The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You’re playing the game, you’re fighting the bosses, you know the how — but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
Patch 5.4 is now live on the PTR servers for testing, and it has several … dramatic changes, both to the world and to the characters in it. While patch 5.3 may seem small on story, there’s actually plenty going on — more than enough to serve as a catalyst heading into the new patch. In fact, plenty of the events in 5.3 directly effect what’s going on in patch 5.4. Although don’t know the whole story just yet, considering the PTR is a test realm that may undergo changes as time goes on, we do have enough to tie 5.3 and 5.4 together in a significant way.
If you’ve been following the lore, you may have seen the signs already and know what to expect. But if you haven’t been paying much attention to the story, or you’re wondering what’s going on with those images people have been posting from the patch 5.4 PTR, Mists of Pandaria has been an expansion chock full of new story, and patch 5.3 has certainly been no exception to this — but 5.4 is shaping up to be the biggest hit we’ve seen so far in Mists.
On the patch 5.2 PTR, a new achievement called Zul’Again — the comedic title said by one commenter to be a reference to the term used to complain about the consistent appearance of Zandalari content in every expansion — calls for the killing of ten Zandalari Scouts and five Zandalari Warbringers.
These mobs appear all over Pandaria, not just on the new islands, and according to another commenter, Ozlem, the Warbringers are 92 rares which may require a group, or, a tank or a healer at the very least. The scouts, conversely, are easier to solo.
Both types of mob, far from being simply an achievement criteria, also drop bags. It seems from what has been discovered so far that the Warbringers can, amongst other things including crafting materials and reputation items, drop one of three mounts. The reputation rewards are bind on account, which naturally means that they can be sent to lower level characters to turn in for reputation with all the current Pandaria factions.
It’s not completely clear at this point exactly which mounts they will drop, but it will likely be three of the new mounts being added in patch 5.2, some of which can be seen in action on the preview trailer. This is purely speculation, with just a little hope mixed in, but the only mount in wowhead’s list which has three versions is the Primordial Direhorn. There is also other information around that suggests this is the mount dropped, and the warbringers seem, at least some of the time, to be riding these triceratops-esque mounts.
Blizzard have release patch 5.1 to their juggernaut World of Warcraft. The new patch, titled ‘Landfall’, ramps up the Horde v. Alliance quest with more daily quests in the Krasarang Wilds, adds two new factions with their own unique rewards, and five new Scenarios — two unique to each faction, and one playable by either.
The Pet Battle System has also been overhauled with much-requested upgrades, including a UI improvement and new rare pets. A new underground, invitation only ‘Brawlers Guild’ has been established too, providing gladiatorial PVE fights against some of Azeroth’s toughest creatures.
Raid groups are also no longer necessary to enter pre-Pandaria raid dungeons, and the next step in the Mists of Pandaria Black Prince legendary quest line has been opened up. For the full, enormous list of patch notes including class and balance tweaks, hit up Battle.net.
Blizzard is taking a pleasantly different approach to the release of patch 5.1: they’ve released a confirmation of its impending release to fansites throughout the community. The statement from community manager Zarhym is as follows:
Patch 5.1 Hits Live Realm This Week
Patch 5.1, the first Mists of Pandaria content patch, is scheduled for release beginning on Tuesday morning, November 27 in North America.
For those still waiting to pick up Mists of Pandaria, do remember that the US digital version is 50% off through Thursday.
At first, it was stated that the item level for Mists of Pandaria Raid Finder was 463, meaning that a would be raider would have to gear entirely with heroic dungeon items or better.
This item level was revised downwards to 460, for the first half of Mogu’shan Vaults, the first Raid Finder instance to open, and this is where the confusion starts. Rumors have abounded that the item level required for the second half of the Mogu’shan Vaults raid finder was 470, so Community Manager Crithto has stepped in to clarify:
The second half of Mogu’shan Vaults is the same as the first half. The required item level players must have is 460.
Once Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring open up, they will have a required item level of 470, with both raid dungeons dropping improved gear.
To recap Raid Finder item levels:
- First half of Mogushan Vaults: 460 ilevel required
- Second half of Mogushan Vaults: 460 ilevel required
- Heart of Fear: 470 ilevel required
- Terrace of Endless Spring: 470 ilevel required
Pacifist characters have a pretty colorful history in World of Warcraft, and the latest chapter in their non-violent march to max level has been written by a Tauren Druid named Irenic.
Irenic recently reached level 90 in Mists of Pandaria with a grand total of zero creatures killed, 92 total damage done, and one completed quest. “The one quest I got is a new unavoidable quest that is now auto-flagged as complete for all factions. It registered after I hit 86,” Irenic explains on WoW‘s forums.
How did he manage it without a single kill? “Since the entrance to Pandaria isn’t designed to be entered without questing and killing, I spent all my time doing archaeology and gathering in Kalimdor,” Irenic wrote.
Blizzards World of Warcraft has been out for some eight years now after being originally launched back in November of 2004, but recently the huge MMORPG, which once had 12 million players had recently started to lose players, losing over 1 million subscribers in the past three months.
However with the launch of their new WoW Mists of Pandaria expansion for the game, Blizzard has now been able to entice players back and has just added another million subscribers to its books.
The new subscriptions have now helped the eight year old game move back above 10 million players, which after such a long time is a massive testament to the World of Warcraft’s success.
Mists of Pandaria is the fourth huge expansion to be added to the World of Warcraft game, with the first expansion being The Burning Crusade, released on January 16th, 2007. The second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, was released on November 13th, 2008, and the third expansion, Cataclysm, was released on December 7th, 2010. It will be interesting to see just how long the new expansion will be able to keep players interest in the new content.
In its first week of being available, the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, has sold an impressive 2.7 million copies, suggesting there is still plenty of life in the long standing MMO title.
Having launched on the 25th September, the Panda filled extra content hasn’t been as well received as others, with reviews not hitting quite the same levels as previous expansions, though that hasn’t stopped nearly three million shelling out for the game.
Still, that only represents around a third of WoW’s remaining subscribers, which slipped to below 10 million for the first time a couple of months ago – though Pandaria did bring back around 900,000 players that had previously left Azeroth for other games.
One of the most controversial decisions in Mists of Pandaria was the idea of putting JP and VP gear behind reputation gates, making you grind to honored with specific factions depending on what you wanted to buy. Blizzard has just put a hotfix in place that removes this requirement for justice point gear. You can now visit quartermasters as soon as you like and buy whatever JP gear you can afford, regardless of your reputation. This should allow new level 90 characters to hop into heroic dungeons much more readily.
The full announcement is behind the break, along with a quick guide to finding the reputation quartermasters to grab your gear. You can also visit Commander Lo Ping at Niuzao Temple to buy all JP gear at once.
We’ve just applied a hotfix that removes the faction requirements for Justice gear.
Shado-Pan and August Celestial factions will no longer require Golden Lotus faction to purchase this gear. This will allow players who have reached level 90 to have additional sources of item level (ilevel) 450 gear to progress into the Dungeon Finder Heroic dungeons more readily.
Players who are looking to purchase this gear should seek out the following vendors:
Shadow-Pan – Rushin the Fox in Shado-Pan Garrison
All – Lo Pin in Niuzao Temple
Vale of Eternal Blossoms:
August Celestials – Sage Lotusbloom or Sage Whiteheart in the Horde and Alliance Shrines Golden Lotus – Jaluu the Generous in front of Mogu’shan Palace
Klaxxi – Ambersmith Zikk in Klaxxivess
You begin your pandaren in Mists of Pandaria expansion. Its location — and even its existence — is unknown to the rest of Azeroth when you begin. This added to the fact that pandaren start out as neutral means you will encounter differences from your previous new character experiences. Here is a list of some of those differences as well as answers to other pandaren questions you may have:
- The Wandering Isle has no mailboxes. You cannot receive or send mail until you choose your faction and leave. So no, you can’t send heirlooms to your baby pandaren.
- You cannot speak to anyone who is not on the Wandering Isle. No whispers. No global chat channels. There is one exception: Battletag and Real ID friends are still accessible for whispers.
- You cannot join a guild. Because you can’t speak to anyone and because you have yet to choose a faction, you cannot be invited to a guild.
- All primary professions are trainable on the island. Elder Oakpaw is the guy you want to see to take advantage of the many nodes and skinnable animals on the Wandering Isle.
- Choosing a faction occurs after the end of the beginning quest chain.Getting there is not level related at all, though it happens around level 12. You must finish the story to make your choice.
- You can never return. Just like the goblin and worgen starting zones, you can’t go back to the Wandering Isle once you leave.
- Your mount vendor is with your pandaren brethren in your new faction home. In Stormwind, Old Whitenose and friends are located in a grassy area north of the Dwarven District. Turtlemaster Odai and the rest of the pandaren faction in Orgrimmar are located in the middle of the Valley of Honor.