I wanted to see all of the Tier 13 previews before I shared my opinions on it.
The Shaman T13 looks pretty cool, but not so awesome that I can’t wait to begin replacing my T12. I definitely won’t be showing that hat — I’ll probably transmogrify it to something still wolfish, but a little more classy, such as the Headdress of the First Shaman. The wolf-skull shoulders look awesome on the Orc model, but I’m not sure if I’ll like them on Kamalia. I think it might be fun to play a little Transmogrification mix-and-match between the items of T13 and the items of the black Earthfury (T1) recolor from Outland.
Kerisa’s still in T11, and she’d be perfectly happy to skip right over T12 in favor of T13. Again, I’ll be either not showing the hat or transmogrifying it into something more attractive — most likely the Cenarion (T1) antlers because I haven’t got the Malorne (T4) antlers or the Nordrassil (T5) or Nightsong (T8) crowns. The glowing mushrooms on the shoulders are a neat iteration on previous woodsy shoulder designs, and I hope they provide Akabeko’s leatherworkers with a bit of a respite from the trials they’ve had to endure while crafting other recent Druid tier sets.
Of the other T13 sets, the ones that make me wish I had a raiding character of that class are (from least to most desired) the Vestments of Dying Light (Priest), Timelord Regalia (Mage), and Battleplate of Radiant Glory (Paladin). The Vestments of Dying Light are pretty cool in a spooky sort of way. I love the design of the robe, but I think that helm will look bizarre on a long-faced character such as a Tauren or a Worgen. The steampunk stylings of the Timelord Regalia are a refreshing and fun change from the more usual wizardly look of a Mage. I like the quilted detailing on the upper part of the robe and the way the buckled straps at the bottom hint that the kilt could be refashioned into trousers at a moment’s notice for greater mobility. The gold-trimmed silver of the Battleplate of Radiant Glory is the most classically “Paladin”-like look (to my sense of aesthetics) of Cataclysm so far. To me, the feathery details suggest an avenging, defending, mighty seraphim.
For a brief review of my favorite Tier looks for every class, follow the cut:
I can’t decide whether I like the red T1 Vestments of Prophecy or the blue Primal Mooncloth version of that set better — they’re both lovely. The red-and-gold Oracle robes are my favorite version of that goofy insect-wing AQ style. The T4 and T7 robes are gorgeous, but I’m not so keen on the other elements of the sets. I actually prefer T5 to T6, or, perhaps, rather than either set by itself, the gloves and shoulders of T5 worn with the white versions of the T6 robe and hood. The white (25H) version of the T10 robe appeals to me in the same ways that the white version of T6 does. If I ever get a Priest to max level, she’ll certainly be spending some JPs to buy the robe and gloves of the blue version of T11.
T1 is such a great Mage look that the other tier sets haven’t beaten it. T2 is also a pretty cool Mage look, but I prefer the purple-and-white Outland recolor to the original purple-and-blue coloration. I rather like the blue Enigma version of the AQ insect-wing garb. I’m very fond of the detailing on the edge of the T5 hood, and I like the way that detailing is reflected in the mantle design on the top of the robe. The red color makes T5 an excellent choice for a Blood Elf (or other Horde) Mage. T12 is the first Mage set I’ve actually liked in several tiers. I love the feathers on the shoulders and that awesome feather-plumed hat.
The T1 set is so perfect for a Blood Elf Warlock! Every Warlock should have a pair of T1 demon horns, now readily available from the level 50 BRD class quest. The T2 set is another fabulous design, though I find it bizarrely amusing that the Horde Spring Gatherers during Noblegarden are wearing a recolored version of the Nemesis robes and shoulders. The red-and-orange Outland recolor of this set, however, seems more appropriate for a Fire Mage than for a Warlock. T6 is the coolest of the BC-era Warlock sets, with the spreading demon wings animation of the shoulders. T8, T10, T12, and T13 are all appropriately creepy — but I don’t see my Warlock wanting to wear them.
Druids have had so many awesome tier sets that it’s almost easier to list the ones I don’t like (T2.5, Alliance T9, and T12) than the ones I love. If only Baron Geddon would drop the Cenarion shoulders for me, I could stop begging BTH or guildies for the loan of an alt to make a raid group for Kerisa to go solo Molten Core. I love the robe of T2, though I must admit that I’m not really too keen on the rest of the set. I like the concept of the moose antlers of the T2 hood, but I think hoods look kind of funny on Tauren in general. I’ve a certain fondness for T4, especially the shoulders, after having seen BTH in it throughout our BC raiding career. T5 and T6 are both amazing. I love how Blizz used the T5 “Nordrassil” set for the druids defending Nordrassil and Mount Hyjal in Cataclysm. I like the green/gold versions of T7 and T8 better than the purple versions. Of T7, however, I really only like the robe and the gloves. I’ve kept Kerisa’s T9 and T10 shoulders, robe, and gloves, but I never ever showed those hats even when I had them. Kerisa still deeply covets a pair of T11 shoulders, but my distaste for Trade Chat and PuG raids has been an enormous obstacle to getting them.
T2 and T5 are the standout Rogue looks for me. T9, T12, and T13 are also pretty nifty looking. I suspect, however, that if my Rogue ever gets to maximum level, she will be transmogrifying all her gear to a Ninja set compiled from lower-level gear.
I am afraid that I am not particularly impressed with any of the Hunter tier sets. T2 is probably the coolest, or perhaps T1 with the T2-recolor Dragon-Quake Shoulderguards. I guess T10 looks decent, too — except for the shoulders and helm.
I like the style of T1, but as I mentioned above, I prefer the black Outland recolor to the vivid violets of the original. I like the shoulders, gloves, and kilt of T2. I’m very fond of T4 because it was my first raiding tier. I didn’t much care for T5, but I was envious of the Shaman I saw in T6 during late BC. I still have my blue T7 chest and kilt. I couldn’t wait to replace T9 with T10. My T10 is a mixture of the brown-green and the grey-blue versions. I like the grey-blue version of T10 best because it seems the most appropriately “Frost Witch”-like. I like the moose antlers of the T10 Shaman hood better than the moose antlers of the T2 Druid hood. I was glad to get rid of T11 and replace it with T12. I really like T12 and plan to keep it around. I have the normal, brown version, and I think it looks fabulous on Kamalia. I particularly like the detailing of the scalemail on the robe. The T12 shoulders are definitely my favorite version of the “firepot” concept that has shown up in other Shaman tier shoulder designs (T5, T8).
T13 is awesome… but I have a hard time visualizing it on a female character of any race. The Warrior designs all seem to have a certain sameness to me. T2.5 and T11 stand out as particularly awful. I suppose I associate Warriors most with T4, T7, and T8 — those being the raids in which I spent my time chasing around a big Tauren Warrior tank. T5 has been making a comeback into my consciousness because the Hyjal Defenders in the Molten Front are wearing the green recolor of that set. I like most of T1, except (unsurprisingly) the shoulders and helm. Overall, though, the Valor set (and its Outland recolor) are more classically the image of a Warrior to me than any of the tier sets.
Paladins have also had several great tier sets. I love the brightness of T1, though I’m not too fond of the shoulders and helm. The red, white, black, and gold colors of T2, in combination with the books on the shoulderplates, are a fabulous design, but I don’t like the helm much. This is one T2 set where I actually like the original version a lot better than the Outland recolor. Although I like the kilt in T2 a lot, the other Paladin tier sets with kilts (T8, T10, T12) don’t impress me much. T6 also really captured the “blessed warrior of the Light” idea, and I particularly love the halo helm. The T6 shoulders might be a good replacement for the Banana Shoulders of T1 in a transmogrification template kit. The helm of T8 always wierded me out, but the T8 shoulders are pretty awesome and they might also be a good option to wear with T1. I like the plate styles of T9 better than the other armor types, and for both Horde and Alliance, I like the Paladin version of T9 plate the best. The silver version of T11 looked more Paladin-like to me than the blue version.
I think Death Knights have yet to get a really outstanding tier set. The Acherus Knight’s green-quality starting gear and the blue-quality set obtained over the rest of the DK starting zone are much more iconic looks. T8 and T10 are perhaps the best DK tier sets so far… and they look strikingly similar. I suppose the blue (10H/25N) version of T10 wins for being the most like the visage of ol’ LK himself.
Are you excited about T13 for your character, or are you looking forward to Transmogrifying into some other appearance?