New PTR Builds - 3.8.2008

Over the past couple of weeks, Blizzard has introduced several new builds onto the patch 2.4 PTR: from new Badge of Justice loots to Lifetap changes (and back again). Many new and somewhat enterprising elements have been added to gameplay all in an effort to get feedback on what the playerbase is wanting.

Some of these changes have been good, some have been bad, depending on your perspective and why you play the game. For me personally, as a PvE raider, the new Sunwell content has been most refreshing and a clear challenge, and similarly the updates to professions such as the new Defense Enchants, the superb new Alchemists Stones (an update long required), and the vast quantity of new Jewelcrafting recipes are making the upcoming patch look like a ray of sunshine in the abysmal dark cloud of re-clearing farm content week after week.

For the PvPers as well, there have been substantial tweaks - the introduction of the Test Tournament Realm (TTR) for starters is a great way for Arena teams to test their potential by choosing whatever gear they desire, along with of course the Season 4 gear previews; all of which is looking pretty tasty.

One thing that really made me feel like Blizzard actually give a rat's arse about balance in arena matches was the post by Kalgan showing the percentages of classes at certain ratings. Clearly Blizzard is at least aware of what's happening and measures have been taken/will be taken to correct it - part of the general rampage for E-Sport acceptance I presume.

On the downside it looks like there is still extensive testing to go. The final boss in Sunwell has yet to be encountered, and the PTR notes are changing, if not daily then fairly frequently, so it's bound to be at least another 2 weeks before this thing hits Live Realms.

But to be honest, I'm much happier seeing things are being tested and tweaked than sitting around on my 2nd or 3rd alt running Steamvaults for the umpteenth time for some damn gem which they've now nerfed anyway. Oh well... :D

-Joe Zara [Phoee]

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