Thursday, September 16, 2010

PTR 4.0.1

I finally finished downloading the PTR.  16 gig is a big file to download and it took me longer then it should have because my computer is stupid.  The other night I started to download it after I went to bed figuring that downloading while I was sleeping made the most sense.

I tired to download it while I was online but it drew so much from my computer that it turned my normally under 100 latency (usually 60) into 2000+ nearly all the time.  How people play like that is beyond me.  If my latency gets over 100 I usually find the game unplayable.  Either way, my computer decided that it needed to update and reboot itself so of course that stopped the download because when it restarted of course it did not restart the download.

So last night I started it again when I headed off and finished it.  I went on this morning before I left for work and selected to transfer my Hunter so I can test it out with the new focus mechanic.  It will be four days.  I did have a taste of the game however yesterday.  Even though my computer decided to reboot itself it had downloaded enough to let me start a new character.

So that is exactly what I did.  Of course I made a Hunter.  What else would a self respecting Hunter make as their first character on a new server?  This would be my 5th time with a new Hunter and my first time on the PTR.  Personally I ignore the PTRs because I can just wait and see the changes.  This time however I wanted to get in and look around because of the huge talent tree changes and the change to focus make for two huge new things that I did not want to have to try and figure out how to use my Hunter after it was released.

Talent changes I do not have to test.  I can check sites to see what the theory crafters have figured will be best.  New items I will find on my own when the time comes.  Anything else I can wait to experience but a complete change in resources meant I needed to learn how to handle it before it was implemented as it would totally change how I play my character.

My first thoughts on focus were I did not like it   That was back when it was announced.  After testing it so far not much has been done to change my mind.  Focus, so far for my newbie Hunter, seems to be a non issue as everything dies so darn fast at the starting levels and nothing is red to attack me if I attack something else in the aggro range.  This of course makes things a lot easier.  No chances to get caught with no focus.

I start off with the machine gun arcane shot going.  Bang, bang, bang out of focus but dead creature.  Even if it was not an issue I tried to simulate what I might do later on and did only the bang bang then steady to start regaining focus faster.  My idea was, even if things where dying quick, I wanted to end each little fight with at the very least 75% of of focus to try and simulate what might be a continuous battle with forces coming constantly .  It seemed to work well.  Again I must stress however that this is not an ideal testing area being there are no red beasts.

It seems that the Hunter does roughly the same type of damage they always did, maybe a little more with the arcane machine gun to start.  Add to that the fact we start with a pet and Hunters seem to be OP at the start.  They have their normal ability to kill easily in that first 10 levels that all characters seem to have but they also have their pet already which means even more damage.  As it stands, if everyone twinked out level 1s then Hunters would be the king of the jungle because they start with bonus damage.

You have no control over your pet what so ever.  You will learn to control your pet at level 10, the same time you used to learn how to get a pet.  Makes sense to me.  The pet also seems to have a very short leash so to speak.  If you get even slightly out of range it despawns.  I had to resummon my pet twice while playing and I did not play all that long.

I made it to level 5 and went to the first city outside of the starting area.  Looking at my trainer I can see all the spells up to 85 are listed already.  Looking in my book I can see that Archeology listed already as well.  Of course these things are just place holders but they do leave us with a small hint as to when Cataclysm will be released.  It will be released shortly after the PTR is.  They would not have all the Cataclysm stuff in there like that if they intended for us to be waiting for a while still.

As for small mechanics.

I love the new level up graphics and click link.  I know it is small, unless and does not effect game play in any way but I like it.  It feels more like you are leveling.

I like that the skill list tells you when you need to go back to the trainer to train something.  While I know better now I remember first playing and every time I leveled making sure to go to a trainer to train and then being upset when there was nothing to learn.  This way you never have to worry about that.  It tells you, you can now learn Steady Shot, visit your trainer.

I am not sure if this is a change to the starting area or a change over all in the game or just something for the PTR but drop rates on everything are 100%.  If you kill what drops what you need you are assured it will have it.  I've leveled enough hunters in the starting area to know that even in the starting area the drop rates sometimes sucked.  This will make leveling easier for new players.  I do hope they adjusted experience some however.  If you have to kill 30 things to get 5 drops, while annoying, you did get you a crap load of experience.  Now you only need to kill 5 things to get 5 drops.  That means you are losing out on 25 kills worth of experience.  Add that up over the course of the game and the 300+ quests you might do where you have to get drops while leveling and you are talking about 7500+ worth of kills you will no longer need so that is 7500+ kills worth of experience you will now never get.  I guess that just means you will be skipping a lot fewer quests as you will need to do them if experience gains where not adjusted.

So until I get to a higher level, or get my Hunter copied (4 days they said) there is not much more I can comment on.  Over all I like the visual changes.  I do think the spellbook is freaking huge and really needs to be made smaller or at least have a resize option and the jury is still out on focus.

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