Random Beta Observations
Posted by Sylvestris
It is Wednesday and I hate Wednesday. Not dislike. Not “sigh and drag my feet” tolerate. Hate. It’s too long and not interesting enough to justify being so long and 5 hours of research psychology makes me insanely grumpy and tired.
Now that that confession is out of the way, I came home to find my Cataclysm beta client, which has been downloading an update most of today while I slogged through school, was done. Yippee!
I was reading the beta notes on the launcher and was startled to see that you are now required to purchase “Azerothian Navigation” to fly in Azeroth. WHAT IS THIS CRAP I bellowed to myself (inside my head of course. Boyfriend is sitting close by). I logged in in Dalaran and immediately popped through a portal into Stormwind to see if this was indeed true. I was able to mount up my Argent Dawn Hippo(gryph) and rejoiced! Obviously I could still fly! Hooray! But no. Your flying mounts now adjust their behavior according to your riding skill and what is permissable in a given area, it seems. Pressing the space bar did not yield flight. Instead, my hippo reared and tossed himself about regally or hopped, flapped his wings once, and then touched back down. Blast! I ran to the flight trainer (currently located near the flight master in Stormwind) and prepared to be sickened. I wasn’t. While I am thoroughly annoyed that you must pay to fly in Azeroth – because obviously the flight conditions in Outland and Northrend are so wildly different as to warrant more training! – the cost is a meager 200 gold. If you are any kind of competent, you can afford this. It’s stupid and annoying and all other forms of blah, but it isn’t insurmountable.
Now, I already have 310% flying on the live realms. I have the violet proto drake from the holiday achievements. It is my understanding, and every bit of Blizzard quotable evidence corroborates this, that if you already have 310% flying then you will retain that once Cataclysm launches. In addition, all of your flying mounts will then scale to this 310% benchmark without any effort required on your part. That is to say, you do not need to pay extra for a skill you already earned. However, upon poking the flight master to buy my Azerothian Navigation (grumble grumble) I noticed that “Master Riding” was listed, with a hefty cost of 4,000 gold (I am exalted with Stormwind which may or may not account for the cost). No doubt this is the upgrade to 310% flying that everyone was promised – but why am I seeing it? I already have 310% flying. What’s more, apparently purchasing this awards an achievement, “Breaking the Sound Barrier”, which I do not have. I cannot tell if my 280% mounts have scaled to 310% yet. It’s a hard thing to judge just by eyeballing. I’m a little confused. I am hoping this is clarified before launch, because if I still have to pay for a riding speed I already (painstakingly) earned there will be bitching.
Harrison Jones makes his comeback from Grizzly Hills to train students of Archaeology in Stormwind. He is seriously the most epic win of all WoW NPCs. I love Indiana Jones. I giggled aloud when I saw him. And of course I bought Archaeology training from him. I just wish I could sit in on one of his lectures and bat my eyes at him…
Anyway. I am getting the hang of Archaeology. Slowly. Supposedly there are only a few “dig sites” up on a continent at a time, and once you exhaust them new ones pop up. You set down a survey kit and it tells you which direction to go next and how far away the treasure is. It’s kinda neat, really, but I had a heck of a time figuring out what I was supposed to do to hunt down my fossils. You then dig up the fossil or whatever once you’re close enough and it is added into a little field journal thing which keeps track of your progress on yours finds. I can see this being very addicting.
On an ending note, I noticed my frame rate died in Cataclysm. I get 75 on the live realm running at close to max video settings. On the beta, I am lucky to get 25. It’s hovering around 20-ish right now. If this is just how it’s going to be once Cataclysm hits, I am going to be very upset. I just upgraded my system majorly and I cannot accept that Catacylsm is so graphically advanced that it is going to cut my FPS by almost half. However, I can’t seem to actually adjust my video settings on the beta. I attempt to, and then they reset themselves almost immediately. Still, it looks like I’d have to reduce them drastically to get a good frame rate. I’m already frustrated. Here’s hoping it’s just a beta thing, and will not persist after the live launch. Trading 75 FPS for 20 is unacceptable in my opinion.