World of Warcraft’s Warlords of Draenor expansion is still some ways away, but you can work yourself up into some sweaty excitement by browsing the time travelling expansion’s alpha patch notes.
The update list is appropriately humongous given that it’s attached to brand new systems and a whole new/old world to explore. Blizzard’s conveniently provided a TL;DR version as well, because you don’t all have three days to read through the whole bloody thing.
Even the TL;DR version is massive, though:
- Character stats have been squished into smaller numbers that are easier to understand. It’s important to understand that this is not a nerf as enemies have been squished as well.
- A new row of talents has been added for level 100, and new Draenor Perks from levels 91 to 99.
- The Garrison is a new feature available in Draenor, where you can build a base, recruit followers, and send them on missions.
- Balanced functionality of Agility, Strength and Intellect.
- New secondary stats: Bonus Armor, Multistrike, and Readiness.
- Hit and Expertise have been removed; they’re no longer needed in order to reliably land attacks!
- The pace of healing has been adjusted to allow for more tactical decision-making regarding efficiency and throughput, on both single-target and multi-target heals. Passive and auto-targeted healing have been reduced in effectiveness in order to emphasize the actions and choices of healers.
- Racial traits have been rebalanced so that all races have similar combat performance.
- All classes have had several abilities pruned, with a focus on redundant and less-used abilities, to cut down on button and keybind bloat.
- The amount of crowd control in the game (primarily PvP) has been drastically reduced. Many crowd-control abilities have been removed, and many diminishing returns categories are now merged together.
- Several common buffs and debuffs have been merged, or removed, where they were redundant.
- All characters now learn a few important Major Glyphs automatically as they level up.
- The amount of instant healing in the game has been toned down by giving cast times to several instant cast heals.
- Vengeance has been redesigned and renamed Resolve. Resolve does not increase outgoing damage, but does now increase tank self-healing and absorption based on damage taken.
- Facing requirements (character position) on some prominent abilities have been loosened or removed.
- The mana cost of Resurrection spells has been reduced to make it a little easier to recover from a wipe.
- Professions no longer have combat benefit perks tied to them.
What are you lovely lot most excited about? I continue to find the garrisons utterly intriguing, as management systems are right up my boring street, while the impetus to go out and explore to find new blueprints and materials is very welcome.
On the subject of exploration, that’s really what’s causing me to smack my lips the most. While Blizzard’s expansions have gone from strength to strength, Burning Crusade remains my favourite simply because I found Outland to be a joy to explore. Even now, I enjoy flying across it, even if I barely spend a day there now if I’m levelling. So the chance to see it in an earlier state is one I’m champing at the bit to experience.
If you’ve got a bit of time, take a gander at the full patch notes. They are, of course, subject to change.