Recent World of Warcraft Patch 4.2/4.3 Thoughts (and More)

I’m not a huge raiding fan, so I can’t comment on the new raids. I’ve mostly been doing some grind quests with regards to the Firelands. The whole idea of helping to gear non-raiders seemed somewhat appealing to me. But the quests ended up being quite boring and horribly repetitive. You have to go through several phases before you can reach the next section. I ended up stopping for a bit because accumulating the tree points ended up becoming far too tedious.

One thing I noticed about the recent patch (perhaps as part of a bug fix) is that once you’re at a certain level, all the flight paths open up magically. I’m somewhat unsure if this was a good or bad thing. On the one hand, in some cases such as not questing on one continent, you can get a clear advantage once you’ve reached a certain level. A good example is how my warrior was at level 56 and managed to skip having to trek through ally territory in order to hit the Blasted Lands. Similarly, I wouldn’t be forced to finish a whole questing zone such as Desolace in order to reach Feralas (I tend to prefer the Southern Barrens for questing around level 30).

On the other hand, opening up the flight paths leaves out yet another mini-challenge in the game. I feel that part of the fun of the game is to explore new areas. Even if  you’ve quested multiple times, I like the idea of picking up flight paths as part of progressing through the game. Not only that, but automatically providing flight paths, I think, hurts the game. For instance, after completing Stonetalon Peaks, I decided to head to Desolace. From Cliffwatcher’s Post, I was able to pick up the starting quest there and I mistakenly made the assumption that the flight path sharing the name of someone I was supposed to talk to in Desolace would lead me to the quest drop off. Wrong! Instead, I was forced to return to Stonetalon Peaks and walk to where the quest giver was.

It feels as though the  way the game is being set up, it specifically is tailored to long term veterans by just giving them everything they need. In this case, people who have done these quests a million times would just skip over everything in getting the flight paths. Perhaps, by doing things like this, their higher level friends could just power level them through instances. For a spot like Badlands with Uldaman, I could kinda see why this feature would be nice. But again, it’s all about the challenge. For me, it makes me further feel that only end game raiding at this point is important to Blizzard.

In addition, I’ve been eyeballing the upcoming 4.3 patch. No PTR for me, but so far the only significant advancement is, of course, Deathwing’s arrival as a raid. While the raid sounds epic, there’s little else that seems all that interesting with this patch. Of course, the two other major features will be transmogrification and the void storage. Transmogrification looks like more emphasis on bling than true gaming substance. Sure, you can customize the look of your gear, but I really don’t see the point. I guess hard core role players and fashion lovers ought to get a kick from it. For someone like myself, I can’t see it serving any practical purpose.

Void storage again looks like it’s been catered to only the high end gamers. The cost for placing goods for a ridiculous sum seems to just be for people who’ve played the game way too long, have accumulated too much junk and money and can’t figure out what to do with it all. If you could transfer this stuff to another alt, this feature might seem useful for the in-game cost. In general, just as the name implies, this feature is bereft of substance.

Of course, there’s the last little update which is the Dark Moon Faire. Probably, this piece of content is the only thing that might be worth anything to someone like me. At least, they’ll create a dedicated island for the Dark Moon Faire faction. So there’s something new to see for me as well as goods that might prove to be useful.

Despite all this, I was really hoping that they would expand on solo content similar to what they’ve done with the Firelands. Even if the grinding can get tedious, it was a nice effort for Blizzard to put out content for non-raiders like myself.

With that out of the way, my current endeavors in WoW have been mostly working on my protection warrior and shadow priest. So far I have to say that playing a prot warrior is quite a bit of fun. I’m not a huge fan of single target type of DPS types, so getting to play someone who can handle multiple mobs is pretty fun. It’s not as fun as a prot pally, but I am getting used to some of the mechanics behind a prot warrior.

With my shadow priest, that was something I didn’t plan on initially. And despite my not liking single target DPS types, I have to say that the shadow priest is pretty fun. I think what makes the shadow priest fun is the incredible amount of DPS they can output. I haven’t mastered the shadow priest DPS rotation, but I’ve been finding myself 1-2 shotting mobs around say 1 out of 10 times. My biggest issue thus far has been managing my mana.  I can probably take on three opponents at best before having to refill. My shadow priest is a blood elf so I tend to utilize her Arcane Torrent capability quite often. However, the amount of mana refunded is quite tiny. Furthermore, at the moment, I’ve found almost no gear whatsoever containing spirit. That makes my mana regeneration really sluggish.

Once I get these two toons to 60, I might move back to my rogue and mage. Afterwards, I’m going to start looking for another PVE realm, except that I’ll switch to alliance just for fun.

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