So quite a bit has happened since my last post, most notably the closing of Nostalrius where I had played. Admittedly, I did not end up playing much more since my last post, primarily due to the concern of something like closing down happening. And while Nostalrius was well managed I do still have a preference to play on the official servers even though the game in some aspects feels inferior.
I’ve ended up examining my prospects as far as it comes to joining a guild and while it is yet to be finalised will probably be joining a casual-ish raiding guild on my priest that is about to start in Hellfire Citadel Heroic, so far having downed one boss. If nothing else, it should give me a better feel on how I enjoy the current state of healing, considering I’ve yet to do any “proper” content since the revamp in Cataclysm though the signs haven’t been all that good, though the changes coming in Legion to Holy priests do seem promising. Mostly though, I’m just looking forward to getting some proper raiding in.
Now, the response provided by Blizzard on the backlash caused by the closing of Nostalrius and consequent community demand for official Classic realms did also provide an interesting though lamented idea for recapturing some of the things players at least alledgedly miss, namely community. That idea was Pristine Realms. Specifically, these would be realms where certain “quality of life” features would be disabled:
- Character boosts, transfers
- Cross realm zones
- Recruit-a-Friend bonuses
Personally, I’m not too sure how to feel. It does remove several things I feel are problematic, however content would still be obsoleted at a unecessary pace due to catch-up mechanics like PvP gear or Tanaan/Timeless Isle and badges before them. Even as I say that, I have been leveling a warrior and quite enjoying being able to level at a quick pace through dungeons (at least until Warlords of Draenor content, at which point one is force out into the world to gear up grumbles), which wouldn’t be possible without LFD. So these features certainly aren’t without merit and I’m not sure if such realms would generate sufficient interest for them to stay playable without the cross-realm features. In the end, I’d be very tempted to participate, though having to give up my characters would be a somewhat difficult thing to bear. Another thing preventing me from enjoying unofficial servers as well.
On the matter of Legion’s current state, I’m not sure I have too much to say. I do look forward to the changes coming to Holy priests, specifically the new Word spells. Especially having a properly strong single target heal again is appealing. How I feel about the removal of Spirit as a stat I’m not so sure yet, on one hand it should keep regeneration from getting out of hand at the end of expansions necessitating more bursty damage yet it’s been a stat I’ve enjoyed being able to increase the most (less so with the changes in Cataclysm admittedly).
There was also a recent worry over the proposed changes to respeccing, namely: characters have a primary spec, changing from it costs an increasing amount of gold (up to 62g, a curious number) but changing back to the primary spec can be done for free. This functionality would be available anywhere, and dual-spec would be leaving us. Personally, I’ve generally been very attached to the spec I choose to play on a give character and am consequently not overly concerned over this change. At current gold rates, this also seems like a quite minor gold sink. To be fair, it is an extra cost incurred during raiding, as changing specs for specific bosses or even for clearing trash has become popular. It remains to be seen if this change would discourage such a change, potentially serving Blizzards goal of empowering class and spec fantasy by encouraging players to stay in spec. It’s an odd change in that it probably primarily hits the top and bottom end of raiders, as the top cares the most about optimisation while the bottom end probably needs the flexibility provided by hybrids the most. I’ll be watching with interest how this ends up playing out.
In the end, there’s a lot of wait and see here with how Legion changes end up playing out and how I enjoy the (potential) guild I join. Hopefully it all ends well and there’s some enjoyable gaming on the horizon. For now, it remains to be seen.