Thursday, 10 December 2009

It was patch day (to 3.3 if anyone reads this in years to come).

First impressions?

Yeah … they sort of can make a relationship fail or something, but in case of a patch day I tend to think: Let’s wait for another day before I settle on a grade.

However, in a cunning drive to post more recent content to the blog, I’m not above rambling about whatever I saw last night.

First: A new pet. Sorry. It was the first thing I saw, because my little bank alt used for testing add-on stability had mail. And she never has mail. So yes… apparently all those paranoid people owning an authenticator got a cute little core-hound pup as a pet. And it’s really rather on the cute side.

Second: My loot window now opens where my mouse is. That is … odd. It was somewhere else before, I am sure, and I will probably find a new option to lock it or something. It feels wrong at the moment, though. Especially odd when disenchanting a load of stuff for shiny dusts with a macro while moving your mouse all over the screen. Hey… that was not here before. And why is it there now? Creepy.

Third: New maps. I like them. I think I’ll probably need to sort through all my map-related add-ons soonish and see if they are still all required. I am not sure how I feel about the “go here to complete your quest” feature, but to be fair – the location is rather rough and you still sort of vaguely have to know what you are doing. Also… with now six level 80s I’ve done all the quests. I even got the Loremaster to prove it. It doesn’t affect my playing – and if it means less questions about Mankriks wife in the Barrens it is probably a good thing.

Fourth: New /LFR and /LFG tools. LFR is brilliant. I can sign up for any raid – even old ones. That’s something I missed sorely in the previous incarnation. Now the only thing missing is a sign-up for “For the Alliance” and I’d be perfectly content. And well… LFG looks confusing and needs testing. Can I sign up a whole group for a random daily and get the badges with people I like? Can I sign up for the normal instance and do it on heroic? How does this teleporting thing work? There was just not enough time because of …

Fifth: The weekly Raid and Icecrown Citadel. We have our weekly raid day on Wednesdays. Our raid group was ready and prepared (and mostly on time, even). We checked the weekly raid and it was Anub’Rekan. Err… the one in Naxx? The one that is probably one of the easiest bosses in Naxx? And he was worth 5 badges of frost and 5 of triumph? For 10 minutes of our time? Hell yes! It was good fun to actually see him die before the first locust swarm. This may not be a great achievement for high-powered raiders, but for us it’s still quite an achievement.

Moving from there to Icecrown Citadel brought us the usual patching day trouble. We could not get an instance for ourselves. “Too many instances are open – please try again later”. I think we saw that message continuously for almost 30 minutes before one of us finally managed to sneak in.

Spoilers ahead about the new raid.

I mean it.

The trash starting us out was interesting. It reminded me strongly of the first steps we took into Ulduar back in the day. It was exciting and dangerous (and the permanent respawn until you beat up the first group was interesting). We wiped when one of the big skeletons stumbled into our group near the end of the pull. We wiped when we got two groups at once. I think in total we took three attempts to clear all the way to the  first boss.

And he looks rather awesome.

I have not been as impressed with a boss since the Ulduar days again. He looks new and fresh and dangerous. He also proved to be quite a bit of a problem for us. We had decided beforehand not to read up on any tactics and thus it took us several attempts to get him down.

His cold fire of freezing flames caught us by surprise. His impaling spike/spine of “I stole this from Warlord Naj’entus” killed people (and we are only 10 – we feel the loss of each healer and dps instantly). His whirlwind killed no one – but it managed to drive the two tanks apart and his subsequent saber-lash killed us HARD. He did feel like a good mix of Halazzi in Zul Aman and the Warlord Naj’entus with more damage for everyone thrown in.

And wheee… he dropped my new tanking mace. A mace. With tank stats. For a dwarf. I love it.

Clearing to the next boss took a little time as well. The two priests managed to wipe us twice. On trash! Glorious! It took us a bit to figure out that they drain life. From everyone around the affected target. In nifty little chunks of 15.000 damage per person.

The second boss-girl was a little easier in the end. We only wiped two or three times. Her adds hurt, but the rest of the fight is rather manageable. I think the last wipe was just due to an inconvenient coincidence of “new add spawn” with “boss comes live and proceeds to deal more damage now that all her mana is gone”. Raid time up and all of us pretty happy, I think. It was hard, but not too badly so. It was plagued by crashes and delays, but that’s just patch day. It was new and sparkly and I like it. Can’t wait to try and push for some more.

Bedtime then … but not bad for a first day after a major patch.

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