Tobold's Blog
Monday, February 11, 2008
WoW patch notes 2.4

WoW patch 2.4 is coming soon, we just don't know when. :) But the World of Warcraft under development webpage at least gives us some info on what to expect. Please note that all this information is still subject to change after testing on the public test realms, and also is probably incomplete. So, what are the major features of patch 2.4?

The major content addition is a new area called Sunwell Isle, north of Silvermoon City. Yes, you got that right, that's in old Azeroth, not Outlands. But the area is going to be for level 70 characters, including a new reputation to grind, a new 5-man dungeon named Magister's Terrace, and a new 25-man raid dungeon named Sunwell Plateau. I'm not quite sure how people are supposed to get to Sunwell Isle. I hope there is some sort of teleport, because while being close to a Horde city, it is damn far from any Alliance location. Note that this is the first 5-man dungeon patched in since Maraudon, which somehow balances the addition of yet another raid dungeon I will never see. Sunwell Plateau will be harder than any existing raid dungeon. We can discuss for hours the exact percentage of people who'll ever get to see it, but "small" is a fair description of it.

But apparently even Blizzard noticed that there are more people doing PvP nowadays, and less doing raid dungeons, especially the harder 25-man raids. Thus the existing 25-man raids have been made more profitable and easier to access. 25-man raid bosses now drop more gold and more tokens. Attunement has been removed for Mount Hyjal and the Black Temple. Kael'Thas and Vashj can now be killed without killing the other bosses in the dungeon. But I assume the difficulty remains the same, so while you can *try* the end bosses without having beaten all the others, your chance of success remains slim. But maybe I'm just being cynic here, and Blizzard actually made the 25-man dungeons a bit easier without saying so in the patch notes. One can always hope.

Apart from raiding and the new 5-man dungeon, Sunwell Isle will also be a hub for daily quests. The limit of how many daily quests you can do per day has be raised to 25, which is a lot. Fishing daily quests also have been added to the game. Daily quests have turned out to be extremely popular, because they are both more interesting and more profitable than farming the same mob over and over. Kudos to Blizzard for realizing the popularity and giving us more of what we like.

There are various changes to all classes and all professions, too many to mention. Usually they tend towards the reasonable, for example a new enchanting recipe that splits Void Crystals into two Large Prismatic Shards. As void crystals were actually *cheaper* than even just one large prismatic shard, this addition should balance prices a bit better (you might want to sell your large prismatic shards *now*). Or added meat cooking recipes of 250 skill, so you can now level cooking up to 300 without catching fish. Many professions have new epic recipes added, but as these drop in Sunwell Plateau, they will be rather rare.

Another practical addition is a teleport to the Caverns of Time for people who have already a bit of reputation with the Keepers of Time. For people who respec often, the cost for that has effectively been lowered, because you now don't need to relearn spell ranks for talent spells you previously had but gave up. A big PvP change is that the diminishing returns of killing the same player repeatedly in a battleground are gone. That not only will give you more honor from the same time spent in a battleground, but also you get the honor now immediately. The annoying "estimate" of honor gained, with having to wait for the next day before you can spend it, is gone. If that is still not enough honor, there are rumors that the daily battleground quests will be changed to be repeatable, that is you get the gold only once, but can get the added honor many times a day. has more of the unconfirmed details of patch 2.4.

There is also a big UI change, to the combat log. If you ever had a look at the current combat log, you probably noticed that it wasn't all that useful. Too much information scrolling by too fast, especially if you are in a group or raid. The combat log can now be filtered, so if for example you just want to see what hit you, you can find the information easily. The new combat log is also supposed to work well together with addons, allowing mods to do more.

All in all a very nice patch with something for everybody. Which should buy Blizzard a bit more breathing space for developing Wrath of the Lich King. People tend to get bored when waiting too long for an expansion, and a big content patch should keep them busy playing instead of leaving.
Dire Maul was the last 5 man, iirc.
OMG the patch is epix fail were is class balannce Blizz promised u suxx casulas are killing the game making always easier blzz only care about $$ not raiders Warhamer will kill it GG I quit!!!!

There. All official forum patch discussions summed up in a few lines, to save you all some time.

As for my opinion, the addition of a five man will be interesting. It looks as if Blizzard have tried to make it harder than the previous ones, so far. The loot is supposed to be better in both normal and heroic mode, compared to the previous five mans, so in a way it looks like a small step towards adding some sort of instance progression to players that won't even raid ten mans, but focus on small group content.

It also looks like Blizzard are focusingon speeding up the gearing process for high end raiding. Not only the removal of attunments, but also the addition of some very very good craftable gear. The LW hunter chestpiece they added, for instance, require fairly low amounts of materials considering that it is a T6 equivalent.
So high-end gear access for raiders will be significantly opened-up, according to the patch 2.4 PTR notes. IMO, it will definitely be a "raiders' expansion", with a new challenge for the hardcore, and an opening-up for 'new' raid content (MH/BT) for the casual raiders.

And from my vantage point, the patch having "something for everyone" highlights the one thing I have *never* seen in a patch: A new BG. It's been kind of slim pickings for the BG crowd, with EOS the last new BG content since AB in Sept., 2005 (before I even played WoW). The next BG will apparently be in WotLK (and only one, from what I understand). Even with the glaring flaws, I generally enjoy PvP in WoW, but I'm disappointed that they have allowed various design flaws to harm the PvP experience for literally the entire time I've played WoW (like starting BGs with one side outnumbered 2-1). Losing BGs because of basic, longstanding design flaws gets old. Lack of new content gets old, too.

I've played WoW for going on two years, and saw the first expansion gear reset, and have seen the "tune hard then nerf" model in action for the lifecycle of TBC expansion, and I can see the WotLK gear reset on the horizon and closing fast. From my mostly-PvP viewpoint, given how long it takes to gear up in BG and Arena gear, if patch 2.4 comes out in March, and WotLK in July, there is no point for me to spend any more honor, marks, or points on TBC stuff.

So for me, there is less and less reason to "get gear" in TBC if I plan on playing WotLK. The patch 2.3 PvP gear availability changes and the reported patch 2.4 removal of MH/BT attunements leave me with the same feel in the air as when WoW dropped in the 2.0 patch in preparation for TBC release, and there was a period of about four months of 'gift gear' on the PvP side. Of course, the time spent gathering that 'gift gear' was pretty much wasted once TBC released, since the quests in HP gifted the gear needed to survive in Outland, and by level 70 old level 60 'shiny epics' were either deleted or gathering dust in bank slots (especially since Blizz inexplicably re-uses so much item artwork).

I'm almost to the point of going into 'packrat mode', where I max out professions at 375, gather crafting mats for profession skill-ups, horde (pun intended) honor and marks and Arena points to the max, then level alts (until I hear word of a "/level = 70" command in WotLK).
From my mostly-PvP viewpoint, given how long it takes to gear up in BG and Arena gear, if patch 2.4 comes out in March, and WotLK in July, there is no point for me to spend any more honor, marks, or points on TBC stuff.

This is no different than the TBC gear reset that brought everybody even with the bleeding edge raiders in an awful hurry, but it seems weird to hear PVPers complaining about it. It takes months to gear up in PVE too, but very few guilds folded up shop before the expansion hit. I guess it's a matter of whether or not you're having fun on the journey. If you aren't having fun on the journey though, I'd ask why you bother.
What a load of rubbish... this patch, from the notes is not going to make a change for me!

Seriously! The worlds largest and financially secure MMO feels that:

* A token 5 man dungeon
* A bunch of fishing quests (LMAO)
* A teleportation portal

Is something to sing and dance about?

Take a leaf out of LotRo's book and see how games should be patched with content!

Note I did not mention the 25 man raid as it does not apply to normal people.

No innovation at all?

At least they got the raiders pissed at even easier epics and the PvP players annoyed for back tracking on promises.

The game is a fricking mess!

It's also a fricking bore to play!

All hail 'too point.less'
To clarify, my "complaint" -- a simple observation, really -- is...
-- Raiding gets new content every patch, seemingly a lot of attention to fix bugs, while catering to a subset of players
-- PvP gets no new content in patches, and problems like the AFK issue and BGs starting with one side outnumbered as much as 2-1 have persisted for years; content accessible to everyone as early as level 10 and quite crowded

As someone briefly mentioned, there was talk of 'PvP balancing' -- I even read the word "e-sport" somewhere -- for patch 2.4.
As a PvP-er for over a year-and-a-half, that sounds like another Blizzard bad joke.
If WoW can't even manage to start BGs with the same number of players on each side after 2 ½ years of BG PvP, I just won't take talk of WoW balance seriously.

Fun? Sure.
Balanced? What, WoW PvP? The word never crossed my mind.

I don't mind that raiders get new toys every expansion.
I *do* reserve the right to point out (paying the same $$$ as the next person) that PvP seems to get virtually nothing content-wise. Maybe I'm missing something, but what comes to mind are failed attempts like "AFK marking" and "tweaking AV, again".
Hey, one would think that a game a year into its expansion could estimate honor without consistently underestimating by 20% or more! I'm glad they're taking a shot at fixing that, at least. Hope it's not an honor nerf...

Maybe it's just me, but I'd take resolution of some basic, common-sense PvP issues and a new BG, rather than a new gear (time-sink) in skins borrowed from raid items.
I think they need some better gear artwork done, cause hell, all the gear they have is boring, and every level 70 has oe of 3 skins. Or sometimes less.
Gets old fast, maybe blizz will be creative one day, and make a new patch dedicated to make weapons look different (no blizz colors don't count :]) Perhaps they can even make some cooler looking dungeon gear? I mean you look at all of the stuff and it looks the SAME. I've seen gray vendor stuff look the same as epics.

It's been bugging me a lot. Woulda expected more from such a successful mmo.
WAH! All I ever see is people complaining about this and that....quit playing...instead of complaining about raiders getting more stuff in patches then pvpers and we all pay the same amount to play, why dont you try raiding once in a while? Its easy to find a guild that raids kara/gruuls..unless your bad..stick with a smaller guild and be an active member triing to get your friends to join even though your not an officer send a tell to an officer (thats a good use of the /whisper system) eventually yall will weed out the baddies and have an unstoppable force of face smashing pve machines. Its not blizzard's fault u pay but dont play...kinda like renting a movie then watching the first half and returning it. Ive had a rogue since about a week after TBC came out and he has pvp and pve gear....when i got him 4/5vengeful i realised i still only had kara gear....wanting to progress in pve i decided to make a warrior since lvl 65 ive been getting offers from raiding guilds, most of which were wanting me for kara group 2 and gruuls but about 2 hours after i lvled 69 i got an invite from a guild that is currently doing SSC...the moral of the story is, quit criing and make a tank or healer and someone will deffinatly sccop you up, if you wanna do pve that bad.Ive raided up to gruuls on my rogue and with most guilds not doing dkp,and wanting tanks and healers to have gear first ive lost everything ive tried on in gruuls so its time to adapt and tank. btw guilds, gearing out your tanks and healers is great and all but without the dps to take stuff down your kinda useless, let them have some gear too.
I *do* reserve the right to point out (paying the same $$$ as the next person) that PvP seems to get virtually nothing content-wise.'
that is because pvp's got too much allready. t5 equivalent upgrades with vengeful, an pve raid's put in this same amount of effort to get only t4? everyones leaving pve to pvp cause any noob can do it in half the time.
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