First look at the upcoming Patch 4.1

MMO-Champion had a field day yesterday, listing hundreds upon hundreds of changes coming in Cataclysm’s first content patch: Patch 4.1. I’m gonna go through these changes and list all relevant hunter changes and anything else I find interesting here (usually, achievement related changes).

New dungeons and raids

  • Zul’Gurub is coming back as a level 85 heroic dungeon. It requires an average item level of 346 to enter and the loot that drops are item level 353 epics. The encounters and the dungeon it self will go through a lot of changes to bring it up-to-date.
  • Zul’Aman is getting a heroic dungeon version for level 85. This one also requires minimum average 346 item level to enter and the loot that drops are item level 353 epics. The encounters and dungeon itself won’t be totally redesigned, just altered to fit the new level range. Blizzard did not mention if anything happens to the old level 70 10-man raid.
  • Blizzard didn’t mention it this time around, but the main raid of patch 4.1 has previously been announced to be Firelands, which is supposed to hold 7 bosses with the final one being Ragnaros. The raid will be located in Mount Hyjal.

First off… What was it I said? I knew Zul’Gurub would be back! :D

The new revamped Zul’Aman is a total surprise to me though and I hope it doesn’t mean that they are removing the old level 70 version as well (I see no reason for them to do that). But, they might remove the old version or just change it around, so just like Aeliel I want to recommend you to go in there and get any item you really wanted to get your hands on right away. Who knows if it will still be around in 4.1?

It’s good to see that the offered item level of the epics in these new dungeons is still below the first tier of raiding in Cataclysm. This marks a clear change in content design philosophy for Blizzard since during all of Wrath of the Lich King you could get loot in new dungeons that were of equal item level to the last tier of raiding.

Just for clarification here are the item levels we’re seeing right now:

  • < 346 greens/blues – Pre-heroic dungeons
  • 346 blue – Heroic dungeons and Justice Point rewards
  • 353 epic – New dungeons: Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman
  • 359 epic – Tier 11 of Cataclysm raiding and Valor Point rewards
  • 372 epic – Heroic tier 11 of Cataclysm raiding
  • 378 epic – Tier 12 of Cataclysm raiding
  • 391 epic – Heroic tier 12 of Cataclysm raiding

Once patch 4.1 goes live we can expect to see the 378 epics as Valor Point rewards and the previous Valor Point rewards (the 359 epics) go down to Justice Point rewards.

Hunter-related changes

  • To start, we want to do a better job of balancing the AoE power of the different damage-dealing specs. You can expect to see some changes to this end made throughout the testing process.
  • 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.
  • Spells bound to a key now start to be cast when the button is pressed down by default, instead of waiting for the key to go up. This is an option that can be turned off in the Interface menu under Combat. Mouse clicking has not changed and operates on mouse click up.
  • Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter’s level, rather than 5 levels below.
  • Explosive Trap now has a new spell effect.
  • Master’s Call now has a new spell effect.
  • New tameable Hydra pet (Source).
  • The Agility Leatherworking craftables (Corded Viper Belt, Dragonkiller Tunic) are finally getting that red socket. It seems like they just missed it last time around. It’s good to see they are fixing it, but it’s a little bit too late since we’ll be grabbing tier 12 gear when the patch arrives.
  • New Agility trinkets, presumably from Firelands: Ancient Petrified Seed,Hungerer, Matrix Restabilizer.

Better balanced AOE sounds like fantastic news to me. It has become quite apparent during this tier that some speccs are doing ridicoulusly awesome AOE that is just as strong or even stronger than back in Icecrown Citadel while other speccs are hitting for less than singletarget dps even on 15+ targets. For hunters specifically we can expect this to mean less AOE dps for Survival and more for Beast Mastery and Marksman.

The change to interrupts no longer requiring hit does not affect us, we’re always hit-capped!

Getting spells out on key-release is something you can have already via the addon Snowfall Keypress. Personally I will most likely disable this option once it goes live since I like the ability to “physically queue up an ability with my finger”. :)

Tame Beast brings the tamed pets up to our level right away… :O
FINALLY! Thank you Blizzard!

New achievements

Several predictable but good achievements here. I wonder where the achievements for 100+ mounts is though? And what about the achievement for 50+ exalted reputations? Oh, well. In due time, in due time.

The changes to the two fishing achievements is that they are removing some of the very hard-to-catch bloated fish from the requirements. Expect these achievements to be a bit easier.

New mounts and pets

Update (2011/03/01): The sources for some mounts and pets have been discovered and has therefor been noted below. :)

Mounts

I think there’s a high possibility that the Hippogryph is TCG loot as well but I’d say there’s an equally high possibility that it’s actually a mount we can obtain in-game. Usually we hear about TCG loot far in advance and I don’t think we’ve heard about this one. Also consider that we are getting some new dailies outside the Firelands raid… And they do need to have a mount reward for that, don’t they? :)

The Beryl Fire Hawk and Crimson Fire Hawk seem like two counter-parts of the same thing. Some people on Wowhead suggested that they could be for the Firelands raid meta-achievements. This could very well be true, one for your personal achievements and one for the guild achievement.

Companion pets

I believe the Winterspring Cub will be part of the Winterspring reputation grind, just like the raptor pet for the Venomhide faction. It seems logical for Blizzard to streamline these two faction grinds since currently the Winterspring grind is astronomically worse than the Venomhide grind.

The Nightsaber and Panther Cub could be attached to the new pet achievements, buyable from the Winterspring faction or rewards from the new Firelands dailies. Who knows.

Cheers,
Gav

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About Gavendo

I write a World of Warcraft blog called "Rapid Fire" on the topics; hunters, pets and achievement hunting.
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11 Responses to First look at the upcoming Patch 4.1

  1. Bimini Asheye says:

    I think the Fire Hawks will be based on faction. Beryl is blue for Alliance, and Crimson is red for Horde, just like the red and blue dragonhawks for the 100-mount achievement. I’m surprised no one has noticed that parrallel. :P

    My bet is on the hippogryph being from Firelands dailies or raid; like you said, we rode them for the existing jousting quests in the Firelands.

    Horde doesn’t have a Winterspring faction, so maybe the cub will be neutral quest reward or for the new pet achievements. The panther cub will possibly be from ZG. :)

    • Gavendo says:

      Oh oh oh! That’s definitely a possibility! There doesn’t appear to be a new 100+ mount achievement yet but they definitely should add one considering they’re adding all these other ones and if they do, those mounts would fit quite nicely there!

      Horde has an equivalent of the Winterspring faction in the Venomhide faction. Check out this quest chain. It is currently relatively painless in comparison to the Winterspring grind and you do use this special non-combat pet during the grind to get you to the finish line. I’m guessing the new “Wintersaber Cub” could be the equivalent here on the Alliance side.

      Cheers,
      Gav

    • martin hansen says:

      @bemini the beryl firehawk have turned out to be green so i doubt its gonna be faction based:) anyway nice post gav

      • Bimini Asheye says:

        @Martin: Yes, I saw that. I assumed beryl would be blue because of all the “Beryl so-and-so” mobs of the Blue Dragonflight in Coldarra/Nexus. So they are probably for normal and heroic Fireland raid achievements.

  2. Danielfboone says:

    I think the Firehawks could be an Alliance version (Beryl) and a Horde version (Crimson)

  3. aine says:

    Is that image of the hippogryph the real deal? If so, where did you get it from?

  4. Jonker (Zul'jin) says:

    Did you hear if they are going to fix iron Chef achievement?…I have read that its impossibly now with missing reciepts except if your a rogue?

    • Gavendo says:

      Haven’t seen any changes to it yet but keep in mind that it is not actually impossible to get. There are several recipes around that are now unobtainable from their original source but they can still be bought from people who picked up the recipes before they were removed. So check out the auction house, maybe you’ll get lucky. :)

      Cheers,
      Gav

  5. Pingback: More patch 4.1 news and updated guides | Rapid Fire

  6. Pingback: Firelands pushed back to patch 4.2 | Rapid Fire

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