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Archive for the ‘Blizzard’ Category

It's a patch. Get it?

Isn’t that one hell of a patch note?  Gives you a headache doesn’t it.  (It sure gave me one.)  One thing is certain.  The game is going to change in a huge way when the servers come up today.

Let me encapsulate some of the highlights of the changes in the rogue and shaman classes (my two primary characters).  I looked at the Hunter changes and just got a migraine.

Rogue (Subtlety)

  • Cloak of Shadows cooldown reduced to 1.5 minutes.  For the non-rogues out there, this means that subtlety rogues are going to be able to dispel almost all harmful effects from themselves every minute and a half.  Subtlety has had a real kick in the ass in the last couple of patches.  It looks like that’s going to continue.
  • Damaging poisons now scale with attack power.  If I understand this correctly (and we’ll see later this afternoon) poison ranks are gone.  You learn the poison, and it grows with you as you level.  Sadly this is going to make well-geared rogues even more deadly than they were before.
  • Thieve’s Tools are no longer required to pick locks or open doors.  Damn, could we make life any more easy?  There just comes a point where things are too easy.  I’m sure this is part of the overall bag space initiative but still.
  • THE POISONS PROFESSION IS GONE! Yeah I’m pissed off about this too.  Now you just go to a poison vendor and buy the stuff you need.  Rogues no longer make it.  This game is feeling more and more like Hello Kitty Island Adventures by the minute.
  • Just like they got rid of blinding powder in the last patch, you don’t need flash powder anymore to vanish.  C’MON BLIZZARD!  QUIT CATERING TO THE LAZY TWELVE YEAR OLD POT SMOKER DEMOGRAPHIC!!

Shaman (Resto)

  • Grace of Air totem has gone BYE BYE!  Before all your hunter and rogue friends have an aneyrism, you should point out to them that Strength of Earth now augments strength and agility.  This is a “lazy change” I can live with.
  • Seven ranks of Water Shield?  I dig it!
  • Earthliving Weapon is a new self-buff for shamans that augments healing, but only when the weapon is swinging.  Interesting concept, but… useless for resto.
  • Cleanse Spirit.  Resto shamans can now take a point that gives them the ability to cleanse one disease, one poison, and one curse all at the same time.  (Kinda like Paladin Purify on steroids.)
  • Tidal Force.  Oh my god this has me giddy.  A resto point where you click a button and your critical chance for your healing spells jacks up 60% but everytime a crit goes off, the chance goes down.  STILL.  I was on a heroic run a few days ago where this woulda come in really handy.
  • Rover can walk on water.  Shapeshifting no longer cancels waterwalking.  So I’m guessing you’ll see bears and kittys on the water from time to time too.  Dunno about mounts, but that would be funny.
  • Totem range increased by 50%.  Thank you.  No really.  Thank you.  You can stop clapping.  Thank you. Really, I mean it.  Thank you.
  • Tranquil Air totem has gone bye bye.  No threat reduction for shamans.
  • Windwall totem has gone bye bye.

Other Items Of Note

  • Barbershops are open, and I expect them to be flooded with people.
  • There are almost no changes to professions other than what I already noted and the addition of Inscriptions.
  • There are vast changes to the default user interface.  Mounts and non-combat pets no longer take slots.  EXPECT YOUR ADDONS TO BREAK TODAY, AND BE PREPARED TO PLAY “NAKED” FOR A LITTLE WHILE.
  • The patch is GYNORMOUS.  The Mac version is over a gig.  If you haven’t started the downloader yet, launch it now.  Especially if you have a slow connection or have multiple computers to update.

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This is probably old news.  Wow Insider probably covered it a week and a half ago, but I just clicked the link now so it’s new to me.  So pfffffft.

Blizzard is now apparently offering soundtrack downloads from the iTunes store.  I ignored the link the first few times I saw it, but finally clicked it today which of course loaded iTunes and the iTunes store browser.  I expected to find a single CD at the most (and not even a very big one) but I was so very, very, very wrong.

There are SIX albums in total including:

  • Diablo III Overture – The Single
  • Warcraft III: Reign Of Chaos (15 tracks)
  • Starcraft – The Original Game Soundtrack (26 tracks)
  • Diablo II (17 tracks)
  • World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (21 tracks)
  • World Of Warcraft: Taverns Of Azeroth (19 tracks) (in my opinion, sure to be a roleplayer favourite)
  • World Of Warcraft: The Original Game Soundtrack (30 tracks)

If I had a little more iTunes credit I’d have to download some of these albums.  $9.99 for 30 tracks (even if some are kinda short) is incredible value!  I have only sampled a few tracks, but everything I’ve listened to sounds really fantastic.  it’s a pity they don’t offer a package deal on the whole set.

Podcasters looking for background music just found it.

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That sounded bad, didn’t it?  Sorry.  I couldn’t think of any other way to say it.

Blizzard, I know you’re going to push 3.0.2 down the pipe any day and that barber shop are already in it.  Fact is, as I write this the bulk of the code is likely already in-place.  But there’s something I really wish you’d change and it relates to barbershops and the character selection screen.

I wish the sliders in the character selection screen where you designed your avatar (hair colour, hair style, etc) had at least numbers in them to reference selections.  You have no idea how many times I’ve made a toon and then immediately thought up a better name and deleted it and re-created it.  In fact, I’m in that situation right now.  I really like the look of the draenei paladin I’ve created, and my only hope of duplicating her “exactly” is to take a screenshot from the character selection screen and tabbing back and forth a bazillion times to see if I have every attribute right.  The faces in particular are a pain.  If I knew she was a “7,4,1,5,3” (for example) it would be a piece of cake.  Obviously numbers would be real handy in the planned barbershop as well.  Some people who play together like to make “twin” toons too, so there’s another application of it.  There’s one particular female draenei hairstyle I’m fond of too, and if it had a number I wouldn’t have to scroll the avatar around to look at her butt to see if it was the right one.  (Yes, I have a space goat fetish.  Shut it!)

It’s a really small thing to implement Blizzard.  In fact if you wanted to you could have it out-the-door and on the PTR tomorrow.

C’mon… let’s make avatar management a little easier!

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