Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things I Liked About Wrath

There seems to be somewhat of a theme going around the bloggosphere to share thoughts about what one liked and disliked about Wrath. It's not a bad idea, and I'll jump on the train! I'll start out with some of the things I liked and continue tomorrow (or another day, you never know really) with the things I disliked. I can say at once that I definitely found more things I liked than disliked, and I'm very glad I did. Would've been horrible to have spent the last 2 years on something that overall was more bad than good.

Letting Discipline In From The Cold
One thing I really liked about wrath is how they made alot of classes more viable for raiding. They had taken steps towards this already in BC, leaving the clear cut roles everyone had in Vanilla behind, and continued on this track in Wrath. This meant alot of specs and classes suddenly found a whole new set of things to do. You didn't have to tank as a warrior and you didn't have to heal as a priest. I was the most happy about the changes made to discipline, making them a viable and awesome raid healing spec. Before Wrath, Disc was more of a pvp spec and I didn't play it much (since I never pvpd). Come Wrath I was eager to try it out and was really happy when it turned out to work beyond expectations. I mained disc for a long time during the beginning of wrath before I returned to holy, and then finally back to disc towards the end of Wrath. I'm not sure what I will focus on come Cataclysm, I feel like both disc and holy are at a pretty good place and both have some problem areas that need to be resolved. Archangel doesn't affect absorbs - fix nau! Holies have mana issues - please fix, it's affecting our entire healing throughput.

Grinding Rep Through Instancing
One thing I never did back in BC was grind rep. Rep has always been a fairly important part of the game, and I don't mind that at all. But I don't want to spend 50 hours grinding tigers to become honored with a certain faction to be able to enjoy the game. The way it worked in Vanilla sucked (as much else), the way it worked in BC, by getting rep through certain instances, definitely worked better but it still meant doing something really boring alot of times. In Wrath Blizzard went yet another step to make it a little easier to get rep with your favorite faction. See the thing I dislike about grinding is that it forces me (in case I want the reward) to do something I don't like for a long period of time. In wrath I could instead do something I liked to get my reward. Now I got rep by doing any instance, instead of a couple specific ones, which made the whole rep grinding thing less boring, less fast.

I don't like respeccing chars. Whenever I wish to play my class another way, like say shadow priest instead of healing priest, I prefer to just reroll another char with that spec. There are several reasons for this. I don't like having to learn a class at endgame. I feel like there are so many things you miss when you don't learn a class from scratch. And also I hate to collect a whole new gear. Collecting gear is honestly one of those things I don't love to do in this game. Especially not a whole gear at once. So when Dual-Spec came it saved me a lot of time "having to" level alts. And it also opens up a way for lowbies to be able to level as one thing, but play another in instances. It is funny to think about how Blizzard never initially intended for respeccing to be a big part of the game. In most rpgs, being able to respec at all is a big step. In Blizzards earlier games like Diablo 2 this isn't even possible without mods. In early Vanilla you were pretty punished by respeccing with the respec-cost being infinitely cumulative. But Blizzard quickly noticed how popular respeccing was among the players and made it more and more accessible. Hybrids enjoyed the idea to be able to switch between different roles, and others liked to be able to switch between pvp and pve. Love respecced a couple of times per week in BC, going between tanking, healing and dpsing as needed. I am extremely happy about Dual-Speccing, and would love Triple-Speccing of course. But maybe it would be kind of silly to be able to play all the trees of your class at any time. Or maybe not?

I play alot of instances. Instancing is one thing that really has kept my interest throughout the years, since anything can happen really. Being able to log on and quickly jump into an instance (at least if I choose to tank or heal) is probably what I do the most in WoW at the moment. Quick leisure when I want it. Maybe "leisure" is the wrong word, pugging can be extremely tedious after all. But it is actually a big thing about what I love about it. Doing a nice run is extremely rewarding, whether I dps, tank or heal and I never bore of it. The only thing that wasn't much fun about pugging was for a long time to get a group together. I often never bothered. I stayed in the LFG-channel and whispered anyone who was collecting a group if it seemed interesting. That way I could play another char while keeping an eye out for something to do on another char. The only thing I dislike about the LFD-tool is how it forces me to be on the char I want to join with. Maybe it is too much to ask, but on some characters I really have nothing else to do but stand around and wait in Dalaran for 20 minutes before I get a group. I could fly around and gather something, but I don't even have that option on some of my chars. So I mostly join the tool with my tank or healer chars. Overall I am extremely happy with the tool however, as it allows for way faster access to dungeon groups. What took over an hour to accomplish before usually doesn't take more than 5-15 minutes today.

The Events and Immersion
Blizzard implemented alot of events into the expansion which made our actions feel more epic than ever before. Phasing became a regular thing, setting players differences in progression into more focus and emphazising your part in the adventure and your effect on the world. They implemented more scripts, cinematics and other things like this to make your actions feel more worthwhile. In a sense Blizzard have had this kind of features for a long time. Killing Onyxia made her head appear in Orgrimmar/Stormwind with a herald proclaiming of some guilds victory, already back in vanilla. But that is more about e-peen than sensing your place in the lore. In Wrath we had events like Wrathgate, Algalon destroying the world, Yogg-Saron destroying minds and tons of little things scattered all across Northrend that made us players more immersed into the lore of the expansion than ever before. The only other times I have felt this kind of immersion is between expansion when Blizzard threw in some world-events to prepare us for what was to come, like they are doing now with the Elemental Invasion. In Wrath we got to see these kind of events on a more regular basis, and it really made me enjoy my questing and raiding a whole lot more.

These are some of things I really enjoyed about Wrath. If you are doing a list of your own I'd love to check it out, so leave me a comment about it!


  1. I don't think, that I have a really objective point of view, because my first character reached the level cap with WOTLK, but the things you've listed reflecting my opinions quite well. However,Dual Specs = no doubt. And the LFD Tool is even as damage dealer quite handy, if you know how to keep yourself away from getting bored or know a friend, who is going to gear up his new lvl 80 tank.

    Beside from the changes in discipline, which caused it to be compatible with PvE and PvP, penance made the biggest difference for me. I really enjoyed this skill a lot, in both genres, and it made this spec quite unique. I once played a priest as main too and started with playing as a holy, but somehow I didn't manage to keep one PUG or heroic alive. Disc was a bit trickier, but worked very well. Maybe I'm just to dumb for holy.
    This makes it even more interesting for me, that discipline is, in the current state of game, about to replace holy completely due the bad responses of the community.
    Some things may be buggy at the moment, like the chakra-group-heal-thingy, which causes only one of these AoE heals to be active. But on the other side I don't see the mana non-efficiency as one of the biggest problems. It would rather make it more difficult and challenging . Do you remember that 5-second mp5 rule thingy ? Somehow it was an advantage to heal by smashing your head on group heals, but it also caused the role of healing to loose it's challenge. From the viewpoint of a warlock, a damage dealer, I expect to do a lot more crowd control in the future to raid efficiently. Disciplines got an damage aspect to boost their healing and mana, but what got holy ? Maybe it's going to end up, as heal intensive spec with a challenging mana management, after all bugs are cleared. I would appreciate it.

    Maybe I'm going to do such a list too. I'll let you know.

  2. @Vasburg
    No I don't mind mana issues at all, but no one wants to be the only one with such a problem ^^ And the cc is something I wanted to mention in my next post. The lack of cc has struck warlocks especially imo, since they've got so much potential in this area which hasn't been used at all in Wrath, something I have been ranting about before.

  3. If you have nothing to do while waiting for a group you can always pick up that fishing rod and go make yourself some money ;) Fishing has given me lots of gold and if you are skilled in cooking you can make even more money by cooking the fish before you sell it. Better than just sitting around Dalaran doing nothing.

    There are so many things that I liked about WotLK. The LFG-tool and dual spec on top ofc but the first thing tjat popped into my mind when I started reading your post was The Nexus, the 5-man instance. I absolutely love how it looks. Coming from red deserts and poison green lands this icy blue instance was so pretty I almost wiped the group 'cus I forgot to heal, I was too bissy looking at the scenery :) I got better ;)

    Also I like the achievment-thingio, when there is nothing else to do, do something brailess like explore all of Azeroth. You even get points for being bored :D and sometimes you get rewards like pets, tabards or even mounts :)


  4. I just love your blog, Zinn. I used to look at forums on wowhead and thottbot when I was bored at work. But in September, they changed our internet access and blocked gaming sites. That's when I began my search for a WoW related site that wouldn't get blocked. And I found your blog!! I love it. I check for new blogs every day and have been looking back at your older ones too.

    Anyway. One other thing I urge everyone to do before Cata, is go on a world tour of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Take in the sights, think about your fond memories of leveling through those lands...perhaps multiple times if you're another altoholic like me. I did this and actually got a little teary-eyed when I thought about what was going to happen to poor auberdine and ashenvale. All of my toons leveled through those areas. Soon the world will be a much different place.

    Anyway, if you want to know more about me, I have a page on

  5. @L
    Hmm fishing? Not a bad idea actually, I don't have a single char with max fishing on my main server! Yes I really loved The Nexus too, especially the music. I hope they'll have awesome instances like this in cata too.

    Wow thanks! I'm really glad you like my random ramblings :)
    Yeah I was thinking the very same thing today, that I really should take this last chance to go on a tour around Azeroth and screenshot some of my favorite places (seeing as the sundering might come next week?). I actually think I'd regret it if I didn't, so I'll prolly take some evening this weekend doing this.

  6. This end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-thingy is making me a bit stressed, there will be no turning back!

    Also, a tip. Try fishing in the fountain in Dalaran, the one next to the fishing trainer. The coins you can catch tell little stories and sometimes gossip. Also there is an achievement to catch them all... ofc ;)