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World of Warcraft has shared some details about the game’s next major content update, which will conclude the current expansion: Shadowlands. The update includes the return of the much-desired class tier sets of armor, but despite a general community love for tier gear, some folks are less than thrilled.
Tier gear has been a beloved WoW institution since the game first came out. For years, most major raids would reward players with unique, multi-piece sets of armor with cool designs, with one set tailored for each specific class. These would often have some of the best stats available at the time, and sometimes even really cool abilities or boosts tacked on if you were wearing multiple pieces. Also, if you had the full set, you could ride around Orgrimmar with flames spouting out of your shoulders or something so that everyone in town knew you had killed the latest dragon or demigod or undead overlord threat with 19 or so of your friends. It was a great time.
World of Warcraft Eternity’s End Class Tier Screenshots
And then, World of Warcraft got rid of them, poof! Back in 2017 with Battle for Azeroth. The reasons given at the time were that the armor limited player choice in what kind of armor they could wear. But over the past two expansions, armor has neither become more choice-filled, nor has it ever been as cool as it was to wear a freakin’ tornado belt with matching spaulders. So after a few years of the community longing for the return of cool tier gear, hey, we finally got it.
Except, uh, the community isn’t thrilled about this, either. A quick peek at discussion on the topic on the WoW subreddit reveals that folks are largely underwhelmed by the designs. Complaints mainly focus on the visual look of the tier sets, which many point out seem to miss the “class fantasy” of previous sets. Several people have noted that the armor seems very specifically designed around the “Kyrian” covenant, a group of winged angel folks that, depending on what you were up to for most of Shadowlands, you may have had very little intersection with. You may have instead chosen to spend the expansion with the undead-themed Necrolords, the vampiric Venthyr, or the (best covenant) forest-dwelling Night Fae. And if you did vibe with the Kyrian, you probably already have a bunch of armor that looks like this.
Also, if you’re a shaman (best class), you have to wear pants. There’s no kilt. Blizzard has confirmed this matter of utmost importance to IGN. Sorry, kilt-loving shaman. You don’t get to wear a giant chain mail skirt this tier.
World of Warcraft: Eternity’s End Images
That said, there is some positivity. A lot of folks are just happy tier gear is back at all given how beloved it was. And as one popular thread points out, these sets are now available from other kinds of content aside from raids, which is great news if you want to dress up in the coolest gear but don’t have a big guild of people and two to three evenings a week free to spend trying to get bosses down multiple times and collect it all. Specifically, you can get the gear from PvP content or Mythic+ dungeon content, both of which are much more accessible to more people while remaining challenging.
Tier sets aren’t the only element of this upcoming patch, of course. We’re getting a new raid called the Sepulcher of the First Ones where we finally fight the expansion’s big bad, the Jailer. There a new faction called The Enlightened, and a new zone called Zereth Mortis where a bunch of ancient beings hang out and create all the afterlives we’ve seen throughout the expansion. Actual playable stuff aside, the WoW community is still rather icy on the current story, especially with how it’s treated formally beloved Banshee Queen Sylvanas over the entire last expansion and change.
On the bright side, the return of tier sets now makes it more likely we’ll see them continue into the next expansion, where Sylvanas and the weird afterlife might no longer be factors at all. Hopefully we’ll get shaman kilts back then, too.
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Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.