Okay. Preliminary thoughts based on the small amount of experience I've had with a starter account?
Eh. I like some of the changes. I wish they would have rolled out the Pet Battles system with this patch, but I can understand why they didn't. Also, it winds up being a good thing, since I accidentally killed what is apparently a rare pet on one of my lowbie warlocks. I'd hate to have done that when it might have actually meant something.
I like the condensed loot system in random dungeons. No more chat spam. I realize it's not exactly a game-changing thing, but reducing the amount of stuff I don't care about in my chat window is a positive.
My mage is a little different. At level 20 (starter edition level cap still hasn't moved), you've got one talent choice, and not much in the way of spells that define you. Also, Fire doesn't seem to proc free Pyroblasts like it used to. However, speccing into Presence of Mind does give you the opportunity to macro a free one every now and then. The other two talents looked to be less helpful. I mean, yeah, scorch is awesome, but I didn't see it applying Critical Mass anymore. Also, even though it's practically a free spell, I noticed that I couldn't make a dent in my mana pool at all. I mean, popping cooldowns, maintaining a steady rotation, you name it, my mana refilled before I could finish casting the next spell. The other talent choice was something about being able to move while casting two spells. Not worth it. Not when I can give myself free explosions.
I started a warrior to see how the changes have affected those guys. Now, you may recall that I recently stated my doubts that any melee class could pull off a zero-damage run, mainly because you can't even get out of the starter zone without taking a few hits. Well, imagine my surprise at the change to Throw. It no longer requires a thrown weapon equipped (which is good, since Blizzard broke all those fun toys). Nope, it's completely spammable, and if you're good about maintaining maximum range, you can actually bring down the lower level mobs before they reach you.
That's actually kind of pathetic.
Warlocks seem to have gotten some real love with this patch. I was in a random dungeon on my mage and I saw that one of those demon-buddy-crazy-people was constantly in Huge Purple Demon Form and was dealing out absurd amounts of death and suffering. I mean, he had like twelve Drain Life spells going at once. It was nuts. At one point, the tank just said, "Screw it, I'll hang out over here. The warlock's got this room covered."
Now I miss my warlock.
I noticed they've changed the cooking awards to be a single award, regardless of source. My reply to that is a resounding "It's about time!" Seriously. Cooking is cooking. Whether you're cooking food based on ancient Icelandic traditions or Deep South Barbeque, it's all still FOOD.
Pet battles looks interesting. I spent a little time looking at the various spells that some of my pets have. Nerd that I am, I've already started to figure out which spells should be used on cooldown, which ones are fillers, and...
Pet battles are like Affliction Warlockery.
Mind = Blown!
If I remember correctly, before the patch hit, Hyperious (the main, not the Starter Alt) was sitting at around 9,300 achievement points. After the patch, however, he's spiked up to 10,060. Mind you, I haven't logged in for some time (My account has lapsed, and I have a feeling I'll wind up missing the pre-expansion event, but that's another story entirely). However, I'll probably be getting back into the full game some time in October.
Which means, once again, Hyperious (the main, again) is going to miss the Harvest Festival. Hopefully, I'll be back in before Pilgrim's Bounty, as that's about the last thing I need for World Event completion.
So, my overall opinion of the patch? It's good. I notice that people in trade seem to be more excited than they've been in some time, and considerably less .... what's the word?
Less like Trade.
Glyphs seem to be causing quite a stir. Thankfully I've got a good stockpile of inks on my scribe, so when I get back in, I'll have some stuff to work with to make whatever new glyphs I need.
All in all, good patch. Surprisingly good patch.
I need to compile a list of collectible toys that will be found in Mists. I know there's the Flippable Table (which I must get for my prot warrior), but I haven't spend much time looking at other stuff yet.
I'm rambling again. Guess that means it's time to end the post!