Awesome! Fast, reasonably balanced groups. A good variety of instances. I've even used it for low-level groups with alts (did Shadowfang Keep, Blackfathom Depths, Scarlet Monastery Graveyard, and Regular Old Kingdom) and everything worked pretty well.
Regular heroics are nice, but the low level dungeons are what interest me the most. I've always liked doing those dungeons with a level appropriate group, but it used to be so hard to form a group. Now hopefully, it will be much easier.
You know, in a few months there are going to be some sick skilled tanks available. Imagine levelling to max purely by running dungeons with PuGs. Those tanks who come out of that are going to be really good.
Finally, it's an interesting observation how much more fun you can make the game by taking control away from the players. There's no formal Gearscore, no Achievement-linking, no looking for a specific class, no choosing the instance ahead of time. You just get told, "Here's your instance, and here's your group. Go to it." And everything works out nicely.
A lot of times I think we make things more difficult for ourselves than they need to be.
Forge of Souls is okay. Personally, I think it may have been a little extreme to take the James "Godfather of Soul" Brown homage to that level. But it's still an decent instance, if somewhat short. I'm not really sure what was happening on that last boss.
I adore Pit of Saron. I like the layout, the fact that it's not on rails like so many other instances. Ick and Krick are great, as is that giant boss. The ice tunnel is superb fun, and is possibly the best reuse of a raid mechanic ever. The final boss is pretty good too.
Actually, the ice tunnel deserves more discussion. It's the perfect combination of challenge and set-piece in a long while. The mechanics are relatively simple, but they really drive home exactly what Blizzard wants you to feel. They could have made the rockfall just do random damage, but avoiding the ice circles keeps you constantly moving, making the entire experience feel more urgent.
Halls of Reflection is pretty good. I suspect my feelings on HoR are colored by the fact that it bugged out on me the first three times I attempted it. But I finally completed it in the end. It is fairly hard for a heroic, especially the first fight. Lots of lore fun in the instance as well. The final fight has the greatest enrage timer in the history of WoW.
The new map and quest guide are pretty slick.
I like the tag on gear that tells you what equipment set an item is in.
Some of the new interface options are interesting. However, there seem to be some automatic changes which you may not like. For example, auto-self-cast got turned on.
The new "@" syntax for macros is very nice. You can replace "target=" with "@". It shortens the macro, and makes it more understandable. For example, "target=mouseover" becomes "@mouseover".
I haven't gotten a chance to see the new raid instances yet. Hopefully I'll get a peek on the weekend.
Thursday, December 10, 2009