Its been about a week since the patch dropped, which is a long enough time to come up with an informed and not knee-jerk reaction to the changes. So here it is; Fussypants and Yotaan’s responses.
Fussypants: To sum up the entire patch experience for me… lackluster. Before I sound like some whiner on the forums though, let me explain.
The first thing I noticed when I logged in was that my action bars were missing a ton of spells. I didn’t realize how much was being taken away until I saw the reality of it. So, the first hour or so, was just me remaking my action bars and re-choosing my talents. I was upset, intrigued, and excited by this change, because I now have five new play styles to relearn. But this also means that my Pally’s Selfless Healing is no more, and my Disc Priest’s Atonement is not the powerhouse it once was. But for a game such as WoW to go on, change is inevitable.
After I managed my action bars, it was off to the barber shop for me for some plastic surgery. To put it bluntly and shortly, all my characters were wrong. My gnome seems to have gained an affinity to axe murdering and cats, while my draenei looks blank faced. My night elf seemed too harsh looking, but my undead was pretty spot on. Needless to say, this is all getting it’s own article!
Next came the toys/reagents tab. Those changes are life savers, lemme tell you! Over one hundred spaces were freed on each character, and my bags are gloriously empty! (My only complaint; let jewelcrafting gems be allowed into those reagent tabs too please!) I actually managed to fill my reagents tab on my bank alt, so it looks like I will be doing some AHing. Speaking of AH, I’m liking the merging. I haven’t tried it out yet (due to the crazy fluctuating markets), but I’m liking the amount of stuff on it!
So, for the most part, I really enjoyed the UI updates. They were much needed, and much appreciated. However… I don’t think the PvE scene was as successful.
So. The LfA tool. It’s… uh… a good start? I’ve never used (or even seen OQ) so this is a completely unbiased view. I like that its only 25 groups per page, but I wish that you could page through instead of clicking refresh, so that you have the option to come back to groups you are tentative on. I do not like the HUGE filter that it has though. In my opinion, the raids should be broken down into more categories. For example, these should all be separate filters that groups can list under: SoO, ToT, HoF & ToeS, MSV, Open World Bosses, Others. That way, one can find their Ordos group much better instead of paging through hundreds of SoO groups.
Also, I predicted this to an extent, but there is a bit of elitism. My lower ilvled characters never get accepted into anything (I literally spent an hour on my ilvl 528 resto druid trying to find a group that would take me), but my higher ilvled ones can get into any group. I’m not keen on this at all; there should be some incentive for bringing along those with lower ilvls. On top of this, I want to be able to whisper the group leader before I apply. There are times when I want more info on a certain group that I might not want to join, but I can’t just ask the leader to clarify. This one’s a much smaller pet peeve.
I’m luke-warm on the whole LfA thing right now. I don’t personally see it as the most convenient method for pugging, but I know it will change a bunch before WoD drops, so again, not too worried. What does alarm me slightly is healing.
I’ve tried out almost all my characters. My mage felt very different without Alter Time, mage bomb, and Evocation, but I could definitely get used to her. There is a clear rhythm and logic to the game play and I like it. My 80 something Fury warrior is even more stoked, as I no longer feel rage starved or weak. Loving that!
But what I’m not loving is healing. I’ve healed on both my disc priest and my holy pally, and neither felt right to me. In fact, healing on both felt distinctly wrong. My priest had no rhythm, no build up to it. To me it seemed spam Smite for Archangel, then spam Prayer of Healing until the Archangel runs, and Holy Nova whenever around people (by the way, Holy Nova is the bestest spell ever). Its boring, its only three spells, and it felt unfinished. All my big CD massive heals abilities are gone, and I feel lost without them.
My paladin was even worse! The changes to SH made me far less mobile and less bursty, which was my favorite play style. Other than that, the class didn’t lose too much else, but I feel so weak! I can spam Divine Light (a long casting ‘big’ heal) all day, never run out of mana, and barely heal anyone. I was struggling to keep up in UBRS, a dungeon that I should be out gearing. I’m really not happy. My pally is going to get some massive talent changes soon, I can feel it.
To put it in more general, less class specific terms, DPS seems overpowered (two shotting things I never could on my mage) and healing seems very very weak (barely able to keep up a tank while on my pally). Raiding seems harder because the heals just cannot keep up, but solo playing is easier than ever. Everyone is more turret-like, but the new encounter (UBRS) demands a pretty high amount of movement. Its all discombobulated!!
Moving on to the pre expansion event itself; the Iron Horde Invasion. Better known as the Iron Horde House Visit or the Iron Horde Tea Party. All joking aside, this was my least favorite part of the patch. I’ve done the quest line once, and have no inclination to do it again.
It was boring! The Iron Horde was a pushover; I could pull twenty of those guys and come out with more health than I started with. The quests were boring and uninspired. Kill guys. Kill spies. Poison ogres. Talk to king. This had the potential to the the most awesome atmospheric expansion event yet, but all it turned out to be was a short, boring, forgettable, and ultimately lame quest line. I had such high hopes, and I’m enough of a Blizzard fanboy that I would have settled for almost anything. But this? This was… lifeless. Lack luster. Stale.
And the dungeon, eh it was ok. Some annoying mechanics (hello first boss dude), some nice perks (no corpse run!), some nice loots (550 gear? Yeah, I’ll take it) but other than that, it was forgettable. And the fact that is just sort of ended with no explanation, yeah not so cool. I was unimpressed. There were no boss lines I remember, no cool gimmicks, and a pretty cliche and reused environment. I just… blah….
Long story short, I was underwhelmed by patch 6.0. The UI changes were great, but the story and the ‘pre expansion event’ were honestly lame. Maybe I’m being too critical, and please tell me if that’s the case, but I was not impressed.
Yotaan: Okaaaay… My impressions are not quite as strong as the young Fussypants here.
I honestly wasn’t expecting much with this pre expansion patch. I do remember fondly the Wrath pre expansion patch and that was tons of fun. I enjoyed the world wide interruption of the Scourge – it really felt epic (an overused word.) The two pre expansion patches since were not nearly as exciting. Additionally, enough people complained about the Wrath event that Blizzard was not going to repeat that scale of an event. So, I suppose I had lowered expectations.
I actually liked the pre expansion patch intro quests. Sure, the quest line was a little short, but the story, at least on the Alliance side, was good. The dwarf lady seeking revenge on the ogre’s with poisoning! Not an expected storyline at all! My timeless gear only monk did have to be a little careful fighting the Iron Horde so I think it tuned for the boosted 90’s.
The UBS dungeon was a great start but a poor finish. When I first ran it, I did not know when we ended. The 5 of us ran around to make sure we didn’t miss a boss. A little research was needed to confirm that was as far we could go. This needs to be made much more clear by Blizzard.
As for the squish, UI changes, and ability changes, that’s really just part of game – it changes with every expansion. I like the changes every time because it becomes a new game again and I know that what we have now will be totally different as the expansion unfolds and my characters advance.
So what did you guys think of the patch?