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.
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.
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.
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.
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.