4.1 official patchnotes are out, plus unofficial datamined extras courtesy of MMO-Champion as usual.
The Gurubashi Tribe Persists
Originally a 20-player dungeon released in patch 1.7, Zul’Gurub will once again open its gates, featuring updated lore, all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot! Zul’Gurub is now a level-85 five-player Heroic difficulty dungeon. To provide a new tier above the current Cataclysm dungeons, players can expect to find epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is 346.
I saw this coming. This and Zul’Aman both. It made no sense to have the place just as an outdoor questing area – visited for just a couple of quests, seriously now – and waste all that space. Plus the quests referring to Zul’Gurub left very blatantly obvious dangling plot threads.
The Return of Zul’Aman
Ever a player favorite, the level-70 ten-player dungeon of Zul’Aman is being reintroduced as a level-85 Heroic five-player dungeon. Zul’Aman will join Zul’Gurub in a new Dungeon Finder tier of Heroic dungeons, providing epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is also 346. While Zul’Aman will be more of a throwback to the original dungeon featuring many of the same encounters, players can expect to find some updated gameplay mechanics, as well as new environment textures and lighting.
What will happen to the old Zul’Aman? It can’t possibly stay there – it would require having a separate entrance for the raid and for the dungeon (or alternatively, for the dungeon not to have an in-world entrance, which… doesn’t work terribly well, since it would prevent any revisiting of the content once you outlevel it in the dungeon finder).
So here’s my questions:
The Amani Dragonhawks (and the hatchlings that spawn during the boss encounters) just got a new model in 4.0.6. They’re currently tamable by level 70+ hunters. What happens to them? They’ll either become extinct as a lvl70 mob, and therefore tamable only by level 85 hunters who can enter the 5-man instance, or the model will be added somewhere else. Personally, I’d prefer the latter, but either way I’m glad I went and tamed the dragonhawk on my goblin hunter shortly after 4.0.6 hit.
What happens to Mojo? Random drop from bosses or trash in the new 5-man instance is my guess; either way, if you care about the pet at all, considering Blizzard’s penchant for removing things I’d say go get it now. I’d guess that just about any class can solo the place at level 85.
Additionally, if there’s anything at all you want from the current version of Zul’Aman – because it’s pretty, for roleplay gear, whatever else, go get it now. I’d wager most of the models aren’t going to remain in the loot from the 5-man version (there’s just too much of it, plus Blizzard loves new item models).
(One notable item from Zul’Aman which is likely to just go extinct: Tiny Voodoo Mask. They might make a lvl85 version of it and add it as an extra random boss drop for funsies, but I’m not holding my breath.)
We’re pleased to announce that new versions of the rare raptor, tiger, and bear mounts will be available, while the old versions of these mounts will remain unique to those who already have them. We’ll reveal more about how these updated mounts can be obtained in the future.
Most likely a 1% drop from the raptor, tiger and bear bosses. Either that or a reward from an extra chest (or drop from an extra boss) that’s only available if you make the run in less than 45 minutes or whatever.
My thoughts about these can be summed up with “yay, another mount I will never see drop at level, will go back and solo farm when I outlevel and/or outgear it and will still never see it drop“. Why yes, I’m still bitter about farming the original ZG tiger and raptor mounts since I was level 70 and having nothing to show for it. Hisssssssss.
(Speaking of which, I ought to go kill Skadi, so the blue protodrake can keep not dropping.)
All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit the target. This includes Pummel, Shield Bash, Kick, Mind Freeze, Rebuke, Skull Bash, Counterspell, Wind Shear, Solar Beam, Silencing Shot, and related player pet abilities.
[cue resounding cheers from anybody for whom hit is not particularly valuable – tanks, healers, and certain DPS specs]
About bloody time.
Blood of the North (passive) now permanently converts both Blood Runes into Death Runes. There is no longer any proc interaction with Blood Strike required to activate Death Runes.
This might change the frost death knight rotation around quite a bit. I wonder if there’ll even be any point at all in having Blood Strike on my bars anymore. We’ll see.
Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter’s level, rather than 5 levels below.
It’s currently three, not five (gosh, Blizzard, you know your own game so well), but it’s hard to stay grouchy for a decent change. Yay, no more having to level pets up after taming them. (Although it’s not nearly as bad as it was in vanilla. Don’t talk to me about hunters in vanilla.)
Word of Glory now has a 20-second cooldown.
My tankadin alt is sadfacing. On the other hand, I can’t repress my unholy glee at this. Yay, no more “ffs healer just DPS I don’t need you I’m a paladin I can self heal lol” idiots in dungeons.
Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.
…just when I was really starting to enjoy playing my disc priest. :| “Oh hey guys, you know that spell of yours that we buff throughout the tree? You’re really not meant to use it. Here, have a duration nerf. Go spec holy now.” Sigh.
The changes to Dispel Magic, on the other hand, I saw coming from a mile away. Doesn’t affect me, since I don’t play shadow; to be honest it smells like a PVP nerf more than anything (in any instance run there’ll be somebody – your healer – who can cleanse magic effects off your party; in PVP, not necessarily).
Recuperate base effect now heals 3% per tick, up from 2%.
Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.
Oh yes, please buff rogues. They’re so underpowered and downtrodden. Especially in PVP. (Also, where’s the cooldown reduction and movement penalty removal for druid stealth? Such love you show to my class, Blizzard, thank you so much.)
I’m bitter. Don’t mind me.
[– Official patch notes end here –]
Ahahaha I saw this coming. Hell, I can’t say I mind, though. I was just yesterday lamenting to myself that I’m running out of dailies to do on my main – I’m pretty much just doing the cooking daily and
Lol Tol Barad right now, and I have almost enough commendations to buy the drake, which is the last non-gear item I’m missing from them. I might keep going and buy myself a trinket or something, not sure yet. We’ll see.
Beryl Fire Hawk Summons and dismisses a rideable Beryl Fire Hawk. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast
Crimson Fire Hawk Summons and dismisses a rideable Crimson Fire Hawk. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast
Flameward Hippogryph Summons and dismisses a rideable Flameward Hippogryph mount. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast
And these will probably be from the Firelands dailies. Just you watch. I started thinking and changed my mind. Hippogryph from the Fireland dailies; the pair of Fire Hawks will be from raiding – one for the Glory achievement, one a random drop, perhaps.
Petting Zoo Collect 100 unique companion pets.
Menagerie Collect 125 unique companion pets.
*is on 142* Yay, free achievement points.
I’m guessing (hoping!) the Nightsaber and Winterspring cubs are rewards for these two achievements; the Panther Cub I’m guessing is a random drop from the 5-man Zul’Gurub, possibly from the end boss (much like the Phoenix Hatchling in Magister’s Terrace).
The Nightsaber Cub has turned out to be a TCG reward (much like the Savage Raptor and Amani Dragonhawk mounts, as well as the Fool’s Gold and War Party Hitching Post – but those I’d guessed). Still holding out hope for the other pair of cubs, but at this rate they’ll probably end up being Blizzard Store purchases or something.
Agility epics from leatherworking (both mail and leather) are finally getting sockets. Hurrah. Maybe I’ll bother crafting them for myself now, both for my main and for my hunter (after all, I do want to get the ilvl to run 5-man ZG and ZA on the hunter as soon as possible).
And they seem to be (re)buffing bear!Mangle and Maul, while slightly nerfing Thrash. Wonder if that’s intended or just a tooltip slip.