The 4.0 patch will likely hit on or about the 12th or October and, as you probably already know, it will change a lot of things. Talents, for one.
Instead of 71 talent points at 80 you’ll have 41 at 85.
Instead of putting a few points her and a few there, you will be locked into one tree until you buy the top tier talent. Those 41 points will buy every talent in any one specialization, but you can go 31/5/5 or 31/10 or 39/2 or something like that. Obviously this means that your Pally will be Protection or Holy or Retribution.
That nice 31/20/20 build of yours? Poof! It’s gone!
Each specialization will automatically get certain abilities. For example, all Subtlety rogues will get Shadowstep. These aren’t optional abilities. The top tier ability is Mastery, which is trainable. Mastery gives a bonus to some defining characteristic of your builds. Fire mages, for example, get increased periodic damage. Mastery rating will be on gear and can be stacked.
Whether you will want to stack it depends on all the usual things. Some on the forums are saying that you do not want to stack Warrior Mastery, but on other classes it’s great.
I expect there will be a lot of tuning for awhile.
Abilities have changed, too. You no longer get them every other level and you no longer have to get levels in the ability. Instead of Shiftypoke1 through 12, you just get Shiftypoke once and it scales with your level. I’m sure there will be plenty of forum remarks regarding that change, in addition to all the others.
Glyphs? There will be a made rush for glyphs on patch day. 85s will have 9 glyphs that they can slot (prime, major, minor, 3 of each) but every class can learn all the glyphs to their class and swap them as they like. Kinda like if you have several gear sets which you swap depending on that you’re doing. If you class has 20 glyphs you just buy all of then and then figure out which is the best set. Once you’ve bought the set you’ll never have to buy them again.
Mad rush on patch day? I think so. My inscription is 450 so I’ll be ready.
Oh yeah, the builds.
I’ve taken a shot at putting up 4.0 leveling builds for Druids and mages. Check them out if you like and tell me here if they’re good, bad, or ugly. I have not leveled anything 1-85 in the beta (though Zygor has) so it’s quite possible that an “interesting” error will creep in.