Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Soooo 3.0.2 - initial thoughts

Well, we finally got in.
And now the whole Bloodlust battlegroup is down for 2 hours for "emergency maintenance".
My thoughts so far? A bit chaotic, but overall awesome.

First of all, I respeced Darksentinel to 51/10/0 Beast Mastery. Then I went to go get me a white Core Hound (got to give my thanks here to Mania's update of petopia, I kinda forgot). On the way I managed to find one of those cool Ghost Sabers in Darkshore (wasn't going to keep her though):And then it was on to Azuremyst Isle. Where I got killed by the guards, because I didn't realise that they're all 75, so I tried to ride straight past the Exodar. While I was doing, that orc hunter I know was flying to Un'goro (people, if you want a Devilsaur and you're Revered or higher with Keepers of Time, take the portal to the Caverns of Time, it's slightly faster than flying from TB or Org, or however else Alliance gets there). Anyway, I found the Kurken, and I now have a white Core Hound:
A brief trip to Warsong Gulch yielded 3 achievements (including Saves the Day), plus a daily I forgot I had. I also found out that ret pallies are pretty nasty at 70.

After this it was time to respec Beathooven to balance and test out the new spell power-based damage on all my healing gear. And yes, it's really nice having 800+ spell power. Although a couple of duels later I decided it really was much more fun kiting people with Core Hounds.

So it was back to Durotar on the avenging Beast Master, really putting Beast Mastery with Bestial Wrath's 1.4 minute cooldown through it's paces. It's awesome. Out of around 20 duels I lost 2, 1 to a well-geared rogue (Dismantle is nuts) and one to a warlock who kited me around the giant rib cage sticking out of the ground by the entrance to Orgrimar. Core hound really messes up Elemental Shamans with Lava Breath. Given the number of ret paladins performing way above their gear level (and never running low on mana), I decided it was time to try another pet: the chimaera. And after a trip to Winterspring (on the way I grabbed an Owl, but then released it again) I ended up with a 2-headed drake with Froststorm Breath. Now the damage on Froststorm Breath is only a few hundred, but the debuff is insane. Combined with Wing Clip, Frost Trap, and Concussive Shot I kited around T5/T6/S3 rogues/feral druids/warriors/enhancement shamans and ret paladins as much as I wanted, especially combined with trinket+Bestial Wrath. In duels at least (not arena), Beast Mastery hunters are extremely hard to beat.

After eating a couple of mages and enjoying a server restart, I decided to try the ret paladin for myself. My ret paladin is level 41, and for the first 10 minutes I tried to get my head around the new system of Hands, Seals and Judgements. And after that things went a bit nuts (once I'd gone back to Org to train a few things that had been changed). I experimented in Dustwallow Marsh, with mobs ranging from 37-39, so there wasn't a lot of challenge 1v1. But after rounding up 6 of the Theramore Deserters, killing them extremely quickly with Consecrate and ending up with both 90% health and mana, I realised that even while levelling, retribution is pretty OP. At one point I went afk for 5 minutes and came back to find I'd been attacked, and there was a corpse next to me waiting to be looted O.o. I was going to test AOE grinding on the murlocs, but decided there was something else I needed to do first.

My rogue alt had a massive supply of herbs to sell, and by this time Kingsblood was selling for 40g/stack. Long story short, within an hour I had amassed 280 gold and cleared some bag space. Also, auctions that have sold but not yet been paid for are now listed on the auction house interface. The point here being, if you have herbs, sell them, if you want to level inscription and don't have a supply, be prepared to fork out quite a bit of gold or go hunting yourself.

And by the time I'd tested both Fire and Frost specs on my mage, it was time for the servers to come down again. Both these specs seem a bit better than before, and some of my +[school]-only damage items have been changed to raw spellpower, making it easy to switch between specs.

Short form summary:
- chaos
- some stuff hard to find, including marks of honour
- achievement system has some really cool stuff, but not enough retroactive achievements
- ret paladins are nuts (especially compared to before)
- BM hunters are nuts (although they were pretty sweet before)
- rogues are nuts (and always were)
- basically everything is nuts, except holy paladins and fury warriors (lol, Titan's Gimp)
- lots of nice changes, but will take a while to get used to
- addons sort of work (not completely) and are showing a lot of error messages, but I'm too lazy to update them
- servers are still down

And here's a picture of Stormwind Harbour, taken on the Proudmoore server while Aman'Thul was down:

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