I've held off giving any comments about Cataclysm until the addons were in. I have this thing with using 22 button bindings for healing....I cannot do it. So until I could actually heal properly with clique I didn't want to say much about it, because it would not entirely be a fair judgement, but I've been healing and dpsing some dungeons on my premade priest now, so I'm going to put some sentences keysentences down....
Be warned though, while I do have some positive thoughts to share, in general this expansion makes me feel not so good so far.
Dungeons take forever
Gone are the days of a quick dungeon. I just ran a normal HoO and we still had 4 bosses to go after 1,5 hours. Grim Batol took 1,5 hours the other day as well. Not something I will quickly due on a weekday when I have a million things to do at home, and have to work the day after.
Healing is sloooooow
My most used spell takes 2.59 seconds to cast and that is with a pile of haste already. I have purely instants in wrath. This is not just the priest either unfortunately, it's every healer that will have their most used spell to be this painstakingly slow.
Mana management, omg
I'm not entirely certain if this is a good or a bad thing just yet...think it's a bad thing for healers. I ran Grim Batol. It took 24 drinks, 7 pots and we still had 14 deaths due to me being useless without mana. As a healer I want to focus on which heal to use, not on being able to heal or not due to not having mana. But I guess that's just me. Most of the people seem completely wahoo about it.
And when you do run oom, they might as well kick you out of the group, cause you're a waste of group space as an empty healer. (and oh, oom is after potion, shadowfiend, archangel, etc so yes, I do use my regen abilities duh)
Drinks are teensy
And this is a direct consequence of mana management. As a healer I was oom after every pull. The dps seemed fined. Soooo...hold up guys, everybody can wait till I'm done drinking. I think they could cut like 15 minutes of the time a dungeon takes if you would just rez with full mana and health after a wipe. Or at least be able to drink and eat a lot faster.
Lifegrip is da bomb
Lifegrip is about the coolest thing ever. I'm hoping to have the mana and time soon to use it in a dungeon.
Don't go questing in healspec
I got two mobs, and there is just no way I can kill them in either holy or disc. Shadow did fine.
Slow motion expansion
Everything takes longer. Mobs take longer to die. Heals take longer to cast. Dungeons have those annoying runs to get back to where you were again after a wipe (not as bad as it has been). The game feels as if played in slow motion. Maybe this is only because I'm still used to wrath where it seems as if it's sped up, but as usual I think they overbalanced it to the other side.
No LFD for me
Due to healing being such a pain, I am so not going to be healing anything without the group being guildies that I can trust to CC and do their job. The Cata groups I got were ok, but there's always someone who makes it really hard on the group and mistakes in Cata dungeons mean wipe, meaning more time taken.
The music is gorgeous
I'm one of those people who plays with the music on. I have vent on the headset and game sound on the speakers. And the music in cities and zones is amazing.
Quests are pretty damn cool
The mobs you have to kill for the quests take a while to die, but the storylines are really good. And the phasing used in some zones is just brilliant.
Disc is currently dead
I do hope they'll rebalance this a little, cause now I'm only casting PWS to get weakened soul on the target, and even that doesn't help an awful lot. Penance does less than your greater heal (much less even) and if you cannot use your staple spells...well, might as well go holy since all the good tools are there. Disc definitely needs some work still.
The creativity of this expansion is brilliant, but the way my character feels like when playing is not a lot of fun so far. I've never turned the game off as easily as I have been doing in the Cata beta, and I feel that this is mainly due to the game just being tiring. Everything takes a lot of effort, and very very few things are nice and relaxed. The game itself is wearing me out funny enough, and I just feel like doing something else that is more rewarding.
Bad feeling overall, I know, but I have honestly tried to wait as long with judging as I could. I've been telling myself that it was buggy, that the numbers needed work, and that it would be ok. And while a lot of things have improved since alpha, the same basic feeling is there still. The game is tiresome....makes me a bit sad to be honest.
Blizzard's design seems to be like one of those pendulums. They always overshoot to the other side and it takes forever to get it back in the middle. Yes, wrath was too easy and too fast, but I do think they overdid it in the other direction. This might be one of those expansion that gets a lot of fun 3 or 4 months into the expansion when they've corrected a lot of it....lets just hope they haven't lost a boatload of subscribers before then.