Since the current PvP season will end when these changes go live, they shouldn’t have a lasting impact on ratings, titles and the like. We are prepared to just drop a temporary player damage nerf on all BGs and Arenas if necessary just so things don’t feel too silly until everyone can level up to 85.
There’s been speculation that 4.01 will start as early as October 5th or October 12th. That’s telling me we’re likely to have about 2 months of the new talent system for Cataclysm before the actual expansion will come out.
What this means for current end game raiding is that content will become very unbalanced. If you think back to when the 3.0 patch was released before Wrath, walking through Black Temple in one night was possible, as was getting through bosses in Sunwell your guild might not have been able to even look at prior to patch. Do I think the change is going to be that drastic for 4.0? Maybe, maybe not. My damage output wasn’t terrible when I transferred over to beta, but it did take some getting used to. Marksman spec isn’t the hot spec for hunters anymore (which makes me a little sad), and Beastmastery is where it’s at for now. Is it 1-button raiding like in Burning Crusade? No.
So knowing that we’re looking at the patch either next week or the week following, what do you need to think about?
- No more ammunition! (yay!) Get ready to vendor your arrows. It might hurt at first, but I think you’ll like the change.
- Focus, no mana. If you’ve never played a rogue, the focus regeneration is similar. Roll a lowbie rogue and start to get used to the idea. It’s not as scary as I originally thought it would be.
- New talent trees. 31 points to get to the bottom of a tree, and at 85 you’ll have 41 points to spend. mmo-champion has a great talent calculator. Start planning out specs you want to try.
- Start thinking about what pets you want to tame, that you never had space for. If you spec for BM, think about the exotics that will give your raid buffs. It’s not a bad idea to have a variety to pull from.
- Your UI will likely be ruined. Take a screenshot of what it currently looks like so you can try to rebuild it if you like.
- Figure out what add-ons are mission-critical, and locate where you can find the 4.0 compatible versions.
- Re familiarize yourself with the default UI. Even if you find 4.0 compatible versions of your add-ons, they are likely to be very buggy for awhile. It may be worth running without an action bar replacement add-on.
- Consider spending time with a training dummy. Everyone is going to have to tighten up their rotations with the new talents, and doing that with a target dummy is probably the safest place to do it, and there’s no pressure. You’ll be back to your A-game in no time.
What are you going to do to prepare for the immanent 4.01 patch?