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WoWDec 13, 2021 6:00 pm CT

The patch 9.2 Warlock tier set makes some unfortunate design choices, and the latest update hasn’t fixed it

Back in mid-November, when we got the first preview for Patch 9.2, there was a lot of excitement around the idea that tier sets were returning for the Sepulcher of the First Ones raid. However, the Warlock set’s appearance looked… distinctive.

What do I mean by distinctive? Well, we could try and paint a picture with words, but in this case I think a simple image will suffice. It looked like this: a white conical hood.

Talisen & Evitel described the hood’s KKK styling as “very unfortunate” and I’d have to agree.

When the community pointed out that this wasn’t a great look, the folks at Blizzard quickly agreed and said they were going to adjust it for future PTR builds. It was welcome news that the set would get a visual update.

Now, I get that things often take a few passes to get to the goal, and also, I get that there’s a limit to how much that can feasibly be done once a patch has reached the PTR, as time has been spent designing and modeling these sets. I admire the effort to make the upcoming Shadowlands patch 9.2 Warlock tier set look less… bad and not in an aesthetic sense but rather in a this looks like a Klan hood sort of way.

But the changes to the set in the latest PTR build, which added a stripe to the hood, don’t do much to change the fact that it’s a white conical hood that hides the wearer’s face. It still really looks like a Klan hood.

I honestly don’t know if there’s a way to make a big white pointy hood not be reminiscent of that, but I have to say, I don’t think a stripe is going to manage it. Looking at the original, and then looking at the revamp, I find it extremely hard to not see it as adding a go-faster stripe to a white hood, which is… I mean, divorced of real world context, the set looks badass. But the legacy of the thing, which is easily found with a moment of Google searching, is hard — perhaps impossible — to shake.

A big pointy white hood that obscures your face is pretty much visual coding for a very specific kind of racist awful, and I just don’t know how you keep big pointy white hood and lose that context. Making it faster isn’t really the goal, but rather making it not look like a Klan hood — and the addition of a racing stripe hasn’t really managed that.

Honestly, either lose the big pointy hood, or lose the face plate and let us see the faces, and quite frankly I think ditching the big pointy hood is the best option. It looks cool. I’m sure it was a lot of effort to model. But it’s just not working, and I don’t think it can work.

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