It seems Blizzard has released preliminary patch 4.1 notes for World of Warcraft with the public test realm coming online shortly. These notes contain a few surprises for the community, a few class changes, and the return of the two troll raid dungeons. This is shocking, since patch 4.1 was supposed to contain the Firelands outdoor raid instance (and still may contain it), but this move to reuse the troll dungeons is a rather large surprise.

Reuse and Recycle

Zul’Gurub was a 20 player raid dungeon designed for more casual raiding guilds during vanilla. While all the other raids required 40 players, ZG required a small 20 and it was much more forgiving in the encounters. Additionally, ZG was on a three day raid lockout timer meaning that guilds could try to complete it over and over against during the same week.  It served as an excellent gearing up point, especially for trinkets and weapons, for guilds that were working on Molten Core and Blackwing Lair and was an excellent place to gear up alts as well.

It has been a long time since we last revisited the troll instances.

It seems that it is returning again as a 5-player heroic dungeon in patch 4.1. This brings a lot of questions to light that won’t be answerable until the PTR goes live and we get the view the finished instance, such as how long will the dungeon be and how much loot is going to drop. Not to mention how much trash will you have to face. We do know that it’s going to drop ilvl 353 loot which is way above the ilvl 346 rares that you’ll find in regular heroics and just a few points away from tier 11 gear (ilvl 359). The dungeon is also being revamped, from start to finish, which should provide a fresh adventure for seasoned veterans.

Zul’Aman will also be returning. Zul’aman (a 10-player TBC dungeon) was, like Zul’Gurub, more of a casual raiding dungeon that was one tier above Karazhan (although it had excellent loot and rather difficult encounters, it was still puggable to a certain extent much like Karazhan). ZA will not be revamped, just readjusted for level 85 with a few new mechanics and some texture changes. Again, it will also feature ilvl 353 loot.

A lot of players are up in arms already, even just a few hours after the announcement, about how this is ruining the game or how lazy Blizzard is. I’m not a Blizzard apologist, but this seems like a pretty cool move. We’ll be seeing new versions of the old rare mounts out of these dungeons and we’re getting an easier way to gear up. I personally don’t care if they turn Molten Core into a rave party where you have to play Guitar Hero as long as it’s an easier way to gear myself and my guild up for raiding.

Do you think you can defeat Ragnaros in an epic guitar battle?

Although, on the other side of the coin, it is a bit lame that this isn’t exactly “new” content in an expansion that is full of rehashes. Although we can’t honestly say much since we haven’t seen the new dungeons yet and we’ll have to hold our opinion until then, otherwise everyone may be speaking too soon. ZG and ZA may be full of awesome amazing encounters or they may be just the same old same old. Stay tuned here to Ten Ton Hammer as we continue to cover these events.

Class Changes

Warriors are getting a ton of changes, but the ones they highlighted the most was Inner Rage showing up at an earlier level and then getting a beefed up counterpart at a higher level. Inner Rage is currently useless to most Warriors since they don’t have enough rage to make it viable (it reduces the cooldown on Heroic Strike and Cleave, both high rage abilities). Colossus Smash is getting nerfed, from 100% to 70% armor reduction, which is somewhat fair since it’s a great PvP ability for making sure you can do massive damage to any target (especially high armor targets like Paladins, Warriors, and Death Knights). Rallying Cry is coming at level 83 that gives 20% health to the raid on a 3 minute cooldown (shared with Last Stand).

Word of Glory is seeing a nerd, being placed on a 20 second cooldown. This change is to force Retribution and Protection Paladins to use their other Holy Power abilities instead of Word of Glory to heal. Some may see this as a “good” thing while others may see it as a nerf to the class. Holy Paladins will not have to worry as Walk in the Light will remove the cooldown on Word of Glory.

Be aware of your class changes, otherwise you'll be caught offguard in the new heroics.

As for other class changes, there isn’t much to go on (since their recent hotfix push is doing most of the changes to classes). A lot of spell effects are getting revamped. Power Word: Shield’s duration is taking a hefty nerd from 30 second duration to 15 seconds while Divine Aegis will now last 15 seconds instead of 12. That seems to be in line to meld the two spells together for Discipline Priests.

In an interesting change, Rogues will now longer be snared while stealthing. This mechanic has been in the game since release, which is really interesting that they can now move at 100% move speed while stealthed. This should make the lower level battlegrounds a bit more dangerous where Rogues already dominate. Nightstalker, now instead of removing the snare effect, adds 10% or 20% movement speed while stealthed. So we all may see Rogues moving around stealthed a lot more often.

Shamans will now have the Fire Nova effect on anyone they use Flame Shock on and Earthquake is no longer channeled (with a 40% damage nerf). This should change up Shaman dynamics a slight bit. Improved Fire Nova is being changed out with Seasoned Winds which gives the Shaman elemental resists whenever Wind Shear or Grounding Totem prevent a spell from casting.

You can continue to the second page to view more changes and the complete patch notes. Overall the patch seems rather small but as we know Blizzard will likely revise the notes on a week by week basis. Keep your browsers tuned here to Ten Ton Hammer for complete details as they come.

What do you think about patch 4.1? Do the rehashed dungeons make you grumble or are you excited to revisit these older dungeons once more for glory? Come to the Ten Ton Hammer community forums and share your thoughts.

Here are the full patch notes for your review!

World of Warcraft PTR Patch 4.1

The latest retail patch notes can be found here.

Table of Contents

  • Classes
  • Dungeons & Raids
  • Guilds
  • Items
  • Professions
  • PvP
  • Races
  • User Interface

ImportantThese patch notes are not final. Additional updates will be made, and all existing changes are subject to revision during the course of the testing process. More information regarding patch 4.1 can be found here. Visit our Public Test Realm forum for more information about the testing process.

Classes: General

  • All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit the target. This includes Pummel, Shield Bash, Kick, Mind Freeze, Rebuke, Skull Bash, Counterspell, Wind Shear, Solar Beam, Silencing Shot, and related player pet abilities.

Death Knights

  • Dark Simulacrum now works on numerous additional spells in dungeon encounters.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Blood
      • Death Strike self-healing no longer generates threat.
    • Frost
      • Blood of the North (passive) now permanently converts both Blood Runes into Death Runes. There is no longer any proc interaction with Blood Strike required to activate Death Runes.

Druids

  • Efflorescence has a new spell effect.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Balance
      • Solar Beam is now more responsive when enemies move into or out of it.

Hunters

  • Deterrence no longer requires a melee weapon to be equipped.
  • Explosive Trap now has a new spell effect.
  • Master's Call now has a new spell effect.
  • Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter's level, rather than 3 levels below.

Mages

  • Talent Specializations
    • Fire
      • Ignite is no longer triggered from periodic critical effects.

Paladins

  • Word of Glory now has a 20-second cooldown.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Holy
      • Walk in the Light (passive) removes the cooldown of Word of Glory.
    • Protection
      • Divine Guardian cooldown is now 3 minutes, up from 2.
    • Retribution
      • Divine Storm now generates 1 point of Holy Power if it hits (i.e. successfully lands on) 4 or more targets.
      • Sacred Shield's internal cooldown has been increased to 60 seconds, up from 30.

Priests

  • Divine Aegis duration has been increased to 15 seconds, up from 12.
  • Dispel Magic can only be used on the casting priest as a baseline effect.
  • Holy Word: Sanctuary has a new spell effect.
  • Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Discipline
      • Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.
    • Holy
      • Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.

Rogues

  • Recuperate base effect now heals 3% per tick, up from 2%.
  • Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.
  • Tricks of the Trade now has a 100-yard range, up from 20.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Combat
      • Improved Recuperate now adds 0.5%/1% to the health restoration effect of Recuperate, down from 1%/2%.
    • Subtlety
      • Nightstalker now reduces the cooldown of Stealth by 2/4 seconds, and instead of negating the movement penalty from Stealth, it adds a 5/10% movement speed bonus (stacking with other effects) while Stealthed.

Shaman

  • Fire Nova has been redesigned and decoupled from shaman Fire totems. Instead, it now pulses that same area-of-effect from each target that is afflicted by the shaman's own Flame Shock debuff. It now damages all enemies except the target hit by Flame Shock. The ability's cooldown has been reduced from 4 seconds, down from 10.
  • Magma Totem now lasts for 60 seconds, up from 21.
  • Stoneclaw Totem's area-of-effect threat pulse no longer affects critters.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Elemental Combat
      • Earthquake is no longer a channeled spell. It now has a 2-second cast time, lasts for 10 seconds, and has a 10-second cooldown. Its damage has been reduced by 40% from its channeled version.
    • Enhancement
      • Improved Fire Nova has been redesigned and replaced by a talent called Seasoned Winds. When an enemy spell cast is successfully prevented with Wind Shear or Grounding Totem, the shaman gains magical resistance (in an amount equal to what a protection totem/aura would grant, stacking with such buffs) to the spell school(s) of the interrupted spell (except for Holy spells), lasting 10 seconds.

Warriors

  • Charge and Intercept no longer have diminishing returns on their stun effects.
  • Colossus Smash now ignores 70% of an opponent's armor, down from 100%.
  • Inner Rage is now available at level 56.
  • Intercept now has a 1.5-second stun, down from 3 seconds.
  • Overpower damage has been increased to 140% weapon damage, up from 125%.
  • Rallying Cry (new ability) is available from trainers at level 83. It temporarily grants the warrior and all party or raid members within 30 yards 20% of maximum health for 10 seconds. After the effect expires, the health is lost. It has no cost, no stance requirements, and is not on the global cooldown. It has a 3-minute cooldown, but also shares a cooldown with Last Stand.
  • Whirlwind now has its cooldown reduced by 6 seconds when it deals damage to 4 or more targets. The Whirlwind effect caused by Bladestorm remains unchanged.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Arms
      • Improved Hamstring now reduces the global cooldown on Hamstring by 0.5/1 seconds in addition to its current effects.
      • Improved Slam increases Slam damage by 20/40%, up from 10/20%.
      • Juggernaut no longer adds 2 seconds to the Charge stun, but instead lowers the cooldown of Charge by 3 seconds (to 12 seconds total).
      • Mortal Strike damage has been increased to 175% weapon damage, up from 150%.
    • Fury
      • Raging Blow damage has been increased back up to 120% weapon damage (up from 100%).

Dungeons & Raids

  • New dungeons available for partial testing.
    • Zul'Aman has returned as a level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon featuring a revamp of the original dungeon and improved loot!
    • Zul'Gurub has returned as a level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon featuring all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot!
    • Both dungeons will be in a new Dungeon Finder difficulty tier above the current level-85 Heroic dungeons and offer epic-quality item level 353 loot.
    • These dungeons may only partially be available for testing at this time. Stay tuned for additional updates.
  • Blackwing Descent
    • Flash Bomb (Golem Sentry ability) now has a more clear warning visual.
    • Magmaw now triggers a raid emote when summoning Lava Parasites.
    • Further improvements have been made in the Maloriak encounter to avoid Flash Freeze targeting the tanks.

Guilds

  • The Guild Perk, Cash Flow, no longer prints out text to the Chat Log. Instead, the daily amount deposited is shown in the Guild Vault Money Log. In addition, players can view the weekly contribution in a new window at the bottom of the Money Log.
  • We have added two new custom guild tabards as Guild Rewards. The tabards are account bound and offer a bonus to gaining guild reputation.

Items

  • The PvP Horde and Alliance trinkets have a new spell effect.

Professions

  • All major cities will now have every type of profession trainer and their associated trade supply vendors.

PvP

  • Battlegrounds
    • Twin Peaks
      • Graveyard Changes
        • Players will now only spawn at their base graveyard when they die in the enemy base.
        • Defending players will respawn at the middle graveyard.
        • Midfield players will respawn at the middle graveyard.
        • Attacking players will respawn at their base graveyard.

Races

  • The gnomish racial ability, Escape Artist, is no longer affected by the global cooldowns triggered by other abilities.
  • The human racial ability, Every Man for Himself, has a new spell effect.

User Interface

  • Work has begun on a new Looking for Guild system. Further details will be provided when we are ready for feedback.
  • Spells bound to a key now start to be cast when the button is pressed down by default, instead of waiting for the key to go up. This is an option that can be turned off in the Interface menu under Combat. Mouse clicking has not changed and operates on mouse click up.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.

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