Warcraft: Free Seven Days

I haven’t played Warcraft since March, that’s at least six months, more like seven, so it’s been a long time anyway. You would think that I would have forgotten how to play but it seems my hands remember how to play a paladin. Yes that means I did take blizz up on their offer for the free week of playtime. I said I wouldn’t resub until just before Warlords and I’m keeping to that resolve.

This free week though meant a) I didn’t have to wait until next month to play the launch event, b) I didn’t have to do all the housecleaning in game next month. They introduced a new ToyBox collection, they turned all justice into gold (I got 10k just from opening mail), there’s a new reagent tab etc. so I logged into all of my characters to collect the gold and either learn the toys or delete the duplicates. I will do another pass to consolidate all my crafting materials and remember where I keep everything when I have more time another day.

The first thing I did was sort my addons out. Thankfully all of them updated and worked apart from HolyTrinity which tracked my HolyPower on my paladin. I found a replacement and dove right in. It was strange in a way, recount was still showing old records, all my old macros and everything were just there like I had never been away.

I did the quests in the Blasted Lands, got my pet and my title. These weren’t the worlds most exciting quests and I found all the map icons to be quite distracting as I wasn’t sure what they meant. I then ran the special level 90 version of UBRS and was disappointed to find there was no achievement yet for completing it. I assume (hope) that will appear when Warlords actually launches.

A quick word about that dungeon. The cannons on the trash at the start are sneaky, I sort of wiped the group by pulling too much and not noticing them as they didn’t come up on my threat bar. I say sort of wiped the group because I went through the dungeon without dying. I could keep myself up and kill things without any issue. I was prepared for it to be tough as I’d read of people going in, with raid gear, and just getting shredded. I don’t know if blizz has hotfixed that or if there was something else going on. I had no issues with my own survival, in fact it was really kind of easy, I was impressed with how much my hands remembered. I was popping CD’s and healing like I played just last week. In terms of the gungeon itself I’m not sure whether I killed people on the first boss, I jumped down to hit the reset and kept threat, but the boss might hit people near him. The trash before the second boss was a pain, it just kept healing and took ages, the boss lasted a while too but I didn’t miss any interrupts. Third boss was the easiest of the lot.

When I logged in and saw the new character models I took my paladin to the barbers but I couldn’t find anything that was right, so I turned the new models off. I then turned them back on later because they are new and I should find a way to accept them. Plus I noticed that I really liked how my rogue looked. I took a screenshot of my rogue and tried to find that face in the barbers, a new face and a slight hair style change and now my pally looks more like herself. It’s still an adjustment, I will miss the old models and if I hadn’t had to face shift I would have turned them back on occasionally. I think the new models took a lot of resources and from a personal standpoint I wish they hadn’t been done. However, people like them so I guess it’s ok, the game is for everyone after all, not just me.

Another quick note about protection paladins, the patch notes weren’t kidding when they said not much had changed. My hands remembered the rotation and nothing was different. I guess it proves what I always said – we were already perfect. True wings has gone but I used to pretty much always pop that in tandem with Holy Avenger. I will miss the animation for it but that’s it. I haven’t tried ret yet.

The squish is a big thing about this patch and I have to say from the content I have done, which is basically only the new stuff, I can’t see any difference in my power. I quested as protection and didn’t have any trouble with kill time, but then those mobs would be tuned for the boosted 90’s and not former raiders. I will go and try to solo some stuff I’ve done before for a better idea but so far so good. In this respect blizz good job, I was worried about the squish but first impressions are good.

Over the next week I will:
– Consolidate all my account stuff e.g. reagents, heirlooms, account gear etc. in one place or at least reacquaint myself with what I have and where. I have two guild banks now, plus the new reagent tab, so I should free up a lot of bank space.
– Fill up the second void storage tab on my main, make more room for transmog gear as I seem to accumulate enough to fill my bags 10x over. I really need more space on Tai even with the extra space they’ve given us.
– Clean up my bags ready for Warlords, the two steps above will do most of it.
– Solo an old instance or two to see how it feels.
– Check out the ret spec as it is what I will level with it.

Hallow’s End is still technically happening and there are new pets and that Arthas disguise. I might look into getting something from it if I have the time and feel like it. However, I’m not going to stress myself about anything. I see there’s so much in the ToyBox that I haven’t collected, and when I start playing for real again then that is what I would like to start with. I already have a ton of mounts and pets so while it’s cool, it’s not as fun as filling up an empty journal.

Nearly forgot to mention that loading screen. I didn’t play in Burning Crusade and I recognised it, extremely iconic and nicely done. Oh and those characters which had disappeared from the armory, I logged into them and then they reappeared so nothing nefarious had gone on, which is a relief, didn’t want to misplace two paladins.

As returns after a long break go, I have to say it’s been damn smooth. My friends going to tease me about this on Tuesday. So just for him, if it makes you feel any better the new graphics card highlighted something I’d never noticed before. I turned up my settings as the card could do more and for the first time the graphics looked really bad. Maybe if they are blurred they look better. I’m writing this looking at Stormwind though, it’s one of the oldest areas of the game which I’m sure doesn’t help.