Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WoW patch 4.0 goes live today

The first stage of Cataclysm, patch 4.0, goes live today, October 12. The servers are down now for extended maintenance and are supposed to come back up at noon PST, 3 PM our time.

This stage involves three files totaling 4.5 GB, which hopefully will have already been downloaded into your WoW Updates folder by the automatic Background Downloader. To see if you've got them, check here:

Vista/Win7: C:\Users\Public\Games\World of Warcraft\Updates
XP: C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Updates
Mac: Macintosh Main HD/Applications/World of Warcraft/Updates

Look for these files:

WoW-  (1.6 GB)
WoW-  (2.5 GB)
WoW-  (0.7 GB)

If you don't have these, you'll have to download them. The downloader should have automatically downloaded them over the past couple of weeks, starting whenever you exited WoW, but if you tend to shut your computer off after playing WoW, you may not have all of them. You'll need to set up WoW's downloader to do this.

If you do have them, then you can run WoW right now and it will start the install process. It will download a little more stuff and then start rolling all the changes contained in the above files into your WoW install. This will take a while; my machine has been doing it for about 20 minutes and is 25% done.

Once this is done, you should be able to run WoW and start playing whenever the servers come back up.

From what I have been able to find, the patch contains functional changes which will impact the way we play the game, including completely revamped talent trees, revisions to the hunter pet system, removal of ammo, changes in item stats, changes in levels at which classes gain abilities and spells, and new resources for hunters, paladins, warlocks, and druids.

From what I've seen, it also takes away some of the spells and abilities that I've come to rely on when playing my hunters and paladins. The addition of others will hopefully offset this, but from my experience in the Cata beta, hunter and paladin rotations are going to become more complex, more similar to the rotation necessary when playing warriors. It's definitely going to take some adjustment in the way we operate during combat.

The patch also includes changes to the launcher, fairly extensive revisions to the UI, and restructuring of the glyph and currency systems. It adds a new stat, Mastery rating, and the Reforging ability, which allows you to customize item stats. It also includes the new water and lava rendering, dynamic sunshafts, and multi-monitor support. Details here and here.

As far as I can tell, the patch does not contain Cataclysm's sweeping changes to the Old World (Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms) and I don't think we will be able to fly in these zones until the expansion arrives on December 7. However, given the size of the downloads, I could be wrong about this; I can't think of anything other than massive graphical changes that would take 4.5 GB!

Good luck! Let's hope we end up liking all these changes!

No comments:

Post a Comment