Weeks ago I pre-ordered the digital upgrade from Turbine and registered both the pre-order and expansion keys. Once it became available, I torrented the Moria update patch, and then on Monday installed it. So, when I got home from work on Tuesday around 6 pm I was able to launch the client right away with the intent of getting some time in on the new content.
Unfortunately, Turbine was in the middle of an emergency patch and the servers weren’t scheduled to be back up until 7:30. Oh well, that gave me time to do some stuff around the house and take over baby duties from my wife for a bit.
After checking back around 7:30, I found the servers were up and I logged in. First thing I found out was I was overdue for my housing upkeep, so I pushed enough silver into escrow to carry me through the end of the year. Then I was ready to play with my level 50 Hunter, who was currently in Forochel.
There were some small UI changes to accommodate the new trait and legendary item buttons. The icons on the left-side of the bottom-bar were staggered up and down instead of in a straight left to right line. I liked how Turbine reorganized the bottom-bar without making it any bigger. I’m always trying to minimize the UI as much as possible so I can see more of the world.
The Legendary Items window is going to remain a mystery for a while since I haven’t yet completed the Volume 2, Book 1.
I like the new Traits window. It’s a much clearer presentation of the information and it makes traits easier to manage. At a glance I can see all of the virtues I have slotted and with a quick mouse-over to see what each one does. I especially like the ring icon displayed on any virtue which has an available deed linked to it. So I can click on a virtue I’m interested in advancing and jump straight to the deed I need to work on. Awesome.
There are also quite a few new deeds. It seems like every time I used one of my abilities I was getting a new deed popup. Most of these new deeds unlock new class traits. Also all of thetraits have been reorganized into three sets along with set bonuses. So, now if I slot two or more traits from a set, I get an additional bonus.
A UI change I wasn’t expecting was moving a lot of the quest item junk from my bags to a quest bag. There’s really no bag space to look at, but the items show up in the quest log for which ever quest they belong too. Unfortunately some items didn’t move, since anything that needs to be used or traded needs to be accessible. Overall a definite improvement and one of the features from Warhammer that I was hoping other MMO’s would copy.
Another minor change was upping the number of active quests from 40 to 43. Not a big increase, but still appreciated. I constantly have to cancel quests to make room for new ones. If only there was no limit.
That’s it for the initial UI impressions; I’m going to break my initial play experience out into another post.