Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cataclysm the smoothest launch ever!

Color me impressed folks. Blizzard has done it again. I dare you to argue that Cataclysm wasn't the smoothest WoW expansion launch in history!

The proof? 17 minutes after launch I managed to log into the game. It took about 3 tries, true, because for the first couple I got stuck at "Connecting". But then I was stunned to find myself at the character selection screen and then right in the middle of the Cataclysm!

What was a bit worrying is that within 30 minutes of logging in, that's roughly 45 minutes into Cataclysm, I saw the following world-first achievements in the chat window, in quick succession:

- miner
- herbalist
- skinner
- angler

On the other hand it took me between 45 minutes and 1 hour to get my mining to max and I screwed around a lot too.

Something that I wasn't exactly expecting - and it took me by surprise - is that flying has been enabled in Dalaran. Woohoo! This change was long overdue and, come to think of it, not completely out of the bounds of possibility.

I got a rude awakening when I realized how many HP the mobs in the new zones have. 30+K at level 81 is nothing to sneeze at. I managed to get killed on my priest because I was trying to gather a herb in a zone (in Hyjal) which had some quick-spawning mobs and as soon as I killed one, another appeared. On the other hand, I'm also proud to have killed a level 84 mob with my hunter, while almost completely naked, in Twilight Highlands. I was naked because I didn't want to risk the huge costs of dying with my expensive purplez. It's true that it took me about 3 minutes to do it but I proved that it can be done.

What can I say, being able to fly all over the place is a novel and very welcome experience. Stormwind looks amazing from the air and I literally went "wow!" when I first rose above the city.

A strange thing is that XP seems to come fairly briskly, at least at this level. All I did (I played for about 4 hours during the night), was to fly around a couple of zones, mine and do a little bit of archeology. Oh and I also did a quest in Hyjal just for kicks. All this brought me close to halfway to 81. It's crazy. There's some pretty healthy XP from mining and herbing alone.

Now archeology is even crazier. I was gaining about 5500 XP each time I discovered an artifact. Archeology is a mixed bag. It seems cool so far but I'm getting a vibe that it is a VERY grindy profession. Just the thing to get us hooked. Just as well, I doubt I'll be maxing it out on other characters than my main (the hunter).

OK now I'm going back to my grind: farming and farming and more farming. Gotta make that gold while mats are still expensive!


Anonymous said...

Did you have difficulty flying through foliage? I heard trees and branches were now impassable.

Were there zones in the old world in which you could not fly?

Finally, what did you pay to train for Kalimdor flying? Rep discounts apply?

Darth Solo said...

Not particularly. I do recall some annoying trees where I got stuck in their branches but that happens all the time. What exactly do you mean by impassable? They won't trap you if that's what you mean.

There weren't any zones in which I couldn't fly but then I didn't fly through all zones. I did fly from Stormwind to Twilight Highlands and from Theramore to Hyjal but I didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary.

Yes, I did pay for flight training. Discounts do apply. I believe I paid 200G at Exalted with Stormwind. What's awesome is that you can fly starting with level 60!

Gyldenfeax said...

I'd completely forgotten about archaeology so I'll have to pick it up and give it a look.

Realm first cooking was achieved literally 5 minutes into cataclysm. Lots of cooking quests on different alts for that one I guess. The non-gathering professions seem to be taking much longer on my realm. Most are taken now, but I was surprised how people took their time. Strange and hard to get mats don't help though.

Darth Solo said...

What depresses me is that prices for mats seem to be tanking :(

And it's only the first day :((

Darth Solo said...

Bloody hell I just saw a damn level 83 worgen rogue while flying around Uldum!

Gyldenfeax said...

Yeah I've noticed prices have really dropped very quickly. Elementium ore is 200g a stack on my server, but Obsidium Ore seems to be holding up a bit better. Could it be that people's knowledge of the WOW economy is so much better than it was at the start of WoTLK, so everyone's avoiding the early price spikes? Or maybe Cataclysm hasn't pulled in as many people as the last expansion.

Darth Solo said...

I think everyone and their granma is farming mats this time around.

I have a good mind to just use the mats I gathered to level my own professions instead of selling them. I'm already standing on a huge pile of mats.

Celebrandil said...

I find it a bit strange that 12 hours after launch there are people on 85 already. OK they knew the zones and quests from beta, but still I think this is too quick. I thought leveling from 80-85 would at least be as time consuming as it was from 70-80 back when WotLK launched. Obviously it is rather the same as from 70 to 75.

And the underwater continent is painful :( Fighting, looting and moving under water is really not too convenient, and you aggro mobs from all angles. Can't wait to get out of there, but I will finish it since I want to get all the Quest Achievements.

Darth Solo said...

Yeah I think Blizz must have screwed something up. I don't think in Wrath people got to 80 in less than 24 hours, even when grinding continuously.

My priest turned 81 from a dozen quests, exploring 3 new zones and herbing. I think I gained almost 1/4 level just from herbing.

On the other hand I'm not complaining too much because I'm getting sick of all the grinding anyway.

What pisses me off is that they require you to be 84 before you can learn vital recipes for leveling some of your professions.

Anonymous said...

You stated that you were suprised to discover that flying has been enabled in Dalaran. This was not news to me, i believe they enabled flying in Dalaran with the patch that brought on the shattering. 4.0.1 i believe it was.

Im suprised at the amount of gold required for flying in Azeroth, i was expecting the "master flying" to be the required skill level to fly in Azeroth costing 4,000 or so. I was happy to hear that it will be affordable even for me.

Also, i have yet to confirm this, but my supervisor said he noticed they dropped the price of "cold weather flying" to more than half what it used to be.

I thought they did away with cold weather flying and included it in master flying unless you were "grandfathered" into it (ive been lvling some low level alts, so i may not have noticed a lot of the high level changes)

Darth Solo said...

@Anon I seriously was surprised because I didn't notice it in patch 4.0.1. I wasn't expecting it either. It just slipped past my radar I guess.

Well, the new "gold sink" seems to be the 310 flight skill which is really a luxury but I'm sure they wanted to make old-world flying accessible to everyone.

Just imagine if Azeroth flying was 5K. People would be pissed. Realistically not many people can afford even 280 flying.

Yes, cold weather flying is 100G I think. Which is nice. And you don't need a level 80 in order to get it either.

phill said...

one thing for sure is that NPC are hitting like mack trucks. I am so building up either cooking or first aide. My gear broke as well...that has never happened...

Darth Solo said...

Blizz might have overdone it a bit with the mobs. I also ran a dungeon and it was quite challenging.

SirFWALGMan said...

My geared tank has no problems with mobs but my DPS classes get hurt sometimes.. and my poor neglected Shaman with iLvl173 greens got face stomped by an 81 in Hyjal.

Darth Solo said...

Oh that happens definitely. I can't remember since I last died so many times. I think I average a death per instance, not through any fault of my own though.

On the other hand, gearing happens pretty quickly so after a few quests and a few dungeon runs anyone should have some decent gear.