Started update, gone fishing…

I got up on Wednesday morning (Australian time) and started the World of Warcraft update. Like many folks I had to kick the updater in the guts a few times (started multiple times) so that it would work.

Then I saw the updating file message and was frustrated that after 20 minutes it had not moved from 0%. What in hell?

So rather than staring at the screen, I went to work. I don’t know how long it took, but the game tells me that its done and its 6 hours later. I won’t login until after I get home, eat, say happy things to the family, and then maybe eat more.

Would have been nice to see this start when patch started, but really has zero effect on my gameplay. I’m pleased that the Theramore event is not starting day one of patch 5 either, as I’d be feeling like the delay/outage/issues might rally create a backlash. As it stands now I’ll just read about it.

I was also very confused by the game loader when it replaced the Cata branding with Mists branding. That is silly – I have not purchased Mists as yet so why show me the title? Anyway I’m happy that it should be ready when I am.

Grumble.

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Love or Hate the Mists Artwork?

One thing I like about Blizzard games is the peripheral artwork and assets which get developed. When Panda-rama was announced I was very negative about the idea as it felt cutesie and childish compared with the dramatic setting of Cataclysm, Wrath of the Lich King, and The Burning Crusade. Wrath was my favourite by far in terms of setting artwork, holistic style, and zone assets.

Now that I look at the artwork for Mists of Pandaria I really like it. It has an elegance and classic “asian style” which is stand out as beautiful to an anglo Australian mutt like me. I like it enough to create a top banner for the blog using one of the boilerplate artworks by Blizzard. Imagine how cooler that same image would look with non-panda races fighting in it! Perhaps a bloodelf vs human monk fight. I just have to love monks finally being playable in the game after so many years of killing them in the game already.

The art is perhaps not enough to put at ease all my reservations about fur-covered-love-bears being introduced into the game, but enough to place them next to the other races I dislike a little like Gnomes and Goblins. Yes, I don’t like stunties – both races look like snotlings in fancy dress.

WoW p5 Anxiety

WoW Insider has a reasonable article on the adjustment to v5 of the game in terms of specs, races, and the other game changes.

So don’t let yourself get overly concerned. Just log in Tuesday, and take a few minutes to explore the changes. You’ll start getting back into things very quickly once you start taking it out for a spin. At its heart, it’s still the same game you’ve been playing.

They’re right. It’s the same world with a different feel for some classes. I spent some time skimming through the Icy Veins class summary to see what classes are affected, and generally – its a set of changes not worth panicking about. In fact many classes are getting adjusted to be cooler (especially Warlocks).

Raiding and Pvp specs might be borked initially, and I’d expect a patch or two along the way as we get into September. With all the points and rewards from instances and pvp being reset, I expect the 4 weeks between this update to be a time of fucking about and not stressing. Certainly enough players will be away with the outside world or Guildwars 2, so get those last achievements and mounts in now. I had to laugh considering that players will either be struggling with logging into GW2 to getting patched and working in WoW. What a great time for an action movie special on TV, so we can just ignore these game updates for a few days, and come back when the dust has settled.

The community has been through this many times before, and the world has not (permanently) ended. I’m actually looking forward to some of the run-up events which I hope will arrive with the patch as well. There might not be a huge reveal, but at the very least I expect some in-game indication that DeathWing is no longer the big bad, and that we might have found this strange island full of hostile teady-bears.

  • Will Stormwind finally finish patching the smoldering battlements? Hopefully.
  • Will the zones still burn with Deathwing’s fire? Doubt it.
  • Will the market for animal brushes skyrocket as the Pandas try to keep blood stains out of their hard to reach places? Probably.

Pets are also going to be highly desirable to some players soon, so start pondering how to get them too. There is a market there if you feel like doing the hard work for somebody else.

MoP Class Planning Tools

To get ready for the change in patch 5, here are a few good resources that can guide thinking, and steer away from panic and fear of the unknown.

These are pretty much in order that you’ll be able to use them. There might be others around which are more specialised, but these are an excellent jump point.

MoP Cinematic

I really liked it. Excellent quality animation, decent sound. Nice and fast combat, heavy use of mists and environments, and a few ultra-powerful combat moves which you’d expect characters to have. The panoramic views of the island were good too. Overall very well executed. Continue reading

MoP streamlines enchanting rods

Aside

quick repost thoughts – MoP might bring simplified enchanting rods – nice, good idea. But hey, how about giving the upgraded versions that many characters already have some extra tweak or benefit? Like:

  • Slightly faster actions according to the level of the rod?
  • A different colour when enchanting and disenchanting?
  • Or just a decent vender value.

…the rod structure will change in Mists of Pandaria. Over the course of the last few Mists beta patches, the developers have been combing through enchanting and reducing the rod requirements across the board; it appears that the only rod you will need to perform any and every enchant is the first one, the Runed Copper Rod.

Ref: Mists of Pandaria streamlines enchanting rods.

New mounts in Mists

MoP will bring players a huge range of mounts, and while that is somewhat expected (being that an expansion should add a ton of new mounts, pets, monster models, etc) – when wowhead gathered them into a single area to preview it really makes an impression. Two favourites – the tiger and the disc mounts. The disc means the toons can fly around like they are those irritating mobs in the Eye of Eternity.