There seems to be somewhat of a theme going around the bloggosphere to share thoughts about what one liked and disliked about Wrath. It's not a bad idea, and I'll jump on the train! I'll start out with some of the things I liked and continue tomorrow (or another day, you never know really) with the things I disliked. I can say at once that I definitely found more things I liked than disliked, and I'm very glad I did. Would've been horrible to have spent the last 2 years on something that overall was more bad than good.
Letting Discipline In From The Cold
One thing I really liked about wrath is how they made alot of classes more viable for raiding. They had taken steps towards this already in BC, leaving the clear cut roles everyone had in Vanilla behind, and continued on this track in Wrath. This meant alot of specs and classes suddenly found a whole new set of things to do. You didn't have to tank as a warrior and you didn't have to heal as a priest. I was the most happy about the changes made to discipline, making them a viable and awesome raid healing spec. Before Wrath, Disc was more of a pvp spec and I didn't play it much (since I never pvpd). Come Wrath I was eager to try it out and was really happy when it turned out to work beyond expectations. I mained disc for a long time during the beginning of wrath before I returned to holy, and then finally back to disc towards the end of Wrath. I'm not sure what I will focus on come Cataclysm, I feel like both disc and holy are at a pretty good place and both have some problem areas that need to be resolved. Archangel doesn't affect absorbs - fix nau! Holies have mana issues - please fix, it's affecting our entire healing throughput.
Grinding Rep Through Instancing
One thing I never did back in BC was grind rep. Rep has always been a fairly important part of the game, and I don't mind that at all. But I don't want to spend 50 hours grinding tigers to become honored with a certain faction to be able to enjoy the game. The way it worked in Vanilla sucked (as much else), the way it worked in BC, by getting rep through certain instances, definitely worked better but it still meant doing something really boring alot of times. In Wrath Blizzard went yet another step to make it a little easier to get rep with your favorite faction. See the thing I dislike about grinding is that it forces me (in case I want the reward) to do something I don't like for a long period of time. In wrath I could instead do something I liked to get my reward. Now I got rep by doing any instance, instead of a couple specific ones, which made the whole rep grinding thing less boring, less fast.
I don't like respeccing chars. Whenever I wish to play my class another way, like say shadow priest instead of healing priest, I prefer to just reroll another char with that spec. There are several reasons for this. I don't like having to learn a class at endgame. I feel like there are so many things you miss when you don't learn a class from scratch. And also I hate to collect a whole new gear. Collecting gear is honestly one of those things I don't love to do in this game. Especially not a whole gear at once. So when Dual-Spec came it saved me a lot of time "having to" level alts. And it also opens up a way for lowbies to be able to level as one thing, but play another in instances. It is funny to think about how Blizzard never initially intended for respeccing to be a big part of the game. In most rpgs, being able to respec at all is a big step. In Blizzards earlier games like Diablo 2 this isn't even possible without mods. In early Vanilla you were pretty punished by respeccing with the respec-cost being infinitely cumulative. But Blizzard quickly noticed how popular respeccing was among the players and made it more and more accessible. Hybrids enjoyed the idea to be able to switch between different roles, and others liked to be able to switch between pvp and pve. Love respecced a couple of times per week in BC, going between tanking, healing and dpsing as needed. I am extremely happy about Dual-Speccing, and would love Triple-Speccing of course. But maybe it would be kind of silly to be able to play all the trees of your class at any time. Or maybe not?
I play alot of instances. Instancing is one thing that really has kept my interest throughout the years, since anything can happen really. Being able to log on and quickly jump into an instance (at least if I choose to tank or heal) is probably what I do the most in WoW at the moment. Quick leisure when I want it. Maybe "leisure" is the wrong word, pugging can be extremely tedious after all. But it is actually a big thing about what I love about it. Doing a nice run is extremely rewarding, whether I dps, tank or heal and I never bore of it. The only thing that wasn't much fun about pugging was for a long time to get a group together. I often never bothered. I stayed in the LFG-channel and whispered anyone who was collecting a group if it seemed interesting. That way I could play another char while keeping an eye out for something to do on another char. The only thing I dislike about the LFD-tool is how it forces me to be on the char I want to join with. Maybe it is too much to ask, but on some characters I really have nothing else to do but stand around and wait in Dalaran for 20 minutes before I get a group. I could fly around and gather something, but I don't even have that option on some of my chars. So I mostly join the tool with my tank or healer chars. Overall I am extremely happy with the tool however, as it allows for way faster access to dungeon groups. What took over an hour to accomplish before usually doesn't take more than 5-15 minutes today.
The Events and Immersion
Blizzard implemented alot of events into the expansion which made our actions feel more epic than ever before. Phasing became a regular thing, setting players differences in progression into more focus and emphazising your part in the adventure and your effect on the world. They implemented more scripts, cinematics and other things like this to make your actions feel more worthwhile. In a sense Blizzard have had this kind of features for a long time. Killing Onyxia made her head appear in Orgrimmar/Stormwind with a herald proclaiming of some guilds victory, already back in vanilla. But that is more about e-peen than sensing your place in the lore. In Wrath we had events like Wrathgate, Algalon destroying the world, Yogg-Saron destroying minds and tons of little things scattered all across Northrend that made us players more immersed into the lore of the expansion than ever before. The only other times I have felt this kind of immersion is between expansion when Blizzard threw in some world-events to prepare us for what was to come, like they are doing now with the Elemental Invasion. In Wrath we got to see these kind of events on a more regular basis, and it really made me enjoy my questing and raiding a whole lot more.
These are some of things I really enjoyed about Wrath. If you are doing a list of your own I'd love to check it out, so leave me a comment about it!