WotLK Pet Changes Coming Early

Blizzard announced today that, much as they released Patch 2.0 for all players shortly before Burning Crusade was available for purchase and play, they will be launching what they call a content patch containing many of the game-wide changes from Wrath of the Lich King before Wrath of the Lich King is actually available.

Among the features included in this patch:

  • New class spells and talents
  • Hunter pet skill revamp

On the one hand, this is just great — the sooner we can get at the pet talent trees, not to mention exotic pets, the better. (Leveling a new hunter alt has suddenly become a lot less fun for me, as I realize exactly how much work it is to run around collecting Bite 2 and Claw 3 and such.)

On the other hand, I hope they give me enough time to get Petopia updated. (I also hope that there’s not too much of a gap between this pre-Wrath content patch and the release of Wrath itself, because otherwise I’m going to have to separate out all the Northrend pets and that will be annoying. But I digress.)

Now this announcement is not unexpected. It makes a lot of sense for Blizzard to separate the chaos of the mechanics changes from the chaos of half the players all trying to upgrade their accounts at once. But the timing of the announcement — or rather the timing in the announcement — is causing something of a stir. To quote Eyonix:

In preparation for the expansion, we will be issuing a new content patch in the coming weeks.

Leaving me to ask Blizzard: Err … guys? Is that coming weeks like eight to twelve weeks (which would fit my notions of when the expansion will be launching)? Or coming weeks like in a couple of weeks, in which cause I need to get off my butt with Petopia — and no offense, but so do you, with the pet skill damage and threat passes!

Well, I guess we’ll see.

48 thoughts on “WotLK Pet Changes Coming Early

  1. fearstalker

    my guess is at least another 6 weeks… 2-4 weeks before the expansion.

    they HAVE to do this, just so all the talent changes are accounted for, so they don’t have people with different sets of skills.

  2. Cuer

    Even if the 3.0 patch goes up on the PTR within a few weeks, it will likely be a month or more after that before it has a chance of going live. There are numerous changes to the API that necessitate a lot of reworking of addons; this has been helped out by Blizzard trying to get beta keys to all major addon developers, but there is still a lot of work. See the post by Slouken about the 3.0 release, for some info regarding this.

  3. Rikaku

    What I’m curious is, even though Hunter’s will have the new talent for Exotic taming, will we actually be able to tame current in game exotics? If so, paint me ECSTATIC as I’d love to have a chimera before Wrath hits.

  4. Kikaku

    I can’t wait to tame a low level pet and have it instantly lv 65! I may- gasp! dare I say it- actually have a cat by my side even! Get ready Darkshore, Imma tame a Moonstalker Matriarch! >:D

  5. Chris

    Would you see patch 3.0 on the test servers? Surely this is what the Beta has been doing? Coming weeks to me would mean within about 4 weeks. Exciting times.

  6. Kristy

    I’m an optimist. I’m so excited! Can’t wait for the awesome patch! We only have weeks to wait, WEEKS! Yes! If they add brand-new pet families, in the upcoming “weeks” patch, the white Devilsaur is mine! >:-D lol

  7. Darknez

    Hmm… but I need to get my hunter to 70 (blasphemy I know, to get a Warrior and Druid there first… especially as my hunter was my first character!)

    However I need to get my Shaman 8 more levels so I can ride my Zebra!

  8. Palladiamors

    I may have to bite my tongue. I found a link that declares that 3.0 WILL be on test servers, and for an extended amount of time. The problem with this link is that it was a week old, and I personally have my previously stated reservations about Blizzards take on Mythic and WAR. Either A: 3.0 will hit test servers in the next week or so, be tested for a month and THEN hit live, or B: WARs preview weekend scared the beejezus out of multiple money grubbers at Activision and Blizzard, and they’ve made some demands that Blizzard is going to have to keep. I almost hope for the later, since the former means we will be getting and unfinished and potentially bad product.

  9. Maevet

    Man I really hope they aren’t trying to push this out the door hell or high water…

    As much as I’m eager for WLK, I’ld rather they take thier time and give us something smooth at launch.

  10. FaaR

    I don’t know what really that would scare the bejeebus out of Blizzard (or even the moneygrubbers at activision), but I sincerely doubt it would be WAR.

    WAR’s looking to be a marginally successful MMO from what I’ve read of people talking about it, just like LoTRO, Conan and EVE and so on in the past. Nothing that would remotely threaten to knock the crown off of WoW. :)

  11. Brynhildr

    WAR’s got a completely different focus – one that WoW is rubbish at. EVE has grown steadily for years and is so utterly unlike WoW that it’s gone for practically a different market. LOTRO is fair enough, and Conan is a complete failure.

    WoW can stagnate without being threatened, purely because of the incredibly large numbers of subs it already has. That doesn’t mean that Blizzard might not want to stamp out the chances of any of their competitors, though.

  12. Emowin

    I don’t really mind WHEN they get this patch out. But I DO wish blizz would get off their butts and give us a game relase date so i can get that bloody night off work lol.

  13. Green Armadillo

    Don’t worry, Mania, this is just a hype announcement designed to distract people from the impending release of Warhammer. We have no reason to believe that the thing will go live anytime in the next month or two (certainly not before Blizzcon, they would have announced it sooner).

    Patch 2.0 was simply forked off of the beta when Blizz wanted it to go live, and was identical to the then current build (which quickly diverged from the beta version, I suppose I can see where maintaining two separate version of the data, one of which will go away at the retail launches, is scary from your perspective). The current Wrath build cannot be forked live, because it is too unstable. They also presumably would like people to continue level 70 activities with this patch live, which means they need to do threat, etc. That’s just not happening in the next month.

  14. Nevr

    Am i the only one thinking that they’ll release this wrath content patch with brewfest then have the expansion come out shortly after thats done?

  15. Zindonas

    11/3/2008 is what most retailers are saying, though this has not been confirmed by Blizzard. Also of note Best Buy has removed that date from their listing. Wall-mart & Target are not currently listing the product but they did have BC day of release.

    I also find it interesting that I have not heard a mention of a collector’s edition this time around.

    http://www.amazon.com/World-Warcraft-Wrath-Lich-Expansion-Pc/dp/B000VJTJNE/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1219755704&sr=8-3
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8719666&st=world+of+warcraft&type=product&id=1201307014485
    http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/World-of-Warcraft-Wrath-of-the-Lich-King-PC-WOWWOLKPRE/sem/rpsm/oid/211809/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do
    http://www.ebgames.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?product_id=66710

  16. Zindonas

    For some reason all but the links in my post got devoured.

    Most retail sites have been listing 11/3/2008 for a while now, Blizzard has not confirmed this but Vivendi games did state to their stock holders that Blizzard would have a major expansion release for wow by the 2nd half of fiscal 08’

    Also of note Best Buy removed their date from their listing. Wall-mart and Target are not listing WotLK, but they did have BC day of release.

  17. Seidouyumi

    Wrath is likely to hit sometime in November, just before the Christmas rush. I’ve been reading many of the interviews with the developers and they’re very definately on target to get this out by then.

    As for Warhammer, there are some major issues regarding it that have to be ironed out fast if it is going to survive. Yes, it is PvP/RvR focused, but there are apparently words from the Beta that it is still incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to capture some of the RvR objectives, especially cities, and they have a class imbalance that makes the WoW, and even TBC, class imbalances seem non-existant. It also lacks any real crafting, which it was suppose to have in order to not make this a completely PvP game. After all, you were suppose to be able to gather materials and/or make items in order to complete quests to ‘support the front lines’. I think, ultimately, this will draw away the hard core PvP’ers from WoW, but not the bulk of players that go in for raids and pve play with a bit of pve on the side.

  18. Chris

    Possible I suppose, depends on whether the talents get implemented. Even then, they may introduce the talent but not exotic pets until Wrath releases. So you will get your extra 5 training points to keep you happy until the release date…

  19. Tinuviel

    I hope they implement the pet changes shortly before WOTLK goes live. This will enable level 70 hunters time to level a pet like wasp or a devilsaur from level 65 to 70 ready to accompany them to Northrend. However, I don’t think the pet changes are ready yet. I am playing the Beta, and growl/focus/pet aggro doesn’t seem to be working properly yet, nor do some of the pet talents. Until they have got aggro sorted, I wouldn’t want it released onto the live realms.

    Absolutely great job btw on Petopia! I have been trying hard to find a pet you haven’t found yet in WOTLK beta to add to the site, but you already have everything I come across :>) Keep up the excellent work Mania and helpers.

  20. Ihlos

    I think it will be great to have the pet trees in, I can start to work by testing their performance as off-tanks in raids instead of waiting until 80. That way I can start to work getting people used to the idea!

  21. Kristy

    Hunter skills, Talents and pet Talent Trees and Skills (they aren’t anywhere near “finished” either) are gonna come in, in the “coming weeks” with this awesome patch. I hold true to hoping they have/add brand-new Tameables too!

  22. Palladiamors

    Alright, newest word from Tigole is that 3.0 WILL in fact be going to test servers soon, apologies for the misinformation. How long they will stay there is currently unclear.

    WAR isn’t that bad, Sei. I should know, I was in the preview. *LAUGHS* 20 Warrior priest! WAR isn’t about class balance, to be perfectly honest. WAR is about one group of people, emphasis on group, trying to clobber ANOTEHR group of people. Certain classes can, and WILL beat the snot out of other classes with little more then a nod. But put, say, a black or, or a sword master in front of those very same classes, and all of a sudden, things are totally different. The PvP in WAR is honestly FUN and engaging, and I felt like it meant something. In WoW, all it means is “Meh, 4000 more until my boots.” Don’t even get me started on how amazing collision detection is for PvP. I watched as a group of five Order, my self included, holed up in a bottle neck inside of a keep, and held off an assault of at least fifteen people, simply because our swordmaster was great at not dying. I and an archmage kept him healed, while he, a bright wizard, and an engineer rained down death. There are moments like that in WoW, but not as…… much of an adreniline rush, I suppose. In WoW, going into a PvP fight, I can pretty much tell you how the fights going to go just from how much my opponent is glowing. Blown lightbulbs get busted real quick. Hyperactive flood lights fry me. In WAR, you never know what your going to get.

    *Coughs* Ramble over. Point being, as a long time WoW player, I can honestly say WAR IS a threat to WoW even in its current form. However, it does need a good deal of polish before its fully released. With that polish, Blizzard stands to lose a good chunk of their fan base. Not enough to knock them out of buisness, but enough to make them notice.

  23. Seidouyumi

    Palla-

    That ‘good bit of polish’ isn’t going to be there at release. Mythic has pushed to release WAR without a lot of the polish in there. And, trust me, that class imbalance is going to be an issue. You know, for a long time, Blizz quite bluntly said that classes ‘were not designed to be 1v1 balanced, and yet, four years later, they are going to be.

    I did not say it here, though, I did say it in the forums. I am actually willing to try WAR, but not right now. I’m going to wait and see how it pans out. Once Wrath has worn its groove, I’ll try WAR. I know that sounds kind of odd, but I’ve bought a few too many games based upon the hype and found myself sickened by how horrible the games were.

    I also think that we might see a number of people split their time between the two games.

    Basically, I do not think that WAR is going to be a major threat to WoW in the first months of release. I think that it might be a threat to WoW in six months to a year. And, honestly, I think by then, Blizz might really want to set their sights on a sequal instead of another expansion. I’ve heard from a lot of people that they too want to wait and see.

    And, honestly, I don’t see why you can’t play two games at once.

  24. Palladiamors

    Money issues, mainly. Fifteen per game starts to add up after a while. And sorry Sei, but the focus still isn’t on 1v1, and nor should it be. Class balance does not equal every class being good against one another. Certain classes will always have an inherant advantage against certain other classes, and I don’t nessecarily think that needs to change. What DOES need to change is certain classes ((Rogues and warriors, mainly, no surprise there)) having a large advantage over EVERY OTHER class in the game. When a well geared warrior or rogue can charge into a group of four or five equally geared non-rogues or warriors and almost always kill one before going down, something is very wrong.

    And honestly, have you seen the new patch notes for fury warriors? They are a bit of a joke now, but my god, what they are adding to them is just insane.

  25. Seidouyumi

    Palla-

    I actually agree with you that class balance shouldn’t be 1v1. I agree with you on this front, and have always argued against such pushes, but you will always have people demanding 1v1 balance. And, while what they are giving Warriors seems insane, what they’re giving everyone seems rather insane.

    Fifteen dollars per game only gets insane when you start getting into three or four games. I could afford $30 a month to play two games, that is, if I had a job right now. However, I don’t have to have both games going at the same time. Right now, Blizzard is keeping characters even if you don’t pay, and I would suggest Mythic do the same.

    Still, a lot of what I’m hearing is that there is still a lot of polish needed before WAR is really playable, and that isn’t going to happen in three weeks. I know what you’re thinking, because you’ve kind of implied it in your posts, no, I don’t think that this is going to be a killer on the game. I’m just saying that this might delay a lot of people from playing the game for a while. I also think a lot of people are going to go ‘well, my friends are all here, I’m going to stick around through Wrath and then, when that gets old, go try WAR’. A lot of people are already doing that.

    I’ve been following WAR for a while now, and not been happy with some of the moves Mythic has done, such as pushing for a fast release, and cutting out a lot of various important features just in order to meet that deadline.

    And, yeah, a preview is great. I have previewed a number of games over the years and then been very disappointed with all but one of a small number of them.

  26. Palladiamors

    That mentality of ‘my friends are here’ kept a lot of people from going over to Conan, and I expect the same with WAR. And I agree with you, actually, they need more then three weeks to really fix what was wrong with the game. There are a lot of things that need to be tweaked, and a lot of things that need to be down right fixed. If anything, Blizzard may be shooting themselves in the foot with their recent announcements. You are absolutely right in thinking that this initial incomplete state of WAR would turn people off. However, due to Blizzards….. ‘genius’ move, a lot of people won’t be around for those initial months. That gives Mythic time to work out the kinks, and god if they have any sense improve on their game. I am pretty sure you know, Sei, but WAR has already been delayed by a good half a year at this point, but the product I got to play didn’t show it. It honestly felt more like a half way complete beta phase, if that far along. I am not saying its a bad game, quite the contrary, as I said I thoroughly enjoyed it. But that doesn’t mean Mythic should launch it as is. If they take the right amount of time and care, it will lodge itself into the market and take a very nice niche. If they don’t, then it’ll fail. Not much to it other then that.

    With all of that being said, I WANT Blizzard to feel threatened. I WANT them to say “Oh !@#$, we might lose customers!” My observations are that when Blizzard feels threatened, they do a better job of taking care of their customers, and a better overall job in designing and implimentation. They come off as total jerks in the mean time, mind you, trying to snuff out smaller companies trying to make a name for themselves, but the people playing WoW get a better experience for it.

  27. Chris

    The problem with new MMORPG’s coming in is that they have to prove themselves better than WoW. WoW already has the people paying subs and a huge consumer base. Other MMORPG’s have to be good enough or offer substantial differences to pull people away. And tbh would Blizz care if it pulled a million people away, probably, but I don’t think they would be overly concerned.

  28. Seidouyumi

    Wow, Palla, I think we actually agreed lol :) I know, rare things happen. But, yeah, I actually would like to try WAR, but given how I’ve been burned by games in the past (‘Winner of X Award for Excellence in Gaming Soon to be on the Ten Dollar or less Rack at your local Walmart!), I want to wait and see how it survives the first six months or so. And I do agree with you about Blizz needing some competition. To be honest, WoW has been a major learning curve for the entire industry. Unfortunately, too many game companies have either not heeded those lessons like the guys behind Vanguard, or have rush to market with a half finished product. That said, in a lot of ways, WoW was only half finished when it hit the markets, but at the time, that didn’t matter as much.

    I do welcome the move to put the core of 3.0 on the PTR server. This gives people a chance to kick the tires of the new class dynamics before launch and give wider feedback. Blizz also has time on their side, really. They can push back Wrath’s launch until mid December and really hit the Christmas markets (if I were them, I would be launching Wrath Thanksgivings Day week for optimal shopping power). They still have several months to go before they launch, and putting 3.0 on the PTR and then live in the next couple of months (PTR in September, live early November) gives them plenty of time to tweak the game.

    When I heard that WAR was going to open Beta a scant three weeks before the launch, I was appauled.

    Blizz needs the competition, but a rushed job isn’t going to accomplish that at all.

  29. darager

    This is rather off topic but i dont think im thee only one wondering this but,
    lets say hypothetically you were BM spec, you went and tamed a rihno(or any other exotic) and then decided “I want to go over to MM and get chimera shot”. Would you still keep your rihno(or whatever) or would you lose it as a pet?
    Sorry for goin a bit off the current topic

  30. Seidouyumi

    Darager-

    You won’t loose your Rhino or any other exotic pet, but you won’t be able to summon him unless you have that talent. You would have to put him in the stable and leave him there until you respecced.

    Don’t worry about asking, please do.

  31. Chris

    Provided there aren’t any major problems, I see a fairly short test time for 3.0 on the PTR. Most of the 3.0 stuff has already been tested on beta, they obviously need to check the scaling at level 70 for all the new talents and make sure that it doesnt cause any major bugs.

    That aside it still shouldn’t alter the release date of Wrath as the beta testing will still be going on.

  32. Rudda

    This is great news. I was kinda worried about learning how to “micro manage” the new active talents, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t, all at the same time as exploring and questing in the new area. This way I’ll be able to spend even a few days with my several pets getting used to the new system before actually having to start the lvling process again.

  33. Zotz

    WARshould have made a mac release … Apple is selling more and more mac’s and there are already a lot of mac gamers on ow or even AoC.

  34. Lovemypet

    What people seem to be missing here is, that it doesn’t matter to a manager whether her company has 9% market share or 90%. The job is the same – maintain, and if possible improve profits. Blizzard’s executives aren’t any more secure in their jobs than those of any of their lesser rivals.

    LK is Blizzard’s management’s panacea to declining profitability – they will have promised the directors a significant increase in sales, rental income, and income from derivatives like the card game – and they need to deliver. Whether they launch before Christmas, and thus gain an initial boost from the Christmas-present sales, is both a marketing and a technical decision.

    From the technical standpoint, development is a continuous process, and there are always bugs still to be found or to be addressed in any release. You need a period immediately before a major release when no new content can be added to the program, so that the majority of bugs in the existing content can be found and fixed. But from what I’m reading here, Blizzard still has a LOT of content to add. If I were to guess, I’d say LK will be ready next Summer.

    From the marketing standpoint, those Christmas sales aren’t as important as they seem. They’re not going to pay off Blizzard’s investment in LK (How much, would we guess? How many developers, working how many hours? How much for the commercials?), and any analyst with sense will look for a seasonally-adjusted figure. The bean-counters will still be pushing for as early a release as possible though, because all the red numbers start turning black on release day. Finally, the flow of money is reversed!

    Speculating even more, I’d guess that the amount of slippage that BC suffered (two months after the promised year, wasn’t it?) might be seen by the bean-counters as a deadline: “thus far but no further” kind of thing.

  35. Pingback: Mania’s Arcania » PTR 3.0: When, What and Why?

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