Everyone has been getting excited for the upcoming World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion since it was first announced. Players have been looking forward to several things in it: Death Knights, new instances, achievements, and new talents. However, now the new talents, achievements and much more will all be released before the expansion is in patch 3.0. Many players are thrilled by this, many are not. Byron "Messiah" Mudry steps up to answer the question " Is releasing WotLK content early in patch 3.0 a good thing?".
Now all the way to 51 point talents
First lets look at the major things being included in the upcoming patch. The biggest of the new items will be new talents, skills, and new combat mechanics. The smaller items being added are haircuts, achievements, new travel point construction, and a nerfing of existing raids.
Adding the talents in early allows players to get used to them before the release of Wrath of the Lich King. Many classes are changing fairly drastically, and all players will be getting complete talent point resets for free on the patch day. In addition there will now be talents all the way to 51 points in the talent trees. Many of the talents and skills also change how a player will need to be equipped. For example Paladin tanks now gain spell power from stamina, so they use the same gear as a Warrior tank in patch 3.0. A lot more has been said about the talent builds and you can find a lot of information about the changes on our WotLK portal page.
The combat mechanics in the game will also change fairly substantially with this patch. The simplest part of the change is Hit and Haste ratings affecting melee, ranged and casting, instead of having one for each. Slightly more complicated is the removal of +healing on gear and instead all caster gear having +spell power. Since healing numbers will now be affected by a lower number, the coefficients on healing spells are all going up. This means that even though you may go from roughly +2000 healing to +1200 spell power, you should heal for roughly the same. The last big combat mechanic change is the spell pushback change so that you can only be interrupted twice in a spell.
These changes combine to change the game fairly drastically, to the point that it is almost a brand new game. I know going into Beta it sure felt that way.
The smaller changes to the game can also be fairly important to players. Many players have long waited for the ability to change their hair style, and I expect a lineup at the barber that day. Achievements are also going live, so all the Xbox 360 achievement junkies can now get their fix in World of Warcraft as well. I expect many players doing odd things to fill in achievements.
Achievements will be added
The last change is one I view as small, but many could view as large. All of the Burning Crusade raids are being nerfed by about 30%. This means all the bosses have about 30% less life as of the patch and will cause less damage. This means that many guilds will try to run those raids that they could not previously complete. To many this is a big deal, however since the gear will very quickly be replaced, I just can't justify it as more than a side effect.
So if all of the above is being added on October 14th, then what's left for the real release of Wrath of the Lich King a month later on November 13th? Actually a whole lot, since that is when the level cap will change, Death Knights will be added, and the whole continent of Northrend will be added.
So even though quite a bit is coming at us a month before the expansion, there is lots left that will be new. The new content will take a normal player several months worth of effort to make their way through it. Many will even abandon their existing characters to roll brand new Death Knights to level first. Hard core players will race through the content to get to the brand new end game raids and likely have the new 10 man version of Naxxramas cleared within a month after release.
The Messiah's Take On It
As you can see, there is still going to be a lot to do and see when the expansion is released in November. However, not as much as there could be. When I go to the store to get a new game, I want it to be a new game not an old game. I know this doesn't make complete sense as this is an expansion to an existing game. But, one of the things that makes an expansion new is all the new mechanics and ability changes that come with it. By releasing all of those elements early, they take away that day one learning curve.
I know many players will disagree with my opinion and say that they need that time to learn the new abilities so that they can level faster. They are missing the point. The purpose of an expansion is not to blow through it as fast as possible, the purpose is to have new content and a new experience along the way.
While I appreciate that Blizzard is doing this so that there are less technical changes on launch day, and to simplify the launch, I really wish they wouldn't. I would love to come into the continent of Northrend on day one with brand new talents and abilities and have no idea how to use them. It would truly make the expansion a new game, instead of just a continuation. Even moving the release of patch 3.0 to the week before instead of the month before would allow for less adjustment time, and make it so that players that wanted a brand new game could just sit out for a week.
That's my take on it, let me hear yours...
Email me at: Byron Mudry - ([email protected]) or post in our forums (linked below).
Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.
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