My Enthusiasm is Still in Beta

It’s been a while since we posted. Whew! Where to start?

Malfean discovered that it was possible for us to get a beta key through WowInterface‘s mod author beta key program. He wrote a little mod that simply announces when you’re rezzing and, bang! We waited a week and the beta key was ours. Amusingly enough, a few days before we recieved the WowInterface key, Malfean’s opt-in key showed up. We tacked the opt-in beta onto my WoW account and, deciding we didn’t really need TWO beta keys, gave another to a friend and guildmate of ours so that she could test out hunter modifications in Beta. Maybe we’ll have her write something up about her thoughts once she’s had a chance to look around some. I’ll try to keep spoilers, if there are any, to a minimum.

I say maybe because, well, the servers are so frickin’ unstable. Now, I understand completely that it’s a beta and I honestly haven’t done any complaining or griping about the server stability, but it really has reached a ridiculous extreme. They inserted a new patch on Friday during maintenance and after that the servers weren’t fit for anything. At first they traced the crashes to two new level 80 areas they had just put in, but it quickly became apparent that, oddly enough, a rank 2 DeathKnight spell, Unholy Blight, was crashing the servers. Not rank 1 and not rank 3, only rank 2. Seems people would log on and either unknowingly use it and crash everything or be told that it was a problem and feel that they needed to test it out for themselves. For 24 hours it was pretty much unplayable. This morning it seemed that there was some semblance of stability again, so I got together with the above-mentioned friend and we headed over to the first Northrend area and started her questing around. About twenty minutes later, though, repeated crashes start up again. We eventually gave up.

From what I’ve seen, however, between crashes, I’m really going to enjoy WotLK. It feels so much more connected, somehow. You get zepped over from Orgrimmar or Undercity, giving it much more of a connection to old Azeroth. The terrain, too, is less otherwordly and odd. I have to say that I LOVE the vrykul as a race. Tall and nordic with booming voices and a regal bearing, they seem like worthy adversaries. Admittedly I haven’t quested too far in either area, a dozen or so in Howling Fjord and a handful in Borean Tundra, but I think I prefer the former for now. I prefer the terrain and you spend a lot of time interacting with they vrykul, including one highly entertaining quest that requires you to go insult their leader in a strange language. The quests are engaging and a few of them are downright fun. If it weren’t for the server crashes I’d probably be looking at it more as a pleasure-game than a beta test.

For now rogue poisons are insanely screwed up, applying at a 100% rate and ticking off way too hard, causing mobs to go down before they’re done with Cheap Shot for extremely well geared rogues. A few more hits for me, in my Kara/badge epics. There’s a bug that affects all classes that causes energy/mana/rage not to regenerate at all. I notice it right away because, well, it shows up as my having 0/100 energy. Mana classes, from what I saw playing with my hunter friend, don’t notice it until their mana bar goes empty and they’re not getting any back. Relogging will usually solve the problem, but not always and sometimes you spend your entire 5-10 minutes of time between crashes relogging trying to get your energy/mana/rage to catch up with you.

I haven’t spent much time playing around with Deathknights yet. I only played one through the first level and, according to what I’ve heard, they’ve nerfed their DPS since then, but oh my god I was practically one-shotting everything around me. I never seemed to run out of power. The most awesome thing so far is seeing a small army of ghouls ranged out behind you, swinging their arms and galumphing along. I’ll leave the rest for Malfean to fill you in on, as he managed to get one up to Outland and, I believe, went back to start the quest to make the guards in Orgrimmar stop spitting and throwing fruit at people.

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