Initial thoughts on the WoW 4.0.1 PTR

So Blizzard has made the World of Warcraft 4.0.1 patch available on the Public Test Realms (PTR). PTRs are used to test patches before they are released to the public at large.
While I copied one of my characters over, she hasn’t shown up yet (it says something like 3 or 4 days when I signed up for the copy). So I started a few new toons. A Night Elf Druid, a Draenei Hunter and a Troll Mage… my copied character will be a level 20 something Night Elf Druid as well.
The purpose of this PTR isn’t to test Cataclysm. That is what the beta test is for… hey Blizzard, still could use a beta key here :). The purpose of this test is to test the new talent trees, mechanics and the new improved UI. Basically this is the patch everyone gets shortly before Cata comes out… then another patch when it comes out that causes all the changes, though only those who buy Cata will get the new races and the higher level stuff… all beyond the point../
I haven’t got to test the talent trees yet. I don’t have any of my new toons high enough of a level yet. So I can’t speak to that yet. I expect to get to level 10 tomorrow (its well past time to go to bed for me, I am just doing this update then heading to sleep, then up early, work, then play WoW when I get home), so I hope I can test it out Monday.
The new UI is much nicer. I like the spell book, the training windows, and the profession windows. Basically everything looks nicer now. There are a couple of bugs, like the bottom of some of the tabs seem to be missing, and if the Guild tab is supposed to be in the social window as before, then it is missing. Given the new importance on Guilds in Cataclysm, perhaps it got its own window… Anyhow, the UI is looking much better. Hard to describe without screenshots, and perhaps in another post I’ll put some screenshots, but all in all it is much nicer now.
Hunters get a huge overhaul with this patch. No longer will Hunters use manna, but will use Focus instead. Also gone is the need for ammo or arrows. I am guessing they just magically appear… I believe you can still upgrade them as you go along though, upgrade the magic of the ones you get anyhow. There are lots of others mechanical changes for the Hunter class as well. Mine is only a level 6 so far, but so far so good…. Oh and you get a pet at level 1 now, though you don’t get to control it until level 10. Right now, it is basically on defensive mode, and if you attack something it will attack it, or if you are attacked it will attack what is attacking you. After level 10 you gain the ability to have more control over it and get the attack command and the normal stuff.
I didn’t really play the Mage yet, so not sure what changes are there, though from playing the Druid I would guess most of it is in the tree.
Speaking of the Druid, some stuff that was in the tree before are now part of what you learn at x-level. For example Insect Swarm goes from the talent tree (you get it about level 30 depending on how you are spending points) to being a learned spell at level 20. Eclipse also moves out of the talent tree… although you still need to spec Balance to get it. I guess I’ll see more about that as time goes on, and know knows, perhaps my copied over character may be high enough to get it now (you typically don’t get that until at least 40 prior to this patch).
All of this is fairly exciting. Figure a short while of testing (a week or two… or possibly more) this patch then it will go live. I am guessing stuff like Archaeology won’t make it into this patch and that will wait for Cataclysm itself. I haven’t heard yet if you will need the expansion to do archeology or not, but I would guess you would, since that is one of the main selling points beyond the new races and race/class combos… and leveling past 80. Everyone gets the new quests, the changed landscape… the new zones would be Cata owners only, but some, like the new Troll and Gnome starting zones will be shared by all. A while after the patch goes live, I would guess the Cataclysm itself will happen and it will be released. Things are looking good for a November release… I doubt it will make it out before BlizzCon… though cool if it does…

One thought on “Initial thoughts on the WoW 4.0.1 PTR”

  1. ok patch is live now and i love it, here are reasons for it

    1. my main is lock nad i was always out of shards + bag space was killing me
    2. i have inscription and only thing that was selling on ah was armor + weapon vellums, now we can sell Dust of Disappearance as u need them to change your glyphes
    3. allowing us to download and install patches while playing (ROCKS!!!)
    4. Reforging – now we can get starting+ pvp gear without farming bgs, just from regular guild raiding. thats great!

    Cheers
    George

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