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WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft beta patch 0.12

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

World of Warcraft's beta patch 0.12 marked the final pre-release patch of the game. Patch 1.1 was the official release candidate, but this was the final cycle of the beta. Some highlights from this patch include:
  • The item durability system was implemented.
  • You could no longer complete standard quests in a raid group.
  • Scholomance and Ragefire Chasm were implemented.
Let's discuss, shall we?

World of Warcraft beta patch 0.12
Major Changes

Durability
Item durability is now in the game. Item durability is an important aspect of World of Warcraft that will work to stabilize the economy, decrease inflation specifically in the high end game, and in general keep prices of player sold items lower than normally would occur without such a feature. Durability should also add additional depth to the game since players will have more variety in their items and more abilities will be added over time to interact with durability. Item durability is different from item decay in that players will never lose items through item durability.

Durability key points
  • All armor and weapons have durability, but not trinkets, cloaks, shirts, guild tabards, necklaces and rings.
  • Items remain at full effectiveness until they have no durability. Their power does not degrade.
  • Items cannot permanently break.
  • All armor/weapon vendors can repair durability in exchange for cash.
  • When an item reaches zero durability, it no longer gives the player any benefit; it acts as though it does not exist until repaired.
  • Professions cannot repair durability, but we will discuss ways for the professions to interact with them in the future.
Raid Groups
Raid groups will no longer receive quest bounties and collections. In the future, we plan to have raid-specific quests that will be possible to complete in raid groups.

Other Changes
General
  • If you log out while in flight, you will continue flying when you log back in.
  • All enemy targeted spells should now require the target to be in front of the caster.
  • Starting characters will now have hearthstones automatically located in their inventory.
  • Swimming has been tweaked. To dive, you have to tilt your direction downwards a certain amount with the right mouse button.
  • Spirit no longer affects item proc percentage. Item proc percentages are now independent of stat attributes.
  • The camera will now stay above or below water depending on which side you are on.
  • Your camera view angle and distance are now saved when you exit the game.
  • You won't accidentally skip gossip text if you double-click the NPC responses.
  • You should no longer be able to breathe at the bottom of lakes and ponds.
  • Pets swim underwater now, although not all pets have swimming animations.
  • Pets no longer use combat abilities while in passive mode.
  • Your corpse shows up underwater after you release, however it decomposes when you revive.
  • Starting NPCs show their horde or alliance crest.
  • Locked boxes show the word "Locked" in the appropriate color for their difficulty.
  • Scarlet Sentinels will use their Overpower ability in combat.
  • Looting range is now the same as melee range.
PVP
  • Goblin guards will attack players who are fighting each other and not dueling - it's bad for business.
  • Goblin guards no longer flag you for PvP and they may not be healed or buffed.
  • When you finish a duel, debuffs applied during the duel will be removed.
  • Resurrecting a PvP-enabled player corpse will flag you for PvP.
  • Area effect spells and totems now work correctly in duels.
  • Town guards will no longer follow dueling players.
Zones
  • Scholomance, a level 57-60 instanced dungeon in Western Plaguelands is now open.
  • Ashenvale has gotten a facelift to include more points of interest, and significant changes were made to make it easier to navigate.
  • Ragefire Chasm, a low level instance dungeon in Orgrimmar, is now available.
  • Deadmines: The Miners in the Deadmines are no longer elite monsters.
  • Blackfathom Deeps has been moved to the Zoram Strand in Ashenvale forest near the border of Darkshore.
  • More quests have been added for Eastern and Western Plaguelands.
Professions
  • Runecloth added to the world as the high end cloth.
  • Tailoring now complete with recipes up to skill 300 available.
  • The herbs needed to support high end alchemy have been added to the world.
  • Rich Thorium Nodes will now drop Arcanite.
Talents
  • All warlock talents are now available.
  • Many talents for all classes have changed location in their tree or had their effects modified.
Druid
  • Travel Form is now only usable outdoors.
  • Cower, Growl and Challenging Roar are now usable against targets that are immune to physical attacks.
  • New Spell: Hibernate (Level 18).
  • Shapeshifting now breaks roots, snares, and freeze effects.
  • All Shapeshift forms now include an immunity to polymorph effects.
  • Bear Form - HP gain increased.
  • Dire Bear Form - HP gain increased.
Hunter
  • Cower, Growl and Disengage are now usable against targets that are immune to physical attacks.
Mage
  • Polymorph no longer affects Dragonkin or Giants.
  • Blink now counters stun effects. Cooldown timer has decreased, and mana cost now scales with level.
Paladin
  • Resurrection and Redemption range has been reduced.
  • New Spell: Seal of Freedom (Level 20)
Priest
  • Holy Smite renamed to Smite.
  • Holy Word: Fortitude renamed Power Word: Fortitude.
  • Holy Word: Shield renamed Power Word: Shield.
  • Resurrection and Combat Resurrection range reduced.
Rogue
  • Kidney Shot is now subject to diminishing returns.
  • Vanish now breaks root and snare effects.
Shaman
  • Stoneclaw Totem is now usable against targets that are immune to nature attacks.
  • Rebirth range reduced.
  • Ghost Wolf is now only usable outdoors.
  • Earthbind Totem movement slow effect has been reduced.
Warlock
  • Soothing Kiss, Suffering and Torment are now usable against targets that are immune to shadow attacks.
  • Seduction now only works against Humanoids. Banish now works against Demons and elementals only. Cooldown timer and reagent removed, duration increased, replacement added. Curse of Agony - Now deals its damage in three stages, damage increased, mana cost slightly increased.
  • Enslave Demon - Soul Shard cost removed, duration reduced.
  • Life Tap no longer interrupts mana regeneration.
  • Sacrifice now grants the Warlock damage absorption, rather than full immunity. Duration has been increased.
  • Soulstones have been changed to now resurrect the soulstone holder automatically 5 seconds after death.
Warrior
  • Taunt and Challenging Shout are now usable against targets that are immune to physical attacks.
  • Hamstring - Movement slow effect reduced.
  • New Spell: Berserker Rage (Level 30)
Mac:
  • The Mac OS X client has all shader-based features disabled for this patch. The GUI for those preferences will be grayed out. A number of GPU driver issues are being addressed by Apple, ATI and NVIDIA - when these fixes have been completed and made available to the public we will re-enable these features in the game.
Bug Fixes:
  • You should no longer drown in the air while in certain caverns.
  • Firegut Brute will use his Torch abililty.
  • Fishing catches fish again, provides skillups, and doesn't leave bobbers around.
  • Yorus Barleybrew no longer cheers for himself when you complete The Rethban Gauntlet.
  • Colonel Kurzen won't engage you in melee combat at a distance after using a smoke bomb.
  • You can access your user interface again while in flight.




Item durability

The game's single largest gold sink did not exist until October of 2004, roughly one month before the retail release of the game. There are other gold sinks in the game, such as mounts, enchanting our gear, buying our favorite vanity pets, and all of that sort of thing, but think about how much gold you've spent on repairs over the course of your WoW career. Especially if you're a raider! If you've been a raider since vanilla WoW all the way up through Cataclysm like I have, you have probably spent millions of gold on repairs at this point.

Imagine what you could do with that gold if item repairs hadn't taken it all out of the economy. The player market would probably look very different from what it does today, for one. For two, you would probably never need to farm gold for purchasing gear or consumables ever again.

Trade skills

As these last few beta patches have shown, Blizzard is not afraid to continue adding large pieces of content late in a beta phase. Throughout each and every one of WoW's expansions, players have gotten up in arms at the end of beta about how Blizzard has changed and no longer abides by releasing a game "when it's ready." Blizzard has never operated how players think that it has. All the way back in 2004, Blizzard was still cutting content it didn't feel was good enough for the spotlight and waiting until the very last moment to finish implementing things we would consider essential.

High-end trade skills were not fully implemented until weeks before the game went live. Until this beta patch, high-end herbs were not populated in the world, the top-tier cloth didn't exist, and tailoring only had a fraction of its necessary recipes, among other trade skill issues. In a Blizzard beta, a release date announcement is largely meaningless -- it doesn't mean Blizzard is done. It is never done.

Be sure to tune in next week when we analyze patch 1.1, the state of the game at its release.

The WoW Archivist examines the WoW of old. Follow along while we discuss beta patch 0.8, beta patch 0.9, and hidden locations such as the crypts of Karazhan.

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