Yesterday, the pre-Cataclysm patch arrived, bringing with it sweeping changes to fundamental game mechanics in WoW. So far, I’ve been very impressed.
- The UI improvements are outstanding. I’m particularly a fan of a small, but highly effective touch they’ve added to indicate abilities procing1 by putting a little halo around the button for that ability on your action bar. Small change, huge usability improvement.
- The new UI windows—character screen, guild panel, talent panel, etc.—are very welcome improvements.
- The new talent system is far more intuitive. It seems actively difficult to make a bad spec2 now.
- The new glyphing system looks like it’ll be much more flexible, too, though I was too afraid to venture into what I’m sure is going to be an incredibly volatile glyph market just yet.
- As a prot warrior, I noticed no trouble with keeping up a healthy quantity of Rage against even world trash mobs, which was a welcome change.
Most of the Add Ons I used either worked out of the box or had updates ready for this patch. I fixed one (Random Mount) on my own, a handful (ArkInventory, GearScore, Auctioneer) had fixes released today, and some will need to be replaced (Satrina Buff Frames).
One thing I’ve seen reports of, though have yet to directly experience, is that tanks are having a hard time holding aggro3 against the now massive quantities of DPS that damage dealers are dishing out now. I’ve also seen counters to these reports suggesting that the original reports just aren’t adapting to the talent changes, so we shall see.
- “Proc” (pronounced prok) is a term used to indicate that a certain ability with a chance of occurring has triggered. For example, Warriors have a talent called Sword and Board, which makes their next Shield Slam free. This effect has a chance to trigger when using the Revenge and Devastate abilities. When it triggers, it’s said to have proced (pronounced prokt). [↩]
- Spec is short for Specialization, and refers to the various roles you can fill. Warriors, for example have Protection (prot), Arms, and Fury. Prot is what one uses for tanking. [↩]
- Aggro is short for aggression, which refers to where an enemy’s attention is focused. The tank’s job is to hold aggro from all enemies so that the healer and damage dealers aren’t slaughtered. [↩]