Posts Tagged ‘patch notes’

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The Ghost of Patches to Come (Wrath of the Lich King)

August 15, 2008

Yep, I’m doing a Wrath of the Lich King post.  Surprise!  Well, I had a theme going… I had to finish it!

I’m going to take this opportunity to actually read through the patch notes for the beta, I’ll highlight all the changes I am interested in or excited about.  This will be the first time I’ve actually looked at them, so it should be fun, but my naivety about the upcoming expansion will be apparent.

Patch 3.0.1 (beta)

Barber Shop – This is a neat idea… not sure if they have decided if they are bringing in brand new hairstyles and such, because that would be great, but I don’t think I’d changed my look right now.  Besides, you can’t see my hair – I’m wearing a bucket on my head!

Achievement Points – I think this will be fun.  I hope they make the points worth something – tabards and titles and such… but even if they don’t, I don’t see why anyone would have a real problem with this.  Sure, you might not really be concerned with achievements, but they aren’t going to hurt your game.  Well, maybe it will be a bit annoying for people to be bragging about them or whatnot, but they’ll do that with anything.

Death Knights – I look forward to trying out my own Death Knight.  I probably won’t do it right away, and I doubt I will level it to 80… probably won’t even get it to 70.  But it’ll be neat to see!  I’m afraid of the over saturation of Death Knights that is inevitable… we saw a lot of Blood Elves and Draenei with the release of Burning Crusade, but this time, it will affect group composition.  I’ve never really been into melee type classes, so I probably won’t be a big fan of playing the Death Knight.  But, at least Blizzard has added a new class to the game!

Pet Talents – Woo!  This is awesome, adds a whole new dimension of customization to the Hunter class.  I really look forward to playing around with it and figuring out the best way to spec my pet.  I also hope this helps with the always present “pet can’t hold aggro” issue.

If a hunter tames a pet that is more than five levels beneath their own level, the pet will then have their level increased to five levels beneath the hunter’s own level. I must say, I’m probably going to go looking for new pets because of this.  I’ve always been waaay too lazy to level a pet up.  I think I can deal with 5 levels though.

Improved Shadow Word: Pain (Shadow) – Now increases damage done by your Shadow Word: Pain by 5/10%, but no longer increases the duration of your Shadow Word: Pain. I think this is a nice move.  I know when I was leveling, I’d usually have a mob dead before the SW:P was worn off, making the talent point a little useless to me.

Wand Specialization (Discipline) has been removed. I don’t know, I always took this when leveling my priest.  Saves me mana if I can just wand the mob down the last 30% or so… Am I the only priest who used this?  But I guess they had to remove it to make room for other things.

New Calendar feature – Neat, but I think this might go the way of the voice chat… just a bit too late to be used, and it is something that either everyone or no one will be using.

Players will now be able to access their non-combat pets and mounts by clicking on the pets tab in the Character Info panel. *cue the beam of light from above and chorus singing*  I would buy the expansion for this alone.  Seriously.

There are a few other little changes that I think will be handy to have, even if they don’t make a big difference in the game:

  • Quests can be shared with party members at any distance.
  • Quests can be shared with party members by linking the quest into party chat.
  • Shift-clicking to loot mail: You can now hold Shift and click on mail in your in-box to automatically loot any items and gold without opening the mail.
  • A 5 minute timer will appear over the player’s unit frame showing the countdown until your PvP flag is cleared.

Well, I really am looking forward to the expansion.  I don’t really want to hear more detail than this stuff, but I don’t mean I want to be all hugger-mugger about it… I just like surprises and experiencing things first hand.  It’s nice to know the big things to expect, but I don’t need to know how much spell power is going to be on my gear and all that.  That is a discussion for another day… in about 5 or 6 months, I suppose!

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The Ghost of Patches Present (Burning Crusade)

August 11, 2008

The game received almost a whole overhaul in preparation for the Burning Crusade expansion.  There were several major changes to the game – most of them good.  In fact, it was when Patch 2.0.1 came out that I gained a new look at the game, and became much more serious about it than I had before.  This time, I’ve bunched together the patches in their major sections, there weren’t enough changes to break them down further.

Patch 2.0.x

Looking For Group Tool – FINALLY!  No more meeting stones.  This has a similar idea, except instead of letting the game pick your group members, you can pick yourself.  Also, you can join the Looking For Group system from anywhere.  This is by far their most successful attempt at this group planning idea, and it’s working pretty well.

Meeting Stones = Summoning Stones – What a good idea.  Blizzard is SO on the ball with this one.

Arenas – 2v2 and 3v3 are released, and change the game completely for many players.

Traps can be set while in combat, but require a 2 second arming time. This change affects so much of the game for hunters nowadays.  Sure, before you could get away with feigning and then trapping, but it didn’t always work out.  This mechanic made me take a new look at the traps, which I’d pretty much decided were useless before.

“Auto shot” will be automatically enabled if the Hunter steps out of melee range while in combat with target. This just made sense.  And I really do appreciate it.  It doesn’t make a huge difference, but it just makes combat much smoother.

Skill level now determines what items you can disenchant. And so, my level 5 disenchanting bank alt retires from his career.

All pet attack speeds have been normalized to 2.0. This was a big one for me.  I spent HOURS camping out to get Broken Tooth, a rare cat with a ridiculous 1.0 attack speed.  Now, he was just a cat.  /sadface.

Patch 2.1.x

Replaced the current Mend Pet channel spell with an instant cast heal over time. Mmmm. I love this change.  Not sure why they brought it in, but it is wonderful!  They also improved the “Improved Mend Pet” talent to also reduce the cost of Mend Pet, which made it a much more worthy place to stick some points.

Warlock and Hunter pets will now be automatically dismissed when you summon a mount. This was to fix the problem where your pet would keep running along the ground as you fly overhead.  It was a pretty funny thing, people had to make a habit of flying straight up until their pet was dismissed.  I thought this was extra cool for Night Elf hunters that had cat pets that are identical to their mounts, looked like they were hoping on their pets!  (Yes, I said “cool” and “Night Elf hunters” in the same sentence.)

The fishing timer has been reduced from 30 to 20 seconds.  The fishing timer can no longer run through its duration without a fish biting. It’s a little change, but an important one for fishers.  When I heard this change was coming, I stopped fishing and waited until the change came to finish leveling my fishing.

Patch 2.2.x

Voice Chat! Hrm, I forgot that this is still somewhere in the game.  I feel bad for the developer who was tasked with this, it suchs to make something and it NEVER be used.  This may have worked, but it was about 2 years too late to really catch on.

Brewfest! This was soo much fun for me.  I love the holiday events, but this one had really sweet rewards that were reasonably achievable for me. The Ram has always been one of my favourite mounts, unfortunately Trolls generally aren’t allowed to buy one.

*runs around on her Brewfest Ram with her Wolpertinger out*

Aaand Hallow’s End!  Also a great event.  Despite the whining of some people that it wasn’t fair for people to be able to hop in and get a nice epic ring, I thought it was a nice gesture.  It’s not like everytime you downed him he dropped full T4.  I used my pumpkin ring until just recently when I finally picked up Angelista’s Revenge.

New Graveyards – A nice (albeit late) feature to help with the grind to 60.  Also, I found this a fitting tie-in with the Hallow’s End event.

Patch 2.3.x

Zul’Aman – I always loved Troll instances and raids.  Maybe because of the lore and how I’m a troll and these are my enemies, maybe it was the creative ideas for the bosses and the fun scenery… maybe I just like that I can mount up when inside.

Guild Banks – Pretty exciting.  I know some people boycotted the idea, because it can be a bit pricey – but I think it is totally worth it.  It’s great being able to see what is available and to use the tabs to categorize things.  Unfortunately, Bagnon doesn’t incorporate the guild bank, and that makes me very sad 😦  Anyone know a mod similar to Bagnon that also includes Guild Banks?

Dustwallow & Leveling Improvements – I just went to Mudsprocket for the first time yesterday.  But from what I’ve heard, the quest are fun and handy to have.  I do appreciate the leveling improvements.  It’s noticable that you can level faster, but you can’t skip enough to not know how to play when you get to 60.

Patch 2.4.x

Shattered Sun Offensive – New zone and 25-man raid… probably the largest content patch ever.  The addition of these dailies has helped a lot of people get the money to afford shiny things without having to resort to gold-buying.  It’s also got some great rewards, like the necklace and the bow that I’m using.  I always like progressive dynamic content, so it was really fun to be helping out and seeing things change with time.

Track spells will now persist after death. Yay!  One of my favourite things about being a Hunter was that my self-buffs never faded.  Yet still, I’d forget to turn tracking back on after death.  Now all they need to do is make Aspects persist and I’ll be set!

Aspect of the Viper: This ability now grants an additional amount of mana each 5 seconds equal to 35% of the hunter’s level. I love Aspect of the Viper after the additional buffs it has gotten in recent patches.  Now, if I get to 15% mana and I switch over to AotV, it is nearly impossible for me to run out of mana.

Mounts at 30?! Yes, crazy but true.  This was a bit of a hugger-mugger change, because no one really saw it coming.  I heard a rumour or two, but it was such a big thing that it didn’t believe it until the patch was released.  But I approve of anything to help people get through those tough levels!  I know 30-40 always killed me.

Well, that brings us up to date on the patches.  I may have missed some big changes – but I only really covered the ones that I had any contact with.

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The Ghost of Patches Past. (Classic WoW)

August 8, 2008

With all of the news coming out of Northrend, people are all abuzz with opinions about the upcoming changes to every class and game mechanic.  This has made me look back and think about all the patches that have happened before, and as someone who has been playing since almost the very beginning, it’s amazing to look back and think about things that were not originally implemented but have become almost banal to the current player.  I know many people who didn’t even start playing until after Burning Crusade, so they might not even know how it used to be!

So I’m going to look back over the major patches and discus changes that really had an impact on me, and the game in general… good OR bad.

I’m going to start with Patch 1.3, because that’s as far back as my little memory can really remember the changes.  I’ll only cover 1.3 to the last patch before Burning Crusade, because it’ll get pretty huge.  I’ll do another post come Monday for the rest!

Patch 1.3

Meeting Stones – Epic fail.  These stones were intended to replace the LookingForGroup channel, but they were clumsily implemented.  You had to go to the entrance of an instance to put yourself in the queue, and the meeting stone would stick you in a group that it deemed had the appropriate classes for a group.  Yes, sometimes this meant a shadow priest, 3 rogues and a shaman.  Because no one used them, so you’d be stuck with what they gave you.  Boo, meeting stone!

Reincarnation – No longer causes resurrection sickness. At the time, my main was a Shaman, so I do remember this change.  Can you imagine if this was still true?  What a useless spell it would be, although I guess you generally wait 10 minutes to recover from a raid… it would make it very ineffective as a way to pop back up during combat.

You can now have multiple action bars on screen at the same time. I know a lot of people who do not use bar mods these days.  Without this simple change, I doubt that would be true at all.

Quest Tracking – This patch, quest tracking was added… a very useful feature, saving you from having to constantly press L to check how many more Worg Hearts you need!

Patch 1.4 – Patch 1.5

PvP Honour System – This now defunct system was quite exciting to have… it was the first chance to gain titles, and it really gave a purpose to killing or avoiding killing people.  This is where my shiny “Stone Guard Brajana” and “Scout Ferguson” titles came from!

BATTLEGROUNDS! The emergence of Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley!  Sure, they were still rough… you had to go to the actual entrance (Alterac Mountains or Ashenvale) to get in… but man, it was cool!

Meeting Stones ‘fixed’. But not really.  Blizzard has taken a long and winding road getting to where they are nowadays with the LFG system.  Patch 1.5 brought in the ability to join a meeting stone queue from the zone’s innkeeper, rather than having to go all the way to the dungeon… because that’s a lot better, right?

Patch 1.6 – 1.8

Looking back, I realize that I may think the game is focussed around arenas nowadays, but there was lots of work put into developing the PvP Battlegrounds System as well!

Battlemasters. Blizzard slowly learns that people do not want to have to go directly to an instance and/or battleground to queue up for it.

Arathi Basin! Ah, my favourite Battleground is born.  I wasn’t high enough for Alterac Valley at this point, and Warsong Gulch was fun, but I was already getting a little tired of it.

Lvl 19 Twinks are born – Warsong Gulch now allows the 10-19 bracket!  Not much else of note (at least to me) in this patch… but wait for the next one!

Patch 1.9

Ahn’Qiraj! The battle begins!  While I wasn’t at a raiding level yet, I was a big fan of the whole Qiraji War Effort – I’d loved all the world events so far, and this was no different.  It was nice to be contributing to something!

Linked Capitals – Ogrimmar is no longer the only place worth hanging out, the AH, Trade channel and LFG channel can now be used no matter what capital city you are in.  This was a smart move, since most of the other capital cities had become neglected.  Org still seems to be the central capital for the horde, but it became a lot less crowded.

Patch 1.10

Weather Effects = cool.  This was not nearly as obvious as people expected it to be, but it has been a nice element added to the game.  Having subtle rain in Tirisfal occasionally makes it feel more “realistic”.

“Final Destination” Flight Paths – No more trips with multiple stop overs – you can go from one place to another and the game will pick the most direct route for you!

Patch 1.11 – Patch 1.12

Stack sizes increased – Okay, this doesn’t sound like a big deal… but man, my bag space doubled after this change!  At this point I was leveling up Brajana, with Skinning and Leatherworking of course, so being able to stack leather in stacks of 20 instead of 10 blew my mind!

Cross-Realm Battlegrounds – This one was under much debate.  Some people objected to it, as they didn’t want to compete with people on different servers or different server types.  But I certainly think it was an excellent change.  No more waiting for an hour to get enough people to start an AV!  Battlegrounds became almost instant.

Scrolling Combat Text – This is an example of how Blizzard has taken an idea presented by the community (from the very popular addon) and incorporated it seamlessly into the game.  I really love Blizzard for doing this,

Well, that’s it for Classic WoW.  At this point in the game, everyone is waiting around impatiently for 2.0 and The Burning Crusade to show up, much like they are waiting today for Wrath of the Lich King!  Monday will be a similar post about Patch 2.0 to the most recent patch, with much more exciting updates!