Patch 3.3 PTR: Target marking, the end of lowbie raids, and other UI tweaks

There are quite a few interesting UI tweaks in the latest build on the patch 3.3 PTR. First up, Blizzard seems to be making quite a few changes that aim at streamlining current frustrations: the Ignore list is set to 50 different entries (to match the Friends list), XP earned in a quest will show up in the rewards section on the quest log, and not only can any member of the raid now mark targets, but instant quest text is now turned on by default for all players. The last two changes are somewhat questionable -- cynics that we are here at, we can see raiders in PuGs messing around with raid marks "for the lulz," which could be frustrating for raid leaders. Then again, it'll be much easier than the current situation of having to set up a marker as raid leader or assistant. Instant quest text, too, seems like a choice by Blizzard to step away from the immersiveness of having quest text write itself across the window, but then again, who doesn't have it set on instant already, and Blizzard has already admitted quests aren't that immersive anyway.

There is another issue, though, that may be worth Blizzard's reconsideration before bringing all of these changes live.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Blizzard also snuck a seemingly inconspicuous note in the latest patch update: "Players below level 10 may not join raids." That may seem like it's directed at gold-sellers who use lowbie toons to cause a nuisance, but actually, our friend Darias on Perenolde (who helps run all of those Sleeper Cartel parties you occasionally hear about) has a problem: lowbie raids are how most player-run events are done. And leaving pre level-10 characters out of the picture puts a damper on any visitors who might show up to an event and want direction.

I'm not sure what Blizzard is trying to hit on with that change, but the evidence, as presented by players in this forum thread, seems overwhelmingly in favor of leaving lowbie raids in the game. There are probably other ways to go about chatting (you can create custom chat channels, with passwords if necessary), but especially for guiding players during player-run races, having a raid complete with healing bars and raiding markers is really the way to go. We'll have to see if Blizzard agrees and leaves the change off the live realms.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.