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Skywatcher

WoD Beta

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Well the WoD beta was announced and in my inbox today was an invite. Woo!

I've got 3 accounts that're part of my battlenet acct. Two of them are active and have characters I play regularly. The third is one that has one level 70 warrior and another lowbie alt on it and has been inactive since just before Pandaria was released. When I logged into my battlenet acct, it was that that third one that shows the beta. Doh!

I'm downloading the client now and really hoping the invite is for the battlenet acct and not just the one inactive acct.

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So far, the beta is interesting. There's the usual lagginess and frequent disconnects, of course. Some odd issues like getting stuck going up stairs, too.

I've only been poking around on my shaman there so far. I tried a premade character first and it was a little tough. On the raid geared shammy i copied over, I'm tearing through mobs and quests.

I also copied Sky over but haven't huntered much yet. Did tame a hydra pet. They're pretty nifty.

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I don't know that I've been the best of beta testers so far. I've only been logging in a few times a week for short periods, reporting any bugs and adding a couple comments on the beta forums. I've taken a few screenshots along the way.

Here's old Boven on the login screen. The in-game shots I took of him weren't all that great due to lighting or the freaking strobing of the sky back on Azeroth. Bo's looking kind of grumpy. They wanted to put a big yellow ear tag with letters and numbers on him. He wasn't having any of that, though, and told 'em to just put 'em after his name:

BetaBo.jpg

Right off the bat, while fighting in front of the Dark Portal, I noticed this poorly-named fellow:

Durphorn.jpg

Further along in the zone, I helped defend a big cannon while a dorf repaired it and blew up the portal. That concluded with an awesome ingame event!!

Awesome.jpg

I wasn't sure at first how to get to old Draenor. I went all over Orgrimmar trying to figure it out before I discovered that there's a temporary NPC one has to talk to. I actually managed to ride past him 2 or 3 times without noticing him there. Now that's a big Kadghar:

Kadghar.jpg

Young Skywatcher wanted to help out, but the folks at Customs and Immigration wouldn't let him in. Something about him and his pets not having gotten all their shots, apparently. (stupid character copy stopped working). So his cousin Hugga the Premade Hunter went instead. One of the first things he did was verify that, yup, hunters can now tame hydras.

hydra.jpg

I really want to tame one of the new artichoke hippos, but I'd have to roll an Alliance hunter to do that since Horde can't get to that zone in beta. Owell.

And finally, another shot of ol Bo showing off the new Tauren model. This one's for the ladies:

front.jpg

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Nice! I haven't been keeping up with WoW news. Anything new and exciting that could suck me back in in this expansion? :)

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Nice! I haven't been keeping up with WoW news. Anything new and exciting that could suck me back in in this expansion? :)

Hard to say. The stat squish was took a little while to get used to in beta and makes it hard for me to compare how the classes perform compared to MoP. I will say I'm not a fan of some of the ability trimming they did. My elemental shaman feels rather clunky now and the inability to cast on the move really changes things. Losing some abilities I frequently use in pvp is a pain, too. I only puttered around a tiny bit on Bo, but I'm not happy with where Arms warriors are in beta. It's reminiscent of Vanilla release when they were rage starved all the time.

On the plus side, some things such as not having quest items clogging up your bags and highlighted quest objectives are a big help. I've not messed around with the toy box at all. I really need to get Skywatcher copied over to see what effect it has upon his bag space since he's got more silly toys than my other characters.

I can't say too much about garrisons, since mine seems to be one of the ones that got bugged. That means I'll have to re-copy my shaman over and start back at the very beginning. Bleah.

Graphics-wise, the new character models that have been released so far look good. On the down side, Blizzard removed/changed the multisampling settings that are avialable. The two options that exist in beta aren't as good as the ones currently in-game. So those pretty new character models don't look quite as nice as they could. You either end up with some jagged edges or a softened sort of blurring effect.

Overall, I'm liking what little I've seen of it so far, though with reservations. 'Course, it's also beta, so there are a lot of glitchy buggy things. Some very annoying, and some kind of funny (like the time I got on a taxi flight from my garrison and ended up dismounted and unable to move in midair, then saw it happen to someone else right behind me, and someone behind them, and so on. There were a half a dozen or so of us standing there in midair, chatting)

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Just thought I'd post a minor update.

I haven't been spending tons of time in beta. Mostly I've hopped onto premade 100s to try out some of the class changes and tame some of the new pets. My opinions of the classes so far, based upon limited playtime (these're all using a premade level 100 character):

Hunter: I poked around with Survival and BM. Haven't tried Marksman. They both seem to do well enough. Honestly, though, there's not tons of difference between them as far as playtyle goes. To me, they feel very similar, as if they're really just the same thing with slightly different names for the special shots.

Shaman: I've mostly poked around as Elemental, since that's the spec I use right now for raiding. It feels a bit awkward. Not being able to cast lightning bolt while moving is just clunky and a real pain. It's not so bad for questing and such, but in a dungeonor raid fight that involves mobility, it's going to be a royal pain. The spec is very dependent upon instants and procs and just doesn't have enough of either in the beta in my opinion. As for enhancement, it seems to put out solid dps. I don't know that it'll have the top of the charts damage that it has in MoP, but it's probably still going to far outperform elemental.

Warrior: I tried Arms at first and found I really wasn't liking it. The loss of rage generation via Mortal Strike is a big hit. Perhaps in longer fights it won't be as much of an issue, but it's easy to get rage-starved as Arms. The removal of a number of other abilities makes it even worse. I found myself standing there just doing white autoattack damage while hoping a proc'd light up.

It took a while, but I finally got around to trying Protection as well. Since I was just going to spend time at target dummies or randomly beating things up out in the wild, I decided to spec for Gladiator Stance. For any who've not heard of that, it's a level 100 talent that makes what is pretty much a Prot DPS spec. Wow. It may not have quite the dps of Arms or Fury, but it feels danged close. It's also a heck of a lot more fun than plain prot. There are still some rage issues and the mechanics are reminiscent of Arms in MoP. Wait for an ability to come off cooldown and spam in as many of a second ability as you can while the debuff on the target is still up. Haste is finally going to be useful for warriors again. Huzzah! It also means getting to carry a shield all the time, which I like.

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Lucky! No invite in my box yet. Boven looks amazing too!

The female Tauren models are pretty nice, too, though I'm not keen on the nose and upper lip. Here's my female Tauren shammy on the live server:

oldbb3.jpg

And here she is on the beta server:

newbb2.jpg

Those bring up another change that Blizz made that I very much don't like. The console command to turn off full screen glow doesn't work in beta. Originally, you could toggle it off and on via the graphics control panel in game. They removed it back around WotLK, but you could still enter a /console command to toggle it. Ever since I learned about it, I've had it switched off. It just made things look a bit fuzzy and was really annoying when around fires and bright lights in the game. It's part of what made everything blurry when you were 'drunk' in game or when running back to your body after dying.

You can't turn it off now. It's permanantly on. In the two pictures above, the effect it has is noticeable on the bulletin board behind Klarisse, specifically in the fires and very much in the paper pinned to the board behind her. I've noticed that I can't play the beta for more than 45 minutes to an hour without feeling some eye strain. I think that's directly related to the full screen glow effect being turned on.

Kinda sad that the thing that may finally make me stop playing WoW is a graphics setting.

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