Monday, February 22, 2010
Patch 3.3.3 projections
Blizzard is currently working on patch 3.3.3 for World of Warcraft, and while nothing is definitive yet, there are already some patchnotes on the test realms which caused two commenters to ask about the patch in yesterday's open Sunday thread.
One change is to the kickout vote system of the random Dungeon Finder group, with the commenter here fearing he'd be kicked out of every group due to low gearscore. I don't think that is going to happen. First of all the Dungeon Finder is obviously not completely random, but actively tries to mix people with good and with bad gear. Thus kicking out somebody with bad gear only gets you an equally bad replacement. Note that the vote kick system also apparently gets another addition: You can't just click to start a vote, you'll have to give a reason like "DC since 5 minutes" or "he's afk following". So if the reason is "low gearscore", then maybe not everyone will automatically agree to kick that person out.
Another series of changes affects the economy of World of Warcraft. There will be a vendor introduced who accepts Frozen Orbs in exchange 1:1 for Eternals, or 6:1 for Crusader Orbs. As Frozen Orbs have dropped to near vendor prices in value, this will lift their value back up to around 20 gold, and lower the price of eternals to about that number too. Also being changed is that the cooldown for making Spellweave, Ebonweave, Moonshroud, and Titansteel is being removed, which should make those crafting materials much cheaper, and in consequence the crafted iLevel 245 epics will become much cheaper too. And there will be new recipes for crafted epic belts and shoes, which is interesting as these slots aren't covered by the available T9+ emblem gear.
One nice change is that seasonal bosses will now be accessible via the Dungeon Finder, which for anyone who trecked on foot to Shadowfang Keep for the recent Love is in the Air event bosses is good news. And there will be a new Battleground Finder, instead of the previous daily BG quest. Some data-mining revealed first glimpses of the pre-Cataclysm world events, including the retaking of Gnomeregan, and a doomsday cult leading to achievements like "Wear a large board emblazoned with a message about the impending end of the world." But those probably aren't in patch 3.3.3, but rather in a later patch. Likewise the new raid encounter, Ruby Sanctum, will only be in patch 3.3.5.
A commenter also remarked Blizzard was looking into creating a Dungeon Finder for raids, but I didn't see that announcement on MMO Champion, and thus have no confirmation. So in absence of that, I'd say that patch 3.3.3 firmly falls into the "yet another patch" category, which isn't likely to change much.