Those who have religiously downloaded every patch in the background for the past weeks and months will only download about 29MB today. When I launched the game I was welcomed with the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm cinematic shown in national TV during the NFL game (Cowboys vs Vikings).
The loading screen is no longer Wrath of the Lich King’s Sindragosa. Now it shows Deathwing on Stormwind’s towers as seen in beta.
12pm EST – Servers are still down at noon EST. We’ll see what’s up once servers are back up. Rumors have been that the shattering will be today due to the long maintenance schedule. If so, that means those of us who downloaded every patch are set to go. Those who had background download disable are gonna regret they did so (i.e. over 4GB of data). More when servers go up.
World of Warcraft Client Patch 4.0.3
The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at
The Shattering of Azeroth
In the frigid wastes of Northrend, the final battle against the merciless Lich King ended in victory for Azeroth’s defenders. Upon returning home, veterans of the unforgiving conflict against the Scourge were showered with praise for their valiant sacrifices, while the honorable dead were mourned. Yet as hope flared anew in the wake of the Lich King’s fall, Azeroth’s native elemental spirits grew confused and erratic, setting off a series of deadly natural disasters. Horde and Alliance leaders scrambled for clues about the troubling state of the world, but nothing could have prepared them for what was to come.
Without warning, the corrupted Dragon Aspect, Deathwing, erupted from the stone heart of Deepholm, the domain of earth within the Elemental Plane. Jagged fissures were torn across the earth, and monstrous waves pummeled coastal regions. From Thousand Needles to the Blasted Lands, the surface of Azeroth was reforged through violent upheavals. Now, the Horde and the Alliance must defend their homes against Deathwing and his minions, burdened by the unsettling fact that the world as they know it has changed… forever.
- Azeroth Shattered
- Deathwing’s return has had an immeasurable impact throughout the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. Players will notice drastically altered terrain, thousands of new quests from levels 1-55, and updated level ranges for some zones to improve the questing flow.
- New Race/Class Combinations
- In the wake of a world on the brink of destruction, members of the Horde and Alliance have taken to new cultures and studies, mastering crafts previously foreign to them. Many existing playable races now have new class combinations. Check the official World of Warcraft: Cataclysm website for a breakdown of the new combinations.
- The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm cinematic trailer and login screen have been added to the game.
- Experience required to gain levels 71 through 80 has been reduced by 20%, which increases leveling rate by 25%.
- Due to several talent revisions for select classes, druids, paladins, priests, and shaman have had their talent trees reset.
- The damage and healing done by players from levels 1-79 has been retuned, with the base points of almost all spells and abilities reduced. This was done to bring combat times at low levels to a more reasonable length. For most abilities that deal weapon damage, the weapon damage percent now rises per level until level 80, and starts at a lower percent.
- Healing Rain, Efflorescence, Holy Radiance, Holy Word: Sanctuary now have a diminished effect when healing more than 6 players at once.
- Mortal Strike, Furious Attacks, Wound Poison, Widow Venom, Permafrost, Improved Mind Blast, Monstrous Bite, and Legion Strike now reduce healing by 10%, down from 25%.
- Effects which are broken from taking too much damage (Fear, Frost Nova, Entangling Roots, etc.) now break automatically from about half as much damage taken as before.
- Death Pact now heals for 25% of maximum health, down from 40%.
- Death Strike now heals for 25% of damage taken in the last 5 seconds, down from 30%, and will heal for a minimum of 7% of maximum health, down from 10%. The tooltip may not yet be updated to reflect this change.
- Icebound Fortitude now provides 20% damage reduction, down from 30% (now 50%, down from 60% when talented), and has a 3-minute cooldown, up from 2 minutes.
- Talent Specializations
- Rune Tap now heals for 10% of maximum health, down from 15%. The tooltip may not yet be updated to reflect this change.
- Glyph of Rune Tap now heals for 5% of maximum health, down from 10%.
- Bug Fixes
- Frost Fever critical strikes now apply the correct amount of bonus damage.
- Bear Form now provides 10% bonus health, down from 20%.
- Nourish no longer consumes Omen of Clarity.
- Rejuvenation has had its mana cost increased by 30%.
- Soothe now has a 1.5-second cast time.
- Swipe (Cat Form) can now be used even if the druid does not have a primary target selected.
- Thorns: beginner tooltip revised to no longer imply the spell could be kept up at all times. In addition, Thorns damage has been reduced by 60%.
- Talent Specializations
- PvP set bonus redesigned. While not in an Eclipse state, critical attacks against the druid restore 5 Solar or 7 Lunar energy, whichever is more beneficial. This effect can only occur once every 6 seconds.
- Brutal Impact now increases the mana cost of spells on the victim by 5/10% for 10 seconds, down from 15/30%.
- Leader of the Pack now heals for 4%, down from 8%.
- Survival Instincts now provides 50% damage reduction, down from 60%, and its cooldown has been lowered from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.
- Swipe (Bear Form) damage has been reduced by 20%.
- Vengeance is no longer cleared on exiting Bear Form, and instead is cleared upon entering Cat Form.
- Empowered Touch now procs from Healing Touch as well as Nourish.
- Heart of the Wild: the Bear Form Stamina bonus from this talent is now 2/4/6%, down from 3/7/10%.
- Malfurion’s Gift no longer has Fury of Stormrage as a prerequisite talent.
- Natural Shapeshifter now also increases Tree of Life duration by 5/10 seconds.
- Revitalize is now a 2-point talent, down from 3. It provides a 20% chance to return 1/2% of the druid’s total mana on periodic heals from Lifebloom or Rejuvenation. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds.
- Swift Rejuvenation is now a 1-point talent, down from 2. The global cooldown reduction this talent provides to Rejuvenation remains 0.5 seconds.
- Symbiosis: heal-over-time spells (Rejuvenation, Regrowth, Lifebloom) can no longer benefit from this Mastery merely by refreshing themselves. A different heal-over-time spell must be present.
- Glyph of Healing Touch now reduces the cooldown on Nature’s Swiftness by 10 seconds after using Healing Touch, up from 5 seconds.
- Glyph of the Treant (new) allows druids to keep the original treant Tree of Life look… if they must. Must they?
- Bug Fixes
- Blood in the Water now refreshes Rip to the correct value.
- Flight Form now properly appears in the trainer window before Expert Riding is learned.