So, one of the major focuses in cataclysm is to improve the leveling experience.
Here’s what is in store for early levels in patch 3.3:
- Starting weapon improvements.
Not a big change for druids, since you are mostly casting for the first couple of levels.
- Faster health & mana regen after level 15.
Nice since we’re mostly casting until we get bear form at level 10. Faster health & mana regen out of combat means that you should have less down-time (don’t have to stop to drink as much from 1 to 15).
- Lower mana costs for spells at lower level spells
So, in addition to faster regen, your spells will cost less mana for the first couple of ranks. So, according to WoWhead, Wrath rank 1 costs 13% of base mana on live, but only costs 8% of base mana in 3.3. I’m not sure the exact mana values that would translate to (I can check on the PTR), but at the very least, less mana is better for those 10 levels until you get bear form (yay!).
We won’t actually have spell ranks for that much longer, since the spells will just gradually get better as we level without having to buy new ranks. However, the mana cost decrease for the first handful of levels makes that 1 to 20 hurdle for druids mildly less painful.
- Base stats adjusted for all the races & classes (ie. normalized so everyone has the same total points).
The stat adjustment for the race/class combinations have been modified, such that lower level Night Elf druids should have more intellect & less strength. My night elf druid overall lost stat points in the change. It might not be that noticeable at lower levels, though.
These minor changes aren’t going to have a huge impact on the leveling experience, other than making the 1 to 10 experience for druids a little smoother. Cataclysm plans to bring a whole bunch of changes to make leveling more interesting (ie. improved quests & low level zones). I’m looking forward to the new druid races (Trolls & Worgen). It will be exciting to see what all Cataclysm brings to lower level druids.