In patch 4.3, not only will we get the chance to punch Deathwing in the face, we can do so with a whole new style. Not only will we be getting a new tier of raiding to go through, as well as new 5-man content to explore, but there will also be some extra features added that we as players have been asking for quite some time. Transmogrification will allow us to take our current armor and weapons and transform them to look like other pieces of gear.
Vanity items may sound like a silly request by the players, but when you've had as rich a history of iconic gear sets as shaman have, it can be pretty awesome. Over the years, shaman in particular have had some pretty amazing and visually stunning sets of gear. Let's take a look! Also, if you listen to the lyrics of the classic song above, you'll notice that not once do they specifically mention pants. (I'm ignoring the mention of suit.) Long live the kilt!
From the very beginning of WoW, shaman have had some pretty awesome-looking gear. It started with The Earthfury, a kilt gloves and shoulder of barely-contained magma. The helmet spoke of Horde heroes, like the champion of the Horde Rexxar, son of Mok'Nathal. It was the first raid set, the original tier 1 gear for shaman. You obtained it through your blood, sweat and tears in The Molten Core, hoping that you got the item against a possible 39 other raiders. There was no doubting where the set came from, pried from the agents of fire in their mountain stronghold; you were a serious shaman when you strolled through Ogrimmar in your full eight-piece set.
Tier 2, The Ten Storms, was equally wicked-looking. The shoulders were the carved faces of frost wolves crackling with the energy of pure lightning! The chest and kilt formed into the symbol of the Horde, and it held some truly amazing set bonuses for the healing shaman. The trend continued with the end of vanilla WoW raiding with our tier 3 set, the Earthshatterer. Built with the barely contained fires of rage, it was stylish, and having a full set showed just how awesome you were.
The trend continued through all of The Burning Crusade with tiers 4, 5 and 6. Tier 4, the Cyclone Raiment, had the sweeping curves and colors of the element of wind, while tier 5's Cataclysm Raiment brought us back to our fiery roots. We finished out the raiding scene by harnessing lightning in our Skyshatter Raiment.
What was so awesome about our gear wasn't just how it looked but the fact that it incorporated the lore of the shaman class into it. With the exception of Nobundo's Garb, every one of our tier sets has been highly influenced by the elements. Fire, water, air and even the spirit of the wild have made an appearance in our tier sets. While you can argue that tier 12 from the Firelands is elemental for everyone, really no other class can lay stake to the same claim that almost all of their tier sets fit perfectly with their character class or look as awesome as ours has so consistently.
With the inclusion of transmogrification, we can finally take our favorite sets out of the bank, dust them off, and take them for another spin. This also includes our plethora of amazing shields and main-hands that we've gotten throughout the years. The other fun bit is that the vast majority of this gear is still easily obtainable, even solo, as a restoration shaman. Sure, it might take a little time, but even in full restoration specialization, you can clear Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, and most of the BC raids by yourself. When you start getting to Sunwell, however, you'll likely have to call in some friends -- but even then, farming up your dream set from years past is fairly easy and shouldn't take much time. The only exception is the tier 3 gear, which is no longer available. That said, I have a sneaking suspicion we might see it put back in the game somehow, somewhere down the line.
Waiting for tier 13
Recently, Blizzard has started to provide previews of how the next set of gear, our tier 13 sets, will look in the next patch. So far, warrior and warlock sets have been previewed. Warriors get to look pretty rugged, what with wearing Deathwing's face as a helm and all. Warlocks seem to look like something out of a D&D second edition Monster Manual concerning denizens of the Underdark.
That leaves us waiting for the next tier of gear for shaman. There seems to be a theme of looking like creatures from the game, so I'm curious as to what our set could possibly look like. That said, the details in the two sets previewed so far are quite amazing, and they look incredible, and I can hardly wait to see what mythological Azerothian creature we will resemble in the next tier.
Dressing for success
So with tier 13 content around the corner and a preview of the new shaman tier gear likely soon, it is interesting to see that you can revisit the old zones to get the perfect look for your shaman that you've always had in your mind. Always felt more at home in Skyshatter Raiment? Hit old Hyjal and earn yourself some spikey lightning rods! The new life that is being breathed into the old content based purely around the aesthetics alone is something that makes me very happy, as if you couldn't tell. I've always been a big fan of shaman gear throughout the years. I've felt that more often than not we've actually won as far as having the best gear throughout the vast majority of raiding tiers, PVP seasons and even dungeon sets.
Personally, I'll be heading for the shaman tier 2 set. Yes, I'm a Dwarf, and yes, I know that there is a giant Horde symbol formed on my chest that will be conveniently hidden by my luxurious Dwarven beard. I've just always loved the set. I've always thought that it was a fantastic nod to the Frostwolf Clan, and I love the lightning effect on the shoulders. Also, I think that it looks pretty darn smashing on a Dwarf, if I do say so myself. So if you're on Ner'zhul (US) and you see a shaman named Lodur wandering around Stormwind in tier 2 gear, that will be me!
So with all the choices that you'll have, dating back to the very beginning, what will you pick to be your healing gear of choice? How will you customize your character to stand out among your fellow shaman? What speculation do you have for the next tier of gear -- how do you think it will work?
Totem Talk: Restoration lets you Ask a Shaman about the tricks of the trade. We'll introduce you to the very latest pre-raid gear and show you how to manage your cooldowns. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!