Tuesday, December 19, 2006

((Back in … um … the Light … or something))

((A little over a month after heading over to the Horde side of things, I went back to the Alliance. Horde side on my server can be fun, however, the Horde there is underpopulated, unmotivated and generally tedious to be around. Most of the notable personalities I remember from days past have left and the people that stuck around can’t seem to think of anything good to do. Getting a decent group together for questing / instancing is bloody murder.

Within the first half-hour of logging back into the Alliance, I received a group invite for an Uldaman run, got my two “main” characters re-guilded and hooked up with some friends. I still love the Horde, but at least on the Alliance side I can interact with people without feeling like a burden. So, till expansion time, I’ll be working on my Night Elf Hunter and playing my Paladin for giggles now and then.

Speaking of NE Hunters: I respecced mine to full beastmastery for leveling and all I have to say is WOW! I rarely pull aggro off my pet now and its damage is something else. Grinding things is fast, fast, fast with very little downtime.))

Thursday, December 07, 2006

((Update 2.0.somethingorother))

((Blizz released their major talent / honor patch this past Tuesday. All I can say is: very nicely done, Blizz!

The patch itself downloaded in record time. As expansive as the changes were, the download was done in about two minutes and the update installation took between ten and fifteen minutes. The speed was largely due to the fact that in days and weeks prior, they set up their background downloader to download pieces of the patch slowly overtime as players played the game. When the “big day” came, most of the user’s computers already contained most of the software that needed to be installed. A couple quick, last minute things to load and away it went.

The largest aspects of the patch were to the talent trees for each class and to the honor system. The talent changes are great. Most of the players I have talked to (in my guild and outside it) love their new talent trees and are having a lot of fun playing around with their new abilities. As a shaman, I love the new Enhancement tree and the fact that I can now dual-wield. While not very effective for PvP combat, my ability to grind mobs and do damage in-game is vastly improved. I loose little health and conserve a lot of mana and am usually capable of engaging in the next fight immediately after finishing the current one.

The honor system changes are also very good. Now, instead of having to grind honor constantly to attain or maintain a rank, you can PvP as much or as little as you’d like. You earn tokens which you can use to “buy” any item you would like in the game. Whether you are a casual player or hardcore, if you have your eye on a particular PvP reward, you can get it. It will take casual players longer to earn their tokens, but if they keep at it, they can get even the highest rewards available.

The latest patch is Blizz’s preparation for the expansion: The Burning Crusade to be released in January. They did a tremendous job getting people back into the game and playing with the talents before the new content and spells were added.

And now … back to playing!! :)