WoW Cataclysm First Impressions

The launch was not as smooth as I would have liked. It took a few minutes for experience gain to be turned on, so I wasted most of my pre-completed daily quests. Of the two starter zones, I went down Mt Hyjal. This is essentially a very long valley, with a couple of dead end branches. It starts with a ‘hold and defend’ feel, before switching into counterattack and save the cute furry animals. One quest had you climbing trees to save bear cubs by bouncing them down to a trampoline. The zone ends well with a nice attack on the evil cultists. Quest I most enjoyed was, as an infiltrator, giving a speech to a group of cultists, where I had to interpret the crowd emotes and pick a dialogue option accordingly.

I played for 24 hours after release, which took me to level 84, and I finshed the grind to 85 the following day.  Similar to flying across the international dateline in terms of effort.  After hitting 85 I went back to the other starter zone, Vashji, is an underwater zone, so presents a 3D challenge. The questline is very restricted, like a tube, where you are forced to go from one air filled cave to another, all the way down the chain. Individual quests and scenes were excellent, and the cthulhoid influences were very nice, but a couple of bugged quests were frustrating.

I liked Deepholme, visually very pretty depiction of a wide space underground.  The quests were a bit less linear, and I did not mind all the running around as there was a lot of mining to do en route.  This is where ‘green is the new purple’  kicked in, and Wrath gear began to be replaced by quest items.  Uldum is very much ancient Egypt + Indiana Jones + Cat People.  Its also a very open space, which is a nice change after the constrained enclosed feeling of the earlier zones.  Twilight Highlands is more Scotland + Pachendale + Dragons.  This is the zone where the tweaks and improvements in NPC AI really kick in (as they kill you over and over again).  NPCs are much smarter than they used to be, Wizards do the occasional aoe spell which will force stealthers to delurk, and Dwarves (who’d have thunk) can aggro from a mile away f you smash one of their beer kegs open.

There is much greater use of cut scenes in the game, there are dozens of little video clips compared to the one cut scene in Wrath.  Most of these are good, and do well to signal the challenges ahead.

I have only done three dungeon runs so far, but this is what stands out to me:

* Tanks are still in the habit of chain pulling, and I don’t have the mana to do more than two trash packs in a row in a normal 85 and the second pull can wipe fast if adds turn up
* DPS are still focused on maximising DPS, not survivability, but if the first two DPS die when the boss is on 95% health, I can heal the remaining three people to a kill
* Quest/rep gear is perfectly up to the job

More specific to Healadins, I feel positioning for Light of Dawn is crucial. I now have a macro to use at the start of instances telling ranged DPS that if they want to survive, they need to stand between me and the melee/tank. I’m trying to think more proactively about my positioning so I don’t waste time mid-pull moving around.

I’m still just getting used to Holy Radiance, but as a tool for dealing with spike damage I think I will macro my on use trinkets into it. I stuck my last two talent points into Blessed Life as I expect to spend a lot of time in Tol Barad over the next two months. Healing Tol Barad was a lot more fun than Wintergrasp (I died once in 30 minutes, and I suspect I was the only healer present among 30 players).

I have had some interesting triage moments, where four out of five health bars were on sub-30% and holy power was zero. I deliberately chose to heal the one DPS who had not peeled a mob off the tank, and I watched as the other two DPS slowly died as I restored the tanks health bar back towards 50%. That feels right for this stage of gear, I should not be able to heal through sub-optimal play on new content.

I’m feeling pretty good about it all.  I achieved my personal goals of have fun doing an all nighter, followed by being first in guild to 85, and by jumping straight into healing.

Hi mom!

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One Response to WoW Cataclysm First Impressions

  1. “WoW Cataclysm First Impressions Mechanics Are Easy” was in fact a
    quite great blog, . Continue writing and I’ll try to continue to keep viewing! Thanks a lot ,Cindy

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