Patch 4.1 Public Test Realm Notes - March 22
Updates to the patch notes below can be found in red. Last updated March 22, 3:35 PM PDT.
That's right, folks. Development on the first post-Cataclysm content update for World of Warcraft is well underway! We've opened up the Public Test Realms to bring players a healthy dose of the dungeons, class changes, and other features we've been working on for patch 4.1. "What will we find on the test realms?" you ask? (You did ask that, right?) Well, let me tell you!
The Gurubashi Tribe Persists
Originally a 20-player dungeon released in patch 1.7, Zul'Gurub will once again open its gates, featuring updated lore, all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot! Zul'Gurub is now a level-85 five-player Heroic difficulty dungeon. To provide a new tier above the current Cataclysm dungeons, players can expect to find epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is 346.
The Return of Zul'Aman
Ever a player favorite, the level-70 ten-player dungeon of Zul'Aman is being reintroduced as a level-85 Heroic five-player dungeon. Zul'Aman will join Zul'Gurub in a new Dungeon Finder tier of Heroic dungeons, providing epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is also 346. While Zul'Aman will be more of a throwback to the original dungeon featuring many of the same encounters, players can expect to find some updated gameplay mechanics, as well as new environment textures and lighting.
With the Zuls returning, you may be wondering about the unique mounts that were once contained therein. New versions of the rare raptor, tiger, and bear mounts will be available, while the old versions of these mounts will remain unique to those who already have them. We'll reveal more about how these updated mounts can be obtained in the future.
While we do intend to make fewer balance changes in patch 4.1, you can still expect to find a fair number of updates. Below are just a few we'd like to share with you right now. Keep in mind these changes don't encompass the entirety of the 4.1 changes, nor do the initial Public Test Realm patch notes.
To start, we want to do a better job of balancing the AoE power of the different damage-dealing specs. You can expect to see some changes to this end made throughout the testing process.
The warrior ability Inner Rage is now available at level 56. It was intended to solve an excess rage problem that largely isn’t affecting warriors anymore. We’ve added a replacement ability for warriors at level 83: Rallying Cry.
Word of Glory: We want Retribution and Protection paladins to have reasonable healing on themselves or others, but we know paladins sometimes feel like they can’t use their Holy Power on anything but their heals in some situations. We’d rather these two specs spend most of their Holy Power on damage-dealing abilities, with occasional healing.
More To Come
We're still hard at work on additional features, balance updates, and bug fixes for patch 4.1 and beyond. We look forward to sharing more information with you in the days and weeks ahead as development continues. Until then, have a look at the PTR patch 4.1 notes we've prepared. As always, these notes are not final and will continue to be updated regularly as we go through the iterative testing process, so be sure to check back often.
World of Warcraft PTR Patch 4.1
The latest retail patch notes can be found here.
Table of Contents
Click a link to jump directly to the corresponding section of the patch notes.
- Classes: General
- Dungeons & Raids
- Quests & Creatures
- User Interface
Important: These 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.
- Flying mounts can now be used in Ghostlands.
- Resilience scaling has been modified for linear returns, as opposed to increasing returns. Under the new formula, going from 30 resilience to 40 resilience gives players the same increase to survivability as going from 0 to 10. Resilience now scales in the same way armor and magic resistances do. A player with 32.5% damage reduction from resilience in 4.0.6 should see their damage reduction unchanged in 4.1. Those with less than 32.5% will gain slightly. Those with more will lose some damage reduction, increasingly so as their resilience climbs.
- A dead player can now be resurrected by targeting them using the Party or Raid Frame even if they have released. No more hunting for corpses.
- A new feat of strength with an associated title, "the Camel-Hoarder", has been added for players that have bested Dormus and obtained the Reins of the Grey Riding Camel -- because there must always be a Camel-Hoarder.
- The achievements to win 100 rated Battlegrounds have been renamed to "Veteran of the Alliance" and "Veteran of the Horde", and now award those titles.
- Achievements to win 300 rated Battlegrounds have been added, awarding the "Warbound" and "Warbringer" titles to the Alliance and Horde respectively.
- The achievement "We Had It All Along *cough*" now requires the player to win Arathi Basin by 50 points or less, up from 10 points or less.
The Battle for Gilneas
- The achievement "Jugger Not" now requires the player to win The Battle for Gilneas by 100 points or less, up from 10 points or less.
- The achievement "Out of the Fog" requires the player to defend 2 bases in a single battle, down from 3.
- The achievement "One Two Three You Don't Know About Me" requires the player to assault 2 bases in a single battle, down from 3.
- The achievement "Not Your Average PUG'er" now requires 10 total flag defenses, down from 50.
- The achievement "Battle for Gilneas All-Star" now requires a single flag assault and flag defense in a battle, down from 2.
- Rated Battlegrounds
- 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.
- Several persistent ground effects now display different visuals for hostile and friendly players. The following spells have the same visual effects for friendly players, but new alternate visuals for hostile players: Ring of Frost, Consecration, Desecration, Wild Mushroom, Flare, Ice Trap, Power Word: Barrier, Smoke Bomb, and Hand of Gul'dan. As a general rule, the alternate effects have a red tint or hue indicating they are created by an enemy player.
- Dark Simulacrum now works on numerous additional spells in dungeon encounters.
- Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.
- Blood Shield now only works while in Blood Presence.
- Death Strike self-healing no longer generates threat.
- 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.
- Frost Strike now deals 130% of weapon damage, up from 110%.
- Howling Blast damage has been increased by 20%. To compensate, the area-of-effect splash now does 50% of the single-target damage, down from 60%. The net result of this change leaves the area-of-effect damage roughly the same as 4.0.6 numbers. In addition, Howling Blast now has a facing requirement.
- Desecration no longer triggers when an applicable strike hits a snare-immune target. This is primarily to avoid unnecessary spell effect clutter during boss encounters.
- Glyph of Raise Ally is now Glyph of Death Gate, and makes Death Gate cast 60% faster.
- Cyclone duration has been reduced to 5 seconds, down from 6.
- Efflorescence has a new spell effect.
- Lifebloom's bloom effect has been reduced by 20%.
- Prowl has a new icon.
- Stampeding Roar's duration has been increased to 8 seconds, up from 6. The movement speed effect has been increased to 60%, up from 40%.
- Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6.
- Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.
- Starsurge damage has been reduced by 20%.
- Solar Beam is now more responsive when enemies move into or out of it.
- Feral Swiftness now also causes Dash and Stampeding Roar to have a 50/100% chance to instantly remove all movement impairing effects from the affected targets when used.
- Gift of Nature (passive) also reduces Tranquility's cooldown by 2.5/5 minutes.
- Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects. In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.
- Malfurion's Gift now reduces the cooldown of Tranquility by 2.5/5 minutes.
- Glyph of Rake is now Glyph of Pounce, which increases the range of Pounce by 3 yards.
Druid Bug Fixes
- The troll druid models for Flight Form and Swift Flight Form has slimmed down to be more in scale with other druid flight forms.
- 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.
- Multi-Shot damage has been increased by 250%.
- Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter's level, rather than 3 levels below.
- The Feed Pet ability now instantly heals 50% of the pet's health. Cannot be used in combat. Requires diet-appropriate food.
The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets.
- Bloodthirsty no longer generates Happiness.
- Carrion Feeder no longer restores Happiness.
- Guard Dog no longer causes Growl to generate additional Happiness.
- Glyph of Mend Pet is now Glyph of Greater Proportion, which increases the size of the pet slightly.
Hunter Bug Fixes
- Distracting Shot and Multi-Shot are now properly 40-yard range.
- Multi-Shot now properly has a 1-second global cooldown.
- Arcane Blast damage has been increased by 13%. In addition, the stacking effect of Arcane Blast now increases the damage done by Arcane Explosion, and Arcane Explosion does not consume that effect.
- Arcane Explosion damage has been increased by 13%.
- Arcane Missiles damage has been increased by 13%.
- Blizzard damage has been increased by 70%.
- Frostbolt damage has been increased by 10%.
- Arcane Barrage damage has been increased by 13%.
- Improved Arcane Explosion now also reduces the mana cost of Arcane Explosion by 25/50%.
- Combustion no longer has a global cooldown.
- Ignite is no longer triggered from periodic critical effects.
- Fingers of Frost bonus damage applied to Ice Lance has been increased to 25%, up from 15%.
- Ice Barrier base damage value has been increased by approximately 120%. In addition, the benefit from spell power has been increased by approximately 8%.
- The root effect from Shattered Barrier now shares diminishing returns with the root from Improved Cone of Cold.
- Glyph of Frost Armor (new glyph): Frost Armor also causes the mage to regenerate 2% of maximum mana every 5 seconds.
- Righteous Fury now persists through death.
- Word of Glory now has a 20-second cooldown.
- Aura Mastery: This ability no longer increases the benefit granted by Crusader Aura.
- Illuminated Healing shield duration is now 15 seconds, up from 8 seconds. In addition, Illuminated Healing has been increased to provide 1.5% effect per mastery, up from 1.25%.
- Walk in the Light (passive) removes the cooldown of Word of Glory.
- Divine Guardian cooldown is now 3 minutes, up from 2.
- Grand Crusader will now generate a charge of Holy Power if the Avenger Shield it procs is used within 6 seconds.
- 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.
- 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.
- Priests now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope.
- Holy Fire damage has been increased to be approximately 30% higher than Smite.
- Holy Word: Sanctuary has a new spell effect.
- Inner Will and Inner Fire now last until canceled.
- Mind Sear damage has been doubled.
- Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.
- Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.
- Atonement now works with Holy Fire in addition to Smite.
- The direct damage portion of Holy Fire can now trigger Evangelism.
- Power Word: Barrier's cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes, up from 2, and its effect has been reduced to 25%, down from 30%.
- It is now possible to remove Weakened Soul effects that were a result of another priest's Power Word: Shield through Strength of Soul.
- Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.
- Chakra now lasts until canceled, up from 1 minute.
- Surge of Light can now also trigger from Binding Heal.
- Glyph of Divine Accuracy now also affects Holy Fire in addition to Smite.
- 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.
- Improved Recuperate now adds 0.5%/1% to the health restoration effect of Recuperate, down from 1%/2%.
- 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.
- Fire Nova has been redesigned and decoupled from shaman Fire totems. Instead, it now pulses the Fire Nova 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 to 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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.
- Deep Healing now benefits all heals, not just direct heals.
- Spirit Link Totem (new talent) reduces damage taken by all party and raid members within 10 yards by 10%. This lasts 6 seconds, and every second it is active the health of all affected players is redistributed among them, such that each player ends up with the same percentage of their maximum health. This counts as an Air totem and has a 3-minute cooldown.
- Elemental Combat
- Rain of Fire damage has been increased by 25%.
- Seed of Corruption damage has been increased by 20%.
- Haunt damage has been increased by 30%.
- Shadow Mastery (passive) has been increased to 30%, up from 25%.
- Mana Feed now restores more mana (four times as much) when the warlock is using a Felguard or Felhunter.
- Doomguard's damage has been increased by 50%. The Doomguard is intended to be the best guardian for single-target damage, and the Infernal the best when there are multiple targets.
- Lash of Pain (Succubus) damage now scales with level, reducing the damage done at lower levels such that it will deal 50% damage at level 20, and 100% damage at level 80 and above.
- Shadow Bite (Felhunter) damage and effect has doubled.
- Charge and Intercept no longer have diminishing returns on their stun effects.
- Colossus Smash now ignores 50% of a hostile player's armor (PvP), but continues to ignore 100% of a non-player character's armor (PvE).
- Heroic Throw is now available from trainers at level 20.
- Inner Rage is now available at level 56.
- Intercept now has a 1.5-second stun, down from 3 seconds.
- Pummel is now usable in all stances.
- 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.
- Shield Bash has been removed from the game.
- Spell Reflection cooldown has been increased to 25 seconds, up from 10.
- 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.
- Improved Hamstring now reduces the global cooldown on Hamstring by 0.5/1 seconds in addition to its current effects.
- Juggernaut no longer adds 2 seconds to the Charge stun, but instead lowers the cooldown of Charge by 2 seconds (to 13 seconds total without the glyph).
- Lambs to the Slaughter now causes Mortal Strike to refresh Rend in addition to its current effects.
- Strikes of Opportunity value per point of mastery has been increased by 10%.
- Precision (passive) now increase auto-attack damage by 40%, in addition to the 3% hit it offers currently.
- Unshackled Fury now only grants 2 base points of mastery, down from 8.
- Shield Mastery no longer affects the cooldown of Spell Reflection, however, it now allows Shield Block to proc a second aura that reduces magic damage by 7/14/20% for 6 seconds.
- Gag Order now only affects Heroic Throw.
- Glyph of Spell Reflection reduces the cooldown of Spell Reflection by 5 seconds, up from 1 second.
- The Dungeon Finder now attempts to avoid putting damage-dealing classes with the same armor type in a group.
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.
- Searing Flames now causes a 6-second cooldown on Modulation.
- Searing Flames no longer increases Sound on players.
- Players should no longer be able to avoid the first period damage tick of Searing Flame, and Searing Flame now ticks every 2 seconds. The damage of Searing Flame has been increased to compensate for it ticking less frequently.
- 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.
- The damage of Shadowflame Barrage has been reduced by 15% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).
- The damage of Tail Lash has been reduced by 20% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).
Bastion of Twilight
- Blackout can now be dispelled on Heroic difficulty.
- The health of Blood of the Old God on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered by roughly 20%.
- The health of Darkened Creations on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered by roughly 20%.
- Corruption: Accelerated on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered slightly.
- Knockbacks and Deathgrip can now be used to interrupt players that are converted by Cho'gall.
- Dragon Siblings
Dire Maul North
- The Gordok Courtyard Key in Fengus's Chest is now replenished after several seconds.
- The Cache of the Legion now unlocks when Gatewatcher Gyro-kill is gyro-killed.
- Postboxes no longer require keys to open, because really, who locks their postboxes anymore when they're all undead? It's just people sending coupons for brains anyway.
- The Postmaster now spawns when 3 of any postbox are opened.
- The Staff of Prehistoria is no longer required to open the door in the Map Room.
- Baelog's chest has been given new loot. If it's grey it's good, right?
- Troll Cages no longer require the Executioner's Key to open.
- The gold amounts awarded for the following encounters have been substantially reduced: Flame Leviathan, Magtheridon, Gruul the Dragonkiller, Doom Lord Kazzak, and all encounters in Karazhan.
- 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.
- Two new custom guild tabards have been added as Guild Rewards. The tabards are account bound and offer a bonus to gaining guild reputation.
- The amount of guild experience rewarded for rated Battleground guild group wins has been dramatically increased.
- Players are now rewarded guild experience for Honorable Kills in the field.
- Players are now rewarded guild experience for Battleground wins in Battleground brackets up to level 80.
- Arena teams are now awarded guild experience for wins. The entire team must be members of the same guild to earn this experience.
- All trade goods available for purchase with Honor or Justice Points from the associated commodities vendors have had their prices reduced by 50%.
- Maelstrom Crystals are now available for purchase with Honor or Justice Points from the associated commodities vendors.
- The PvP Horde and Alliance trinkets have a new spell effect.
- The current damage-dealing death knight 4-piece raid set bonus now also grants increased attack power when Killing Machine triggers, as well as when the death knight gains Death Runes).
- The current Holy paladin 4-piece raid set bonus now grants 540 Spirit for 6 seconds after casting Holy Shock.
- The current healing priest 4-piece raid set bonus no longer requires a target to be under the effects of Weakened Soul for the priest to receive the Spirit bonus. Instead the benefit will be granted each time the priest's Penance spell heals a target.
- All major cities will now have every type of profession trainer and their associated trade supply vendors.
- The Ring of Valor has returned! It should now be playable again in the Arena map rotation.
- New starting areas have been added for Ring of Valor. Players will no longer enter the Arena on the elevator. It's been removed. Instead players will start in a room at opposite ends of the Arena.
The Focused Assault and Brutal Assault buffs have changed.
- After 3 minutes of both teams having the flag, both flag carriers will get Focused Assault, which increases damage taken by 10%.
- Every minute afterward, an additional stack will be applied to increase damage taken by an additional 10%.
- After 7 minutes, Brutal Assault will be applied in place of Focused Assault. In additional to the damage debuff, this debuff also caps the player's movement speed at 100%. The damage taken debuff works the same and will add 10% to the debuff up to a maximum of 100% damage taken.
- Arathi Basin is now available as a 10v10-player rated Battleground.
- Flags should now cap in 7 seconds, down from 8.
The Battle for Gilneas
- Flags should now cap in 7 seconds, down from 8.
- Players who die at a control point that they own will now be teleported to the next closest graveyard, instead of the one at which they died.
- If a player's team owns the Mine and Waterworks, and dies at Waterworks, they will be teleported to the Mine.
- If an Alliance player's team only owns Lighthouse, and dies at Lighthouse, they will respawn at their base.
- If a Horde player's team owns Waterworks and Mine, and dies at Lighthouse, they will respawn at Waterworks.
- 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.
- Graveyard Changes
- The Focused Assault and Brutal Assault buffs have changed.
- A handful of quests have been added to Northern Barrens to provide more level 18-20 content. Look for new quests at Nozzlepot's Outpost and Darsok's Outpost.
- Loot from the creatures Garr, Julak-Doom, Mobus, and Poseidus has been adjusted to be commensurate to their rarity and invested effort.
- 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.
- The Guild Finder has been implemented! While we are continuing to add final polish to this feature, we welcome all focused testers to give it a go. Feedback can be provided here.
- Like the Focus Frame, the character Unit and Target Frames can now be unlocked and moved to one's content.
- 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.