Traditional ‘tier’ sets are not planned for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

    
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One would assume some actual battling has to take place, and since battling in the zones isn't really a thing...

If you’ve never played World of Warcraft, you may be unfamiliar with the concept if not the visuals of tier sets. Tiered armor is the ultimate class-specific reward from each given raid level, so the upcoming Antorus raid awards Tier 21 armor for those lucky enough to get the necessary drops. Wearing several pieces of tier armor also awards set bonuses. But it looks like the time has passed on all of that, as a recent interview stated that tier sets are not planned to return at all in Battle for Azeroth.

Designer Ion Hazzikostas explains that tier pieces tend to “lock down” certain gear slots and feel like more of a hindrance than anything, so the team is experimenting with different ways to award gear and appearances. How that will work remains to be seen, but the suggestion of no more tier sets alone is a major departure from how World of Warcraft has always structured its endgame raids. We’ll hopefully learn more about these changes as the expansion gets closer to testing and release.

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Bryan Turner

Instead they should release class transmog sets every raid, that’s a fair compromise.

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Knox Harrington

Considering my preferred warrior spec, Fury, was gimped and Arms was god mode all because of the current tier’s set bonuses, I’m quite happy with this change. The game is hard enough to balance as it is. It doesn’t need set bonuses as well.

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Kala Mona

Ok so originally I thought this expansion will be “meh”, but design changes like these might make it better.

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Utakata

Tiers for fears.

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thirtymil

Well it is Battle for Azeroth… everybody wants to rule the world.

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Utakata

Brilliant, lol! <3

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Knox Harrington

Something’s happened and I’m head over heals… no seriously.. I think my healer disconnected.. plz halp?

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Space Captain Zor

GOOD! Stupid gear treadmills…

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Sally Bowls

Seems good – it was annoying to not be happy when you got a new, higher ilevel item because you can’t use it due to competing set bonuses.

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MikeInTheLab

I just wish they would make armor crafting professions relevant. The consumable crafting professions matter for raid buffs but other professions seem less useful.

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Ssiard

This change is long overdue. I’ve always hated the bind those set pieces put you in! Right now I have a bunch of pieces that are ilvl 935 that I can’t use because of ilvl 915 items allow the set bonus!

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Bannex

Unpopular opinion time: This is awesome.

As much flak as this team got for WoD I think they’ve generally made the game much more fun to play for the casual gamer.

Raiders can suck an egg, I’m old and have a legit profession, I can’t sink 4 hours a session to play mike Tyson’s punch out with 10 people.

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Sorenthaz

Also the tiers got ridiculous after awhile. Plus it sounds like the Heart of Azeroth system will basically be the blanket replacement for artifacts/legendaries/tier sets.

I think tiers were cool back in the earlier days, but since then it’s become less of a special status marker and more of just ‘another thing to get’.

Class unique armor sets shouldn’t be gotten rid of entirely though, but they could instead be cosmetic rewards for various achievements or whatever.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Now if they just don’t gate every kind of progression behind dungeons and raids, I’ll be happy. Waiting until quest strings get published before even considering this expansion.

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Utakata

You’d be surprise how popular this opinion likely turns out to be.

– from your “favorite” Gnome with contrarian pigtails. <3

Polyanna
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Polyanna

The answer reads as what they’re actually getting rid of is just the traditional set bonus attached to armor pieces, not the concept of unique gear sets and appearances for each new raid instance (possibly with different looks for different classes; possibly with cosmetics varying along other lines).

That makes sense since the intent is obviously to roll up all of the power bonuses previously scattered across artifacts, set bonuses, and legendaries into a unified talent system attached to pieces in the three Azerite Armor slots (shown as head, shoulders, and chest in the demos).

Overall it’s a good move; you will get the same sort of qualitative bonuses (probably fewer of them, but with more effective power for each one), with more control over the tuning of them based on your activation of tier options in the Azerite Armor pieces, and you will have more slots to freely swap around for actual stats.

The concept of gear progression and raid-related power bonuses is not going away (among other things Azerite pieces will drop in raids). But we will finally be rid of the needless complexity of tying up a dozen different slots with various minor bonuses, some of which actually conflict in stupid ways.

Worth noting, this probably is not the biggest change that is coming for “raiding” as a thing in WoW. The whole concept of Warfronts is “raids” as co-op RTS-like team instances; requiring the same level of coordination and number of people as raids, but with some fairly radically different mechanics and gameplay flow. Warfronts seem set to be a dominant feature of the endgame based on how much press they are giving them, which is going to make “raiding” as we know it in WoW quite a bit different than it has been in the past.