Monday, October 18, 2010

Thoughts on Patch 4.0.1

Now that I've been playing WoW with the patch for a few days, I have some thoughts on the changes. I know that some of us (me included) have been, ah, unsettled by the changes. With some miles under my paws now, I'm feeling a lot better about most of the changes.

Note that all of the add-ons that I consider essential are now working. Auctioneer is still on a "preview" release that must be manually installed; Bartender, Altoholic, Gatherer, and the WoW-Pro Addon all have official releases that can be installed through the Curse client. Without these, for me WoW was pretty much unplayable, but now all is well.

BTW, if anyone would rather not be on my impromptu little WoW mailing list, just let me know and I'll quit sending you my updates.


  • Flying in Northrend at level 68. Yay Yay Yay!
  • New paladin spell rotation. I played my highest level paladin from level 28 up to 31 this weekend. Took me a little while to figure out the new rotation, but now I like it a lot. More in a separate email.
  • New hunter shot/spell rotation. I'm getting used to it; it's very easy and powerful at low levels, more complex higher up, but the basics don't change.
  • Five hunter pets onboard; 20 (free!) stable slots.
  • Hunter use of Stance bar for Aspects. Neat; saves space, puts to use a bar that was formerly useless for hunters.
  • Reduction of cost of Dual Spec and Cold Weather Flying. All of my toons will get the latter as soon as they hit level 68, and I plan to start experimenting with Dual Spec shortly.


  • QuestHelper is dead. Big, big loss. But replacements are in the works, and in the meantime I am finding the WoW-Pro add-on
    - which incorporates Jame's legendary leveling guides - to be an excellent substitute. Potential replacements:
    • QuestHelper 2, which is being written from scratch by the original author of QH, not the guy who just now abandoned it. The Tasks list on his site contains some interesting new functionality. QH2 will probably be in development for a while.
    • Carbonite. A beta for 4.0.1 has already been released.
    • Lightheaded plus TomTom also looks to be a useful combination if you prefer free-form questing, and it's available now.
    • Several others are also being worked on. Two or three different people are trying to fix the original QuestHelper to work with 4.0.1. See the comments posted on the QH page on for details.
  • FlightMap. This is a bigger loss than I thought at first. It isn't a big deal for toons that have discovered all the flight points; all you lose is the flight timer. But for characters that are leveling, it's a real pain to have to keep looking on an external map for nearby flight points. I hope this gets fixed!
  • Pet talents get wiped when you stable a pet. I mean, come on! This is ridiculous. (I'm sure every class will have their gripes. This is mine. So far.)
  • MapNotes. No word yet on if/when a 4.0 version will be released. I rely on this heavily so I hope it's soon!
  • While it's great to be able to fly in Northrend as soon as you get there, this also has a downside. You never learn a zone as well by flying over it as you do when riding through it. Most people probably won't care. But learning my way around the world is one of my favorite aspects of the game, and I'm trying to remember to check the map frequently to see where I am whenever I plop down somewhere while following the TomTom arrow to the WoW-Pro add-on's next questing point.

Short term and minor issues:

  • The new talent trees. I think this will become a non-issue once the talent build geeks have published their builds for the rest of us to copy. I've already started to experiment with my pets' trees, and it's not bad.
  • Glyphs. I think the glyph restructuring will also become a non-issue pretty quickly - and the fact that you can have many glyphs and switch them around without destroying them will create a new market for inscriptionists and also make things more interesting for everyone.
  • FollowMe add-on. Haven't used this in months anyway.
  • Enchantrix Barker is broken. I don't use this, so I don't care.

There are other aspects of 4.0.1 that I don't have the knowledge or experience to comment on yet. Changes to the currencies, item stats, reforging, etc., as well as changes related to battlegrounds, arenas, and other PvP and endgame play are all beyond me right now.

All in all, so far I like what's happening in Patch 4.0. I hope you'll like them too.

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