22 October 2008

Weird stuff in 3.0.2

I spend a lot of time keeping up with WoW news. I'm usually "that guy" who has details about what's changing, how to prepare, and when it's likely to happen. As usual, I was well informed before 3.0.2 dropped, but still there were some things that surprised me.

Some were details that I'd known but forgotten. A good example is the use of Entangling Roots in instances. Sure, I would have told anyone about it days before or after 3.0.2. The problem is, I've never remembered to use it in instances. I just don't have that habit yet.

Another example is the new entrance in Caverns of Time. This will eventually be the portal for the Culling of Stratholme instance when WotLK drops. I knew that was there, but I hadn't worried about it much, and eventually I just forgot. But last night we jumped in to CoT to do a quick run at Escape from Durnholde. (I was 500 points from Revered and the guys offered to help me out.) I was riding around to find the entrance, and noticed the new stuff there. Pretty cool!

Other details I just hadn't heard before. I didn't know that the battlemaster for Strand of the Ancients was going to be in Shattrath already. I'm already registered with his faction, too. And I hear that the boat that used to go from Menethil to Auberdine is no longer running; I hadn't realized the routes were changing that much.

I was surprised to start fishing up rank VI scrolls in Inscribed Scrollcases. I also heard similar stories about Froststeel Lockboxes. Those are even more surprising because nobody can open them yet; it requires more skill than is possible at 70. At least the scrolls are useable!

Even more surprising was the new food and drinks. I was in Ironforge and happened to visit the innkeeper. I was shocked to see that he's selling Pungent Seal Whey and Honeymint Tea. The tea isn't drinkable until level 75, but you can drink the whey (ugh) right now. Out with the Purified Draenic Water! They're also selling comparable food items, so if you're a non-healer you might pick up some of that too.

But there's just a lot of weird stuff going on too. I'm not talking about server instabilities; I'm talking about stuff that appears to be happening in game, and might or might not be intentional.

The first thing I noticed is that when I shapeshift, my size is... off. I'll shift from cat to bird form, and my bird will start out tiny and grow to normal size. Or I'll shift from bird to elf, and my elf form starts out huge and then shrinks to fit the room. Quite odd. Is it intentional? A known artifact? A bug? No idea.

Hunters are dealing with a more serious issue, though it's one they can work around. Pets are taking off after a mob as soon as the hunter fires a shot. Before, they would wait until the mob was in melee range. The new behavior is dangerous when a hunter is trying to pull a mob away from others, because the pet will be close to aggroing more mobs. Hunters can work around it by setting their pet on Passive, but that's more work. I can't believe this is accidental but it must be difficult to adjust.

I'm also seeing some strange behavior with daily quest drops. Take for example the daily fishing quests. Previously, I would fish for a while before getting the special fish I wanted. Sometimes it would be in the first couple casts; other times I'd catch 15 or 20 fish before I got what I needed. Since 3.0.2, I've caught the special fish on the first cast, every time. Even weirder, I'll catch two things at the same time — the special fish and some other normal fish.The same thing is happenening with skinning and the Nether Residue collection. Before it seemed like about a 25% drop, but now I'm getting it every time. It's kind of nice, but I'd like to know if it's intentional or not so I don't get my hopes up if not.

The honor calculations for battlegrounds have changed quite a bit too. It's actually a bit annoying to me because I'm seeing myself with a lot less honor than before. My fear is that it's because I'm healing and doing other useful things rather than killing. I am usually good about sitting on a flag until it's captured. That's something that needs to be done, but it's time when I'm not fighting; I'd hate to lose honor for it. And there was a fight where I was #1 in healing, yet I took less honor than about half the raid. That's kind of annoying, and I hope that more adjustments are still to come.

Overall, 3.0.2 went down quite well. I'm glad however that I can still be surprised by things even when I do follow the discussions so closely!

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