I stopped playing WoW during the good old days of Burning Crusade, mainly because I'd swapped guilds and stopped having fun when the new guild didn't really appreciate my prescence >.>

So a few RL friends have convinced me to return. I'm in the process of retrieving my account at the moment (since Blizzard somehow "lost" it and can't retrieve it without me sending in stupid forms and ID and things, but that's another story), so in the meantime, I'd like to know how things have changed, if at all?

My main was a level 70 hunter, had done all of Kharazan repeatedly, and some of Gruul's, and back the the good ole days of pre-BC, I had full Dragonstalker. YAY!


There's been a massive amount of changes. Obviously there are new zones, new battlegrounds, higher level cap, new skills, etc, but I'll try to cover the biggest changes as they will probably affect your character:

  • Two new classes, Death Knights and Monks.
  • New professions, including Inscription which affects every character through the addition of glyphs to modify your own talents and spells.
  • Completely redone talents: there are now only 3 talents to pick from for each tier (and there is a tier every 15 levels). This was instituted because a staggeringly high number of talent trees had almost identical builds. These new talents represent the minor variations from the stock builds.
  • Specialization (BM vs MM vs Survival) is now separated out from your talents. There are no longer "BM" talents or "MM" talents.
  • Removal of many statistics from items, e.g. attack power, spell power, and the addition of "mastery".
  • The Dungeon Finder makes running dungeons infinitely easier for DPS, as it is really quite easy to get pick-up groups compared to vanilla and TBC.
  • New raid difficulties:
    • LFR - dungeon finder, but for raids!
    • Flex - anywhere from 10 to 25 man raids. Bosses scale to howevery many you have. No more waiting for 2 more DPS - it just scales back the boss to make it a fair fight.
    • Normal 10 and 25
    • Heroic 10 and 25 (tougher bosses, better loot)
  • Badges of Justice/Valor replaced with Justice Points and Valor Points. Valor points mainly used for upgrading gear. For example, a 528 LFR piece can be upgraded to a 532 for 250 valor points, and again to 536 for 250 more.
  • The ability to raid in pick-up groups quite successfully in each tier.
  • Achievements.
  • Hunter specific:
    • No ammo (speaking as a fellow Hunter)!
    • No more "Bow Slot" (librums, totems, idols, wands). Bows and wands are now actual Main Hand weapons. So no more agil-staffs or polearms for Hunters!
    • Pet talent trees
    • Hunters use focus now, very similar to rogues energy.
  • Accepted for being quite comprehensive! Though its gonna take some getting used to not having to down Mana potions... and my entire strategy of maxing my attack power has been removed... what replaces it? If anything? Nov 10 '10 at 22:25
  • Attack power has been replaced completely by Agility (for Hunters, Rogues, Cat Druids and Enhancement Shamans) or Strength (for Warriors and Paladins). Spell power has been replaced with Intellect. There are some cases where these still exist, e.g. Spell-power weapons, some old world items, but in general they're now just a derived stat.
    – dlanod
    Nov 11 '10 at 2:10
  • 1
    Consider adding an item about the level at which riding can be trained now -- ie - slow mount @ 20, fast mount @ 30 (or 40? I forget), slow flying mount @ 60 and flight speed increased to 150%, and epic flying is still @ 70. That was a big improvement for all of us leveling alts when we get bored. :)
    – Jagd
    Nov 11 '10 at 21:21
  • So I'm back to stacking agility? That works for me, it'll be ain interesting reshuffle of my talents, but since they're likely changed significantly too I'll have to look them up >.> Nov 12 '10 at 2:24

In addition to all the other changes mentioned, The Shattering (4.0.3) patch arrived on November 23, 2010, redoing all the zones in the old (classic) world.

Additionally, Blizzard has shifted the levels you need to ride mounts around. It's now:

  • 16 for mount-like abilities (Druid Speed form, Shaman Ghost Wolf)
  • 20 for normal mounts (4g skill, 1g mounts)
  • 40 for very fast mounts (50g skill, 10g mounts)
  • 60 for flying mounts (250g skill, 50g mounts) (Druids can train Flight Form for 3g)
  • 60 for Flight Master's License (flying in the old world, post Shattering) (250g skill)
  • 68 for Cold Weather Flying (flying in Northrend) (500g skill)
  • 70 for very fast flying mounts (5000g skill, 100g mounts)
  • 80 for extremely fast flying mounts (5000g skill)

Cataclysm also adds another two playable races: Goblins for Horde, Worgen for Alliance.

4.0.3a introduced new race/class combinations. At least one class was added for each race. The new combinations are: Troll Druid, Troll Warlock, Tauren Paladin, Tauren Priest, Blood Elf Warrior, Orc Mage, Forsaken Hunter, Human Hunter, Night Elf Mage, Dwarf Shaman, Dwarf Warlock, Dwarf Mage, and Gnome Priest.

Levels 10-60 also require 10% less experience per level than they did back during BC.

The rate you gain spells/abilities at has been changed. It is no longer every other level pre-60/every level post-60.

The rate you gain talent points at has changed. It is no longer every level post-10... instead it's spread out, maxing out at 41 talent points at level 85.

  • In general, you get new talent points on odd levels and new skills/abilities on even levels. Nov 10 '10 at 19:38
  • I noticed at low levels that sometimes you'll get talent points two levels in a row... that comes from having 41 talent points spread across 75 levels.
    – user2974
    Nov 11 '10 at 21:57
  • At level 80, you'll have exactly 36 points, enough to fill 1 tree and 5 left over to do as you please. By 85, you will have exactly 41 points: an additional talent point per level from 80-85. So from 10-80, there are 36 points and 71 levels worth of points. Levels 10 and 11 are the only back-to-back levels that give you a talent point, with a new talent point being obtained at every odd level thereafter. This gives you, for the most part, "big abilities" (1 pointers) at *9 and *5 levels (e.g. 29, 35, 39) with the majority on the *9s.
    – TheQ
    Nov 29 '10 at 13:25
  • Err, my math above is off. Should just be *9 levels. 29, 39, 49, etc.
    – TheQ
    Nov 29 '10 at 14:54

The stable version at the moment is World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Although already in progress Betas and the new version World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Referring only to the first name you as the other is not complete yet, things have changed a lot maps, achievements, set, instances.

The level of PVP and PVE are more successful as you are 70 that section 70-80 is more complicated than before, but not much.

In each expansion adds two new classes one for each side.

  • Actually, the stable version at the moment is 4.0.1, which has already redone things like talent trees and spells/abilities for Cataclysm. 4.0.3 (aka The Shattering) is due out sometime in the next month, which will change the old world's layout.
    – user2974
    Nov 10 '10 at 13:37

Since you mentioned your main is a Hunter:

  • Pets have talent trees now, just like you do.
  • Pets are divided into three classes: Tenacity (tank), Ferocity (dps), and Cunning (special/pvp).
  • Hunters to not have mana anymore. Instead they have Focus, which is the same kind of energy bar your pet has.
  • The Volley spell was removed.
  • You don't have to be at a stablemaster to retrieve a stabled pet.
  • To add to the hunter bit - if your last play was TBC, you won't miss volley. You actually luck out because TBC wasn't aoe oriented, so you won't miss the tremendous aoe that volley could do in WotLK. There is no more shot clipping, so the magic macro from tbc is long gone. Really with skipping WotLK, the changes for a hunter are all pretty good!
    – DHayes
    Nov 10 '10 at 19:26
  • Actually Volley was awesome to the point of OPed at the start of TBC (through the start of Kara and Gruul's). It was often better DPS to Volley on a single target boss than to bother with a rotation. That only lasted about a month though, before Blizzard nerfed it back down.
    – dlanod
    Nov 10 '10 at 20:30
  • Volley was awesome once the cd was removed, but trash in TBC was generally CC based. In WotLK you aoe EVERYTHING except the boss. Maybe even the boss too.
    – DHayes
    Nov 11 '10 at 14:57

Probably should mention many of the quests have changed, levelling is much easier, Quest helper integrated into the core. I'm replaying now for the first time since BC as well and the Alliance quests in Westfall for example are completely different, no more Defias!

  • Oh there's Defias... just you wait. The payoff at the end of Westfall is truly epic. Nov 29 '10 at 14:09
  • @LessPop Just did this questline on a fresh alt over the weekend. Gotta agree, they did a heckuva job with that zone's main questline.
    – TheQ
    Nov 29 '10 at 14:43
  • @TheQ you think Westfall is awesome... go check out Redridge. Nov 29 '10 at 14:55
  • @LessPop Did that too actually, and despite a few bugs it WAS indeed awesome. The ability to do 30 levels in 2 days makes me want to level more (go reduced XP curve)!
    – TheQ
    Nov 29 '10 at 15:08
  • Ya Redridge was epic too, I'm just hoping the rest is good as well..I remember the 30-40 and 50-60 being the worst grinds
    – Wil
    Nov 29 '10 at 19:12

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