A Bit More Bag Space with WoW Patch 7.3.5

I do not write about World of Warcraft patch updates the way I do the ones that come for EVE Online.  Maybe the changes, or the game itself, doesn’t mean as much to me, or maybe the changes in New Eden have more impact.

But this patch is different.  This one has a few items in which I am interested.  And, at the top of the list is something they mentioned in passing back at BlizzCon, that people who have an authentication scheme hooked up to their accounts will get a boost in the size of their default bag.

This grain of sand has been an irritant to many, that one bag slot has been eternally locked in at 16 slots.  It was a fine situation as recently as 2007, but certainly since Wrath of the Lich King and the advent of 20 slot player crafted bags, being stuck with that one sixteen slot bag has felt like a bit of a cruel joke.  I’m busy filling up the bank storage on alts with 30 slot bags, but I still have that 16 slot bag mocking me in slot number one.

So now Blizzard could turn that grain of sand into a pearl, to complete the metaphor I started a paragraph back.  Now they could make us all rejoice rather than grouse and glare at that archaic sixteen slot.

So imagine my reaction to this line in the patch notes:

Accounts protected by an Authenticator and Blizzard SMS Protect gain four extra backpack slots.

Four slots?  That’s it?  We now get a 20 slot bag instead of a 16 slot bag?  Did I mention how many 30 slot bags I have on hand already?

Plenty of 30 slot bags on hand since Draenor

Color me a bit disappointed at the paucity of this size increase.  If Blizzard wants to play the nostalgia card, 2009 bag sizes is not the way to go about it.  Or 2007 bag sizes if you want to count the Harris Pilton Gigantique bag from Burning Crusade.  The game is littered with larger bags, none of which you can put in that first bag slot.  Ugh!

I won’t grouse too much.  My main is literally hauling around so much stuff of late that four slots actually matters.  But don’t expect me to be too thankful given my overflowing supply of 30 slot bags.  I should have known Blizzard was off the mark when it came to bag size when they threw away the name “portable hole” on a 24 slot bag.

Anyway, enough of that.

Also part of the patch is something else I have had my eye on, which is the expanded zone level scaling.  Zones throughout World of Warcraft will now scale, withing set parameters, so you need not worry about out-leveling a zone you want to finish… at least not as quickly as before.

The basic story, which I am stealing from the Icy Veins post, is:

  • All starting zones scale up to level 10.
  • World of Warcraft Vanilla (Eastern Kingdoms & Kalimdor) scales up to level 60.
  • At level 58, players can choose between Outland or Northrend (capped at level 80).
  • At level 80, players can choose between Cataclysm or Pandaria (capped at level 90).
  • Zones still have a minimum level requirement.
  • Dungeons also scale
  • Quest rewards scale up to your level.

Further details, like the zone listing and minimum level requirements for specific zones are part of that post (or this one at Blizzard Watch which also has the dungeon levels) .

Why am I interested in that?  Well, on my long Azeroth “to do” list there are entries about running through some expansions on the Horde side of the world.  I’ve already done post-Cataclysm 1-60 and most of The Burning Crusade as Horde, but would like to run through Wrath of the Lich King and Mists of Pandaria on that side of the divide as well.  Being able to go straight to Northrend at 58 will be a big help, as will being able to spend 22 levels there.  I have a level 57 orc hunter ready to go on that front.

On the other hand, I am not sure how this will play out for anybody coming to the game for the first time.  There are still people who do that.  My daughter is trying to recruit a dungeon group from some of her friends, most of whom have never played WoW or any other MMORPG. (Still a niche market.)

This does change the nature of the leveling experience yet again and I am not sure if the freedom of action as to which zones you can play through will have enough structure to it to keep people on track.  But then the old “if you are level n to n+5 you must be in zone x!” system wasn’t always that great either, and Blizz has gotten better at telling you where you ought to go and all that.  We’ll see.  The only thing I know for sure is that somebody will hate the change because somebody always hates every change.

In addition to zone and dungeon scaling, all dungeons now use the “personal loot” option, where you no longer roll for loot… or have a master looter… instead the game picks people from the group at random and gives them a loot drop appropriate to their class and spec.  Again, I am sure somebody will hate this.

And with dungeon scaling all holiday dungeon events will now be available for anybody level 20 and up.  I will have even more shots at the headless horseman’s mount this year.

I was interested to see that, as part of this, Blizz also decided to simplify the whole “I have to buy yet another flying skill” issue by rolling all the simple, level gated flying options into the Expert Flying skill.  With that you’re good to go, no more Cold Weather Flying and what not.  You still need achievements for Draenor and the Broken Isles, but that unlock is account wide, so if you main has it you’re good with any alts.

With all of that there is also now Ulduar Timewalking and some achievement changes related to that, some class tweaks, a new battleground, updates to the S.E.L.F.I.E. toy (while some other toys have had their ability to cause other players to take actions restricted), and a new WoW Legion quest line that will take you to Silithus.

So that is another WoW update.  You can peruse the patch notes yourself and find analysis on all the sites that cover WoW.

I am still waiting for them to fix the spiral ramp up to the flight master in Thunder Bluff to stop it from dismounting you, the way they fixed that stretch in Stormwind that used to do the same when you were riding to the flight master, but I suspect my waiting for that will be in vain.

This being a WoW patch with some significant changes, other people in the neighborhood are also discussing it and what it portends.

Addendum: Bag space upgrade confirmed.

Four more slots

I want more, but I’ll take four.

9 thoughts on “A Bit More Bag Space with WoW Patch 7.3.5

  1. Asmiroth

    I think the level scaling is a good idea, as it allows people to focus on particular zones that interest them rather than just using a mod to race through levels. Sure, that’s still there, but at least there’s an option now. Was weird to end up 10 levels above the content after 5 quests.

    I still think they are missing the boat when it comes to making content relevant outside of max level / current expansion. WoW is 13 years old and ~90% of all content is “padding”. Sure, some parts have not aged well, but that’s an insane amount of ignored investment.

    Interesting stat (or sad depending), FF14 launched in 2010. It is still the only mass-MMO themepark that I know of that scales all group content (not open world) to the players. I find it odd that it has not been copied.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Asmiroth – Well, Blizzard will do things in their own plodding way. They have redone some old content in the past, so raids like Zul’aman became five person heroic dungeons. But those fell behind with the next expansion.

    Now they are reviving the old dungeon content via Timewalking events. But the Timewalking dungeons are only there for specific weeks as opposed to being available and scaling all the time.

    But, there is an active and vocal part of the community that likes to go back and run old raid and dungeon content solo and Blizz has said that they won’t take that away from them, so they have to tread carefully. Making dungeons scale, but only within a set range, seems to be part of that.

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  3. Asmiroth

    We both work in IT. The clearly have a working solution (timewalking). They clearly have a model to toggle between timewalking and standard mode (the specific weeks you mention).

    They are missing a service to bind timewalking as an on-going activity. I won’t hazard to say that it’s easy, but it’s fair to say that they have both the resources and time to find a working model for this.

    The amount of “baby and bathwater” thrown out the window is so incredibly high it deserves its own meme.

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  4. bhagpuss

    Having tried any number of variations on level-scaling in any number of MMOs I have to say that I prefer to have it on a toggle under my control, the way EQ2 does it with Mentoring. Losing the ability to go back and one-shot stuff is to big a sacrifice. If I want to play through content at level I’ll make another character and do it – I don’t need to do it on an existing, higher level one.

    It looks as though the trend is solidly in the direction of one level fits all, though, which makes me more than ever inclined to stick to older MMOs that don’t follow trends.

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  5. Armagon

    And I thought I was messy with too much stuff ;)
    Not up to date with Tailoring in Legion, but even in WoD I made my own bags, but the most expensive ones only for my 1-3 mains, and then usually not a full set. And the army of alts is stuck with a mix of 20-24 ones mostly :P

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  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Armagon – I am a bit of a hoarder with my main and hate to throw away anything that is useful. I still have all the tabards I collected in the bank despite the fact I have collected those appearances. Never know when you might need the real thing! So his bank is full, his reagents bank is full, and he wanders around with 30 empty bag slots when he is lucky.

    @Bhagpuss – I agree. I have had all sorts of fun just wandering around old raids to see the story and collect some of the gear for appearance.

    @Asmiroth – I am pretty sure they could hook all of that up through their dungeon finder interface without it being a hulking effort so, as an outsider looking in, I assume they have some internal reason for doing it as they are. (Or at least the dungeons they’ve done Timewalking with, there is only a subset available.) That they have not done this is probably for a reason. Two come to mind;

    First, they might feel that making them an event keeps some level of exclusivity or keeps people hanging around for such events. This may be part of their plan, to ration out content, in order to avoid the second year of the expansion exodus.

    Second, Timewalking dungeons, which count as heroic, are hilariously easy and spit out good loot and tokens for even better loot. I suspect that this might be on purpose to go along with the above, but they would have to spend a lot more time tuning to get them to be any sort of heroic level equivalent in challenge.

    Anyway, those are my guesses. They might be wrong. Blizz is very conservative with WoW, so they may just be testing the water and tuning over time with Timewalking with an eye to making them regularly available at a later date.

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  7. Krumm

    I created a Dwarven DK before the patch and finished the intro in prep for the patch….so patch day found me in northrend. I think that being a DK and being able to go straight into WOTLK is one aswesome change.

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  8. David L

    I’ve always assumed time walking is rotated as a way to encourage people to stay subscribed. if it was always on people would grind the tokens and buy all the items in a few weeks. This is why the vendors also rotate.

    Also: Although lower-leveled characters can run holiday events, the Headless horseman mount (and maybe others) can only be found by a level 100 or higher character. Source: https://twitter.com/WarcraftDevs/status/920802062731845634

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  9. wowstorylines

    I’m definitely enjoying the level scaling because it feels like you have the option to move around a bit more freely. Yes, I’m happy that Blizzard has given us some direction as to where we can go to level too, it was getting old staying in the same areas level after level.

    I thought the extra four slots in the backpack was nice, however, it was also kind of sad. You only get the slots if you link your cell phone to the account. Well, I only have one cell phone and that does make it harder if you have more than one Bnet account.

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