The other night while gazing forlornly at my Leaper clad self I got to thinking about the upcoming Cataclysm expansion and what horrors the designers have in store for us as our next tier set. Now I am no artist but if I could design the next tier I think I know exactly how I would like it to look.
Start with the helm. None of this pickled heads stuff, could we please go back to the simple designs of yesteryear? Quite frankly I wish our next tier helm looked like either a simple cloth mask, you know like VanCleef wears or a close fitting Ninja mask. Something similar to what we had for our FIRST two tiers. I'll be honest I LIKED the look of the old Nightslayer Cover (minus the huge collar) so something like that. The Bloodfang Hood is nice as well but they have already reused it.
For the shoulders I want something that looks like I am carrying extra weapons rather than attempting to be a hunter and wear my most recent kill as clothing. Now I LIKED the little pouches that were on the VanCleef set, (it was the perfect place for storing extra poisons) so incorporate something like that along the front. For the over all look though, a design like the Bonescythe Pauldrons or even the less well supplied Shoulderpads of the Silvermoon Retainer is more my style. My only desire would be that the daggers appeared a little more like rounded throwing daggers rather than arrow heads. Now I know some throwing knives ARE that pointed, but I really prefer the look of something like those below. Stack them two deep, larger in the bottom, smaller on the top scaling down as they move down the shoulder, now THAT is how a rogue shoulder should look.
The chest piece was the part of the set that really gave me the most headache. Part of me REALLY likes the look of a turtleneck, something that covers from the top of the neck to the wrists. Then place the leather armor over it as if the leather is attached to a wool undershirt. On the other hand the VanCleef Breastplate has become one of my favorites. So I was considering was something that was sleeveless (that way I can still wear my Wound Dressings or Antiseptic-Soaked Dressing) and laced up the sides. The other thing I liked about that set was that it went a bit longer down the torso, all the way to the upper thighs. If I am going to have a sleeveless shirt, why not have some belly exposed as well? Though with a tabard you can't see it ANYWAY so why bother with exposed belly? In the end my preference is for a high neck with short cap sleeves. Take the leather pieces and outline the chest area with lacing along the edges similar to how it was done for the VanCleef set. Also have it go longer down the leg, onto the thigh area with pouches on the lower portion for storing poisons and such.
The pants were the easiest piece for me to visualize. They need to go ALL THE WAY to the ankle, none of this carpi or holey knee crap. Matching daggers strapped to the outer portion of both thighs, similar in look to the throwing daggers from the shoulders, with visible stitching along the seams. The straps holding the daggers in place would be reminiscent of those on the VanCleef Legplates. Keep them simple and hugging the leg.
The gloves were another piece I debated about. Really it comes down to open fingers or closed? Now earliest pieces like the Nightslayer gloves only exposed the tips of the fingers, basically from the last knuckle. My personal preference would be for them to expose most of the finger, more like weight training or cycling gloves. My other thought was for them to be shorter, to the wrist. Why? Think about it, how often do you actually SEE your bracers? You don't unless you take off your gloves they are usually COMPLETELY covered. So have the gloves stop just below the bracer, with laces along the top.
Now originally tier sets contained the bracers, belt and boots. Now a days this is no longer the case but the designs are still uniform through out. So I also considered our "accessory" pieces. Even though with the exception of the boots they are generally smaller and less viable I still want them to look like they belong to the set.
The bracers are rather frustrating because they are so seldom seen. With sorter gloves you can actually ENJOY the look of the bracers which should be close fitting with lacing along the inner arm and stitched trim at the top and bottom. Have them fit from the wrist to just below the elbow and they would be perfect.
The belt I envision would closely resemble a utility belt. LOTS of little pouches laced closed, going the full length, with the buckle being over lapping leather straps laced up at the middle. Yeah, I know I have a thing for storage, what can I say?
I never really cared for the ninja looking boots or even worse the ones that looked like toe socks. So a nice rounded toe with a cuff at the top, just below the knee. Have it fit close to the body, none of the snow boot looking ones. That is how the boots should fit.
Few other things I haven't mentioned, stats, sockets and coloration. Since we know Cataclysm will be containing changes, beyond the classic Agility and Stamina I have no clue how important things like Haste will be (though I am guessing it will be something we really want) so I am holding off on the itemization for now. I would love to stick sockets on EVERYTHING but then you start getting into the whole "over powered" thing, beyond that there is talk that some of the gems colors will be changing so it is hard to predict what color combination we will be going after. One thing is for sure, I want the sockets and socket bonuses to work well. I am rather tired of always needing gems that don't benefit my socket bonus at all, they just feel wasted at that point. Black or dark gray needs to be the base color, from there silver, gold, red, brown or blue would all work fine as accent colors. (Just not all at once.) I rather liked it when the sets had a uniform look but the specific item levels had different color combinations.
So what about you? If you could create a look for your next tier set what would YOU like to see?
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