Ok, so we’ve burned through the Northrend content. Woot! Level 80! This post might be a little jargon-heavy so I’ve linked jargony words to their wowwiki explanations.
Because I want to end on a good note, I’ll start with the “bad”:
1. Hunter nerfs. I’m a hunter. Beastmasters (BM) were nerfed big time, but I still feel the wrath as a Marksman (MM). Particularly when potential raid partners don’t realized BM has been nerfed and (try to) encourage me to respec. There are several spells that do less damage or have fewer advantages. Either that or good spells now have horrible trade-offs.
2. Dragons. It seems really cool, but I actually find it a bit annoying to jump into some “vehicle” that takes up the entire screen to fly back and forth collecting refugees or something just for the sake of doing it. WoW is not Starfox, it’s an RPG. What role am I playing when I hop into a dragon to do overly-complicated quests for the sake of “different” content? I know a lot of people think these additions are cool and my opinion on this won’t be popular, but I play WoW for a certain experience and I think these additions change the nature of the game too much. Also, it’s a nightmare for people on laptops. And I’m sorry, but the Oculus is just ridiculous.
3. No epic PVP gear at level 80! But I hear it’s coming.
4. Arctic fur. Sigh.
6. Various issues. There are the typical bugs that crop up when a new game is released. Terrain issues (i.e., getting stuck in the ground in some invisible hole, etc); server issues; bugged quests; bugged dungeon drops; bugged other things (more on that below); and various other video game foibles that need to be fixed over the long term.
Speaking of bugs, there’s something going on with the pet spellbook. At first I thought Cower was broken because it kept going on autocast without me telling it to. So I put it on my pet bar to turn it off manually. To do that I had to replace Prowl. All of a sudden, Prowl kept going on autocast. So it wasn’t that Cower was broken like I thought (or like Wow Insider’s podcast thought), it’s whatever “5th” (or extra in some way) spell that’s not on the main pet bar. Since I have Growl on autocast almost all the time anyway, I put Cower and Prowl on my pet bar. But that is not an ideal solution. Essentially I had to put 2 useless things on my convenience bar for the sake of keeping them useless and put one thing on that I don’t necessarily want on all the time. All because I’m too lazy to come up with a macro.
Ok so enough bitching. Good things:
1. Good dungeons, Oculus notwithstanding. The first Northrend dungeon if you start in Borean Tundra is Nexus. It is a good first dungeon for WotLK. Fairly straightforward without being overly boring. The dungeon that stands out the most, though, is Caverns of Time; particularly The Culling of Stratholme. WoW players should definitely check out that instance.
2. Gear. Did they ever go overkill on the gear. Man alive. In Burning Crusade I was rockin’ a few PVP epics and some dungeon gear (all I could get before the expansion) and I was at around 8000 HP and 7000 Mana. Currently I am about 18250 HP and 11500 Mana. That is with the 3 epics I made the other day and dungeon gear. So with shit for gear I’ve already more than doubled my stats – not that I had the best stats to begin with, but for the average player that’s a huge jump.
3. Achievements. Basically these are piddly meaningless points and titles for doing some stupid shit. But some of them give decent rewards and are for doing things you would have done anyway. Achievements are the bane of some players’ respective existences, but I think they are a great addition to encourage people to play old content. Seriously. They have lessened the requirements for leveling up much that there’s areas people don’t even have to go to anymore. People need something to do when they hit 80 other than doing the same daily quests and dungeons over and over and over….and over and over.
So I didn’t talk about everything, but my overall reaction is…meh. The expansion is ok, but there are so many glitches and so many things missing that I think they could have waited to release it and done it a little better. Seriously, what was the hurry? Burning Crusade was released 2 years ago. That’s much too recent for another expansion. Also, I feel like they’re blurring the lines a little too much between the classes. In trying to appease everyone bitching about who is overpowered with what, they’ve made a lot of speciality classes seem more like mediocre hybrids. I await upcoming patches from Blizzard to address some of these (and more) issues…