Theo’s Thoughts #34: First Thoughts on WoW 5.2

It has been a while since I have added a new addition to my “supposed to be” weekly blog about World of Warcraft. It was not because I have not been playing WoW, but rather nothing new came up that I felt I needed to talk about. My weekly routine was simply run LFR, possibly PuG a raid or fill-in for my guild on their raid team, and run a couple dailies. With the release of 5.2, however, this has changed. Since there is so much new content available, I decided to talk this week about my first thoughts about the new patch.

At first, I thought I would be extremely underwhelmed with the new patch. It seemed to me that it would just be more of the same. Sure, the new dailies and new raid would be something new, but it would be basically the same thing I had been doing for months, just in different places. However, Blizzard has added quite a few subtle changes that I think will add a new feel to the game and just make it a better game overall.

The first of these changes is how players progress through dailies. Adding new “phases” to dailies is not anything new, yet this patch Blizzard is having these new phases be unlocked by your server rather than just personally. This new aspect to dailies is definitely a breath of fresh air, and it just makes more sense to have new parts of the island be unlocked for a whole server, rather than just the few people who do the most dailies. This has definitely attempted to add a new sort of community within a server to the game.

Secondly, Blizzard is doing something great with reputations this patch. With Mists of Pandaria, they no longer allowed players to simply wear tabards of factions in order to gain reputation. This caused some issues within the player base, however, most of these complaints were just because getting reputation in dungeons was easier than doing dailies. Blizzard, however, has been using dailies to help tell the story and bring Pandaria alive, so they definitely want players to do them. As a sort of compromise, in patch 5.2 they are allowing players to “champion” a faction, allowing them to earn reputation with them for the first dungeon of the day. This system, though not perfect, does make more sense than having a player be able to go from neutral to exalted in a day by just running dungeons all day.

Lastly, this new patch is bringing a new change to Justice and Valor Points. In the past, when a new tier comes out, items from the previous tier were able to become purchasable with Justice Points. The problem with this system is it basically allowed players to instantly get caught up gear-wise with players who had been raiding all tier long. This patch, however, they simply cut the price of the old gear in half, but still requires Valor Points to purchase. This will allow players to get caught up if they have not been active, yet will still give an advantage to players who have been more active.

Overall, I feel Blizzard has done a good job with this patch. Though it is just the same thing in a new place, they are tweaking small systems within the game to help make it as good as possible. This week, I just wanted to take an overlook of everything that just came out, but in the weeks to come, I will take these three systems, as well as other topics, and look at them more closely to see how they will impact World of Warcraft.