The Grouchy Gamer

Yeah, I'm cranky. That's kinda the point...

WoW Patch 3.1 is a Win

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.

5 Comments

  1. The design of the Ulduar instance has impressed me. I have only seen 3 bosses briefly, but the layout, flow and artwork of the instance was well done imo. Per usual, the encounters are interesting. They are indeed harder than Naxx to boot.

  2. That’s cool Brent. I haven’t had a chance to do any instance stuff. My guild is on Naxx, but we’re still leveling up to meet them. I’ve made it from 60-67 in the last week plus, but 80 still seems so far away.

  3. I love WoW, but even I have to admit the game is pretty broken now. Every change they make is to create an easier game for the masses. Not to mention the crazy R.A.F program that a couple of my friends started using to level up characters and a few noobies we recruited. One guy has gone from 1 to 41 in less than 2 weeks with very limited play time. Even I manage to make 1 – 2 levels a day, even without the rest bonus, or the triple xp from an R.A.F account.

    I’m not saying I dislike WoW. But with noobies leveling through content so fast and taking certain skill books out of the game so people don’t have to travel to new zones, it’s pretty much watering down the game from 1 – 70. Which is a very sad thing.

  4. @Oak-

    I know what you mean. I think they have basically removed the 1-58 part of the game. DK’s did the same thing (obviously.) I think they feel like everyone who wanted to play the classic game has played it, and they are looking for a way to get people to the Outlands then Northrend, where the current game is played. I’m not inclined to care about the loss of the lower level game, because honestly if you want to play it it’s still there. It’s a smart move on Blizzard’s part to put this mechanism in, because mostly it encourages people to buy extra licenses and level characters on new accounts rather than existing accounts. This equals incremental revenue for them.

  5. It basically works like a Mentoring system, except it doesn’t help the noobies learn anything if they out level instances. Also, if someone has two accounts to take advantage of the system only to level up an alt faster is great, but if they don’t effectively learn to play the new class correctly then they end up gimping PuGs and other groups. Sure its great to have an instance Druid, but at what cost to other gamers?

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