Darkspear was one of the servers that saw its shadow, and went back into hiding for another few hours. During this time, MMO-Champion forums read that the first 25 Man boss had been defeated by people on a more stable server, and that was all that would be the only raid content available this week (with one new boss being put out to slaughter each following tuesday).
Is it surprising that I (and I suspect others) wasn't giddy with anticipation for this patch?
T7 was entirely played out, before T8 arrived. Raiders were anxious for T8, and when it finally went live, it was pretty sweet. It's a well done instance, with lots of content. I'd argue that it was worth the wait.
T9 is pretty clearly a filler content patch. The tragity is - its release caused developers to rush people through T8 - a quality content patch. The nerfs were hard and fast (XT, Mimiron, and Yogg come to mind), and let people push through content with speed that insulted the amount of time spent crafted the content, and the wait that we endured.
As an added insult - T9's rewards (including all non T9-25-Heroic Gear) are hugely dependent on Emblems of Triumph. As it stands, the Heroic Daily (done each day) will provide more of this crucial currency then raiding, on a weekly basis. Raiders better be able to find the time *every day* to go sprint through content that offers no challenge, so that they don't fall behind the gear curve.
Also - Epic Gems. I picked up nine, with a combination of honor from alts and Yakra. Wintergrasp and the insane amount of heroic daily grinding meen that I'll never need gems from any other source again. The bottom is going to fall out of the rare gem market, including prospecting for profit (and as a result, ore sales). They don't feel epic at all, unlike the handful of precious actually-rare gems you got each week from Hyjal or BT.
Now, that said - I think this patch has plenty to be happy with. (I just think that this tier of raiding is going to stick out like the runt of the litter, and the development time should have gone into a more epic final tier for Wrath).
The new five man. While most of my normal heroic partners were smashing the first boss in the raid, I grabbed some PuGs and dove straight into the heroic. I had a pretty good time.
Blah Blah the intro is long blah blah. I was never really bothered by Kael's TK intro, so this didn't seem much different. Having it replay on a wipe was a bit much.
Yes, we did wipe on the horsey phase the first time. I don't think any of the five of us had done the argent jousting thing before, but it was easy to pick up. We let one of them re-mount the first time, and I similarly did not know I could remount after getting knocked off. Once we were aware of these features, it was a *mark skull*, *spam buttons*, repeat. We did have our horses despawn when we got down to two riders, and the third was still mounted while the two dismounted ones went all active/combat-like. That killed us, but on return the mobs were waiting on the ground, to pick a good ole fashion fight.
The second boss was hillarious (we had the paladin), and the third was fun (though I didn't fight him as part of the daily quest chain, so it probably lacked some impact). There was some lack of finality, as the final boss didn't cause a [[ You've Cleared This Instance ]] achievement - due to us not having fought all the alternate bosses. One member was very confused, and thought there would be more fights. Regardless, many abyss crystals were had by all.
Trading BoPs. After getting my five man loot rules spam multiple times (Need if Need, else Pass, and Aert greed's to DE), the warlock greeded/won a pair of mail shoulders. Normally, its a loss of an abyss. Luckily, we remembered that he could *trade* the item to Aertimus, since she was eligible for the kill and it was sub-2hours.
Raid ID Extentions. This is really what made the patch for me. I couldn't honestly get too angry at whatever package this feature came in. My Uld10 group now only needs hard modes from Vexaz, Mimiron, and Yogg. No one really needs gear from the early part, particularly now that there is a whole tier of stuff available. We can now skip hours of clearing crap we don't need, letting us work on the stuff we actually need! Its like I was gifted multiple hours of playtime each week.
The first thing I did, was put my belt on my action bars. Free frag bombs every 6 Min makes it feel like an actual utility belt, and throwing bombs in PvE & PvP always fun. I trained the Wormhole Generator, but didn't get to craft it. I found someone in trade to craft Jeeves, but he's going to take some mats gathering to get done. I also need to get three more points in engineering, which is going to be expensive.
Still to Do
Try new Battleground
Buy new Heirloom items
Find a Glyph of Commanding Shout
Really take a good look at my improved Prot DPS
New Orphan Quests
Go Fishing for the new Waterlogged Recipe