Friday, 1 October 2010

The 4.0.1 PTR post

I have finally logged onto the PTR to take a preview at the new stuff coming our way really soon now. First of all, that picture does not joke, mana is down from 18k to 6k. Hopefully these new mana saving talents will help a lot.

Shaman stuff

You've probably seen the new talent UI, anyway here it is. Much less things to put points into, I went for the build pictured by randomly putting points in things which sounded interesting and ignoring anything that sounded like PvP talents. I should probably have taken Improved Shields instead of going over to the Elemental tree, but hey this is the PTR and will all get wiped anyway.

Here is the new glyph UI. What is of interest, and something I didn't think through, is that we get 3 prime, 3 major and 3 minor glyphs, that being 9. At the moment I have 6 of course, which leaves a gap of 3 glyphs when I opened the UI. I ended up with 3 prime glyphs of Windfury, Feral Spirit and Stormstrike, but 3 open Major glyph slots.

Some of the current major glyphs don't turn into prime glyphs, so the Glyph of Lightning Shield looks very handy and is a major glyph, so if I had it, I could use it as well as WF, FS and SS. Similarly, the Glyph of Chain Lightning is also a major, so I can use that as well. I put Glyph of Chain Heal in a major slot because I just didn't gave enough glyphs to fill them with.

I've been on the AH on live and bought glyphs of LS and CL, because of course once 4.0.1 hits and everyone else on the server realizes they have 3 new empty glyph slots, the prices are going to get a bit high. Not to mention that the UI shows you all the glyphs you don't have and so completeness freaks will be buying as well.

A visit to the trainer will be in order, here we see the new Mail Specialization skill and how the spell book shows you spells you need to go learn. 5% extra primary stat? Yes please. Remember to go train it though, Blizzard are mean and won't give it to you for free, the trainer is also mean and will ask for more gold for it.

Elemental crowd control! You'll be needing it too, if TotalBiscuit's videos are anything to go by. I've even put Hex back onto my action bars. Must buy glyph of Hex...

Not-so-Shaman stuff

Because Kam did the crazy Long, Strange Trip achievement, he gets Master Riding which I assume gives 310% speed on all mounts. I hope this is free and not just some cunning Blizzard advert to get me to part with 5k gold. I really like this spell because I can finally fly my favourite mount the Red Drake but at crazy fast speeds. All you engineers can get back into your ROFLCopters too.

Now here is the big question for the alts, do I try to do Children's Week (school of hard knocks specifically) or just pony up the 5k gold for the Master Riding and forget about it? There are better looking mounts out there than the Violet Proto-drake for my money, and being forced to do Player Vs Developer (PvD) by behaving stupidly in some battlegrounds really annoys me. Or maybe its PvPvP where the first Player is you, the second player is the Alliance/Horde and the third players are your teammates, because what that achievement gets you to do certainly isn't helping anyone in the battleground who wants to actually do PvP. Sigh.

I'd like to save 5k really I would, but I can see myself standing in front of the flying trainer, finger hovering over the Buy button, casting my mind back to when I did School of Hard Knocks... CLICK! I'd have bought it already if the Master Flying skill was on live. What price do you put on your sanity?

Erm, anyway here is the new professions UI which is all shiny looking yet taunting me with the Archeology I can't pick up until Cataclysm launches.

Another cool feature is that the new Pets and Mounts UI lists the actual name of the items, and sorts them alphabetically, so instead of rummaging around looking for the icon for your Red Drake, you can like, just go to the Rs and click the icon next to "Red Drake".

This is not so much a new feature, more of a fix to something which was horribly un-useable before.

This works really well on my pet book which is choc-full of 80-odd pets and I can never find the one I want. Oh, they also moved the Pet and Mount tabs to the spellbook for some reason.

Gathering and multiple tracking

One of the most exciting changes is that now, instead of picking one thing to track like Herbs OR Minerals, each trackable item has a check box and you can track more than one thing at once. I have a really great screenshot of Kam tracking Herbs and Mineral nodes and seeing both a Herb and a Mineral node on his minimap at the same time. Unfortunately I left it on my other PC. Fail.

Really, just totally random stuff

This "emphasise my spell effects" setting intrigues me. I haven't got to try it out yet but it sounds good.

Whereas blocking all those guild invites people insist on sending my AH alt is awesome. Just awesome. One to click as soon as 4.0.1 goes live methinks.

Here is a shot of the new raid UI config panel. Having used the new raid UI it looks ok, just about as good as the CT Raid Assist frames but no where as good as something like Shadowed Unit Frames that I use, or any of the other major unit frames.

Where's the pwnage?

So I queued in the Random Dungeon Finder to try out all these crazy new talents and spells. After a 5 minute wait I got the cold, clammy sweats as the Halls of Reflection loading screen came up. When I said random I didn't really mean really random, just like something easy to run with the other people who are queuing. Not bloody HoR! In any case, the tank couldn't get in due to some bug and the group fell apart.

I hope to be back on the PTR soon, queueing in the RDF for something a bit easier to try out the new spells and talents. Something like Utgarde Keep maybe. Or Violet Hold, that will do nicely.
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