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Patch 3.2: New Portals and Zeppelins

The 3.2 news just keeps right on coming.

The News
New Zeppelin: Orgrimmar to Thunderbluff

You mean, no more 15 minute runs through some of the most boring terrain the game has to offer? Sweet!

New Portals: Orgrimmar and Stormwind both getting portals directly to the Dark Portal

You mean, no more portals to Stonard? Sweet!

What It Means
Further proof here that Blizzard is trying to lend new players and low level characters more of a hand to help them level up their toons and get them to Northrend faster and easier.

Personally, I love the idea of being able to go wherever I want to faster and easier. I love to level, but I hate running around simply for the sake of getting from one place to another. Now, if I can farm for either drops or my professions along the way, then I don’t really mind it. But if I’m just running from Point A to Point B simply because I need one, dinky little thing from Point B then I’m not a happy player.

Let the QQ Begin!
Yes, this does “dumb down” some of the things you had to do previously, and just like with the Mount Changes Post, I’m sure there will soon be a flood of QQ flooding the Barrens as everyone throws a fit at making old game contented “too easy” and that Blizzard is “conforming to the casuals” and so forth.

The people complaining about all that are primarily people who are already running around in Northrend. And do those players care about low level play anyway? No. So why bother with the QQ?

If you were Blizzard, who would you want to “conform” towards more: the people who praise your product and love what you’re doing to help them (the ones like me who rejoice at such news), or the ones that constantly cry and complain no matter how good, or bad, the changes might be? You can never please the drama queens, but the ones having fun are the ones bringing in new business as they share the game with other people.

Look here for more details.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2009 in Patch Notes

 

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Patch 3.2: Mount Changes

UPDATE
They are also making changes to class forms and class quest that increase movement speeds.

Druid Forms New Level
Travel Form 16
Flight Form* 60
Swift Flight Form 70

*Flight Form has also received the speed increase to 150% instead of 60%.

Hunter Aspects New Level
Cheetah 16

No other changes noted as of yet.

Shaman Forms New Level
Ghost Wolf 16

No other changes noted as of yet.

Paladin Mounts New Level
Warhorse 20
Charger 40

No mention yet of what changes may occur to the quest itself. Will they do away with it? Will they leave it there simply for the achievement? Will they replace the reward with something else? Who knows.

Warlock Mounts New Level
Felsteed 20
Dreadsteed 40

No mention yet of what changes may occur to the quest itself. Will they do away with it? Will they leave it there simply for the achievement? Will they replace the reward with something else? Who knows.

End Update

The most frequent complaint I see when talking to old players about rolling new characters, is that they don’t want to go back to having to run everywhere on foot. Everyone loves their epic mounts, and being forced to run again just kills them. Well, apparently level 30 wasn’t enough for those people and Blizzard decided to do something about it.

My thanks to yet another Twitter friend, @Arrens for pointing this information out to me.

As if the New Druid Cat and Dire Bear Forms were not enough, Blizzard has also decided it is time once again to lower the level and cost requirements for mounts.

In Patch 3.2 you will now be able to purchase your first mount at level 20 instead of level 30. That’s right, you heard me – Riding Skill (60% speed) is now going to be trainable at level 20! The skill is now only going to cost a whopping 4g, plus an extra 1g for the mount itself. So for the low, low cost of just 5 shiny gold coins you too can run around the world at 60% run speed!

Changes have been made to everything except Epic Flying and Cold Weather Flying:

Mount Type New Lv Req New Price
Regular Ground Mount 20 Training: 4g, Mount: 1g
Epic Ground Mount 40 Training: 50g, Mount: 10g
Regular Flying Mount 60 Training: 600g*, Mount: 50g
Epic Flying Mount 70 Training: 5,000g*, Mount: 100g
Cold Weather Flying 77 Training: 1,000g

* Faction Discounts now apply to reduce the cost of Flight Training for both Regular and Epic flying mounts.

Update:
I also found, shortly after posting this, that the casting time to summon your mounts has also been cut in half! Summoning your mount will take 1.5 seconds instead of 3 seconds as it does now.

Special Notes: Regular Flying Mounts
Speed is now increased to 150% instead of 60%. So you can now fly around in Outlands at a reasonable speed instead! The mount’s speed on land will be 60%, but the flying speed has been increased significantly.

Also, you will now be able to train your Regular Flying skill Thrallmar/Honor Hold instead of having to take the trip over to Shadowmoon Valley.

And your reputation with Thrallmar/Honor Hold will now provide their faction discounts on your regular flying mount training. You will also receive faction discounts on training your Epic Flying as well.

Let the QQ Begin!
I know when they reduced the first mounts down to level 30 just from level 40 that there was just a ton of drama flying all around about how much work people had to put in to get their mounts, and how they had to walk everywhere they went, and so on and so forth.

I expect very much the same thing going on now, not just because the mounts have been reduced even further, but mainly because of the flying mounts dropping down to level 60.

With as much crying as there was just from the riding mount dropping by 10 levels, I’m sure people are going to go half-insane with flying mounts doing the same. The most ridiculous part of this QQ is the fact that the ones with the tears rolling down their faces are going to be the ones that have already been sitting at level 80 for 6 months, who will not be impacted by this in the least.

If you’re bothered by the change, then ask yourself this: “Does that someone else having a mount at level 20 impact my gameplay at all?” And the correct answer to that question is “No, it doesn’t.”

Those who QQ about this topic will receive no sympathy from me.

Let the Fun Begin!
Since I’m the kind of guy who plays this game for fun, and the majority of my fun comes from leveling characters, I absolutely love this change. It does potentially kind of suck for Shamans and Druids who already get fast moving forms (+40% speed) at level 20, but a lot of people use those forms instead of spending money on the mounts anyway.

The articles that I have linked down at the bottom point out that the whole point of this change is to make leveling a bit easier and less stressful by providing more tools for you to use while you’re leveling. The experience in Outlands is going to speed up because you have a faster flying mount that you can get almost right away instead of waiting until you’re already prepared to move on into Northrend.

I think this is a wonderful change and I fully support it. I see no reason to bother crying or complaining about it as everyone who would have any reason to do so is already above and beyond where it would have any impact on them to begin with.

Bravo, Blizzard! Bravo!

Giving Credit Where It’s Due
You can find the article I found my information on Here.

And for more information, you can look Here.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2009 in Patch Notes

 

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Druid: New Cat and Dire Bear Forms in 3.2

As I am sure many of you already know, new druid forms are on their way in version 3.2! This change has long been sought after by many druid players for quite some time. One of the reasons why I find the druid boring at times is because I primarily play Horde characters, and I absolutely hate the Tauren cat form of the horned lion.

Each form will be tied to the various looks that you can get by visiting the Barbershop. If you change your look there, then you change the look of your form as well. So if you end up getting tired of your look all you need to do is take a short trip to the barber and you will have a whole new look. With so many options available in the barber shop, compared to the 5-6 forms available, there will obviously be some overlap but not only are they giving us a change that we have sought for so long, they are giving it to us along with a means of customizing it to our own taste.

New Tauren Cat Forms:

As far as the Cat Forms go, I can’t say that there are any of them in particular that I do not like, but my personal favorites are the two on the right, with the one on top being my first preference. I love the nose rings being included in all of the forms, though you might have to click on the link to have a closer look before you can really see it. The changes to the face in general really help me to more realistically imagine my character turning into that cat form. I fully approve these new cat forms and am thrilled about their proposed existence.

New Tauren Dire Bear Forms:

My favorite Dire Bear forms for the Tauren are the ones on the bottom-right and bottom-left, in that order. The idea of turning into a “tribal polar bear” is greatly appealing to me for some reason that I can’t explain, and I really love the coloring in the one of the left. The three on top don’t thrill me all that much, but more options are always good so I’ll be happy to have them when my druid gets enough levels to actually make use of the Dire Bear form.

Night Elf Dire Bear Forms:

The Night Elf bears don’t thrill me quite as much as the Tauren bears do, but I do really like the bottom-right one (do you see a trend here?). The light colored “sideburns” on that dark bear just seem extra brutal to me for some reason so that would be my preferred look if I ever bothered rolling an Alliance druid. If I had to pick a second favorite it would probably be the top-left because I like the color scheme on it more than the other options. I’m not quite as excited about the white Night Elf form as I am the Tauren’s, and yet again I can’t say for sure what it is. There’s just something about the Night Elf’s that doesn’t work for me as well the Tauren’s white form.

Overall
I really love not only the fact that there are finally (or at least soon will be) better options available to us, but also that they brought more of the base race out in the image as well. Now I can actually see how my Tauren turned into that cat and actually recognize some of his features besides the horns. Where the horns really bother me right now in the current form because they look so out of place, the new forms are actually enhanced and accentuated by them.

With how impressed I am in these changes, I can’t wait to see what options they may potentially open up in future versions for other forms such as the Boomkin and Tree. While the Travel and Aquatic forms would also be cool to have updated, I am not so excited about changes to those as I would be for forms I use while playing the character rather than just traveling with them.

Credit: All images are courtesy of WoWRaid.com

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2009 in Druid, Patch Notes

 

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3.1 Patch Update

The 3.1 patch has finally landed, as all of you surely know. Some have been able to try it out, and some are still waiting for the whole thing to download and stabilize long enough for you to do more than see your character load and then disconnect.

As I have mentioned several times before, I am not a raider. So, while I will have a short dip into Ulduar mentioned here, this is not the place to find out about the new end game content. What you will find here, are my thoughts on some of the more interesting changes and additions that I have found so far.

Bugs and Problems
I figured the best place to start off was to start mentioning the things that have caused problems so that you are aware of them. Now, this part is strictly from what I have seen myself as I have not yet had the time to study up on information from other bloggers yet.

The most obvious of these is server stability. It doesn’t happen on all servers, but some of them just keep on going up and down with very little stability. My two main servers are luckily not a part of that and I have not had to deal with it much. I have to assume that server population is a key factor in this as I play mostly on two different low population servers.

The second most common problem is profession links in chat. Sometimes the links work, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes a particular person’s link will work, but nobody else’s will. Sometimes your link will not work in trade chat, but it will work in party chat, guild chat, or whispers. They are all over the grid on both of my main servers, and there is no set pattern to any of it as far as we can tell. This has been a major obstacle in selling my glyphs that I was preparing for before the patch was released. Generally people ask for a link to your profession, they read on down the list until they find something they want, and then you carry on with the transaction. At this point in time though it’s a hide and seek relationship that is very annoying.

Changes
Secondary Professions – The first few changes I wanted to mention, because they are ones that strongly approve of, are the changes to the secondary professions.

  • Cooking: This one has to take my top slot because it has the most impact on my personal play style. The first thing worthy of note concerning cooking is that Blizzard has removed the need for you to go obtain a books or do quests in order to level your cooking skill. Since I generally have my cooking leveled up to its early maximum long before my character could survive in the areas where these books are purchased, this is a great change for me. Secondly, you no longer need those worthless vendor-purchased spices to cook most recipes.. The spices are not all that expensive or anything but it was annoying that you either had to do all of your cooking in town so that you could bank the spices, or you had to waste bag slots to carrying them around with you.
  • Fishing: Fishing has obtained two major boosts as well. First, you no longer have to read books or perform quests to level your fishing. Nat Pagle’s quest is still available if you would like to get a better fishing pole, but it is no longer required for you to level up your fishing skill. Second, you can now fish anywhere you want to, regardless of what your skill level is. If you fish in areas that were previously too hard for you, then you are more likely to fish up junk, but now you do not have to go back to your starting areas to fish if you neglected it for most of your character’s career. If you actually want the fish then it will be better to go to those lower level areas first, but it is not a requirement. I have not taken the time yet to do any fishing since the patch was released, but the time for each cast has been reduced as well, which may cut down on some of the boredom that many of us find in the world of fishcraft.
  • Talent Confirmation
    I know I have fallen victim to a forced respec from a random, unintentional click more than once. Blizzard has finally come to their senses and given us the option of requiring a confirmation before our talent points are actually spent. Applying this to each of my characters was one of the first things I did when I was able to log in after the patch. This is one of those features that come as sort of an added bonus in that it does not actually give you anything, it just makes spending your talent points a little safer.

    Additions
    Vault of Archavon
    A new hallway has been opened up in the Vault of Archavon, with another boss added to the end of it named Emalon. I went into this one with a pug group and Emalon and his minions beat us up and stole our lunch money four times. I keep hearing people talk about the boss being easy to bring down, but after four wipes, all of which came from my mage taking more than twice his HP total in damage, I have my doubts. I planned on going back to take him down last night, but internet connection problems kept me off of the game. Maybe tonight will be the night instead. In addition to the new boss being added, there is also now a summoning stone right outside of the entrance to Vault, which makes it much easier for people to reach both the instance as well as Wintergrasp itself. No more Warlock portals for me.

    Ulduar
    Saving the best for last of course, how could I not talk a little bit about Ulduar? My guild has not been able to run Naxx yet because we are almost entirely composed of DPS classes and our pugs quickly turn into the junk that gives pugging its bad reputation. While some of us have managed to pug Naxx to some degree, our lack of guild raids has left the majority of us undergeared, and thus unable to really run Ulduar either. So instead of trying to fool ourselves and take a shot at pugging Ulduar, we simply stripped down to nothing but our guild tabards and three of us took on Ulduar alone.

    Obviously, we made absolutely no progress at all, but that was just fine with us. What we did manage to do was have a whole lot of fun playing with the siege engines there at the entrance and bashing some of the trash mobs with them. I think all together we wiped about thirteen times or so before we finally left the place and went off to try out other new things, but we had a blast. Knowing that none of us were ready for the instance we have not put any effort yet into reading up on strategies either, so we had no idea what we were supposed to do with the whole “launch party member” option in the vehicles, so we just ran around pulling a big old group and then launching each other right into the middle of them. It was great fun flying in with a Blast Wave at the ready only to be killed before the spell even went off. Good times, good times.

    What I do want to say about Ulduar, is that from even just the small little portion that we were able to see, the place looks really cool. And since having fun is what my guild is all about, I am sure we will have further trips into the wonderful world of Ulduar in the future regardless of whether it be for an honest shot at running through it, or just another fun run full of launching each other into masses of mobs to see who can get the farthest before dying.

     
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Posted by on April 16, 2009 in Patch Notes

 

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