World of Warcraft Game Patch Introduces Major Changes

Posted on October 10, 2010

World of Warcraft Developers Talk Cataclysm

Starting today, the World of Warcraft pre-Cataclysm patch 4.0.1 is hitting Azeroth and hitting it extremely hard. So many changes are occurring in-game today to pave the way for Cataclysm that weekly maintenance has already been extended from 12 A.M. PDT until 2 P.M. PDT. And if previous patch days are any indication, the servers could be down until well past Blizzard’s estimated downtime.

The wait should be well worth it though, because 4.0.1 is unleashing an extensive variety of brand new gameplay mechanics. The patch will introduce a flexible raid lockout system, a new currency system for badges and honor, implement a new reforging system which transforms a piece of gear’s unwanted stats into wanted stats, introduce a new stat, Mastery, and remove other stats such as armor penetration, update glyphs and gems, change how resilience works, and reformat talent trees to the new 31-point model. It will also bring an end to the current arena season.
But that’s not all. There are some major changes happening with the classes. Read on to find out more.
However, the most significant changes happening in 4.0.1 relate to the class changes. Every single class and spec is getting drastically overhauled with new abilities, updated mechanics and, for some classes, even brand new systems. For example, Patch 4.0.1 is introducing the new Holy Power (HPW) system for Paladins. In 4.0.1, Paladins can use abilities to build up HPW in order to unleash brand new special abilities. One such ability, primarily for Holy Paladins, is Word of Glory. It’s a single target heal that gets more powerful based on the amount of HPW it consumes and costs no mana to use. Holy Paladins don’t get all the fun though, as there are a variety of other HPW abilities for Ret and Prot Paladins too.
Another really neat ability being introduced in 4.0.1 is the elemental Shaman ability Earthquake. Earthquake has been a staple for Shaman in previous Warcraft games, so it’s not a huge surprise that they’re finally getting it now. As if elemental Shaman weren’t already overpowered enough, they now get a very strong area of effect ability that also knocks down targets, and the animation is fantastic.
WoW Patch 4.0.1
But these huge pre-expansion patches seem to have an annoying trend of changing the game from a near balanced product into something where everyone is unbalanced and overpowered. It happened right before The Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out, where Patch 3.0.2 named “Echoes of Doom” unleashed 51-point talent trees and made the once extremely difficult Sunwell raid into a mockery that, after the patch, could be completed with half a group. In the upcoming 4.0.1 with the new class changes, along with the ability to reforge gear, players will now have the capability to make current content into somewhat of a joke again due to the increased damage output by just about everyone.  Content that was once difficult is suddenly going to become even easier than the laughable Heroic Gunship (a.k.a. “Lootship”) battle.
Blizzard has even commented on how they know this patch is going to make some classes unbalanced and broken, but since they are balancing classes around level 85 Cataclysm content now instead of around current Wrath of the Lich King content, they’ve told players to just enjoy their overpoweredness for the time being, and to sit back and watch as Deathwing destroys the world. If this patch doesn’t destroy it first, that is.
For a full list of all of the Patch 4.0.1 changes, check Blizzard’s site, and we’ll keep you tuned in to what’s happening here as we patiently wait along with the rest of you.

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Categories: Game News, Game Secrets

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