Thursday, November 15, 2007

WoW Patch 2.3: First Impressions

So the new patch has now been out for two days and I wanted to give my initial impressions.

A lot of the class changes I wont have any comments on since 90% of my WoW play time is spent on my level 70 orc warrior. But I have had a chance to investigate the new Daily Quests, the Guild Bank, the changes to Alterac Valley and more! Keep reading for details.

The Daily Battleground quests are great! A couple of guildmates and I picked up the Arathi Basin quest on Tuesday, fought and won, and I had over 1200 honor from that victory alone plus the bonus honor from the quest. And getting paid for it was just icing on the cake! This also helps to promote the various battlegrounds on days other than the bonus weekends, which is nice for those of us who like to PvP.

I also discovered that you can hold on to your daily quest and complete it at a later time. I did this last night with the Shattered Halls daily quest that I picked up on Tuesday. However, once completed, you can't get another until the next day. But it's still something useful to know.

I noticed that the Heroic versions of the daily quests give 2 Badges of Justice on completion, which is a nice bonus, especially for those of us who don't do a lot of dungeon runs. Getting three badges a week makes for a really long trek to acquire the Badges of Justice items! And the reduction of reputation requirements for entering heroic dungeons has dramatically increased the number of groups looking for heroic adventures!

The warrior changes are just all around good for me. I was already a nearly pure Arms warrior (46 points in that tree). Death Wish is pretty sweet, I just need to remember to use it more often. But then change that I really, really like is having access to improved intercept! With the additional cooldown bonus from my gladiator gear, I find that I almost always have intercept available when I need it. I'm eager to try it out in the Arena!

Alterac Valley is pretty sweet at the moment. It's almost all PvP now and Horde has won 3 out of 4 matches that I've played. Bonus honor total at the end can be as much as 500-600 if you keep your opponents from razing any towers. Unfortunately, losing an AV match that way can result in very little honor gain, which would be pretty frustrating. But the changes seem good at the moment. We'll have to see how things play out as different strategies develop. In the meantime it's nice to see towers and graveyards actually being defended!

The experience gains for under-60 quests have increased significantly. I've only played a little of that part, but easily gained most of a level by completing a handful of quests. I was also able to go back to Silithus and solo the Emissary quest that I had been carrying around in my quest log for eons since his difficulty had been significantly reduced (it was now listed as a two-player group quest rather than a raid quest).

The Guild Bank is awesome. This is a great guild tool and a useful community feature that should have been available two years ago!

There are quite a few UI changes. For example, when you mouseover an NPC, the icon will change to reflect what they can do for you. It changes to a question mark for quest givers, an anvil icon for those who can repair, etc. Also, questgivers are now marked on the minimap for you. Another change is that interactive quest objects have little sparkly glows around them. While not very immersive, it does make it a lot easier to find that elusive lost backpack or chest without having to run the mouse over everything. Since so much of the WoW world is non-interactive and simply just there for show, I have to give this change a thumbs-up.

Overall, I have no complaints at all, though several of my addons have been throwing errors due to changes with the User Interface API. Hopefully the mod authors will fix those soon.

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