Inferno Gear Sets Spur Conversation, Impersonation

Blizzard showed off three new slides of class Gear Sets during their Diablo III presentation at Gamescom 2011, and after most fans got over their “new info new visuals cerebral cortex lock up!” reaction, a more critical evaluation has begun. Often with the aid of anime robot images.

In this post you see the three new Inferno-only gear sets, with various reader-suggested image comparisons, all taken from Adree’s aptly-named “Oh lawd the armor…” thread. I was going to post a news item with just the armor pics and some comments, but really… these pics do it better than I would have.

The obvious choice for the next site vote seemed to be the DiabloWikiInferno difficulty level, but I might actually be more curious about the general reaction to these armor sets. I’m not horrified by them, but I think they’re fairly comical myself; and that they’re too over the top and obviously non-functional to take seriously. Plenty of readers agree, or like them even less than I do, judging by the forum comments so far. But that’s why we have main page votes; to judge things by thousands of replies, rather than just the dozens or hundreds who care enough to make comments.

In defense of these outlandish costumes:

  • These are the highest level gear sets in the game. They’re supposed to be massive and eye-catching and crazy.
  • Diablo III is not a ren-faire. There’s no effort made to represent anything historically-accurate or physically functional. It’s magic armor; that’s why it works.. M A G I C
  • We’re judging them by blurry photos. (That’s Blizzard’s own fault though, since at every game convention they do this — show off new stuff in a presentation, choose not to release their slides in HQ images, and then act surprised when fans overreact to blurry, LQ photos of something.)
  • Most crucially, as Bashiok argued back during the male Wizard’s “starfish hat” scandal, we won’t see any of this gear at this angle in the game, other than in the character selection screen. Perhaps these armors look awesome in the isometric angle, in-game. (Though there again, why doesn’t Bliz release some shots of that at the same time, if they want to properly manage fan reactions?)

For the sake of comparison, the three original slides, showing the class gear set progression, can be seen in our Gamescom 2011 gallery: click for the Female Monk, Female Wizard, Male Demon Hunter. If anyone dislkes the first 2 gear sets for each class, I’ve not seen a comment. The debate seems to be entirely about the third, high end, Inferno-only sets.

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45 thoughts on “Inferno Gear Sets Spur Conversation, Impersonation

  1. I am under the impression that these items are uncolored, as in, if they were to be dyed where those bright white areas are, they wont look as gaudy. Maybe not so much on the Monk, maybe it’s the red area that is dye-able but even so i would agree that it’s a bit much. the other two look great if those are the dye areas.

  2. Why watermarks? : /

    I spoke enough about the sets in the thread, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world. I’m one of, like, three people that probably like the monk set(s). I couldn’t even tell you why. I just think it would look nifty in motion, but I don’t blame someone for not liking it.

    • yeah I think the sets all look cool too.  I actually think like Risingred does, that the monk set will look great in motion.

    • Well I love the monk set. And the wizard set is Gorgeous in my opinion. Can’t wait to throw a dye or two on that… heh… People are always gonna complain about one thing or another, and tbh it’s getting on my nerves. Also inb4 ” WOW THATS GAY IT LOOKS LIKE WOW ” bullshit. Some people can’t be satisfied, and I’m not sure why. Jaded gamers maybe? Well anyway, there will be more sets, but these look fantastic even close up. Game cam probably even better, gg blizz.

      • We are entering personal taste talk and I know it’s a slippery ground but.. Honestly – I don’t get it. Some of those end-game sets just look more like kids stuff – Transformers, Power Rangers etc. I don’t care how sets look in WoW cause I don’t play it, but I would be expecting something more Diablo like in D3. This just doesn’t suite to this game in my opinion.

    • I really like the monk set too, it just looks really ornate to me. The Wizard one also looks cools. Not too keen on the DH one, it just doesn’t seem too stylistically true to the DH.
      I’m sure people will appreciate them much more when they see them from an isometric perspective.

    • Here’s another one liking the monk set :p Zoomed in like this it looks a bit over the top, but imagine it in game, when crossing a bridge with the rain in your face and that long cloak dyed black sailing behind you. It’ll be alright.

  3. I hadnt noticed how wimpy the male wizard looks until I saw the “starfish fiasco” images.. Frankly, now I am, for the first time in my gaming career, seriously considering playing with a female avatar… weird..

    As for the armor sets, I played WoW for a few years and I had my fill of disgusting gaudy over the top wear… Diablo 3 has some catching up to do and judging by these images they are not willing to give up the race *throws up*

    • It’s a shame that we lost all the comments when we switched over to wordpress, since there were over 100 on several of those “wimpy” male wizard posts. The only reason there were 3 news items about it was that the controversy kept going with fan art popping up by the hour.

  4. I like the sets that were shown at Gamescom (save for the high level male demon hunter set) – perhaps they’d look even better with different color schemes.  The heroes are also in neutral poses.  With weapons in hand and/or in action poses they might look better. 

    I wonder, though, if the team is still sticking to the 18 tiers of visual armor looks.  Do you think they expanded that with the addition of Inferno difficulty?  It seems like they’ve certainly showed off quite a few of the armor sets either through media events or in gameplay videos.

  5. The Wizard’s is not a Inferno only gear, if you listen to the video Jay says Hell, as for the Demon Hunter’s one he says max level DH so it might be Inferno gear, or it might be Hell gear. But Jay did clearly say that the Monk’s one is Inferno gear.

  6. Those armors look so good imo, nothing`s wrong with them. Because they are inferno armors they just can`t be ordinary.

    • I have to agree. The Monk inferno one in particular.  I sincerely hope there is a high level cloth/leather set.   But as I said in this weeks news attack podcast, you see them from the isometric view so it may not look so gaudy from up there?

  7. Gaudy:
    ostentatiously or tastelessly ornamented
    2: marked by extravagance or sometimes tasteless showiness

    I think the definition of the word gaudy needs to be rewritten because Blizzard has apparently developed a whole new level and meaning to it!

    3: Blizzard’s new standard art style for items in any of its newer titles.”

    • While i totally agree the Inferno armor sets are GAUDY .. i have to say putting it side-by-side with the lower level sets made me really realize how good the low level sets look .. they clearly show the character identity, gender and are in some way “believable/functional” … Blizzard could take some notes from Demon’s/Dark Souls ?i level armor designs for the Inferno ones.

  8. Next to RMAH and always online only, this controversy is a bit refreshing. I don’t like the designs, but it’s certainly not a potential deal breaker to me, like the always online req. is. The thread is also hillarious.

  9. I like the starting equipment looks for the most part, but oh the end level stuff, just induces vomit in me.
    The anime, chinese , korean influences are fine but its taken to levels of absurdity.
    I hope Blizzard will allow us an option to have higher level equipment and make it look like anything we want.
    So have the starfish head gear of the wizard look like a low level head gear.
    Something they could introduce after it ships.

  10. Ok lets not sugarcoat this anymore than some already have. Admit it, they look awful. If some keep saying yes to everything we’ll never get anything better.

  11. I like the Wizard-Set. The outline of the wizards body is clearly distinguishable from other classes and she looks powerful and cool. You can feel her mighty magical powers emiting from her. The Power Ranger Demon Hunter on the other hand is horrible, because he doesnt look like a Demon Hunter at all! I had to check again what kind of character is shown on the picture, because the it looks more like a monk-set than a DH-set to me. I can’t see the distinguishable shape of the DH in the set anymore. It doesn’t look anything like the Van Helsing Character that we were shown so far. The Female Monk is a shiny horrible parrot-asian-christmas-tree-mix and looks more like a wacky asian wizard set than the monks set. I really dislike these two last two sets, because they dont fit – imo- to the characters at all.

  12. Well i have no problem of them copying from other animes some armor looks, since they are still armor, And as long as they choose the right ones they look awesome……. but when i first see the female monk, i thought it was a joke Jay pulled. Thats a traditional chinese theatre costume (still used today). They are not armors. At level 60 in inferno u will dress up as an actress.
    Im chinese, i grew up watching these theater shows. One can argue these actresses are actually dressing up as ancient time generals fighting each other……. But putting on a bear suit dont make u a bear.

  13. What about the inferno weapons artwork…? A bit too out-of-diablo style ?? Too flashy ? I understand they have to be more visual distinct compared to low-tier stuff but Looks like it’s goanna be quite rainbowy on screen with purple and pink swords slashing around. actually kinda reminds me of a wc3 dota mod I played with those weapons.

  14. I’m with holding judgement until I see them in-game, from the perspective they are supposed to be viewed.

  15. Honestly I think people just like to complain. If you think about it, these are the highest level sets in the game (even though some are late hell vs inferno). Each character is presented with the highest(ish) tier of each piece of armor. I think in reality having the highest helm, chest piece, pants, bracers, and shoulders all on 1 character will be somewhat difficult to accomplish, without spending significant sums of real $ of course.

    I don’t have a problem with any of the sets because how else are they going to separate the visuals of the highest gear from the “still great but not quite godly” gear that the majority of us will end up using? This seems to be the stuff we will be striving to find in the end game, and once we do find a single piece of it we’ll be stoked and consider selling it for a high price just because it will be so tough to find. It will probably take a LOT of inferno grinding to get the entire end game sets.

  16. These late tier armor sets look horribly unfit for the Diablo theme imo. If anything they should knock everything down a notch and have the current mid level stuff (which looks okay in comparison) the “heavy” look. I can’t understand why they can’t seem to get the armor right. I know that these things are subjective but c’mon does anyone honestly not recoil at the sight of these?

    They’re not ugly per se, but simply have no relation to the diablo environment. Not one of the third looks in those examples makes me think of their respective classes. The monk especially makes me question the direction of these armor sets. What is THAT?!? To be honest I would be quite content with the first DH set being “high-end” gear. It looks heavy and accomplished and still definitely frames the archetype of a Demon Hunter.

    This brings me to a relevant but off-topic concern with the fact that there will be no more “end-game” items below level 60. And since all level 60 items will presumably have the “BLOWN UP AWESOME” effect as we’ve seen then we will be forced to wear these “heaviest” and imo “ugliest” armor sets. I really hope we will have cloth/leather end game alternatives to these exaggerated examples.

    In the end I suppose it is just a superficial aspect of the game and it won’t ruin any of the gameplay and I will of course buy and play Diablo III and hope it will live up to and surpass the amount of enjoyment I’ve had with the previous games over all these years.
    This is a brave new “diablo” world. I hope I can adapt and find my place in it. :p

    • i agree. I honestly had to hunt for the caption on what class and sex is that figure when i saw the female monk.
      But i do suddenly remember something. Didnt they say that legendary items will have some unique looks? I would kinda assume at end game there will be alot of useful legendary. If we use those items, then probly we wont need to deal with these flashy out-of-the-world-literally looks? No guarantee how ridiculous those unique looks will be of coz, but one can hope.

  17. I am also unhappy with the art style of these sets.

    While I played DII for years and it is one of my favorite games, I’ve always had a sliver of disappointment that the art style of DII was a step towards the cartoony from the “gritty, dark, classic medieval European” style of DI. I had always hoped that the developers of DIII would produce a game with modern graphics, physics, and play that would return to the gritty medieval European art style that I loved in DI.

    I do think that these sets look cool, but I just don’t believe that they fit with the Diablo look that set the game apart.  Perhaps they will look better in isometric and perhaps they will look better with dyes, we just don’t know yet.  I hope so.  IMHO, these sets have too much anime/asian/native american/eskimo/etc influence and I think they depart too much from the classic Diablo style I mentioned above.  

    I had been placated by the screenshots of randomized dark dungeons after the first color controversy, but these sets have reignited my concern.

    I plan on spending many long fun hours of playtime with DIII, but to be honest if the art style of the game overall tends to look like these sets then I might get sick of the game and stop playing sooner than if the game looked like DI.   One of the reasons I never played WoW is because I always thought the art style looked like it came from an episode of Barney the purple dinosaur.


  18. I think the real issues with these sets are 1. the armor does not look like the class it is trying to represent  2. unlike how some posters have said the inferno armors don’t give the impression of super badass. I think it would have been better if the top armor emphasized the aspects of the class more than the lower armor sets.
    the demon hunter is supposed to be dark and edgy, so give his last armor’s skulls and darker coloring.

  19. I must say I am disappointed with community on this one. Somebody whines the usual “this is not true Diablo” whine, and gets +5 or similiar thumbs up, couple of people (two, I believe), said they find the armors OK, and they get downvoted. I don´t really care about thumbs up or down, but that expresses clear inability of this community to accept opinions different then the current popular opinion, which is whining.

    What IS true Diablo btw. So many people whine and complain about it, so would anybody care to “standardise” definition of “true” Diablo.

  20. while there is no “true” diablo many would say it is the theme of the dark medieval times and as such armor that unpractical and with that neon color turn quite a few people off. Myself included.
    Frankly i seen many armors like that in korean mmos and the weapon icons we say looked like something out of high level gear in flyff.
    i mean we come pretty close to cabal online and its armor

  21. Pimp My Gear
    Looks like Xzibit is the blacksmith in Inferno.  Hopefully I can chrome my rings and amulet, and potions, too.  Bling!

  22. Yeah … the Inferno armor sets look GAUDY .. but it made me appreciate how good looking the lower armor sets are (actually i say the lowest are the best looking and express the character identity and gender best IMO XD) … if they want to create a good sense of armor advancement they shouldn’t ditch the original lowest grade design 100% .. there is almost ZERO connection between the lowest grade armor and the Inferno ones .. it totally kills any sense of progression (Think if each Harry Potter movie had a different group of actors) .. not to mention the fact that it looks very gaudy.

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