Friday, July 18, 2008

Beta Patch Highlights

The WotLK beta has begun, and it brings with it some pretty interesting patch notes.

- Entangling Roots: Can now be used indoors.
- * New Spell: Revive - Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with health and mana. Cannot be cast when in combat. (Ranks 1-7 added)

These are my two favorite changes to druids. Indoor roots will come in handy for a variety of situations, from temp CC in a regular group, to separating enemies that must be cleared in stealth runs, making multiple pulls more manageable. Revive can't get here soon enough. I've always hoped they would give druids a "real" rez, as it can be quite the challenge to heal a 5 man group with only a druid battle rez. No mention of changing or removing the battle rez, which may sound a bit over powered, but I think will work out just fine. Druids can help rez at the end of a fight, but they retain their utility in battle as an emergency rez too.

- If a hunter tames a pet that is more than five levels beneath than the hunter's level, then the pet jumps to five levels beneath than the hunter's level.

There are lots of hunter changes that I'm happy about, but this one, I really like. So many times I've wanted to go back and tame a pet of lower level, but find it really hard to level it up. This is still 5 levels to work on, but closing the gap should really help those of us that like to collect interesting pets. Now...about that stable size Blizzard!!

Changes to buffs, auras and totems that make them into proximity, instead of party benefits are really exciting. It makes much more sense for them to apply to those around the caster, rather than having to stack groups and force a healer to keep the tank (for example) in range.

I'm happy to see that the Death Knight still sounds like it's balanced to be able to choose any tree and be effective, I truly hope the nerf bat isn't hitting them too hard anytime soon.

How about those Achievements?

This system is one I've wanted to see in place for a while. It's fun to have a list of things you've done to look back on, and for others to see. I'm hoping, for the sake of not only myself, but others that like to collect things like this, that most of the old world stuff is going to still be unlock able in Wrath. I also hope that things you have done in the past will count! The only down side to this system that I can see so far is the fact that it announces to guild when you unlock something. Now, as nice as that sounds...I've got a big guild...and a lot of people who are going to be working on stuff like this. Think of a boss achievement...and the 25 people who unlock it at the same moment. Spammity!! Perhaps there's an option to disable it...guess we'll wait and see.

Shave and a haircut anyone? I'm looking forward to seeing what new styles are added for each race. A couple of my characters could really use a makeover...who knew when I created them that I'd still be playing years later? It's not something I plan to change often, but I can see it being a pretty effective gold sink if Blizzard continues to release new options with content patches. Now all we need is a groomer for those shaggy druids!

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