I’ve really been looking forward to this patch. Relearning how to play my paladin will be a bit of a pain, but if the class is truly improved than it’ll be worth it.
But it’s the linked auction houses that I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully the crowds in IF will eventually trickle out to the other cities. If the anvil/forge wasn’t on the far side of the city from the bank/auction house I’d move my gaggle of characters to Stormwind instantly. As things stand, I’ll try it out with a couple of characters and see how it goes.
I’m also very excited about the changes to fishing. If Blizzard’s new system to stop bot fishing works, we may once again be able to pull up magical gear that’s good enough to equip on the spot. In open beta I pulled up three green items in one hour that were upgrades to the gear I was wearing. I’ve missed that anticipation fishing used to have.
And for Warlocks, for the love of GAWD why can't Blizzard just make soulshards stackable! Would it really hurt that much???? That would solve half of the problem warlocks have with soulshards. ***** a special bag, I want those damned things to stack, like a hunter's pet food does.
Let me change this around just a bit: For the love of GAWD why can't Blizzard just give paladins a ranged pulling attack! Would it really hurt that much???? That would solve half of the problem paladins have with leveling. In a word, its game balance.
I’m not all that happy with some of the game balance decisions Blizzard had made. But I do give Blizzard high marks on game/class balance overall. No one class can do everything well. There is give and take in every class. Which class has the most severe balance decisions has a lot to do with your play style. I find the lack of a ranged pulling attack to be a major stumbling block to enjoying playing a paladin. On the other hand soul shards, while a pain, aren’t that big a deal to me. The shaman class is another good example. Countless players scream about shamen being over powered. But I find their extremely limited manna pool to be highly restrictive.
It's pursuit speed. All pets are being normalized to 115% movement speed. This is a nerf to most pets, and a buff to a very few. Some pets could move up to 145% movement speed before 1.9.
I still believe it was a bug they adopted as their own idea due to the response it received. While hunters were outraged, most other classes were cheering -- they didn't care whether it would break the hunter class (pets didn't move any faster than a player, meaning they could never catch any player or mob running away), all they thought was "it's a nerf... hunters need nerfs."
The Bloodseeker Bat and AV Frostwolf moved at completely unbalanced speeds (215-250%) and needed to be fixed, but tampering with the speed of all pets for the sake of two feels just a little lame.
Oh, btw... even though it's not attack speed this time, they do have plans to normalize attack speeds in the future. Don't be surprised when it comes.
Since the very first pet change, Blizzard has been moving towards making each pet’s fundamental skills exactly the same, or at least balanced. For example, if a pet has a higher armor class it’ll have fewer hit points. If it attacks faster it does less damage per attack. And I’m behind that decision 100%. If there is one pet out there that is superior to all others then that’s the pet almost every single hunter is going to have. I for one do not want to see 90% of the hunters with the exact same pet. That would make the world such a boring place.
With all pets given cookie cutter stats, including attack speed, players no longer have to take those stats into consideration when choosing a pet. We can choose a pet based upon how it looks, what it eats or its special abilities. If you’re a night elf hunter you may prefer a cat that can go into stealth mode beside you. But if you’re an orc that can’t stealth you may prefer a different ability. And once a pet is chosen we can customize it with more armor, spell resists and I expect eventually attack speed increases.
All in all I’m happy with the direction Blizzard is taking hunter pets.