Well as i'm sure you all know by now, the latest patch 3.0.2 is here, the prelude to Wrath of the Lich King which should be out in less than a month.
The changes to the game are wide and sweeping, and i don't remember the game play feeling so different when vanilla WoW went to TBC.
Ret Paladins once known as Loladins are absolute BS now, with crits coming out left right and centre, so powerful that Blizz nerfed them within days of release and people are still complaining they are too powerful.
Obviously your not here to read about the sweeping changes in the game, just how they affect stealthing, i've played with my druid a little, but haven't taken the opportunity to do any stealth running yet, from playing, looking at the patch notes, chatting to friends and checking out other more informative websites, here are the immediate changes i can see that will affect stealth running.
Huge changes to damage!!
Seems that either the mobs have been toned down, or all the DPS has been tuned way to high for current content, my friend a feral druid soloed all of Sethek Halls in normal mode, not just the bosses, but doing the 5 pulls, he didn't have to shift out and heal at all, just smacked all the mobs around in bear.
Besides the huge damage changes
Druids and Shaman can now use items while shapeshifted.
This will help Kitties and Bears eat HP pots and Health Stones while in form
Entangling Roots: Can now be used indoors.
Real CC Besides just SAP and blind will make multi pulls even easier
Feral Swiftness: The movement speed buff can now be used indoors.
Faster stealthing for ferals
Nature's Grasp (Balance): Can now be used and can proc indoors. This is now a base ability at level 11 and has a 100% chance to proc.
Might help a druid that accidently agroes
New Spell: Revive - Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with health and mana. Cannot be cast when in combat. (Ranks 1-7 added)
This is a huge change!! most of our rez's were through Battle Rez's and jumpers, this gives druids a real rez, less graveyard running
Soothe Animal can now be used on Dragonkin as well as Beasts.
People may laugh about this spell, but us stealthers know it's power on beasts
Soothe Animal is now instant cast.
Well this won't really affect the run but i thought i'd mention it.
Elusiveness (Subtlety) moved to Tier 3, now reduces cooldown of Vanish and Blind by 30/60 sec and Cloak of Shadows by 15/30 sec.
Let's rogues screw up a little more with their safety net vanish on a shorter CD
Evasion, Sprint and Vanish cooldowns reduced to 3 min.
Quicker to stealth to bosses, and more changes to speed up, also gives the chance to vanish more often
Master of Deception (Subtlety) reduced to 3 ranks.
Bout time they thinned this talent down on par with druids
Disarm Trap range increased to 20 yards, cast time reduced, now requires stealth.
Sounds good, although to be honest, i can't remember much opportunity to do this in a stealth run, maybe in future instances
Pick Lock and Disarm Trap no longer require Thieve's Tools.
Less crap to carry around is a good thing
Vanish no longer requires the reagent Flash Powder.
Same reason as the one above, bags just get full!
Shadowmade seems amazingly strong now, being able to shadowmeld while in combat and it getting rid of your agro until you come out of shadowmeld.
One melded you can wait to get out of combat then restealth, unfortunately it now has a 2 minute CD, doesn't give you +1 level of stealth anymore, and you can no longer eat and drink while melded
I'm sure there's quite a few other things that will affect runs, and who knows how much of a nerf bat Blizz may swing to try and level the playing field, all i can say is can't wait for Wotlk new instances to learn to stealth :)
p.s. Bobo it's time to come back