Rise of the Zandalari
The days when great troll empires stretched across ancient Kalimdor are long past. Millennia of war and internal strife have stripped these nations of their power, lands, and glory. As Azeroth recovers from the destruction of the Cataclysm, the world's divided troll populations face a bleak future. These dark times have spurred the trolls of the Zandalar, the historically wise and scholarly tribe from which all trolls originated, to take drastic action. They have embarked on a bold crusade to save their race by uniting trolls into a single mighty empire. With the Zandalari's aid, the fallen capitals of the Gurubashi and Amani nations—Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman—are already rebuilding, replenishing their forces for a bloody campaign to expand their territories.
Yet Vol'jin and his Darkspear trolls are not aligned with the Zandalari. They have sworn to stand with their Horde comrades—and even work with the Alliance—should the trolls ignite a new war on Azeroth. Soon, Vol'jin might be forced to act on his promise, for if the Gurubashi and Amani are left to their own devices, the world will know the legendary strength and savagery of the ancient troll empires once again.
The Gurubashi Tribe Persists
Originally a 20-player dungeon released in patch 1.7, Zul'Gurub will once again open its gates, featuring updated lore, all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot! Zul'Gurub is now a level-85 five-player Heroic difficulty dungeon. To provide a new tier above the current Cataclysm dungeons, players can expect to find epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is 346.
The Return of Zul'Aman
Ever a player favorite, the level-70 ten-player dungeon of Zul'Aman is being reintroduced as a level-85 Heroic five-player dungeon. Zul'Aman will join Zul'Gurub in a new Dungeon Finder tier of Heroic dungeons, providing epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is also 346. While Zul'Aman will be more of a throwback to the original dungeon featuring many of the same encounters, players can expect to find some updated gameplay mechanics, as well as new environment textures and lighting.
With the Zuls returning, you may be wondering about the unique mounts that were once contained therein. New versions of the rare raptor, tiger, and bear mounts will be available, while the old versions of these mounts will remain unique to those who already have them. We'll reveal more about how these updated mounts can be obtained in the future.
While we do intend to make fewer balance changes in patch 4.1, you can still expect to find a fair number of updates. Below are just a few we'd like to share with you right now. Keep in mind these changes don't encompass the entirety of the 4.1 changes, nor do the initial Public Test Realm patch notes.
To start, we want to do a better job of balancing the AoE power of the different damage-dealing specs. You can expect to see some changes to this end made throughout the testing process.
The warrior ability Inner Rage is now available at level 56. It was intended to solve an excess rage problem that largely isn’t affecting warriors anymore. We’ve added a replacement ability for warriors at level 83: Rallying Cry.
Colossus Smash now ignores 70% of an opponent's armor, down from 100%. We are compensating Fury and Arms warriors by increasing the damage of other attacks.
Word of Glory: We want Retribution and Protection paladins to have reasonable healing on themselves or others, but we know paladins sometimes feel like they can’t use their Holy Power on anything but their heals in some situations. We’d rather these two specs spend most of their Holy Power on damage-dealing abilities, with occasional healing.
More To Come
We're still hard at work on additional features, balance updates, and bug fixes for patch 4.1 and beyond. We look forward to sharing more information with you in the days and weeks ahead as development continues. Until then, have a look at the PTR patch 4.1 notes we've prepared. As always, these notes are not final and will continue to be updated regularly as we go through the iterative testing process, so be sure to check back often.