The following is some commentary and pointing out of things I find significant in this patch, as a raider and a healer and a druid!
- Epic Gems - Kaeya, my little mining rogue, hasn't seen much of a workout since I've been splitting my WoW-time between my two druids. I saw a lot of titanium nodes while farming Hodir rep on feral-Kae, and had a little pang of regret that I wasn't out mining up titanium ore instead, since I beleive there's a very good chance that you'll get at least one epic gem out of every stack of titanium ore prospected.
- Mount collectors - go pick up your extra undead pony / baby kitty from the appropriate faction vendor back in old Azeroth. The other mounts are purchased through seals, so if you've saved up enough after all the minipets and hippogryph and other mounts, then you have far more willpower on those dailies than I do :) There is also now a ravasaur trainer quest in Un'Goro for horde, akin to the wintersaber trainer line for alliance in Winterspring.
- Pet collectors -Shimmering Wyrmling is BoE for the same price of 40 seals as the other tournament pets, but only useable/purchaseable at exalted. If you'd rather save your seals, you can buy it from another player, technically. There are also a slew of little baby raptors, one of which can be purchased from Brianni in Dalaran; the others drop off of various rare-elite raptors around the game, or can be farmed from the raptors in WC, Zul'Drak, and ZG.
- Children's Week -This starts from in the Eventide in Dalaran. You will get one chain or the other between the Wolvar and Oracles, likely dependant upon whichever faction you're currently not hated by. If you want to switch, remember that you can do so by challenging the lich in the cave in eastern Sholozar, and killing the NPC of the group that you no longer wish to be factioned with (it's horrible, I know) while killing the lich. There is also a chance that you can just choose one or the other of the kids from the Orphan Matron and save all that hassle, so check first before going off and switching factions.
- New tournament dailies - If you're exalted with the sunreavers/silver covenant, you get something new to do, if you're like me and are entirely burnt out on the 3.1 dailies. There are also a banner, tabard (with tournament-hearthing action!), and squire available for purchase to those thusly exaltified.
- Coliseum Constructed - built of mountain rock and the limbs of tree druids, the coliseum is finished and is now a raid instance. There are separate normal and hard modes for 10-man and 25-man raids, and all 4 have a separate raid lock-out timer.
- Badges - You can convert down, but all instances will now drop Conquest badges rather than Valor/Heroism. The Coliseum itself will now drop Triumph badges.
- Item Compare - Shift + Mouseover on an item to compare stats with currently equipped. This is a nice addition to the Alt + Mouseover which will let you select from among gear in your bags that can go in that character sheet slot, something that was slipped in amidst a previous patch.
- Agility/Dodge - you will need more agility to get the same amount of dodge as previous. The nerf numbers may look scary, but it shouldn't be too huge a drop, as diminishing returns ate up a lot of that before anyway. Resilience recieved similar treatment, meaning that more will be required for (non-feral druids) to become uncrittable.
- Feral changes - base damage from all attacks in the upper ability ranks has been weakened through application of foam to all kitty claws, presumably a side effect of the pedicure recieved when all druids undergo their magical art transformation. Bears can now use rage potions.
- Feral Skins - again, I point you to Tigerfeet's beautiful fur/skin assignment chart. Are you happy with your new skin? If not, do you prefer the old skin, or a different one of the new skins? Will you be/have you already visited the barbershop to select your feral colors?
- Travel Forms - Travel form trained at level 16 and Flight form at 60; flying forms can now benefit from crusader's aura. Also, if you have a super-fast flying mount above the base speed of your swift flight form, your flight form speed will scale up to match!
- Replenishment Nerf - a very slight nerf, but one to note for those players who often have mana difficulties. "Replenishment: This buff now grants 1% of the target's maximum mana over 5 seconds instead of 0.25% per second." This is 0.25% less mana per 5 seconds, a 20% nerf in overall replenishment regen. In turn, however, mp5 itself has been increased by 25% on all items. This will lead to a reconsideration of mp5 vs spirit for many druids; personally, while I had previously considered mp5 to be of significantly less importance than spirit, I may now consider them equal. Whether one stat is needed over another will probably depend on the tree's own current spellpower vs mana problems. Monitor your mana, druids!
- Innervate - 3 minute cooldown (from 6), but at half power. Use it more often and share the mana love if you don't need it. Of course, as always, if you need it for yourself, use it on yourself! I've heard recently that there are still guilds who order an innervate be used on someone other than the druid. Sigh.
- Resto changes - lifebloom's final bloom has been nerfed (again), which mostly makes me worry for the General Vezax fight. Since its timing was so unpredictable in whether the target would need the heal by the time it bloomed, however, I think that overall this nerf will have minimal impact on PvE healing. Empowered Touch now boosts Nourish by 20%, making it a much more attractive talent to druids who use nourish regularly (it was in my spec before, and I'm keeping it, certainly).
- Turkey changes -Eclipse has separate cooldowns for lunar and solar, which will allow for more proccing and the "weaving" of starfire/wrath cycles... for more information, I point over to Graylo's recent post regarding the Eclipse procs. Panzerkins (Owlkin frenzy) will also regen mana through the proc, which is quite nice for soloing/leveling.
And because we were all very worried about this (I know I laughed each time I saw it!):
Cenarion Set: No longer reduces the (nonexistent) cooldown on Hurricane. Instead, the set bonus increases the damage done by Hurricane by 15%.