Updated Fri, May 31, 2013 by Mem
Patch 5.3 has been active on live servers for a little over a week now and if you are anything like me, you have spent that week and a few days scrambling frantically through the game determined to try everything new. Yes, I am aware I might have a problem. I tend to flit from place to place, new feature to new feature like some crazed hummingbird, it is just the way I work. Thanks to my flitting and scrambling skills I have had a good chance to sample most of what Patch 5.3 has to offer. Below you will find my favorite features and additions from this new patch. Check it out and see if they match up with your own!
Let me say that I know a lot of players who constantly use more than one spec and do it well. With so many classes that can choose to dual specialization, it seemed rather unfair that when on a run they couldn't collect gear for it. However, collecting for both sets of gear at the same time was also unfair to the other players in the party. Loot specialization solves this conundrum by allowing players with multiple specs to choose which spec they would like to collect gear for. This tool is especially useful for players who level as a DPS class, but plan on tanking or healing when they hit max level. Want to know more about how loot specialization works in Patch 5.3? Check out this handy article titled Loot Specialization in Patch 5.3 by Messiah.
Back in the day I was furious when they lowered the experience requirements. Purely outraged. Fast forward to several years later, my play became more casual and I had somehow amassed a huge number of alts that needed leveled. So even with Mists of Pandaria being so fresh, I happily embrace any and all changes that mean my (and your) leveling process takes a little less time. Some may claim that this means players won't get to experience all the zones of Pandaria. However, this is true even BEFORE the change. I easily reached max level without questing through all the zones and you know what? Even when I hit 90 I still continued questing to see how the storyline played out and to collect the rewards along the way of course.
One of World of Warcraft's major problems is attracting and keeping new players. With such an old community new players tend to feel like the odd man out and likely more than a little intimidated. This only amplifies when the new player asks for help as they will likely be scorned and laughed at by the majority of the community. In Patch 5.3, finding the help they need has become a bit easier. The help menu has undergone a major upgrade and now links directly to Blizzard's support site, without ever leaving the game. Looking much like a browser, the new help menu is easy to use and will be sure to get players old and new out of a pinch. This new browser like design may also eventually (hopefully) branch out into a real browser where we can access other World of Warcraft oriented websites.
Pet Battles are a breath of fresh air in World of Warcraft and a great way for me to show off the mad skills of my pets. However, until Patch 5.3 sometimes the battles would take frustrating turns. The randomness of the battle would be just...a little too random. While I haven’t spent a ton of time testing out Pet Battles in Patch 5.3, things do seem to have normalized overall. That is to say that a hit that dealt 10 damage in one battle, won't deal 100 in the next. This makes Pet Battles more fun, a bit more predictable without being overly so, and lets us know that Blizzard is indeed listening.
I am terrible at PvP. Horrible. Rotten. Hopeless, even,. If PvP was a kick ball team, I would be the last kid picked for the team without a doubt. Despite my failure at the PvP life, I still like to try it out from time to time, just to see if I've improved. Like all things in WoW, eventually, doing the same thing over and over again gets a little bit boring. At one point I could have run Warsong Gulch with my eyes closed. So it is refreshing to see some new PvP content hit servers. A fresh new battleground is just what World of Warcraft needed, even for crappy PvPers like me. Want more information on this new battleground? Check out our preview of Deepwind Gorge.
That concludes our list of the top 5 new features and changes of Patch 5.3. What are your favorite new features and changes of Patch 5.3? What would would like to see in future patches? Share your thoughts with us by using the comments section below!