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It’s
that time again, a new instance is in the works, and with it comes a
new set of gear. To me it almost seems as if this instance is too soon,
perhaps having something to do with the long wait experienced for
Ulduar to finally  be released. Nonetheless it is 
coming, and quicker than we may think.



Every time new content is announced an air of excitement can be felt.
Every one wants to know what new bosses will be introduced, what the
boss fights will be like, and most of all, what new gear will become
available and what that gear will look like. Every class crosses their
fingers and hopes that the improvements will be many and they
won’t be stuck with an ugly set of gear.



Recently, Blizzard graced us with a glimpse of what we can be (or not
be) looking forward to. So take a walk with me this week as I take a
look at the new Hunter Tier 9 set.


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There
it is my fellow hunters, what we will be wearing in just a few short
months. I think this is the part where I should be jumping up and down
praising Blizzard’s design team and envisioning this gear on
my own personal character with uncontained lust in my eyes. That is not
the case, but I really did try. When I heard they had released pictures
of the new hunter set (and the horde set to boot!) I could hardly wait
to check it out, the screen loaded and I found
myself….disappointed.


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I do know the Blizzard team works hard, and constantly designing new
sets of gear cannot be an easy task. But I feel that this time they
have really let their creative edge slide. This is really a case of bad
recycling as most the gear resembles gear sets we have seen before. To
make matters worse, the shaman and hunter Tier 9 gear, are basically
the same pieces with different color tones. On a brighter note, these
two sets somehow remind me of less colorful Transformers, which
can’t
be a bad thing.



I am sure there will be those that disagree with me, and will
absolutely love these new sets, but I just can’t bring myself
to like them. But hey, it could be worse, I could be stuck with the
cloth sets which look even more similar. I look forward to the Alliance
set being released to see if they fared any better.



The next change I would like to point out is a small one, but one that
I noticed as soon as I looked over the armor. Hunters have since Tier 1
had something plus ‘stalker’ in their armor name
Beaststalker, Cryptstalker, Giantstalker, Scourgestalker, etc. It seems
that the stalker days are done, and the new name (for the horde gear at
least) is Windrunner. I personally like the change, and am curious to
see in future sets if the runner title will stick, as stalker once did,
or if it will be completely different once again.



Finally we reach the most important aspect of any set of gear, the
stats.

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Overall I am pleased with the stats on these pieces of gear. All the
pieces are (as they are supposed to be) a pretty big improvement stat
wise over Tier 8, and I’m rather pleased to see less hit on
these pieces of gear. While hit is important I felt Ulduar gear went a
little overboard, making it so you were usually way over the hit cap,
with no real choice to try and take some of that hit and trade it in
for other stats.



I really think we could have used fewer blue sockets, possibly adding
more red sockets in their place, as I just feel they are more useful
for the hunter in general. But it’s not overly terrible, and
the socket bonuses are fairly decent and can‘t really be
complained about.



The set bonuses on this gear is what everyone is talking about and I
saved it for last for that very reason. At first, the bonuses were
nothing short of awful. With the most recent change to the set pieces
Blizzard has redeemed themselves (in my eyes at least) and made them
much more beneficial.



The 2 set bonus (damage done by your Serpent Sting ability can now be
critical strikes) will make Marksmen Hunters drool when they see the
extradamage they will be able to get from Serpent Sting crits combined
with Chimera Shot. Survival and Beastmaster Hunters should enjoy this
bonus as well, even without the advantages Marksman Hunters possess.



I am thrilled with the new choice for the 4 set bonus. I am glad to
finally see some straight forward pet damage bonuses, that will greatly
benefit Beastmaster Hunters, who in my opinion need the most
improvements at this current time.



With this new gear I feel that Blizzard is making an honest attempt to
make Beastmaster and Marksmen hunters more raid viable. This is
certainly not a bad thing as I feel Hunters should be able to enjoy
raiding with whatever spec they choose. I am not sure if improving the
specs through gear is the right way to go, but it’s a start.



How do you feel about the Tier 9 set? Hate it? Love it? Don’t
care? Share your opinions on our forums!

 




To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Mem
Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.

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