WoW Patch 3.3.3 is good

Looks like the details of patch 3.3.3 have been published, and there is a stack of changes that are interesting. Go read the source, and here are my highlights…

World of Warcraft, Patch 3.3.3 – I’m calling the patch, “Revenge of the PuGs”, but also could be “Revenge on the Puggers”.

  1. Battlegrounds get their own LFG tool, which will make farming honor for folks like me who don’t care much easier.
  2. Many instance dialogues will be further sped-up (Culling of Stratholme I’m looking at you). Friggin-yay!
  3. Death Knight changes:
    1. Icy touch will cause more threat in Frost presence!
    2. Chains of Ice applies frost fever!
    3. Abom’s might is a passive increase now.
    4. Will of the Necropolis has no internal cool down any more. Holy-awesome for Blood tanks.
    5. Unbreakable Armour buff Strength from 10% to 20%. Cool.
    6. Unholy Blight now stops diseases from being dispelled. Um, ok. Nice change but was this a problem in pvp?
  4. Druids
    1. Typhoon mana cost reduced from 32% to 25%. I love Tyhoon even in pve, as even my shitty boomkin gear can pull aggro if I’m being silly.
    2. StarFall damage increased. Cool, I’ll have to use it and see. Never really use it at the moment.
  5. Frozen Orbs can now buy all sorts of stuff, which is why all the guys in pugs are rolling need.
  6. No cool down on TitanSteel, nice for gearing alts.
  7. AH changes to the default interface (watch those add-ons break) which will be interesting to see.
  8. LFG Random tool
    1. The debuff increased to 30 mins (harsh but I like it).
    2. Vote to kick now has to give a reason. Lets hope that is not free text. :)
    3. Note here that the number of times you kick, are kicked, and all sorts of other stuff is tracked.
  9. Sorting on Quest interface. Nice, looking forward to that.

Finally Raided ICC

Icecrown citadelIts been a while, but I finally have been able to see some of the 10 man raid content in ICC. Here are my initial impressions; the short version is that I am impressed.

General observations

It is far better than the new 5 mans offered in ICC. Story is great, tactics are far better, and group composition is flexible.

It makes sense that ICC would be full of guardians, servants, and gates to be unlocked, and also is excellent that these bosses are different in appearance from what we have had elsewhere. Lord Morrowgar for example looks fantastic as a boss model, his trash is appropriately difficult, and you need a team to be on their game to get to the fight.

What I can’t speak to as yet is the difficulty the bosses as I’ve only seen some of the them once or twice. From a melee dps perspective all fights required me to pay attention, but did not need sadistic levels of multi-tasking. You’re doing 3-4 things at a time on average, and that is not unreasonable to expect given this is the last dungeon crawl in the game.

Tanks too have a bit to watch, but not much more than any other instance. Basically the Tanking requirements are unchanged, although the gear needed and numbers are tweaked.

I really felt for our healers in Morrowgar and Saurfang, mainly due to the spread healing, and thought the tactic for range dps on Saurfang was good, but in one run our raid lacked the players with range dps characters to kill the ads (meaning we were melee dps heavy, not that the range were not doing a good job).

DeathWhisper (or as I call her the talking machine) is a great fight. Waves of adds, dps her bubble, and kill priorities with random stuff to adapt to.

Well done Blizzard story and devs, I really like ICC. Can’t wait to see the later bosses like the Blood Princes, and I can forgive the “poo” jokes around the two fleshy bosses.

Paying for a turbo-wow-iphone app?

So the apps for playing wow away from wow will cost a little bit. Like using the AH from an iPhone, nice idea. What is your squeal price for this?

  • the interface and features have to be freaky-high quality to be even worth pondering.
  • the free version of the iphone app had better stay, because cheap wow’ers (like me) are not keen to miss a bit of functionality; particularly if it gets taken away for a paid version.
  • If they start charging for the app and then remove the free one, does that mean that we can get back all the free versions that Blizzard shutdown a while back?

It rings false to me that this should be a paid app, unless of course the fee is so damn small that they’re basically giving it away. Then again that statement is interesting in itself.  That just means I’m not actually adverse to a purchase, just that my squeal price for an app is not the same as everyone else. $1 yep, $3 probably not, $10 piss off jerk.

So my cost is basically a coffee. If it gives value and costs a coffee, I’d get it. If it costs a lunch its out. If it costs a dinner I’ll get pleasure when I hear folks using it, because they’re making me feel that they’re that much more crazy about this wow offline-online thing than I am.

The way we as consumers purchase is well understood, and I think that one thing intelligent marketing and product types understand is how to figure the best squeal point to capture the most money by the end of the product life. More power to them, in fact I respect the math and theory that goes in to it.

Patch 3.3.2 Speed-ups and Rings

The WoW 3.3.2 patch that many have been waiting for has arrived, and there are a good range of new things for us to ponder. Go read if you’re keen, else absorb my somewhat brief rant here. We can kill Arthas now.

Firstly we have a new Ashen Verdict Ring, designed for Strength DPS classes (like my Death Knight). I have to ask what the hell anyone needs Hit Rating for on 251 level gear as dps? But then I remember that dual-wield plate dps like Hit Rating, and two hander dps probably don’t need it as much. Doubly bad for me as a Draeni, and I am already about 3% over the cap without this ring.

So while the ring is ok, the Rep: Friendly version is not world changing. And as you can change the choice for 200 gp, I took the Tanking ring for now, as I needed the upgrade there more. Later I’ll consider a switch if the higher Rep items are better, and I snaffle a good Tank ring elsewhere.

Secondly there have been a number of adjustments to the speed of regular dungeons. A lot f places got adjusted, so that random dungeon runs should be quicker, as the NPCs move faster. Violet Hold, Culling of Stratholme, and Halls of Lightning to name a few.

By way of example the Violet Hold portals now spawn a lot faster, they were not kidding! My irregular morning run to get 2x Frost emblems was a tank ‘n’ run rather than tank ‘n’ spank. Seriously huge increase in the speed between portals, and I think its a good change, but I pity teams who are struggling, as your Tank will miss many initial pick-ups unless they really keep active. As tank I was sometimes pulling away from the last mobs to get back to a good position for the next set. It is a good change for VH, where the fights are a tad static sometimes.

I can feel the fun times coming. I like this patch.