Patch 4.4 in Expansion Prep

A note in an mmo champion post indicates that patch 4.4 will a prep patch for the next expansion. It has some confirmations from the rumours of the patch 4.3 Deathwing events, including the next 5 mans – but really the idea that 4.4 is a prep for the next expansion is the bigger news.

Patch 4.4 will bring a world event before the next expansion. The next expansion should be released with a “meaningful difference” in the release timeline compared to previous expansions.

Now if it takes ages to appear then its kind of a moot point, however I think this indicates that Blizzard are far closer to the next expansion that they would normally be.

I expect them to compete in some way with Star Was because of the number of folks who have declared that they will be leaving or have already left. Makes me ponder though – perhaps they would be better waiting 1-2 months after the SWToR release, so that the people know that the new expansion is coming, and those who are not happy with SWToR will return.

Cross-realm Raid Finder thoughts

Generally speaking this is another quality of life feature that I could see being useful. For folks missing achievements, gear and such its great. I can’t see many XR-raids being regularly successful in the current content, but might be for older raids. Like Nef, BWD, etc.

Hopefully it can be used for all previous raid content, not just the current expansion. Sunwell, BWL, AQ, etc all will be useful to run again – especially as people will be looking for gearsets.

Goal: cross-faction, real-id, and cross-realm, for both raids and dungeons.

Basically let us group up for anything, with anyone, and set some simple rules in place to make a forced balance, just like the LFD tool now. I see no reason to not allow cross-faction for runs, except that some look is faction specific. That is solvable via a rule that says the faction of the leader is dominant, and offer a vendor to switch it over if you get the incorrect faction loot.

Gear Transmogrification makes RP sense

There is chatter on the wow-internet about the transmogrification service coming in patch 4.3. Some like it, some dislike it, and most are curious what it will mean.

I like it. It is one of the best RP style game features I’ve heard of in a very long time.

Consider the Circle of Flame. One of the best helms for clothies, and it has a mail equivalent model. Both drop in Molten Core.

Consider that some characters in stories are personified by their gear. There are npcs in WoW that are known by their weapons, characters in films and books (etc) that are linked to the weapons they wield and the equipment they carry. Indy’s whip & gun from the Indiana Jones films, Elric’s sword from the novels, all sorts of Final Fantasy memes, and pulpy stuff like Krull which are all about the weapon. Do you remember that elf from Hawk the Slayer? What a bow!

Our toons will have the capacity to establish a personal style all of their own. We can select or create our own armour sets. That means all the eye patches, bandanas, iconic weapons, groovy shoulders, and sexy bikini plate breast plates are all up for grabs.

I realise though that it could potentially diminish the variance of character gear, and also has the potential to steal the limelight for new gear sets. It could be argued that gear is a point in time, and that is valid only if that is your set of values. Frankly I dislike most of the interim gear my toons have to wear and would prefer to pick a set that I could grow to love.

This feature limits us only if we let it limit us. People will use it to make expressive sets. Sets will be slutty, bold, clown-like, ugly, and very old school – and what that means is choice. I don’t care that it means a pvp player can’t tell how powerful my gear is just by looking at the toon model – that is not an experience I value.

If I’m looking at a character’s gear then I am looking for the visualised overall affect, not trying to remember which shade of purple or blue indicates what sub-tier of pvp shoulders some Undead Warlock is wearing while he fear-bombs my character.

I wish I had not trashed and DE’ed all my old tier sets and odd items. It is a great feature. Happy customising.

(edit: Blog Azeroth Shared Topic Linkage)