EU maintenance was planned during 3 a.m. – 11 a.m. By a good Blizzard tradition, I was able to successfully login at 8 a.m. :)
First of all, the login screen. I hated the initiate sharp Legion tune chords, so I was happy to hear the new, softer one beginning of Battle for Azeroth. BfA music pieces are pretty cool, and anyways, it’s a welcome change of tune. The picture is also changed, and unwelcoming demons turned into Azeroth battlefield. If I may say so, it’s a lot more Warcraft-ish, RTS menu screens coming to mind.
Interface – it’s yay! I quickly got used to bag and system buttons in the right bottom corner. I will only need to use shortcuts more instead of clicking.
The new action panels are cool, most of the abilities were conveniently sorted out already, although I did a re-adjustment nevertheless. Mostly with convenience buttons like ranged aggro for non-tanks, warlock’s health stones, travel speed buffs etc. My main rotations remained untouched.
More or less, my action panels are now arranged this way:
The major thing is that there are still 3 options for core action panel. This is vital. Take Aurinko the Priest: her default core action panel is healing, one click switches her to DPS mode, and yet another grants her fishing on key 1. The fishing option is also used for quests with extra button like TBC bombing dailies.
Class talent changes are plenty. The choices were made, I tend to choose the passive abilities to make it a minimum of buttons. I am not a fan of having 5 extra cooldowns to remember about. Yet passives are pretty powerful, so it doesn’t look like compromise at all.
All in all I am pleased to say that all options are really great now, and offer a drastically different gameplay. I didn’t spot any useless ones throughout 12 classes. So it all comes down to the style of gameplay you prefer. Hardcore raiders will scrap out the smallest DPS crumbs out of the “best builds”, but who are we to judge them, right?
I’m not sure about several options yet, but I just need to try them in battle. Conveniently the emissaries are reset, and Army of Light is up, so I expect a very productive evening of class changes trial.
As for rotation changes, there are not many. Affliction Warlocks and Marksmanship Hunters got drastic overhauls, that needs to be tried and tested. As far as I get, Marksmanship will be focused on build-spend calmer gameplay rather that frantic clicking based on procs – this is good, and this serves class fantasy better.
There is an unpleasant talent change with Frost Mages: dismissing a Water Elemental and my favorite instant nuke are on the same tier now, so I can’t get both. I still go petless, and there is some channeled freeze ray instead of nuke which looks awesome. We shall see how it will work in the field.
My resume is: the changes were long expected and very welcome. Now on with field tests.