Alpha Has Arrived!

Alpha Has Arrived!

And you have already seen me going HAM on it on my Twitch 😛

I’ll be adding some highlights soon enough previewing the level 100 talents for tanks and discussing them a bit.

What tank class do I think will be best? Well, honestly it doesn’t matter yet. A first build closed alpha is very very poorly indicative of what is to come. There will be several tuning passes and probably even some design changes for things. Alpha is Blizzard’s way of testing ideas, and seeing if they are compatible for live release eventually.

Currently we can only level to 92, quest almost fully only in the Horde starting zone of Frostfire Ridge, and can only do 1 dungeon – Bloodmaul Slag Mines.
Questing in the zone is nicely linked, albeit a bit buggy expectedly, and the full line isn’t available yet, as it cuts off towards the end. We get a nice Garrison preview, as you are forced to make your Garrison with the first few quests of the zone. It’s all a bit overwhelming at first, but if you calm your ass down and read up a bit on what the NPCs are actually saying, it’s a fun little tool. Also worth mentioning there are rares all over the place, and they drop solid leveling loot! Definitely go out of your way to kill them.
As with any new zone you have all the fun things – new ore, new herbs, new mobs, etc. On the note of herbs/ore, mobs randomly now drop satchels that contain herbs and ore, a nice little perk if you ask me. Did I say perk? Perks are now implemented randomly when you level on Alpha, so each class has a perk that they can obtain randomly, and you will theoretically have all of them by level 100. It is random every time, so you only have 2 shots to gain some of the “better” perks, or you can remake a toon. Luckily, there was a bit of a Heroic UBRS leak and it allowed people to preview all perks as you were scaled to level 100. I managed to preview Blood DK and Prot Paladin, before they fixed said issue. Other fun little leveling things include a small chance for each green or blue quest reward to be boosted to the next rarity/stat value. So if you are about to receive a blue trinket, it has a small chance to be epic (I even had this happen).

So far honestly the squish feels great to me. But part of that is my BC nostalgia. The first dungeon is great as well! Not too linear, not too long, trash isn’t annoying and lengthy, boss fights are simple but unique for a starter dungeon, and the aesthetics are well done as well.

I could go into tons and tons more detail, but our friends over at Wowhead have the details covered quite nicely, including some UI changes, talent previews, and more!

So what about tanking offensive Vengeance being gone? And what’s the deal with resolve? Can tanks actually do anything offensively now? Sure! You can flip people off… But seriously, to compensate for no more Vengeance, tanks have had all of their abilities tuned to actually do damage now, higher base damage. Honestly, this feels great to me. Leveling isn’t a bore, you don’t need to rely on Vengeance in dungeons, it eliminates the cheesing for parsing, and again, leveling and soloing and dailying (is that a word?) finally feels legit now as a tank.
So then again, what’s the deal with Resolve? Resolve is basically Vengeance for defensive purposes only (though it has a more complicated and different formula now, which I won’t get into here), it increases self-healing and self-absorb done. Speaking of healing, tank healing has taken a big hit. This is due to Blizzard’s new philosophy and epiphany that tank self-sustenance was over the top. While I agree to a certain extent, a large culprit was Vengeance whoring. Even so, currently on Alpha healing feel a tad undertuned for some tanks, and a bit too high for others (*cough* Blood DK). Again though, tuning is a future thing and one of the last things Blizzard does, so don’t raise your pitchforks just yet.

So there you have it, a small little Alpha preview. There will be plenty more to come with class-specific stuff (like lvl 100 talents), and general tank talk as more develops. Oh, and of course, any further Alpha coverage as new content becomes available!

Check dat Twitch channel and you can see it all there and ask live questions!

Slootbag out.

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