Yes, Okay, Finally, the Firelands
I haven’t spoken yet about update 4.2, mostly because I’ve been talking about other things. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed it. I was excited about Thrall “dying,” and the quest line that followed was excellent from a story standpoint. The first set of the new dailies are well diversified and fun, particularly when you add in the “achievements” regarding punting baby turtles into bad guys or hucking baby bears like grenades. I’m not raiding (still, though we’re getting there with the shammy), so I can’t comment on that, but I’ve enjoyed the changes.
That said, there were a LOT of poor design decisions involved with the patch. First, Thrall died, yes, but was back alive 20 minutes later. They should have made the fire part of his soul get taken at the last minute by Ragnaros and made a quest line involving recovering it from Rags. Also, the quests themselves within the Thrall line were repetitive and mostly boring. Each segment should have had separate purposes more than just killing mobs over a length of time.
The same is widely true of the second set of dailies on the Molten Front. They’ve been basically the same thing every day, and it’s already starting to feel grindy. In contrast to the outer layer of dailies that shift and rotate at least some every day, all I’ve seen is planting seeds, healing hurt druids, and killing stuff. A little more diversity there would have been beneficial.
On top of all that, they made a grave mistake not separating the factions in both the Thrall line and the dailies. Instead, people who do no pvp whatsover are constantly being interfered with. It was worse in the Thrall lines, admittedly, but I have had large groups of allies (around 10 or so) working together to gank horde who stray to the edges of the Molten Front to get their dailies done.
Yes, dear reader, I know; I “chose” to play on a PvP server so I should suck it up. True. Still, it’s annoying; Blizz could easily have had separate instances or phases of the Thrall line, since it’s already instanced anyway, and on the Molten Front the druids could act like guards who are trying to preserve the peace; after all, they don’t want the two factions warring and giving Rags the upper hand, do they?
Those are small details in a larger picture, though, a picture I’ve mostly enjoyed.
On the shammy side of things, I finally took the Spirit Link Totem talent, which I freaking love. I was able to keep a true F pull from being a wipe in Sethekk the other day, where a tank forgot about the fear effect in the room before the boss and, over the course of about a minute, got the entire room. By utilizing a lot of chain heals and other cooldowns (including SLT), I was able to keep three of us alive (the tank, alas, got one of the pulls when I was feared in the other direction, and the dps pally who was pulling the whole time off the tank finally got his, though it wasn’t a conscious choice on my part; I just kept alive who I could). SLT also helped on the final boss when four fo the five people in the party (not me, dear reader) chose to stand in the Talon King’s arcane explosion and ignore the mechanics; SLT and chain heals were enough to keep them alive through a second blast (that they also ignored).
On another front, I’ve been enjoying the Steam sale this week, perhaps a little too much. I bought Fable 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, both of which I’d been anxious to buy but not willing to pay fifty bucks for. Fable is a game I’ve been watching since its first incarnation, but I was unable to play, never having owned an XBox. Now, after all these years, I finally was able to play and… it gave me severe motion sickness. I don’t think I can play it. I don’t get motion sickness – with one exception: the boat levels in Half-Life 2. I’m not sure what it is about Fable 3, but it’s been unplayable for more than about a half hour at a time, and I just can’t get immersed in that time frame.
Fallout: New Vegas, though, has been very enjoyable, as every Fallout I’ve ever played (even Wasteland) was. I’m only a few hours into it, but I hope (and expect) it to keep up the pace and fun. Also, those Roman jerks got it in the face after they burned that one town up. To the quest “Go and spread the word of the Atrocities of the Crimson Legion” I responded “No, I’d rather shoot them all in the face and feel good about doing things myself.” The leader actually taunted me that if I didn’t like what they did, I should do something about it, but I’d die as a result. The remaining gore says otherwise. I got a nice hat out of it, too.
Stubborn (who always plays sneaky snipers in Fallout games. Yes, I’m a coward. It doesn’t bother me when the baddies are getting a bullet in the face.)
P.S. Oh, yes. I had a guest post at Bio Break on Monday. Check it out if you’d like.