Patch 4.1: No More Happiness

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.

Patch notes:

  • 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.

7 thoughts on “Patch 4.1: No More Happiness

  1. Ashazzar

    I remember loyalty. I remember having to train pet skills in order to teach them to the pet. Soon, I will be able to say I remember happiness. And, as I sit here in front of my quad-core i7 machine, I will miss those things like I miss my old Apple //e. (Which is to say, not much, and more for nostalgia than any other reason. Uphill, both ways, and so on.)

  2. Novali

    Eh it wasn’t fun but now it becomes a nostalgia us older players can share. I did hate that back in the day your pets could run away. I never had it happen cause I was paranoid as hell but it still ticked me off.

    I wonder if this means next bog patch well see a new spirit beast.

  3. Orion

    @ Mr. Perfect. I wouldn’t really say ‘easier’, but they’re making it so playing one specific class isn’t more time consuming than others. Which you have to admit, was always the case with hunters having to level their pets. It was made even worse with being giving us the 20 slot stable.

  4. Fawatam

    I’ve noticed that sadly, my Super Giant Wasp, Sapphire Hive Queen, is no longer super huge. I tamed her back in LK when she was bugged and would be twice the size of my Orc. She stayed that way, until I whipped her out post-patch and she’s down to normal size. For shame Blizzard. For shame.

  5. Gromtal

    Just for a little note of interest: Another skin change. Lately, I was attempting to tame a Corpse Scarab from Naxxramas because the thought of a tiny tank was awesome. Well, Today, after 4.1 I finally tamed it! But much to my dismay, he now resizes to normal size of the Black Beetle skin, but he does retain his shadowy trail. When you look at him in the pet info screen he looks tiny.

    Now I do have the Glyph of Lesser Proportion, so that might have an impact on his looks, can anyone who has a tiny Corpse Scarab tell me?

  6. Cialbi

    You forgot to recognize the work that Wain has done! True, many have aided you with Petopia, but Wain’s contribution certainly stands out.

    @Fawatam: Given how unreliable tab-targeting is, getting a facefull of wasp would be quite troublesome for PvP players, which is why those oversized wasps could be considered an unfair advantage. Honestly, I’m surprised they didn’t change this earlier.

    @Gromtal: There’s some posts on the forum showing that the size of the Hardened Carapace for the Corpse Scarab was inadvertently scaled up with the size of the beetle itself – making for an umbrella-sized dome.

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