Editorial: Killing a Warchief

Where did the Golden Lotus go? I'm sure they'll turn up somewhere.....
The Vale has been corrupted by the actions of Garrosh Hellscream.

Yes, it is that time again. World of Warcraft has received its final content patch of the current expansion, and it is chock-full of goodies for raiders and casuals alike. Blizzard have added a fair amount of content with each patch in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, yet they still managed to squeeze out even more for this one. This is great, as we now face a long wait for the next expansion and need as much as possible to keep us busy. Let me break down and look at all the new content.

Changes to the World

Last patch we saw the forces of Vol’jin’s Darkspear Rebellion working with adventurers to disrupt Garrosh Hellscream’s supply chain in the Barrens. Well, now that the Rebels and the Alliance have begun the siege of Orgrimmar, all the Rebel forces in the zone have been removed. Even the quartermaster is gone, yet the pet he sold is still obtainable by killing enemies in one of the four Kor’kron camps that are in the zone. The titles and achievement that came with participating in the events of patch 5.3 are no longer obtainable either.

As anyone who watched the trailer for patch 5.4 would know, the Warchief has corrupted the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and his excavations there have unleashed a new Sha upon Pandaria. This excavation serves as the entrance to the new raid, and is conveniently sat between the shrines the serve as the bases of the horde and Alliance in Pandaria. The corruption have taken its toll on the grand pagoda where the Golden Lotus once set heroes to task. A few daily quests can still be found elsewhere in the zone, but the story and the achievement for completing it are no longer available.

Oh joy... more rare farming.
The Timeless Isle contain the bulk of the new content for the patch.

New Zone: Timeless Isle

Like the Isle of Thunder in patch 5.2, this is where players will find the majority of the non-raid content. Pieces of item level 496 gear can be created from drops that are easily obtainable from quests, chests, and monsters all over the isle. More importantly, these items are are account bound meaning it has never been easier to gear alts. With the exception of trinkets, all the new ‘timeless’ gear can be upgraded to item level 535 with another rare item, the Burden of Eternity, also found on the isle. There is no vendor to purchase gear for Valor this tier, but the Voidbinder Ethereal is still around to upgrade all the new gear that players will obtain the patch.

The Isle is home to final part of the legendary quest chain. For players that are up to date with their quest, there is no need to spend weeks collecting drops from the new raid. Wrathion simply wants a small amount of Timeless Coins (a new currency used on the isle) and for players to have defeated each of the four celestials (the new bosses that drop tier loot) to be reward them with a legendary cloak. Having this cloak allow a player to fight the fifth world boss in the area, Ordos, who drops the best gear in the game outside of Heroic raids. Finishing off the island is the celestial tournament, a new scenario that allows players to fight some of the toughest pet battles yet. The rewards? More pets! These cannot be bought from other players either. With four pets on offer, players will need to spend ten weeks to collect them all.

And now we get to kill him!
The story of Garrosh Hellscream has seen him rise from nobody to become Warchief of the horde.

New Raid: The Siege of Orgrimmar

The final raid of the Mists completes the story that has been building up over the expansion. It even finishes the story of Garrosh that was begun in Burning Crusade so long ago. This patch introduces Flexible raiding, a new tier of raiding between Raid Finder and Normal. Groups of anywhere from ten to twenty-five can queue up in the same way Raid Finder works now, only the bosses health and damage will scale to match the group size. The first quarter opened on day one and a further quarter each week, whereas Raid Finder starts a week later. A new type of coin can be bought for extra loot rolls each week, and any legendary drops that players need can be found off bosses in the raid.

Having entered this raid with a few pieces of heroic gear each, my raid group managed to tear through seven of the fourteen bosses in two nights. Only a couple of us had studied tactics, though we managed to boil each fight down to a couple of important mechanics. The uses of instant death mechanics are fewer than the previous raid, the Throne of Thunder, and for that the fights seems a lot easier. It is strange fighting though Orgrimmar. The second quarter of the raid is fought inside the city itself, using the huge space available to fill the room with all sorts of effects. The eighth boss is the first to give us any sort of trouble, though I am looking forward to progressing further next week.

Do you play World of Warcraft? Does a new raid interest you? Would you be interested in hearing more tales of raiding? Let me know in the comments!