Alright kitty fans here we go.
The big awaited 4.01 is at our doorstep so its time to get ready and be prepared for some big changes. With that being said, lets take a look what we should know going into 4.01 and how we can be better prepared for the big shift come this Tuesday. For the latest patch notes, check out this link and also check out MMO-Champ’s extensive resource list for 4.01 here. Remember, I am not providing step by step guides on what to do, what to gear, what to gem. That’s not my style, instead I am looking to bring awareness to changes and provide insight on how to approach them (same approach I’m taking, since nobody knows all the answers) so that you can make decisions that best suit each individual player’s gameplay/gear/situation.
*Update 10/12/10: Added greater details and thoughts into The Changes/Spec/Reforging/Gem sections & Added new Abilities section
*Update 10/21/10: Updated Gear and changed recommendations for Reforging/Gemming
- New 31 Point Talent Tree
- Introduction of Reforging
- New Glyphs
- New Gems
- Justice/Honor System
I’ll be the first to admit that I do not have a solid grip on what will be considered “BIS” come 4.01. All of our items are essentially changing with the removal of Arp which is summarized by this blue post.
Quote by Eyonix (Source)
If you are a melee DPS class, druid tank, or hunter, expect to see:
- A lot more Stamina. Bear-form Stamina scaling will be lowered as a result.
- Strength if you wear plate. Agility if you wear mail or leather.
- Existing Attack Power becomes Agility and Stamina.Armor Penetration becomes Haste or Crit.
- No Intellect on melee gear. Hunters won’t need Intellect since they will no longer use mana. Shaman and Retribution paladins will get mana and spell damage in other ways.
With so many items changing its probably a little too early to make those types of decisions and personally I don’t like (or know how) to do the math behind those calculations. Perhaps someone smarter than me might do those calcs for the benefit of all us kitties out there (*cough* Kalon) and if I see something Ill be sure to share. I will say however that with the expansion looming, it is best not to try and invest too much time into replacing an item here or there for a couple of extra pts of dps for 7 or less weeks. All of those efforts will be wasted pretty quickly into Cata so its probably best to just use what you have and go with it.
*Update* Kalon made his BIS post which can be found here.
4.01 introduces the new (or return of) the 31 point talent trees, which naturally will require a completely new spec. Blizzard has redesigned these talent trees with the intent to remove the “fluff” and “filler” from the trees so that every talent is meaningful and not just points to put into to get deeper into the tree.
To understand what our new spec will be, first you’ll need to look into the secondary tree (Resto) to see the amount of points required. Specifically, looking at the restoration tree you’ll see we are interested at a maximum of speccing up to Master Shapeshifter. This will require a total of 6 points, which at lv 80 means we will have a total of 30 points remaining. This is a problem since we need 31 points in the Feral tree to spec down to Berserk. So at lv 80 we need to make some adjustments and reduce the # of points spent in the Restoration tree. Instead, we will be speccing only 3 points into Heart of the Wild, leaving 33 points remaining (0/33/3).
Working through the tree there are logical choices in point distribution so I will not discuss the core 31 points to get to Berserk (if you disagree feel free to discuss in comments). Instead with a base spec of 0/31/3 we have 2 points remaining that can be filled into optional talents that are more survival/raid buff based. Your options are:
- Infected Wounds (1/2) (Utility)
- Nurturing Instinct (1/2) (Survivability)
- Survival Instincts (1) (Survivability)
- Predatory Strikes (1/2) (Greater DPS)
At this point, it really depends on your style and what you feel comfortable with. You have 3 options in greater dps, greater utility or greater survivability. Personally I am not a fan of the PVP oriened nature of Predatory Strikes so I am passing on that. I also have no survivability issues so I am dropping my final 2 points into Infected Wounds. (Rarren’s Spec)
One of the neatest additions to 4.01 is the ability to “reforge” your items and convert 40% of secondary stats to any other secondary stat. Secondary stats specifically are Critical Strike Rating, Dodge Rating, Expertise Rating, Haste Rating, Hit Rating, Mastery Rating, Parry Rating, Spirit. This is a fantastic as we’re all aware of how limited hit gear is for kitty kats and also with the removal of Primal Precision, a need to obtain expertise as well now.The tricky thing here is that in the past we’ve been accustomed to know that if its a red slot gem X and if its a yellow slot gem Y etc. While this is still true this is an added layer of complexity as now we have an option of reforging items to get stat X or Y and we do not necessarily have to gem for it anymore. Specifically, this now gives us the ability to swap crit into hit/exp without having to gem for hit/exp. This also allows us to gem for socket bonuses as well which is an added bonus.
For a full explanation of how Reforging works, take a look at the wowwiki page (source)
How to Prepare: It’s a little difficult to prepare ahead of time since Reforging is currently not yet available in game. However the general idea come 4.01 will be to do the following:
- Reforge your the highest secondary stat available that is not Hit or Expertise (aka Crit or Haste)
- If Crit = Haste, reforge Haste over Crit
- Reforge all slots into Mastery
Forget everything you knew about gemming because as of 4.01 its all changing. Here are the things you need to know:
- Arp is no longer a stat available in 4.01
- Some gems are having their colour changed (ex. hit gems are changing from yellow to blue)
- Gem slots on items are retaining their colours and are not changing
- Due to the new talent trees, we are losing Primal Precision and will no longer have 10 Expertise
- The PVP gem vendor will no longer exist come 4.01
So what gems will be using? Here’s a list of potentials:
How to Prepare: If you’re Justice Point capped, might as well spend badges on gems now instead of paying for gems later. Similarly if you’re honour capped, might as well spend honour on gems while you can as that option will be removed come 4.01. Seeing as everyone will essentially be required to regem in someway shape or form, the cost of gems will most likely go up and will cost you a pretty penny. So stock up now while you can. What gems specifically to buy is a very difficult question to answer. It completely depends on what gear you have, what colour slots they have and what/if you are planning to reforge. General rules of thumb to work by are:
- Gem Hit into Blue slots
- Gem Agility into Red slots
- Gem Agil/Haste or Agil/Crit into Yellow slots depending on how your crit/haste levels are
The glyph system is getting a complete revamp on how it works. Currently we have Major and Minor glyphs however this will change into Prime, Major and Minor glyphs. Essentially Prime = Major and Minor = Minor with Major begin a new category. If you’ve been on the PTR you’ll have noticed you can actually see every glyph that is available but you need to actually acquire the glyph to learn it. Once you’ve acquired it, it will become permanent in a library of glyphs and can be pulled from your inventory at any time. I’ve listed off the glyphs that are of interest to us and depending on how things pan out on live it may change but I’ve highlighted the ones I’m going with. I think the big change really is moving away from Savage Roar and moving to Tiger’s Fury. With the announcement of a 15% damage boost for 6s via Tiger’s Fury (source), having a 15% dmg boost every 27s seems to outweight a static 5% from Savage Roar which now only affects white damage instead of all damage.
Prime Glyphs (*Gylphs I’m going with)
- Glyph of Rip*
- Glyph of Shred*
- Glyph of Tiger’s Fury*
- Glyph of Savage Roar
- Glyph of Berserk
- Glyph of Mangle
Major Gylphs (*Glyphs I’m going with)
How to Prepare: Buy up/create all your glyphs now so that come 4.01 you can learn them all and be on your way.
With 4.01 all badges will be transferred into Justice Points and all sources of honor will be converted into Honor Points. This will simplify all your different sources of badges/honor which can be calulated by MMO-Champ’s calculator (source). Note that there are hard caps for both Justice and Honor points so anything above and beyond 4k will be converted into gold. The conversion rates are different for different types of badges/honor so make sure you take a look at the calculator to see what your return will be.
How to Prepare: This really depends on you and what you value as your priorities. If you aren’t capped, chances are you’ll be letting it ride. If you are capped then it depends what you value more, money or items. For example, if you are capped you could use your excess honor/badges to buy gems or heirlooms. Gem’s you’ll be needing to regem all your characters so that’s a win-win situation. Heirlooms on the other hand are also an option, if youre planning to do any lvling might as well buy them now. However on the other hand if your’e short on gold, perhaps you’d rather just let them all convert into gold.