Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Most Important Test in Wrath Classic Beta -- The Winterfall Firewater Spellsteal Effect

After my little adventure in Winterfall Village on Cardwyn 1.0, I thought "Hey, maybe I should take Neve there!"

Yeah yeah yeah, I bet.

And I took advantage of her fully accessible porting capability, and dropped in on Shattrath City with about 7 stacks of Winterfall Firewater...

"I AM-- Wait, where is everybody?"

Alas, that it was on Myzrael-US post mass migration.

Those that were there seemed completely
nonplussed when a giant Sindorei
wandered into the bank.

My questing buddy and I were in a Discord voice group with one of our fellow Monday raiders, and I mentioned to her about what I discovered up in Winterfall Village. I didn't tell her just what would happen, but I told her that she ought to drop by with her L70 Mage and see what happens when she tries Spellstealing from multiple Firbolgs there.

I then got to thinking. I have never seen anybody mention this thing before, so I had no idea if this was nerfed in Wrath or not. 

Since I had access to the Beta for Wrath Classic, I decided to make a little side trip on Neve to Winterfall Village.

"What happened to my hair?"

"I SAID...."

With about 9 stacks under her belt, I ported into Orgrimmar...

"Oh, uh, sorry about that."

Neve lost a few stacks here and there, but still she had a decent amount when I reached the starting Horde location for the Wrath Beta test:

It was fun, but kind of unsatisfying. Like how you figure something cool out, but nobody really wants to share in your discovery. "Ho hum, another giant Sindorei. What a nothingburger."

And to be fair, each Spellsteal of Winterfall Firewater not only increases your size, it slows you down. After several stacks, your movements slow to a crawl, which drives me absolutely nuts. And where's the fun in that?

So... I can say that yes, Spellsteal does behave exactly the same way as in TBC Classic. But will I do it on a regular basis? Uh, no. I don't have a fetish for that sort of thing, and while it's kind of fun at first, it's... well... boring after a while. Okay, so I'm big. Now what? Well, not much.

I also must admit I like my Mages exactly the size they are. Nothing strange about that. Well, outside of the fact that they can wield the Arcane and throw fireballs around, but hey, that's an MMO for you.



  1. Finally an interesting spell to steal! How is the beta? Has it been nostalgic or have they made unexpected changes? Atheren

    1. As I put in the prior post on this particular quirk, I kind of stumbled onto what you could so with Spellsteal and the Winterfall Firewater buff. I suspect that the reason why you never see it mentioned is that you have to go to Winterspring to find enemies with said buff to steal, and once you hit roughly L58 - L60 you're probably not going to be visiting Winterspring at all. I was unusual in that I grinded to L70 the hard way, so I spent a lot of time up there and got to know the place well.

      Of course, there's the issue with the 2 minute nature of the Spellsteal buff, so even if you managed to get 10 stacks or more --when I was there helping my questing buddy with her Mage alt finish some Winterspring quests, I was able to hit 11 briefly-- you really can't do much with it since the buffs fall off so quickly. There's just barely enough time to port somewhere and look gigantic before you start shrinking back to normal. Kind of like the debuff you get out in Blade's Edge Mountains from the baddies out there who shrink you until a gnome looks enormous next to you, but that debuff falls off quickly enough that you "grow" back to normal size in rapid stages.

      As far as the beta goes, it's been... Weird.

      I mean, it hasn't been that crowded, so it feels great questing out in the field, but I didn't realize just how many quality of life changes were made going from BC to Wrath since I started playing in Wrath. It's been a bit of a shock to the system, to be honest.

      Additionally, while the Mage spells and rotation are similar enough to Classic and TBC Classic that you feel at home --at least for a Frost Mage you do-- for a Paladin you have to basically rebuild from the ground up. The old rotation of using a Seal and then Judging it to put the debuff on the enemy gets thrown out the window, and even things like putting Salv on somebody to lower their threat has gone away too, in favor of it being a quick threat lowering buff that you have to remember to use instead of the Classic/TBC Classic "set it and forget it for 1/2 hour". The entire nature of the Paladin rebuild is such that I'm deliberately keeping my BE Pally, Quintalan, at the low/mid L20s so that I can use him to relearn my rotations as he levels and then apply it to Linna.

      I never played a Rogue in Wrath, so I'd have to figure that one out all over. I suppose I ought to create Azshandra over there just to get a feel for how it works.

      But the quests.... Oh, it really does feel like you're coming home. And I haven't even gotten to Dalaran or Coldarra yet, much less the Wrathgate event. When I get to that, well... I never played on the Alliance side for that event --they eliminated the solo part into the Undercity when Cataclysm dropped, so my Ally Retail toons never saw it-- so it'll be different for certain. But it also is the beginning of the phasing revolution, which has kind of gotten out of control over in Retail.

    2. "I mean, it hasn't been that crowded, so it feels great questing out in the field, but I didn't realize just how many quality of life changes were made going from BC to Wrath since I started playing in Wrath. It's been a bit of a shock to the system, to be honest."

      *MY* dream is to have the original designers come back to Classic and TBC and incorporate all the things they "fixed" in the expansions and run them that way. So many QoL improvements were referenced as things they had wished they had done, or mistakes they felt they had made and then rectified. Combine that with two decades of design experience in some cases and I'd like to see what comes out, even with the mistakes that result.

      Sometimes reiteration is the only way produce an increase in knowledge.

    3. I just wonder how much of Classic would be left if that were the case. I could easily see them eliminating a lot of the things about Classic and TBC that I liked, such as the long questlines with a big payoff (Marshal Windsor or the Warlock/Paladin mount quests) or the involved key quests that force you to explore more of Azeroth than you were likely intending to. Even the part where you have to figure out where to go to find a dragon in human form to progress the Onyxia attunement questline means you have to get out into the world and explore to figure it out.

      My fear is that it wouldn't just be quality of life stuff --such as quests popping up on screen in the quest tracker without manually clicking it-- but rather things that would change the design goal of Azeroth into zones and quests designed to get you to max level as quickly as possible. It's easy to begin down that path of fixing some QoL issues, but where do you draw the line, and when does the game cease to be "Classic"?