Something that I've always loved over the years has been the aesthetic of shaman armor and tier sets. Over the years we've had some really killer tier sets that have showcased our connection to the elements. From the magma, water and planet armor from Burning Crusade, to frozen tusk armor of Wrath of the Lich King. We've had some really killer sets with some really awesome particle effects over the years.
I feel though, that with transmog, we've sort of moved away from looking at our gear sets in favor of using our older sets of gear. With that, I think that this past expansion has produced some of the greatest shaman armor we've had, arguably since the very beginning of the World of Warcraft. I thought it would be nice to take a look at the tier sets from the aesthetic perspective that we've received over the course of the Mists expansion.
The first tier is full of feathers
The first tier, which spanned Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear and the Terrace of Endless Spring, produced our first tier set of the expansion. It was an interesting opening raid tier that broke up the content and gave us time to work through it. Our first set, the Vestments of the Firebird, was a very interesting set. To me it seemed more like a set that should have been around in Firelands instance, since it had firebirds and all that. It was full of fire laden feathers and had a very old world shamansitic fetish style to it. It has a very interesting flare to it, and while it didn't quite have the flash or flare of some of the previous sets in terms of particle effects, the fire effect was really well done around the helmet and the shoulders. It was also available in green, blue and red.
While the set was cool, it is probably my least favorite of the sets we received. Not because it wasn't cool, it was, but from a personal note it didn't look the best on my Pandaren. I thought that it looked far better on Trolls, both female and male, than it did on any of the other shamanistic races. Still, it was a superp model and really set the tone for what was to come next.
From Birds to Dinos
The second tier set for the Mists expansion, Vestments of the Witch Doctor, and was made available in the Throne of Thunder raid zone. It is both very shamanistic, and very troll inspired. It really does appear like a witch doctors mask like you would find in an old movie, and the dinosaur iconography at the top of the mask as well as the shoulders is really cool looking. I liked the set to much that I even drew a little comic about it to show my love for the awesome hat. The particle effects on the hat and shoulders were very well done. It fit both the zone it was obtained from, and the shaman aesthetic quite nicely.
The other thing that I really enjoyed about this set, was that it looked really interesting on all of the shaman races. Whether it was a goblin with a giant mask, or a draenei with giant shoulders, it just looked good. At least I thought so. The robes, the gloves, everything about the set was really well done. I really did love it because it had dinosaurs on it and I got to run around pretending I was a devilsaur. I mean, who doesn't want to be a giant predatory dinosaur?
One Raid, Two Sets
The last raid content patch, which brought us the Siege of Orgrimmar, brought us not just one new raid set, but a second set that I'm going to consider on par with our raid tier sets. But, lets talk about the proper raid tier set, Celestial Harmony Vestments. Now, this set is interesting because it's the first departure from the basic elements since raid tier 10 back in Ice Crown Citadel. Shaman have always been ones to commune with the elements of fire, water, air, earth and even spirit when talking with our ancestors or seeking their guidance. Rather, this set really focuses on the Celestials, the immortal beings that watch over Pandaria. There's actually a lot of speculation as to who and what they are. They seem to have a connection to the Ancients, who we've gotten some some quality time with in Cataclysm, but there are some speculation that they may also have some connection to the Loa. Those are the spirits worshiped by the trolls that harken back to the loa found in real life vodoo beliefs. The set has constellations for shoulders and make you look like a shaman ninja. Both of these things are very cool, in my opinion. The particle effects on the shoulders are really well done, and even the rest of the set has some very interesting call backs to our older sets such as the scales on the kilt that are reminiscent of Frost Witch's Kilt. It just has a nice look to it and even the colors are are very nice and compliment each other very well.
The other set I'm including in this is the Kor'kron Dark Shaman transmog set. This set is purely for looks and doesn't have any stats or set bonuses. It drops, appropriately, from the Dark Shaman bosses in SoO. It drops as a complete set, so there's no need to farm individual pieces, but from personal experience I'm convinced it doesn't really exist or I made someone angry at some point since I have yet to see it drop personally for any of the shaman in my raid group. There are a lot of cool things about this set. First, shaman are the first class to receive a transmog set like this, which is pretty awesome. The second thing about this is that the set takes elements from some of our other sets throughout the years. The wolf helm, the bladed shoulders, the fur kilt and the small floating planetoids that hover around the back. It's a glorious set that looks awesome on every shaman race.
The thing about this expansion, at least from the aesthetics perspective for shaman, is that there was a lot of though put into how our armor looked for us this time around. Whether it was drawing back on the elements of years past or incorporating the raid zones either subtly or bluntly, I found myself pleased with the overall tone of all the armor and not really finding myself wanting to transmog out of the sets. It set the tone for sets in the future, and I am personally really looking forward to seeing what type of armor we get in Warlords of Draenor. I'm hoping we get a set that focuses on the wind element, as I think that's something we've been lacking in over the years. What did you think about our armor this expansion? What type of armor do you want to see for our future?
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