WoW Wednesday: Patch 5.0.4
By MerryQuiteContrary, OnRPG Journalist
In true World of Warcraft style the last big patch before the expansion release is on the PTR (public test realm). The final content patch before an expansion is released can be confusing to some and there will be the inevitable questions in various chats such as “how can I get to panda lands?” “Why can’t I create a panda?” “Can someone play my game for me because I am a complete idiot?” Okay, I made that last one up. Players won’t actually ask that but there will be name calling. Mark my words. The word noob, nab or nub will be flung about faster than Chuck Norris’ fists. With that in mind, let’s have a look at what is actually on the PTR.
The first thing to point out is that if your account is flagged for Mists of Pandaria beta, then you will not be allowed to access the PTR.
One of my favourite features coming in 5.0.4 is the account wide achievements, mounts and pets. It is exactly how it reads. If you have an oozling on one character, for example, you will have it on all your characters on that account. This isn’t a new concept as Blizzard has been using the account wide dynamic for a while now. However, now everyone benefits. There will be some restrictions and the system will evolve over time no doubt.
Overall, we never want you to play Character A instead of Character B because of achievement concerns. If Character A had the Violet Proto-Drake, then you might not play Character B. If Character A was only one holiday away from the Violet Proto-Drake, then you may not play Character B. If Character A had completed most of the raid achievements from Dragon Soul, you may not want to bring Character B for one fight and miss out on the achievement. Having alts is cool and working on achievements is cool, but we don’t want the two systems to work against each other.-Ghostcrawler
AoE looting is a bonus in any game and finally Blizzard has added it to the World of Warcraft. It works like any other game that has AoE looting so there is nothing special there other than it is a huge convenience. Think of the Herod fight in Scarlet Monastery. After he is killed all his disciples come in. Now remember looting them all. One by one. Yes, AoE looting is welcomed. Naturally, you will have to have loot rights and you will only be able to AoE loot your kills that are in close proximity.
As usual with the last patch all your characters’ talents will be reset. Why you ask? The new talent system, of course. I have been quite critical of this revamp in the past. That hasn’t changed. My issue is not the talents themselves or how the characters play as they essentially play the same. My problem lies with the motivation. If you are like me, you like to get that little reward of a talent point every other level. I believe it will hurt the levelling game and am curious to read player’s responses about this new revamp. I imagine a lot of players will be disappointed. No matter what I think or anyone else, the new talent system is on the PTR and heading straight to you.
Along with the talent revamp some other class changes have been implemented. Druids will be interested to know they get a fourth specialization choice in the Guardian. The Guardian is essentially the tanking/bear specialization. Maybe now all the druid tanks will shut up. Feral now means kitty DPS.
Spells are now learned automatically upon levelling. Trainers are only needed for changing talents, specialization, glyphs and dual specialization. This should be a nice feature and will save on trips to the trainer every couple of levels. Some talents have been converted to specialization abilities as well.
Fear not PvPers, you too will have something to whine about and that is that spell penetration has been changed to PvP power. Now every time I see PvP power on items I am going to think of Scrappy Doo and his battle cry of “Puppy Power!” Thanks Blizzard. Why PvPers would whine about this I don’t know but if there is a will there is a way or in this case, a why.
Remember all that time you spent grinding rep for head enchants? You will be pleased to know that head enchants are no more. Something that may confuse yet more of the population is that ranged, relics and thrown are now equipped in the weapon slot. Gone are the days of the “stat stick”. I suspect there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the hunter community as they will no longer be able to use melee weapons as well as ranged.
The user interface will also see some updates. Character creation has changed to be more streamlined and the loot box has changed to reflect who is rolling need, greed or ninja. Not really. Nobody rolls ninja. Ninja just happens.
The spellbook has been updated as well. It now gives an overview of the class and the changes. There is a new tab for mounts and companions, which will no doubt throw most of the community into a blind rage because they can’t find their mount of choice. Top Tip: It is the little horse head in your mini action bar.
And there we have it. Patch 5.0.4. is on the PTR and it is bringing some of the best features of Mists of Pandaria with it. One other thing: No you will not be able to get to Panda lands and no, you will not be able to create a monk or a panda.