Patch 4.1 is finally upon us! Blizzard posted an overview and patch notes for Patch 4.1 a couple days ago and there is some interesting stuff for hunters in there.
- The Feed Pet ability now instantly heals 50% of the pet’s health. Cannot be used in combat. Requires diet-appropriate food.
- The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets.
- Bloodthirsty no longer generates Happiness. [Note: Still has a chance to heal.]
- Carrion Feeder no longer restores Happiness. [Note: Still heals pet.]
- Guard Dog no longer causes Growl to generate additional Happiness. [Note: Still affects threat. Does not heal.]
- Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter’s level, rather than 3 levels below.
- Summoned pets now start with 100 focus, up from 0.
- Glyph of Mend Pet is now Glyph of Lesser Proportion, which decreases the size of the pet slightly.
- Added: The pet action bar should no longer sometimes become locked on its own.
Added: Known Issues:
- The exotic pet ability Burrow Attack does not have an animation for certain types of worm pets.
- Pets do not initially spawn in with the correct amount of health.
There are all sorts of other juicy new features, of course – from a Guild Finder to restored and revamped Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman areas. You should definitely read the full article for the details.
Despite the title of this post, I’m actually very happy to see the last of the pet Happiness/Loyalty system go. Trying to explain loyalty to people was a bear; trying to explain happiness was easier but still weird enough that it raised some eyebrows. “You mean food works entirely differently for pets? But why?” So I am much, much happier seeing food working like food for pets.
It’s also great to see Tame Beast finally tame pets to the hunter’s level. Taming below our level made some sense with loyalty and only a couple of pets, but now with 25 of the damned things there’s just no way to keep them all leveled with you.
There are a handful of new pet looks in this patch as well. (Thanks, Noah! You rock.) I’m still getting Petopia updated – someone, and I’m not naming names but it’s me, has been amazingly slack lately – but you can keep an eye on new looks and appearance changes on the Patch 4.1 page on Petopia.
And on that note, special thanks goes out to the amazingly helpful members of the Petopia community for gathering pet info – both from the PTR and the live realms – while I’ve been slacking.
Edit: I added one more hunter change and two known issues that Blizzard just added to the patch notes.
Edit #2: Fixed the notes on the ex-happiness talents. I forgot that Bloodthirsty and Carrion Feeder already had a healing component.