As per usual, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything on here, an especially long time in this case. There’s a lot of things to get down here, so I’m just gonna jump right in and rip right through them. MoP is here. Has been for a few weeks. Some of the significant changes it brought, even longer. So, I suppose I should get into some thoughts, feelings, likes, hates, and the like for things that affect my F2P life.
Class and Talent Changes
Some of the large changes include class/talent changes. For my F2P toons this revamped a lot about their abilities and strengths and weaknesses. Plazlo the rogue had tons of utility taken away and a massive damage increase. Without Sprint, Shadowstep, Gouge and probably some other things I’m not thinking of off the top of my head, he basically walks around in the shadows and explodes with massive damage, hoping his target doesn’t shapeshift, trinket, Escape Artist, or use any other ability to clear off the possible crippling poison that he might have left. If they do, they’ll likely get away. If they don’t, well he’s going to unload massive damage, especially now that he has Find Weakness in his sub talents at 20. In the end, he’s literally doing double the damage that he used to. He just can’t move very fast or interrupt much anymore.
Other toons, let’s see… Revpock does less damage than he used to and, of no deliberate intention, I really haven’t been playing him. Revwyn I basically haven’t touched. Plazzers is ridiculously hard to kill, which brings me to another topic…
Healing Classes and Resilience
When class changes came, included with them was a massive healing buff to all (I think) healing classes. Baseline hp was also increased across the board, so one might think, meh, so what. Well, another new implementation that happened at the same time was a hefty boost to baseline resilience. As we all know resilience reduces the damage you take from other players. It used to be that you could only get resilience from gear. Now every player has 40% as a base. (I think when the change was first made it was 30%) So, with the huge healing buff, and then players taking nearly half the damage that they used to, healing classes were, and still are to some degree, very hard to kill. Also, not only was healing itself pretty buffed, but certain abilities which are either an offensive spell or healing spell (depending on your target) hit for massive amounts of damage. An hpally’s Holy Shock and a disc. priest’s Penance are prime examples. Now in the last few weeks, blizz has nerfed Holy Shock and Penance’s offensive numbers tremendously and a few days ago, healing and shielding done while in PVP combat in general. Things are getting a little more balanced, but in general, healing classes are a lot tougher to kill at this level. Interrupts and burst need to be timed well and on a team, more coordination of these is needed. I’m still not sure what I make of the bump to resilience and healing. PVP fights last muuuuuuch longer, which in a way is more forgiving. Not getting global’d is pretty nice, but at times it gets very tiresome. I can recall a massive battle at the GM in AB this last weekend lasting literally at least 5 minutes, with both teams having a couple healers. While this was and is epic, after a while I get tempted to pick up my weapons, mount up, and just move on. On the whole though, I think I prefer the longer fights. I could stand to see healing classes get their PVP healing nerfed even a bit more. Granted, this is aimed at the 20 – 24 xp off bracket. In the end blizz really doesn’t, nor do they need to, care about balance at that level.
Let’s see, it’s very hard to talk about recent changes without mentioning cross realm zones. CRZ basically merges you with people from other servers when entering certain low population areas. Sometimes it puts them on your server, sometimes you are on their server. The idea behind this is to bring back some competition, cooperation, and overall fun to many areas in the world of Azeroth. Now, there have been some serious problems with certain events and such after the implementation of CRZ that I’m not going to get into here as it has been beaten to death all over the web. For me though, CRZ has been a thorn in my side and a welcome change. For instance, Gurubashi Arena. Trying to get an AGM for a toon on Ursin (where most of my F2Ps are) used to be easy. With Ursin’s population being one of the lowest of any server, you could literally get an AGM in a week or less for a toon. Once CRZ came, that all changed. One problem I encountered was when to show up. I might fly down to Gurubashi thinking it’s 3:00 and once I enter the area, I get moved to some server that is and hour or two off of Ursin. This was repeatedly a pain. The next thing that wasn’t just irksome, but made getting an AGM near impossible was the amount of max level people just hanging out in Gurubashi. It was no longer an area where 0 – 3 people might be. It was booming with people ready to brawl. And this was at any time of day, not just chest drop times.
Now then, Gurubashi was a bad part of CRZ for me. After that, came the good. One of the thoughts behind CRZ was to bring back a little world PVP for PVP servers. (CRZ should place servers of a like kind together. PVP with PVP, PVE with PVE, RP with RP, etc.) CRZ has turned out to be a godsend for those of us who like to battle it out not just in battlegrounds, but out in the world itself. There are many areas that are hotbeds for questing for one faction or both and these have been booming with bloodbaths, at least for me anyway. For instance, most of my toons are now parked in Ashenvale, just north of the Mor’Shan Ramparts. This is a great spot for a F2Ps as people questing in the area are generally between 20 – 26. The higher end of that range is generally prime competition for a geared F2P. I have taken part in some of the most fun battles in my entire playing of WoW in just the last few weeks. Now, I am not one to corpse camp, repeatedly kill someone, or kill players of a lower level, but I will initiate a fight a couple times and then usually test the waters a bit. After a couple, I’ll not go for the element of surprise or a gank but rather walk up and give a friendly salute, wave, or some other friendly emote and see what happens. Sometimes we’ll have a good time goofing around. Sometimes they’ll initiate combat and then it’s on. For me it’s all in good fun and I try to keep it that way for others too. I don’t mean to make anyone’s experience miserable, but I do loves me some world PVP.
Mergings (yeah, we’ll just call it that)
Another addition to the game has been the merging of achievements, titles, pets, and mounts for characters under the same battle.net account. This has really spiced things up for F2Ps quite a bit. Now you can see little 20s running around flexing their Flamebreaker title, riding their Raven Lord, and being followed by their Personal World Destroyer. The only downside I see to this is for those who worked hard at getting difficult titles, achievements, and such as a F2P. It used to be a pretty cool badge of honor seeing a F2P with “the Hallowed” after their name. Now, that doesn’t really mean anything special for that toon in particular. Overall though, I like the variety it brings to everyone that you meet.
Tims the Druid
I’m getting pretty long-winded here, so I think I just want to throw in that I made a druid, finally. Every once in a while, I get a hankering to start a new toon and a druid has been on the list for quite some time. MoP gave us F2Ps the ability to play as a worgen, a goblin, or pandaren. Since I never made a worgen on my main account, that went hand in hand with making a druid, a speedy druid. Right now I’ve been enjoying playing as a moonkin, but maybe more on that in another post.
Ok, I’m going to end this little update as it’s getting too long. MoP brought us several new/revamped features and these are only a few of them. Pet battles is one thing that I hope to be able to get into in the near future. Right now trial accounts can train for them, but cannot initiate a battle. Apparently there has been a blue post saying that they are “looking into this” so who knows! For now though, it’s been fun. RL has brought me a huge amount of joy in a daughter and I can’t see myself re-upping my subscription account any time soon. F2P has been bringing me just enough fun and time-wasting though and as always, if you’re looking for a little fun in a mini version of WoW, it’s great.