4.1 – The Mage of Patches
So I know this is a little bit late to be posting about, but I just picked this up again so sue me.
Blizzard announced last week that 4.1 was going on the PTR and the dataminers immediately got to work pulling all kinds of cool shit from the game files. They found things like crazy firebird mounts, Firelands zone files, new pets, and ZOMG LEGENDARY STAFF! People were like, “Yay new content! I can’t wait to kick Ragnaros in his little polio legs!”
But it was all for naught, as the announcement quickly came that none of this stuff was coming in 4.1, but was being added in preparation for 4.2. Bummer.
So what do we get in 4.1? Let’s go to the Blue Post!
The main content features currently planned for 4.1 are:
- Zul’Gurub revamp
- Zul’Aman revamp
- New level-85 Stranglethorn quest line (phased) leading players into the troll dungeons
- New tier of Heroic dungeon gear (epic item level 353) to give players a slightly bigger boost going into raids for the first time
- New & updated flavor items, vanity pets, and mounts
- Guild Challenges (new guild quests)
And the Ensidia’s of the world collectively groaned.
Let me tell you how I read this:
- A new heroic that you saw 5 years ago. It won’t be as hard as it was then. It’s the one we removed in Cata so we could replace it with 2 quests for level 30s.
- Another new heroic you saw 3.5 years ago. It won’t be as hard as it was then.
- A couple “feeder quests” to actually point you to the entrance, in case you don’t want to use Dunegon Finder.
- Epic gear that is better than other heroics, but if you’ve done any sort of raiding then you probably won’t care.
- A snail pet. Also some reworked mounts from ZG and ZA that won’t be as cool as the ones that dropped originally.
- We stole the guild quest idea from Rift, so it’s at least on our radar.
Let me start off by saying I really liked the idea of reworking some of the original dungeons from vanilla. The new Deadmines is fun (though most people bitch about it taking too long). New Shadowfang is a bit less cool but at least it has a neat nostalgia factor to it. That said, I really don’t want this to be a well they return to throughout the course of Cataclysm. Reworking 5-mans as updated 5-mans is one thing – reworking raid instances into 5-mans is another. They’re already rehashing half the end-bosses from vanilla raids (Nefarian, Ragnaros) in new raid content, is it too much to ask for something (completely) new?
Given that I can’t raid hardcore anymore, I’ll probably take advantage of ZA and ZG despite my bashing of the idea. After all, Death Knights weren’t able to ever obtain the Bear mount from ZA and 10 months worth of ZG runs twice a week resulted in the one Tiger mount drop I ever saw being won by a rl friend. Still though, the mounts aren’t identical, couldn’t this have all been part of some new troll instance somewhere?
The bigger thing about 4.1 that kinda astounds me is that many (maybe thats an overstatement, maybe) people will be looking to this patch to determine whether they should stick with WoW or head to the greener pastures of Rift. I know in my last post I wrote about how I would ultimately not be staying with Rift, but the fact remains that it looks to be the best MMO to be released since WoW and could actually steal some subscribers. Blizzard should be responding to the release of Rift with something new and cool, something that says, “sure they have big rifts in the sky, but we have THIS!”
Instead they are saying, “here’s a lot of stuff you’ve already seen to some extent in the last 3-5 years with a new coat of paint. New shit will be here in June so please stay tuned!”
Maybe they are underestimating Rift, maybe they really think these smaller, more frequent patches will appear to more players, maybe both – I can’t say for sure. But it seems to me that, knowing many guilds blew through Cata release content a lot faster than Blizzard would have liked (unless you’re a 10-man guild – more on that in a future post), and knowing a new MMO just launched that actually provides an enjoyable experience comparable to WoW, now would be the team to present your best stuff.
In the long run, it probably won’t matter. It’s not like Blizzard is going to lose 50% of their subscribers overnight to Rift or any other game. They probably know that they’ll keep most of these folks either way. And maybe that’s the real problem.