And so, we say goodbye to 2007. In the time-honoured way that lazy journalists do (and, as Ratshag would put it, I have a lazy journalist as a RL avatar…) I'm going to do a post outlining the best and worst of the year in WoW. For me. Because I, Leafshine, purveyor of flowery heals to fine instancing groups, am full of opinion:
- Flight Form. Oh, isn't flight form just the most wonderful thing going? Druids really have an edge over other classes on three levels here: you start flying at 68, it doesn't take up a bag slot and, most of all, it's instant cast. Oh. c'mon, are you telling me that you haven't enjoyed flinging yourself off tall buildings and shifting to flight in mid-air? Or shifting straight from bear to flight (since patch 2.3)? Or, best of all, playing druid roulette! The timing involved in getting your shift in just before you hit the ground is a great, if expensive, micro-game…
- The Burning Crusade. On the day tBC was released, I stayed up late for the moment that the servers were rebooted and the new content became available. Five Shattered Ravens leapt through the Dark Portal together and into our first new experiences in the game in many months. I've really enjoyed the expansion. It's brought new elements to the game, and has had just enough content to keep me really busy all through the year.
- Karazhan: While we used to go play in Upper Blackrock Spire from time to time in the original version of WoW. And it was fun. However, it never felt like much more than a 10-man version of a standard instance, while Karazhan is something quite different, much more raid-like in nature. And the atmosphere and design of the place is just great. It makes me really look forward to moving on to Zul'Aman, but we still have a number of Kara bosses to drop: Nightbane, Illhoof and the Prince have yet to fall before the Ravens. Still, for the first time in my WoWing life, I'm getting Epiced up and enjoying the experience. Well, most of the time…
- Rep Grinds. Pre-BC, rep grinding would bring on what my guild leader described as the Thousand-Bear Stare. You ended up mindlessly slaughtering the same mobs again and again, in the hope of getting one of a handful of slightly useful crafting recipes. Fun. In tBC, I'm within striking distance of being well into Revered with all factions just through questing and instance-running - which is as it should be.
- Mac Movie Recording: An unexpected bonus for us Mac-users, Patch 2.2 brought in-built movie recording functionality. Sure, it was making up for the lack of a Fraps-alike on the platform, but it's a great little tool in its own right. Triggered from within the WoW interface, catching both video and sound, and with the option to remove the interface? Lovely. I've done some basic stuff with it in 2007. Expect more in 2008…
After the jump, the bad:
- Levelling as a Resto. Oh, doing 60 to 70 as a Resto hurt. There was a period around 62 to 63 where I was really, really struggling. The improvements to gear in a recent patch have eased this enough that I'm less worried about the run from 70 to 80, but by Cenarius, it was hard this time around. However, I'm proud to say that I stuck with it. While Holy Priest were going Shadow and Prot warriors were reaching for the respec button, I stayed true to the Resto Way. Because I'm hard. As hard as bark.
- Epic Flight Form. What can I say? 5000 gold before you start the quest chain. Guildies with more time on their hands tell me it's a great quest chain. I'll get to see if I agree with them when I raise another 2000 gold…
- Karazhan: The single biggest source of guild conflict this year. The rush for lewts and progression has put members of the guild at odds more than once. Perhaps we should have attuned quicker, or perhaps the conflict is an inevitable part of being a guild that recruits on being real life friends rather than on play style. Either way, Kara has been both a blessing and a curse to me this year.
- Arenas: The seasons have turned PvP into even more of a gear-based game than it was before. Let's face it: if you're a Honor Point gear-equipped player going up against someone in Season 2 Arena gear, you're toast. The best keep getting better, and it's getting harder and harder for casual PvPers to get into the game at all.
- WoW Comics Dying: Flintlocke finished with a slow, lingering death, and the Hammer of Grammar and The Scout Report both petered out quickly. When are we going to see a decent, grab-based WoW comic again?