Hey, I hear there was this patch thing?
Actually, the MMO Melting Pot keeps telling me that the only topic of discussion consuming the blogosphere is Guild Wars 2. I dunno, I guess I don’t read enough blogs. The whole time I was away, my feed was crammed with dozens of posts each day about the patch and World of Warcraft.
That’s not a knock, for as someone on Twitter said to me, “We’re too busy playing Guild Wars 2 to write about it. Now shhh, I’ve got hearts to fill.”
I don’t even know what that means, and I’m fine with that. Hooray! Multiple MMOs in the house, and they’re all good!
Whoopee! Now WoW will be peaceful and happy, with nobody in Trade talking about how bad the game is, right? They all left to have fun in GW2? Right?
We came back to town around midnight last Saturday, so we had, oh, the afternoon to install the patch and figure things out before the ICC achievement raid Sunday night.
Two out of three computers in our house patched and optimized and installed just fine. Can you guess who got the crash?
I started the process at midnight, went to bed, and when I got up 6 hours later, it was still stuck on Downloading Tools.
I made the big, terrifying life-draining decision – nuke the install from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.
I went to Battle.net and installed the client clean through direct download.
Holy shit, people. A single 20 gig download client, fast playable install, no bugs, no worries, and the damn thing runs clean and fresh like a dawn raid on the Keep on the Borderlands.
Crap, the Mists patch I downloaded for my previous install was bigger than the whole full client download. Yay and stuff, and life goes on!
Fortunately, you’ve all been in the game enjoying the patch for almost a week now, so I don’t have to worry about dropping any spoilers. I get to post a first impressions roundup guilt free!
This has been a patch full of many unexpected gifts.
First, the obvious. Account-wide shared mounts did NOT work as advertised. They were better.
I didn’t have anything excluded that I was told would be. PvP mounts from Honor Points, and the mammoth drop from the Wintergrasp PvP raid? All shared. Every single one.
The X-53 rocket mount? Shared. The Swift Zhevra? Shared. The Zhevra! I specifically saw a comment that the mounts from recruit-a-friend weren’t going to be shared, yet there they are.
Now that I have all the mounts to compare, I can say with some surprise that my all time favorite is the Brewfest Kodo. Happy time, and isn’t it nice that even though the only character I have that ever won it was on another server and hasn’t been played in a year and a half, all of my characters can now enjoy it?
The pets, I knew what was coming, but it was still fun showing Alex that he can rename pets. Also, he was finally able to get the Creepy Crate shared on ALL his characters.
One surprise for me was to see pet collecting trends revealed in pet quantity.
For example, Cassie has done the Jousting quest in Mount Hyjal on all her characters. Without exception, every single one has chosen the more attractive Blue Mini Jouster pet over the Gold vulture-looking Mini Jouster. Without exception.
Having something like 12 Blue Mini Jousters and not one Gold? That’s hilarious. Errr, I mean, ouch! Gonna have to do some dailies, dear! Just ten more days!
Of course, I wish I could cage them already and hand some of my duplicates over to Alex, but give it time. On the flip side… if I can’t actually train pet battles yet, take it the fuck off my trainable skill list, mmkay?
On the other other hand (or tentacle, pseudopod, whatever), you can now buy the pet from the special Mountain Dew promotional event, PLUS the red and blue robot battle fuel, from Jepetto Joybuzz in Dalaran. I have the pet already, on a lot of characters… and it’s nice to know I can stop hoarding the 20 red and 20 blue fuel… on every character. Every. Character. You can just go in the store and buy it now. Go figure.
Hey, as long as we’re adding old stuff long gone from the game, how about adding the secret vampire boss (Prince Tenris Mirkblood) back to Karazhan this Halloween so people can have a shot at the guitar axe and Vampiric Batling? Go for the hat trick of awesomeness.
Me love you long time, Blizzard. LONG TIME.
This one… this one is a mixed bag of blessings.
Six digs per dig site? Twice as many artifacts for the same amount of travel time, right?
Feels a bit like too much time in one spot… because I have nothing but Night Elf dig sites in Kalimdor. Screw Night Elves, can I please get some Tolvir love? Grrr.
On the even less gifty side, please stop asking me if I’m really super sure honest and for true sure every single time I want to solve an Archy puzzle. Yes, I know I am at max skill, stop asking me if I want to go to a trainer first when there aren’t any upgrade trainers yet, you twit!
On the other hand, if I were to forgo the immediate gratification of knowing what I got… I could stack up fragments now for a series of future solves, for faster leveling. Right?
At least, I could if I had the ‘put off til tomorrow what I may be prevented from enjoying because of the car that hit me today’ gene.
Eat dessert FIRST. Geez, people, think about it. We could get hit by a meteor and join the dinosaurs tomorrow, I want to get that level NOW.
After all, when I die, Saint Peter will ask me what level I reached on my Druid, and if I have to say I didn’t fully complete my rare Archy solves in Cataclysm, TO HELL I GO!
Ahh, the big one.
I’ve been playing my Hunter in the ICC raid, so while I checked out my Guardian Druid first, I couldn’t linger. I had to be pr… no, screw that, I ain’t sayin’ it.
I had to be ready to rock.
So on to my Hunter I went for the real firsties.
Not reading about changes beforehand is a dual-edged sword. On the positive side, things are fresh and new and filled with wonder.
On the down side, I have to rely on having a brain to figure this shit out cold. Whoops! And I also need to find some alternatives to up sides, down sides, other hands and inner paws. Willing to buy a vocabulary, STAT!
For my Beastmaster Hunter, I had a good time choosing talents. Even the choosing was fun. They all sounded so… tasty.
I looked over my choices, and all I could think was, gee, they took all the neat toys the other two specs used to get, and let me cherry-pick whatever I wanted. And I get to keep MY special exotic pets! Are you shitting me?
I get a spell interrupt! Just, WTF is up with that!
Did I reforge into mixed Expertise and Hit? No, no I did not. It was ICC, I didn’t reforge shit. But I did choose my Talents, without guidance, based entirely on what sounded cool.
I specced a Hunter, and I liked it!
I chose Posthaste, because I use Disengage all the time as a fast positioning tool, and having a boost of run speed is all win in my book. I’m always positioning myself, like on the boat in Dragon Soul, to be ready to Disengage laterally out of a bad AoE. I used my Disengage A LOT on Festergut and Putricide, and damn, was it fun!
I took Silencing Shot, so no longer will I be looking stupid when it comes time to ask, “Who can interrupt the Queen?” The answer is now, “ME! BOOYAH!”
I took Aspect of the Iron Hawk, because, well, lazy. One less cooldown or GCD sounds pretty nice about now.
Thrill of the Hunt would almost sound like another lazy choice, except I had a hunch about that one. I mentally did the math on how a 30% proc chance from abilities that use Focus would translate into 3 super-fast cheap Multi-Shots, and snatched it fast. I’m a Beastmaster, I pop Kill Command and Arcane Shot all the dame time.
It paid off in spades in ICC. I was proccing those three extra cheap Multi-Shots and Arcane Shots constantly. Including off of Multi-Shot. At one point, Cassie whispered me to ask me what it was like to do over 40k DPS. I said I wouldn’t know, I didn’t have Recount installed.
And finally, I chose Blink Strike. Oh my. Oh, my my my.
It’s Sunday, I’m in love.
Instantly teleport my BM pet behind the target to do a big nasty CHOMP out of it’s butt?
Oh, hell yes.
Now, I haven’t tested it yet for variables. The tooltip for Blink Strike says the chomp is 600% normal damage. By normal, I can assume that means damage unaffected by current Bestial Wrath status.
But I’m willing to find out. For Science!
For the Glyphs, nothing really sexy, not like there was for Death Knights or Druids. Best I could come up with for fun was Marked for Death, so I automagically put Hunters mark on whatever I’m shooting at in the moment. That was nice, removed a /petattack macro with that one.
Still, the feel of the BM Hunter in the raid was unchanged. It felt exactly as BM did before the patch to play… ONLY BETTER! Enhanced! The way it should be, and with no minimum range!
I’m in danger of switching mains.
I kid, I kid.
I had a rocky first tank run on my Druid today in Heroic End Time. But that is for another story, and you have to start somewhere, right?
Oh, and it helps to have a healer who actually heals, instead of stays in DPS gear and shadow spec.
I knew it wasn’t going to go well, when I zoned in to Ruby, said “hi, I need a sec” because after the first pull I saw my Tidy Plates had me set to DPS mode so it was reversed on threat tells, and the healer pulled the boss for me while the addon pages were covering my screen.
Let’s just say that after he flat out told us he refused to heal me on Murozond because I was in kitty tier gear(!) and we booted him from the party in the first minute of the fight, we STILL managed to win it while 4-manning it, without a healer, with Alex and Cassie in the team, and an awesome Shadow Priest named Sutralas – Blade’s Edge, who I swear was still DPSing while throwing me heals, AND popping the Hourglass. Although everyone was handling the HG when they could.
Let’s also add that it’s nice to have a ton of defensive cooldowns and Heroism ready to go after every Hourglass activation, hmm? Still, we did win… with a healer that had the shittiest attitude I’ve seen in a while booted from the run before the first HG click.
Yes, I know he got his same chance at loot after being kicked, but it must have pissed him off to blame me for being in kitty gear and unhealable, and yet we didn’t wipe after booting him. We somehow managed without any healer at all. Burn? Perhaps a teeny bit, yes.
Idiot, I warned the group up front I needed a few seconds to adjust on the fly, it’s not like we had any trouble at all on the first two bosses. Despite having the healer pull for me. Grumble, grumble.
That Sutralas, what a nice person. And it was so funny and cute, they told me before we dropped group that I shouldn’t take the criticism from the healer seriously, I was a good tank! Very nice person, and it was so cool to see another player offering encouragement and kind words to someone who had just had to deal with… well, idjits.
Anyway, the Druid is a story all it’s own. Gonna need more time to fine tune things like button positioning.
Sure wish I had a Druid blog to write it up on, huh?
My Death Knight was the most unexpected gift, of all of the changes.
The last time I logged into my Death Knight pre-patch, I had about 40% XP left to go before dinging 85.
When I logged in this morning, I had exactly 1 XP left before dinging. ONE.
I just kinda looked at it, shook my head, assumed it was a typo, killed one trash mob and ding. WTF?
So from there, surprise! Guess, I have a new 85… that will sit until AFTER the expansion comes out to gear up.
In the meantime, my Druid is a max level Scribe, what goodies does the DK need?
Holy crap, you can get a Glyph to make your Army of the Dead summon a wide variety of random undead! Wait, let me check it out… and yes, yes they look SWEET! Oh no, they didn’t… a Glyph to stop the Army from TAUNTING?!?!
Okay, all straight DPS Death Knights, from now on if you group with me and I’m tanking, you BETTER have that fucking Glyph active when you pop Army or I boot your ass from the run. Be told.
OOH! And a Glyph to make my Unholy perma-pet look like a Leaper!
And then… the rush left me.
What to do now?
Oh, I know… let’s make an alt. We’ve got our eleventh character slot, fill that baby up!
But what to make…
Warlock?!? Can’t make a Monk, can’t make any Pandapeoples… so what about I make the one class I don’t have that a Panda can’t ever be?
This time… this time it’ll be different! You’ll see! This time I’ll make a Warlock, and take it right to the top! And it’ll be a Gnome!
And didn’t I hear the Succubus was supposed to be a guy if you had a female Warlock? Let’s try that out! So a female Gnome!
Yeah! Do it!
What was that definition of insanity? When you do the same thing over and over, and expect to get a different result?
And I have just the name! Blackrack! ‘Cause her heart is all black and evil, pumping behind her, well, that, you know… her rack.
Yeah, whatever, I’m running out of name ideas. Bite me.
Shit, that reminds me, I have to try and reserve OldDirtyBear. Yeah ODB yeah you know me!
So, a female Gnome Warlock.
I said bite me.
I started it up, I had my Heirlooms as usual… and you know what, this wasn’t so bad.
The DPS was pretty powerful, in fact.
And is the Imp actually HELPING? Wow, it almost feels like the Imp is putting out some damage, that’s fucking new.
Okay, ding level 10, let’s see, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS DEMONOLOGY ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?
I don’t know what the hell they were smoking, but at level 10 as Demonology, I got Metamorphosis. And auto-attack is ranged chaos bolt thingies. And you get a resource that, like, refills as you KILL SHIT.
Alex looked over at what I was doing, and about had a cow right there.
So, I deleted my level 10 female Gnome Warlock (I said bite me, Gnomer) and we both made brand new Worgen Warlocks, or as Alex calls them, WWs.
Then he asked about my gear, so I showed him where to buy cloth heirlooms from the Guild Vendor, and that is when I tanked a heroic on my Druid to get him the JP he needed to buy the chest heirloom from the JP vendor.
He got Cloak, Helm and Chest. Not bad in one day. Off we went, blasting stuff together as WWs.
It’s crazy. Blueberry at level 8? Drain Life Drain Life Drain Life…
Alex loves Drain Life. He loves the idea that at level 15, he’ll be able to get an AoE Drain Life replacement.
At level 10, he became enamored of Metamorphosis, and can I just say, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve never killed shit in the Worgen starter area that fast in my life.
We did encounter a small amount of confusion with terminology.
I had to inform Alex that it is not, in fact, entirely appropriate for a nine year old to be saying he enjoyed, sigh, “sucking that guy”.
No, rephrasing it to “sucking the life out of that guy” is not much better, thank you.
In fact, and this is a sort of testament to how sheltered the language in our house can be in certain ways, he was unaware that the term “suck” could have negative connotations… meanings other than those normally associated with Hoover vacuum cleaners.
I had to let him know that he is never to say that he sucks anything, or sucks AT anything, because suck can be slang for ‘loser’, and if he were to say that he, oh I dunno, “sucked a guy so hard last night”, well, the other kids may start laughing at him and saying he admitted he was a massive loser, and we all know where that heads. I break out the baseball bat and go visit other kids dads for a ‘chat’.
Or the police come to have a little chat with ME, and rightfully so.
Oh, the baseball bat? Don’t beat the kids, beat their parents, I always say. I believe in the trickle-down theory. Shit trickles downhill.
Yes, I avoided mentioning to him what else suck can be used to describe. I’m not stupid.
While I don’t think there is anything wrong with it from anyone of the appropriate age TO anyone of the appropriate age, regardless of gender so long as both are into it, call me a prude all you like, he’s nine. He can wait on that discussion for a bit while he enjoys his Pop Tarts, Phineas and Ferb, and Legos.
And yes, sigh, “sucking the life out of that dude”.
At least I had him reflexively saying “draining” instead of sucking by the end of the night.
We were both also level 14 and almost through the entire Worgen starter area. Still feels ridiculously overpowered, and some of the neatest class toys at low levels I have ever seen.
It makes me wonder. Is this what all the classes now feel like to start at 1st after the patch? Ridiculously overpowered, full of neat toys, lots of the ‘good stuff’ right up front?
I know that I’ve tried Warlocks many times before, and I’ve never seen anything this… well, neat in the game before at level 10.
It almost felt as cool as the first time I ever played the game, on my very first character, and I had to travel to Moonglade and approach the Great Bear Spirit to try and learn how to be a Bear.
I know, right?
Shit, I’m serious, I was wondering what I was going to do for fun until the expansion came out, but this is just amazing.
So… anyone else having unexpected good times?