Another WoW expansion has come and the dust is finally starting to settle. Given that I have slowed down a bit and the “fresh new-car smell” of the expansion has worn away, it seemed like a good opportunity to reflect on my experiences.
In a word: Awesome.
I love that heroic dungeons require a certain level of gear (and skill) to realize success - something that I think was lost over the 2 previous expansions. Glad to see that some thought has to go into crowd-control and group coordination. I recall hearing a number of players comment on the dramatic increase in difficulty with new dungeon content. Although skill is a factor, I dare say a lack of familiarity with the content, inadequate gear, and failure to comprehend class mechanics may have contributed to the perceived difficulty.
The talent trees and class abilities have been simplified - they actually make sense and I don’t feel as though any points spent to customize my character are “fillers.” I have been rather impressed with the UI prompts that alert you when special abilities are available. Lastly, I think Blizzard did a fantastic job with the new guild perks and leveling system.
There are many more things that I enjoy, but those are the most significant for me. There were also some bugs and class performance issues that Blizzard discovered and (for the most part) remedied. Now that the first wave of patches has completed, I think the game is balanced and performing well.
I did notice the learning curve (and humiliating experience) that went along with learning to play each of my characters again - particularly in heroic dungeon environments. While the challenge made success even more rewarding, it also made finding a good random group highly frustrating. Some of this was addressed with recent patches to the game, the rest I plan to address by running with guild members instead of random (practicing self-restraint here) other people.
Overall, I am ready to get back to the daily quest “hum” and begin gearing for raid content. Not to mention I should probably spend a bit more time gearing the many, many alts I have spawned over the years. Speaking of alts, I still have 10 characters total (one of each class); 5 of them are level-capped, 3 are 82+ as of today, 1 is level 72+, and the other just hit level 60. I don’t know whether I should be proud or ashamed of the time and attention I’ve invested in this game.
In the mean time, I hope Cataclysm has been kind to you. See you in-game!