We've been anticipating this patch for some time, and now it's finally available for testing on the Public Test Server. If you've heard me talk about flight coming to Warlords of Draenor with 6.1, please note that when I posted the developer AMA recap from Reddit that they decided to hold off on Draenor flying for now and that it is no longer on the table for 6.1. Even with that change, there is still a lot of really awesome things in 6.1! I mean, Blood Elves get prettier, which is obviously what we've been needing in this game. Need to let everyone know about how awesome you're doing in WoW when they're not in the game? Now there's Twitter integration, so you can do just that.
One of the more exciting parts of 6.1 is definitely the changes coming to the Heirloom system. Now, they all fit in one tab! During the AMA it was mentioned that there would be an item you could obtain that would let you upgrade your lower level items to 90-100, but I don't see that mentioned here in the notes. I do see that you can get a level 1 Heirloom mount for completing the Heirlooms collection. Heirlooms are now switching to a tiered system that will let you see what their maximum level is, which is broken down into three tiers. While Horde and Alliance can buy Heirlooms for gold in either Stormwind or Undercity, they can also be obtained through the Argent Tournament in exchange for Champion's Seals, at the Darkmoon Faire for Darkmoon Prize Tickets, and through various world events. A new neck slot Heirloom has been added, which has a castable heal, which can be used once a minute. This heal shares a cooldown with potions and Healthstones.
Garrisons are probably getting the biggest amount of updates, including new daily quests. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm pretty excited that there are new dailies being added in. When there were 25ish dailies to do, it got dull and grindy. Now, there's garrison maintenance and the crystal daily. After getting your 5.000 for the Heroic ring quest, well, there's not really a whole lot of a reason to do the daily Pit grind, honestly. I know I'm not doing that just for something to do. I'd rather just not log in at all, and I don't think I'm the only one doing that at this point. These quests vary, including weekly “kill a world boss” quests and a “defeat a dungeon boss” quest that will reward a token in exchange for 630, 645, or 655 items. There are new Relic and Bounty quests that also reward tokens for 645 or 655 items (and Apexis Crystals, so I'm wondering if Blizzard is giving those a new relevancy now), and by doing these quests you can possibly get an item to summon a world boss, which will scale for 10-40 people, depending on how many of your friends you round up! Completing Relic quests will unlock new follower missions, and completing all of them (six in total) will unlock Harrison Jones as a new follower. Can we extend how many followers we have active? I hate deciding who to bench.
Other awesome garrison changes include that if you assign a follower to a building, now they will receive XP when a work order completes – no more having to level them up through missions in order to get them to 100 for bonuses. Speaking of missions, the UI is tweaked. New missions are added in, including ones for Apexis Crystals, Blackrock Foundry raids for 665, 680, or 695, Augmentation Runes, and Savage Blood.
For class changes in 6.1, we see a massive overhaul to talents. Blizzard is trying to bring underperforming talents up to snuff, while also giving situational talents value. A good example of this is the 20% increase to healing for Holy Priests who choose to talent into Clarity of Purpose, which replaces Circle of Healing. At the top tier, there was pretty much one desirable talent, one okay talent and one other one. This change will make Clarity of Purpose attractive like Word of Mending currently is. From the patch notes:
Developer Commentary: A primary focus for class changes in Patch 6.1 is improving overall talent balance. Not every talent needs to be useful in every situation; and in fact it’s often better if they have strengths and weaknesses. But we do try to have each talent be useful in some situations, and make them close enough in value that if you really enjoy the gameplay of a talent you don’t feel like you’re dragging your group down by using it.
For these changes we focused primarily on tuning (tweaking numbers), and nearly all changes are buffs to underperforming talents. The goal is to reach more variety of viable builds, without bringing down the existing popular choices.
Other changes include Ashran fixes that mean I might actually get to punch face while healing comrades. Maybe. Hopefully. I'd really like to see more of Ashran than the rubberband experience. The downside from these lowered queue times seems to have been compensated by having rewards lowered slightly. Professions have received some tweaks, such as mining and herbalism nodes seeing an XP increase and Alchemists now able to upgrade their trinket and gaining the ability to transmute Savage Blood or Inscriptionists now able to create glyphs that were previously available from trainers. Also, to answer that question I asked above in regards to Apexis Crystals, here's the answer: players can now hold up to 60,000 of them at a time and new 670 items are available to purchase with crystals.
While I would rather look at community responses once the patch goes live and is in the hands of more people, I'll just leave one comment here in regards to Blood Elves. Apparently the new models make them truly shine, as they are now “sassy and independent”.
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