Good news, Blizzard (Europe) has announced that testing for Patch 5.0.1 will begin soon!
We will soon begin public testing of patch 5.0.1 of World of Warcraft, a patch that will precede the Mists of Pandaria release, and includes many features and functions that are new to the game.
We encourage all players who wish to test patch 5.0.1 with us to take careful note of the following:
It will not be possible to access the 5.0.1 PTR realms with a game account that accesses the Mists of Pandaria Beta.If a game account has been flagged with a Mists of Pandaria Beta license, it can only be used to enter Beta realms.This limitation is on each World of Warcraft license, and is not Battle.net account-based.While testing 5.0.1, players will not be able to access zones or content that is a part of the Mists of Pandaria expansion.
Thank you for your continued support of our testing and tuning process. We look forward to seeing you in-game.
If you’re wondering “But isn’t this just MOP?”, it is and it isn’t. As with the release of every new expansion, new features are put into WoW that are general game updates and aren’t specific to the expansion pack. For example, when Blizzard re-does the talent trees, those are included in these patches. For Cataclysm, the changes to Azeroth weren’t specific to Cataclysm, the changes affected all players.
This type of patch will also include the pre-expansion storyline setup. Like before BC, there was the stuff at the Dark Portal. Wrath had the Zombie Invasion, and Cataclysm had the dooms day quests and then the Shattering. This piece for Mists is going to be interesting considering the major story point of the expansion of the Horde and Alliance war fueling up again. I imagine that it will relate to that somehow.
What new features in Mists could be on the PTR and on this patch?
- AOE looting should be in on this which will be a god-send for people who like to AOE farm for things like cloth, it gets cumbersome having to individually loot mobs.
- The new Talent and skill system – these are always interesting because they have an impact on current end-game raids, like at the end of Wrath when reforging and Mastery were implemented.
- Other general class changes will be included in this as part of the above. So this gives people a chance to see if the way they play their class changes at all.
- I imagine that account wide achievements/mounts/pets will be included in this as well.
Note that Monks, Pandarens, zones in Pandaria and level 90 are not included in this – those will be in the actual expansion.
The best part about this, is that it means we’re closer to the release date of Mists of Pandaria. It’s fair to expect them to announce a release date in the coming weeks.