New 'Warcraft' patch softens the wait for 'Wrath'

First impressions of <i>World of Warcraft</i> patch 3.0.2.

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Eric Franklin
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Three of my team vs. one Paladin and she still managed to slice through us like a hot knife through butter. Bring on the nerf bat. Eric Franklin/CNET Networks

If you're excited about the next World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, then you've probably already downloaded the latest WoW patch--3.0.2, released Tuesday. If for some reason you haven't done so, then I implore you to, as the game sees many positive changes with this latest update.

The World of Warcraft patch 3.0.2: Echoes of Doom brings a number of changes and new features. Among them are:

  • New talents and spells for existing classes (all talent points have been refunded!)
  • The implementation of barber shops for players
  • Two new arenas featuring more dynamic terrain than previous arenas
  • Guild calendar
  • The Hunter pet skill revamp
  • A new profession: inscription
  • The new achievement system
  • Spellpower consolidation

In addition to these major changes are many, many small ones. Some of my favorites are:

  • New animations for all three Warlock drain spells (in addition to many other other new animations)
  • Noncombat pets and mounts no longer taking up space in bags
  • Battleground tokens and Badges of Justice no longer taking up space in bags
  • The new currency tab

OK, this next paragraph will get fairly hard-core and nerdy. if you're interested, have your WoW friends translate for you. You've been warned.

So after speccing my Warlock as close to SL/SL as I could, I headed into Battlegrounds for some PVP action. I was not prepared for the bloodbath that ensued. Every class seems to be doing more damage and as a result, clothies like Warlocks, Priests, and Mages have never been easier to kill.

Retribution-specced Paladins are the ones to blame here for the most part. My newly 70 Warlock has about 180 resilience and is constantly getting two-shotted by these pricks. They (and to a lesser extent Arms Warriors) are like walking Cuisinarts. Luckily, they'll be hit with the nerf bat soon enough. (end nerdtalk)

Of course, about an hour into playing last night (after waiting more than two hours for the patch to download), my server came down for a not-too-surprising emergency maintenance, ending my night prematurely.

Basically, with this patch you get most of the new features expected with Wrath except for the new zones, quests, dungeons, battlegrounds, the new Death Knight class, and the ability to level to 80. We'll still have to wait another month for that, but with all the new talents and achievements, at least the wait will be an interesting one.