World of Warcraft. Has there been a bigger game in the history of gaming? Maybe, but not one that has lost and drawn back in so many players. Last week, Blizzard released their latest patch, 4.0.3a, which brought many of the changes promised in the new expansion, Cataclysm, for free. As a huge draw, I jumped back into the world of Azeroth and began to take advantage of the new changes.
First and foremost, this new Warcraft is for the alts (experienced players who start new characters) and new players. Many of the changes come in the form of old areas that are different due to the destruction by Deathwing (if your lost here, this article might not be for you). Other big changes are new quest line for low levels, and what new characters start with, along with new classes for races that could not previously use them.
Now for an altaholic like me, this is the greatest patch they have released so far. My highest level character is 72 so end game content is not nearly as important to me as it is to some. But with new toons come new starting storylines and new questlines, faster leveling, and additions like pets or weapons from the start. Also if your class can use a certain kind of weapon, then you can use it right away, eliminating the need to find a weapons trainer and spend gold to be able to use it. And, as mentioned above, there are new classes for the races. My favorite thing was finally being able to role a Human Hunter, who starts with a pet (as opposed to getting one at level 10). But there are some things that are still locked. You can’t fly in Azeroth yet, can’t play as a Worgen or Goblin, and can’t learn the new profession, Archeology. All that will come on Dec. 7th with Cataclysm.
But there is one glaring problem. There used to be portals to major cities from major cities. This might not be a big deal for toons between 1-50, but once you start getting up there, a player learns that the world of WoW is huge! So now, the trade chats are full of people wanting to buy portals from Mages. And they are getting rich off of it. It’s an annoyance to be sure but one we will either have to live with or wait out until Blizzard patches it. Oh ya, and with all the new players either coming back or the high levels returning from Northrend, Stormwind City and Orgrimmar are terribly lagging for anyone but those with the most powerful rigs.
So looking forward to next Tuesday (Dec. 7th), we are getting many more new things, but the biggest draw is here is Blizzard really wants to get new players addicted to WoW and bring old players back who may be tired of end-game content or annoying high level characters (Elitist Jerks, and not just the guild) who look down on anyone who doesn’t have a 6000+ gearscore or the Kingslayer title. But over all I would have to say that Patch 4.0 is an excellent draw for new and returning players and if you haven’t experienced the world’s most popular MMO, there has never been a better time to start