Ranshiin, in a post on the Arcania forums, brought an interesting thread on the MMO Champion forums to our attention: the wolves in Northshire Valley — the little walled human starter area in Elwynn Forest — are becoming diseased!
As you can see from this shot of Aisna with her new diseased wolf, these guys do indeed use the diseased wolf skin — which was previously unavailable before level 47, in Felwood.
The Diseased Young Wolf replaces the existing Young Wolf. Like the Young Wolf, the Diseased Young Wolf is a non-aggressive, level 1 beast that seems to hang out mostly inside Northshire Valley (the human starter area) in Elwynn Forest. (I also found a few behind the cat lady’s house just outside the Northshire walls.)
A bit further back in Northshire Valley you can find a level 2 Diseased Timber Wolf, which replaces the Timber Wolf. Same skin, same non-aggression, one level higher.
Both of these new diseased wolves can be tamed. They are also involved in a quest: Eagan Peltskinner, who on the live realms right now asks you to kill Young Wolves and Timber Wolves for their meat, now bemoans the growing sickness in the neraby wolves and asks you to bring him diseased wolf pelts instead.
So the question for me is: what’s the goal here? Is this part of the set-up for a pre-Cataclysm event? Setup for Cataclysm itself? Blizzard moving the diseased wolves elsewhere because they’re going to be eliminated from Felwood? Or just a developer who really wanted a diseased wolf at level 10?
[Aside: While I was checking out the Diseased Young Wolf, I noticed that the PTR also features a slick new tutorial system with better text and pictures, plus flashing UI elements to help new players figure out what's going on. I probably just missed this before, but I quite liked it. In addition, the stupid Defias inside Northshire Valley itself are *finally* non-aggro. Man, I hated those thugs before!]
Addendum: I took a trip around Durotar, Mulgore, and Tirisfal but I didn’t seen anything else new in the way of beasts. Two things of interest:
- All the enemies in the protected 1-5 areas are now non-aggressive.
- I couldn’t find any abomination guards in Undercity. Instead all I found were Kor’kron guards.