Whenever a big patch like this hits us we get a bunch of changes. Some are quite obvious - new zones, new quests, new class-race combos. But some are less obvious and usually on a community scale. Changing zones could for instance change the way the community behaves in those zones. Remove Goldshire and you'd remove a whole lot of whacky stuff that goes on there. I am quite sure Barrens chat will never be the same now that Barrens has undergone such a grand transformation. I'll let it be unsaid whether that is a good or a bad thing. One group of people who usually have a really good sense in telling which way the wind blows are the auction house campers. Seemingly subtle changes could have enourmous effects on a whole nother level, a level most of us don't care much to keep track off. If you do, there is a possibility for great profit however. But this is just an example. I won't talk about making money from some change that occured during this patch. Instead I'd like to highlight another change in which you can profit, but not gold - but good times.
Like I mentioned yesterday in passing by I rolled a troll druid. I deleted my old druid and made her fresh. I really had no affection for my old druid so there was no loss in deleting her. The only sligtly interesting trivia about her is that I rolled her simultanously as Love rolled his main, and we had intended to level up together as druids (seeing as we both met as druids). But I got bored and tired of her already so many years ago, and I never really found an interest for her. I only managed to get to 80 at all because I could switch between healing, tanking, melee dps and caster dps, and it still took me years! But I am having a total blast with my troll druid. Don't ask me to explain it. Maybe I never had a problem with the class, I just really didn't want to play it as a tauren, and especially not as a female tauren. Why I rolled one in the first place? Well, I didn't know it'd be so horrible! It also took me a really long time to realize that that was the real problem.
I did alot of instancing with my troll druid and it was when doing this I noticed something really interesting. I did all the lowbie instances at least once and I'll give a quick comment on them although that's not the point of this post (I'll get there, just you wait);
- Deadmines - Completely changed, I love it. Bosses are much harder and much more fun. New quests, new mobs, everything. The instance looks the same, but it's much more fun to do.
- Ragefire Chasm - Pretty much the same as it used to be, the same mobs but more cool loot.
- Wailing Caverns - Quests have been made easier to complete, otherwise it was very much the same which means it is still a long, rather boring maze.
- Shadowfang Keep - Completely changed. I don't know about alliance, but as a horde you get a rather interesting experience. I really liked it.
- Blackfathom Deeps - Pretty much the same.
- Stockades - Completely changed. Now has different kinds of mobs in the various wings, although I can't understand why anyone would want to imprison elementals (says something about the alliance ey?). One of the endbosses was a really fun suprise.
Overall all the bosses have become alot more difficult. Killing a boss prepatch usually took some 10-20 seconds, even with a really bad group. Now they take around a minute, and some bosses have the most dreadful skills. First boss in SFK uses an aoe which takes everyone down to some 2-5% hp, that was a shocker I tell you *phew*. In some cases you might even need some sort of tactic to avoid any deaths. Alot of "unecessary" mobs have been taken away, like all those trash miners in Deadmines (they are now replaced by neutral mining monkeys (yes, seriously)) and the quests have been easily accessible by having all quest npcs located at the entrance of each instance. Nicely done Blizzard! Another interesting change is that not only the bosses have become more difficult, but everything seems to be a little more difficult. Eventhough I have a nice healing gear with BoA and other good blue items for healing, I'm having real trouble with my healing since I'm not healing specced. I can't say for sure if healing might be really difficult even when in a healing spec, but I can tell you that being in the wrong spec sure makes things alot tougher. I've actually considered not healing until I can dual spec for it, pre patch healing with the wrong spec wouldn't be much of a problem at all. But people die now. And not due to overpulls or crazy runs but due to regular mobs. This might sound like a bad thing, but I really like it. You can't just blast through an instance anymore, you actually need a little skill and teamwork. I will put emphasize on "little" here, because lowbie instances are still not difficult. Just alot more interesting than they used to be.
But let's get back on track with this post shall we. So I was doing alot of instancing yesterday, and since I was a hybrid, and even have BoA for both caster and melee, I tried all roles as well. And through all those instances I noticed something really interesting. Or rather, I noticed the lack of something really annoying;
- We had no one needing on items randomly (except a hunter who needed on an intellect ring, but that's more sad than annoying).
- We had no one complain about anything that went slightly unplanned.
- Everyone knew where to go.
- Everyone were doing their job! Omg! I've always felt like there is always at least one (usually dps) that is a total slacker when doing randoms. Not once during all these runs yesterday did we have a slacker.
- Everyone knew what to do. I even had some people who ccd, crazy I tell you.
- People didn't say much, but when they did it was something neutral or friendly. No caps? I don't believe my eyes.
So overall I didn't have a single horrible run yesterday (and counting some runs today as well). I usually have a 30/70 chance of getting into a horrible run when pugging, where 30% chance is the chance to get into a bad group but yesterday it was 100% smooth. Was this pure chance? Was I having so much fun with my druid that I didn't notice all the horrors that went down around me? I don't think so. I have a theory...
I kept thinking about it, what could it be that is making all my pugs so generally good? And I realized the most plausible reason was that most of them were alts to serious mains. Players who don't usually play alts, but who have waited for this patch specifically to reroll that special character they've really longed for. Like a tauren paladin. Or like my troll druid (I don't count though, I play alts all the time). So I was basically doing a lowbie run with a bunch of players who usually probably only raid or do the occasional heroic. In any case it sure felt like it. People were being professional (aka silent and doing their job) and polite when talking. Even when blue boe items dropped no one needed. And I don't mind people being new to the game, but there are bad noobs and good noobs too. And I usually end up with the bad ones. This time I didn't end up with a newbie at all. So my weekly recommendation really has to be - if you've wanted to roll an alt but dreaded the horrible pug groups, roll one now. Quickly! Before they've all outleveled you and you're stuck with the horrible players again.