Friday, August 24, 2012

World of Warcraft Patch 5.0.4

A short time before a World of Warcraft expansion hits they release a major patch to the servers which includes most of the infrastructure changes for the expansion. I really like this idea because people playing the game seriously tend to have wound down by this point so it lets them 'test' the infrastructure changes in a large but non-critical environment. This likely contributes a lot to their actual expansion launches being so smooth. These patches also tend to be an exciting time for current players since they get to play around with the new changes and Blizzard also tends to throw a major world event in at some point. (Sometimes these events are terrible like when players turned into zombies are got to PvP each other in capitals but they're still exciting I guess.)

Yesterday I tried to get a scroll of resurrection from my old high school friend Bubba but it turns out when I took a free week back in March in order to play ironman mode I made myself ineligible. You need to be inactive since at least March 5th and I'd played that first week of March. Oh well. I wasn't planning on using the free server transfer anyway so mostly I just lose a free level 80 character and Bubba loses a mount. I wanted to get a free level 80 mage in case we needed one for challenge dungeons but it's not actually a big deal I don't think. But if anyone else does want a scroll let me know; I am planning on reactivating sometime this weekend.

The new patch will hit the servers on Tuesday. Interestingly Blizzard has put all of the current expansions on massive sale until the end of the day Monday. $20 instead of $80 and I would imagine it comes with a free month? Works with recruit a friend... 

So, what infrastructure changes are the making for this patch? I haven't played in a year so some of these changes are modifying things I never used but it seems like a pretty extensive and awesome list. In particular:

- They're killing talent trees. Now at 6 points in time you get to choose one option from a list of 3. Not having trees at all makes me a little sad but I understand that trees didn't actually give many options despite having lots of things to click on. I'm tentatively excited about this.
- All the classes are seeing major changes. Hunters have no dead zone, for example, and can shoot in melee range. Guns are actually becoming 'melee' weapons since they're removing the ranged slot entirely. Shaman totems will no longer be passive buffs and will have short term interesting effects. Feral druids are getting split in two and druids are going to have 4 specs instead of 3 like everyone else. Warriors are seeing major rage changes. Rogue poisons are being split into two groups and you get one of each so you no longer have to choose between doing more damage or slowing the enemy. Long warlock cooldowns will get reset on boss wipe which is awesome. I hope that will apply to other classes like the DK Army of the Dead.
- Glyphs are getting changes again. I wonder if this will create a money making opportunity...
- AoE looting! If there was one thing I really liked about Star Wars: The Old Republic it was AoE looting. Blizzard has stolen it and that's fantastic!
- Lots of stuff is going account wide. In particular, achievements and mounts! Unfortunately I think my gladiator mount isn't getting this treatment which makes me sad since I'm unlikely to really play my warrior.
- PvP stat changes which may or may not make gearing for PvP make more sense.
- Head enchants are going away. I think there will still be reputations to grind up but you won't need to get specific ones first for head enchants. 

It doesn't sound like pet battles are coming in until the actual expansion. Pandas, monks, the higher level cap, and the new zones are also delayed. That makes sense. But there is enough new stuff to toy around with that I think it makes sense to poke around now. Maybe after MLG ends for the night...

10 comments:

Sky said...

I suddenly feel the need to be resurrected! Gotta build me a big ass spreadsheet.

Caspur said...

Toss me a rez too. It might be fun to poke around with.

Tom said...

I was annoyed to find out I had used a free trial week just recently enough to be ineligible for a rez scroll. I guess I'll resub soon to check stuff out. Any idea what classes people are playing?

Nick Page said...

Pretty sure Sky wants to play a paladin and I will likely be playing a death knight. No idea beyond that.

Bung said...

I want to try out the monk... I might want to just create a new account though

Nick Page said...

A new account? Why? You want to level the monk at triple speed?

pounder said...

I'm likely going to start playing again. I don't think I want any of the benefits of the scroll but if anyone wants a mount feel free to send me a scroll. I'm probably going to start playing in Sept when I'm back in the country.

Bung said...

My old account is full!

Nick Page said...

Hah! It seems like with an 11th class they should give you an extra character slot, huh?

Though I can see not wanting to delete someone... Isn't starting a new account and leaving the old one inactive a lot like deleting 10 characters?

Nick Page said...

FYI: They confirmed an 11th character slot is in for Mists.