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Big surprises in Patch 2.3 on the PTR

Many of the Patch 2.3 changes were pre-announced over the last two weeks by Blizzard. But today when the patch hit the Test server, many additional changes were discovered. And some of them are very interesting.

A new Expertise Skill has shown up in the notes. Based on the description given the meat of it seems to be that Weapon Skill Rating is out and Expertise Skill Rating is in. Weapon Skill Rating on an item used to decrease your chance to miss, increase your chance to crit and decrease your opponents chance to block, parry or dodge. Now that's been eliminated in favor of this new stat that simply reduces the chance for your attacks to be parried or dodged.

It looks like you're losing out, but the effects of Weapon Skill Rating were small (0.04% per point) where as the Expertise Skill rating has more impact (0.25% per point.) How this affects your overall dps I leave to the mathemagicians.

Weapon Skill Ratings on ranged items have not been replaced with Expertise Skill, but with additional +crit and/or +hit. Check individual items for exact changes. Also, some talents haven been altered to accommodate this new skill but what those talents are and how they were changed isn't clear yet.

Details have finally surfaced about the Guild Bank. We knew there were going to be 6 tabs and some permissions and a tracking function for transactions, but now we know the specifics. The 6 tabs will each contain 98 item slots for a total of 588 slots. Permissions to view, deposit and withdraw can be changed for every tab. Also every tab will show the last fifty transactions. So new recruits can't raid the good stuff.

Leatherworking also received some substantial changes. The crafted Drums (which can only be used by players with 350+ LW) just got a lot more usable. First, a quick primer. Each drum has 30 charges and an AE affect:
  • Drums of Battle - Increases melee, ranged and spell haste rating on nearby party members by 80. Lasts 30 sec.
  • Drums of Restoration - Restores 600 health and mana to nearby party members over 15 sec.
  • Drums of Speed - Increases movement speed of nearby party members by 15%. Lasts 30 sec.
  • Drums of War - Increases attack power by 60 and spell damage by 30 on nearby party members. Lasts 30 sec.
  • Drums of Panic - Unearthly rhythms cause 5 enemies within 5 yds to flee in terror for 2 sec.
But these items weren't worth the time and the slot. Blizzard hopes to change that now by increasing the radius of all but the Panic drums past their current 5-10 yards and removed the 1 sec casting time from all but the Panic Drums. The Panic drums only received a slight increase in radius and a slight reduction in casting time. Also, the Drums of Speed and Restoration have been taken off the world drop table and put on the Outland faction vendors the Mag'har (for Horde) and Kurenai (for Alliance) at Revered. It remains to be seen if this will entice players to beat the bongos more than before.

Leatherworkers are also getting new Glove permanent enchantments that grant +armor. These can be learned from the Grand master trainers. And in yet more LW news, 20 and 24 slot Quivers and Ammo pouch recipes are now available.

For all professions, the Dressing Room functionality now works on recipes to show you what the final product will look like on you. Now you can get a preview of your latest mismatched clown outfit!

To help lower level characters level up, Blizzard did more the accelerate the exp gain. The nerfed elite mobs outside dungeons and elites in general pre-60 to accommodate "solo play." Also, low level cloth had its useless +str and +agi replaced with stats actually needed by cloth wearers, primarily spell damage and presumably INT.

The Auction House UI has been revamped. Unnecessary categories like the Cloak section under the Plate tab are gone and new sub categories have been added. Full report on this coming soon.

Finally, NPCs got some dev lovin', too. First, all faction vendors will give discounts based on your level of faction with them. Who can say no to that? Next, annoying dialogue panels will be bypassed with Bankers, Flight Masters, etc and you will go directly to the functional pane. Less clicks is always a good thing.

I'm sure there are plenty more surprises I missed, especially in the class lists. If you find anything new, let us know below!

EDIT: Corrected Drum wielding requirements.

Filed under: Leatherworking, Patches, News items, Leveling

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