So, we think it's landing this week despite WoW Insider not being quite so certain due to a couple of interesting points. However, just to whet the appetite for those that haven't seen it, here's the trailer for patch 4.1.
So, what does the patch mean for Protection warriors? Here's a very basic list.
- Hit rating loses all of its raiding importance. Interrupts will no longer miss, so feel free to reforge it all away and concentrate on more defensive stats. Naturally, this affects everyone.
- Shield Bash is gone, so replace it on your bars with Pummel which can now be used in every stance. We shave a little time off of our interrupt, but we lose the blanket silence.
- Heroic Leap isn't on the GCD anymore, so that's a small quality of life change. Alas, it's still garbage because of the absurd restrictions placed on the ability, so don't assume it's now become useful.
- Rallying Cry, a new ability, is basically a raid-wide Last Stand. Get it on your bars and use it for any fight where the raid takes a chunk of damage; just don't forget it shares a cooldown with Last Stand.
- Spell Reflect got a 300% nerf. Ouch. Now, don't use it on cooldown with casters around, instead try to be more selective about when more than one caster is maybe lining you up.
- Shield Block will now reduce magical damage taken by 20%, assuming you take the full allocation of points in Shield Mastery (which you should). The trade off is that the talent no longer affects Spell Reflect.
- Gag Order sees Pummel replace Shield Bash due to the latter getting the bullet. It's still a useful talent for five-man heroics, but nothing to write home about if you're raiding.
Penultimately, the new Zandalari instances provide a veritable slew of tanking items - of particular interest is the ranged slot if you've not seen the Crossfire Carbine either drop or hit the AH with a reasonable price tag. All of the drops are iLevel 353, however, so while they're a step up from current heroic content, your raid gear will still best it.
Lastly, a few more things are going to be more readily available. Maelstrom Crystals will be in far more plentiful supply, your Valor Points will not be changed to Justice Points yet, and you can buy Honor Points for Justice points and vice versa.
And that's it.
Enjoy patch 4.1. :)