Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Patch Highlights 2.4.0

Well WoW 2.4.0 is now live. I was bored at work yesterday (like really bored) so I read the patch notes (ok not all of them, but the important stuff). And I'm bored again today, so I figured I'd go through them and pick out a few of the highlights, for the benefit of those who have less time on their hands than I do.

  • The Sunwell Isle is now available for play. This area includes a new quest hub and 5 and 25-player instances. (New areas and instances are always good. . . even though I umm. . . still don't have a 70 to make use of them.)
  • Characters will now retain talented spell ranks so when they retalent they do not have to relearn the spells from trainers. (Yay! Of course I just did this two days before the patch came out and had to spend money on re-training!)
  • Spirit-Based Mana Regeneration: This system has been adjusted so that as your intellect rises, you will regenerate more mana per point of spirit.
  • Weapon Skill: Points will be gained faster in weapon skills for levels 1 through 59.
  • The Daily Quest limit has been increased to 25. (I guess that's good, but I've never even gotten close to 10.)
  • Nurturing Instinct increases your healing spells by up to 50/100% of your Agility, and increases healing done to you by 10/20% while in Cat form. (Very exciting! My feral druid's bonus healing more than tripled over night. To bad the bonus to inbound healing doesn't effect bear form too.)
  • Regrowth: The mana cost of this spell has been reduced by approximately 20%.
  • Blink, Slow, and Spellsteal have all had their mana cost reduced.
  • Icy Veins no longer increases the chance your chilling effects will Freeze the target, but now increases the chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting any spell by 100% while active.
  • Mana Shield: This spell will now get a percentage of the Mage’s bonus to spell damage as an additional effect.
  • New Talent: Molten Shields will cause your Fire Ward to have a 10/20% chance to reflect Fire spells while active. In addition, your Molten Armor has a 50/100% chance to affect ranged and spell attacks.
  • Avenger’s Shield: This ability will no longer jump to secondary targets which are under the effect of crowd-control spells that break on taking damage. I.e. Polymorph, Sap, etc. (This seems like a pretty big deal and excellent news for tankadins.)
  • Holy Shock: The healing, damage, and mana cost of this spell have all been increased.
  • Turn Undead(Rank 3):This spell has been reworked and has been renamed to “Turn Evil”. It will now work on Demons in addition to Undead. Turn Evil is subject to diminishing returns, and lasts 10 seconds in PvP. (Turn is very situational, but this is a nice little buff nonetheless. And it makes sense, lore-wise.)
  • Chastise no longer disorients the target, but now is instant cast and roots the target for 2 seconds. (Not sure yet whether this is good or bad.)
  • Mass Dispel now affects a maximum of 10 targets, increased from 5.
  • Power Infusion: Infuses the target with power, increasing their spell haste by 20% and reducing the mana cost of all spells by 20%. Lasts for 15 seconds.This will not stack with other haste effects, such as Heroism, Bloodlust, or Icy Veins.
  • Reflective Shield: The reflective damage from this talent no longer breaks crowd control effects which break on taking damage.
  • Sap mechanic changed from “Incapacitate” to “Sap”. This will allow more humanoids that were previously immune to Sap to be vulnerable to Sap, but still immune to Gouge. Note that anything that removed Sap previously will still remove Sap after the change.
  • (There's some other Rogue stuff, but I don't know enough about the class to determine if it's important or not.)
Shaman (apparently this is the singular and plural form)
  • Earth Shield: Mana cost reduced roughly in half, and charges reduced from 10 to 6.
  • Ghost Wolf: Cast time reduced to 2 seconds, down from 3. (Does that mean it can be instant with talents? I haven't tried but it sounds like it. . . that's sweet!)
  • The Global Cooldown of all Totems has been reduced to 1 seconds, down from 1.5 seconds. (Moderately helpful.)
  • Shamanistic Rage is now a Physical ability instead of a Magic spell, and thus is no longer dispellable. It now reduces all damage taken by 30% and gives your successful melee attacks a chance to regenerate mana equal to 30% of your attack power. This lasts for 15 seconds with a 2 minute cooldown.
  • Totem timer icons will now show up under your player portrait when you cast totem spells. Right-clicking a totem timer icon will destroy that totem. (One less thing to use an add-on for. And the ability to selectively destroy a totem is long over-due.)
  • Ritual of Summoning can be used to summon players into instances if they meet the instance requirements. (This is good news for everyone!)
  • Cleave: This ability will no longer strike any secondary target which is under the effect of crowd-control spells that break on taking damage. i.e. Polymorph, Sap, etc.
  • Honor will now be instantly calculated, and available for player use.
  • Arenas
    • Queue times for arena matches have been reduced. Players will now be able to enter matches faster than previously.
  • Battlegrounds
    • If a player dies 50 times or more in a battleground, they will no longer be worth honor for the remainder of that battle. (50 times?! Ouch!)
    • Warsong Gulch
      • When both flags are held, the flag carriers will receive 50% increased damage done to them after approximately 10 minutes and 100% increased damage after approximately 15 minutes. (I've been in some looong WSGs. . . this is an interesting approach to take to addressing both teams turtling with the flag.)
      • Flag carriers can now be tracked 45 seconds after picking up the flag.
  • Dungeon and Group Quest Experience: The amount of experience awarded for dungeon and 5-person group quests in Outland has been increased in almost all cases.
  • Increased the slots on Old Blanchy's Feed Pouch to 8. (It's about time!)
Dungeons and Raids (None of these mean much to me yet, but they seem important.)
  • All 25-player raid bosses have had their cash drops increased!
  • All 25- player raid bosses that drop set tokens will now drop an additional token!
  • Badges of Justice have been added to all raid bosses who did not previously have them!
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter Hyjal.
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter the Black Temple.
  • You may now fight Prince Kael’thas and Lady Vashj without first killing all the other bosses in their respective dungeons.
  • Non-corporeal Undead and Mechanical creatures are now susceptible to bleed effects. (Hmm, this strikes me as an unnecessary and questionable--from a basic logic and lore standpoint--change. But I haven't been into any raids or high level dungeons, so I really don't know.)
  • Hellfire Citadel: Magtheridon’s Lair
    • Many gameplay elements of the encounters in Magtheridon’s Lair have been changed to decrease their overall complexity and difficulty. (Again, I haven't been in here. . . but it's been made easier. Was it too hard before?)
  • Karazhan
    • Players will no longer need the Master’s Key to enter Karazhan. The gates to Karazhan will still require the Master’s Key to be unlocked. (I know getting "Karazhan keyed" was a big deal before, so this sounds pretty significant.)
User Interface
  • The Interface Options screen has been completely redesigned. AddOns that interact with the Interface Options screen will need to be updated.
  • Players will now be able to inspect other players via their chat link.
  • The friends list now has a notes field per friend. Click on the note icon to add a note for a particular friend.
  • There is now a UI option to display free bag space. When turned on, your backpack will display the total number of free spaces available in all your bags. (About time. . . another add-on bites the dust!)
  • You can now link quests into the chat log by Shift-Clicking on the quest name in the quest log. (This is way past due! Thanks, Blizz.)
  • In Master Loot mode, all players in the group will see sparkles on corpses that have loot above the master loot threshold. This lets everyone see what the master loot items are, though they cannot interact with them. Only the master looter can loot those items still.e quest log.
World Environment
  • A mailbox has been added to the inn in Darnassus. (Seriously, what took so long?)
  • The Ratchet bank now has access to the Guild Vault.
Bug Fixes
  • Ogri'la Peacekeeper's weapons have been scaled to a size more appropriate for keeping the peace. (Don't know what this means, but it made me laugh anyway.)
  • Zeppelin Master Zapetta will no longer become confused about whether the zeppelin in Orgrimmar is arriving or leaving. (Another funny one.)
  • Sending mail to a non-existent character will now result in players getting the message, “Cannot find mail recipient”.
There are some conspicuous differences between the PTR patch notes and the ones that went live...

Present in PTR but lacking in live:
  • Hunters: Multi-Shot: This ability will no longer strike any secondary targets which are under the effect of crowd-control spells that break on taking damage. i.e. Polymorph, Sap, etc.
  • Shaman: Chain Lightning: This ability will no longer jump to secondary targets which are under the effect of crowd-control spells that break on taking damage. i.e. Polymorph, Sap, etc.
  • Druids: Swipe: This ability will no longer strike any secondary targets which are under the effect of crowd-control spells that break on taking damage. i.e. Polymorph, Sap, etc.
  • Warlocks: Felguard Cleave: This ability will no longer strike any secondary target which is under the effect of crowd-control spells that break on taking damage. ie. Polymorph, Sap, etc.
Curious (and frustrating) that some classes got a very nice CC-related multi-target change and others did not. I hope it's just because Blizzard was having problems with some of the abilities and they'll add it in a future patch (2.4.1 perhaps).


Mike Develin said...

Nice summary, thanks!

Another 2.4 thing is that Primal Nether (which drops off final bosses in heroics, and probably in some other similarly rare situations) is no longer bind on pickup. Apparently on our server, the prices are in the 65g range, which is about what I was expecting. I actually find this kind of sad; there was something special about getting this BoP stuff, something requiring actual work to get (and since it drops off _every_ final boss in heroics, it's not capricious or anything, so it wasn't like they took some annoying sometimes-drop and made it available.)

Shattered Moon said...

Hi... I followed your link from egotisticalpriest. Thanks for the additional patch note summary!

My main is a resto shammy... It bugs the heck out of me whenever someone uses "shaman" (uninflected) as the plural form of shaman.

The correct plural form is "shamans". I wish Blizzard would get this right!

angiecita said...

i wonder as well why the Felguard Cleave wasn't fixed as well.

oh well, back to turning off Cleave and taunt when in dungeons, then forgetting when questing...and then dying...