Patch 3.3 versus Cataclysm

I've been discussing this with friends recently and it just occurred to me that this is exactly the sort of topic that would make an ideal blog post. Allow me to just start this post by saying that Cataclysm excites me more than Patch 3.3. Now that my bias is disclosed, allow me to elucidate further.

These are the following parts of the next content patch that I care most about:
  • new APIs for quests that will vastly improve the quality of quest-related addons
  • the display of auras is improved so that important buffs can be seen while less pertinent ones are collapsed or hidden
  • nameplate visibility is changing, I don't know if they'll be better but I'm definitely curious
  • possible closure of the Frostmourne story, and believe me I'm only mildly curious about it
Meanwhile, Cataclysm promises the following personal highlights:
  • significant changes to the Warlock class, I might actually want to level up the one I left back in The Burning Crusade
  • new races to consider rolling / switching
  • new racials for existing races, I can't wait to see what Gnomes get 
  • Gnomes can be healers, and I plan on switching my Night Elf Priest to a Gnome as soon as this is possible
  • flying mounts that work everywhere in Azeroth, and not just the few secret places we currently enjoy
  • Deathwing is a much cooler and vastly more powerful being than The Lich King
  • new Path of the Titans personal progression
The fact that an expansion has more interesting changes is obviously expected. What I find surprising is how little I care about the content patch. The only new material that even registers the mildest interest is the storyline. I do like the appearance of the new tier pieces, but I do not think they outweigh the awfulness that tier 9 forced upon us.

With the exception of long-term class evolution (like the Warlock overhaul), I am not interested in the monthly tuning of class balance and am actually relieved that Death Knights seem fairly stable. Not having to learn how to play my class all over again is quite nice. I do not have a Hunter on my roster, but if I did I would likely be very much intrigued by the big Hunter changes too.

As a small-time addon developer, I am quite interested in any changes Blizzard make to the API. The more we are allowed to tinker with, the richer our potential UI configurations can become. Everyone has a different idea about their perfect UI, and Blizzard should be congratulated for the lengths they have gone to in this area. If I could have it my way, Blizzard would uncouple content and interface patches, so that we could get our juicy new code faster. It also means we could get our new content without having to wait for last-minute changes to the interface (in-game voice-chat ring a bell?).

This post is starting to get long, so I'll leave it there. Have I left out anything that you are really looking forward to? Besides the closer release date, is there anything that makes Patch 3.3 more interesting than Cataclysm for you?

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