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Now that the latest WoW patch is beginning its third week of life, most people know about the various additions and changes that were made to the game. But while you may know that there is a new raid instance, Ulduar, have you seen it? Have you looked at maps or the stats on any of the new amazing items found inside?
Besides Ulduar, there is an in-game event and daily area that has been added to northeast Icecrown called the Argent Tournament. If you're level 77 and above then you need to head over there and check it out - along with the all new mounted combat jousting system the tournament is based around.
Patch 3.1, Secrets of Ulduar, added a lot of things to the game, and changed quite a bit too. Players of all levels can benefit from knowing what these things are, and what they mean for the game as a whole.
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The single biggest change made to World of Warcraft in patch 3.1 was the addition of dual talent specialization support. Glyphs are now bound to talent specs, and the player can swap between them at will. You must be out of combat, and switching talent loadouts will drain all of your mana/rage/energy/runic power. Get more info on dual talent specialization.
Besides that major change, there were some minor ones added as well, particularly regarding professions. In general, professions that previously required the player to complete a quest to learn the next rank (ie: Cooking, Fishing) have had that feature removed. The quests that used to teach the next rank as a reward will now grant a special item or recipe instead. Additionally, Cooking, Fishing, and First Aid is no longer learned from books - Instead, the trainers have done their reading and can now teach you themselves.
Another notable change is that gathering professions can no longer fail. This eliminates a lot of wasted time, as well as makes everything a lot more realistic. I mean, think about it. How can you fail at picking a flower? If anything your clumsiness would completely destroy it, not make it pickable again.
Since patch 3.1, items purchased with special currency, ie: Emblems of Heroism, Emblems of Conquest, etc. Can be returned to the vendor for a full refund within two hours of purchase. No doubt this significantly cuts down on the number of tickets GMs have to handle now.
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Class and Glyph Changes
No class in the game was left untouched by the patch 3.1 changes. While some warranted full writeups, others were minor that didn't impact play too significantly. Dozens of new glyphs were also added, and changes were made to existing ones. We have documentation on many glyphs and class changes here on Bright Hub.
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The Argent Tournament
As mentioned in the outset, a new in-game event and daily quest hub was added to northeast Icecrown, called the Argent Tournament. In this event, players wield lances against eachother and against NPCs in joust-esque duels. Players can champion a capital city from their faction and earn reputation and unique special awards, which include new mounts and pets. Players train and work through a series of ranks, eventually earning the Champion status. Quests reward Champion's Seals which are used to purchase many items. There are also vendors of every imaginable type along with trainers for all crafting professions. There is nothing that can't be done at the Argent Tournament.