So this time last year, even though nobody asked, I madesome predictions for World of Warcraft in 2009. So it’s now 2010 (which is only, ONLY pronounced “twenty ten”) and it’s time to look back and see how I did. I’ll grade each prediction on a five point scale.
Prediction #1: World of Warcraft: The Emerald Dream is announced at Blizzcon ‘09.
Result: Well, I was right in that a new expansion was announced at Blizzcon, but instead of going to the Emerald Dream or the Maelstrom, Blizzard turned the old, forgotten world of Azeroth on its ear and then blew it up, unveiling Cataclysm.
Score: 1 out of 5
Prediction #2: 2. Ulduar (and later Icecrown Citadel) are PTR’d and beaten the day they are patched into the live game.
Result: Ulduar was released with patch 3.1 on April 14th. Ensidia killed Yogg Saron at 02:24PM CET on April 16th. Good enough for me. With patch 3.2 and Trial of the Crusader, Blizzard staggered the release of the raiding content (one boss per week) presumably so the raid wouldn’t have been cleared 15 minutes after being patched in. This process continued with 3.3 and Icecrown Citadel. This is a complete bullshit copout so that your bleeding edge raiders don’t put Arthas on farm status day one. He goes down within 24 hours of being unlocked, by the way.
Score: 5 out of 5
Prediction #3: Emblems of Heroism will be redeemable for Emblems of Valor.
Result: Well gee, who knew that both of those badgers emblems would go the way of the dodo a little over halfway through the year? Instead of a bulk exchange for the higher tier emblem, patches 3.2 and 3.3 saw complete emblem resets where the only way to acquire Heroism and Valor emblems (and Conquest as well, introduced in 3.1 and vaporized in 3.3) was to do a 1 for 1 trade down from the top. While this is just spectacular for alts (and spectacularly bad players), on my main character I wonder why I went and did Naxx every week for so damn long. Now I can just spend a couple of hours doing heroics and BAM, a few pieces of tier 9 are mine.
Score: This is mildly tricky considering exactly what happened, so let’s call it 2 out of 5 for no particular reason.
Prediction #4: Dual specs solve little.
Result: Nailed it!
Now, as a healer I enjoy very limited downtime using the new Dungeon Finder. On the worst day I have maybe a two minute wait for a group. And there have been quite a few days when I’ve totally earned my Emblems of Frost because the tank. Really. Sucks. Like, he’s got PW: Fortitude, Gift of the Wild and Blessing of Kings and he’s rocking 30k health and doesn’t have a prayer of holding aggro. But miraculously he does. Why? Because two of the three dpsers are doing under 1,000 DPS. God help you if all 3 DPS are capable and you have a weak tank.
It took me a couple days of healing my ass off to figure it out: the vast majority of these guys are main spec DPS who just don’t want to sit in queue for 15 minutes between randoms; choosing to tank, even if they’re not good at it or their gear sucks gives them as short of a wait as I have healing. Unfortunately, that makes my job so ridiculously hard. Dear Random Instance Tanks: stop sucking. Love, Doofy.
Score: 5 out of 5
Prediction #5: Refer A Friend is reintroduced later in the year with benefits extending up to level 70.
Result: Surprisingly, this didn’t happen. But, having now leveled a brand new character to 80 during the year, I can say that the Outland experience isn’t bad at all. Even heading there at 58, I basically completed two and a half zones and then I was on my way to the friendly confines of Northrend. Now, being decked out in full heirlooms (shoulders, chest, ranged weapon, dual wielding daggers) made things considerably less painful and I’m sure someone brand new to the game will have a lot tougher of an experience. On the plus side, the dungeon finder actually works for Burning Crusade instances when you’re level appropriate so someone willing to tank or heal could certainly cruise through to level 68.
Score: 0 out of 5
Total Score: 13 out of a possible 25.
Clearly, I fail at prognosticating. Oh well.
Happy Twenty Ten to all!