Secrets of Ulduar: Patch 3.1

I don’t like new things, they’re unpredictable and tend to cause unforeseen problems. I guess I could try and avoid new things because they’re difficult, but I can’t. Change is inevitable and I have a feeling that trying to avoid the inevitable will make life harder rather than the intended easier. Also, I try not to live and die by emotion, particularly if that emotion is anxiety. Anxiety should be harnessed and controlled, not allowed to roam free on it’s path of complete decimation. It was with a less than positive attitude that I took the news that patch 3.1 would arrive this week and although I didn’t bury my head in the sand, it takes time to ease into the newness.


The first thing I did after logging in? What everybody else did if Dual Talent Specialization chat spam is believed, I got my dual spec which is a moonkin spec for now.

Next up – the fishing dailies. I have completed all five of ’em and will continue to do so for a while at least. I appreciate the opportunity for mindless distraction that daily quests have to offer and have missed the fishing daily although it is a little time consuming with the different locations involved.

Argent Tournament: It fulfilled all my expectations and they weren’t good ones. I like the carnival feeling of the tournament and know that it will be one of those places where I will simply park a character as an interesting alternative to a screen saver. However, the quests aren’t fun and the jousting is absolutely awful. I’m pretty sure my feelings about that will change when I stop dislocating fingers trying to move the stupid vehicle (have I mentioned how much I hate vehicles!), sorry, horse/cat whilst hitting a movable object. Forget the pvp aspect, I have trouble with the NPC’s enough to keep me busy for quite some time.

The UI improvements are completely lost on me as I don’t make use of the standard UI. My addons have all been bug-fixed now and I’m happy to have my customized UI back. Xperl was still broken for Chris’ raid with his guild on Friday and whilst I lay corpse like on the couch, he answered questions like ‘how do I invite people to the raid when I can’t right click on their portrait?’ and ‘I’m in a party, how do I leave the party so I can join the raid group?’ Lucky I have a husband that works in the programming field and can ramble off commands and scripts over vent whilst subjecting unsuspecting players outside of Naxx to the amazing pickpocketing gnome mage (I love you sweetie, but I still don’t think it’s a funny emote).

Druid healing is a little different too. I know now that my old spell rotation is most definitely not going to work. I didn’t have high hopes, but there was a small glimmer now that I’ve finally started to feel as if I know a little of what I am doing. It’s going to take a little while to decide on a new system of making decisions about what to cast on whom. Lissanna¬† at Restokin sums it up pretty nicely and I am rapidly leaning towards Notabear‘s conclusion that spirit is out and SP is back in. A few weeks back I was told that spirit isn’t a holy stat and I’m finally truly seeing that. Time to replace some of those spirit gems and enchants to +SP and see how that goes. The new glyphs are cool too and it’s nice to have a look at figures again with progression content in mind.

razorscaleUlduar couldn’t have been more of a surprise. I missed out on the first boss and am really glad that things worked out that way. A siege vehicle encounter would not be where I would prefer to start a new raid and it was a happy coincidance when I missed the Flame Leviathan encounter. Razorscale was a very good first impression. I love dragons and this one is just so cool. There’s plenty of space, no bright flashy lights and raiding felt comfortable for the first time. I could see things happening, I didn’t feel dizzy and disoriented and although everything in Ulduar is very unforgiving, I didn’t find it impossibly hard to just survive. For me the encounter demanded more anticipation than reaction, an unexpected bonus. I didn’t have to move out of spawning fires this time, although I’m sure that will not remain the same for the rest of Ulduar, but could see them coming with plenty of time to move out of the way. I really enjoyed Naxx, I was giddy about the dragons in OS and although Maly was a bit of a nightmare, it was just all so pretty and blue that I couldn’t help that emotional reaction creeping in. Ulduar has all those things, but it also has more. I feel as if I get to play, rather than just faking it. I didn’t need to glance at recount to check that I was casting the right heals on the right targets. I know I was very far from perfect in my performance, but it didn’t matter as I didn’t care. It was fun experimenting and learning new things.

Chris has been quietly asserting that new isn’t always negative. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s like a very nice suprise and that’s a happy thought, isn’t it. Isn’t it? I concur. For the newness of patch 3.1, I think Chris comes out the winner. I am not jumping in with complete abandon as content is more difficult and challenging and I’m sure I will be struggling to master most of it, but it’s been more fun than pain and that is most definitely a very good sign for things yet to be explored.