Thursday, February 19

Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.1 Goes Live Next Week

The patch will continue the Khadgar quest line which has the famed (and whiskered) mage tracking down the Orc warlock Gul'dan across the newly reimagined world of Draenor. But that is but a taste of the changes to come.

The Blood Elves are getting their long awaited character model update. Blizzard has been upgrading all of the characters, starting with the original vanilla races and working their way on through. The lithe Belf is a little less blocky and little more...ethereal, as is befitting their kind.

For the graphically inclined, 6.1 will introduce a wealth of new anti-aliasing effects and other graphical and gameplay improvements. There are a lot of acronyms involved, but just know that things can look prettier depending on your rig. For the full breakdown of improvements, head HERE.

Getting down to brass tacks, Patch 6.1 is aiming to changing "buffs to underperforming talents. The goal is to reach more variety of viable builds, without bringing down the existing popular choices." There are few companies who are better at giving you a wide range of options than Blizzard. The cycle generally goes as this: we hate these changes -> we begrudgingly accept these changes -> okay, these changes are pretty cool -> why are you changing these? -> we hate these changes; and so on.

Because they are so near and dear to my heart, Warriors are remaining relatively the same, seeing only increased damage to Secondwind, Siegebreaker and Slam, as well as a decrease in their Avatar's duration (but a major decrease in the ability's cooldown). But, us prot warriors will get a new Improved Defensive Stance, which now increases armor by 10% (up from 5%).

Priests are getting the most changes, especially the underused (because RAIDS) Shadow Priest. Psychic Scream's cooldown has been reduced to 30 seconds, Auspicious Spirits no longer cause Shadowy Apparitions to not deal damage. Instead, it now increases Shadowy Apparition damage by 100% in addition to still granting 1 Shadow Orb. And Void Entropy has received a massive 80% boost in damage.

Still going to need you to heal, though.

Speaking of healers, though, Shaman, Druid and Paladin Healers will be getting a boost in some of their offensive capabilities. "Another change being made for Patch 6.1 is to bring the damage potential of healers up to a level that is sufficient and balanced. Healers' damage potential will still pale compared to that of a dedicated damage dealer or tank, but it should no longer feel like you're totally ineffective when attempting to do some outdoor content."

So, not for raiding, but you can look forward to getting through solo content a bit quicker.

A small jump for joy - even for one who is WoW free - is the flight path improvement. Now, you no longer have to take the long way around (looking at you Kalimdor!), and players will instead be rerouted through flight paths they have not yet discovered. This does not discover them for you, but should prevent the ten minute 'afks' that can occur on longer flights.

There is so much coming. New pet battles, quest lines, Heirloom management and I haven't even gotten into the massive amount of changes coming to Garrisons. For the full Patch 6.1 notes, head over to themain page. And watch the video below to catch up on the major points.


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