This approach solves the problem of clashing sets across seasons. The important distinction here is that, unlike PvE sets, PvP gear share set bonuses across tiers. That is to say, wearing one piece from each of the three -- soon to be four -- tiers of PvP gear will confer set bonuses. More than in PvE, players are led to upgrade directly through PvP tier gear, so wearing pieces across different tiers will always happen. The evolutionary designs ensure that transitioning from one tier to the next will keep character appearance cohesive. I know there's a bit of a debate about similar-looking sets
, but this is a different animal.
If you don't like the base sets (Season 5), then obviously, fancier shoulders and helmets won't do anything for you. It took me a while to digest the understated designs of Wrath
PvP gear, but the whole nipples-of-dragons argument
made sense to me. Don't get me wrong, I still pine for faction-specific PvP sets, and I think the old Marshal / Warlord item sets were still some of the best designed gear, but I have grown to appreciate this new design philosophy. When I'm raiding, I'm in shiny green and gold, fancy winged Gundam
armor. But when I PvP, I slap on a gunmetal set that's designed for business. I like that. I think it's a great idea.
The biggest and arguably only fault of the design team, really, is that there's decidedly a dearth of badassery. I mean, PvE gear is supposed to look regal and impressive and sometimes even awe-inspiring. They usually get that with raid sets. PvP gear, on the other hand, is supposed to be badass. That's all. Zarhym's whole soldiers-in-battle-ready-gear is a good concept, but man, the sets just really need more attitude. The good news is that the latest iterations show that they're trying
to give these same sets some attitude.
The potential is pretty awesome. Remember that Blizzard's artists can just as easily change the skin of other pieces, not just "grow" the shoulders in future sets (if I'm not mistaken, they've very subtly changed the Shaman chest graphic). It's extremely possible to have different, badass PvP sets in future seasons, but hearkens to the base designs of Season 5. Zarhym stated that the looks of the sets would improve over the seasons
-- while the original designs might have been underwhelming for some of the classes, the new sets are
I really love that Blizzard is taking a completely different approach to armor design. It's evolutionary, if not revolutionary. There is no abandonment of previous designs, there's growth from
them. This is really what Michael
was so enthused about when he reported about Season 6 gear. I wish we'd seen that right away with the Deadly Gladiator shoulders and head pieces, but that might have tipped off their hand too early. I mean, alright, Season 5 Shamans looked like turtles, but they get to break away from that in Season 6. From funny-looking to fearsome? Not yet, sorry, but you get the idea.
Instead of expecting to see a new set each season, I'm excited to see how it evolves from the old. How the design team will utilize existing themes and build upon them. For the first time ever, we'll have entire sets that are direct upgrades or evolutions visually
from their lower tier counterparts. As an artist, that's a different design challenge altogether. As underwhelmed as I was with the designs of the first iteration of Wrath
PvP gear, I'm pretty stoked to see how far Blizzard's team will take this.