In spite of some transitory technical problems they had with the switchover to 3.1, Blizzard has done some great things to WoW in the new patch.
I know that not all of you are WoW fans. I know that I’ve been a critic myself (see blog title, so yeah) from time to time. But you have to give them credit when they get it right. For me, they definitely did. Some of the things that I think are really cool;
- Cooldown on your soulstone is now 30 minutes. About damn time. In concert with being a Shaman and Tarkheena having a high-level mage, I don’t waste nearly as much time traveling as I used to.
- In tradeskilling, a lot of the recipes have been simplified to not need certain mundane items. I like this too. Either you have a system where it’s truly complex and exclusive for people who like complexity in the crafting mini-game, or it’s simple, in which case it should be simple to the bone. Don’t give everyone access to making things then make them travel for a hour for a spice pack from a vendor.
- This applies mostly to me and to about 10% of the player base but; Shaman. I’ve specced my guy as Elemental for now, until such time that I dual spec him as Resto/Elem. As an elemental shaman, he’s doing some pretty decent damage. I don’t even have good gear and I’m out-damaging people I wouldn’t expect to out-damage. Long overdue for the shaman class.
There are a lot of little things that have been changed in the game, most of which simplify things that were unnecessarily complex or had an odd mechanism. Some examples;
- Running mounted into water no longer dismounts you. All running mounts learned how to swim.
- Applying a Glyph no longer requires a Lexicon of Power.
- Cooking and First Aid have had the training books removed, you just get training from the trainer now.
- Gathering times have been reduced.
- If you hold the ALT key over an equipped item, it will show you a pop-up with other items in your inventory that you could equip in that slot.
- Confirmation box has been added for transactions over 150 Gold
- You can now use your talent window as a talent calculator when speccing. You can check a box in your display tab that allows you to change your spec and check it in total before you commit, instead of committing to each one as you click.
One thing that I’m finding as a caster that has made the game a little more complicated and a little harder is that resting Mana regen has been cut by 40%. That means more pots and drinks in inventory, and I can see Alchemy becoming more important for complex and long encounters.
Overall this is looking like a good patch. I’ll let you know more as I get some play testing time.