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PTR 3.0.2 Patch Notes

Patch 3.0.2 will bring with it major changes to the way the game is played, all in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King. Mechanics for virtually all aspects of game-play will change somewhat, and all classes will get new talent trees and spells. The patch notes are long and extensive, and they're not even done.

The notes give a clear warning "The current patch notes are incomplete, but will be progressively more comprehensive in each patch." Things are not done. Indeed, these notes even go on to mention that Blizzard is still modifying and balancing the classes.

Read below after the break for the complete PTR 3.0.2 patch notes. Sit back with a drink and read over them all, it's going to be an interesting patch!

(Psst! Looking for the short version? Check out the TLDR version here.)

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Filed under: Patches, News items

Changes in the WotLK Beta patch notes for Build #8681 [UPDATED]

There's a new Beta build out on the testing servers tonight, numbered at 8681. The patch notes themselves only have two changes from the other patch notes in them. However there are a ton of new glyphs which are going to be useable via inscriptions, and a lot of undocumented patch changes.

The two main changes have to do with the calendar system and the mount / vanity pet interface. You can take a look after the break for the exact text, and also keep an eye out on WoW Insider for the latest on both of these new interfaces.

One interesting thing to note: Elizabeth Harper is reporting that the mount interface isn't working. If you have a mount in your inventory, you cannot successful "train" it into your spell book, which means you can't cast or use it. This means those in the beta can't mount unless they already have their mount as a spell. An interesting tid bit that we'll keep you updated on.

Updated July 29th, 2008 at 5:35 p.m. EDT:
Elizabeth Harper has reported that the mounts are now fixed in the beta. Mount up!

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Filed under: Patches, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 2.4.2 notes released

Blizzard has released tonight the patch notes for patch 2.4.2, which means the PTR will probably be up and running sometime soon. Patch 2.4 will likely be the last major patch before Wrath of the Lich King, and we expect to see a couple more of these minor patches before WotLK comes out.

Highlights of 2.4.2 include:
  • Changes to the way arena points are calculated - essentially what Drysc talked about earlier.
  • Void Shatter no longer has a cooldown, and other cooldowns have been reduced.
  • Illidan will no longer despawn if a raid wipes during his death speech.
  • If you are sheeped / polymorphed by a mob, you will no longer gain back health (ie: the mass sheep in Aran, which regens your health before he fire blasts the raid). This is a potentially large change.
  • Many main hand weapons are now one hand weapons.
  • A good list of bug fixes, including several problems associated with sounds.
Full patch notes for your convenience after the break!

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Filed under: Patches, News items

The Patch 2.4 info consolidation page has arrived

We've been reporting furiously on the details of the Sunwell Patch 2.4 since it the notes hit Friday and the PTR came up over the weekend. Overwhelmed yet? We were, too. So we've taken all of our coverage to date, over 35 posts so far and counting, and we put their links all in one place, our Patch 2.4 Sunwell info page.

It's broken down by category, so if you're just looking for info on the changes to PvP or Professions or Daily Quests, the stories will be easier for you to find. Check back throughout the week as we will be updating the page daily with new content as we dig deeper into the patch.

Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP, Bosses, Factions, Classes, Battlegrounds

PTR Notes: Updates for 8/16

Me again, keeping you up to date on the latest PTR changes. A new build went live today; what exciting surprises did it have in store for us? Well, not much, I'm afraid: a few bug fixes and some nerfs to the Tempest Keep dungeons. See for yourself:
  • Tempest Keep
    • Arcatraz
      • The Devastate cast by Unbound Devastators is now Physical damage.
      • The recast time for the Defeaning Roar spell cast by Unbound Devastators has been increased on Heroic mode.
      • Wrath-Scryer Soccothrates' Knock Away can no longer be dodged or parried. This will help prevent the catastrophic placement of multiple flames on top of each other.
      • Harbinger Skyriss cast his Fear spell less often.
    • Botanica
      • The time between casting of Thorngrin the Tender's Hellfire has been increased.
      • The time between casting of Thorngrin the Tender's Sacrifice has been increased in Heroic Mode.
      • Thorngrin the Tender's Enrage ability now increases his melee damage by 75% instead of 110%.
    • Mechanar
      • The Arcane Servants summoned by Sunseeker Netherbinders are now properly classified as Arcane Elementals, deal less melee damage and have fewer hit points.
    • The Eye
      • Phoenix-Hawk Hatchlings now Wing Buffet less frequently.
      • Crimson Hand Centurions now deal less damage with Arcane Flurry.
      • Crimson Hand Battle Mages have had their Frost Attack damage reduced.

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Filed under: Patches, News items

PTR Notes: Changes for 8/10

More PTR changes! Hooray! This time it's the US forums that have the newest notes, which appear to have been changed from the last version only in the Professions and Quests sections. Here are the modifications:
  • [Jewelcrafting] A new recipe for Steady Talasite is now available from the Halaa vendors, at the cost of research tokens. This superior green gem grants resilience and stamina.
  • [Blacksmithing] Added a new recipe for Ragesteel Shoulders that drops from an unknown creature in Shadowmoon Valley.
  • [Blacksmithing] Reduced the number of pieces required to get the benefits of the Ragesteel set bonus.
  • [Engineering] Reduced the cooldown on the engineer-made Parachute Cloak.
  • Quests:
    • Banish the Demons now rewards either a Darkrune or a Fragmented Darkrune. Five fragmented Darkrunes can be combined to create a Darkrune.
    • In the Bomb Them Again quest, the cooldown of the Skyguard bombs was decreased to 5 seconds (was 10).
    • In the Relic's Emanation quest, the money reward was decreased while the Ogri'la faction reward was increased.
No major changes, then. Go forth and test the voice chat!

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends

PTR Notes: New 2.2 features, including anti-AFK

The test realms for patch 2.2 grind on, and it looks like a new build is being pushed, since the patch notes on the European forums got updated. Here are the changes I found in the new notes; some we knew were around, like voice chat, and some we had been promised, like anti-AFK measures for battlegrounds.
  • Voice Chat - The new Voice Chat feature is now available in game. Players will need to go into the options menu under Sound & Voice to activate it. Volume sliders are available for the microphone, speakers, and game-audio fade (which automatically lowers the game audio when a voice communication is received), as is a "push-to-talk" setting. Right-clicking on a player's name now includes the option to mute or unmute that player. Muting another player blocks all voice chat from him or her; the ignore feature now blocks both voice chat and text chat from that player.
  • Chat Channels- New Chat Channel controls and functionality are now available under the chat tab in the Social Window of the interface. The interface will now show the channels players are in or are available, depending on the area of the world they are in, along with new private channel controls.
  • A new feature for reporting players as being AFK in battlegrounds by right clicking has been added. When enough reports are registered, a 30 second debuff will begin to count down. Once the timer is up a new debuff will appear that will prevent the player from gaining any honor while it is on. This debuff can be negated as soon as the player engages in combat.

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Filed under: Patches, News items

PTR Notes: Kill command bugged

This is a weird, weird bug. Over on the PTRs, Tig has found that every time he tells his pet to drop the Kill Command, the mob attacked also executes the spell on its target. For example, if Tig is shooting a murloc, and his pet Ganjii is in melee with that murloc, Ganjii's Kill Command will attack the murloc, and then the murloc will somehow also drop a Kill Command attack on its target (in this case Ganjii).

That's a big bug, because if you move it to, say, a boss, a Hunter could drop the Kill Command on the boss while the main tank's health is low, which would cause the boss to instantly attack the main tank, in effect wiping the raid. Not cool.

Hortus wonders if it's just against specific mobs, but that's the last we hear of Blue-- there's no confirmation that it's a known bug and that they're planning a fix. Of course, it is the test realm, so let's not get too excited-- chances are that by the time this big patch reaches the live servers, this won't still be happening. But if you happen to be hitting the Kill Command with your pet on the test realms, watch out for that extra attack.

Thanks, Colin!

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Bugs, Talents

PTR Notes: Rogue's Blind change changed back

From the "some-of-the-people-happy-all-of-the-time file," you may have noticed a fun little change under the Rogue notes in patch 2.2: "Blind duration reduced to 8 seconds, cooldown reduced to 1 minute, Blinding Powder is no longer required to use." Blind with only a minute cooldown? With no reagent cost? Sounds good to my PvP Undead Rogue.

But most people didn't like the sound of spending all that time disoriented, so this weekend, the forums opened up with the QQ rain. Even some Rogues agreed that they didn't use Blind that often, and that the reagent costs didn't bother them that much (I know I always have tons of it from pickpocketing-- it's the Flash Powder that I never have enough of). And yet when Neth announced that the change that was in the patch notes hadn't actually been implemented on the PTR (here are the new official patch notes, sans Blind changes), the whole situation flipped-- Rogues decided that they did want the Blind change, and other classes cheered that a change they weren't sure would affect them negatively had ever existed in the first place.

Should Blind be changed? I tend to agree with most people's opinions-- it works right now, so why bother with it? But all the outrage and the flip-flopping on the PTR (a place that is supposed to be full of experimentation) just brings up the point I made on the last PTR: have a little patience, people. The PTRs are a place to test ideas on a massive scale, and since this change never actually appeared on the PTRs, all the commentary on it actually came from people who'd never actually played with it in the first place.

Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP

More bugs than patches

By now you've heard of the Orc shoulder problem (and maybe you've even confronted Azeroth's Greatest Male Orc about it), but as MMO Champion shows, that was definitely not the only major bug that showed up in 2.1.3. There's a huge list of things going wrong-- Dwarf females' offhands are huge, Blood Elf males can walk through chairs, Cyclone can prevent players from getting their BG marks (!), and ghost wolves, when attacking, can now be seen carrying weapons. What happened?!

The problem becomes even stranger when you consider the patch notes-- almost nothing got changed compared to previous patches. All we saw were a few graphical changes, an added interface option, and some high level raid tuning. As someone asked yesterday, how can all of this seemingly unrelated stuff be breaking? If all Blizzard is doing is updating the mail system, what does the size of shoulderpieces on male Orcs have to do with it at all?

The answer is probably more complicated than we can know. As commenter Okoloth said yesterday, object-oriented programming (which Blizzard uses to code the game) is full of parent/child relationships, which means that a change in one class ("wearable items in the mail") can have strange effects all across the game ("Orc shoulders shrink"). And then there's the whole fact that even though the patch notes for 2.1.3 are small, that most likely doesn't mean Blizzard is slacking-- they could be implementing more subtle changes on the system (in preparation for future content that we don't know about yet), and those changes might be having an effect on the actual game we play.

Of course, just because we aren't being told why these things are happening doesn't mean we should give Blizzard a pass on fixing them ASAP (in my opinion, they shouldn't wait until the next patch to fix my shoulder size, thank you). But just because seemingly unrelated bugs are popping up doesn't mean they don't know what they're doing.

Filed under: Orcs, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, News items

Finally, no more loot click hunting

There's one little mostly unseen note in the 2.1 patch notes that has quietly been making players' lives easier for the past few weeks. Hidden way down inside the "User Interface" section, we find this: "Active corpses or objects (ones with loot on them) now can be selected and looted, even if they are underneath another corpse that does not have loot on it."

We've all been in that situation before 2.1, where we were fighting, and had to deal with adds that died in almost exactly the same place, and then had to slowly move your looting cursor over the whole area, looking for that tiny little section in which it went from black and white to color, just so you could look that few silver and bit of trash from it. Nowadays, in these enlightened 2.1 times, we can simply loot at will, and life is good.

Of course, it's not perfect-- I still can't target anything through walls, and that's a known bug. But it is very nice to see that one simple sentence in the patch notes, and know that I never again have to hunt around for a tiny point of contact just to loot a piece of junk.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion

PTR changes for May 1

There was a sizable patch to the 2.1 PTRs today, but as usual, Blizzard just updated the patch notes without specifically highlighting the differences. A few new changes have surfaced in forum strife, like the nerf to the DPS tailoring sets (though that nerf has since been rescinded), but many seem to have gone un-noticed. I used a magical tool called diff to check between the old patch notes and the new ones; here are the changes I've found. Feel free to let me know if I missed any, or if I have any false positives -- the text files got pretty messy at various points.
  • General
    • Inspect distance has been increased to 30 yards (from 10 yards).
    • The amount of parry rating needed to get 1% parry has been reduced by 25%.
    • Many set bonuses did not work properly when combined with an item or enchantment that had the exact same effect at the exact same magnitude. That issue has been corrected on all set bonuses.
  • PvP
    • The new battleground matchmaking system is now implemented and active. This system allows the battleground to select teams of similar equipment quality and organizational level to battle each other. For now, the system will be very forgiving about creating matchups in order to keep queue times low. However, the parameters will be adjusted as necessary when more organized teams become active in the battlegrounds.

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Filed under: Patches, News items

2.1 PTR notes, abridged version

The 2.1 PTR notes have now been released for all to see. However, they are very long, at about 9500 words. For comparison, that's about 40% as long as Kafka's "Metamorphosis" (and almost as depressing, depending on what class you're playing). So I thought it might be helpful to make a condensed version, selecting only the changes that seemed relatively significant.

Note that I left out a ton of changes -- this is only 10% of the patch notes -- in order to make this skimmable. It's still definitely worth checking out the full patch notes if you have a few minutes on your hands. And if you want the short, short version: Epic flight form for Druids, Hunters buffed in damage and pet survivability, Paladins' Illumination cut by half, Rogues get automatic Improved Sap.

Edit: added a few things people pointed out in the comments. Thanks guys!

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Filed under: Patches

2.1 PTR notes, continued

Here's the rest of them; first part here. Please leave comments back over on the first part.

- Hellfire Citadel: Blood Furnace
Shadowmoon Adepts on Heroic now double attack instead of triple
attack on occasion.
Laughing Skull Legionnaire no longer uses the "Sweeping Strikes"
ability.
Shadowmoon Technician's "Silence" spell is used less frequently.
Laughing Skull Warden will stay engaged with his main target on
Heroic difficulty.
The Maker's "Exploding Beaker" damage and knockback radii have
changed for consistency to both be 8 yards.
The Maker's "Exploding Beaker" damage has been increased on Heroic
difficulty.
Shadowmoon Technician's "Throw Dynamite" ability damage has been
increased.
Nascent Fel Orc will Dual Wield properly now.
Keli'dan the Breaker's "Shadow Bolt Volley" has had both its damage
and range increased
Shadowmoon Channeler's "Mark of Shadow" will have a longer delay
before being cast at the start of the fight and now does more damage.
Felguard Annihilators and Felguard Brutes will now do less damage.
- Hellfire Citadel: Shattered Halls
The "Resist Shadow" buff cast by Shadowmoon Acolytes will be
dispelled from players if they leave the dungeon.
Shattered Hand Reavers will do less damage in Heroic difficulty.
The "Uppercut" used by the Shattered Hand Reaver now has a smaller
combat range.
Rabid Warhounds on Heroic will now do less damage.
Shattered Hand Houndmaster's "Impaling bolt" damage and movement
impairing effects have been increased.
Warbringer O'mrogg now applies a smaller amount of threat to the
target of his "Beatdown" ability and will now correctly disable his
"Burning Maul" ability after a wipe.
Warbringer O'mrogg and Warchief Kargath Bladefist can be seen from a
farther distance.
Warchief Kargath Bladefist can now travel slightly farther during
"Blade Dance".

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Filed under: Patches

Fake (?) 2.1 patch notes

There are a few constants in World of Warcraft. Mages will pull aggro. People in the forums will complain about every class, build, area, and profession. And as patches draw closer, people will make fake patch notes. So normally I wouldn't even bother posting something like this (unless it was unusually entertaining). However, as our pal Boubouille points out, this particular set of fakes came out three days ago, and contains the names to the new Darkmoon cards. Those names were just posted today by Ommra (check out line 39 in the original of these patch notes, and compare to today's Blue Notes). Coincidence? Shenanigans? Probably something like that. But just in case, here's some patch notes that may or may not be real.

Again, there's no particular reason to think these are real aside from the fact that they seem to have had the names of the new Darkmoon cards early. Grain of salt, and all that. And if they are real, I will be very disappointed, because they contain a substantial Paladin healing nerf: Illumination cut to 50%. Illumination is a Paladin Holy talent that, for five points, gives a 100% chance to get a mana refund on heal crits. It's a big part of the reason why pallies are such efficient healers. While I agree that there are some discrepancies between Priest and Paladin healing at the moment, I do not think the solution is to nerf Paladins; buffing Priests would be far better in my book (and most Paladins would agree with me, I think).

To be sure, the patch notes do have some Priest changes, but they're along the typical lines of how Blizz has been dealing with Priests: give us tricks we really, really don't want and won't use (lolwell), and then keep buffing them to try to make us use them. Of course, they never buff them enough to make them actually good (with the exception of the 5% spirit boost on Improved Death Spirit of Redemption), so the net result is buffs to talents and skills we never use. This time around it's a mana cost reduction (33%) to Binding Heal and unspecified improvements to Circle of Terrible Healing. Sorry Blizz, still not going to use them. GG though. Well, notes after the cut at any rate. Even if these are fake, they're still somewhat interesting.

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Filed under: Patches

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