So I got into the Alpha/Beta before it took a break over the holidays and have been playing around ~ testing a bit in it.
Things I really like so far:
- Graphics, it is glorious how the in game world looks with the graphics improvements they have implemented this expansion.
- Ability pruning: I know many hate it but in all honesty if you need more than 10 keybinds to handle the abilities you are going to use all the time including a few special case abilities you are designing the game wrong. Diablo, GW2, among other games have taught us that you don’t need tons and tons of abilities to bind all at the same time to make interesting game play. There is actual better game play if you have a situation where it is pick X abilities out of at least 2X abilities.
- The stories and quests around obtaining the artifact and class halls.
Things I find as troubling trends so far:
- Terrain and getting around the zones – Travel and getting from point A to point B has always been a sticking point for me in MMOs. While the scenery is beautiful as I mentioned a little above with the graphics, getting around Highmountain and Stormheim at the moment is really annoying. It is especially annoying if you stop/end play session/crash out when in the middle of a quest and or quest line and then have to run all around the various hills to to get back to where you left off. I will not even start on the Water Strider Changes that came with the latest patch as I will talk about that in another post.
- Level scaling of the zones – I am of mixed opinion on this. While leveling I think it will be a good thing. When at level cap I think it will rapidly grow to be a pain in the ass (PITA), especially since Blizzard is once again being assholes about flight, as in not available at level cap. It will be at some point they at least say this time but MoP was a kick in the groin after Cataclysm and Wrath flight paradigms. Then WoD was a follow up kick or 2 while down by not even saying they would re-enable flight in WoD. This until the play-base went berserk and had at least 4 max post capped threads bitching about it within a few days. This expansion with the mobs leveling up with us everywhere will either be the paramedics coming or help or the assholes that delivered the first kick will help the player-base up and then knee them in the gut and followup with a knee to the face.
- Crafting reagent quantities required for initial patterns. After the resource utopia that was the Garrisons in WoD, 20 ore and 20 scale seems a bit steep for the first pattern you can get in the Blacksmith profession. It is still a little too early to tell how that goes so will return to this topic at a later point.