I liked this post over at Tank like a girl and decided to make my own version of it. Even if WOTLK wasn't my favourite expansion, I still think that it improved the game in some ways. So, without further ado, my five favourite WOTLK changes (with the reservation that I might have forgot about something that I really liked, in which case I'll probably feel the urge to edit it in later).
1. Raid ID extensions
This is one of those features that didn't get a lot of press as far as I'm aware, even though it transformed the face of raiding quite considerably. Probably there wasn't much discussion simply because people couldn't think of anything to complain about. It was truly an improvement for everyone: hardcore guilds could choose to skip farming to push progression that little bit harder if they wanted; super-casual guilds that never would have been able to make it through all of Ulduar or Icecrown Citadel in a week were actually able to see the end bosses of those instances. "Medium" guilds like my own benefitted from having a choice as well, instead of having to wade through the first couple of bosses every week while lacking the speed and efficiency of a more hardcore guild and thus never having much time left to work on new bosses.
I suppose the one "downside" one could list is that having to kill all the bosses every week used to add to the epic feeling of having to overcome big obstacles, but that particular aspect of challenge is something that even I don't really miss.
2. Guardian Spirit
I was quite skeptical when I first saw this new top talent for holy priests. It seemed powerful for sure, but also extremely situational. I did struggle to get myself to use it first - with a three-minute cooldown it was way too easy to get trapped in the "must save it for later" line of thinking where that "later" never comes. However, the first time I managed to save our kite tank's life in Naxx ten-man (he had been a bit too slow and got debuffed by the locust swarm), I knew that I was in love. The whole "giving healers survival cooldowns" mechanic has generally worked out nicely in my opinion, truly adding something unique and fun to our already large arsenal of spells.
3. Dual spec
I actually don't even use my main's dual spec - at first she was holy/shadow but then the raid leaders always picked someone else to dps when it came up, so I went holy/disc for PvP, but quickly grew tired of it after the introduction of the dungeon finder, as I didn't want to PvP badly enough to sit in the considerably longer battleground queue instead of lining up for an instance.
However, several of my alts have made good use of it. For example I could never really decide whether my druid was to be feral or resto and respecced her quite a lot back in BC - now she can be both and change within a couple of seconds. When I levelled my shaman as enhancement, I also gave her a resto dual spec as soon as it became available and enjoyed the convenience of getting to practice restoration in instances without feeling completely gimped while questing.
4. The item icons you get while quest tracking
Sometimes it's the simplest of things... I don't know which patch added this, but when you track a quest now and said quest has you using a quest item, that item also shows up as an icon next to your tracker, so you can click on it easily without having to dig through your bags every time you need to use it. When my boyfriend pointed this new feature out to me I was simply stunned. Amazing!
5. The Sons of Hodir
I know they've received a lot of flak for being grindy and juvenile, but I genuinely liked the Sons of Hodir. I think the quest line to unlock them as a faction is great fun, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I found all their silly quest titles rather amusing. Until the release of the Argent Tournament, Dun Niffelem was also the only proper hub for daily quests in Northrend - I still don't know what Blizzard was thinking when they placed most of the early dailies in seemingly random locations all over the map - bleh! I got six characters to exalted with the Sons and I'm proud of it. I just think they were wasted on being tied to shoulder enchants. They definitely should have had some sort of tie-in with Ulduar, especially since the quest to reconcile them with Thorim simply ends when he gets abducted by Loken. Seriously, after all the trouble I went through to get them to forgive each other, they can't even be bothered to send anyone out to search for him? Silly giants.
I might make a list of things that I didn't like as well later on, but I'll have to think about that one a bit longer, as a lot of WOTLK changes just left me feeling ambiguous more than anything else.
1 million gold
2 hours ago