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.
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.
- 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).
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!
- Petting Zoo Collect 100 unique companion pets.
- Menagerie Collect 125 unique companion pets.
- Vial of the Sands Learn how to transform into a dragon and carry an ally.
- Cataclysmically Delicious Sample 100 different kinds of food.
- Drown Your Sorrows Drink 50 different types of beverages.
- Thirty Tabards Equip 30 unique tabards.
- The Limnologist now requires you to catch 45 different fishes, down from 48.
- The Oceanographer now requires you to catch 31 different fishes, down from 33.
- 2500 Daily Quests Complete Complete 2500 daily quests.
- Justly Rewarded Make 30,000 gold from quest rewards.
- Tracking statistics have been added for all Cataclysm encounters.
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.
Swift Zulian Panther – Rare drop from the new Zul’Gurub dungeon
Armored Razzashi Raptor – Rare drop from the new Zul’Gurub dungeon
Amani Dragonhawk – TCG loot
Savage Raptor – TCG loot
Flameward Hippogryph – Believed to be reward from new Mount Hyjal dailies
Reins of the Beryl Fire Hawk – Source Unknown
Reins of the Crimson Fire Hawk – Source Unknown
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.
Landro’s Lichling – TCG loot
Landro’s Lil’ XT – TCG loot
Nightsaber Cub – TCG loot
Panther Cub – Source Unknown
Winterspring Cub – Sold by vendor in Everlook
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.