So at long last Deathwing will run rampant across Azeroth… well he already has been… well we get to fight him! And by “we” I mean those raiding guilds get to fight him. There are also three new dungeons titled End of Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight. In these three dungeons players will partake in copious amounts of time travel, history altering fights, and titanic amounts of lore! Pictures from the blizzard previews are getting me extremely excited to experience these dungeons, especially considering Blizzard is doing something somewhat new by having us fight two of four memorable characters from the mythos in their corrupted, time-warped forms. Plus seeing Deathwing dead before we ourselves have done the deed is an intriguing sight to say the least.
Speaking of Deathwing the recent interview with lead encounter designer Scott Mercer promises players that the climactic confrontation with the now insane Earth Dragonflight will be of a scale never seen before in Azeroth. It will include assaulting the dragon from the air via gunship to strip it of its plate armor, after which the players will face off with a deformed Deathwing inside the Maelstrom. It will be “unbelievably epic” he says. While that is all well and good I’m worried about every seeing this content. Blizzard is so good at “scaling” down content for all us normal players, why can’t there be a 5-man dungeon version of this fight so that the masses can partake in the glory of Deathwing’s demise instead of waiting untold weeks and months to play it with a pug raid after the encounter has been nerfed from all its former glory?
Maybe they should have worked on a new low-count encounter system instead of a raid finder?
Oh yeah, the raid finder!
If you’re reading this and you detest the idea of a dungeon finder, well, I have some bad news for you. Patch 4.3 is bringing a Raid Finder to World of Warcraft. There are a few things good and bad about this. First off I’d imagine most hardcore raiders will view this with a wary eye as they won’t use it and will assume it will lead to dumbed down raids (although content is already tweaked to be easier on a steady basis). On the other hand this will probably do for raiding what the dungeon finder did for dungeons, create puggable, spammable raid options for players not in guilds (or guilds that are big enough). While this is mostly a boon to that section of the population it does add hope for PvP players who ever wanted to queue as a raid for a battleground, as a blue was seen to say that they might consider implementing a version of this for PvP. Rejoice!
Northrend Experiences May Differ
Leveling in the icy sub-continent just got a little bit less grueling. With it taking 1/3 less time to level we can expect to see more people in Cataclysm working towards killing the Chinwing (or more likely running those dungeons ad nauseum). Considering I’m currently about halfway through the Lich King’s shenanigans I was extremely excited to see this announcement! Yes everyone, I do level that slowly. That isn’t the point though, as I’d fear this would turn Northrend into the complete and utter mess that Outland was. You know that feeling you get when running through content you’ve never seen and will never see nor understand, because you level just so gosh darn fast! I was actually enjoying the snowy environs, and I’ll likely be able to keep on enjoying it until the patch comes out because I’ll hit 80 well before 4.3 hits the servers! I want to call Blizzard out on this. If the point of nerfing the experience needs is to get more people to the new content faster… why not release the change before the patch in a couple months? Wouldn’t it help us leveling players more to speed up in September and not November or December?
Queue the remarks such as “but such a big hotfix is dangerous” or “see the data for experience gains is saved on this server/client side so and they don’t’ update those all willy-nilly!”
Transmogrification and Void Storage
Besides the big baddie showing his face finally there is a large cosmetic upgrade incoming this patch. Our Blizzard overlords have finally conceded to our rampant pleas for some gear customization with the introduction of Transmogrification! Via the Ethereals players will be able to use one item to super-impose its likeness on an item whose stats they want. Essentially you like sword A’s aesthetic but it is old, useless, and isn’t bleeding edge progression gear… so now you just plaster it onto that gear and you get the best of both worlds! Furthermore Blizzard was gracious enough to realize this new mechanic would mean players need more storage, so they got those new denizens from the void to supplement our bank with void storage! Simply pay some gold and you can deposit or withdraw items from this long-term storage facility. Simple right? Did I mention transmogrification costs gold and has a bunch of restrictions too? Oh I didn’t…
Personally I’m rather miffed about the gold costs. I’ve always heard everyone and their grandmother talk about how easy it is to make gold in World of Warcraft, it is essentially free, it falls from the skies! The only thing falling from the skies for me in World of Warcraft are:
- My mage when I’m bored,
- Fiery death in the goblin starting area and
- Snow, copious amounts of snow!
I’ve never enjoyed farming in an MMO, and I likely never will unless it involves an extremely fun battle mechanics or event. Sure I can collect herbs or ore or whatnot and sell them, but again I have better things to do with my time (like do some role playing or go exploring for a more exotic and entertaining death scenario in Northrend). Now I realize the gold costs we’ve seen so far have the “not finalized” sticker on them and that not being at 85 skews my perception of gold costs, but why does everything and its mother have to cost gold? Is this just another gold sink to help the economy? If gold is so easy to get, then why does blizzard even make its use so varied and ubiquitous? If everyone just has so much gold I’d think Blizzard would stop making it necessary for so much fluff.
Then again at least Blizzard didn’t stoop so low as to make us pay to remove a transmogrification! I expected a button that, when pressed, deducted gold from my purse and reset the item, thank the-
“Items placed into Void Storage are stripped of their transmogrification.”
Oh… well, dammit.
Patch 4.3 looks to be a doozy of a content update for everyone except PvP players and while that is hardly new for Blizzard it looks to be a solid addition to the game. Seeing more gold sinks added along with a rather convoluted wardrobe system makes me want to slap a developer. I can’t help but applaud Blizzard for finally delivering on some long-awaited features.
Nevertheless the core problems of end-game content still stand, but maybe all of you will enjoy Deathwing, right? We’ll see if I can, once I get there. Probably just in time for the next expansion.