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Thursday, April 26, 2012

New DK PvP armor, next iconic set?

The way I understand it, despite having a massive budget Blizzard maintains a relatively small art team to preserve the "integrity" of their art style...this supposedly is meant to explain why it takes them so long to come up with new art. Lately I have felt like that the majority of their sets are starting to show stagnation...they're getting a little stale and end up producing sets like Shadowflame that look like the face-melting went a little too far.

And then there are those occasions they knock things right out of the park. They don't come especially often, maybe 1-3 sets per series will fall into the "good" category...of those maybe 1 will be well received.

Then there come along those sets that fit the image of a class so well they might as well define it. The best example I can provide is the Paladin Judgement set; which not only came to represent the class itself (it is now the armor the class selection paladin wears) but I have found few people who have a bad thing to say about it and I fully understand why.
I dare you to give him lip about his dress
Gold and Black with red and white highlights, the hooded helmet presents an aura of mystery and authority. The swords and open books symbolize the righteous defender of the light who is willing to get blood on his hands in the process. The burnished gold and red almost give the feeling of a hole fire, highlighted by the glowing eyes. The set was clearly inspired by things like Warhammer 40k Space Marines, it captures the Retribution Paladin's feel and deserves its place. (Not to mention it is one of those sets that doesn't show unnecessary midriff female characters!)

Now while I am not sure Blizzard has released many other sets that are widely welcomed, they've managed to get rather close. Enter Cataclysm.
The wing might as well be a middle finger eternally extended towards Deathwing
Season 11 is a good Season for Paladins to be PvPing...the armor has a certain disjointed look, but the asymmetry works well...instead of a crusader of pure righteousness, now you are more of a fallen angel...someone seeking penance, redemption, but are hardly powerless. Even though in good shape, the armor seems to have a certain "worn" feel about it, as though it's seen its fair share of evil smiting.

Finally, we come to the set that inspired the post and isn't even out! The first Death Knight PvP set for Mists of Pandaria...I must say it's one I like so much I would consider PvPing just to get it (and I HATE WoW pvp).
Yes, come closer, tell me more...
The Death Knight class has had an issue with thematic overuse...SKULLS, skulls everywhere...every single DEATH Knight armor set has had a bone or a skull somewhere on it. I can't entire blame blizzard given that the image is in their very name, but it was leading to some of the sets starting to feel stale. I was beginning to think I'd sigh and yawn as we got another set of "SKULLZ N STUFF" then Blizzard gives me this.

Clearly designed to look like a Crypt Lord, the set fits the class perfectly...the darker colors feel "Death Knight" and the maniacal grin speaks of a warrior with nothing left to lose...the spiked hair in the back and scale pauldrons even seem to have some influence from samurai armor. I unabashedly call this set a success by Blizzard, and I happily stick it up there in my "favorites". I also like that the set conveys the Death Knight theme without over-doing it...really if you take off the hat you could imagine any plate-wearer in it...but at the same time the feelings it invokes are just right.

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