Its been about a week since Cata launched and I have been quite wrapped up in it. I have taken a few days off work to be immersed in my favorite subject and these are my impressions.
Initial install and day 1 play was relatively smooth. I had no problems logging in on launch morning and was up and running fairly quickly. I am always very shy about heading into new content. I tend to kinda linger. I take my time reading quests and try to let the initial onslaught of players wing by me so I can go at my own pace. It looks like the leveling is extremely quick. Not at all what I expected. When they said these 5 levels should take as long as the last 10 they lied. Even my slow pace has left me sitting on the cusp of 84 not 9 days from launch. Usually it takes me a good 1-4 months to level through, and I enjoy that pace. For me leveling is part of the fun of the game and I get bored easily once I hit cap. I enjoy raiding but it's not my only reason for playing. Someone in my guild hit Loremaster of Cataclysm last night. Now she doesn't know what to do with herself. If I hit that point this soon I'll end up quitting. That's ridiculous, and that's half the game Blizz. Do you really want people blasting through the content that fast then being bored out of their minds? That is a sure fire way to lose your customer base in 6 months.
For me it's all been rather surreal. I have made it through half of Hyjal, all of Vash'jir and I am about 2/3's of the way through Deepholm. I have been mostly impressed with the quest chains, very impressed with the artwork and left kinda wondering with the lore. There are minor quest bugs all over the place but they are few and far between. The questing has been fast and well centralized. Rarely do you have to wonder where you're going next. On this note it is very quick. If you don't enjoy questing then this is definitely for you. I haven't felt like an area is particularly overwhelmed by other players either. I see them around, but for the most part we aren't ganking each others mobs and I feel relatively left alone which has been nice. Though I look around and wonder where everyone else is every once in a while. The only time I ran into a mob of people was in Hyjal the very first day and even then after about a dozen quests the oodles of questers seemed to break up quite a bit. I attribute that to if you want to go fast you can, and you pretty much will zoom by others in the area and then you never see them again. You won't continue to run into the same people unless you're questing at the same pace.
There are big guild achievement bugs. Speaking of...I am terrifically pissed off at the guild leveling and achievement system as well as personal guild reputation. Blizz reneged some stuff, on launch day of all things, and removed guild achievements from contributing to guild leveling. They have capped the daily amount of leveling that can occur as well as capped the weekly or daily personal reputation you can get with your guild. While I am informed that I am still getting guild reputation in my chat window, my bar is not moving?! grrrr
I understand that this was established so that small guilds are not penalized. WHAT? My guild had come up with a plan of attack in regards to achievements and guild leveling and on day 1 we had to just chuck it out the window. I don't care about smaller guilds not getting it fast enough. Life is not fair, get over it! If we as a guild can level faster then that is just the way the cookie crumbles. Why should my guild be penalized because smaller guilds cannot level faster? Why should large guilds be penalized because my medium sized guild doesn't have the numbers to churn it out as fast? This was one case where the product did not meet the promises. I have been really disappointed in this aspect of the expansion.
New races are very cool. Ok, well the one I've played. I am totally in love with my worgen even though she's broken. There are a handful of emotes she can't do including laugh. Which is really quite annoying when you LOL in an instance and sound like a chicken. Her howl when she's in running wild doesn't work and she does the howl visual with a growl sound. In other words her /mountspecial is broken. There are a few other minor ones that I can't remember right off the top of my head. The worgen jokes are really weird, and as is Blizzard's style, pushing the limit at times. All in all I think they're very cool and can't wait for these small issues to be corrected, eh hem. I haven't tried a goblin yet but plan on rolling one soon so I can at least experience the starter area.
All this leaves me feeling a little behind the curve as far as leveling has been going. So here's the rundown as of today.
Zabine (main) level 83 - less than two bubbles from 84 and mostly done with Deepholm
new worgen druid level 35; I guess this has been my time sink
level 80 alts: one has gotten her training and is settled into Stormwind. The others still sit in Dalaran and are clueless except my DK. She is doing Argent Tourney dailies in anticipation of moving on once she gets the tabard, and that will be a while.
Level other alts: still sitting at level other and being contemplated for deletion or race changes.
Horde main hunter is still level 79, and as of yesterday is doing some Winter Veil quests. I have no plans for her at the moment. All other horde alts including new troll druid are sitting patiently wondering if the world was shattered or not.
I think with all the toons I have I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I'm not sure what to do next or with what toon. We have many 85's now in our guild now and one guy who has gotten a couple of his toons to 85, one after another. I think he's on his third now. Crazy I tell ya!!