Friday, May 10, 2013

Better the Devil You Know

It's a Bug hovering in mid-air. WHAT OF IT?

I reckon we've got two weeks or so before 5.3 hits, which is unfortunate because I won't be by a PC on the 29th May (c'est la vie.) Considering the number of 'be prepared, a new patch is coming' blog posts currently emerging from Blizzard HQ, regardless of release date it is probably an idea to begin girding your loins. Probably the most significant change is the 33% reduction of XP required to go from 85-90: if you didn't know it already, Blizzard is telling you its okay to level your alts. However, don't buy your Heirlooms now, because prices for all of those drop once 5.3 goes live, and they'll cost you a whopping 60% less than currently.

The important changes (PvP gear gubbins, PvE gear gubbins) had already been covered in two Blizzard blogs (yes I even linked for you!). We're here to worry about the other, far more important stuff. As the PTR Patch Notes were updated on the 7th, I reckon using this as a basis is fairly sound, but like all things in life key elements may vanish without trace and reappear down the back of the sofa several weeks, months or even years after release (depending on your cleaning schedules...)

Brawler’s Guild Updates

Test your might against two new tiers of bosses in the Brawl’gar Arena in Orgrimmar or Bizmo’s Brawl Pub in Stormwind.

If you've not yet purchased a Brawler's Guild invite, this is the time to go familiarise yourself with the Black Market Auction House. Unless everyone else on your server is reading this Blog, you'll be able to buy an invite for 1000g with very little likelyhood anyone will outbid you. Trust me on this.

The only interesting thing is a Parrot. Discuss.

As things are also likely to get busy again once the new Patch arrives (plus the fact I believe there's a mount to be had for getting to the top of the pile, quite apart from the 'Brawler' title) should you decide to begin this journey, now is probably a good time to do so.

Hunters now have 50 pet stable slots, up from 20.

This one's just for the Hunters, obviously. Make a list of which pets you want to tame. I'd suggest Petopia as a starting point.

Pet Battles
Bonus damage has been added to many basic abilities, at the cost of slightly reduced accuracy. Check out the blog: Pet Battle Accuracy Changes in Patch 5.3 for additional information.
Pet Battle Duels are now available in all dungeons and raids. Enjoy!

Pet Battles in the wild and duels are now viewable by other players in the world.

Hit Chance is now displayed for all abilities.

There's a ton of Pet Battle changes this time around, so if you like your devil in the details, go read them now. The most important change, by a country mile, is this: Battle pets' recent ability loadouts will now be saved when pets are swapped in and out of battle slots. This is more than likely going to mess with your addons, so you'll probably want to make sure a) they're updated (but NOT YET ONLY ON PATCH DAY) and b) possibly disabled when you first load your game.

You'll also find a new pet to catch in Icecrown (possibly, not sure they've actually been seen on the PTR yet) and the Isle of Thunder, new instance pets in ToT, Karazhan, Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Cavern. Money-making possibilities emerge as Tiny Carp not only become tradeable, but can be caught more than once.

There's also been a pretty-much complete rethink of the way Pet Battle Quests work:

  • A new achievement and reward has been added for characters that complete every Pet Battle daily quest in a single day.

  • Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to Battle-Stones from pet supplies bags and wild battles.  Each bag or battle that does not provide a stone has a progressively better chance to award a stone to the player.

  • Beasts of Fable daily quest has been broken into three separate chapters. Players can now choose to do any or all of the chapters each day.  Rewards have been modified to include a new consumable that will boost battle pet XP for a limited time.

  • All Pet Battle daily quests on Pandaria, Beasts of Fable and Spirit Tamer quests will now award experience, valor, and Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.

  • All Pet Battle quests will now award experience.

  • Increased the difficulty of elite pets on the Beasts of Fable quest.

  • A new weekly quest for max-level, matchmaking PvP pet battles has been added.

Suffice it to say, if you have an alt at 85 who you're intending to take to 90 and you'd like a change of pace from quests and dungeons, levelling pets is going to become a pretty decent way of supplementing your XP for the journey. Time to visit the Pet Trainer in Stormwind or Orgrimmar!

There are no Giant Robots in 5.3. BOOOOOOOOOO!

Okay, that's the pets sorted. Next up, those pesky Loot Bags of Average:

Loot Specialization

Players can now choose to receive loot for specializations other than the one that's currently active. There's a Blog for this as well.
Treasures of the Thunder King, Amber Encased Treasure Pouch, Cache of Mogu Riches, and Dividends of the Everlasting Spring now have a small chance to award a larger than usual amount of gold.

Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to bonus rolls. Each bonus roll that does not provide loot has a progressively better chance to award loot to the player.

Needless to say, people will still moan. Only when loot bags award 1000g and a free Battle pet on EVERY ROLL will they be happy, but only til they own all the pets and can't sell the others on the AH. THEN the idea will be rubbish.

Herbalists of low skill can now pick herbs in Pandaria for a small amount of usable material. The yield an herbalist will be able to harvest from each node is determined by skill level.

Miners of low skill can now mine mineral deposits in Pandaria for a small amount of usable material. The yield a miner will be able to harvest from each node is determined by skill level.


No love for large piles. We R Dissapoint :(

Deliberate shun aside, there is one more change that is small, but might be significant in the long term:
Minimum level requirement to enter and equip items found in the following dungeons via Dungeon Finder have been adjusted.

Gate of the Setting Sun is now available in Normal difficulty, and accessible to level 89 characters.
Grim Batol is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
Lost City of the Tol'vir is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
Magisters' Terrace is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.
The Mechanar is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.

This is, of course, meant to help you transition from one expansion to another without significant degrees of hassle. Part of me hopes it might mark a willingness to return to the Dungeon Experience as a whole and improve not simply the loot but the path for levelling sub 85. If you look at how many people quest in relation to those who level via LFD, I'm thinking that there's a lot of people not being adequately served. I'd still like to see the chance to grab Heirloom-style items that scale as you level (maybe from the reward bags) but I'm guessing the tech to make those happen isn't something Blizzard feel the need to utilise at this stage More's the pity.

You should have a good few weeks to gird your loins before all of this becomes Lore, but a bit of planning never hurt anyone. Consider yourself warned!

1 comment:

kanig said...

Awesome recap of the upcoming changes! Nice job! :P