All I can say is that it’s a dream. The quest flow is smooth, controlled, the amount of meaningless travel back and forth is gone, the addition of the new flightpoints improves travel massively. Rather than running / riding between two points and having to give 100% attention to the game “just in case” I have a couple of minutes to focus outside of the game or just look at the scenery.
MMO-Champion has linked to a nice image which shows the flow of levelling through from the starter areas, and it feels “right”, currently my Shaman (level 40) is running what I will loosely call the “Dwarf” / “Eastern Kingdoms, North” quest route (Loch Modan / Wetlands / Plaguelands), the major upshot of which is I now have to level a horde alt to Andorhal so I can see their side of that storyline. Damn you Blizzard.
For the new player the quests are telling a consistent story of the world following the remodelling done by our new arch enemy, for the player who’s seen this all before we get to see the changes, spot NPCs in new locations / roles and watch the slightly daft RP at the Menethil docks by the crew of a ship which hasn’t moved since launch which has now sunk.
So roll up something new and get out there and look around.
As I write Deathwing and his army of minions (subcontracted out to Blizzard) are busy breaking the world and generally trashing the place. I also understand there is a crack squad of gnomes with capped engineering following through rebuilding some of the damage and putting in new flight points.
So, what did I do on the last night of the original world?
Firstly Wubbles got Kingslayer, the group (a mix of Nosferatu & ItP people) clicked last night, defile landed in the right place and as everyone who has got the kill knows once that happens he’s as good as dead.
After that blitzed through the final parts of Pilgrim on Korenwolf. I just couldn’t summon the enthusiasm last year after power levelling cooking on the alts. However with this title I have the complete set of World Event meta achievements. There’s a few non-meta achievements left (such as the mask for all occasions on from Hallows End) which I’ll womble through as they come round, however I think I just mark that part of the OCD grind as “Mission Acomplished”.
It’s official, the Beta is done, complete, finished, and shutdown.
This means that Korvenwolf and Wubbilina have expired, their brief lives cut cruelly short after having explored part of the new content, reported many bugs (some of them more than once).
Despite having seen everything up to halfway through Uldum I’m looking forward to running it again, partly because we’ll be doing our tag-team levelling again (this is a good thing), we have level 1 slots lined up ready for the new combos and races, with the changes to the world this will be like getting a whole new game again.
Then there’s the dungeons and raiding. Korenwolf is all lined up to tank his way through to 85 and into the raid content, however there shall be a part of him which is forever held in limbo, sat in Uldum waiting for the developers to polish out those progress blocking quests. Hopefully he was able to slip back to Ironforge while I wasn’t looking and will be spending eternity in the Inn of his choice.
I suspect he’s got enough gold to keep him going for more than a few years.
If we’re to believe MMO Champion The Shattering will be here this week, tomorrow in fact for the US.
So it’s time for the mass evacuation of Dalaran, making sure that everyone in Azeroth is in the bunkers with plenty of food and ale.
Oh, and marshmellows, plenty of them.
On the big plus side, lots of new flight points, including my personal favourite. Goldshire. No more having to run down from the Stormwind gates for whatever world event / holiday is running.
Extended downtime confirmed for the US
Like Leafshine I welcome our new elemental overlords, just so long as they keep spanking Mr Hellfire Stompy.
Via MMO Champ and many many other places
What is not in:
- Creating worgen/goblin characters
- Worgen/Goblin start zones
- Professions past 450 (Illustrious Grand Master)
- Guild leveling
- Guild achievements
- Eastern Kingdoms/Kalimdor flight
- New Zones (80+)
What is in:
- Portals in Dalaran/Shattrath Removed
- Class trainers in Dalaran where portals once were
- New race-class combinations (excluding worgen/goblin)
- New Gnome/Troll starting areas
- Changes to existing zones
- New cata load screens
- New cata intro cinematic
- New cata login screen
- New music
- City Quartermasters, with rep tabards
- Bug fixes
- Class balancing
- Druids, paladins, priests, and shaman will have their talent trees reset
- Experience required to gain levels 71 through 80 is being reduced by 20%
- New tamable hunter pets (Monkey, fox, dog, and beetle, as well as new skins for existing pet classes.)
As many of us are already aware the shattering itself is live on the PTR, no major details available yet but I’m expecting some staged questlines to keep us busy between the patch and the 7th when everything kicks off properly.
So in my wisdom I’ve subscribed to the MMO champ RSS feed, stupid me.
One of the first posts is a whine from someone in the US that the EU will be going live first, how this isn’t fair, how this means all the world firsts will go to the EU and so on. I’m sure I don’t need to link to the post for you to get a firm idea of the content or the followups.
So specially for any readers in the US, I feel for you, if I could magically change the universe so we had a hoop shaped sun which turned on and off (single global timezone) I would. However in this spinning world we have the flow of light across the land and sea is a fact of live. Something which I’m very well aware of having to work with people in India, Indonesia, Germany, Austria, Canada, the US (Dallas, Seattle) and so on. Timezones are a pain.
However please don’t forget that for every single damm patch except the initial launch of a new expansion the US gets the content 24 hours ahead of the EU, so please sit back, enjoy the new content (it’s pretty, the mobs hit hard, and by the gods do the 5-man normal bosses punch) and relax a little.
For gods sake people, it’s a damm game.