Thursday 7 December 2006

Patch Day of DOOOOOOM!

So World of Warcraft got patched to 2.0 last night. Updating up the game itself wasn't too bad, thanks to 95% of the patch being pre-downloaded, but logging in revealed a seething mass of humanity (and of course gnome/dwarf/elf-anity) in Stormwind, no NPCs, and fairly rapidly, no Stormwind as everything fell over. Nothing unexpected there.

One of the big changes is in the scripting, requiring all user add-ons to be updated. Most of the popular add-on sites were thus slashdotted by thousands of people trying to get the latest version, so I just popped on with the "vanilla" UI, which made me realise just what a difference the add-ons make. When I returned to WoW a couple of months ago, I just grabbed a compilation pack recommended by friends of 10-20 various add-ons and never really glanced at the standard interface. None of the other MMOs I've played have WoW's level of customisation; are Blizzard empowering players by letting them tinker so much, or abdicating their responsibility?

Either way up, another of the big changes is new talent trees, taking account of the extra talent points that will come up to level 70 in The Burning Crusade. With the new trees, everyone gets their talent points refunded to spend again how they like. It's all a bit abrupt for me, though; while information on the new talents has been available for a while, it's all been in testing, and subject to change (fairly significant change, in some cases). Furthermore, without actually being able to use the new talents, it's difficult to get a feel for them. A trial period, with another talent refund at the end of it would be nice, or resetting the cost of resetting your talents back to the initial 10 silver, or however much it was (it's been a while...)

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