Aphorisms: Cataclysm++

Some thoughts I’ve had while leveling my human paladin in the Cataclysm expansion. I’m more into the game now that I’m doing dailies, and I’ve also been doing a lot of archaeology recently.

  • There’s often a long way from dig site to dig site when doing archaeology. Sometimes several zones. It helps with a fast flying mount, but it’s still a bit much. I understand the players that lose patience with this profession.
  • And the cooldown on the Survey ability is too long, especially when moving slightly closer to green lights.
  • The chewing animation of the new camel model is hilarious. Make sure you check that out, e.g. before the caravan leaves for Uldum in the introduction for the zone.
  • The extension to the guild features is nice and all (it now rivals that of EverQuest II), but on my 1920×1080 widescreen most of the UI panels are really tiny. Why is it still impossible to move and expand windows in 2011? It is to cut down on QA tasks and leave that up to addon coders? That’s a pretty lousy excuse.
  • The new AH and bank spot in the Dwarven District in Stormwind is so much better than the old place in the Trade District. Everything is slightly tighter and the new zone portals are just around the corner.
  • Going from level 84 to 85 sure bumped the health and mana considerably. I even had to ask in guild chat if that was intentional or if I was experiencing some kind of temporary bug that would go away after relogging.
  • I love how epic group quests are now pretty much confined to the instances only (apart for one or two exceptions). I’ve always thought group quests should be confined to dungeons. It makes a lot of sense.
  • For some strange reason my i7 950 PC (Windows Vista 64-bit) with 12 GB RAM crashes in Dalaran and Ironforge. It’s the only two spots in the entire game where this happens and since I don’t really need to be there, I just avoid them. As I enter these towns the sound disappears, so I tried upgrading the sound driver. No dice. I also tried upgrading the graphics driver for my Nvidia GeForce GTX 285, to no avail. Lord of the Rings Online, EverQuest II and Age of Conan all work perfectly.
  • It’s nice to see all the small UI details that Blizzard have added since the last time I played the game. Since I’m not raiding anymore, I even decided not to install any addons at all, and I didn’t miss any while leveling to 85.
  • I must confess I’m really getting tired of the saturated colors. Sometimes it feels like I’m walking around in the middle of an episode of CSI: Miami. Together with the bright lighting and the cartoon textures, it really drags down on the atmosphere in caves.
  • I like how certain abilities of the retribution paladin sometimes light up when mastery kicks in. It adds a little extra flavor to the battles. I was a bit worried about the new holy power resource system, but I quickly got the hang of it.
  • The new temporary combat pet for paladins at level 85 is excellent. He’s bright yellow (almost like gold) and good for tough fights. I never thought paladins would ever get something like this.
  • And hey, Divine Protection is actually useful now.
  • Is it me or is Cleanse less required in Cataclysm? I remember cleansing a lot in the previous expansion packs, but I rarely do that in Cataclysm anymore. I even moved the hot key to the Hammer of Justice ability instead.
  • Cataclysm sure is very linear. Typically you get 1-3 quests at a time and have to complete those to move on. I’ve never liked when an MMORPG use too many “popcorn” quests (i.e. when quest icons in a town suddenly light up everywhere like a Christmas tree) but this is too much in the opposite direction. Together with excessive phasing and cut scenes it made Cataclysm feel a lot like a single-player game.
  • It would have been nice with some sort of action bar copy-and-paste feature when setting up a second talent spec. I actually had to write down the action bar setup in a notebook since I wanted the out-of-combat icons to be identical.
  • It’s not fair that a portal to Stormwind is created in Twilight Highlands and then we can’t use it to go back. The portals in Deepholm are two-way and works well, so why not the portal in Twilight Highlands? It’s just there, enticing you with a view of Stormwind. UPDATE: Ah, you can just walk into it. Fair enough, but why no gear icon?
  • Mathias Shaw of SI:7 does some pretty mean damage. Good thing he’s on our side.

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