Friday, June 07, 2013

Azarothian Lure

Blizzard sent me a nice email earlier this week begging me to come back and play World of Warcraft again. 7 free days, they said! Check out our new features and then pay us lots of money! WoW will always have a special place in my heart. I am not one of those people who quit the game and now act like I hate what it's become. But maybe that's because it was never the game itself that drove me away. My issue has always been not having enough people who don't make me crazy to play with.

Of course, WoW has lots of single player content kicking around too. Not enough to really sustain how much I tend to want to play a game, but still quite a bit. Having not played in months the idea of getting 7 free days to check out the new stuff is actually rather appealing. I probably won't run into people to sustain my needs to keep playing, but I can at least check out new features and see what's up.

But first, I need to read through the patch notes. What's actually new?

Heroic scenarios! Three man content, so probably not something I get to check out, but I was always a little sad that scenarios were so easy. I like that there are harder versions now!

Offspec loot! One of the things I found frustrating while leveling up after the last expansion came out was that I quested in a DPS spec since that was fastest, but that meant all the quests gave DPS rewards. When I hit max level I had no gear at all that could feasibly be used to tank dungeons. They've put in a toggle now where spec specific loot options can be toggled to a different spec, so I could have picked up a few DPS upgrades from the first couple quests in a zone and then switched to tank loot in order to have a viable tanking set going too. It also makes it plausible to do raids or world bosses with your best gear while still picking up loot for the other spec. You used to need to pug raids as an undergeared spec in order to become geared in that spec. Letting people play with their best stuff and get better in another role seems fantastic for pug success rates.

World bosses are now tag to faction, which is an interesting concept. So I just need to fly around and hit a boss for loot and don't need to bother talking to people to get into a raid!

There's a quest for warlocks to turn their fire green! FINALLY!

Tons of pet battle system upgrades, including what sounds like elite pets to fight? Also you can find battle pets on old raid bosses... A new reason to go solo Molten Core? I like it!

There's a whole solo PvE combat system modeled after Fight Club that sounds interesting.

Also lots of new quest chains and stuff surrounding the story of Pandaria. And new raids, and battlegrounds, and scenarios. Basically it sounds a lot like what I would have expected. Lots of new content and some system upgrades. Reading patch notes like these makes me realize just how big a mountain any new MMO has to climb if they want to 'slay' World of Warcraft. Unless Blizzard really goofs I just can't see it happening.

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