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More Overlooked Changes

I mentioned a few things last week that people might have missed due to the lack of patch notes mentioning the changes. But, because they weren’t in the patch notes there was no telling whether or not the list was complete (though you could pretty well count on some things being missed).

I had three things that I was going to bring up today that were missed changes, but I see that I’ve actually covered two of them in the previous post, so I guess you really only get one that’s new. I’ll go over one of the two I mentioned last week just because I have some examples, and then I’ll talk about the new one.

Update: Rare Mobs
I did a little hunting this weekend for rare spawns to see whether or not the increased experience rewards for rare spawns was a fluke or if it was spread across the board to all rares. I started off by going to a few locations of rares that I knew were almost always available, and as luck would have it I didn’t find a flipping one.

So I put the hunt on hold for a bit and went to level my Priest a bit. And just as I started questing with her guess who she stumbled on…yep, rare spawn. I killed a regular level 24 mob nearby and got around 150 experience for killing it. Then I killed the level 24 rare spawn and got 2,100 experience for killing it. I queued for a random dungeon and just before the queue popped I found another rare, so I killed him for another 2,250 exp. I went to the dungeon, found it was SM:Graveyard and what do you know, rare spawn. So we killed him too and got more experience from his kill than we did either of the bosses.

As far as calculations go I haven’t found what the number actually is. For the ones I’ve killed it’s been roughly 15x as much as normal mobs.

There’s something else I’ve noticed about rare spawns as well. Every one that I’ve killed that was below level 15 has dropped a bag. I’ve found 6, 8, and 10 slot bags from them, and every single one has dropped a bag for me. So if you’re rolling on a new server where you don’t have any resources be sure to kill any rare spawns you see for some extra bag space early on. The level 15-24 rares I’ve killed all dropped white shoulders for me, and all 28-36 rares I’ve found have dropped random greens (other than the ones in dungeons which dropped BoP blues).

Cost of Respecialization
Here’s the one you might not have stumbled onto, especially since we all got free talent resets when the 4.x patches were released and we switched to the 31 point trees.

The cost of a respec is now tied to your level rather than the number of times you’ve done it. If you’re leveling a new toon and want to try out a new spec and then find you don’t care for it, you can respec early on for a handful of silver. Resetting the talent points on a level 13 character cost me 11s and some change. Doing it again at level 18 cost me 16s.

I haven’t done as much testing here as I suppose I probably should have. There may still be some kind of additional cost for multiple respecs, but doing it twice on my priest within just a few levels showed no significant increase. Granted, she was only in her teens so it may have been skewed if it’s based on a percentage increase, but you probably shouldn’t have to deal with respeccing enough times for it to matter with dual specs.

But if you’re leveling a toon and find you don’t care for the spec, don’t worry about throwing away “gold” to switch the spec and try something different because the costs are laughable at low levels anyway. I changed my Priest from Shadow to Disc because I was having some mana issues here and there and wanted to give Archangel a shot as Disc. What I found was that Smite healing in low levels sucks, bad. So I changed my spec and dropped the Evangelism/Archangel points and put them into other talents and found that my healing and questing had both improved. But Disc isn’t really what I want to do, so I pushed on to level 30 for a 10g dual spec to pick Shadow back up and have the Disc spec in reserve for dungeon queues.

[Edit: I also did a respec on a level 61’ish Death Knight a little over a week ago and his respec cost either just under or just over 1g. That’s what got me started thinking about it, though I then promptly forgot again.]

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2010 in Guide, Patch Notes

 

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Overlooked Changes

Today we’re going to look at some of the things that have changed in the recent patches that not everyone knows about. Blizzard did an excellent job of leaving things out of the patch notes this time around and it’s been a bit of an interesting search trying to find them all.

I’m sure I don’t have all of the things that have gone unnoticed listed here, so I certainly welcome your input on anything else you may have noticed that others seem to have missed, or which did not appear in any of the patch notes.

Mailboxes in Starting Zones
In case you aren’t aware, every starting zone now has a mailbox in it. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about their plans to roll new alts which include running to the next town to get their bags, gold and gear – but you don’t have to.

All of the mailboxes are pretty close to right where you load after creating the character. If you start a little ways off from where the first quest-hub is then that’s where you want to look as it’s generally right beside the main building in the first hub.

Generalized Professions Trainers
In those second towns that you used to have to go to in order to find your first mailbox, you’ll now find a new type of NPC called a Professions Trainer. They’re almost always located right beside the Trade Goods vendor if you need to know where to look.

These NPC’s allow you to ask about any of the actual professions, not tradeskills, to get a general idea of what they do and how they work. After asking about a specific profession you’ll also be able to train that profession from the NPC.

The good news is, you can no get started on any profession you want without having to hunt down your trainers in specific cities (looking at you, JC trainers). The bad news is, they can only train you up to skill level 75, and they will not train you in the next level of the profession. In order to progress you’ll have to find a trainer specific to your profession.

Dual Specialization and Class Trainers
You can now purchase a dual spec at level 30 (down from 40) and it now costs only 10g (down from 100g in beta, down from 1,000g in 3.5). You still get it from your class trainer, so if you need to know where to buy it just ask a guard for the nearest trainer.

You can also find class trainers for every class in all of your faction’s major cities. The one class that might be an exception to that is the Death Knight, and the only reason I don’t know is because I haven’t thought about looking. Having a portal directly to my trainers kind of removes the need for me to care about where else I can find them in the world.

Battlegrounds and Dungeons
Battlegrounds are now split up into level ranges of 5 rather than 10, so level 10-14 and 15-19 are two separate brackets now and so on up the level range, with 85 being in its own.

You can also queue for some battlegrounds at lower levels than you used to. I did a post on that earlier this week, so if you want the details on that you can read about them here.

That post also includes the new level ranges for the 1-60 dungeons. Most of them stayed the same or at least pretty close to what they were before, but others made some fairly significant changes. See Stratholme and Scholomance for some big eye-openers.

Alliance and Horde Racial Tabards
You can now purchase tabards for each of the 6 races of your faction, including the Goblin and Worgen that aren’t playable yet (for 5 more days, woot!). These tabards give you reputation for killing mobs inside dungeons – all mobs, in all dungeons, at all levels.

You can purchase the tabards in the major cities from vendors you’ll find near or next-to the flight master. Here’s a reference for where you need to go to buy each one:

Stormwind: Humans
Ironforge: Dwarves and Gnomes
Darnassus: Night Elves and Worgen
Exodar: Draenei

Orgrimmar: Orc, Troll, Goblin
Undercity: Undead
Thunderbluff: Tauren
Silvermoon City: Blood Elves

You get the most reputation from running dungeons of your own level, though it is possible to grind rep from dungeons both above or below your level as well.

If you start wearing a tabard and 15 and chain some random dungeons you should become Exalted after about 10 dungeons worth.

[Edit: One more thing about the tabard vendors – They’re all riding the racial mount. So if you’re heading to the flight master in SW and see an NPC on a horse that wasn’t there before, he’s likely the tabard vendor. If you go up to the flight master in Org and you see a Troll on a raptor next to an Orc on a wolf next to a Goblin in a tryke – you’ve just found the tabard vendors.]

Rare Spawns Give HUGE Experience
Thanks to my buddy @Etherjammer on twitter, it appears that Rare Spawns now give you about 15x as much experience as a normal mob of the same level when you kill them. So that’s roughly the value of a quest or two. I haven’t seen anything official on rare spawns, so maybe there’s a formula or maybe certain ones just have certain values or something. I’m not sure what’s going on in particular, but it’s safe to say that if you see a rare spawn – kill it. Or tame it, maybe, if you’re a hunter, but in general – kill it.

Guild Professions Lists
I still see people asking around for links from certain guild members, or asking if anybody has Profession A and so on. If you pull up your guild window you can select “Professions” from the dropdown box up at the top and then view the professions and recipes of everyone in the guild. There’s a checkbox in the bottom-left corner of the guild window that lets you toggle online and offline players, so you can even see the professions of people that aren’t currently logged in.

The new professions windows also allow you to search. Typing words into the professions search window will bring up any items in that profession that contain the word(s) either in the title or in the description. You can also do a search by materials. For instance, if you can’t remember the exact name for that special twink/BoA strength enchant, but you do remember that it uses Righteous Orbs, then you can type “righteous orb” into the search window and it will pull up the Crusader enchant if the person knows it.

If you do a search and don’t get any results then you can repeat that search for the rest of the guild members listed as having that profession. I’m told there’s supposed to be a way to do a guild-wide search with the professions windows, but I haven’t gotten it to work yet so I don’t know if it’s just broken or if it’s not really implemented. But either way it’s not working for me right now.

Dungeon Quests
In running random dungeons I still have people asking the party to share quests. As far as I’m aware, all of the dungeon quests that require you to actually be inside the dungeon are given to you inside the dungeon itself. So if you zone into the entrance of a dungeon and there aren’t any quests for you to get, it’s because you’ve already done them all or you aren’t eligible for them.

There are still some quests that send you to the area where the dungeon is found that still get listed as being in or from that dungeon, but they’re completed outside of it so sharing them would do you no good anyway. If someone drops group in the middle of the dungeon and another person comes in to replace them, then you do want to share with that person since they zone in next to you instead of at the entrance where the quest givers are located.

The slight exception to this rule is found in the next section.

Class Quests
The old class quests are gone, but there are new class quests available to take their place. The first of these quests is available at level 20 and from what I’ve seen they all involve going to SFK to get certain items. The reward for all of these that I’ve seen on my own toons so far is a weapon or off-hand item.

There is at least one other class quest that you get like this that requires a higher level, but I’ve only found it so far on my 80 Mage so I’m not positive what the level requirement is.

The class quests come from your class trainers in the major cities. I’m not sure if you can get the quests for trainers found in other locations or not.

Flight Paths [Edit: Added]
My thanks to @Christman for reminding me about the flight paths. There are now Flight Masters/Paths in all of those 2nd towns I mentioned above (examples: Sin’jin Village, Razor Hill, Kharanos, Goldshire, Bloodhoof Village, etc).

You can also see all of the flight paths on your map now, for both factions. In order to see them you have to have either explored the part of the map that those flight paths are located in, or have an addon that removes the unexplored effect from your map.

I use the Mapster addon which shows me the full map and allows me to put a transparent, colored “fog” over the sections that I haven’t actually explored yet. So I’m able to see the full map, including flight paths for both factions, at all times and I have a green colored fog that hangs over portions I haven’t explored yet so that I can track that as well.

Reduced Cost: Respecialization [Edit: Added]
Another thing I just remembered is that the cost to respec has been changed. It’s not longer a set amount that increases each time you do it, the cost is now based on your character’s level.

I haven’t done it enough or on a broad enough level range to figure out what calculation they might be using for it, but I did a respec on a level 13 Priest and it cost me 11s and some change.

 

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