Overlooked Changes

02 Dec

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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20 responses to “Overlooked Changes

  1. Snack

    December 2, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    About level 50, there’s another class quest taking you to Blackrock Depths – the reward being a helmet? I’ve only seen it for a paladin, so… mileage, variance, et cetera

    • Psynister

      December 2, 2010 at 4:34 PM

      The one I saw on my Mage was also a helm, and I’m pretty sure it was in BRD as well, so level 50 sounds right to me.

      Thanks for mentioning that, Snack, I’d forgotten the details.

  2. Psynister

    December 2, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    Adding a note to the Tabard vendors.

  3. Gravity

    December 2, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    nice list. The mailboxes are a welcome change for alts.

    • Psynister

      December 2, 2010 at 4:52 PM

      For sure. As a definite altoholic I absolutely love them.

      • Karen

        December 2, 2010 at 7:51 PM

        I love being able to get gold and bags quicker, but I’m one of those OCD’ers that hates having the mail icon showing until I can get to a larger town. (account bound pets, etc).

        I’d hide the icon except I’d never remember to turn it back on ;-)

        This is a much needed AND welcome change. I noticed them all over the Worgen starting area in the Beta, glad to see it made it all the way to the live release.

        • Psynister

          December 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

          I hate having my mail icon up there too. And some people like using their mailbox for additional storage where it drives me flipping crazy.

  4. DarthRegis

    December 2, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    I’ve actually managed to get 3 so far on my Tauren Paladin. One in Mulgore, one in Azshara, and I forget where I got the third.

    I don’t know if there’s a forumla based upon level – there likely is. That said, I seemed to get a lot more “XP mileage” when I was level 6 killing a level 6 rare when compared to being level 14 killing a level 14 mob.

    • Psynister

      December 2, 2010 at 5:02 PM

      I’ve killed a few rare spawns myself, but I haven’t bothered looking to see how much experience they give me. I have my chat windows set to report experience gains so that I can do just that, but I’m not always paying attention to it.

      I know the spawn locations of quite a few rares in vanilla zones so I’ll see if I can hunt some down and take a closer look.

  5. Tracey

    December 6, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    Interesting set of subtle changes – and some details for them that I didn’t know (like the cost of low-level respeccing – that’s really nice). The addition of forty zillion flight points is key, too.

    Another little change that I have mixed feelings about is the granting of XP for herbing/mining. It’s a LOT of XP, relative to a green mob, and it’s NOT SHARED with your group members, which messes with my duos…

    • Psynister

      December 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM

      The herb/mining nodes did share their exp with your group when 4.0.1 came out, and then it was removed in 4.0.3a so that only the person that hit the node got it.

      It also look like they’ve taken away the ability to not auto-loot the nodes as well. You could essentially abuse the system before by tapping the node but leaving at least one item not looted, and then another person could tap it as well so you both could skill up from the same node and you also both got experience for it. That’s gone so it’s now more of a pain to level with a group that has overlapping professions than it was before. My wife and I both like mining and we both like herbalism, but now we’re going to have to choose our professions more carefully to avoid overlap.

      I really like the addition of experience from nodes, it was really cool to be able to get 6 levels on my DK just from gathering herbs to use in his Inscription skill. As you pointed out though, it does suck if you’re trying to play with someone else, especially if you have a rested bonus because the experience gained is treated the same as killing a mob, so you get additional exp.

      • Tracey

        December 6, 2010 at 3:58 PM

        I hadn’t thought about the rested bonus, but that might be a workable way to bring the XP more in line – if the non-gatherer plays rested and the gatherer plays un-rested… it might be closer at least. It’s worth a try.

        • Psynister

          December 6, 2010 at 5:26 PM

          It could in theory, but how will you keep one always rested and the other alway unrested? Rested doesn’t build up fast enough for that to really be viable, and at the the very most you can gain 1.5 levels worth of rested before you have to spend another 9 actual days building it back up.

          The only way to really keep them in line is to have both be gatherers, and only neither have both mine/herb. There are more herb nodes than mine nodes as well, but I don’t think there’s a difference in experience gained from doing it.

          Another way to balance it would be to give the non-gatherer heirloom chest/shoulders, but not the gatherer. I don’t know how they would balance in the end, but that’s about as close as you’ll get.

  6. Zelmaru

    December 7, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    The dual spec change was even overlooked by the devs. Last night, husband hit 40 (he had purchased dual spec at 30) and he was informed that dual spec was now available to him!

    FYI, at 80, the cost of respeccing does gradually increase, capping out at 52 gold. So that’s not a huge change from before.

    • Psynister

      December 7, 2010 at 6:11 PM

      I hadn’t thought of that. Level 30 doesn’t tell you that dual spec is available, I just stumbled onto it when I went to the trainer. I wonder if it wasn’t intentional then?


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