Updated Mon, Dec 12, 2011 by Mem
Who wasn’t excited about World of Warcraft Patch 4.3? I know I was. As the final major patch for Cataclysm, Hour of Twilight should be huge in scale in order to bring this expansion to an epic close as has been seen in most final patches of the past. From the vast amount of information we were able to garner beforehand about Patch 4.3 it truly looked like it would be just that. Transmogrification, Void Storage, new instances, and of course, the crowning jewel of Patch 4.3; the chance to take down the nefarious Deathwing all point to this a patch worth playing.
However, now that Patch 4.3 has gone to live servers, and we’ve all had a chance to spend some time playing it, does it really live up to our expectations? While I really wanted to love everything about Patch 4.3, there are some glaring problems that I just cannot ignore. Like most things in life, Patch 4.3 isn’t perfect, but that’s not to say there aren’t also good things to be found inside this patch. To highlight the good and the bad of Patch like most things in life, it has turned out to be a mix of good and bad all at the same time. Here are my personal best and worst of WoW Patch 4.3:
Ah Transmogrification, a perpetual gold sink to some, but to me it is an utter validation of my hoarding tendencies and thus has made my list of the best of Patch 4.3. With this new feature I (and other players like me) can switch back to that epic set of gear we have saved for ages, wishing for one more chance to wear it. The possibilities of gear combinations with Transmogrification are nearly endless and there is something to please everyone, you just need to find it. Not to mention how refreshing it is that finally the monotony of seeing every raider or PvPer of a particular class wearing the same set of gear will be broken.
Going hand in hand with Transmogrification in Patch 4.3 is Void Storage. For WoW hoarders like myself, up until now there simply wasn’t enough space to save all the goodies I have come across in my WoW adventures. Sadly I’ve had to toss more than a few items that I wish I could have held on to, even more so now that Transmogrification is available. Thanks to Void Storage I can hoard to my hearts content and have a place to put it all, for a small fee of course. My only regret? That Void Storage wasn’t implemented in game sooner.
While no changes were made to the Auction House in Patch 4.3, big changes have come to it as a direct result. As in all patches, players everywhere are crafting, raiding, and leveling up and of course in order to do all of these things they need things such as herbs, ore, flasks, cloth, gems, and other consumable materials. The problem is that while demand is high, the supply of these materials in Patch 4.3 is simply not there. Go ahead try to buy any of these items and I guarantee you will either find yourself coming back empty handed or if they are available finding the need to offer up your firstborn in order to pay for it.
As I mentioned above, the problem is not exclusive to Patch 4.3 and has been building for some time. However, the release of the patch has brought the supply and demand problem to a head and has left many players, including myself wondering exactly where the Auction House insanity will end.
I’ll be honest and say when I first heard about the addition of the Raid Finder I was more than a little bit skeptical. Like most players, I have a healthy fear of PUGs and the very thought of an entire raid made up of such made me cringe. Add in the fact that the raids were going to be “dumbed down” and I was sure that the Raid Finder in Patch 4.3 was, much like the Hindenburg, going to be a mega disaster. Imagine my surprise when after Patch 4.3s release that not only did the Raid Finder seem to be successful, but the horror stories were far and few between. Finally mustering up the courage to try it out for myself I found the Raid Finder to be the exact opposite of what I expected and I was /gasp…actually having fun.
Sure the instance is easier, but it almost needs to be to assure that your group of varied players and skill levels can make it through without feeling the need to gouge your eyes out or bash your computer screen in. Not to mention it gives the option for more casual players to experience the raid, which I am 100% in favor of. So if you haven’t tried out the Raid Finder yet, I urge you to do so, you may just be surprised at what you find.
I know what you are thinking. How did the new raid instance where players finally get to face the epitome of evil; Deathwing, made the worst list? With only 8 bosses, Dragon Soul in Patch 4.3 is short and sweet and perhaps overly so. With every boss available except for heroic modes, it feels like though the instance was just released, it is already over in a way and it is for many guilds who have already completed the instance. Now you might be saying “but those guilds are way hardcore”, and you might be right in that assessment but after my guild (who is on the very casual end of casual) has managed to basically plow their way through every boss we may want to start thinking that perhaps the instance is a little bit to easy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for casual players, myself included, being able to take on an instance part of the thrill of the game is working hard to beat a difficult boss and so far, I haven’t had to work at all. I also hate the linear feel of Dragon Soul, you basically walk right through the place without any detours, leaving me missing winged instances such as Icecown Citadel and Naxx. Not to mention I can’t help but feel like Blizzard had no idea where to put the instance, so they shoved it into the Caverns of Time and slapped it on top of Wyrmrest Temple and called it a day. Overall, Dragon Soul falls short of the mark when it comes to end game instances and is not the crowning jewel it should be for Patch 4.3, but at least the 5 mans are pretty good!
While Patch 4.3 isn’t a total mess up on Blizzard’s part, I feel it really falls short on what I envision a final patch to be. Perhaps I’m just a bit jaded, but the magic I found in Wrath of the Lich King while taking on Arthas at the top of Icecrown Citadel is missing somehow. However, the good elements in Patch 4.3 lead me to believe that in future patches I will be able to find the magic once again. How has your personal Patch experience been? Does Patch 4.3 live up to your expectations? Share your thoughts on Patch 4.3 in the comments section below!