Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Tonight, Deathwing Returns…And Now Here’s Bob with the Weather

So patch 4.0.3 hit last night and everyone is either a) up in arms because their portals/favorite spec/damage/heals/old tree form/cappuccino bar is gone, or b) very pleased with the changes in the world landscape/questlines/race-class combinations/guild mechanics. Personally, I’m a little of both of these. Am I happy that Warriors got hit with the ugly stick yet again? Not at all. Do I like the cosmetic changes to the old world setting? Absolutely. Do I want my portals back? Hells yes…well, except for my mage. Katsuko is raking in portal tip cash by the bucketful. I’ve already had to go get more portal reagents twice in the last 2 days (normally I only need to buy them once every few weeks…guess I need to rememorize the location of reagent vendors in Org and Dal again). Am I having fun? Dude, I’m having a blast. This is just what the doctor ordered for this game.

So like one of my favorite blogging compatriots, Dechion, the first thing I did after getting the kids fed and put away for the night was log on and roll up my undead hunter, which was THE thing I was most looking forward to. Had a name picked out, bags and gold ready on my trusty bank alt, and even knew where I was going to train his main pet (a Lion that will be getting named “Akodo,” naturally). Ergo, Shigetoshi was born…or died…or both; and let me just say that the new “awakening” portion of the Undead creation process is fantastic. Levels 1-10 are completely updated with very compelling vignette stories, which I certainly appreciate, and immediately immerses you into the game experience. Compared to early leveling before, this feels much more like you inserting yourself into the canon story rather than playing an FPS until you get to Silverpine/Barrens/Westfall/wherever. For now, Shigs has a Darkhound pet, which is very not bad for leveling as far as ferocity pets are concerned.

Also, the scenery! The beauty of the environment is outstanding, and I was very happy with the way the early Brill/Tirisfal questlines were arranged. No more running halfway across the continent to do inane things with/to Gnolls or grinding 200 mobs for 8 moldy fingernails. Quest item drop rates are much higher, at least early on, which can only increase your sense of accomplishment if you’re just now picking up the game.

I could go on and on, but let me just finish up with a few nice things I’ve noticed:

The faction-specific quartermasters. This is an outstanding addition. For 10 silver, you can buy a tabard for each faction in their major cities. Like the LK factions, these tabards will allow you to grind rep for that faction while in any dungeon. Once you hit Exalted, which shouldn’t take too long with your home city, there are a number of excellent blue BOP items for sale at low prices, and a 16-slot bag that runs a little over 1G is available at Revered.

FPs in starter cities. Brill, Razor Hill, and the cow city all now have FPs to the capitol a la the Space Goat and Blood Elf baby pools.

Cosmetic baby gear improvements. Your starting gear looks much more like a military uniform or Nordstrom’s off-the-rack stuff, rather than something from the Homeless-Crackhead-of-the-Month-Club catalogue.

Hellscream's Temporary Staffing Services, Inc. I mostly just found this amusing. However, I'm interested in seeing what odd jobs for heroes get tossed up there in the future. Maybe unique weeklies? Special quests that hand out Feat of Strength achievements? Envelope stuffing for the Argent Crusade's membership drive?

New Orgrimmar. My God, Blizzard outdid themselves here. I really wish Undercity would have gotten a facelift like this, but Orgrimmar is a beautiful sight to behold. It can almost make me forget that Hellscream’s dumbest progeny is now running the place. Almost.

Dude, valium. Speaking of, I talked to Hellscream last night just for fun and HE STILL TALKS LIKE THIS NO MATTER WHAT HE IS SAYING! CAN I BORROW A CUP OF SUGAR! I'M MAKING PIE AND NEED SUGAR! GIVE ME SUGAR OR I WILL DESTROY ALL YOU LOVE! I miss Thrall already...

OK, time to go. Need to jump back on my hunter for a bit. Remembrancer: Part II is in the can and being edited. Be prepared for a time jump.

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