Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag tier-9

Mighty Battle: Paladin and Priest Tier 9 sets

It's Day Three of Mighty Battle, and the competition has only begun to heat up! In our head-to-head comparison and review of the new faction-specific Tier 9 armor sets, the Horde have edged ahead with a pair of wins and a draw while the Alliance follow closely behind with a win and a draw. Today we'll examine the Paladin and Priest armor sets and see which faction comes out with the knockouts. Glancing above I'm sure you already have an idea of how this match-up is going to go, but we'll forge ahead, anyway.

Hit the jump to see the battle!

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Humor

Mighty Battle: Hunter and Mage Tier 9 sets

The Mighty Battle continues! Today we'll take a look at the Alliance and Horde versions of the Hunter and Mage Tier 9 sets. Yesterday's battle saw both factions score a victory each as the Horde Death Knight armor edged out its Alliance counterpart while the Alliance Druid set neatly trounced its Horde opponent. Each armor set will take on the opposing faction's equivalent in a three round tussle that covers how well it looks as a class set, how much it represents the faction, and overall design.

Of course, these are all just my opinion so take it with a grain of salt. Players' tastes vary, so I'll preface my qualifications by saying that I, uh, am a fan of John Galliano, have the fashion sense of Brüno, and read medieval fantasy fashion magazines. Oh alright, none of those are true, except maybe the first one which still has nothing to do with World of Warcraft armor design. What the heck, this is a humor piece, anyway, so let's get right into battle!

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Humor

Horde vs. Alliance Tier 9 Mighty Battle!

The full Tier 9 previews are finally out, courtesy of MMO Champion. Whatever your opinions are on faction-specific armor - there are arguments to be made for and against it - it's reasonable to say that some of the sets look pretty darned good. It's the first time we're seeing faction-specific armor sets in a long time, so we'll actually get to do something we can't do with old armor sets - we'll pit the Horde and Alliance against each other in an armor face-off!

In our Tier 9 Mighty Battle, we'll pit one faction's version of the Tier 9 armor against the other and judge them based on the following criteria:
  • Thematic integrity to class - We'll look at how well Blizzard's armor design represents the class. The best kind of class armor should be recognizable as a perfect representation of that class. For example, the Warlock's Tier 5, the Corruptor Raiment, or the Paladin's Tier 2, the Judgement set, both look unmistakably diabolical and righteous, respectively.
  • Thematic integrity to faction - Because these are the first faction-specific PvE sets, we'll also examine how well the armor sets embody each faction and their archetypal - or stereotypical - representation.
  • Overall design - Of course, aside from looking true to the class and faction, an armor set can just be plain badass. Everybody wants to look good, right?
  • Tiebreaker, how each armor class stacks up - Since we're scoring ten classes, we'll avoid a tie by scoring the armor sets based on their armor type, too. Because the armor sets share models across armor class, we'll award points to each faction based which side has better designs overall. Kind of like an electoral college, but without the chads.
The Mighty Battle begins after the jump!

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Death Knight

The Daily Quest: Tanking, esports, and comics

We here at are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

The Daily Quest: Not Illidan

We here at are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, The Daily Quest

Patch 3.2: Horde Tier 9 plate armor set gallery

After doing some digging in Patch 3.2's latest PTR files, I've assembled a gallery of the new Horde Tier 9 plate sets. The shoulders are slightly unfinished, or at least looked like they were in WoW Model Viewer. The gallery includes Death Knight, Warrior, and Paladin themed sets. In a move that bodes well for Alliance mail armor, the Horde Paladin sets are blood elf themed, so we'll see how that goes for our Draenei Shaman friends (read: me).

I'm not too upset about the looks, myself. They look very Horde, even if the helm screams "Onslaught", and the colors are quite different for each class -- even more so than on the Alliance plate pieces.

Have a gander and enjoy! I'll dig through every new PTR patch that comes out looking for the Horde cloth and Alliance mail and leather sets, so keep your eyes open for updates here.

Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Patches, Galleries, Death Knight

Lichborne: The Future of Death Runes in Patch 3.2

Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight class column, with your host, Daniel Whitcomb, who's still wearing mourning black for AE Unholy Blight. And also because black looks awesome.

I admit to being a bit underwhelmed by the Death Knight Q&A. To be fair, this is primarily because most of the things covered were already in the 3.2 patch notes, and the rest was pretty common sense stuff. However, one little comment by Ghostcrawler did catch my attention: His praise of Death Runes.

This caught me more than a bit by surprise, since, if anything, the Death Knight changes in Patch 3.2 seem tailor made to discourage the use of Death Runes, at least for Frost and Unholy.

Between the damage buff to Blood Strike and diseases, and the nerf to Scourge Strike, we have a pretty good chance of seeing people move away from using Death Runes. The major reason to use Blood Strike in both trees right now is to create Death Runes so you can use higher damage abilities on your next refresh cycle. If Blood Strike becomes the higher damage ability, it's not worth it to use the Death Runes on something else. There's a off-chance, I suppose, that you might want the Death Runes handy for an emergency use of Ghoul Frenzy, in theory, but that chance is so slim that no-one's going to want to waste the talent points in Reaping, at the very least.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Blizzard gives sneak peek at Tier 9

Blizzard put up a preview of a couple of Tier 9 sets over at the Under Development section of the official website, and they look pretty interesting. As previously suspected, the Tier 9 armor sets seem to share visual characteristics with the same armor class. In the examples that Blizzard shows, the Horde Shaman and Hunter -- both mail-wearers -- are similar in appearance. Two other examples are the Alliance Priest and Warlock, cloth-wearing classes, who look largely similar.

The good news with these faction-specific armor is that the design team has put a decent effort into making the sets somewhat distinguishable from one another. For example, the Horde Shaman's shoulders are reminiscent of the Earthfury Epaulets from Molten Core, distinct from the chitinous design of the Horde Hunter. The Alliance Priest and Warlock designs are a lot closer to each other, however. But don't take my word for it... head over to the Under Development page and check out the previews for yourself. I'm pretty stoked and can't wait to see the rest of the sets!

Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Blizzard, News items

The Daily Quest: They really are

We here at are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, The Daily Quest

Patch 3.2 brings universal tier armor tokens

I had concerns when Blizzard first announced the way bosses would be unlocked in Patch 3.2's new raid instance, the Argent Coliseum. Blizzard has announced that while the first boss is available immediately, other bosses will be unlocked week-by-week. It's not the first time an artificial barrier has been put up for raid progression -- hello Sunwell -- so I guess I'm not shocked by it, but progression wasn't really what I was concerned about.

In our current raiding system, each boss drops a pre-determined set of loot. Some bosses drop a token which can be turned in for a piece of armor matching that particular slot, and the boss will always drop this same slot token. Thorim will always drop a shoulder token in Ulduar 10, for example.

So the issue is, with the Coliseum officially being our new tier of raiding, with gear that far outclasses Ulduar gear, and with the Coliseum bosses being unlocked each week, it means that players could get screwed out of upgrades. Your chestpiece might not be the greatest, so if you were looking forward to upgrading it, you'd be pretty crushed to find out that the T9 chest token only drops off of the final Coliseum boss -- which will only be available (at best) a month or (at worst) several weeks more than that due to RNG.

It turns out that Blizzard was thinking the same thing I was. That's why, with 3.2, Coliseum bosses all drop one of three universal armor tokens -- the Regalia of the Grand Protector, Vanquisher, or Conqueror.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, News items

Patch 3.2: Tier 9 set bonuses changed in new PTR build

The Patch 3.2 PTR has been updated to a new build, and the set bonuses for many Tier 9 sets have been changed or updated. In the update, they made the priest set bonuses not terrible! And the updated Elemental shaman ones aren't terrible now either!

I guess the feedback from the threads Ghostcrawler posted has been going to good use. But don't forget -- if you're still unsatisfied, say so on the proper forums and make your voice heard.

Otherwise, check 'em out below! Thanks to for mining these so quickly.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches

WoW Insider Show Episode 96: Tips aplenty

We went live with the WoW Insider Show yet again last Saturday, and this one was a good one: not only did Turpster and Lesley Smith join us, but we were also graced with the presence of Michelle Madison, of the podcasts Warcraft Outsiders and Video Game Outsiders. She was kind enough to make it past all of our inside jokes (she agreed it was prounounced "Fah-jord," which is as it should be) and mixed it up with some great discussion, including about the Midsummer Fire Festival, the new Tier 9 gear coming to the game (and the lore figures they named it after), and whether including quest objectives on the official map dumbs things down too much (spoiler: we basically said no).

It was an excellent show, and you can tune in to hear it by following any of the links below, or subscribing to our feed right over on iTunes itself (that guarantees you get the new shows every single Monday). We'll be back next week as always, so be sure to tune back in then.

Oh, and while we have you, keep an eye out soon for more information about what we're doing at BlizzCon. We've already scheduled our meetup on Thursday night around 8pm, but we haven't announced a location yet, so look for that soon. And if you aren't going to be in Anaheim, worry not -- we'll be streaming a special episode live from the meetup (with video, if everything works out as planned), so you'll be able to join us virtually. Will be really fun, so stay tuned.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, WoW Insider Show

Breakfast Topic: What's your item set design preference?

It looks like we've got a sneak peek at what may be the new tier sets when MMO Champion uncovered some gear intended for Paladins, Death Knights, and Warriors. Just in case you didn't notice, that's all plate gear and, well, they all look alike. With Patch 3.2 seeing the return of faction-specific armor, a lot of people were thrilled except that most players (including myself) sort of forgot that faction-specific gear such as the old Level 60 PvP sets had shared models across armor types.

The reason most of us didn't notice was because this wasn't so apparent back then... the Alliance only had one mail-wearing class and the Horde only had one plate-wearing class. With Shamans and Paladins no longer restricted to one faction and with the introduction of Death Knights in Wrath of the Lich King, more classes appear to share the same item models -- there are three plate and two mail classes on both factions now. This has the downside of homogenizing appearance across classes but the upside of having the near-certainty of putting together a visually cohesive set as well as looking different from the enemy faction's counterparts.

So today's question is simple: what design philosophy do you think works best for World of Warcraft? Every path has its obvious benefits, of course. What appears to be the most appealing is something we still haven't seen... faction- and class-specific gear where each class has a completely unique model according to faction. It sounds great on paper but it's more work for the art team and an itemization nightmare -- imagine having to organize those drops in a dungeon! It might be easier to go the Sunwell Plateau route and be done with it! Or heck, do everything Emperor's New Clothes-style, where everyone goes commando! Good idea? No? So, uh, that was just me? Drat.

Which design direction do you prefer?
Faction-specific but sharing models across armor type431 (4.7%)
Class-specific but completely different models for each class3044 (33.0%)
Faction-neutral and sharing models across armor type (ala Sunwell)116 (1.3%)
Faction-specific and class-specific, where each class from either faction has a totally unique model5148 (55.9%)
I want to be able to make my twill set look like Tier 9 and vice versa...478 (5.2%)

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Patch 3.2 PTR Tier 9 reawakens faction pride and... homogeneity?

When Blizzard announced that the new Tier 9 sets with Patch 3.2 would be faction-specific, I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought how awesome that would be. It would mark the first time tier sets would be themed to a faction. It was something many players had been asking for. But as the saying goes, "be careful what you wish for..." In this case, players such as myself are actually going to see the return of faction-specific armor except that there's one niggling detail we'd forgotten about the first faction-specific gear sets (Level 60 PvP) -- they were armor class-based.

That's right. As wonderful as many players thought those faction-specific armor sets were, they were actually somewhat homogenous in that classes that shared the same armor type (i.e., cloth, leather, plate) had the same models. Apparently this is Blizzard's philosophy with armor set design: either the class sets are faction-neutral but look distinct from each other or they are faction-specific but look the same across armor class. The only time Blizzard broke from tradition was with the much-maligned Sunwell Plateau gear which was both faction-neutral and shared a look across armor class. It felt lazy.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion

Patch 3.2 PTR Tier 9 set names

Even though Blizzard already said that they'd be introducing a whole new set (or sets) of tier gear, it's still a little overwhelming to see information for Tier 9 gear considering that Tier 8-8.5 has only recently been unleashed with Patch 3.1 and Ulduar. Still, Patch 3.2 looks like some ways off and we can't get too excited about the Call of the Crusade just yet.

As soon as the PTR went live yesterday, Alex and Adam scrambled to put together a whopper gallery of Tier 9 gear which might've overwhelmed the whole lot of us who were all too eager to find out what goodies are in store with the new patch. While a lot of things can still change now until the patch goes live, we do know a few things. Check out the Tier 9 sets in the gallery below, which has been re-organized by class and spec (because we love you all that much), and let's take a look at the Tier 9 sets after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Items, Lore

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Pandamonium
The gaming artwork of Jessica Dinh
Mists of Pandaria Raid DPS Analysis
Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition
Death Knight plague epidemic
Mega Bloks: Goblin Zeppelin Ambush
Mists of Pandaria Beta: Ruins beneath Scarlet Halls
Mists of Pandaria: New warlock pets
Female Pandaren Customization