Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Random Thoughts on Cataclysm

So, Cataclysm is finally here. As with my first post after the Shattering, this will just be a random mash up of impressions and thoughts.

I decided to respecc my  priest to a more quest-friendly spec. Don't worry, I didn't go shadow. I've leveled as healer all the time and I don't intend to stop now. It's not because I enjoy torturing myself, but because I find shadow priesting dreadfully boring. That doesn't mean I have to make things harder than they already are. Unlike previous expansions I'll not level as holy, but as disc. The reason is simply because the smite spec has moved from the holy tree to the disc tree. Earlier expansions I was aiming at talents like Surge of Light. But that has been revamped and now sucks, so now I am aiming at atonement instead. And shields of course. Speaking of shields, they're part of the talent changes I've made. I specced into Reflective Shield, because it's perfect to get those small damages going. You know when the mob has 2000 hp left and you don't want to bother with another smite but don't want to wand/dagger it to death either? I also specced into Darkness instead of Empowered healing, since I expect to do alot of smiting, but not so much healing while leveling.

Alliance vs Horde
Tensions could be high considering alliance and horde have to get along with whatever quest mobs there are. So far everything is going fairly well. I haven't come across any gankers myself, but heard about some in guild chat. The bad thing is, there are people everywhere, which kind of takes the edge of questing and exploring. Like a worn out vacation place with too many tourists. Nothing is left of the natives. On the other hand this means everyone is looking out for eachother, and no one is left along with a trigger happy alliance (or horde if you're alliance). Sure there is some snatching of quest mobs and items, but right not the respawn rate is so high, almost too high actually, that that's a minor problem. Now I'm rather having problems with being stuck somewhere killing mobs because they just won't stop spawning.

Back to the old
Blizzard are clearly going back to the old with the new design themes, at least to some part. No crazy space theme and no crazy viking theme, but a Vanilla theme. To some of us it might seem a little boring, but honestly guys - those of us who can say "we were around when Vanilla was all there was" are probably not the majority of the WoW player base. To many people this will seem fresh and interesting. But to the rest of us it's very... Molten Corish, with all the fire and burned stuff (at least the first area). And hey look, is that Ragnaros? But I don't dislike it either. Old can still be good.

Realm Firsts
Like I told you about I had a friend and a couple of guildies who were aiming at some realm firsts. Well they  didn't quite make it. Alliance have always been alot better in pve than horde on my server, and seems they were better at this as well. I've seen Realm Firsts dropping in all day, and not many of those have belonged to horde players. I think the first level 85 char was an alliance paladin who must've gathered a bunch of quest turn ins, beside the dailies. Like Waterlogged Recipe. With that dedication I can only congratulate him/her on the achievement.

Choices choices
One thing that always disturbed me about questing in Wow is how we are sometimes asked to do things that I don't necessarily agree with. Torturing and killing people, when it could've been done another way? It's not just the over-violence that sometimes gets to me, I'm undead after all so I should like it (and I'm not one of those who think violence in a game has to be a bad thing automatically). It's the fact that we're not given an option at all. Maybe I want to tell the quest giver to shove it? Or just do the quest another way? Sometimes I just feel like a mindless slave being the pawn of every npc in the game. And sometimes Blizzard lets us know this extra well, like with one of the starting quests in the night elf area. A satyr asks you to kill some of the local wildlife, and later on you get a reprimand for just following orders from anyone without thinking. Well, story of my questing WoW-career innit? But not anymore. Blizzard have implemented alot of quests that give you an option in how to proceed. Some even include either sparing someones life or not. I don't think either choice is better than the other, but I enjoy the opportunity to do things my way. It does bring something extra to the game.

Everything you gather now - cloth, meats, volatiles, herbs etc - is worth buttloads of money. Sure you could skill your profession. Or you could sell the stuff you get today, and buy 10 times more in a couple of days. Trust me, you'll win in the end if you sell today. Herbs and cloths are going for 5g each on my server, small heavenly shards are at just below 100g. These prices will drop dramatically over the next few days, but there always seem to be people who are willing to pay these ridiculous prices just to get things done at once. I don't get it, but hey, I'm not complaining.

How do I get back?
Trying to get back to some of the areas once you've been there and out turned out to be really tricky. Well actually the solution is really simple. You get there initially by taking the starting quests from the Warboard in the major cities. But what if I join an instance and then hs out and my hs is set in a whole nother place? How do I get back without a starting quest?! It took me a while to figure out, a whole lot of googling, but like I said the answer is actually quite simple. The major city, Orgrimmar/Stormwind, has portals to all these areas. Entering it will take you to the latest inn you discovered. The portals in Orgrimmar are in the Valley of Wisdom, unfortunately I don't know where the portals are located for alliance (I'm not even entirely sure they're in SW). But knowing they exist might save you some time.

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