Friday evening, Blizzard released a preview of the upcoming Tier 12 armor sets, thematically attached to the upcoming 4.2 content patch and the Firelands raid. Six different classes were previewed–paladin, mage, rogue, hunter, death knight, priest–and between those sets there is only about 3 really different armors. Helmets not withstanding of course, they are usually dissimilar. You can see the actual preview here.
I have got to say that I am extremely underwhelmed. Rogue armor looks pretty much like it always does, for better or worse. Paladin, Mage, and Hunter gear looks pretty identical. The DK armor is reminiscent of an older tier of warlock armor (kind of like tier 6 maybe?). The hunter gear looks… well… He looks like a pirate. Maybe i’m being exceedingly critical, but REALLY Blizzard? I understand you want everything to be firey for the raid’s theme, but that doesn’t mean they should all look the same. Not all fire is created equal. And what is up with the goblin-faced pirate-hunter? I think that’s even worse than the murlocstalker set, and I really wasn’t a fan of THAT either. And why does the paladin headpiece look like a c1950′s scuba helm, or possibly Warlock t7?
I think this is why I am disappointed over the gear previews. Through most of the tiers (t9 not withstanding, but I can at least understand a rationale behind that one), gear looked like it belonged to a class. Warlock gear felt distinctly warlocky. Rogue gear has always had that sort of subtle, shadowy type feel too it (but the tentacle-shoulders in t8 were boggling and creepy in a fun sort of way). Although, to be fair, I still feel like the rogue gear conveys “rogue” to me more than the other sets convey their particular class.
I think, maybe in the long run, the look of gear is maybe a small complaint, but if I am going to spend the all this time raiding to get these pieces, I want them to make my characters look like the champions that they are… and I am certainly glad that I don’t raid on my hunter anymore. Poor hunters. On the plus side, at least, the bosses they’ve released look amazing. Just look at that firey-cat, for example.