Saturday, June 20, 2009

Patch 3.2: First Responses

Ah, major content patches...don't you LOVE how people respond? The tempers run high and people start screaming about how it all is going to "ruin the game and I may as well (Insert desired response here of one of the following) *delete toon, re-roll, leave the game,* right now because Blizzard has COMPLETELY lost touch with their player base!

So what all are we potentially looking at that has people in an uproar? Really (outside of the usual class specific buffs and nerfs) it comes down to two major topics. Wintergrasp and the new token system.

So not to be left out (it is after all the major topic of WoW bloggers everywhere) I will add my two cents. All we have heard so far is what they are THINKING, NOTHING is set in stone so no matter what my initial reaction might be I am not going to starting getting all bent out of shape over it NOW. PTR is not even LIVE for this yet and we all know how some things are COMPLETELY reworked and even disappear when that happens.

On Wintergrasp.
While I am not real THRILLED with the whole "Que" system, it would solve a lot of the issues that we have been facing. Previous measures that Blizzard has tried (NONE of which were popular either) have worked. Lets face the facts. Wintergrasp is EXTREMELY popular. We all know what happens when you get a large group of players in one area, with a great deal of activity, at one time. (It isn't nicknamed Winterlag for nothing.) The Que system would (potentially) put an end to some common exploits we see on our particular server as well.
If it goes live as it is presently presented (which I highly doubt will happen, as there are certain to be tweaks in the coming weeks) the players can and will adjust. Could it potentially cause hardship for certain higher populated severs? I suppose. But for those who wish to just do the weekly quests, you have seven DAYS to make the que (one would hope you could manage that at LEAST once.) Those who like to FARM Wintergrasp for Herbs, Ore and Eternals will STILL be able to do that, just NOT during battle times in which they were doing nothing more than causing hardship for their faction ANYWAY by not participating.
So my conclusion on this one is: While I don't really LIKE it, I can LIVE with it because I can see why they are making this move.

On the New Token System.
This one has caused me to laugh outright because to be honest it really breaks things down into the "raiders" vs. "casuals" thing. Many of the Raiders have expressed that the new token system (as they did back at patch 2.4) is stealing their thunder and glory and rewarding individuals with "equal gear" with out "equal effort". The "Casuals" (or those who due to choice or life constraints can NOT make the commitment to raid but have JUST as much a desire to see their characters geared well enough to have success.) Cheer the move with open arms because it makes gear otherwise unobtainable on THEIR time tables within reach.

Now let me just state here I do NOT consider myself a raider. While I DO raid and raid A LOT, due to the limits of my life (4 small children do that to you) to set aside 4+ hours a night for a raid is just not something I can do. So when I raid it has to be done in "small bites" as it were. Two wings here, three wings there, etc. Raids like OS, VoA and EoE are nice because they are SHORT (if done correctly anyway).

Now I know "Raiders" on the other hand who will clear Nax, OS, EoE AND VoA all in one night thus leaving the rest of the week to work on either progression in Ulduar, farming, alts or whatever else they may want to. While I would LOVE to have the freedom to do that it just is NOT an option for me.

So what all does this have to do with the new Token system? Well this. For those "Raiders" since we don't yet KNOW what the gear will be I wouldn't panic just yet but from 2.4 I remember there was a CLEAR distinction made if an individual was decked out in "Raid Gear" vs. "Token Gear". YES some of that gear was REALLY nice but we all knew WHO the true raiders were. Even now, a person can only get CERTAIN pieces of tier gear via the badges and for individuals like me who share their badge tokens with 2/3 's of the raid it is NICE to have that option of not having to HOPE I can get the piece rather than one of the Death Knights, Druids, Mages or other Rogues.

What I am excited to see is: What is this change going to mean for five man dungeons? I don't know about you but when WotLK first came out I was usually pugging at least 2 or 3 5 mans a day. Now a days for those who are leveling alts or are just slow levelers it is VERY difficult to get a group together to do that outside of MAYBE the dailys. To be able to throw a group together, drag a under geared person through a heroic and have them walkout with badges and gear that could have them at a comparable level quicker and thus allow ME to progress further, I see this as a win. Besides that, I just LIKE 5 mans. It is a GREAT way to really interact with others in your guild or just on your server rather than when you are in a 25 man raid. You also get a better idea of the type of player that person is in the smaller setting.

Now I have heard the opinion expressed that "five mans are just boring because I am so over geared for them". That is where I like to throw in some achievements. Some of those can REALLY add a challenge to an otherwise "boring" fight. Especially if you attempt them without the "optimal" group make up.

So conclusion on this one is: Don't start panicking until we see the gear. I HIGHLY doubt Blizzard is going to be putting the "best in slot" with T9 as badge token gear. They have NEVER done that before. NICE gear yes, even comparable gear but Raiders, be still you Egos, you will still be able to get all the TRUE goodies "The HARD way". For the rest of us, we will have gear that won't make us ashamed when we end up grouped up with you in VoA.

Now on a personal note. The whole three LINES about rogues....I guess they like where we are at.

1. After much quiet contemplation, rogues now possess the ability to learn how to use one-handed axes.

My response? *yawn* While I am sure the Orcs will be happy with their racial for Axes now applying to FISTS (that is nice for them at least) I won't be running out to level my Ax skill to 400 any time soon. Not even sure I will bother to learn it.

2. Sword Specialization: This talent is now called Hack and Slash and applies to axes as well as swords.

My response? The name is catchy.

3. Shadow Dance: Cooldown reduced to 1 minute. Now lasts 6 seconds, down from 10 seconds.

My response? Never have played with it so can't say how this effect things one way or another.

One other thing of note for Rogues:

Glyph of Shadow Dance: Now increases the duration of Shadow Dance by 2 seconds, down from 4 seconds.

My response? See above comment on Shadow Dance.

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