Friday, March 8, 2013

5.2 tips for the weekend

Because reused header images fill the same mount of space as new ones. (img: Blizzard)

It's patch day. I log in and say my hello's. Then, a guildmate remarks how Galleon is up again. I mention that Blizzard has increased spawn rates for Galleon, which reminds me that world bosses are now "tap-to-faction," meaning players no longer had to be in a raid group to receive credit and loot for a kill. I share that too, and immediately realize several guildmates were, for the most part, uninformed about most features in 5.2.

So, we started a list on our guild forums in case people who were clueless wanted to find more info. My mind doesn't allow me to remember everything, so having a place to send a friend when they ask, "Where do we get those stone things they're asking for?" saves everyone a lot of time. Plus, the patch notes are often extensive, and it's not often practical to read through everything there is.

Below are 10 select must-know tips for people who may just be getting into 5.2 content this weekend.

• The main PvE content, aside from the new raid, includes the Isle of Giants and the Isle of Thunder, and they are two very different places.

The Isle of Thunder: Daily quests and story progression; new factions with Valor rewards, most (but not all) tied to reputation. If you aren't given a quest that sends you to Shado-Pan Garrison in Townlong Steppes, head there. You'll notice a blood elf camp that wasn't there before; there sits your portal to the Isle.

The Isle of Giants: This is a place where players can grind elite dinosaurs and trolls for items they can turn in for a spectral porcupine pet and a new mount. Hunters: you need to go here if you want to tame direhorns (there's a tome that will eventually drop for you). There are also several battle pets that have a chance to drop randomly from mobs and a black raptor mount that has a chance to hatch from an egg players can loot. For much better info on the Isle of Giants, Elizabeth Harper at WoW Insider put together a great article.

• LFR isn't open for play at this time; the first wing is scheduled to open this coming Tuesday (3.13.13). You'll want to be at least ilvl 480 in order to jump right in.

• The new Shado-Pan Assault faction grants access to all sorts of awesomesauce ilvl 522 gear. Players can immediately purchase a nice necklace for 1250 Valor.

• You will die on the new Isles. Plain as that. Mobs are concentrated on the Isle of Thunder, and they respawn quickly. If you play on a PvP server and would like to pop in and pop out, my condolences. The Isle of Giants feature dinosaurs and trolls, all of which come in one flavor: elite. Bring friends, or be prepared to die. A lot.

• The farm evolves. With Farmer Yoon destined for bigger things, someone's gotta watch the farm. That someone is you. Head to Halfhill and have a quick chat with Nana Mudclaw. Once the farm is yours, you can fullfill work orders on a daily basis to gain rep with Pandaria's factions through 5.1. Pro-tips: You can now buy seed bags which plant 4 plots at one time. Occupied Soil? Run your plow over them and the vermin will pop out stunned with 30% health remaining.

• Many classes experienced slight-to-major changes. It's probably a good idea to acquaint yourself with those affecting your main toon. View class changes here.

• If you don't enjoy hunting around in your bags for on-use quest items, or clicking their icon next to the quest tracker (or if you're simply a fan of saving time), you should set up this macro ASAP and use it for the rest of your WoW-playing life (via WoW Insider).
• Bonus roll charms have changed, and if you've used Elder Charms in the past, you'll want to read this for yourself. I can't pretend to break it down nearly as well as the sites I've linked so far.

• Each patch contains a number of undocumented changes. Most are small, some are quirky, but for whatever reason they don't make the official notes. My favorite this round: Players no longer receive a confirmation window regarding BoP loot when they are not in a group.  See all of 5.2's changes here.

• Best/lamest tip for last: take the time to read through the entire list of patch notes. Really. Not only will you be more informed, but you'll be in a better position to help other players with all that crafty knowledge you be wielding!

Anything you'd add?