Patch 4.2 is nigh, patch 4.2 is nigh. It's so nigh that's we're highly likely to see it this coming Tuesday. Like the Joker, Ragnaros just wants to watch the world burn. So we're putting on our Batboots and trotting off to stomp a 10-man or 25-man hole in Ragtop's chest. The thing is though, if you're a casual or new player, and thus aren't likely to be globe trotting into the Firelands, do you care about patch 4.2?
Kinda. You care a little. There's a new quest hub for daily quests, and there are other ramifications to a casual player, but that stuff is mostly focused on getting you into the Firelands. Don't get me wrong; the new daily quests are really cool. But they won't last you all summer. You're expected to screw your courage to the sticking place and sally on to the new raid.
All that being said, there are definitely things you should know about patch 4.2.
Detailing every class change is somewhat beyond the scope of this particular article because enough balance issues are addressed in patch 4.2 that it'll take some reading to get caught up. The most important note, though, is that Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street addressed many of the reasons for changes in a direct, informative way. It's always nice to know why things are happening, so take the time to check out his explanations.
You should take note of the changes to crowd control. Using a CC spell on an enemy NPC will no longer automatically aggro that mob to you. This is a huge quality of life change that will help PUGs and raids alike. Your repair bills (and tank) will thank you.
New recipes will be hitting the ground in patch 4.2 and a whole new raid tier is being opened. That means that tradeskills will see some heavy use in the initial weeks of patch 4.2.
- Consider stockpiling materials. Volatiles, chaos orbs, leathers, ores, and bars will all sell very well in the opening weeks of patch 4.2.
- Cut gems will stack (thank the Light).
- Uncut green gem prices have been nerfed at the vendor.
With the changes to Mt. Hyjal and even the new Firelands zone, poking your head in new and exciting places will be novel again. The Encounter Journal will allow you to look up bosses while in the game; you won't be forced to go to a 3rd party website to look up boss abilities. Its interface even looks pretty cool.
There are new little fun items being added with the new patch as well. These are (usually) things that are still amusing touches to our game play, but don't radically shift your character's power level.
- New vanity items, like faction-specific balloons.
- Don't forget the new non-combat pets.
- Achievements will get some additions for the patch zones and new pets.
- Hunters have "taming challenges" which add a layer of depth to finding the coolest pets.
- The keyring is being removed from your UI. Gozer is saddened.
The new daily quests in patch 4.2 will probably be the biggest deal to casual and new players. Daily quests allow you to enjoy the questing experience every day. More importantly, the new quests in Mt. Hyjal will advance the story in the zone, allowing you to personally take a role in healing the burned land. Advancing your reputation by doing these quests will allow you access to some pretty cool rings.
- You get to punt turtles and deal with the Echoes of Nemesis.
- To find the power of Malorne, look Between the Trees.
- When Sethria comes home to roost, you'll leave a nasty little surprise.
- We'll still just be rats in a cage, despite all our rage against the flame.
Tier 11 raids nerfed
We talked about it before, but it is worth repeating: The extant tier 11 raids will be nerfed by about 20% in the patch. That means you'll be able to get together a relatively casual group to quickly clear those instances.
This is a big deal for people who didn't have the time to clear this content already. While the hardcore move on to Firelands, tier 11 raids will become our playground.
Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from how to control your character and camera angles when you're just starting out, to learning how to tank, getting up to speed for heroics and even how to win Tol Barad.