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Every once in a while, Blizzard truly raises the bar in designing a raid. My personal favorite is Ulduar from patch 3.1. The boss encounters required strategy, while still remaining unique, and the graphics in the zone are some of the coolest things in the game. However, one of the only things that a character can permanently keep from a raid is the loot.The legendary mace Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings and the Starshard Edge off Algalon the Observer are by far some of the coolest item graphics I've seen in this expansion.
Even in Icecrown Citadel, few items can measure up to the epicness of these stellar designs. After all, one can only see so many bone-spiked maces before they begin to get old. While a few items like Bryntroll the Bone Arbiter are pretty exciting and unique, Blizzard didn't even create new item models for the climactic boss in the Lich King: only two of the 28 weapons (excluding heroic versions) that the final boss drops are unique, and one of those is repeated between 10- and 25-man. In my opinion, Blizzard could have taken a few more days to design some really exciting and unique weapon designs before releasing the Lich King. While I'm no hardcore raider, I would really love to sit in Dalaran exhibiting a one-of-a-kind weapon from the hardest boss in the expansion, just as the Ulduar raiders could back in 3.1.
What do you think? Is there an item that sets the bar in graphic design? Do you think Blizzard should spend more time on item graphics so there aren't as many repeats for end-game encounters, or does a simple recoloring make the item cool enough for you?
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