Some random thoughts on new and exciting or new and horrifying issues since patch 4.0.1. I’ll dive a little deeper in to the class-specific goodies and freak outs when I’m brave enough to actually test them out.
New character animations shown on the character selection screen.
This is kind of spiffy, but not in a “wow, that’s spiffy!” way. Just sort of “meh, that’s spiffy.”
My blood elf DK does the roar animation with what might be the blood presence graphic and then he goes in to what appears to be an unarmed combat stance – while holding Shadow’s Edge. Awkward.
Arioch appears to be casting fireball at this stage. Not sure if this is the default because he’s not specced yet or will always perform this animation.
Tabards displayed on character selection screen. And in game. Even if no tabard equipped.
As I said on Twitter: DO NOT WANT. Kaayn was in the Wyrmrest tabard when he logged. Guild tabard shown. Arioch was in no tabard. Guild tabard shown. Log into the game. Guild tabard shown. Double-check character sheet. No tabard equipped. Double-check bank. Yep, there’s the guild tabard in the bank.
This is most definitely a bad and a WTF.
Your talents have been refunded.
Very nice, hard to miss warning in the center of my screen. Somehow I’ve always gotten wind of a talent respec, even back when I was a serious newb and didn’t know about resources like MMO Champ or the official forums so they’ve never caught me by surprise. But I know it’s caught others unawares.
Heart attack when pressing PLAY.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY WOW? CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON AND ALERT EVERYONE IN A 5-MILE RADIUS THAT YOU ARE LOGGING IN TO WOW. WHAT? I’M YELLING? I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF ME PRESSING PLAY.
Getting locked in to a talent tree for 31 points and 69 levels.
Obviously, this doesn’t affect my end-game characters but has a huge impact on leveling. Previously, I’ve often picked up a few points in each tree to grab things that are useful on the way up, respeccing when I want to shift the points in to a primary tree later on. This allowed me to pick up a few defensive talents on my warrior without speccing straight prot and some healing talents on my shaman without limiting myself to resto. Overall, it had more flexibility I think. If we could dual spec sooner than level 40… that would make me feel better about it.
With the new system, I’m worried about people not even noticing that they can pick up secondary-tree talents from 32-41. We thought we saw a lot of 71-point trees in Wrath? I foresee many more 41-point trees in Cataclysm.
I predict bad.
New talent pane in game.
Aside from my issues with the mechanics of tree-selection, the new talent panes are pretty spiffy. Being able to see everything without clicking and scrolling is pretty sweet. Also very cool is wowtal.com’s “Use it ingame!” feature. The site is bugged for me at the moment, but basically you build your spec just like you were in game and then click that button. You get a script to copy that loads the spec for you in game.
Character sheet improvements.
ZOMG. Gray scale backgrounds. Be still my beating heart.
Seriously, the improvement here is the fly-out pane for stats. And the fact that Blizzard has joined the 20th century and has incorporated drag-and-drop. Want melee at the top? simply drag it up there. Want ranged at the bottom? Drag it down there. Minimize all the pesky extras. See what you want, where you want it.
Where did my enchants go?
My mage was OK , but other people came up missing enchants on gear after the patch was released. Of course, they are very sorry for the inconvenience, but they will be unable to restore those missing enchants. Tough shit.
Got to give them mad props on this one. The new spellbook has a very updated feel without seeming alien. Being informed that new abilities are available and that I should trot off to my trainer is pretty damn awesome. Again, not terribly impactful to the end-game player but very useful to the leveling character or new player.
Glyph system updates.
Mage minor glyphs still blow donkey dong. Except Slow Fall, of course. Penguins? Monkeys? And the fact that a bunch of mage primes and majors were classified incorrectly has led to a lot of frustration within the mage community. (And people wonder why I wasn’t all gung ho to log in and start tearing shit up the first night…)
But other than that, I like the new system. Learn the glyphs once (my scribe is still crying) and swap between them as needed with some dust (dirt-cheap dust, I might add). The primes are pretty much no-brainers – which spell do I cast? Oh, guess I should glyph for that. The majors have some excellent utility choices and the minors are cosmetic, fun, or remove an annoyance factor like reagents.
LUA errors up the wazoo.
With every patch comes the destruction of my beloved add ons.
However, I think things are much smoother this time around as compared to Wrath pre-patches. Almost all my must-have add ons have been fixed up and many are even supposed to be fully Cataclysm-compliant. Not sure if there was more cooperation from Blizzard on this or code was cleaned up or what, but I’m grateful to the add on developers for being far smarter than me. In the upcoming weeks I’ll do some posts about the add ons I use.
Could have been a bad, but is pretty close to a good.
You have a proc!
The new visuals for proc abilities is very cool, especially for people that don’t use a tracker. I found it amusing that the Arcane Missile image is almost the same color I used to notify me of Missile Barrage procs in IceHUD. The only issue I had here was hopping on to my DK, hitting the training dummy and going, “What the fuck is that thing? What am I supposed to push?” And my boyfriend says, “Oh, that’s Sudden Doom.” Me, “WTF is that? I didn’t read up on DKs!” /flail wildly
Will take some time to get used to, but good.
Overall, so far, patch is a good. I have yet to actually test my priest or mage at the time of this writing… we’ll see what happens next.