The Calm Before the… Calm

Patch 5.04 live:

Metzen describes Mists of Pandaria as “the calm before the storm.” Which, as much as I love Metzen, is a pretty bad tagline to get people excited about a video game, but anyway…

My rogue meeting the Pandaren for the first time in patch 5.0.4After months of waiting, World of Warcraft is now taking its final steps towards the new expansion. Account-wide mounts, pets, and achievements; new talent trees, spells, and class mechanics, and pandas (if only NPCs) are now live.

We’re now in the weird netherworld between expansions. We’re no longer playing Cataclysm, but we aren’t yet playing Mists of Pandaria. It’s the calm before the calm.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to play yet, and I also have a truly terrible flu, so this post might be a bit rambling, but here are my impressions so far.

Account-wide:

Since I haven’t been able to spend much time playing with the new class changes, account-wide mounts and achievements are what’s given me the most pleasure so far.

Of all the titles and mounts I’ve collected over the years, my favourites are, respectively, “Champion of the Frozen Wastes” and my violet Nether Drake, Voranaku. (Yes, I call him by name. Deal with it.) Unfortunately, both of these were restricted to my mage, a character I no longer have much interest in playing.

My warlock riding what was once my mage's violet Nether DrakeNo longer.

This really makes me far happier than it should. I love my Champion title because it’s the only raid title I earned while the content was still semi-relevant. Yeah, Icecrown Citadel was out by the time I did it, but at least it was the same expansion, and I did it entirely through PUGs, so that kind of adds an extra degree of difficulty. And I like my Nether Drake because he’s the only mount that’s also a character. I didn’t buy him; he pledged himself to my service.

Class changes:

As mentioned above, I haven’t had much time to play with the new class changes, but one thing is clear: warlocks are bringing sexy back.

Sparkly!That’s just one example of the numerous awesome new minor glyphs and spell effects available to the class. Locks are now the indisputable kings of swank, bling, eye-candy, and pwetty.

I didn’t get a chance to screenshot any of them, but paladins also got some pretty good new, uh, pretties. I’m particularly fond of denounce and the fire from the heavens glyph.

I remain disappointed in the rogue changes, but I will admit that being able to shadowstep all of teh things and in any spec is pretty fun, as is crimson tempest.

World changes:

Aside from the pandas, there have been a few minor changes to the world. For example, this thing:

The new gunship over Stormwind, added in patch 5.0.4The new gunship over Stormwind, added in patch 5.0.4That wasn’t there before.

There are also new lighting effects, though I haven’t found them to be particularly noticeable so far.

Finally, a wrong dating back to before I even joined WoW has finally been righted: the Blue Lady is back.

[Edit: It’s the Blue Child. The larger of Azeroth’s moons is the White Lady. I’m so sick I’m not even getting my lore right.]

Azeroth's second moon makes its triumphant return in patch 5.0.4On the downside, the Theramore scenario won’t be out for almost an entire month, and there are thus far no indications of any pre-expansion event aside from it. Compared to the launches for Wrath and Cataclysm, that’s pretty disappointing.

* * *

How about you? What do you make of the new changes?

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3 thoughts on “The Calm Before the… Calm

  1. Nice you can enjoy your mount again on toons you are actually playing.
    Our guild ran a new buttons night, some 5 mans and lfr in vent, and chatting about all the changes.. I love the Locks new goodies (as our raid leader plays).. though I mainly play a shaman and a druid. My favorite thing I have found so for– my druid new aquatic form is an orca. Dorky but whatever.

  2. Hope you feel better soon!
    I have Ravens!!
    I saw some of the Warlock goodies in action and wow – they look great! The new talent system and spell priority changes will take some getting used to, but fortunately we have enough time (I hope!) to get back in the swing of things before MoP.

    Account-wide pets/mounts is my favorite change so far – and did I mention I have Ravens???

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