In this months Pop Tech, POPCulture Online’s Co-Founder & World of Warcraft player, Kenneth Wong takes a break from his usual duties to talk about his first experiences as a casual player into the new content patch, “Hour of Twilight” that hit the massively popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft on Tuesday (Singapore Time).
Deathwing is Back!
In Hour of Twilight or Patch 4.3 as some like to call it, the storyline for the entire Cataclysm expansion comes to its climax with the final showdown with the Dragon Aspect Deathwing.
Of course, dealing with a powerful and also crazy dragon the who almost destroyed the whole of Azeroth is not going to be easy. Thus the other Dragon Aspects, together with the wise shaman Thrall have devised a plan to do so. The plan will require a weapon of old and now the brave adventurers of Azeroth will have to embark on a perilous journey to do so.
New Heroic Dungeons
One thing I like about the new expansion is that it allows players to easily get a group and head into a dungeon from the comfort of a few mouse clicks with the Dungeon finder. Gone are the days of spamming the LFG or Trade channels in capital cities (For those who remember the good old vanilla days) and having to travel to the entrance.
And of course, the 3 new dungeons – End time, Well of Eternity & End Time, have been added to the Dungeon Finder for easy access. Of course do take note that the usual ilevel requirements are still there and while they are not as high as I expected considering you will be getting ilevel 378 gear, I would still recommend a good mixture of ilevel 359 and 378 gears to makes thing more enjoyable.
While my shadow priest is ready to enter the first of the 3 dungeons, I think I will head to the Justice Point vendor to get a few more pieces of gear first as I don’t want to be the weakest link in the party.
Looking For Raid
One bane of casual players such as myself as that we never get to see much end game content. For some players, it could be due to the lack of time to gear up properly or commit to a regular raiding schedule with their guild (in my case). And for others, the thought of putting in hours and hours of practice just to down one boss scares them off.
Enter the “Looking For Raid” or “Raid Finder” mechanism that has been implimented in Patch 4.3 that will help to make raiding easier for the casual players. While this seems like a heaven sent gift to all casual players itching to have a look at end game content, do take note that an ilevel 372 requirement has been imposed to ensure that players are properly equiped before entering.
On a personal note, I am still short of a few pieces of gear thus my shadow priest is not gonna be taking a shot at Deathwing anything soon. I would also recommend reading up on the different bosses in the new Dragon Soul raid to avoid being the one to cause 24 other players to wipe and start hating you.
You can read the Official Raid Finder Q&A over here.
New Gear for All
Another implementation that came about in recent expansions and here in Cataclysm are the item vendors. These have helped casual player gear up to raid ilevel items and also gives an incentive to running 5 men dungeons as killing the bosses from there rewards the points needed.
In patch 4.3, all items at the Justice Points vendor will now be at ilevel 378. From the Firelands set pieces to little trinkets here and there, these will definitely help from the casual player to even the backup raiders complete their gear in preparation for the new Dragon Soul raid.
And for those looking for the older items for one reason or another, you can still find old Justice Point Vendor a little to the left.
Incentives For Casual Players?
Patch 4.3 promises lots of more for the casual World of Warcraft players out there and from the initial look at what the content patch brings, I would say that Hour of Twilight brings welcome changes.
The biggest one for me personally would be the new 5 men dungeons. These not only add value to the overall storyline but also drop ilevel 378 gear which means no need for endless runs of Heroic dungeons for Justice Points just to purchase them from the vendor.
The Raid Finder also brings lots of promise for casual players as now there is a chance to see what end game content is all about. While I expect lots of bugs and issues to be ironed out in the coming weeks, overall the Raid Finder brings about a platform with lots of promise.
But these are not all Patch 4.3 brings as there is still the newly revamped Darkmoon Faire, the new Void Storage for players with too much items and the Transmogrification service for those of us who still kept the older tier gear.
Do stay tuned to POPCulture Online as I will continue to post my adventures in Patch 4.3 and give you my thoughts on the new changes it brings to us Casual Players.
Oh and for those wondering how Tyrael’s Charger (from the Diablo universe) will look like in shadow mode, this one is for you.
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