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The Beta Is Here!

WOD Beta! BETA BETA BETA!! And I was lucky enough to get invited in the first wave! WOO!

I’ll have some screenshots in future posts, as I do more beta stuff, but I wanted to give some early impressions.

Bugs!

It’s the beta. So of course it’s full of bugs. Big bugs, little bugs. Buggy bug bugs.

(yes I’m loopy from the heat and just a little excited)

I tried logging in last Friday when it launched. Crashed every few seconds. Finally, I got in! Yay! I copied my druid over, and logged in at Shrine of Two Moons. I realized that getting to Draenor at this point in development is not very intuitive. So I headed on over to Orgrimmar hoping I’d get some kind of breadcrumb quest to tell me where to go.

I get to the portals, click on Org and….. crash. Log back in, click on Org and… loading screen! Nope, I just got punted back into the portal room at shrine. What the fail? Ok, lemme try Thunder Bluff. I can just fly on over. Same thing. The portal just spit me back out. Alrighty then. Let’s try a non-Kalimdor one. I click UC and woo! I’m in UC. Well, that wasn’t very helpful. Let me go through the portal to where the Dark Portal is! Hmm…. nothing out of the ordinary. Ok, back to Shrine and I’ll try it in the morning! I crashed about 5 times within that span as well.

Saturday morning… I log in and crash. Log back in and…crash. Log back in and… woohoo! there it is! Clicked on Org portal and…..woohoo! Made it to Org! Looking around… hmm…. no random breadcrumb quest popping up. Then I remember reading somewhere that the alliance found the way to Draenor by the Cataclysm portals in Stormwind. Alright.

I flew up to where the Org Cataclysm portals were and… what’s this?! A cute little mini dark-portal. OMG IT’S SO CUTE! It looked like something where gnomes would go to die. Naturally there were a hundred people piled on top of this mini-me version of the Dark Portal. GET OUT OF MY WAY I MUST GET TO DRAENOR! I felt like I needed some pygmy potion to fit through the door. But it was SO CUTE!

I clicked on the portal and…. nothing. Clickyclickyclicky. Nothing. LEMME IN DAMMIT! Although that would explain why there were a hundred people piled on top of the portal but nobody actually getting inside. Sigh. Ok I’ll try this again later.

I did eventually get to Draenor. And the Garrison is also bugged. More on that in the Garrison section.

 

UI Tweaks

So there are a few interesting UI tweaks. Enemies glow red when you mouse over them. That’s nifty. But the best UI adjustment? Tradeskill mats are stackable to 200!!!! I was running around picking flowers and… my stack didn’t stop at 20. IT KEPT GOING! I had about 20 stacks of green tea leaves in my bag, so I thought hmmm… how far does this go? 40…60…80…100….120…!!! When it got to 200 I was all “Squeeeeee!!!” Way to save bag and bank space! THANK YOU BLIZZARD! My 20 stacks were suddenly down to…2!

While we’re on the subject of bags and space. It was announced that bags will be sortable, so I tried it out. I’m not sure if this is intended or not, but specialty bags (i.e. herb bags, enchanting bags etc), are still specialty bags. I thought that blizzard might make them all generic, but so far that is not the case. My herb bag still only holds herbs. But after I set each bag to trade goods, junk, equipment, consumables, then sorted… pretty cool stuff! Now I know where everything is!

 

Druid Stuff

Aly is not happy. We knew they took away our instant WG and made it a castable WG. We knew that they were nerfing healing to the ground and preventing a lot of overhealing. In one of my musings on the forums, I was thinking how would our mushrooms bloom if we can’t overheal?? Well, the answer is simple. Shroom Bloom is GONE BABY GONE! Trees, once the most mobile healers in the game no longer have an instant-cast AOE heal. None. Fuck you Blizzard. We still have our instant single-target heals in Rejuv, Lifebloom and Swiftmend. But AOE? We better not be standing in fire while casting it.

And that reminds me…. right now I have been using a haste build with Soul of the Forest. Swiftmend+WG =ALL THE HEALS SO FAST! So when they made WG castable, I questioned if the talent will proc on the cast time or if it would still be on the WG ticks. I tried to test this out in the beta. Swiftmend did NOT speed up the cast time of WG. But it also didn’t appear to speed up the WG ticks either. It was hard to tell – I tried once without SM, and once with SM. But as all trees know, in order to cast SM we must cast Rejuv first. So while it *looked* like it was ticking faster, I had to take into account the Rejuv ticks that were making it look like it ticked faster. Honestly, I didn’t see a real difference. So SOTF is probably going to be a useless talent come WOD. Back to Mastery.

And this is more of a healer thing, but the stat squish is there, and I am down to 500 spirit. That’s 37k mana. That’s rough. Although it does look like the mana costs have thankfully been adjusted accordingly. So it didn’t seem like I was running out of mana too fast when practicing healing myself.

As an aside, I’ve been questing in Draenor as resto. That seems like an exercise in masochism, but things do seem to be dying very very quickly. Probably won’t be so easy when it’s live though.

 

Squish!

That’s right! The squish is in! Squishy squish squish! Damage is squished. Healing is squished. All stats are squished. It’s a TBC type squish. My heals were ticking at 1500 instead of 15000. My damage was in the hundreds! (I’m a healer, yes my damage is going to be in the hundreds). Not only that, but XP is also squished. No more needing 10 million XP to level. It’s like we’re questing back in vanilla. each kill is 900-1300xp rested. The XP bar moves faster (again this may just be a beta thing and not a live thing). You get a few thousand XP for turning stuff in. You need like 30k XP to level. Squish!

 

Garrisons

You get a quest to build your Garrison. It seems like Blizzard really really wants us to participates in Garrisons. Once you do the intro quests in Draenor, you’re off Garrison building. It’s hard to explain, but it looks like a phased area. I picked up a plan for the barracks and plotted it. The Garrison UI is fairly idiot proof. Unfortunately I didn’t get very far here. Once I got the quest to get a follower/minion, it bugged. I got my minion, but the next quest to give him an assignment spit up a very ugly LUA error. I had zero addons enabled, and this was a bug many players were reporting.

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten in the beta. By the way there are Fel Reavers everywhere. Well, not Fel Reavers but big giant level ?? elites wandering around ready to step on your face if you get too close. Welcome back to Outlands!

Screenies will be posted later….

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