Tuesday, March 5, 2013

World of Warcraft: Patch 5.2 Overview (Remaining Changes)

In this section you will see all the other changes to World of Warcraft that are coming in the 5.2 patch. There are many more changes than this, especially in the Pet Battles section, so definitely make sure to read the patch notes as well.

Go back to the general changes here and the class changes here.

Warlocks can now undertake a solo adventure that culminates with the ability to change the color of their Fire spells to appear Fel green. The quest begins for those Warlocks determined or fortunate enough to have laid their hands on the fabled Codex of Xerrath.
This is the promised "green fire" quest for Warlocks. It is a pretty interesting change that involves a class-specific scenario and starting the quest is pretty difficult (I think it's a rare item drop from 5.2 mobs).

Zandalari forces have begun scouting the shores of Pandaria, searching for the perfect invasion point.  The Zandalari can be found in Krasarang Wilds, Dread Wastes, Townlong Steppes, Jade Forest, and Kun-Lai Summit.  Zandalari Scouts can be handled by 1 or 2 players, while elite Zandalari Warbringers will likely require a full party of 5 heroes. Defeat Warbringers to gain special drops, including crafting materials, reputation gains, an achievement, and even the chance to get one of three new rare mounts!     
I really like this addition because it motivates people to explore Pandaria to get some interesting loot. Also, if the elite Warbringers are as hard as claimed, it might promote some group play and potentially cause some fights over Warbringers much like the world bosses.
Galleon now respawns much more frequently, but players can only receive loot from him once per week.
This is a nice change (it's not like the spawn time keeps getting reduced). Galleon never seems to be up...
Fite spectral porcupine fite! Three new spectral porcupine spirit beasts have appeared across Pandaria as tamable beasts, though taming them may provide quite a challenge.
This is pretty much an additional challenge for Hunters (much like the special tames on the Molten Front, really). Hopefully there's some sort of method that prevents other players from trying to kill them.
Direhorns have been added as a tamable species for Hunters that have learned the required skill. Aspiring Direhorn owners should seek out clues regarding these auspicious beasts.
This is another class-specific addition like the Warlock's green fire. This adds a new pet family for Hunters to tame (it's not exotic), which requires a quest chain that starts from an item that drops on the Isle of Giants.

Pet Battles
Elite Battle Pets have been added to the game world. These rare pets will spawn alone against an entire team. The Beasts of Fable taming quest will now become available from Gentle San or Sara Finkleswitch once Aki the Chosen has been defeated.
I also like this implementation because it gives pet battlers something to do. I wish they could be tamed but I guess they're just superboss pets or something.

Dungeons and Raids
Throne of Thunder raid bosses in Normal and Heroic difficulties have a chance of dropping items with the Thunderforged designation. Thunderforged items are 6 item levels higher than their Normal or Heroic counterparts and will drop more frequently in 25-player raids. For a more in-depth look at this change, check out this discussion thread.
This is an addition this tier that promotes the creation of 25-man groups and guilds in order to get the Thunderforged versions of items, which could help progression a lot more than the standard drops. I think this is a decent compromise between the current loot availability and the old loot availability where 25-man raids dropped far better equipment. Besides, 10-man raids can get the loot too.
To encourage Raid Finder groups to persevere, each time an Raid Finder group wipes on a boss fight all players in the group receives a stacking buff that increases health, damage dealt, and healing done by 5% (up to a maximum of 10 stacks). This buff is cleared once the boss has been killed.
This is a change that should keep people from quitting LFR groups right after a wipe. Considering LFR is essentially a mode that helps people learn the encounters and is already a loot pinata as is, I have no problem with making it a little bit easier to keep people from giving up so easily.
Satchels obtained via the Raid Finder now have a chance to contain additional rewards, including: consumables, Spirits of Harmony, rare pets or mounts, and Raid Finder versions of Normal and Heroic difficulty zone drops that were previously unavailable from Raid Finder encounters!
This is another change that is a nice little bonus for players so that getting a Satchel isn't a matter of "acquire gold." I wonder if bonus rolls can cause players to get an extra Satchel...
You can now earn bonus reputation for your first dungeon and scenario of the day. You can select which reputation you choose to champion by selecting it from the reputation panel on the character screen. When you queue for a dungeon or scenario, the UI will remind you which reputation you are championing and allow you to change the reputation from there. (You cannot change that reputation once you are in the dungeon or scenario.)
This seems like a nice alternative to "championing a faction." "Championing" is an old feature where a player could equip certain faction tabards and acquire really easy reputation by running appropriately difficult dungeons. In this case, players can farm the rep, but at a slower rate due to the limitation of once per day.
On Normal and Heroic mode, zone-wide auras have been activated in Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring, reducing the health and damage of all enemies therein by 10%. A NPC near the entrance within each zone explains this, and offers to deactivate the buff for the benefit of brave/foolhardy adventurers.
Considering the encounters probably would've gotten nerfed anyways, this is a good alternative that allows players to take on the encounters at full strength if so desired.
  • Elders Lin and Liao in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms now offer Mogu Runes of Fate in exchange for Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. Mogu Runes of Fate allow for a bonus loot roll for Throne of Thunder raid bosses, Nalak the Storm Lord, and Oondasta.
  • The maximum number of Elder Charms of Good Fortune a character can hold has been increased to 20 (was 10).
These changes highlight a new type of "charm" that allows bonus rolls. The Elder Charms can be gotten from the 5.2 zones now instead of by trading in Lesser Charms. This also keeps players from storing up a bunch of charms and getting loads of easy loot, gearing up at a rapid rate.
The chance of getting personal loot in Raid Finder and the chance of a successful bonus roll in Raid Finder have been greatly increased for the following raids, Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring.
Time to gear up a lot faster, right? This is going to be great for my numerous alts!
  • Heroic Pandaria dungeons now award 100 Justice Points per boss. Gold drops for those bosses have also been changed from a static 50 gold to a 40-60 gold range. Less gold will drop in groups consisting of fewer than 5 players.
  • Scenarios now award 50 Justice Points (was 25).
These changes further emphasize quick progression up towards tier 15. I at least agree with the Scenario Justice Point award increase since the rewards in general are a pittance.

Characters who have earned over 27,000 Conquest points during Season 13 will gain access to new vendors that sell Conquest PvP gear for Honor. These vendors can be found near existing Pandaria PvP vendors.
This is a nice change that awards players for their dedicated work during a given season, allowing them to have access to Conquest for Honor so the Conquest Points can be used for other things (upgrading the Conquest gear, etc).
Players in low-level Battlegrounds will have their effective level raised to the maximum level allowed in that Battleground bracket. Players' base stats and spells are scaled accordingly, and are treated as the same level when determining hits, misses, and critical effect chance.
This is a good change, though I don't think it'll cut down on the twinks since the equipment gap is a larger problem than the level gap (though in some brackets, such as 81-85 and 86-89, the base health gap is so huge between levels that it will make a significant difference).
Rated Battlegrounds now award Conquest to the losing team based on their final score. The losing team can earn up to 200 Conquest Points from a very close match.
I like this change. One thing that bothered me about Rated Battlegrounds is that for the time investment, it isn't that rewarding. At least now it's a little rewarding, even if you lose.

Mantid Archaeology has been added. Players will be able to uncover common and rare Mantid artifacts.
This is a nice addition to Archaeology that adds even more artifacts to uncover, including rare BoA equipment!
For blacksmiths who have lapsed in their trade (i.e., haven’t practiced blacksmithing since the Burning Crusade), there is a (not necessarily cost efficient) way to catch-up. Blacksmiths at your faction’s shrines in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms will be able to teach you training plans for crafting common household items using Ghost Iron.
This is pretty much a way for Blacksmiths to catch up, though I think it's a little too costly to be practical, unlike the Cooking grind using Pandaria recipes.
  • Fish of the Day: On any given day, there is a location in Pandaria teeming with a type of Pandaren fishing pool
  • Ben of the Booming Voice, located near the Halfhill Market area will inform players what the “Fish of the Day” is and mark the location on their map.
This addition is a nice way to promote some more Fishing activities. I believe there's some other additions as well, such as new pets.
Patterns for Magnificence of Leather and Magnificence of Scales could be found via world drops. These patterns allow the leatherworker to create Magnificent Hides more economically and share a daily cooldown.
This is an addition that allows Leatherworkers to make more Magnificent Leather and research recipes at the same time.

  • Transmogrification rules have been broadened for several weapon types.
    • Two-handed axes, maces, and swords can be Transmogrified to each other.
    • One-handed axes, maces, and swords can be Transmogrified to each other.
    • Staves and polearms can be transmogrified to each other.
Pretty much what this means is that Transmogrification rules are getting relaxed. Hopefully Blizzard will find a way to further broaden Transmogrification options (and I'm not just talking about loosening rules in this sense).    
The ethereals that offered to upgrade items using Valor or Justice Points have departed Azeroth for the moment. They may yet return in a future patch.
This is a change that will prevent players from upgrading items to levels beyond what is currently intended to get through content quicker (especially since Valor Points are not being removed or converted in this patch). Specifically, a player may want to upgrade an extremely strong piece of gear and have an enormous power spike.
  • The cost of Valor Point gear introduced in patch 5.0 has been reduced by 50%.
  • The cost of Valor Point gear introduced in patch 5.1 has been reduced by 25%.
This is a change that falls in line with some of the previous changes that allows players to progress through tier 14 quicker to get to tier 15.
Skyshards are now Bind on Account.
This seemingly small change is actually pretty big. It pretty much allows players to farm Skyshards on any character (or get them all little by little by doing Golden Lotus dailies on every single character).
Adventurers can now upgrade old heirlooms by turning in the item and paying Justice Points or Darkmoon Prize Tickets, converting them into versions that provide benefits up to level 85. Note, the upgrade process will remove all enhancements on the heirloom.
I like this change. However, some heirlooms already have this level limit. Is there any chance of upgrading heirlooms to have a limit up to level 90? That would be amazing.

Sunsong Ranch
  • Seed bags have been added that allow planting of crops 4 plots at a time.
  • The yield from special crops has been improved to make farming them competitive with gathering these items out in the world.
  • Wild Crops will now occur less often.
The first and third change are essentially more additions to make farming a little bit more convenient and less of a hassle (at least for multiple characters). The second change is sensible because at the moment, special crops do have horrible yield compared to normal crops.

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