Patch 5.0.4: Changes to the spellbook

Daniel Whitcomb
D. Whitcomb|08.28.12

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Patch 5.0.4: Changes to the spellbook
Patch 504 Changes to the spellbook
With patch 5.0.4 dropping today, there are quite a few UI changes you'll need to get used to. Many of those changes are coming to your trusty spellbook. The way you find and use spells has changed slightly, and the spellbook now includes some handy hints to help you grasp your class and spec's role and abilities. Here's the basic rundown:
  • All core class and spec skills are now on one tab under the main Spellbook tab.
  • The Core Abilities tab gives you a rundown of the key abilities you'll use for your class and spec.
  • The What's Changed tab lets you know what's new for your class and spec.
  • The Mounts and Companions tabs are no longer in your main spellbook.
Let's take a deeper look at each of these points now.

Where's that spell hiding?

In patch 4.3 and before, when you wanted to find a new skill and put it on an action bar or otherwise use it, you had to find the right tab for the specialization it belonged to and root it out of there. In patch 5.0.4, all of your basic class skills will be in one tab, named after your specialization.

For example, as a frost death knight under the old system, if you wanted to put Plague Strike on your bars, you had to go to the unholy tab in your spellbook to find it. In patch 5.0.4, Plague Strike is now in your frost tab, in alphabetical order right after Pillar of Frost.

In addition, if the spell or skill is specific to certain specializations, it will list those specs beneath the spell name. For example, Rain of Fire for warlocks now indicates that it's used by destruction and affliction warlocks.

Note that your other specialization tabs are still present, but they will be gray and inactive unless you spec into them. Once you switch your spec, that spec's tab will become active. You also still have a general tab that contains many of your basic class passive abilities, your riding skill, and your racial and guild abilities.

Patch 504 Changes to the spellbook
Finding the perfect spell

The Core Abilities tab is a new tab that lists the basic abilities you'll need to use in your damage rotation with some advice on when to use them, uniquely tailored to your specialization. For example, in the screenshot above, you can see the basics of the hunter beastmaster rotation spelled out in game, with advice on how to use Kill Command, Serpent Sting, and other abilities. You can also click on the specialization tabs on the side of the spellbook to see your other specializations' Core Abilities tabs.

You shouldn't take this tab as a complete gospel rundown of your damage rotation, however. There are generally a lot of nuances you'll want to learn from more experienced players, and the tab does sometimes forget specific abilities. For example, you will notice the tab above doesn't mention Bestial Wrath. Still, as a basic introduction for new players or players picking up a new class or spec, it works rather well.

Patch 504 Changes to the spellbook
Still confused?

The What's Changed tab gives you a quick rundown of what's different for your class and spec. For example, it lets caster classes know that they can use wands as main-hand weapons now, and it lets paladins know that Auras no longer exist. Again, it won't be a complete, in-depth rundown of your class changes, but if you log in and you're completely confused as to why something is missing, it might be mentioned on the What's Changed tab.

Finally, the Mounts and Companions tabs are gone from your spellbook and are now located in a separate window that you can access on your menu bar or by pressing Shift + P. On the other hand, the Professions tab is still in your spellbook and is essentially unchanged.

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