour scheme, coherent design, ~wings~
Cons: The coat rack head is a bad thing, right?
Priest Tier 17
The more I look at this, the more familiar it feels. Okay, so a priest in red and gold is hardly breaking new ground and variations on those teal blue inserts cropped up repeatedly in Tier 16, but I’m willing to forgive if it feels a little samey-samey. The robes aren’t over-designed or needlessly busy. It’s a testament to the extent Blizzard’s art has improved over the years that from some angles it looks like it fits well, instead of just clinging to the model’s body like a second skin.
Well, in the chest area, anyway. The skin stretched across skirt mesh remains a hot mess. I’m not even 100% if the distortion in the first orb is intentional.
But not all is mild ambivalence because check out those shoulders, you guys. Okay, so they’re not wings, but the gasping faces mounted on the priest tier 17’s shoulders are fantastic.
Honestly, this shot doesn’t do them justice. The ghostly faces move in a way that perfectly evokes dark spectral forces trapped beneath cloth. The light show — the beams of blue light pouring from their mouths — is also on 24/7, so there’s no standing around, waiting for your special effects to proc. I even like the turquoise sigils carved into the gold of the shoulders. I like to pretend they’re for containment.
EDIT: Via MMO Champion, here’s another look at how the light effects might appear.
A+ shoulders, friend. A+.
Though, honestly, I’m looking forward to the holy and discipline priests explaining to their friends why there are dark forces trapped writhing in their pauldrons. “Oh yes, oh yes, the light and, uh, all that. But they’re cool.”
Pros: Those shoulders rock my world. The colour choices aren’t bad. The bandaged hand gloves are neat-o.
Cons: I like the veil effect but the shape of the helm makes it look like a bottle opener. What’s with that belt? Did the art department just get bored?
EDIT: The belt mystery has been solved. Still not to hot on the “lumpy strip of fabric motif,” but that skull!
Alternately, check out the male human on MMO Champion.
What do you guys think? Am I on the mark? Are those insect wings the actual coolest, or what?
Let me know in the comments.