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A look back on the x.0 patches

World of Warcraft Client Patch “4.0.1″

(10/12/2010?)

Patch 4 .0 is right around the corner (next Tuesday by best guesses) and with it comes a whole slew of changes to the game and how things work.  This happens each expansion.  Blizzard uses these patches as a buffer to hopefully limit the “sledge hammer to the face” effect of everything that changes once a expansion pack gets official released.  I wanted to make a post to share with you some of my past memories on these major changes and hope you share the same.

World of Warcraft Client Patch 2.0.1 “Before the Storm”

(12/5/2006)

My biggest memory of this patch was the ability to “farm up” honor points and eventually buy some PvP gear.  Before this was the PvP rank title system (which they will bring back in a better form btw) where you had to spend more time playing battle grounds then your fellow player if you wanted to progress.  In most cases it rewarded those with most time and not most skill.  These were the players that complained the loudest when the change was made.

This patch also included the first version of the looking for group tool.  I think I maybe had this work successfully once.  It was an upgrade to meeting stones (which just got “warlock like summon capabilities” this patch) but wasn’t all that great.  All it did was auto group people when they queued up this was woefully inadequate for forming up groups as you might as well just used the /lfg channel or /trade to find a group.   And it wasn’t until patch 3.3 that we got the cross realm LFG which increased your available player pool size 10x.  At best it was useful when they added daily “kill ‘x’ boss in ‘y’ dungeon” daily quests. But that wasn’t until late into The Burning Crusade that those actually existed.

Also this patch gave way to the limited disenchant capabilities based upon item level and profession level.  This put a hard stop into all the players who had level 5 alts that were simply parked by a mailbox waiting to blow up greens found in UBERS and beyond.

For mages, I think this is the patch that introduced new tier spells like [Slow], [Dragon's Breath], and [Water Elemental].

World of Warcraft Client Patch 3.0.2: Echoes of Doom

(10/15/2008)

Almost exactly 2 years prior to the expected release of 4.0.1, Echoes of Doom brought forth major changes to Azeroth and it didn’t even need a huge dragon hellbent on destroying everything to do so.  Dalaran figured the best place to stage an assault on Northrend was, well….Northrend.  And as easy as it is for us mages to pack our bags and be on our way, its so much more fun (and just as easy) to not pack at all and move an entire city.  All we had to do is get a few hundred mages to shout “Higitus Figitus” and boom, Dalaran moves to Northrend.  Stormwind Harbor was completed as well this patch as well as a couple of new Zeppelin towers outside Orgrimar and Undercity.  With all these location changes it was quite easy to overlook the most important of all….BARBER SHOPS!  We gotta look good if we’re going to start a war you know.  Achievements was another big part of this patch and gave many of us bored with TBC content something to do while we waited for the war to start.

For mages, I think this is the patch that introduced new tier spells like [Arcane Barrage], [Living Bomb], and [Deep Freeze].

World of Warcraft Client Patch 4.0.1: Something, something, something, darkside…

I’m not sure what the patch is named but there are tons of new changes coming in this next patch.  More then I care to list but as I’ve played a bit on the PTR, here are the things you’ll want to know when you log in after the patch.

  • New launcher,  its sweet and the fact it can download while you are playing and “stream” the zone you are in….its awesome.
  • Go see your class trainer. Each class has a new passive skill to train.  Mages get Wizardry which is a 5% Int increase.
  • Open up your talent screen and behold a drastic change.  Pick a tree you like and realize that you must spend 31 (of your 41) talents in that tree.  Once completed, you can spend in the other trees.
  • You can reforge your gear (even trinkets and rings and such…anything that has a forge-able stat it seems).  The NPCs that do this are located near the enchanters in major cities and charge 10g per forge.  You take 2ndary stats like hit, crit, haste, and can turn 50% of that into a new stat (this is how you get mastery pts before it starts showing up on cataclysm gear).  I converted all I could (lost a ton of crit) as a fire mage and cranked out an additional 41% fire dot damage.  Pretty sweet!
  • The new UI in combat pops up your procs much like special mods used to do.  Unlike mods blizzard has incorporated into the default UI in past, I love what they’ve done here and plan on dumping my proc mods this patch.
  • The character UI now expands to the right to display all your stats.
  • Professions are no longer in your “generic spell book” but are now found under a new tab in your spell book view.
  • Glyphs are all changed.  Hit up the AH to fill up your book or visit your favorite scribe.
  • The spell book UI has changed.  No more ranks in spells.
  • Mage Portals and Teleports are now buttons like Shaman totems.  They “fly-out” and negate the need for special mage portal addons.
  • Durability has been normalized across the board on gear so get ready to pay out as much as plate does for when our gear breaks cloth wearers. /cry
  • Flex Raid Lock System, its pretty cool (and complicated sounding) so I’ll just direct you to the blue post about it.
  • All badges are being converted into a points system.
  • PvP/BG/Arena tab UI improvements
  • Improved water rendering and sun rays have been added.  Those can be set under Video Options
  • and other stuff…

So a lot to look forward to and as I think you’ll agree, even though major changes upset a lot of players, in the end we always come out with a better game.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Redbeard October 6, 2010, 9:00 am

    Considering I came late to the game, this will be my first major version change. I figure that the basics won’t change but the details will require some work, much like when a new version of Office comes out.

    The one thing I hope for is that the new system requirements won’t knock me into the 10-20 fps range.

  • Aurdon October 7, 2010, 6:44 pm

    One thing that will stand out is you feel like you have no idea how to play your class again. Especially after these new talent trees hit. Also the classes who got a UI overhaul (moonkins and pallys). They will have to learn from the ground up how to play again because all previous rotations/spells/abilities have had such drastic changes. Some even were removed.

    I can remember the pally changes for 3.0 and even though I had a 70 pally, I didn’t follow them closely. When I logged in I found now instead of simply having one Judgement that debuffed your target based upon what Seal was active, there were now three Judgments that were independent of seals. A lot can change.

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