It’s patch day. Literally. The servers have been down the entire day and barring a 4th extension, we might get to play in the next thirty minutes. This is one of the big pre-cataclysm patches because it introduces many interface, class, stat, tradeskill, skill, and other changes. This is the day when all of your stats are reset; when hunters no longer use arrows or mana, “defense” is no longer on gear but capped by talents automatically, and Reforging allows players to alter secondary stats on an item. Safe to say it’s pretty big and that most of the Cataclysm files are now on our systems.
When the servers come back up I plan to specialize my Druid to be a tank again with the tanking mastery. I have a spec all picked out and I’m anxious to experience the new and more difficult tanking that focuses much less on AE. No more swipe spam for me — both a good and bad thing since I do love my swipes.
I’m expecting the current content to be much, much more difficult. There is bound to be discrepancies between the new stats system and the current mobs and encounters. I’m not going to raid anything like ICC anymore, but I expect it to be much more difficult with mechanics like “rage normalization”.
Want to know what I’m most excited about? The graphical improvements.
- Improved water and lava rendering system (Video Options – Liquid Detail on the Graphics Panel)
- Dynamic Sunshafts effect (Video Options – Sunshafts on the Graphics Panel)
- Experimental support for DX11
If you’re thinking about coming back, now seems like a good time to me. Our community is always open.
I’ll update this tonight with more of my thoughts on how specific changes have turned out. Look for them in the comments section.