The weekend on the PTS has been great. I met a bunch of new people that poked me due to reading my blog or entered crafting discussions we had in the test-guild chat. Due to this, i was able to get up to speed much faster about all the changes and test different things better. Thanks for sharing guys, you rock! One thing that has been *very* confusing is that often tooltips and skills are not consistent and there is some talk about the US running an updated test server version compared to EU. Since some skills did change quite much, its hard to tell what the current status on them is. But like you know, all of the PTS findings can change until they go live. One more thing i realized for a new UI change: When there is RvR fighting going on in an area you'll see it on your map. If you enable the small HUD campaign tracker, it will show there as well.
I was asked about the difference between Butchering & Cultivating for Apothecary supply. Well, from the looks of it both professions will be able to supply you with the needed stabilizers without a problem. Butchering offers ingredients for Armor & Toughness potions, which cultivating doesn't. Cultivating on the other hand has the new rare BoP seeds now. For base supply both would do, what you take up will probably depend on which things you need and if you can be arsed to grow seeds. I was linked some more of the new hybrid potions and made a screenshot collage for you guys - really awesome potions. On a sidenote: Buff potions now have a cooldown of 5min, so no different potions gulping right before a boss fight. And NO, force shield/absorb potions do not prevent falling damage sadly. ;)
Some wierd graphic bug makes the texture on the new mounts reload every few seconds. Also to other players it looks like you drop off the mount for a splitsecond.
I had some time to play around with some of the new/updated Black Orc skills. While its still unclear in which state they'll make to live, some of the changes are really great. Overall damage got improved and even so with a tank spec and sword'n'board. Some of my favorites I'd like to point out: Stop Hittin' Da Runts - all new, gives 40AP whenever a warbellow triggers. Awesome new tactic, never run out of AP again when you have it. Works together with Can't Hit me! - you'll be able to keep it up a lot even without any +AP regen gear. Wot Armor? applies the armor reduction in one hit now, with the fitting tactic for 30secs plus toughness reduction. Big Slash is now 360 degree, together with Keep it Goin'! its a good AoE damage dealer. Shut Yer Face together with Can Youz Hear Me Now? does around 500dmg usable every 15s. Very nice finisher, not sure if its intended as the tooltip suggest it only increases the dmg up to 350dmg. Overall after all the changes there are many more viable specs possible and you'll have enough tricks up the sleeve to find one that will fit your playstyle.
Like the patch notes said, they went over Mount Gunbad and Bastion Stair again to add some nice quests & loot. While i did not have time to join any dungeon crawls to look for new drops, there are a few quests for each dungeon you might find interesting: Each Dungeon has one quest for different jewelry items (Mount Gunbad, Bastion Stair), some other items and also for timed special talismans (offensive & defensive). The jewelry items might even be good for high level chars, i know I'll get the block ones for my tank. When i tried the boss in Mount Gunbad he had some pathing issues, resetting him back to 100% health, but hopefully that will be fixed before it goes live. The quests for the special talismans are not repeatable from the looks of it.
Tip of the day: The PQ loot bags from city sieges will have new loot with 1.2, should you still have any, keep them! The purple one will have an epic jewelry item (example), the blue ones a weapon and the green ones a cloak. The items are now useful for a rank 40.