Got home, downloaded the patch, and was ready to play in just about an hour. If by smaller and quicker they meant the actual process of patching itself, then I would call it a resounding success (I still hope the increase the tempo of their releases though). Realms seemed pretty stable, though I was faced with the usual deluge of addon errors. Fortunately, with Addon Control Panel, troubleshooting is a breeze.
Once we'd all gotten a good half hour to acclimate ourselves with our new addon-lite reality, we set off on the quests to get to the new five mans (I believe they're optional, and can be started at the "Hero Boards" (in Stormwind for us)). They were pretty fun, if not super exciting. It was a nice chunk of change and an interesting storyline. I won't spoil it for those that still deign to read the quest text (me being one of those). I will say that you get a cute little pet as well as the gold, so it's probably worth doing if you're at all interested. Took us maybe another hour, hour and a half.
After questing, we had five, so we queued up for one of the new dungeons. I get them confused, so I can't really say which one. The big one with the temple in the middle.
There were a smattering of quests, and we took our time basically flying blind (Screw you Ritual Tiki Masks!). I can't really report much about my DPS, as my recount was broken. My Xperl target frame was also broken, so I was using my DoT Timer backup (Fortex). Thus, I was certainly not on my game.
AoE did feel a bit beefier, and I ran with my Felpup (which is normal for me). I found myself slightly frustrated with the longer cooldown on Soul Swap (it just wasn't ready when I was ready, damnit). After looking, I don't think I can spare the points to try and get Mana Feed (I had forgotten it was on the second tier of the Demo Tree). I didn't really notice the nerf to Dark Intent.
Oh yeah, I got to b-rez! A lot. We had a tree Druid, but he was really offspec healing for us, so it always seemed easier for me to interrupt DPS to rez someone instead of him taking his mind off healing. One thing we did notice, that is probably a bug: Despite the notes saying otherwise, SS rez does NOT appear to share a cooldown with the druid b-rez. At one point it rezzed the tree who then rezzed the pally tank. I'm assuming that won't last. Even so, I'm going to make sure to have a Soulstone ready before every fight. It's just easier for a DPS to do it than a healer or tank, though helping someone goes against the shadowy fiber of my being.
We got maybe halfway through the instance before it locked up on us. Currently, our main toons are all stuck in limbo. I think the instance server crashed, but I'm not sure. We had to alt-F4 and could then log into alts. It wasn't a huge deal considering the issues of patches past. So I putzed around on my DK for a short bit.
Love the change with Death Runes. Basically, Blood Strike is now completely gone from consideration as a Frost DK. I'll need to update my guide. It's basically: Apply diseases, alternate between OB and FS depending on what you have available, and watch for procs. Refresh the diseases as needed. Simple and clean, it was fun to play. I can't wait to take it into some BGs, because I can tell I'm a bit more powerful and it just feels smoother. I know it's a total "dumbing down," but I always thought having to use Blood Strike seemed clunky at best as a Frost DK.
And that was it. Bed time crept up on me, so I forced myself to log off. It's been a while since I felt that way.
It was a great night for guild experience too. We took a good chunk out of our next level. We did not, however, peruse any of the guild challenges. I made a halfhearted attempt to try to find where they were listed, but then we pulled so I never found them. Where is that menu supposed to be? It didn't seem immediately intuitive.
All in all, a good patch so far and rolled out in a mostly stable fashion.
Oh yeah, I got an epic wand to drop from one of the bosses, which is awesome because wands are hard to come by. We sharded a couple items as well (didn't have the right classes), but we're definitely happy about having the new 5-mans. It should help us a lot to gear up for the raids (to the extent where I may have to take back my complaints from earlier in the week...). We'll see, but the patch has already alleviated a lot of my angst.
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