Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Patch 4.01 impressions

It's been crazy the past, oh, 24 hours. But you already know that. Patch 4.01 is here, yo. Cataclysm has one foot through the door as of yesterday.

As always on such a big patch day, people are having problems. Mine started with the launcher, after I got back home from work. Though I had downloaded the full 5GB patch in advance, the game wasn't done yet with patching, oh no.

First, it started installing the patch. Huge WoW patches aren't exactly Speedy Gonzales. After more than 30 minutes of "unpacking", "copying", "installing", etc, I got a nice message that my partition is full and the installation process must abort. Great. I cleared some stuff from the partition and started the whole process again. Fast forward 30-40 minutes later. Same message. Apparently 4.01 needs like 100GB to maneuver. Delete more stuff. Start the installer again. After an hour or so, it was finally done. Now to start the game.

As soon as I loaded it, the fancy new launcher started downloading some more stuff but now it allows you to play once you're past the "red" zone. In fact there's an option that you can set in preferences that apparently allows you to play IN the red zone, once it gets past a certain point. Well, I only had to wait about 30 minutes this time for it to get to the playable zone.

Finally I got inside the game. The first thing that went wrong was that everything slowed to a crawl once I loaded my first character. It was, of course, due to my addons which I had forcibly enabled before logging in. So I disabled them all and then enabled some key ones selectively.

It was obvious that people were confused. Countless questions on trade chat about the new mechanics. A lot of people were clueless as to what had happened to their skills and talents. I was almost as confused as the rest of them. I didn't even bother to respec my level 80s. Instead I jumped on the auction house and started selling stuff. 24 hours later, I made almost 10000 gold, which although is a nice amount, is not even close to what the big AH sharks made. Most of that was from selling glyphs, of course.

Well, aside from the gold, I've been generally pleased with the new changes. I like the new spellbook and the glyph interface. I like the character pane. Finally I can see all the relevant stats without having to choose from a dropdown. What I still don't like is the crafting interface. It's as dumb as ever. Yes, they've added some more filtering options but now you need an extra click to show, for example, "have mats" because you have to pick it from a flyout menu. And the crafting window is still pitifully small and cramped.

The new water effects look great. I can finally enjoy looking at the water and even swimming in it. I've also noticed that there are new, higher res textures for characters.

One other thing that I don't like, and this is something new, is that many spells don't seem to show the damage in the tooltips. Example:
Frostbolt says "Causes Frost damage..."
Pyroblast says "Causes high Fire damage..."
Fireball says "Causes Fire damage..."
Fireblast says "Causes low Fire damage..."

Um... what the hell? Is there a new option that I missed? I looked through the settings and couldn't find anything.

The quakes are a nice touch.

I'm thoroughly confused right now. I only managed to respec my retribution paladin and craft him some glyphs. I'm totally in the dark regarding my other characters. I'm not sure how to spec my hunter and my warlock.

I didn't do much with my level 80s since the patch hit. I actually started leveling my new mage and quickly ate some levels. But more on that in the next post.


Redbeard said...

The Retadin got nerfed pretty badly; the cooldowns plus the need to wait on Holy Power to use Templar's Verdict at max effectiveness really took it's toll. Word from a Blue is that they're going to buff the Rets somehow and nerf the Fire Mages.

Gyldenfeax said...

I had the same full hard drive problems, but thankfully WoW was still down while unpacking. 40 GB seemed to be a satisfactory buffer for me.

The new changes were pretty overwhelming. I don't think anyone knew what to spec into and when a spec was chosen there wasn't much choice in order to get the mastery, at least for pallys.

A good explanation of ret's problems is at:

Anonymous said...

Go to Interface:Help and then deselect 'beginner tooltips' to fix the tooltip problem.

Darth Solo said...

@Redbeard & @Gyldenfeax initially I thought the new rotation has some potential, but after reading some impressions from other people, I did realize that they kinda messed it up. I spent some time on the training dummy and even though I saw some huge numbers, I think people are right: it takes time to build up to that damage. And what pisses me most is that it's hard to tell when you have gained 3 stacks of HP in order to use Templar's Verdict. Oh and Divine Storm is kinda sucky.

@Anonymous doh! Thanks mate! The Help section was the only one I didn't check. Why the hell did they check that box by default for older characters? It should probably be on for new ones but not for level 80s.

koalabear said...

Do you know what spec you want play on your warlock?

Darth Solo said...

@koala I'm really confused. I'll have to go dual Affliction/Demo, just like before but the spells, rotation and everything else need to be re-learned.

koalabear said...

If you want you can check out the specs that I have on my warlock main. Check out Lyssianna on Drak'Tharon (US-H).

Main spec Aff, off spec Demo

Ideally your aff rotation will be:

Curse of the elements -> shadow bolt -> shadow bolt -> haunt -> unstable affliction -> corruption -> bane of agony

you will use shadow bolts as filler in between refreshing the dots. under 25% you will use drain soul instead of shadow bolt.

you will have to weave in the soul burn depending on the situation. from what i understand it will be primarily used with drain soul since the other spells that benefit from it arent really used by affliction.

now for demo, i will have to get back to you on that. i was just getting used to the demo rotation before the patch and havent quite found my way back to it.

good luck! :D

Darth Solo said...

@koalabear thanks for the tips. I'll definitely check them out. I already specced my warlock affliction before I got to read your post. At a first glance the rotation seems complicated. I never used Shadow Bolt before, unless Nightfall procced. Usually there isn't enough time in a complete rotation to weave in a SB. By the time I finish casting all my dots, I need to recast Haunt & UA. Soul Burn? WTH is that? :) I'll have to check it out.

koalabear said...

that is the new soul shard thingy, i might have gotten the name wrong. i was just going off the top of my head.

that rotation is for boss fights

if you are just soloing mobs then you wont do that whole rotation.

affliction is all about sustained damage. it takes a lot to ramp up, but you can keep on going forever. the self heals pretty much make you an unstoppable machine.

check out cynwise, he has a ton of helpful suggestions for all kinds of warlocks. sadly my blog isnt really where you will find solid information.

i am pleased to say that the "goddes of death" mode is still viable! it is especially awesome because soul link is now standard for all specs :D

Darth Solo said...

I've been Affliction all my warlocky life but I don't think I was doing a lot of damage and I never went into a dungeon. He's 80 BTW. I liked the fact that you have all those instant dots that you can apply on several mobs at once and then just run around until they drop dead. And the never-running-out life and mana.

Anonymous said...

What's everyone's perspective on the AH fees and the cost of repairs? I'm a bit miffed overall. But I guess I will quest more if the AH becomes less useful to me for acquiring gold for my toons.

Darth Solo said...

The cost of repairs... well, it depends how much damage you take, obviously, but also on the item level of your equipment. At 80 in full epix, especially >= ilvl 232 ones, a wipe is very painful in terms of repairs. I cringe to think how much a wipe will cost at level 85. Probably 30-50 gold.

As for AH vs questing... why not do both? I made most of my 300K gold through the AH but there's significant amounts to be made from leveling too.