Warcraftian Nightmare

I’ve been following the lead up to WoW Patch 3.3 over on mmo-champion.com for a while now and what strikes me is that Blizzard seem to have lost all sense of what makes each character unique.

I’m not talking about powers, or the homoginisation of roles, or the dual speccing, or the easy-mode instance. I’m talking about the art direction. Especially, but not exclusivly, to the Tier 10 sets.

Fel-ified Druids.

Fel-ified Tier 10 Druids.

My Main in WoW was always a Balance Druid, so gear really shouldn’t make all that difference to me as I spend all my time in Boomkin form, but why does everyone have to look like a Death Knight. Yes, okay, I understand that this is Arthas we’re going up against, and anything his minions drop will likely be some kind of ghoulish piece of gore-covered skin, but the Tier gear is bought from a vendor, so there is nothing lore-wise that requires everything to be so deathly.

They did this last time with the Blood Elf Paladin Tier gear, with the giant  Fel-green spikes, before they changed it to something neutral. They gave Druids and Rogues the same art style, despite being two very different classes. I can understand the clothies getting recoloured versions as well as the plate wearers, but the Tier 9 gear was just totally out of place in terms of the (Horde) Druids and Paladins.

Now, from what I can tell, everyone is getting Death-knightified, or Fel-ified. Rogues and Druids both have glowing clouds of vapour coming out of their shoulders. Why? Rogues and Druids are supposed to be stealthy. What’s stealthy about glowing green fart clouds? Not only that, it’s the first Tier Gear that totally obscures the face of the player. The one part of the character we actually got to choose is finally being hidden behind the mask. I say hats off to Blizzard. Litterally. Check that little button and remove your helm.

Stormrage Forever!

Stormrage Forever!

I pine for the old days of Bloodfang and Stormrage sets. Sets that actually looked Druidic or Rogueish.

I still have my Stormrage helm – the original Stormrage helm, from the Original Onyxia. Something which no-one can get any more (besides the new Onyxia level 80 versions).

I mean, just look at that set, and compare it to the Tier 10. That helm, that chest and kilt. The shoulders. They just scream awesome. They scream out Druid! – as did all the other tier gear scream out and identify their respective class for what they were the instant you laid eyes on them.

Bring on the thematic change of Cataclysm I say. Perhaps we can abandon this undead nonsense that wrecks the look of our characters and get back to what made me want to kill Nefarian. Not just the stats, not just the kudos, but the ability to make my character look awesome.

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