This week I read a fanastic post by Xeo at Rez the Weak that took a look at the evolution of priest tier gear over the years. I really enjoyed reading it and decided I would do the same for druid gear sets. Let’s take a look back at druid fashion, from the first dungeon set to what’s in store in Cataclysm.
Dungeon Sets 1&2: Wildheart and FeralHeart
If you wanted to collect the Wildheart Raiment in original WoW, you had your work cut out for you. The 8 pieces dropped in three different dungeons and the drop rates were less than stellar. When you managed to collect them all you were rewarded with a set with wildly random stats and set bonuses (oh vanilla WoW itemization, how silly you were). The set is decent looking, I’m a big fan of purple and I like the textures. My biggest problem with this set is the shoulders, they were neat looking but had a lot of clipping issues. Any arm movement and you usually ended up with a wing through your head. The bird helmet also looks a bit like it’s eating your brains.
Tier 1 – Cenarion Raiment
Oh my. After slogging through Molten Core with 40 people for months, you got to look like this. The Cenarion Raiment is a low point in druid gear design, or any gear design for that matter. It looks like my poor druid got lost in the forest and had to resort to sticking shrubs, twigs and tree bark on herself for camouflage to avoid being eaten by bears. The shoulders and helm look really flimsy and the colours are bland. Druid gear has come a long way since this, thank Elune.
Tier 2 – Stormrage Raiment
If you were to ask me what animal I wanted my gear to look like, a moose would probably not be my first choice. However, the Stormrage Raiment kinda works. It certainly improves on the colours and style of the tier 1 set and the moon designs are very fitting for a druid. This set also has a much more impressive rack.
Tier 3 – Dreamwalker Raiment
The Dreamwalker Raiment was the first really fanastic looking druid set. The greens and gold are lovely. I also really like the snake deatils on the shoulders. This was the first time we got a piece of gear with glow-effects, which unfortunately you can’t see in the picture. Seeing druids running around in this set was always impressive, not only because it’s gorgeous but guilds that were making their way through the original Naxx were quite rare.
Dungeon Set 3 – Moonglade Raiment
The Moonglade Raiment was the first, and only, dungeon set of Burning Crusade. It’s clearly modelled after T3 but is less intricate and has been toned down to more neutral colours. I like this set a lot. It’s certainly not flashy but I think that’s fitting for entry-level, non-epic gear.
Tier 4 – Malorne Raiment
I’m not a fan of the Malorne Raiment, it makes me feel naked. None of the colours really go together and the antlers on the side of the helmet make Jasyla’s head look gigantic. The blue orbs on the shoulders seem misplaced.
Tier 5 – Nordrassil Raiment
The Nordrassil Raiment is a bit of a mixed bag. The robes and gloves aren’t terribly impressive, but the helmet is unique and the shoulders are amazing. No piece of gear has every screamed ‘resto druid!’ so much as these lovely, bark-covered, purple flower-sprouting, moon-accented pauldrons. Having to shift into tree form and hide them always made mad.
Tier 6 – Thunderheart Raiment
I love the Thunderheart Raiment. It was different from the previous druid sets, with an aboriginal feel and a refreshingly different colour scheme. The red and turquoise accents really made the gear pop. I particularly like the eagle motif and the cutouts on the chestpiece. This set is also from my favourite tier of raid content and I managed to collect all 8 pieces, so I have a soft spot for it.
Tier 7 – Dreamwalker Regalia
Normally, I wouldn’t be a fan of recycled gear, but since the T3 set was so amazing and I never got to wear a single piece of it, I didn’t mind when the Dreamwalker Regalia was brought back as the first gear set of WotLK. The updated gear set was even more ornate than it’s predesessor and gave druids a much needed bit of flashiness. Tier 7 was the first time that different colours were used to represent different levels of gear. I prefer the green, but the purple is nice too.
Tier 8 – Nightsong Regalia
The thing that strikes me about the Nightsong Regalia is the detail. Graphically this set was a real step up – the textures are amazingly sharp compared to the previous gear sets. Though the moon helmet has its detractors, I like it. I think this is a really solid tier set.
Tier 9 – Malfurion’s Garb and Runetotem’s Garb
Ahh, tier 9. It brings back memories of running TotC on 4 seperate lockouts, memories I’d rather forget. Malfurion’s Garb is not a favorite. The robes are alright, but I’m not a fan of the bird beak and the shoulders don’t look like they belong on a druid. The worst part for the tier 9 set…we had to share the design with rogues! Having to be shared by two classes made T9 look like it was having a bit of an identity crisis. Runetotem’s Garb I wastn’t overly familiar with since I don’t have a Horde druid. It sticks to the typical brown and green druid colours and I actually prefer it to the Alliance set.
Tier 10 – Lasherweave Garb
When the Lasherweave Garb was introduced, I was not pleased. The helmet and shoulders looked demonic, not like something druid would wear. However, I’ve grown more fond of it, I’ve been wearing it for over a year and it has wormed its way into my heart. I like my spiky horns and hungry-looking shoulders.
Tier 11 – Stormrider’s Vestments
And finally, here we have our first tier set for Cataclsym (images from MMO-Champion). I’ve seen worse, but I’ve also seen a whole lot better. First of all, the electric blue of the normal set is really not a good druid colour. This set strikes me as more fitting for a shaman than a druid. The helmet looks awkward and the shoulders aren’t great. I admit though, I’m very critical of most new gear when I first see it, but tend to warm up to it after a while, so ask me how I feel about it once I get a piece or two.
That’s it – the history of druid gear. Which is your favorite? Which would you not want to be caught dead in? Take the poll or answer in the comments.