Throne of Thunder: Finder bosses in 5 seconds

The second wing of Throne of Thunder Raid Finder was just unlocked this week, so get ready to queue. After last 5-second guide to the first wing, Couldn’t just leave you hanging without a second! After being thrown down to the Forgotten Depths, you’ll be introduced to a few beastly bosses — be prepared. Here’s a quick rundown perfect for sharing with your Raid Finder comrades.

Tortos

One tank on Tortos, the other on Vampiric Cave Bat duty. Don’t stand in Rockfall. Healers be ready to top the raid after Quake Stomp. Kill priority is bats, Whirl Turtles, then boss. Be sure to kick one of the turtles into Tortos to interrupt his Furious Stone Breath. Although you can mostly survive the breath on Raid Finder difficulty, make your healer’s life easier by interrupting.

Megaera

Note: You will have to kill the three Eternal Guardians around the cave and ring their bells to spawn the boss.

Tank the two active heads facing away from the center, and don’t tank the same head twice in a row to avoid debuffs stacking too high. The raid should stack in the center during Rampage for AoE heals. Kite the beam out of the raid if you’re targeted with Torrent of Ice. Run out of the raid for a Cinders dispel. Run away from the Acid Rain. Kill order of the heads in this difficulty isn’t too important, just rotate — green, red, blue will work fine.

See Ji-Kun’s quick strategy after the break!

Ji-Kun

Note: Do not stand in front of, or in close melee range of, the Gastropod snail trash. You’ll be killed instantly.

Tanks will swap when Talon Rake has hit two stacks. Don’t stand in green pools unless the platform is too crowded. Pools can be absorbed by standing in them, but at the cost of taking damage. Stack for heavy heals during Quills. Anyone on the main platform during Down Draft needs to run towards the boss to avoid being thrown off. Speed boosts help. One group with a healer and three DPS should jump to the illuminated platforms to kill the hatchlings. Grab a feather for the Daedalian Wings buff to easily fly to other platforms.

Patch 5.2: New Darkmoon Game Prize

WoW Patch 5.2, the non-profession daily quests at the Darkmoon Faire now each award a Darkmoon Game Prize instead of just a single Darkmoon Faire Prize Ticket. The Darkmoon Game Prize is a container that will always include your 1 Darkmoon Faire Prize Ticket, but also has a chance to contain once of the Darkmoon Faire Pets or one of the newly added Darkmoon Faire Vanity Items!

The non-profession quests are simply the 5 daily quests of playing games at the Darkmoon Faire. The quests that now award the Darkmoon Game Prize (and your chance at bonus pets and vanity items) are:

  1. He Shoots, He Scores!
  2. The Humanoid Cannonball
  3. It’s Hammer Time
  4. Target: Turtle
  5. Tonk Commander

In addition to each of the Darkmoon Faire pets, you can also get other items that normally cost Darkmoon Tickets, including the Darkmoon Whistle and Cloak of the Darkmoon Faire. There are also new single use vanity items that can also be found within the new Darkmoon Game Prize container.

Guide to looting the Troves of the Thunder King

Along with a new raid, patch 5.2 introduced several solo scenarios into the mix. Some are purely for furthering the plot, but one is far more interesting than that. The Troves of the Thunder King allows you to walk into Lei Shen’s treasure vaults, steal as many items and as much gold as you can, and get out. Unlike other scenarios, the Troves of the Thunder King is timed — you aren’t allowed to loiter around aimlessly in there.

While some players may be confused as to the relative difficulty level of this particular scenario, there’s no reason to be. This scenario is not a walk in the park. It will not allow you to grab everything in one run. It contains elements that will in fact kill you if you aren’t paying attention. But it will also test every sneaky skill you have as a solo player, making the thing ridiculous amounts of fun if you approach it the right way.

Patch 5.2 tweaks talents across all classes

The latest patch for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria will fine-tune balance and tweak specific abilities across all classes, according to a series of posts on Battle.net explaining the changes.

Unholy Death Knights have had their “quality of life” improved through several spell adjustments that make the battlefield easier to maneuver. Two player-versus-player abilities, Strangulate and Asphyxiate, now have reduced cooldown periods and a handful of other Blood-based attacks have been buffed.

Druids have received healing buffs across the board, and the Wild Mushroom item has been redesigned to collect Druids’ healing spells and unleash them all at once upon “blooming.” Hunters’ Marksmanship abilities now do increased damage and have a small boost applied to certain self-healing abilities.

Mage abilities across all class trees have been balanced for equal power, and a new Flameglow talent has been added, a passive defense ability that absorbs damage. Frost Mages have received power boosts for greater effect in PvE, and Blizzard will continue to deal with “overpowering” issues in the class’s PvP abilities after patch 5.2. Paladins’ Holy ability was too powerful in PvP, so that ability has also been lessened, while the Retribution ability has been given extra power buffs. Priests’ Discipline and Shadow abilities have also been tweaked to perform roughly the same in both PvP and PvE.

Rogues and Shamans have had their abilities balanced to be more effective in PvP, and several PvE abilities including the Rogue’s Smoke Bomb ability now provide damage reduction. Emphasis on pets has also been returned to the Warlock class.

The Warrior’s Taste for Blood ability now has less potency, countering an “overpowering” problem, and Monks who go down the Mistweaver path will become “melee healers,” with the ability to attack and heal allies simultaneously.

Pet Battle XP hotfixed

It’s reports of insane experience gains for players via winning pet battles. Because the XP being awarded was affected by heirlooms and XP buffs — like the Darkmoon Faire Carousel buff — people were leveling characters from 1 to 89 in a matter of hours. Experience for pet battles stops at level 89 and you get a chance for Lesser Charms of Good Fortune, instead.

The XP scales with your level and how close your pets are to the pets you defeat. XP is earned via battling pets in the wild, pet tamer NPCs, and other players in pet battle PvP. No experience is gained from pet battle duels or if your highest pet is more than 5 levels above the pets you are fighting. The amount received before the nerf was roughly what a character gets from completing the capital city cooking and fishing dailies.

Because you can get XP from battling level 1 wild pets, people were camping out in major cities and decimating the battle pet population while leveling their low level pets.

Patch 5.2: Leveling XP via pet battles

It is no longer a waste of  leveling time to battle pets with lower level characters. With the advent of patch 5.2, players can now earn XP from pet battles. (If you’re max level, you have a chance of getting Lesser Charms of Good Fortune instead.) All you have to do is participate in any pet battle — other than dueling — with your highest pet being no more than five levels above the pets you are fighting. This includes pet battle PvP, where you queue up from your pet journal, just not the pet battle duels you can do with friends … or strangers, for that matter.

The experience is comparable to completing the capital city cooking and fishing quests. For example, level 77 mage gets 27K XP from the Orgrimmar cooking dailies and gets 26K for fighting a battle with three level 1s vs. a level 2. The XP varies according to how much higher your highest pet that your battling with is above the pets you are fighting. A four level difference nets my mage about 21K XP. Whether you are battling other players, wild pets or tamers, the XP gained is consistent.

Is it worth it to try to level via pet battling? I would recommend questing, gathering, archaeology digging and battling pets in the same zone to maximize your leveling potential. But if you’re in a gotta-catch-’em-all frenzy, you can battle pets with your leveling alts while still progressing more than just your pets.

Patch 5.2 Last Stand of the Zandalari loot preview for death knights

With the PTR getting closer to release, it’s about time to start looking forward to that most cherished of patch rituals, the changing of the gear.  Let’s take a look at the first few bosses of Throne of Thunder and see what they have in store for death knights.

Jin’rokh the Breaker
Cloudbreaker Greatbelt – The haste on this belt makes it a very solid choice for any DPS spec, especially once you add in the 2 gem slots.
Bracers of Constant Implosion will have a random modifier on them, so essentially you’ll just have to hope one drops with 2 stats you want. The yellow socket is also pretty nice since that means it’ll take a haste or haste/strength gem and give you a good chunk of strength in return.
Chestplate of Violent Detonation has hit and mastery, meaning that it could be used by a DPS or a tank in a pinch. Dual wield frost DPS or tanks that like a little hit rating would get the best use out of it.
Jin’Rokh’s Soulcrystal has dodge and expertise, meaning it’s not really close to the optimal stat layout for a death knight tank.
Worldbreaker’s Stormscythe is your first opportunity to replace that Sha-touched weapon if you’re a dual wielder. Yes, I know giving up the legendary gem is painful, but the extra weapon DPS will probably be worth it.

Horridon
Spark of Zandalar has that lovely haste, making it especially nice for two-handed frost and unholy DPS, and that strength proc is looking like a lot of fun. I’ve always wanted a new Deathbringer’s Will, and this kind of comes close.
Frozen Warlord’s Bracers come with haste and expertise, making them a great choice, again, for two-handed frost and unholy DPS. Note that a properly modified Bracers of Constant Implosion will probably be better, but these will be easier to get.
Bloodlord’s Bloodsoaked Legplates have haste and mastery, which means they should be solid for duel wielders, though not optimal for other DPS. Still in a pinch, they’re better statted than tier legs, so these may end up holding you over for a while until you need the tier bonus.
Horn-Rimmed Doomcloak has hit and mastery, making it a solid dual wield DPS cloak or a fair tanking cloak. It does suffer from the lack of a gem slot, which later offerings in the zone do have.
Puncture-Proof Greathelm has dodge and parry, meaning it’s not incredibly well statted for blood tanks. Reforge the dodge to mastery if you use this.

Council of Elders
Zerat, Malakk’s Soulburning Greatsword, has hit and critical strike, making it fair to middling stat wise, but still a solid upgrade for two-handed DPS. Greatsword of the Frozen Hells is better, but there’s no indication of where it drops yet. Likewise, Bo-Ris, Horror in the Night, will be a better choice for tanks, but still has no known drop source.
Talisman of Angry Spirits suffers from a lackluster combination of mastery and critical strike for secondary stats. You can reforge one of them to haste in a pinch though.
Gauntlets of the All-Consuming Maw have hit and critical strike, continuing the tradition of tier pieces with somewhat middling to medicore secondary stats. Still, the red gem slot doesn’t hurt, and it is tier gear. You want your set bonuses.
Handguards of the All-Consuming Maw are the same thing for tanks. The secondary stats aren’t great, but if you need your tier bonuses, it’s still worth using.
Overloaded Bladebreaker’s Carapace has parry rating and hit, which makes it a bit on the mediocre side for blood tanking. If you pick this up, replace it with tier ASAP.
Fortitude of the Zandalari has a nice solid chunk of base mastery, which should make it a desirable tank trinket. The extra health on use is a bonus.

WoW: Patch 5.2 PvP healing changes

Within the PTR Class and Set Bonus thread, which is now on part two thanks to its gargantuan size, it’s easy to miss things:

Ghostcrawler
PvP
We’re making a change to the way damage-to-healing conversions work so that the healing is not affected by resilience. The healing will be based on how much damage would have been done as if the target had no resilience. If you hit an opponent for 10K and have a mechanic that converts damage into 50% healing, your hit may land for 6K because of resilience, but the heal will still be 5K (50% of the unmitigated damage). This only applies to resilience, not to armor, Shield Wall or other forms of damage reduction.

This change currently includes Atonement, Glyph of Battle Healer, Ancestral Guidance, Vampiric Embrace, Nature’s Vigil, Glyph of Siphon Life, Eminence, Glyph of Flame Shock, Leeching Poison, Death Siphon, Feral Spirit and Soul Leech.

Related, we have read feedback that certain mechanics, such as Retribution’s mastery, Hand of Light, are double-dipping from resilience. If this happened, then your attack would be mitigated by resilience and then the mastery proc (which is supposed to be a percentage of the main attack) would also be mitigated by resilience. However, we can find no evidence that this is actually happening. In our testing, Hand of Light is never mitigated by resilience a second time. If anyone has additional information, please share.

So what are the implications of this in PvP? With the exception on Atonement, this is a decent buff to off-spec healing, so retribution paladins, shadow priests, warriors, elemental shaman, rogues, death knights, warlocks, monks can all expect buffs to their healing in PvP from this. This may be an attempt to aid the nerfs to offspec healing, which meant that offspec healing didn’t benefit from PvP Power.

The change to Atonement is an interesting one, as Atonement is only used very occasionally in arena PvP. Perhaps, since it is now a baseline ability, Blizzard is trying to improve its viability for PvP healing.

Patch 5.2 will let players keep Valor

With patch 5.2 looming, World of Warcraft players have been having the debate that comes with every major patch: What should I do with my Valor before it goes away? However, in a “blue post” made late Tuesday night, community manager Zarhym answered, “You can keep your Valor.”

In the past, Valor was often automatically converted to Justice (as Conquest will still be converted to Honor), and anything beyond the Justice cap was converted to gold. Since the Valor items would be purchasable with Justice, it didn’t matter much if players chose to spend it or let it convert. Zarhym explains how it’s working this time: “Current Valor items will continue to require Valor in 5.2 and will be offered at a discount as listed in the PTR patch notes.” That discount is 50% for items introduced in patch 5.0 and 25% for patch 5.1 gear.

This change looks to be one more way that the development team is encouraging players to avoid wasting Valor on the upgrade option, which is going away (possibly temporarily) with patch 5.2. Check out the full text of the announcement for the details of how they came to the decision, including what about the old system “just feels mean.”

At the very end of the announcement Zarhym gives a hint about the patch date:

If you’ve already made plans and sank your Valor, don’t fret! As of this announcement, and even if you have 0 Valor currently, you still have enough time to cap out at 3000 Valor before patch 5.2 goes live. (It’s math!)

This negates earlier speculation that players would see patch 5.2 before the end of February, making the new unofficial patch target date March 5.

Patch 5.2: Cross-realm 5.0 raids on the way

 

Patch 5.2 is only a couple of weeks away, so you’d better start prepping for all that it will bring. Although many things can change during PTR testing, it’s nice to receive confirmed news. We’ve assumed for some time now that 5.0 raids would become cross-realm accessible once patch 5.2 hit, and now we don’t have to wonder any longer. Ghostcrawler confirmed via Twitter that we will indeed get cross-realm 5.0 raid content in 5.2:

@reliqeu @cm_zarhym @bashiok Yes.
- Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) February 8, 2013

The community has embraced cross-realm raiding since it was introduced in patch 4.3.2, and it remains a great way to catch up on old achievements. With new cross-realm content, players will be given more opportunity to experience MoP raiding — be sure to revisit the cross-realm resources out there as patch 5.2 gets ready to drop! Are you looking forward to slaying all the things with new and old friends?: