Saturday, August 7, 2010

New Launcher Launched!

Blizzard has pushed down a new beta client that changes the launcher/patching functionality. This has some excellent potential for future growth of the game.

4gb into a 16gb beta client download and I can "play"
The patches are given prioritization. The important stuff (bug fixes) to play the game is pushed down first. Filler stuff comes second, and pure fluff (hi-res graphics, sounds, etc) are pushed down last. This means you can start playing sooner when a patch is pushed down.

I tested it Friday morning and was pleasantly surprised. At 16% completed, I was able to start playing the game. I logged into Orgrimmar and was able to fly around while the game was still downloading and installing. Even better, I was able to play in Ultra resolution with full screen (1920x1240?) and didn't notice a difference.

 Other beta observations:
  • Questing is even easier than before. I have reached level 7 on a goblin hunter and I am basically flying through the content. Temporary mounts are provided for a number of quests. 
  • Little miffed that the Warlock trainers won't talk to me yet. Considering the scope of change, I'd bet this is going to take a bit longer than the simple artwork changes and new quest areas. 
    • So far my gear and regular spell rotation is working in the new lock zones.
  • Flying around Orgrimmar is nice, but also a bit disconcerting. I find walking easier as I am already acquainted with it from the ground.
  • Today I found a cooking quest in Orgrimmar, that had me collect edible items in town, then awarded me an Orgrimmar Cooking Award and +1 cooking (now 451). Haven't figured out how to spend this currency yet. 
From Intro movie.

  • The damage to the Barrens isn't as cataclysmic as I thought it would be (from the trailer). Maybe I need to explore more, but it's not what I envisioned.

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