[WoW] In just 7 days, I can survey patch 4.2

moltenfront

This is Spinks in the Molten Front. It feels as though she should be waving a sign saying “Hi, mum!”

Finding myself with some spare time (due to end of college for the year), a newly landed patch on WoW, and 7 free days for my account which I could take at any time, I felt the time was ripe to go back and say Hi to my friends and see what’s changed in the past few months.

Reactivating

If you have an inactive WoW account that isn’t a trial, you will also likely have an option to take 7 free days. To do this, log into your battle.net account and where your game accounts are listed, there will be an option to claim the free days.

Catching up with the talent changes and questlines

First off, visit your trainer just in case and check your talents haven’t been accidentally reset or anything like this. I scored a shiny new raid version of Last Stand (why is this a Fury ability?) which is nice, I suppose.

Sadly failed to notice that my interrupt had vanished from my quickbar in Prot Stance until I was actually in the middle of tanking something that needed interrupts, but c’est la vie. (Pummel now can be used in any stance and has become the default warrior interrupt.)

As far as catching up on quest content goes, this is where the warlord’s quest board really comes into its own. You’ll find one of these in every capital city, and it’ll come up as a questgiver if it has outstanding quests for you. It helpfully pointed me to the new troll/ ZG questline (new as in several months ago) and also to the new quests about Thrall, which lead to Hyjal (new as of last Wednesday).

I figured this would be a good use of my free days so trotted off to do those.

They were both good fun, Blizzard well up to their usual standard on quest content. The ZG questline also rewards you with a pet panther cub, to which I MAY have responded with squeals of ‘it’s so cute!!!’, especially as I got the achievement for having 25 pets at the same time. As an aside, I utterly hate cosmetic pets and never actually use them – I’m a goddamn warrior, I do not have kittens lolling around my heels when I go off to kill dragons. Aside from thematic inappropriateness, it’d be cruel to the kitten — but somehow I always like actually getting a new one.

Thrall has never been my favourite NPC, at least not as much as he is the devs, but his storyline showed some depth and hopefully you can feel a little empathy for the guy who has given up his hopes of finding a partner and raising some orclings in order to lead the Horde towards freedom and away from barbarism. Now that the Horde has decided that barbarism gets a bad rap and we like killing the shit out of stuff, Thrall is free to stick two fingers up at them and waltz off with Aggra into the sunset – at least after we’ve saved him from the elemental lords. The actual quests were quite fun too.

New instances

zgrenataki Here we are in Zul Gurub. It’s been fixed up a bit …

My guild were kind enough to invite me along to an instance run in the recently revamped Zul Gurub, which was also good fun. Blizzard has again done a super job on the revamp; it felt challenging, the bosses and the trash are interesting, the fights still feel mechanically related to the old ones, and it’s always been an appealing zone anyway.

Amusingly, I got an achievement for not standing in stuff on one of the bosses (Venoxis, aka didn’t I kill you three years ago?) and one of the newer guildies who I hadn’t met before asked hopefully if I was planning to stay and join their raid team. To be fair, I can see why people would be nervous of inviting an old guildie to join an instance run that’s known to be hard, sight unseen.

On the bright side, despite having missed most of the raiding in the last tier, my dps is reasonably up to scratch. It won’t be winning awards any time soon but it’s not woefully sub par for instancing.

I’m not really convinced on the new troll lore, so let’s not dwell on that.

New dailies

newdailies You can always spot the new daily questgivers because all the players are sitting on top of them.

One of the clever things Blizzard have done with the layout of the new daily quests is allowed you to open up the molten front after just 2-3 days of questing. This means, for example, that someone on a 7 day return visit can get to actually see the meat and bones of what the new firelands zone is all about, earn some rewards, and come back and write about it!

So far, there are two sets of questgivers. The ones in the screenshot who are outside the firelands portal who will set you to clearing up Hyjal, and another set inside the portal who will send you off to help the war effort there.

I’ll talk first about some of the big wins here. The first is the daily quest which requires you to go kill some elite mobs in Hyjal.

  • Changes in the tagging code mean that every player who tags a quest mob while it is being fought gets credit for the kill. So when the quest zone is busy, it will feel like fighting a rift in Rift. Everyone attacks everything, and everyone gets credit for everything too. It’s fairly social.
  • Lots of friendly NPCs show up to help out, and if you have been paying attention you may recognise many of them. I’ve seen a different set every day and they have included Mankrik, King Mrrrrgglll, Chromie, Lunk, and some named alliance NPCs I don’t recognise, and they all have been given some new in-character barks which I have found very amusing. It will feel as though you are fighting alongside NPCs that you know.
  • dailychromie

Chromie the time dragon (in her favourite humanoid form as a little female gnome) makes some time related jokes while she fights.

The second is giving you access to nice gear from a vendor fairly early on. Once the firelands portal opened, I could immediately upgrade a couple of pieces. I’m assuming that as you earn more tokens and open up more of the molten front, new vendors will appear.

Monocles are everywhere!

You can take the player out of EVE but you can’t take EVE out of the player – this screenshot below was taken from trade chat in Orgrimmar.

wowmonocle

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16 thoughts on “[WoW] In just 7 days, I can survey patch 4.2

  1. Venoxis feels a little bit like during his time away, someone told him that having something people weren’t meant to stand in didn’t make him special anymore. So he’s decided he’s going to show them all!

    There are also a bizarre number of co-ordination fights in new ZG that require an entire group of five people to spend whole minutes not being pants on head stupid.

    The firelands are interesting, since the Alliance side on my server has decided to turn the Molten Front into a wonderful pvp gankfest, filled with people sobbing over the lack of wounded druids and expressing a desire to just wound the damn druids themselves.

  2. I was thinking about using the seven free days so I could post again on the WoW forums. :) Play the game, not so much…

  3. I have to say the dailies are…alright. Nothing too special.

    I think WoW lore has gone the way of the dinosaur myself. I think the Dragonwrath quest is actually fairly decent for them, but the Thrall thing, IMO, was a joke(Come on blizz, quit trying to torpedo what most of the playerbase wants. Just give up on your badly-developed sandwiched in out of nowhere lore characters.) Nozdormu has officially the coolest model in the game, ever, for a humanoid. :D

    The raid? Heh….I know I read a lot of your posts on ‘anti melee’. If you still feel that way, stay far, faaar away from Firelands if you don’t like tons of ranged love. Seriously. ;) It’s at the point where it bothers me-and I felt tier 11, save a couple of fights, was not bad at all for me, to put that in some perspective. I, who thought the tier that started the QQ in the first place wasn’t bad, thinks Firelands is nothing but a giant love letter to ranged.

    However, if you just want to be a casual player? Yeah, I*d have to say while I personally think the lore is a case of the barn doors being locked long after the horses have been stolen, I could suggest 4.2 is a pretty good patch just to chill out on. And well, yay Kalecgos! One of my favorite NPCs gets superpowered, so I can’t argue too much with that.

    • Wow, it did drive me nuts during T11 raids so can’t really imagine what it’s like now. I did offer Spinks as a backup tank if they need one while I’m here but wasn’t really planning to raid in the firelands — obv at the end of the week if I decide I want to shell out for another month I’ll rethink.

      But it’s feeling like a fairly chilled out patch to me. On the other hand, I’ve actually done most of the new stuff now apart from ZA and the new raids. That didn’t take long.

      • Tanking isn’t bad in the raids. In fact, I think I’ll be doing that more often by the look of things. All in all Firelands is decent but holy jesus it’s trash filled and let’s say-still nowhere near Ulduar. I have to see the entire thing before I compare it to t11. Definitely better than Trial of the Crusader at least!

        Honestly i’d say for a casual player the patch isn’t bad at all. Someone who doesn’t really care for raiding can keep themselves quite busy with the Firelands daily stuff. Will have to see how fast I get sick of Firelands before I actually rate the entire thing as a raid.

        I am curious, though, to see how many people were left a little…Not as Impressed as Blizzard were making this patch out to be(and of course they’re going to try to sell something as strongly as they can, it’s their job to). Will be interesting to see by the end of the summer if their subs are better, the same, or worse…

      • Honestly i’d say for a casual player the patch isn’t bad at all. Someone who doesn’t really care for raiding can keep themselves quite busy with the Firelands daily stuff.

        @Azaael — It still has to be enjoyable. I think there’s a misguided perception that casual means a player who doesn’t really want something too difficult. I think casual can also mean you can’t always play for 2-4 hours at a time or for 20 hours a week. I’ve finished some relatively difficult games in my life — GTA3 minus the last mission, GTA3:SA, Resident Evil 1&2, Metal Gear Solid 1&2, etc. But I do them over years of playing, leaving them, coming back. That sort of play doesn’t ingratiate yourself with a raiding guild! (So I haven’t joined one yet, though I’d join quickly if I could get away with a weekly run…)

        Just cleaning up trash, running the same dailies over and over is not enjoyable. Shattered Sun was okay, in part because it was a new gameplay mechanic. Tol Barad was a grind. Firelands seems even grindier.

        The reward has to be more than gold & gear and minor lore. It needs to be memorable, challenging, and fun. 4.2 isn’t, yet.

    • I’d argue against the idea of T12 being anywhere near as melee unfriendly as T11 in so far as it’s back to the kinda baseline of melee unfriendliness WoW has always had as compared to the ouright melee hate that T11 had where it actively penalised you for including melee in the fight on a couple of encounters.

      It’s better than a lot of Vanilla and BC at the very least, given the absence of 360 degree cleaves and point blank no warning novas.

  4. That sounds like quite a positive review overall, but the question is: does it make you want to resubscribe? I’m getting the impression the answer will be no. :)

    • It’s been fun and I do really like my guild. Just I’ve seen the new instances now (saw ZA today) and some of the new quests, so I’m wondering what I’d actually DO if I resubbed for most of the time.

  5. To address the pet problem: the addon GupPet will let you set things up so that pets are only out in town, if you like. Gives a nice balance between “I R SRS BSNS WARRIOR RAWR” and “This is Squuffy my cat” when relaxing.

  6. Changes in the tagging code mean that every player who tags a quest mob while it is being fought gets credit for the kill. So when the quest zone is busy, it will feel like fighting a rift in Rift. Everyone attacks everything, and everyone gets credit for everything too. It’s fairly social.

    Touch-and-tally quests don’t feel particularly social when I’m playing. The mobs are so soloable it’s a joke already, and when I can ninja-tag and get credit, well, it’s more like watching a barely interactive movie. The quests literally take seconds. No peril. Not even a little.

    At least that’s been my take on the Hyjal Firelands quests so far. It’s bad enough I’m considering going FTP to 20 and finally leveling up some Horde.

    Are you playing with guildies, or is there some other reason you like touch-and-tally I’m missing? I like PvE to be challenging (though I am, admittedly, a PvE end-gamer).

    • I’m not really interested in challenging if it means killing elite mobs in a way which is bound to be way way easier for some classes than others. I mean yes it’s nice to be able to kite elites on a hunter et al, but my main is a warrior and I have to just go hit them with minimal self healing.

      If they designed quests to be challenging for my class specifically I’d have more time for them, but as it is I’m just as happy with easy dailies. They’re time sinks anyway. The social side amuses me.

      • If they designed quests to be challenging for my class specifically I’d have more time for them

        Yep. The one size fits all approach is a little sad.

        I’d rather they have class specific quests that make you interact with other classes for a while. Force some quick grouping, not completely unlike the Ahune LFG, but make it a part of a one-shot quest chain rather than a repeatable, boring boss fight.

        There’s a lot of room left for quest innovation that Blizzard’s ignoring.

  7. I felt like the 7 free days should have interested me, but apparently it doesn’t. Either I’m over WoW, or I’m not interested because I know I’ll get bored with it again after I run through all the new content in a few days.

    Still, the ZG revamp sounds fun…

  8. I’m subscribed but I’m not planning to raid so Firelands just doesn’t hold much appeal for me. I’m mostly leveling alts and crafting these days. For me, the Hyjal dailies look like just more of the same unless you plan to see a boss or two.

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