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2.1 PTR notes, abridged version

Eliah Hecht

The 2.1 PTR notes have now been released for all to see. However, they are very long, at about 9500 words. For comparison, that's about 40% as long as Kafka's "Metamorphosis" (and almost as depressing, depending on what class you're playing). So I thought it might be helpful to make a condensed version, selecting only the changes that seemed relatively significant.

Note that I left out a ton of changes -- this is only 10% of the patch notes -- in order to make this skimmable. It's still definitely worth checking out the full patch notes if you have a few minutes on your hands. And if you want the short, short version: Epic flight form for Druids, Hunters buffed in damage and pet survivability, Paladins' Illumination cut by half, Rogues get automatic Improved Sap.

Edit: added a few things people pointed out in the comments. Thanks guys!

  • General
    • Nether Drakes are now in the game and can be gained by continuing the
      Netherwing faction and quest line.
    • Glancing Blows have significantly less of a chance to occur during a
      player's melee attacks when targets are near the player's level.
    • Spell Haste: The amount of spell haste rating needed per percentage
      of haste has been increased substantially. However, spell haste will
      now affect channeled spells, increasing the rate of their effects and
      decreasing their total duration. The same amount of damage/healing
      per casting will occur, but will take less time.
  • Druid:
    • The "Druid Epic Flight Form" is now available through a series of
    • "Mangle(Bear)": Damage increased by 15%, but bonus threat reduced so
      that overall threat generation will be unchanged.
    • "Subtlety" (Restoration Talent) now applies to all spells, not just
      healing spells.
  • Hunter:
    • A new "Avoidance" ability can now be taught to hunter pets. This
      effect reduces the damage they take from area of effect spells and
    • "Expose Weakness": The chance for this talent to trigger has
      increased to 33/66/100% chance at 1/2/3 talent points.
    • "Hunter's Mark": This ability now becomes stronger each time the
      target is struck by a ranged attack.
    • Replaced the current "Mend Pet" channel spell with an instant cast
      heal over time.
  • Mage:
    • "Ice Block": This ability no longer makes mages immune to "Weakened
      Soul" from "Power Word: Shield". However, using this ability now
      causes "Hypothermia", making the mage unable to cast "Ice Block"
      again for 30 sec.
  • Priest:
    • "Shadow Weaving" (Shadow): Effect reduced by 1% per rank.
    • "Shadow Word: Death": Cooldown increased to 12 sec.
  • Paladin:
    • "Illumination": This talent now only gives 50% of the mana cost of
      the critical heal. It also now returns the correct amount of mana
      when used with ranks 4 and 5 of "Holy Shock"
    • "Ardent Defender" (Protection Talent) now reduces damage taken by
      6-30% when below 35% health.
    • "Sanctity Aura" now increases all damage caused by affected targets
      by 1/2% and no longer increases healing done to affected targets.
  • Rogue:
    • "Sap" now automatically gains the full benefit of "Improved Sap".
    • Rogue poisons no longer have charges.
  • Warrior:
    • "Charge", "Intercept" and "Intervene" now suppress all Slowing
      effects while charging the target. [This is true for Druids' charge as well]
    • "Flurry", Fury Talent, now increases attack speed by 5/10/15/20/25%,
      reduced from 10/15/20/25/30.
  • Pets:
    • Warlock and Hunter pets will now be automatically dismissed when
      you summon a mount. These pets will return on dismount. This does
      not affect pet happiness for Hunters.
  • Items:
    • Heroic difficulty instances end bosses will now always drop an epic
      item, in addition all bosses in Heroic difficulty instances will have
      a chance to drop an epic gem!
    • "Primal Nethers" may now be purchased from G'eras for "Badges of
  • Reputation
    • New title of "Justicar" is now available for Alliance players exalted
      with AV, AB and WSG factions.
    • New title of "Conqueror" is now available for Horde players exalted
      with AV, AB and WSG factions.
  • Dungeons and Raids
    • Creatures will no longer "Cleave" targets that aren't in front of
    • Creatures will no longer perform "Sweeping Strikes".
  • User Interface
    • Players will now be able to access the "Looking For Group Channel"
      by joining the "Looking For Group/Looking for More" tool
    • Players who feign death no longer appear dead to party and raid
      members and friendly spells will not be interrupted.
    • Your current target will now display all of the duration based spells
      that you have cast on them with cooldown rings so you will know how
      much longer they will last. Very useful for warlock damage over time
      spells and druid healing over time spells as well as many others.
    • Profession UI now has a search field. Text that is entered into the
      search field searches against item names, reagent names and item
      levels (if you include a level). For instance you can type "Peace"
      into the search field to see all of your recipes that use Peacebloom,
      or type in "20-30" to see all of you level 20-30 recipes. This search
      field only appears once you have more than 75 skill in your
    • Profession UI now has a checkbox that allows you to search by only
      items that you have the materials to make.
    • Gems are now searchable in the Auction House under the heading of
      "Gem" with the gems then broken up by color so you can search for
      all gems of a specific color.
    • You can now link recipes into chat. If you have chat input open and
      you shift-click on one of your recipes in your profession UI then it
      will put a link to that recipe with the reagents it requires to make
      into chat.

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