The World of Warcraft PTR 5.4 Patch Notes by @Rygarius reveal some significant changes such as the Flexible Raid Difficulty which allows any size of players to still be able to complete a dungeon by scaling down or up the mob and boss damage and health depending how many players there are. Reminds a bit of how Diablo III works.
The Siege of Orgrimmar is not yet enabled in the PTR, and the Timeless Isle is added but inaccessible at the moment. The Timeless Isle is found southeast of The Temple of the Jade Serpent into the sea. There are new pets based on the Xien, Chi-ji, Niuzao and the Jade Serpent — likely available through some sort of Quartermaster. The Timeless Isle seems to be a new feature for Pet Battles, but there might be more than just Pet Battles. Flying near the Timeless isle causes players to be teleported away. I managed to see a big mob named Ordos (Fire-God of the Yaungol) before getting teleported.
World of Warcraft Patch 5.4 PTR
New Raid: Siege of Orgrimmar
- More information coming soon.
New Feature: Flexible Raid Difficulty
- This is a new raid difficulty designed for pre-made groups of 10 to 25 players or any number in between. This means it’s possible to have raids of 15 or 22 players! Difficulty will adjust automatically based on the number of players present with encounters intended to provide a challenge roughly between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty.
- Flexible Raid difficulty requires a pre-made group to join but has no minimum item level requirements or role restrictions. Both BattleTag™ and Real ID friends are eligible to participate.
- Loot quality will be between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty and awarded through a personal loot system (similar to Raid Finder). Bonus rolls and loot specialization will also be supported.
- Players will be able to earn raid achievements just like in Normal or Heroic difficulty.
- Flexible Raid difficulty has a lockout that is separate from Raid Finder and Normal difficulty.
- To learn more about Flexible Raids, please visit our blog titled: A Raid for All Seasons: Flexible Raid Preview.
New Area: Timeless Isle
- More information coming soon.
New Feature: Proving Grounds
- Proving Grounds is a new feature for individual players to test and improve their combat skills.
- At the Proving Grounds, players may undertake trials, designed for Damage, Tank, or Healer roles.
- It provides a great opportunity to learn how to Tank or Heal, without the need of a group.
- Each trial is available in four separate difficulties: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Endless. Harder difficulties include more difficult and varied enemies.
- Endless mode allows you to test your mettle against increasingly difficult enemies. Compare your best scores to friends and guildmates!
- [PTR]: Access to the Proving Grounds and more information is coming soon.
New Feature: Virtual Realms
- Virtual Realms are sets of realms that are fused together, and will behave exactly as if they were one cohesive realm. Players on the same Virtual Realm will be able to join guilds, access a single Auction House, join arena teams and raids, as well run dungeons or group up to complete quests.
- Players belonging to the same Virtual Realm will have a (#) symbol next to their name.
- Fears cast by players no longer increases the target’s movement speed.
- Vengeance gains from being critically hit have been halved.
- Dancing Rune Weapon no longer costs Runic Power.
- Master of Ghouls now reduces the cooldown of Raise Dead by 60 seconds.
- Innervate now causes the target to gain mana equal to 50% of the casting Druid’s Spirit every second for 10 seconds.
- Wild Mushroom’s Restoration version of the ability now summons a single mushroom at the friendly target’s location. If the mushroom is recast, the mushroom moves to the new location and retains its accumulated bonus healing. A single mushroom now heals for as much as what 3 mushrooms combined healed for previously.
- Wrath has its mana cost increased by 50%.
- Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned to reduce complexity and increase usability, but maintain the spirit of the effects. Benefits now varies by specialization.
- Balance: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Casting Healing Touch increases the damage bonus of the Druid’s next Eclipse by 10%.
- Feral: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Casting Healing Touch causes the Druid’s next Rip to deal 15% increased damage.
- Guardian: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Mangle (Bear) critical strikes have a 20% chance to make the next Healing Touch or Rebirth instant, free, and castable in all forms.
- Restoration: Causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.
- Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids.
- Mass Entanglement no longer has a limit on the number of targets that could be affected, up from 5.
- Nature’s Swiftness is no longer a talent, and is now an ability learned by Restoration Druids at level 30.
- Nature’s Vigil when activated, causes healing spells now trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.
- Soul of the Forest has been partially redesigned to make it more attractive to Balance, Guardian, and Restoration Druids.
- Balance: Wrath, Starfire, and Starsurge casts have a 8% chance to cause the next Astral Communion to instantly advance the Druid to the next Eclipse.
- Guardian: Increases Rage generation from Mangle (Bear) by 20% instead of 30%, but the bonus now also applies to Rage generated by Primal Fury.
- Restoration: Now causes the Druid to gain 100% haste (up from 75%) on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.
- Ysera’s Gift, a new talent healing the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead. This talent fills the spot vacated by Nature’s Swiftness.
- New Glyph: Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.
- Glyph of Innervate now causes Innervate to give both the Druid and the target 60% of the normal effect of the spell if it’s cast on a target other than the Druid.
- Eclipse now energizes the Druid for 50% of their maximum mana when triggered, up from 35%.
- Moonkin Form no longer reduces all damage taken by 15%.
- Starfire has its mana cost increased by 50%.
- Starsurge has its mana cost increased by 50%.
- Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.
- Swiftmend’s area-of-effect healing effect is now called Efflorescence.
- Wild Mushroom: Bloom is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.
- Arcane Shot had its damage and focus cost increased by 50%.
- Aspect of the Iron Hawk now reduces all damage taken by 10%, down from 15%.
- Silencing Shot is no longer a talent and is now an ability for Marksman Hunters.
- Binding Shot is no longer a Marksman Hunter ability and is once again a talent.
- Ring of Peace has a new visual effect.
- Turn Evil now has a 15-second cooldown. (Note: Glyph of Turn Evil will be redesigned and noted in a future PTR update.)
- Burden of Guilt has been replaced with a new talent called Evil is a Point of View, which allows the Paladin to use Turn Evil on players and beasts.
- Hand of Purity now reduces damage taken from harmful periodic effects by 80% (up from 70%) and reduces damage taken from harmful periodic effects that cannot be prevented by immunities by 40% (up from 0%).
- Unbreakable Spirit has been simplified. It now reduces the cooldown on Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Lay on Hands by 50%.
- Glyph of Inquisition has been redesigned. The glyph now increases the duration of Inquisition by 30 seconds (up to a maximum of 2 minutes) each time the Paladin lands a killing blow on targets that yield experience or honor.
- Guardian of the Ancient Kings (Retribution version) now has a reduced cooldown of 3 minutes, down from 5 minutes, and the maximum number of stacks has been reduced to 12.
- Inquisition now lasts 20 seconds per charge of Holy Power consumed, up from 10 seconds.
- Leap of Faith no longer has a facing requirement.
- Angelic Feather now increases allies’ movement speed by 80%, up from 60% and the feathers have a duration of 10 minutes, up from 5 minutes.
- Divine Insight for Discipline Priests now has a 100% chance to activate its effect after using Penance, up from 40%.
- Twist of Fate’s damage and healing threshold to activate has been increased to 35%, up from 20%.
- Shadowform no longer reduces all damage taken by 15%.
- Restoration PvP 4-piece set bonus is no longer an area-of-effect and only affects the character that dispels Vampiric Touch.
- Recuperate now restores 4% of maximum health every 3 seconds, up from 3%.
- Nightstalker now increases damage dealt by abilities while stealthed by 50%, up from 25%.
- Killing Spree targeting has been changed. If Blade Flurry is not active, Killing Spree will now hit the Rogue’s target 7 times or pick the closest eligible target if none had been selected. Killing Spree will continue to work as it has while Blade Flurry is active.
- Healing Rain’s radius has been increased to 12 yards, up from 10 yards.
- Astral Shift now has a cooldown of 90 seconds, down from 120 seconds.
- Unleashed Fury’s Flametongue Weapon effect now increases Lightning Bolt damage by 30%, up from 20%.
- Glyph of Chaining now increases the cooldown on Chain Heal by 2 seconds, down from a 4 second increase.
- Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem now reduces the cooldown and duration for Fire Elemental Totem by 50%, up from 40%.
- Glyph of Riptide reduces the initial direct healing of Riptide by 75%, down from a 90% reduction to healing.
- Stormstrike’s debuff now also affects Elemental Blast.
- Riptide’s mana cost has been reduced by 25%.
- Fel Armor no longer reduces all damage taken by 10%.
- Howl of Terror is no longer a talent and is now a baseline skill for all Warlocks.
- Demonic Breath, a new talent replacing Howl of Terror. The Warlock sends out a cone of Shadow damage, snaring targets, has a 20-second cooldown.
- Kil’jaden’s Cunning is no longer a passive ability. Kil’jaden’s Cunning now now has a duration of 15 seconds with a 1.5 minute cooldown.
- Mannoroth’s Fury is no longer a passive ability. Mannoroth’s Fury’s now has a duration of 15 seconds with a 1.5 minute cooldown.
- Enrage now also triggers on critical hits from Devastate and Shield Slam.
- Shattering Throw no longer costs rage.
- Enraged Regeneration now instantly heals the warrior for 10% of their total health (up from 5%), and an additional 10% over 5 seconds (up from 5%).
- Vigilance no longer transfers damage to the Warrior. The talent now reduces amount of damage the target takes by 30% for 12 seconds.
- Slam now does an additional 10% damage to targets affected by the warrior’s Colossus Smash.
- Titan’s Grip now works with polearms.
- The Strength of One’s Foes: Players should no longer be receiving excess Sigils of Power or Sigils of Wisdom.
- Bonus Roll change: Players that don’t have a coin or elect to not use a Bonus Roll when defeating one of the world bosses (Sha of Anger, Galleon, Nalak, and Oondasta) can come back later that same week to use the Bonus Roll. The limit has not changed and remains one attempt and one bonus roll per boss, per week.
Pet Battle General
- A new pet battle tournament is available on the Timeless Isle, more details coming soon!
- Players are now able to trade in any 3 of the same family specific Flawless Battle-Stones for a single Marked Flawless Battle-Stone.
- Viewable pet battles will now display working health bars.
- Battle Pet levels are now only shown on the map if you are tracking Battle Pets.
- Aquatic type’s passive effect now reduces damage from damage-over-time effects by 50%, up from 25%.
- Critter type’s passive effect now makes critters immune to roots, stuns, and sleep effects.
- Dragonkin type’s passive effect now activates after an attack brings a target’s to below 50% health, up from 25%.
- Elemental type’s passive effect now only affects negative direct effects of weather. (E.g. Sandstorm’s accuracy reduction won’t be applied, but the damage reduction will.)
- Magic type’s passive effect now caps damage taken at 35% of maximum health, up from 40%.
- Darkmoon Zeppelin: Several abilities have swapped positions.
- Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling: Several abilities have swapped positions.
Battle Pet Abilities
- Accuracy now affects the entire team.
- Dark Simulacrum has been replaced with a new ability, Rot. Rot deals Undead damage and temporarily turns the enemy pet’s type into Undead.
- Trihorn Charge now has a 1-round cooldown.
- Trihorn Shield now displays the correct amount of damage reduction.
- The chance for awarding loot from kills or bonus rolls has been increased for Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, Terrace of Endless Spring, and Throne of Thunder on Raid Finder difficulty.
- The chance for awarding loot from using a bonus roll has been increased for Throne of Thunder on Normal difficulty.
- Players who obtain a realm-best time in a Challenge Mode dungeon (group must contain at least 3 people from the same realm to qualify) will receive a temporary title specific to each dungeon (e.g. Siegebreaker for Siege of Niuzao temple, Darkmaster for Scholomance, etc.). This title will persist for as long as a player retains the top time on the realm. Holding a realm-best time at any point will also confer a permanent Feat of Strength to record the accomplishment.
- Season 14 Grievous gear is now available. Elite versions of Grievous gear will require a rating of 2000 to purchase.
- Season 13 Tyrannical gear can now be purchased with Honor Points.
- Season 12 Malevolent gear can now be crafted.
- [PTR]: For testing purposes, Grievous Flaskataur will be available near the Niuzao Temple selling standard Grievous gear for gold.
- All permanent item enhancements provided by Enchanting, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, and various vendors and quests are now able to be applied to items of any level. This means all enchantments can now be applied to heirloom items.
- High level enhancements applied to items equipped by low level players have their power scaled down to be similar to enhancements intended for that level range.
- Low level enhancements applied to items equipped by high level players do not grow further in power beyond their intended level range.
- The vestigial Use Hardware sound option has been removed.