As I mentioned in my last post I was on vacation all of last week, but I was checking WoW Insider and some of the other WoW news resources regularly just to see what was going on. I was also checking my e-mail quite regularly to see if I got a beta invite, and like most people I have not received one yet.
Anyway, here are some of the news items that stuck out to me over the past week. Some of these things may have happened before I left, but I didn't comment on them then so I wanted to now.
Patch Note Changes - I have seen several patch note changes on various news sites. They are all very similar but not exactly the same. The first one is the mana cost and cooldown of Force of Nature and Moonkin Form. They all suggest a reduction in mana cost and cooldown. The second set of changes concern Typhoon and Starfall. Here they are increasing range, mana cost, and damage it appears. Really none of these changes are all that big.
Stat Changes - This had been hinted at for quite a while, and we are starting to see some info on how it will take shape. Blizzard is combining stats so that they are usable by multiple classes. For example, Healing and Spell Damage are now being combined into Spell Power. Healing spells will get more benefit from spell power then damage spells by having a higher coefficient. Hit Rating and Crit Rating will now affect both spells and melee, and the spell versions of these stats are being eliminated.
Overall I think this is a good change, but I see both pluses and minuses. On the plus side, this will reduce the amount of gear that is sharded and will help casters change their role if needed. This is good for the raid but I think it is bad for moonkin for a couple of reasons.
First we already have trouble competing for cloth gear from locks, mages and priests. Now healers will want that same cloth gear, we will have to compete with resto's for the decent leather gear, and cloth casters may start to assume again that we should roll on cloth because there is more leather gear available.
My second problem with this is that Resto gear and Moonkin gear are not similar. Resto's are big spirit users, but don't need much if any Crit or Hit. Moonkin are big Crit and Hit users, but don't need a lot of spirit. The druid gear that will be provided will clearly favor one spec over the other or neither. I worry that Blizzard and other players will just assume that because moonkin can now benefit from resto gear that they don't need to itemize for moonkin. I guess we will see what happens..
Achievements - There seems to be quite a few people that are excited about this but to be honest I don't really care. To me it is the equivalent of another rep grind. Having some extra titles and/or gear will be cool, but I can't imagine that it will be all that different then the rep rewards we currently get from factions. This could be a big help for guild management though. If this info is available on the armory then it will help guilds assess new applicants and who they need to get into raids to get attuned.
Mounts/Non Combat Pets - I am not a pet fanatic like some people but I do think they are kind of cool. However, I have destroyed several for bag space. I also don't like holding two mounts in my bags for air and land. So now we hear that blizzard is going to treat Mounts and Non Combat Pets as spells is great. It should save a little bag space for everyone and for the pet lovers out there it saves a ton of bag and bank space. This is a good change.
New Token System - It is obvious that blizzard loves tokens. We gather tons of tokens from various sources so that we can purchase items from items and other rewards. Frankly I have tons of things in my bank just sitting there in case I need them later. Every thing from Badges of Justice to Battleground Marks. I think treating tokens as currency is a great idea. You don't know how many times I have gone all the way out to the sunwell to purchase a gem only to realize I left my BoJs in the bank. Or how long AV marks have sat in my bags because I was called into an instance on short notice and I forgot to put them in the bank. Another good change in my opinion.
Leveling from 60-70 - Given the changes in leveling from 20 - 60 this isn't a big surprise. So far they only appear to have changed the amount of XP needed to go from one level to the next and the amount of XP awarded by killing a mob. Quest XP hasn't been changed get from what I have seen. This is a welcome change since I expect that Outland will become a ghost land after WotLK is released just as Azeroth has since BC's release.
Inscriptions - Very little is known about the new profession but there are some interesting bits of information available. Basically this profession will provide permanent enchants to a couple of your spells and several temporary buffs to your armor. You can find more info here. They haven't listed many of the Inscriptions yet but many of the few that they have listed deal with druids and moonkin. None of them are amazing but it is nice to get a quick peak at the way they they are thinking. You can find them here. The one thing that did catch my eye though was Scroll of Recall. Basically it is another hearth stone with a shorter cooldown. I assume that it will be consumed after use, but it will be nice to have a couple on each toon so that I can get them back home quickly if I need to hearth twice in short succession.
WotLK Gems - One of the things that upset a lot of people when BC came out was how green quest rewards immediately replaced some epic level raiding gear that took months to obtain. As a result Blizzard has said that there will not be a significant gear reset with WotLK and this seems to hold true when you look at the WotLK quest rewards. However I was caught by surprise when I looked at the gems available in WotLK. I have always assumed that Green WotLK gems would be similar to Blue BC gems, and wouldn't be more then Purple BC gems. My assumption was wrong. Take the [Runed Bloodstone] for example, It is two points better then the BC epic. BC gems will be officially worthless. I'm not sure how this will affect profession leveling since it will be hard to sell the gems, but at the same time the blue gems needed to level past 350 should be easier to purchase. Then again, who will be farming them to make them cheap.
Passive Gathering Buffs - This is the change that excited me most since my last post. In WotLK gathering professions will give the toon a passive buff. Minings is Toughness, and Skinning is Master of Anatomy. The buff for Herbalism hasn't been released yet. These aren't major buffs even at level 70, but it is nice to have a reason to keep a gathering profession on your main. I have often considered dropping Herbalism on Graylo so that i could pick up another profession like Leatherworking or Enchanting, but haven't done it because I don't have another flower picker. Here's to hoping that Herbalism gets a good buff like Spell Power/Attack Power.
Toon Update - Not a whole lot to say here since I was gone all last week, so I will only hit the high point.
Grayfel - I HAVE A DREADSTEED!!!!!!!! Finally I don't have to use the slow mount anymore. Now that no one runs Scholo and Dire Maul anymore it has been a real pain to find a group to do these quests. Many thanks go out to the guildies that helped me complete the quests. Onyxstar and Beevis spent 3 hours running me to the Scholo Alchemy Lab and then through DM east. We were unable to three man this portion of the quest chain so I summoned two more guildies, Gaylin and Ravendrache, and finished it quickly. Once again, I owe all of you many thanks. If you need help with anything please let me know.