Editorial: Parting the Mists

The new patch dropped for World of Warcraft this week, changing the game mechanically for the upcoming expansion, Mists of Pandaria. A lot has changed overnight, but not everything is available yet. Today I will be going over how the game will look for the next month.

I spend way too much time in the AH
An example of an auction house addict

Professions

Many of the professions had changes made to them, some minor, like tidying up the U.I. or major, like the addition of new monk glyphs. I have made a fortune selling glyphs on the auction house for the past year, so I know this market. Despite players not having access to the class yet, monk glyphs are flooding the auction houses at varying prices. Some of the new desirable glyphs for existing classes are not yet available, and will be seen when Mists launches next month.

Since the ink trader no longer accepts Blackfallow ink (the ink commonly obtained from cataclysm herbs) as currency for lower tier inks, glyph prices are set to rocket for the next month. Add to this the revised glyph system with most of the new glyphs available right now, demand is up as well. I typically earned about three thousand gold a day from inscription, but in the day after the patch I raked in a whopping twenty thousand!

Gotta catch em' all!
The new pets interface

Pet battles

The new pet and mount U.I. looks amazing! The number of pets now far exceeds that which used to be available….. only they cannot be obtained yet. The new pets are in the wild right now, but can only be tamed through battling, which is only available after receiving pet battle training. The problem here is that the trainer also requires the player to have Mists of Pandaria active on the account, which will not be switched on until the expansion launches.

With Mists launching almost three weeks ahead of Black 2 and White 2, I am sure a great many people will be satiating their Pokemon needs upon its release. It is a shame that this is not available sooner, as it would help the long wait for new content.

Gear

Every class has had one of their gear slots removed, either ranged or relic. Ranged weapons are now equipped in the main hand, like two-handed swords or staves. Relics have gone entirely. This does mean that all weapons have been buffed significantly to compensate for the lack of additional primary stats.

The amount of hit and expertise required has also been lowered slightly. A good amount of gold was sunk post-patch as players visited the arcane reforger to optimise gear for the new mechanics. Valor points can no longer be earned and have been converted into the lower tier justice points, though all the gear that was available for valor now only requires justice. Over the next week or two a lot of highly geared alts will start appearing decked out in the gear now available from the justice vendor as players experiment with the new class changes.

Gotta love crows
The new hunter talents

Class mechanics

What would a Warcraft expansion be without redesigned classes, only this time every class has had a significant overhaul. Gone are the talent trees and cookie-cutter builds, what we are left with are meaningful talents that are less about increasing DPS and more about how the player wishes to play a class. Every tier is focused on an aspect of the class, and each choice is either an improvement to an existing ability, or a brand new skill to use.

Glyphs have had a similar redesign. Gone are the DPS increasing prime slots. Major glyphs, like talents, affect how abilities work. Some offer a little extra DPS, though often at a cost. Minor glyphs are either cosmetic changes, like changing the animal used in polymorph, or something fun, like having a critter follow you around for an hour.

As a long time hunter, I am pleased to say that we no longer have a minimum range. After selecting my talents and browsing my list of skills, it seems like classes have been made exciting again. For example, all hunter specs now have rediness, previously only available to marksman builds. With lots of cooldowns and the ability to instantly have them available again straight away with rediness, hunters feel like they are overpowered, though this seems the same for all classes. Lusipurr himself was amazed at just how awesome his mage had become post-patch.

The next month will be a long, agonising wait as Mists draws ever closer, the patch tempting us with promises of what will be found in the expansion. I go now to learn how to play my class again, and to extort as much gold as I can from the player base with my over priced glyphs. I will post my thoughts again when the expansion is live.

How are you finding the new patch? Are you planning on returning to Warcraft for the expansion, or have you recently quit while you wait? Let me know in the comments!

3 comments

  1. There are some very frustrating changes.

    As Blitzmage has noticed, Ret. Paladins have been horribly gimped for AoE. They weren’t great to start with, but they had three semi-tolerable AoEs (on long effective CDs), which was enough to deal with most tiny crap.

    Now, they are reduced to one semi-tolerable AoE, and it requires Holy Power to use. Without Ret. Aura, large groups of otherwise insignificant monsters are now a genuine issue to deal with.

    I’m not a huge fan of all the Talent changes, and in some cases there is very clearly a ‘right’ choice, despite what they tried to avoid. I think more thought could have gone into the design in those instances.

    Perhaps some of these changes will make more sense when Mists comes out, but right now quite a few of them are a matter for concern.

  2. Now that the patch is live, I’m sure Blizzard are keeping an eye on things. It’s very likely we will see a little patching when Mists goes live.

  3. @Imitanis: If it is anything like past patches, you’re certain to be right. Changing everything usually results in some things not working down the road.

    I really hope they give Ret. Paladins a quicker and easier AoE, though.

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