aNewDomain — One of the many things that make multiplayer games like World of Warcraft so endearing is the fact that the games are updated on a fairly predictable schedule. These content patches fix bugs, adjust game balance and modify the user interface for an all-around better MMORPG experience. So have you checked out World of Warcraft Patch 6.1 yet? Here’s my review.
Blizzard Entertainment released the latest expansion to the World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor (WoD), in November 2014. On February 24, 2015, just a few months later, Blizzard has released the first major content patch for WoD, and it includes several serious improvements and a couple of pleasant surprises, too.
World of Warcraft Patch 6.1 has far too many changes and new features to name them all here, but I will highlight a few of my favorites.
Tweaked Garrison User Interface
This is probably the change that I most appreciate in the whole patch. Blizzard has simplified the UI you use to manage your Garrison. More vital information, necessary for making decisions, is available on the main screen. Before the patch you would have to click a button to see if any of your followers could actually complete a mission. Now you can see that information at a glance. I am always in favor of reducing mouse-clicks whenever possible.
Go0d News for Altaholics: New Heirloom System
Heirloom gear is special because it’s tied to your Battle.net account and not to a specific character. That means you can pass the gear around to any and all of your characters on the same account. For an altoholic like me, that translates into 22 separate characters across two servers. In the past this involved sending the items to characters via the in-game mail system.
With Patch 6.1, those heirloom items are now located in each character’s Collections tab — just a click or two away at all times. You can also now buy heirlooms from a special vendor for in-game gold, greatly simplifying acquisition. The level of each heirloom increases to match the level of the character using them, all the way up to the max level of 100. The gear grows when the character grows, too, which makes leveling lower-level characters much faster, which is worth more than you can imagine to an altoholic.
Twitter Integration (Yawn)
The ability to Tweet the discovery of a new piece of armor or new shiny weapon from within the game is interesting, but not something that thrills me. Unless I find the Sword of a Thousand Truths, I don’t think my Twitter followers are really going to care about my World of Warcraft adventures. But maybe your followers will.
Random quest-giving visitors now appear in your garrison on a daily basis offering new adventures and rewards. My favorite is the world-famous archeologist/explorer Harrison Jones who offers a series of quests — the ultimate prize is that he joins your garrison as a follower on a permanent basis. Who doesn’t want Indy around, especially in WoW?
There are many new toys and pet companions available with Patch 6.1, but one of the more-humorous ones is a camera that will create screenshot selfies — you can even Tweet them if you want.
Long Live Warcraft
Take it from me. I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since the open beta and, so far, it has never gotten too old-hat to play. Blizzard does a great job of keeping the game interesting by supplying new things to see and do on a fairly regular basis. Patch 6.1 doesn’t disappoint in this regard and is a welcome addition to an already-great MMORPG.
All screenshots: Mark Kaelin