Thursday, 24 April 2008

Apparently, Growl was UP

That's "UP" as in "Under-Powered."

A few notes.

Firstly, someone misinterpreted my comments on the Dire Ravens being tamable as being sarcastic. Don't get me wrong: I'm happy each time Blizzard adds a new pet to the tamable menagerie. Plus, it gives Mania something to do (i.e. updating the already fantasticalicious Petopia.) For those who are having trouble following along, nothing in this paragraph is sarcastic. Except this sentence, which is.

Speaking of Mania, she's made several posts on 2.4.2 already. One of the things she did was post a picture of the Dire Ravens in question; I hadn't remembered it, but they have the same model as Alliance Druids in Flight Form! Since we can already tame those lynxes which have the same model (if not skin) as Alliance Druids in Cat Form, it's only a matter of time before all the forms of the Alliance Druids serve the Horde! (...I'll have them serving the curly fries.) What's better, it seems that the Ravens have a pretty fair selection of skills available to them, so they aren't likely to be sidelined like those poor Spore Bats. Remember kids, if you see a Hunter with a Spore Bat pet, give them both a hug.

Finally, it seems that Nethaera has clarified the worrying line about Growl no longer scaling. In typical Blizzard style, they completely failed to mention that instead of scaling with pet AP, it will now scale with the Hunter's AP. Which is probably a buff, all things considered. Which is awesome. The reason it appeared in the Bug Fixes section is because it seems that Growl was supposed to scale with Hunter AP in the first place.

Incidentally, the patch has created even more work for poor Mania, with Neth's casual aside:

Other pet abilities such as bite, claw, etc will still scale with pet AP.

...eliciting the following reaction from Mania:

Wait — Bite and Claw scaled?!

You learn something new about WoW every day, it seems. Except on the days you don't, but those don't count and can be excluded as statistical errors.

Finally, a few other potential changes in 2.4.2 have come to light via MMO-Champion and World of Raids. I say potential because they were apparently data-mined from the PTR client data files. I'm fairly sure the Tuskarr model is in the client's data files already and I don't know about you, but I haven't seen one in-game yet.

None the less, it's an interesting list. More bullet-points-with-commentary coming right up.


  • Aspect of the Viper - The hunter takes on the aspects of a viper, regenerating mana equal to up to 55% of his or her Intellect plus 35% of his or her level every 5 sec. The lower the hunter's current mana, the more mana will be regenerated. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.

Emphasis mine. Apparently, we were having unintentional mana-regen issues. This will hopefully help with having to sit and drink after every two or three fights. That said, I was hoping Blizzard would address mana regen problems for low-level characters, and those classes that simply don't stack spirit or much intellect. I know my Paladin's been quaffing Purified Draenic Water like a hard-boiled detective drinks whiskey.

Item Changes

  • [Nightfall] now has a chance to fail for targets above level 60

When I first read that, I thought it meant the Warlock Nightfall proc. That would suck, one of your own talents randomly failing as soon as you ding 61.

  • [Wushoolay's Charm of Nature] now grants 70 (instead of 400) spell haste rating, and reduces the mana cost of Rejuvenation, Healing Touch, Regrowth, and Tranquility by -5% for 15 seconds.
  • [Hazza'rah's Charm of Healing] now grants 70 (instead of 400) spell haste rating and reduces the mana cost of your healing spells by -5% for 15 seconds.

Wow. Sometimes items get hit with the nerf-bat, and sometimes items get smacked with the nerf-sledgehammer before being sealed in concrete and shot into the sun. Those trinkets, in terms of haste, are now only 17.5% as effective. I believe the Rogue trinket has been nerfed as well. Thank goodness that they're from ZG, and thus there aren't going to be many people with them anymore. Hopefully, anyway. If you did still use these, commiserations.

This looks worse than I think it is. You'll see.


One of my favourite quests just got a nasty nerf. Reported by World of Raids, they don't specify what it gives as a reward instead. All I know is that since I don't raid, and have enough trouble just getting a group for regular instance runs, I don't think I'm going to be getting any badge gear for quite a while...

New Mounts

  • Swift Zebra - Summons and dismisses a rideable Swift Zebra. This is a very fast mount.
  • Headless Horseman's Mount - Summons and dismisses a rideable Headless Horseman's Mount.

The second one is most likely related to the Headless Horseman events around Halloween, so even if this mount becomes available in-game, we're probably not going to get a shot at one for several months. None the less, this might be almost enough incentive to pull my old shadow priest out of storage; undead shadow priest riding the Headless Horseman's mount? Hell yeah!

The other is... somewhat strange. I just can't imagine where this is going to be available from. From what I remember, they're not called "Zebra" in game, they're called "Zhevra," which could indicate that the mount isn't ready yet. Also keep in mind that Zhevra show up in exactly one place in the entire game: The Barrens. My initial thought was that it might be a special mount only summonable in The Barrens and usable at low levels (a bit like how Draenei get to ride an Elekk around at level 10 for a while,) but the "very fast mount" part makes me doubt that.

I suppose we'll have to wait and see.

New Portals

  • Teleport: Stonard - Teleports the caster to Stonard.
  • Teleport: Theramore - Teleports the caster to Theramore.
  • Portal: Theramore - Creates a portal, teleporting group members that use it to Theramore.
  • Portal: Stonard - Creates a portal, teleporting group members that use it to Stonard.

World of Raids has confirmed that these are new Mage spells, learned from a trainer in the respective town. At level 35 for both teleport and portal.

Something mentioned on MMO-Champion is that there's a belief with some that just as getting to Outland required you to go to The Blasted Lands, getting to Northrend will require you to first go to either Theramore or Stonard, which might explain why those two in particular are getting portals.

Mount Enchants

That's right; it looks like we'll eventually be able to enchant our mounts. Old items haven't been replaced on the PTR (so your [Carrot on a Stick] is safe for the moment.) They appear to work by being single-use: you "enchant" a given mount, and the item is consumed. Additionally, it seems that there are plans for crafting the new Carrot on a Stick from Simple Wood, Fine Thread and Golden Sansam (the carrot is a lie!) [Skybreaker Whip] and [Riding Crop] appear to be keeping the same speed bonus, but are now single-use as well. As for you Druids, fret not, there appears to be an item which increases your speed in Flight Form and Swift Flight Form by 10%, but I've no idea whether it's a single-use dealy, a spell, or what. It could be that we're seeing an early form of Inscription.

Keep in mind that Blizzard has introduced things to the game's data files long before they're intended to be active before. Back before Burning Crusade, a number of Jewelcrafting recipies made it into the game's data files long before it actually launched. Heck, we've already got at least one Inscription spell in the data files right now! It could be that all this is simply being put into the data files in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King. The Druid flight form boost smells particularly Inscriptionish.

On the whole, I think this is a good, if completely and utterly unexpected, change. This means a little more business for Leatherworkers (making professions more useful is never a bad thing) and it also means one less bloody trinket to carry around.

One thing that no one seems to know is what will happen with regards to the Paladin and Warlock summoned mounts. I'm going to assume for the moment that something similar to the speed increase to the Druid flight forms is in the works.

So it looks like there's a bit more to 2.4.2 than we expected, even if we're not likely to see the more interesting parts for some time...

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