Cataclysm: Second Impressions

I've had more time with the expansion, a full week in fact, and some of my initial concerns have smoothed over significantly.

Since my previous entry on the subject I have come across a number of cases of simply good music which, though it wasn't always zone/area type specific, were memorable. While I feel a number of pieces remain below standards I'm much more willing to give them some grace as they constitute a lesser proportion of the game's music than I previously thought. It still stands that even though there is more good music than I supposed not all of it catches you in the moment the same way previous expansions have.

Archaeology as a profession is both mindless and addicting. My only frustrations with it so far have come from game glitches which have prevented me from pursuing it to my fullest abilities.

The greatest improvement and crowning achievement of the expansion, however, is that thus far the dungeon encounters have learned from all of the mistakes made in Wrath of the Lich King and offered an experience which is difficult in a way which rewards more than bigger numbers and optimizing spreadsheets.

The subtle difference in Cataclysm is that the challenges often require you to spend most of your time trying to squeeze your primary role in between other important actions. There are also a few straightforward numbers checks, but those are fine when they aren't the majority of encounters. Having to think on your feet, make decisions on priorities, and trust your own skills is extremely refreshing after two years of largely brainless play where failure means you should just come back later with different equipment.

We'll see if this bears out in the larger scale raids, but I'm very hopeful and optimistic.

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