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Friday, September 03, 2010

First Day of Cataclysm Beta Testing

Warning: This post contains Cataclysm spoilers.  No, there's no break or jump.  Just stop reading, unless you want to.  You know you want to.

This post is a little about my first day playing in the Cataclysm  Beta test.  I'm not going to be gabbin' on about all the testing I do, but this might make an interesting read for me sometime in the future.

After a night of downloading, patching, downloading some more and then waiting another day for the Cataclysm Beta realms to come back up, I was finally in. My first move was to transfer a premade Night Elf Druid, which I have not yet logged into.  The second move was to create a Worgen.  Since I want to play a Worgen Druid when it all goes live, I thought I'd start off with a Warlock, and save druid game play surprises for later.

The first thing that was strange was no pet UI to start with.  I had an imp, and the imp had a spellbook with entries, but neither were particularly interactive.  I knew there was a thing with the hunter pets not being interactive until level 10, but it wasn't particularly clear that this was the case with warlocks.

It didn't actually bother me until level 6 or 8 (I cant quite remember which.. it might have been 8), when I was able to get a voidwalker.  Traditionally, the voidwalker is a tank pet, so I pull him out to help take down time spiders.  I was standing on a patch of withered grass in the middle of the village, firing off Immolate, Bane of Agony and Shadow Bolt to take down a spider, and it was evading.  I figured there was a pathing problem (which was reported), and moved to the road.  Well, the spider picked that up and came for me.  But the voidy?  No, he just stood there, sulking on the grass.  No help at all.  What a sucky tank! After combat finished, and all appeared safe, he decided to move, and stand by his Master. 

Disgusted, but finished with my spider slaughter, I made my way back to the quest hub.  Unfortunately, I was not as cautious as I could have been, and attracted the attention of a few more spiders.  This time, voidy sprang into life, after my initial spread of Bane of Agony on a few of them.  And then, he was suddenly void of life, leaving me much the same a few moments later.  Low level voidies seem to have no tanking ability what so ever.  I wasn't sure if it was the lack of health or the lack of an armor class.  I'm leaning towards armor class, because my imp has taken a few hits, and was able to last more than three of them.

After the resurrect, the voidy went away and the imp came back out.  At least I got a stamina buff from the imp.

A very short time later I dinged level 10, and was given a Pet Control passive spell (that required manual activation).  Activation of this spell gave me my pet bar UI.  I tried one more time with the voidy, but he was still useless, so the imp stays out for the moment until the voidy gets some decent trained buffs.

One thing I did some across at the early levels was a possible bug (which was reported), to do with a Mastiff pet that is supposed to detect and attack lurking worgen.  This would have been around level 3 or 4.  It may have been something to do with my character being a warlock, and having a pet UI that was not yet active, but the Mastiff seemed to neither detect or nor attack.  I was able to see the lurking worgen if I got close enough, but puppy just didn't seem to be doing his job.

I'm heading into wall of text territory, so I'd like to leave you with a few thoughts on what else I saw:

Sylvannas, you're one mean piece of work.  Whilst Varians hatred of the Orcs is not unfounded, and their new leadership will put them on shaky ground, I would consider the Forsaken to be the major threat within the Horde.  I still wonder what drives the Forsaken, or at least, Sylvannas.  She seems to have it in for everything and everyone.  What happens when she kills everyone, or converts them to be Forsaken?  Maybe she's looking for a seat in the throne room of the Burning Legion (if it could be said there is such a thing).

You'll be gabbin' about gabbin', alot.  The phrases used by the Gilneans seem to be American impressions of English phrases and accents.  They're always on about gabbin', unless they're having a bad feeling.  One of them distinct sounds like Johnny Depp, with a stilted, slightly lazy/slurred delivery of a version of the phrase "Any friend of such-and-such is a friend of mine".  My ear isn't good enough to pick where the accents some from exactly.  They're definitely not Cockney, possibly west London (whatever that is).  I'd like to see a lot more variation.  Perhaps a Yorkshire theme.  Sometimes the voices don't seem to match up with the characters.  Here's hoping for some "Cheerio, luv" (or guv) from some Gilnean Peasants or Refugees later on. I think I recall a "What's your game?" in there somewhere, which was close to normal, if you're suspicious of a big hairy dog man nuzzling at you for XP and quest gold.  Here are some other phrases I'd like to see: Spare us a coppa, wontcha guv? Gilneas callin'. What you lookin' at? Genn's a right muppet (for the Gilnean malcontents, if there are any).  It's all ruined, innit.

Apologies to the English offfended by Australian interpretations of English phrases and accents.  At least you only have to read them, and not listen to them.  Apologies to the voice over artists actually doing the Gilnean voice overs.  It's not like you'd have a firm grasp of your motivational context: Your city has been invaded by wolf men, then by the undead, then your country side destroyed by earthquake and flood.  Now give me your best "Cheerio!".

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