Tuesday, March 5, 2013

World of Warcraft: Patch 5.2 Overview (General Changes)

While patch 5.1 was great, especially compared to 4.1 in terms of content introduced, it's been quite a bit of time since the first raid tier came out. Fortunately, today, patch 5.2 is ready to go and the Thunder King awaits. The patch also brings a massive amount of other general changes. So many, in fact, that it will span multiple articles. You can check out the following or previous section through links at the end of the article.

Skip to the class changes here and the remaining changes here.

New Daily Quest Hub: Isle of Thunder.
Like the daily quest hub added in 5.1, 5.2 adds a daily quest hub. Unlike 5.1, the Isle of Thunder is a completely new zone (if you've journeyed to the north-western reaches Townlong Steppes you may have seen it in the distance) with a large amount of the 5.2 content. This daily quest hub has more definitive phases (much like Isle of Quel'danas or Molten Front). There also are some accompanying quest lines (much like in 5.1). Additional features include a solo-player scenario (a treasure room, no less) and new rare spawns.

Not to be confused with the other zone (Isle of Giants).
New Raid: Throne of Thunder
The Throne of Thunder is the new raid tier introduced in patch 5.2. My general impression of this tier is that the raid is comparable to Ulduar in terms of scope, with the amount of bosses in the raid in the double digits. On top of this, like Ulduar, there's an additional secret boss of great difficulty much like Algalon (or Sinestra). Given the aforementioned information, I foresee this tier being a highlight of the Mists of Pandaria expansion and wish I had a guild to raid it with.

Raid/LFR availability will follow the schedule as shown here.
The Legendary Quest Continues:
Wrathion is back in 5.2 to assign players a new quest chain that will ultimately award this achievement, along a special meta gem that grants a proc mechanic. I particularly liked the 5.1 legendary quest chain and can't wait to do this quest chain as well.
  • New World Bosses: Nalak, the Storm Lord and Oondasta
  • All world bosses are now Tap to Faction. This new system offers every eligible player of the same faction that engages a boss the chance to earn loot. Under the new system, players will only be able to earn loot from each world boss once per week, but bonus rolls apply. Bosses will now respawn more frequently as well.
With the new tier, a couple new world bosses have been added that accomplish what the last tier of world bosses did (i.e. drop limited tier equipment and give players something to fight over). This is especially great because of the tap to faction change that has been mentioned for awhile, which means players won't have to form groups and tag share to get their weekly loot. As much as I like forming a 40-man raid to do the world bosses, this makes doing world bosses less of a hassle (anyone who's tried to do Galleon should be rejoicing right now).
Taking Over The Farm
This implementation allows players to further improve Sunsong Ranch by acquiring it, allowing them to use it as an inn (to be honest this part is kind of pointless). In addition, quests related to farming will become available, granting reputation for various Pandaria factions. This is certainly an improvement on the current Sunsong Ranch, though it's far from what I would want.