Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3.3.3 First Impressions

The biggest addition of 3.3.3 was the Random Battleground Finder. After crafting my frozen carpet I queued up and was assigned to Eye of the Storm within 10 seconds. My first thought was, that was fast. My second, crap, I don't remember how this battleground works. I think I've only been in Eye of the Storm once or twice in my life. It wasn't until half way through that I remembered the flag component, until then I was just holding bases Arathi Basin style. We ended up losing so I queued up for another to get my daily arena points and extra honor. Again I waited less than 10 seconds before popping into Alterac Valley, which brought a smile to my face. I don't think I've been in AV since I've been 80. Apparently others felt the same. The BG chat was filled with exclamations of "Oh, I forgot about this place." We even had a strat and what's more we actually followed it! We blitzed, not stopping to take down any towers or hold any graveyards. Everyone made a run straight for Drek and we took him down with his six or so adds earning the achievement Alterac Blitz in the process.

I did a few others just for fun. All of the wait times were well under a minute and I got Strand of the Ancients, Eye of the Storm again, and Warsong Gulch. Overall it was a lot of fun, quick queue times combined with the surprise of a random battleground that you might not usually pick made for a good time, even if I spent half the time dead :)

While the Random BG Finder was the biggest addition there were lots of small, quality of life changes that I really appreciate. The first is that if you have an authenticator, and you should, the login page provides a box to put your number in on the same screen with your user name and password. The map now has an option to view different layers for example, when in Dalaran you can choose to view either the main city map, or the Sewer map no matter which portion you are currently in. The Greed only option of Frozen orbs is certainly also nice. I have yet to witness the changes to the Random Dungeon Finder; the deserter debuff is now 30mins, you can now kick a player without waiting 15 minutes, and you are now prompted to give a reason for initiating a vote to kick option. These changes seem positive, but I have some concerns and will have to wait and see.

My favorite little change is the change to auction house functionality. Now you might not have even noticed if you run Auctioneer, but I dumped Auctioneer a while ago, partly because it was broken I didn't feel like fixing it and partly because I just didn't make use of its functionality. If you use Auctioneer for tracking prices you definitely won't be dumping it for the standard UI. However if the only reason you use Auctioneer is for more convenient ways to list auctions you might want to disable you Auctioneer and see if you can get along without it.

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