[For an overview of collectable WoW hats, check my World of Warcraft Hats guide.]
I am a gear collector and very happy with the way most outfits are designed in World of Warcraft. It is not the first time that I play a healer in an MMO and I think our gear is great – I’ve never had much reason to complain. Aside of warlocks, priests have definitely gotten the most love when it comes to Tier sets in WoW, reaching its peak in TBC with the godlike T5 and T6, which are still the most often depicted priest sets in WoW fanart. I have never played another game where the healer archetype is presented with such variety in armor.
I admit that when I was leveling up in vanilla, there was some gear that didn’t look very flattering, but that was the case for everybody: colors were horrendously shrill and mismatched overall. Some of the robes looked just abysmal on males especially. If I think vanilla outfits, the first picture that comes to mind is the male mages in their flamboyant pink or blue robes, quirky crimson felt hat, green satin shoulders and yellow belts. Bless vanilla – the era of circus clowns!
But I never really had to deal with gear that I hated or felt exposed or plain silly in – there are a few more sexy outfits in WoW but I can’t say that I was ever forced to wear anything skimpy as a female priest. Even if you faced wearing one of those eyeroll-worthy “heavy armor bikinis” like some mail- and plate-wearers did, you could still combine them with one of the numerous shirts in the game.
I am used to the way females are often dressed in asian MMOs, and also some western games (the attire female fighters get to wear in some beat’em ups is ridiculous), so I give kudos to Blizzard for giving their players so many gear choices. Their female models are a lot more realistic in terms of body proportions too: the human female for example has an average womanly shape, neither skinny nor big and the curves aren’t unnaturally emphasized either. I would certainly welcome more customization in WoW to actually let you shape your own shape and height similar to Age of Conan, but overall Blizzard has done a good job to present their female race models with a variety of body types. They even implemented an ‘old granny face’ for most, which isn’t something you find easily in other MMOs.
So let’s have a look at priest outfits!
All of the following images are taken from my personal screenshot archives. I’ve documented my entire WoW history rather consistently which is handy for this overview. Let’s have a look at the way priest outfits are designed and also change over the course of the years in WoW! I have to say, looking back on some of the sets below, my wish for a cosmetic gear feature in WoW becomes even more fervent – it’s such a shame we’ll never get to use some of these models again unless we switch gear back and forth manually all the time.
Priest outfits in vanilla WoW
An assortment of priest outfits representative for this era (note that not all of them are priest-exclusive), number indications in the notes as seen from left to right:
Vanilla was rather down to earth when it comes to gear sets and tiers. A lot of the robes and vests acquired while leveling were old fashioned and the very first class sets looked very ceremonial and formal (3rd and 6th image). The names were rather silly too. There was some very shrill ‘disco gear’ around and only a few okay-looking greens and blues, like the runecloth set (7th image). Tiers started to get more interesting and daring between BWL and original Naxx. I still think Transcendence / T2 is the nicest set of this era. Another favourite of mine is the necro-knight’s garb (5th image). Non-tier shoulder pieces were abysmal all across.
The Burning, steaming hot, Crusade!
TBC was awesome for priests: after a very boring dungeon set 3 (2nd image) and a totally EUGH T4, Blizzard presented us with the possibly greatest tiers in the game: T5 and T6. The wings and halo-hood have become a priest trademark – even though I prefer the awesome looking fresco shoulders of T6 personally. The pic in the middle shows a mixture of T5 robes and T6 shoulders and hood model which is my all-time favourite priest outfit in the game. Get a staff of immaculate recovery with that and you got epic win!
Sunwell featured a very nice non-tier set as well – if only I had the shoulders to go with that (7th image)! Speaking of which, there’s an increased effort to make shoulders and headpieces look more interesting.
Priests in Wrath of the Lich King
Looking through this last assortment of WotLK outfits, I feel somewhat reconciled with this expansion. My general impression was that we didn’t get much tier love in this era, partly also because everyone looks the same nowadays. Blizzard have gotten really cheap in their efforts to create unique class gear and we’ve certainly seen the worst PVP sets up to date (3rd and 6th image).
I also felt that this expansion was hideous for headgear – with the exception of T8: I actually love that white set with the ‘rogue-ish’ headpiece and glowing eyes (middle pic)! All in all we didn’t actually do so bad, textures and effects got more elaborate and there was a lot less mix’n mismatch than in WoW 1.0 or 2.0 due to the recycling of so many armor models. I really hope we see unique sets again in Catacylsm though!
My tops & flops
- Top 3 best priest outfits in the game: T5, T6, T8
- Top 3 worst priest outfits in the game: T1, Dungeon set 3, T4
So what’s your favourite gear era in WoW? Oh, and if you’re a priest, you should visit World of Matticus and let him know your wishes for our Tier 11!