Patch 3.1 Overview

Patch 3.1 is probably still a week away, but the Public Test Realms have largely cooled down and I thought it might be handy to do a bit of an overview for Patch 3.1.

Note that this list is not meant to be comprehensive or have all the details, especially about skills. It’s really just a quick look at what’s coming up. If you have any questions or want more info, you’ll probably want to start with the PTR patch notes (at least until 3.1 launches and we get real patch notes) but I will also link to other sources below when I have them handy.

Major Features:

  • Dual Talent Specialization: At level 40 you can spend 1000 gold to unlock a second talent specialization. Each spec behaves just like your spec right now — in particular, you can set up and respec each spec just the way you do now. Once you have unlocked the second spec, you can switch between them almost instantly and almost anywhere. Each spec also has its own set of glyphs and hotbars, and switching specs switches these as well. Note that switching between specs drains all your mana. (More on how this works with hunters below.)
  • Argent Tournament: A permanent event for level 80 characters in Icecrown that introduces mounted jousting and can reward you with cool new mounts and mini-pets. (If only I could do it!)
  • Noblegarden: The Easter-like Noblegarden event has been expanded from a single tortuous day into quite a fun week. This is the first holiday I’ve looked forward to in quite a while.
  • Ulduar: Apparently some sort of new raid dungeon.

Hunter Changes:

  • Switching between talent specs will also respec your pets, which gets annoying fast but is necessary. Blizzard has, however, apparently fixed the bug that unsuccessfully respec’d your pet when when you switched, so at least you no longer have to go back to town to straighten everything out.
  • In order to help level 80 hunters switch between exotic and non-exotic specs, hunters can train the Call Stabled Pet skill at level 80. This skill lets you access your stable (almost) anywhere. Call Stabled Pet can be used without switching specs — it’s just a normal level 80 skill with a 30 minute cooldown — but the cooldown is reset when you switch specs so as long as you have unlocked Dual Talent Specs and you don’t mind repeatedly spec-switching — and you are level 80 — you can switch pets at any time. Did I mention this is only for level 80s?
  • Hunters no longer need to use quivers and ammo pouches, although they can if they want to. The haste from quivers and pouches has been removed from them and is now an inherent part of the hunter class. In addition, ammunition now stacks to 1000. Other ammo changes may come later, but this is what we get for now.
  • There’s been a whole laundry list of hunter talent changes which I’m not going to bother to summarize here.

Pet Changes:

  • All hunter pets now have the same stat modifiers: +5% Damage, +5% Health, and +5% Armor. Note that these are the stat modifiers previously help by Cunning pets.
  • Pet talent trees have been expanded. All three trees get the new talent Wild Hunt, which increases the hunter’s Stamina and Attack Power contribution to the pet. Ferocity pets get the new talent Shark Attack, which increases damage. Tenacity pets get the new talent Silverback, which heals then when they Growl. And Cunning pets get Grace of the Mantis and Roar of Sacrifice, which were previously only available to Tenacity pets.
  • The Gorilla skill Thunderstomp is now a Tenacity talent available to all Tenacity pets. Instead of Thunderstomp, gorillas will instead get Pummel, which interrupts and prevents spellcasting.
  • We have a new spirit beast — Gondria of Zul’Drak — and a new non-exotic but exceedingly cool pet in the form of Aotona.
  • There are new turtles and crabs to tame in Eversong and Ghostlands.
  • As with hunter talents, there’s been a whole laundry list of pet talent changes. I’ve deliberately left out the changes to Furious Howl, Stampede, Acid Spit and more for this post or it would be a good bit longer.

Other Stuff:

  • The cooldown on the ubiquitous hearthstone has been lowered to 30 minutes.
  • You can now queue for Battlegrounds anywhere.
  • You no longer need flint and tinder to make a campfire.
  • The level 40-ish quests for cooking and fishing are no longer required to advance your skill, although you can still do them for rewards. Similarly, you no longer need to buy cooking or fishing books to advance — the trainers will, you know, train you instead.
  • The way fishing works has changed slightly. You can fish (and skill up) anywhere, but you won’t be catching actual fish unless your skill is high enough.
  • You can fish up a mount in Northrend!
  • Horde characters now have an avenue to obtain a Sprite Darter mini-pet and an easier avenue to obtain a Westfall Chicken.
  • There are all sorts of useful new UI options built into the default UI. Unfortunately the Equipment Manager addition had to be pulled from the patch at the last minute, but check out the so-called Colorblind Mode (useful for all sorts) and the Preview Talent Changes option.

As I said when I started, I’m hand-waving away a lot of the changes, especially in hunter and pet talents. I also know that there’s been a host of animation changes (ghost wolves can run now!). I’m afraid it’s going to take me several more posts to round all that info up! But please feel free to let me know what I missed in the comments.

137 thoughts on “Patch 3.1 Overview

  1. Palladiamors

    I know, Ryai. And it does sound like the raptor ability got a pretty big boost. I am glad, really, I always thought raptors needed to be better then what they usually ended up. I just hate that the whole “OMG, BEST PET!” thing can’t seem to go away.

  2. Rikaku

    “OMG BEST PET!” yes, I hate that so much. I could understand it back in the day like with Broken Tooth, but honestly now, it’s pretty much “Hunt with whatever you want”. Even if wolves and cats and spirit beasts were the worst dps, I’d still use them. XD

    I *may* pick up a raptor, if I can find one that doesn’t completely disgust me, but I’ll probably leave Raptor taming to my draenei hunter, not my main XD

  3. Ryai

    Ug yeah probably why everyone is using cats/wolves/raptors, not cause they like them but the omgz leet pet dps!

    And my god Palla, why didn’t you say protection paladins were so epic, Aria and I two-manned Cruel with me tanking.

    It … was so glorious. Sure I had to blow a bubble and LoH but damn.

    and back on topic; I was thinking of picking up a raptor anyways on my belf Yasindra [when and if she's ever high enough for outlands], I’m up in the air about it with my Dorf- I might get it as a MC hound place holder.

    Or I could get one for my Nelf- since thanks to the change picking up a tank pet won’t really be needed as much untill later levels :/

    And I probably might be leveling my paladin more than anything when I play WoW- I’m not giving up on my hunters, they’re still my fave class [warlocks, dks, hunters and now paladins are] but with the changes as of late it allows me to relax.

    If I ignore the hel plz tank plz dps plz pug whispers.

    and Rikaku: I know and I realise this, but GC is unfortunately the only thing that we can lash out at- it’s not good to do so, but I was just over frustraited again that GC will willingly spew the crap Blizzard dishes out.


    Blizz really needs to get their heads out of the clouds :/

    Well for me it’s back to learning how 2 tank.

  4. Palladiamors

    Honestly, neither GC nor the development team have any right to talk about how skill should be rewarded. Go play a death knight sometime. That should do a good job of convincing you that skill isn’t always rewarded. Warriors are another just a few buttons class. Warlocks are another. Rogues are another ((At least rogues you have to master being stealthy. Something I suck at.)) I don’t see any of those classes being penalized because they have a simple playstyle. A hunter at least has to manage and sometimes micromanage their pet, and beast master hunters even more so then either of the other two specs. That is an absolutely BS excuse. If anything, the difference should be between pure DPS classes and hybrid classes. Mages, rogues, hunters, and warlocks should all have a certain DPS advantage against warriors, paladins, death knights, druids, shaman, and priests. The pure DPS classes can do one thing, and one thing only. With the homogenization of buffs and the buffing of hybrid DPS, DPS classes really need an additional reason for being.

    Ryai, the paladin class in general is just overpowered. As my holy, I’ve heal tanked multiple instances. Protection paladins are angry porcupines, and even retribution is dangerous now days. How the three, holy is in need of the most help, but try convincing Blizzard of that. Although as far as Arenas go, holy has been doing alright. But that’s just one aspect of the game, dang it!!

  5. Gelannerai

    I actually take issue with that as well. Who is the judge of class difficulty? In the case of pure dps classes, doesn’t having such a huge natural dps gap like the one that Surv has over BM and MM mean that Surv is actually the easiest one? Am I wrong in thinking this way?

  6. Palladiamors

    Eh, the thought is that ‘more buttons to press=harder=more skill to play’. They want to reward classes that have to push more buttons by giving them more damage. That’s a bit of a simplification, but that’s the theory in a nut shell. Beastmasters get intimidate and beastial wrath as ‘active’ abilities, while both survival and marksmen get several more abilities that need to be used constantly. Both hunter abilities are on longer cooldown, meaning that beast master are stuck with the basic shots and stings for the whole game. Marksmen and Survival are forced to fire off additional shots often, and apparently this ranks them as harder to play, and hence means they should be rewarded.

    If that sounds like BS to you, then your not alone. Now if Blizzard were to make survival or marksmen more complicated to play, that’d be one thing. Like requiring immolation trap or even black arrow to be on the target before you could fire off explosive shot, or something like that, then I could see boosting their damage. But they aren’t, and if anything the inclusion of Black Arrow simplifies Survival anymore. It really is just stupid, and half way forcing people into certain specs for certain aspects again.

  7. Korzak

    Heh. On my DK, I got surrounded at lvl 59 by a batch of five helboars. I owned them all, an ended the fight with full runic power and full health.

    All I did was button-mash.

  8. Ryai

    Oh yeah .. sorry I forgot about that fact .. was kinda lost in the glory of what I managed to do.

    But still I never really thought I could do that, but yeah when you say that Palla it makes me realise it probably wasn’t my skill that had me down Cruel. Ah well :s

    Anyways reading your post Palla, it’s made me realise something else.

    What if it’s not the buttons you have to push, that is what Blizz is crapping all over about hard to play- what if it’s the fact that there’s so many god damned PVP and PVE talents in SV now? I mean when I did Ryai over to the PTR and tested out a Surv build, it’s what irked me at first. There was a VERY OBVIOUS choice I could take her down; PVP or PVE.

    That could be what Blizzard means .. but whether I’m right or wrong it’s still bullcrap- I can understand if it’s for CLASSES THAT CAN HEAL/DPS or TANK/DPS or like paladins TANK/HEAL/DPS. Cause I mean it’s just wrong from something to tank and out dps everything on the board- I mean at the same time, and not like droods way of generating threat/aggro.

    And I agree 100%- pure dps classes should be doing what they do, DPSing. I mean sure it’s nice to faceroll as a paladin, but dps is not the main roll, I can heal, I can tank, sure I can’t tank well when he was retri as I was fighting most of a couple of dungeons with a 2hander [and was about 6 levels higher than the mobs in there too], but I can multitask .. badly in my case.

    [Tho Aria told me of a Holydin that refused to heal her cause she can heal .. if I remember right :/]

    I mean no offense and all. being dps is fun- but this is a horrible way of ‘equalizing’ things and pretty much throws away the BS of Blizz all bring class not specc!!!

    I mean I can understand wanting a specc like say, your guild needs a mana replenishment system; no problem. I still remember the VoA run I did, we had an SV hunter or two, an SPriest and a retridin. I never went oom at all.

    But outside that? People should be allowed the choice, I mean I’d rather run BM in a run, I mean yes I’m a simple person when I’m on my hunter, I don’t really mind only pressing a few buttons, AS/SS/TBW/etcetcetc, when you boil it down it’s the exact same shot rotation, nearly, that MM and SV have.

    Tho ofc when I was testing it out it was like AS[autoshot]/BA/ES/SS/SS etc etc etc

    I would figure you switch Arcane Shot with ES when fighting a boss/mob immune to fire but outside that.

    It’s basically the same, you can basically still build macros for it. In theory you probably could get away with one-three macros on you, wether SV, BM, or MM.

    So again PREZZ MOAR BUTTONZ = HARDER is.. dumb.

    That’s like saying Zeldei should be doing like 3587349805623490856938045 dmg

    Cause mean got curse of agony, corruption, seed of corruption, drain life, siphon life, shadow bolt, immolate [never use it tho really lol] and etc etc etc.

    I mean when I did get pugs for Nexus and UK it got TIRING spamming everything cause had to spam a mob click n spam dot another, click n spam dot another5, go back to the first to drain life- oh it’s dead.

    I mean that’s not hard- a bit tedius yes. Hard? As if. I bet I could make a macro to spam all my dots tooooo.

    But I like my cluttered UI mess D8

  9. Ariamodasu

    Well either of us Druids actually as there was two of us in there, both Kin incidentlly. Let me die twice and him once and actually slacked on healing the tank on that damn woman in Heroic Nexus. Insult to injury she won that mace upgrade at the end bah! It’s extremely difficult to heal cast and I kept being forced too when it eats your mana so much :<

    And on the strider front since I’m dubbing myself a chair expert, though Dust Cloud has been fixed (No longer casting it then charging the enemy which was hugely annoying but cool looking) it’s still only one hit being missed. I suspect that was more to do with the smidge squisher nature before the stats were buggered with than actually doing anything tanky. That and they couldn’t think of anything better the poor guys could have as it’s a bit of a psuedo warp that effects more targets. They’re also another victim of no jump animation but have the most adorable swim.

    Hell I remmeber when their skill was er Cower and all they could do was mob ping pong, at least thats been improved…

  10. Rikaku

    lmao I like how I just said that “Druid’s goin’ well” and suddenly it blows up into a druid topic XD I merely meant my Druid was going ok, not that the entire class was XD

    No, it’s the people who *don’t* own the wasp who think it’s ridiculous. And it is. Now, I’m not saying it cause I hate bug-related pets, I’m saying it because I hate large pets regardless of what they are. Why people think those wasps need to be that big is beyond me. Core Hounds got shrunk. Rhinos got shrunk. Devilsaurs got shrunk. Why shouldn’t the wasp that remains larger than *all of them* remain large? Just cause it looks cool? No offense, but when half your raid can’t see around your pets’ butt, you either need to bring a different pet (which defeats the whole point of having a wasp) or hope it gets shrunk a little.

    And honestly, I wouldn’t expect it to stay big. I wouldn’t be surprised if by patch 3.2 they’re fixed to be the same size as other wasps.

    About the harder playstyles reward:
    Maybe it’s just me, but I personally have no real problems with having a harder playstyle rewarded with better dps. I’m a-ok with that. In Street Fighter, those who know how to perform combos generally do far better than the button masher’s right?

    No I’m not calling BM button mashers >=o Hear me out for a moment.

    I think the problem lies in just what is considered “difficult” for players. Sure, shot rotation-wise, SV has BM beat. SV is much more complex and proc based than BM. But BM has to (and I’m not going to say Micro) manage another player, their pet. BM’s pets are literally like another little dps in your raid, and as the BM hunter you have to heal, de-curse,de-magic, de-poison them, manage their movements very well (with fights like Heigan)… if that’s not like controlling another player, I don’t know what is.

    But the real question is what it comes down to. Is BM really the easier spec to play? Is managing a pet that’s worth 45% of your DPS harder than watching procs for your shots? Maybe, maybe not. That’s something only the player can decide, I don’t think blizzard can fairly call those shots.

    Now, personally, I’m fine with letting Blizzard letting SV be top dog. If Blizzard declares SV is hardest therefore gets more damage, fine. I’m perfectly fine with that. But 700 DPS is too large of a gap for a player to go based on their playstyle. Sometimes you can make up a gap like that with skill, but that’s just hoping for dumb luck. If BM was, say, 200 DPS behind SV; I think that’d be alright. SV can have the top DPS for being a more “complex” and difficult playstyle, and those who prefer BM can still play their way without taking a huge hit in the overall raid.

    At least, that’s my opinion.

  11. Ryai

    Actually the shrinkage of the core hounds is what turned me off of them for the most part- they shrunk them too much. They’re smaller than a Rhino, it’s not right. I mean I wouldn’t mind if they were a bit bigger, they really don’t get in the way that much- but the only reason I really tamed one and kept it is cause I did want an MC hound, like a devilsaur, when they first became tameable.

    But Wasps really AREN’T that much bigger, yes they’re clunky and they can get in the way- but I’ve yet to hear any complaints when I did use Aurelius and I’ve managed her well, in tight splaces I have her on ‘stay’ at points, and hit ‘follow’ when it’s open up enough.

    Wasps aren’t that much bigger than Devilsaurs tbh, and Devilsaurs get DAMN big with MB AND TBW stacking, yes it does get akward but as I said, it’s not that horrible and it should be left alone, imo Rikaku.

    Cause tbh MC hounds are really the only midgets out there; Rhinos, Devilsaurs and even Raptors are larger than them- hell Erebus is a tad bigger than Abyss.

    And as I said before, I didn’t mind a 200dps difference, I mean, that’s minimal, tho sure if you’re a min-maxer, you’ll roll SV, but 200dps? That would mean I’d not get grief. But 700? That’s a big gap, and it’s gonna be even bigger between me and an SV hunter- just just because of most likely better gear, but the ability to keep trucking even if pet is dead.

  12. Rikaku

    Yes, Devilsaurs do get big when they use MB, but thats only for a few seconds, and MB is generally when the devilsaur is out and attacking the mob. Those wasps are big all the time. They also hover, while most pets are ground based, wasps hover in the air, generally in the camera-main range of most other players. They should be the same size as the rest of their wasp cousins; but like I said, it’s not my decision XD But considering that the rest of the wasp family is smaller, I wouldn’t be surprised if those Scholazar wasps get shrunk in a future patch.

  13. Palladiamors

    That’s my point though, Rikaku. If they actually made it that way all around, to where more skill was rewarded with more DPS, that’d be fine. But it isn’t. My death knight can hit just as few buttons as my beast master and do as much if not more damage. My warrior can hit FEWER buttons on average, and the result is pretty much the same. My warlock! Don’t even get me started there.

    There is already a huge difference in the skilled and the unskilled. Walk into a few battle grounds, and you’ll understand the difference real quick in some one who knows what they are doing, and some one who doesn’t. Do a few raids, and the result will be the same. The only thing that even kind of gets the unskilled by is that gear can make a huge difference. But that is another rant! This rant is focused on the fact that I feel like the only ‘easy’ spec to play that is being punished is the beast master tree. And like you said, Rikaku, easy is so very debatable. You HAVE to use your pet correctly. Which is where it comes up looking easy, on all those boss fights where you have one target, and don’t have to worry about pulling your pet back or anything. It’s stupid, its bull, but what can you do?

    Aria, I haven’t really enjoyed my druid since Wrath came out. *Makes a sad face*

  14. Rikaku

    Yes, I completely and whole heartedly agree. When they say they’re rewarding “harder playstyles” with more dps, it seems like it’s only the BM specs they’re talking to. I think I hit fewer buttons on my DK too. I mean I have about 3-4 skills of my Hunter macro’d into 1 macro (and I have 3 of these macros like this), and then my other various skills. So that alone, if un-macroed, is way more than my DK ever really hits in a similar fight.

    “It’s stupid, its bull, but what can you do?”
    It’s times like that that make me wish I stuck with FFXI sometimes xD

  15. Ryai

    Yeah, I’m still working out what buttons to use when pvping and pveing, but it’s usually the same, icey touch/plauge strike spam- get up enough runic power to summon gargoyle, then smashy smashy with Death Strike and Blood Strike with refreshing of the plagues/diseases every few moments.

    Mean it’s like a warlock.

    In plate.

  16. Ariamodasu

    Palla, /pet. There is hope, vague and we have more change of a form fix but I’m too attached to give up :)

    /Boomkin dance

  17. Palladiamors

    Er, Mania must be a bit busy today. You can just go to the FFXI official website, there is a link at the top of the page, Rikaku.

  18. Lerk

    f*cking great they just forgot about the boar special ability GORE

    sigh… why cant they just make it simply better then it is now…

  19. Lerk

    Warp / Gore / Nether Shock / Stampede / Dust Cloud

    these abilitys should be remade… like the Warp-Stalker ability Warp is just bad… it’s like a bad charge ffs.. and the Gore makes less damage then a normal bite… oh… but I forgot this game was made by Blizzard.

  20. Lerk

    The guy who said about making Ghost Wolf back to tameable – You[r idea is] totally retarded sir.

    It would not be a unique anymore and you would probably abandom it after several days when you keep seeing the same pet everywhere.

    and for the ppl who begs about getting these rare pets back tameable, Gezzarak / SB Spirits / Ghost Wolfs. stop it just clearly stop it… maybe Blizztard makes that fail and makes them tameable again.. they would NOT be cool pets anymore if half of the server would have them just because some random retards wants a unique pet for 3 hours. :)


  21. Palladiamors

    Lerk obviously doesn’t remember the Broken Tooth days…..not that it matter’s. Yes, there would be a spike when people would get some of the rarer animals. But it wouldn’t be as bad as it used to be, and in the end, most of the people would go back to the min/max pets, and the uniqes would still be unique. Whats wrong with wanting the option for a flavor pet in the meantime though, hm? It certainly doesn’t make you retarded or anything.

  22. Ryai

    @Lerk; so am I a [name] for wanting them tameable again? Even tho I have gasp, the wasp and the Hydralisk? I’m not just talking about them, I’m talking about the wolves, Gezz and others.

    And HOW would it be seen everywhere Lerk? Did you even READ WHAT people had to do, to tame the GW? They had to do everything in their power to get Tame Beast’s channeled time to under what was it, ten seconds? So how could EVERYONE have a spirit wolf then?

    It’d be like Gezz, it took a long ass time to grind the mats, turn them in, summon Gezz and even be lucky enough to tame her solo! On most they needed bubbled paladins or paladins chain stunning or they just got lucky!

    So how would EVERYONE have them!?

    I’m sorry sir but you’re just a sourpuss.

  23. Ryai

    Sorry Mania, I saw the post and had to respond :/ yes I know Obvious Troll is Obvious- but he’s not just calling those, without the pet stupid, he’s calling people who have the pet and want others a chance to get it too, that also.

    And I did mean Sourpuss, it wasn’t a word covering up anything else, cause he’s just being a sour grape over the whole ordeal- I mean if he even had the pets [I doubt he does] he, or she, would remember how hard it was to tame them, and that even if they were tameable again, not everyone would have them.

  24. Ryai

    Oh and a belated post/responce to what Lerk said about Warp.

    ‘these abilitys should be remade… like the Warp-Stalker ability Warp is just bad… it’s like a bad charge ffs.. ‘

    Warp causes the Warp stalker to gain a chance to dodge THREE attacks. Warp is NOT like Charge. Warp instantly teleports the pet behind the target, giving it a chance to dodge three attacks; that is AWSOME for a tank!

    Nethershock is also a damn good ability! It silences casters! And if you are BM and add it in with Intimidate that’s a possiblility of 5 seconds of being unatackable by a target if it’s targeted you!

    So no- Warp, Nethershock are fine. Warp is flat out a damn good tanking talent for solo mobs- and even multiple mobs if you wanna push it. Nethershock is hands down a good utility talent.

  25. Johnny

    There is one issue with Dual Specs for hunters, and that is for Bm’s oh mighty Exotic pets (lol) If I switch over to Surv from BM, will my pet go back to the stables and I’m out in the BG petless? Or will Bliz make exotic pets usable for every class? Like say Taming a Devilsaur would need to be BM, once its tamed you could use it in battle regerdless of the spec.

  26. Mania Post author

    Johnny: Switching specs as a hunter will unsummon your pet and you will have to recall it. If your pet was exotic and you are no longer a Beast Master, then you won’t be able to — which can indeed be a problem.

    Now if you are level 80 you can use the new Call Stabled Pet skill to open your stable remotely and choose a new pet. If you are not level 80, however, you’ll need to hit a stable master to get a new pet.

    Incidentally, I’m not 100% certain that you can switch specs in a Battleground. I know you can’t in an Arena — does anyone remember of you can in a BG?

  27. Johnny

    Thanks for answering, I never knew about being able to Call for a stabled pet without talking to the stable master:Guess I might’ve missed that while scrolling down the patch 3.1 changes.

    The only video I’ve seen of someone actually switching between Talents was on youtube and sadly the guy was in Ebon Hold, unless someone finds out, we’re just going to have to guess.

    Though I must say switching Talents in a battleground would be highly useful, a group of Alliance/Horde spots you and your Exotic pet, that pet will instantly spoil out what Talent you are in this case, BM. They send a Pally to deal with the pet while the others assist him/her. Pet dies twice with Heart of the Phoneix on CD or you decide to shut the auto for it off. If you are able to get out of combat and heal/drink up and switch the pets up with that Call, switching to Surv and taking revenge would be really great don’t you think?

  28. Crimson

    Hi, Im a level 73 hunter, with one main combat lvl 73 cat, another lvl 65 cat, and a lvl 42 cat in stables.

    So I pulled the stables ones out for the talent points, and suddenly they are both level 68?

  29. Mania Post author

    Crimson: I am guessing that you hadn’t pulled your pets out of stables for quite a while! :>

    This was a change in Patch 3.0, the patch that went along with the Wrath expansion. Pets now stay within five levels of the hunter. This is true both when you tame a new pet (it levels up to be five levels below you if it wasn’t already) and when you pull a pet out of the stable.

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