Cataclysm happened a bit more than a week ago and strangely enough, it is leaving me feeling of two minds about it. I find the world to be superbly done. The quests have never been better. The humour found in many of them, the raw emotions of some of the NPCs make for a delight of a time.
Now, for people who know me, these above comments will sound very strange. I hate levelling. I do not alt. I do not quest. I have levelled a total of two characters to max level in 31 months and one of them is a DK. I have never enjoyed this part of the game and yet this time, I feel like I want to achieve loremaster of Cataclysm.
If I strongly disliked the above, I completely and truly loved tanking. Whether it was in instances or in raids, I never really felt as happy in this world as when I was getting my face smashed in. Somehow, this too feels like it is changing.
I have run every single instance on normal and a few of the heroics. The instancing world has changed. Gone are the days of the heroic quickie. These new instances take a long long time to finish. I actually don’t mind it being harder even though they do feel harder than they did when I started heroics in BC. Trash does matter and I love the challenge. I’m using shield wall on most pulls where we can’t CC enough mobs and I’m truly enjoying this.
What I do not enjoy is the sheer length of them. I loved in Wrath that I could, even at the beginning, start an instance and be done within 45 minutes to an hour. Now, it feels like I might have a much harder time doing even a heroic daily on week nights. The longest instance in Wrath was Old Kingdom which even at the beginning would take about an hour on heroic. Even that long instance would allow you to have time to do your jewelcrafting daily, some other dailies, some mining, etc. It allowed you to do other things in the game than just instancing and raiding.
Let’s compare this with Halls of Origination or as I like to call it now, HoO Crap. Even on normal, it will take an hour easy. Now the instance is beautiful, the fights are different and challenging. But why does it have to be so damn long?
I like that trash matters again and I don’t think that there’s too much or too little of it. The problem is when each trash pack can take 2-3 minutes compared to the 30 seconds of Wrath, it lengthens the instance quite a bit.
I’m guessing that by giving even the weakest of trash so many hit points, they’re future proofing the instances which won’t become a zerg fest even when the DPS reach 20k on average. But now?
I try to play about two hours at most on non raid nights. At this point, I’m having a hard time fitting in a heroic run without risking running late and not sleeping enough. The challenge is great. The time sink is not.