I went on the PTR to see some of the changes such as what happens to stats that are going away, what to do the trees look like and the like. I figured that some people won’t be heading over to the PTR and might like to see what these things look like. Most of the shots are from logging in as my warrior so the spell power/mp5 etc. changes won’t be reflected. This is also more of a “peek my head in and take some quick notes” update. For more in-depth analysis check out Tankspot and Elitist Jerks (as well as other good sources).
The source of some the biggest changes is influenced by Blizzard’s attempt to enable players to understand concepts like class specialization and training even without checking out websites. To that end the talent trees have changed significantly, and how you can apply points changes.
When you first go to put your points into a tree you are required to chose a tree. The DK selection looks like this:
If you click on “view talent trees” you can see the talents and select that way as well.
Once you pick your talent trees you need to put 31 points into your chosen tree before you can put points in any of the other trees. At level 80 that means you only have 5 points left and that is not enough to get to the second tier of any secondary talent tree. At 85 you will have enough additional points to get into the second tree.
This is an example of the warrior tree:
Another big change is the simplification of stats. There are a number of stats that are just going away. I’m not going to list them all here, but one big example is Defense is going away for tanks. No more “I can’t tank this because I don’t have enough defense gear”, crit reduction now comes from your talents, (and stance). This means that all the gear that used to have defense now has more dodge. It isn’t a 1-1 conversion. I haven’t figured out the math but I’m sure someone has (if you know where please let me know in the comments. I haven’t had the time to check the usual places). For example here is a before and after shot of my helm:
Other stat conversions seemed to be different as well. I know some may be related to how I placed my talents, but armor/dodge/parry definitely are lower on the PTR , even with the additional dodge from the defense conversion. (Also block is now a percentage so that conversion is completely different.)
Defense stats before:
In addition to the gear stats changing they want to encourage you to wear gear types appropriate for your class. Thus Warriors/DKs/Paladins get a bonus for wearing plate and other classes get bonuses appropriate to their highest material gear. Here is what that looked like for aPaladin:
With all the stat changes and encouraging players to use the right material gear they have added the ability to change the stats on your gear. This is through the process of Reforging. Currently reforgers can be found near the enchanters (and any guard can tell you where to go.)
You’ll note the restore button at the bottom (currently greyed out because I hadn’t clicked reforge yet.) If you change your mind about reforging a piece of gear you can restore it back to its original stats.
A Few Other Changes
Badger badger badger badger…
For those who have been playing long enough you probably have emblems of various types. Heroism, Valor etc. These are all going away. Triumph and Frost emblems are converted into Justice points, and all other emblems are converted to gold which is mailed to you. (By Omar the Test Dragon on the PTR.) A gratuitous currency shot is below (they are still tuning the conversion rate.)
This does mean that if you have extra emblems that are going to be converted to gold you might consider buying any heirloom gear you were thinking of buying but hadn’t yet.
Lastly the location of some things have changed, namely you profession, mounts and pets. These all have been relocated to tabs on your spell book. So don’t panic when you don’t see that usual button for your profession – it’s over in the Professions tab.
There are lots of changes to look forward to when the 4.0.x patch goes live. I hope the brief tour was enjoyable and if you want to just poke through the pictures on Flickr you can find them here.