The world is shattered. My first impressions.
- I like stumbling across unexpected changes in the world. Its really refreshed the game. I knew about Menethil and Stormwind in advance, but Southshore blew me away when I got there.
- The new auction house in Stormwind is awesome. Kudos to the Blizzard artists on that.
- All the new flight points. If nothing else, its given me a reason to run around and collect them. For the many players who are going to level new characters in the revamped Azeroth, this is a good move to cut down on the travel time.
- Peacebloom vs. Ghouls. There’s a zombie on your lawn.
- New Deadmines. Its still a level 18-20 instance, but I ran through it as an 80 to see the difference. The bosses now have boss abilities, instead of just hitting harder than a non-boss. The story has changed. There are some new models used for the mobs. The final boss is great. Also, Stockades is good with some nice changes.
- New elites around the world. As I traveled around, I kept running into level-appropriate elite mobs scattered around, like Yetimus the Yeti Lord and Bloodvenom in Hillsbrad, for example. I assume that there are quests to kill them. I find that fun. It should make a challenge for leveling players, and maybe give them a reason to group up, kind of like Durn was back in the BC days.
- So far the game has been amazingly free of bugs. Even the patch day downtime was tolerably short. Great job by Blizzard this time around. I hope that the Cataclysm launch goes this smoothly.
- The new fish mouse cursor when you go fishing. Its little details like this that make the game appeal to all types of players.
- New cooking and fishing dailies. I’ve always enjoyed this.
- Leveling is way off. My horde alt got three levels from two quest hubs, and that’s with no heirloom pieces. I’m outleveling zones before they are done, and outleveling my professions. Its a hassle to stay in a zone that is 5 levels below me just to get my herbalism caught up.
- The addition of the Gilneas tabard to the game. It really, really bothers me that people (including me) will be Exalted with Gilneas before the worgen are even introduced as a playable race.
- The multitude of new horde flight paths means that I keep getting flagged for PvP just from running around. A lot of these new spots are on major roads. At some point, griefers are going to figure this out and start jumping players of the opposite faction who run past the new flight points.
- The new druid tree form. When I first heard about it, I thought it would look awesome to have a huge elder tree appear during the raid. However, it really does look silly. The tree in my dungeon run yesterday looked like it had a blue afro. Thank goodness there is a glyph to get the old look back.
- Missing lore explanations. Did you notice the change in leadership in Ironforge and/or Thunder Bluff? For those who didn’t read The Shattering, there are no obvious in-game explanations for the Ironforge one (I haven’t played horde to see if there is an explanation for Cairne). You’d think that everyone in Ironforge would know what happened to their King (no spoilers here). You’re told in the new cinematic on making a level 1 dwarf, but not everyone is doing that. And what happened to the Defias? Even my wife, who doesn’t pay any attention to lore, noticed that they were missing. (I’m not looking for explanations in the comments – I already know. I’m just saying that the answers should be found in game)
- After the initial “ooh, shiney!” period, I’m back to having nothing to do.
- Ravenholdt rep. I had been farming rep killing the Syndicate mobs in Durnholde. It had a nice loop to follow, and the respawn rate was such that when you finished the loop you could start over. Now that the Syndicate mobs in Durnholde are gone, I’m having to farm in Stromgarde Keep. The path is not as nice and the respawn rate is slower. Even with the Pilgrim’s Bounty reputation boost, rep was much slower than before.
- The complainers. People complain. Changes make people complain a lot. Enough about the portals already!