Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Part I: Themes of Paladin Sets

I was thinking the other day. Well, I am thinking most of the days. But that is side-tracking. I was musing around with the idea, that Paladin sets through the game share one thing in common. That one thing as I came to conclusion, was a theme through the expansion. It is not really a theme that inspires a look of the set. It is more of a naming convention that paladin sets follow. .


I will start with the original, pristine form of the game. With no strings of expansions attached. It is to say that those were different times. Times of awe and wonder. Times where everything was still far from decided. Times in World of Warcraft, that I did not experience for myself from the first hand. Maybe that is the reason, why I farm with such determination the last chest piece that is missing to my Tier one Paladin set. I tell you Golemag, I will be beating you every week until you give me that chest piece. That is only thing that I want of you. Correction and apology Golemag. I will be beating you for a couple of weeks more, until I hit exalted with Hydraxian Waterlords, then you can rest in peace. I will not bother you ever again.

But let us leave my farming aside for now. I will focus here only on Raid sets, as they are one thing consistent through all expansions. In vanilla, we had three raid sets, four in fact. Tier I from Molten Core, Tier II from Blackwing Lair, Tier 2.5 from Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, and last, but certainly not least Tier III from Naxxramas. Old Naxxramas that is no more.

Four sets. Lawbringer, Judgement, Avenger, and Redemption. Judiciary feel can be seen from all of them. It seems, in vanilla, more than anything, Paladin was the one who corrected the wrong, established peace, and restored order. The theme of vanilla Paladin revolves around law. Law in any and all shapes and forms. Even Avenger and Redemption serve the theme of law. Avenger is the one who goes and makes things right, one who abolishes any wrong-doers. And redemption, is paying for your sins, for your mistakes. It can be either Avenger trying to redeem himself, for he knows he took it too far, or a paladin making others realise their own mistakes and trying to atone for them through redemption. Vanilla paladin is a catalyst of sorts.

Burning Crusade

Burning Crusade is a mixed bag to be honest. It might be so, because of its split nature and shattered world. Tier IV comes from Karazhan, Magtheridon's Lair, and Gruul's Lair. Tier V drops in Serpentshrine Cavern, and Tempest Keep. And Tier VI drops in Hyal Summit, Black Temple, and at last even Sunwell Plateau. It is visible from just a brief look, how very scattered everything is. How very afar everything lies. It is no wonder if it is hard to find a common theme among all the sets.

Three sets, yet they are scattered among eight different raids. Justicar, Crystalforge, and Lightbringer. Justicar still follows the theme of the vanilla, pertaining to the law. Crystalforge is nothing more than a simple name. Only thing it tells us, that armor was made out of crystals. Which is self-evident in any case once you see the horror it is for yourself. Lightbringer is also simple. After the darkness that Crystalforge was, Lightbringer brings the ray of hope on his shoulders. Ray of hope that could outshine the sun, considering the watts powering those pauldrons.

It could be said that Burning Crusade was the actual time out from our adventures on Azeroth. The Justicar and Lightbringer, at least to me, have very Azerothian feel to it. At least in their look if not in the name. On other hand Crystalforge is the love child of Burning Crusade. It is alien, unusual, and plainly something your eyes need to adjust before you can like it. If ever.

Wrath of the Lich King

Four sets are given to champions of Light in Northrend. Tier III returning as recolored Tier VII with the re-emergence of Naxxramas in Dragonblight. Tier VIII from Ulduar, Tier IX from Crusader's Coliseum, and Tier X from Icecrown Citadel. Although, this time all sets are based of the same continent, there are still some differences in philosophy from set to set.

Redemption, Aegis, Liadrin & Turalyon, Lightsworn. Those four sets are entwined with the actual events that came to pass. Redemption might symbolise the secession of Arthas's Death Knights, or even the redemption brought to Blood Elves at the end of Sunwell Plateau. Aegis is paladin's protection of the Azeroth against any threat that might endanger people of Azeroth. Liadrin & Turalyon are champions of the two sides. Representing the rivalry and tensions through the legend of their deeds. And Lightsworn is the ultimate answer to all taunts from Arthas against the Light.

The theme of paladin armour sets through Wrath of the Lich King, is just like our own excursion to Northrend. Reaction, Response, Answer is the theme of paladin sets through Northrend campaign. All the actions there are always the answer to a threat rising. That threat can be Arthas, his minions, Old Gods, Titans, or Factions themselves. Paladins, through their armour showed they acknowledge the threat and have an answer ready for it.

In first three shipments we have Catalyst, Scatter, and Answer. Next week, we shall take a look at Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria Tier sets, and try to determine what naming convention do they follow.

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