Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Black Heart of Hellscream

There's nothing quite as exciting to me as patch day, particularly when it's an endgame patch. When the servers go down the night before, I squeal in happiness. I know that when they come back up, there will be new things to see, do, collect and explore. Despite the problems that can and do happen with a massive content patch like 5.4, Blizzard works around the clock to make it launch as smoothly as they possibly can.

5.4 is massive, there's no two ways about it. There are huge changes and tons of additions to the game. I've had a lot of people ask me questions about different patch features throughout the day and figured "hey, may as well blog about it." I figure that if I can lay out all of the information in an easy to understand way and help even one person, my job is done.

Credit to Keo (@tempusfrangit)
The biggest visual change in 5.4 is something that's immediately noticeable upon going outside of your faction's Shrine. The once beautiful Vale of Eternal Blossoms has been scarred, burnt and destroyed with hatred in Garrosh's quest for power. The water is tainted, the land is marred and it's rather jarring to look at.

Where mages once crittermorphed moths in front of Mogu'shan Palace....
Now lies a testament to Garrosh's greed.

Although we've lost the beauty of the Vale, we have a new place to explore. The Timeless Isle is located off the coast of The Jade Forest. It may look small, but appearances are deceiving - it's jam packed full of quests, rares, treasure and new world bosses. Not to mention more glorious, glorious achievements.

So many rares packed on such a small island can be really overwhelming. Thankfully, my good friend WoWMartiean has made another excellent guide for the Timeless rarespawns. These videos may seem fairly long, but they thoroughly cover the many rares that can be found on the Island. You can find part one here and part two here. In addition to the rares, there are many different types of treasure chests hidden around the Isle. MMOChampion has an awesome guide to the locations of these chests here, although I am much preferring to explore and find them on my own. ;) Some of these treasure chests contain Timeless Armor Caches and pieces, which will allow you to create a 496 item level piece of gear for your current gear specialization. These are all bind-to-account and are an incredibly simple way to get some new gear for alts you may have neglected or who just plain need the gear. There are also more than 50 new vanity items that drop from mobs around the Isle and an achievement for obtaining them all. Whew!

Also introduced with patch 5.4 is the endgame raid for Mists of Pandaria - the Seige of Orgrimmar. In this raid, we'll fight our way through the now desecrated Vale of Eternal Blossoms and end up knocking right on the front gates of Orgrimmar to take the battle right to Garrosh Hellscream himself. I was lucky enough to down the first two bosses in the also newly-introduced flex raiding mode on Tuesday evening and so far, I am really enjoying what I'm seeing. Throughout the raid, we will fight off the corrupted army of Garrosh's new Horde. Both Alliance and Horde alike will delight in the eventual fall of the man who dares to calls himself the Warchief of the Horde. 
Seige of Orgrimmar load screen.
Flex is a new raid mode introduced that will allow you to do current content with your friends from the same faction who are on other realms. This difficulty can be done with anywhere between 10 and 25 players and the raid difficulty will scale based on how many people are in the group. Flex has a different lockout from LFR and normal modes and awards item level 540 gear.

Also introduced in 5.4 (getting tired yet?!) are the Proving Grounds. You can access them through an inital quest in your faction's Shrine that takes you to the Temple of the White Tiger in Kun-Lai Summit. The Proving Grounds are a way to test your mettle as a healer, tank or DPS role in a solo environment. You are provided with four NPC companions throughout your trials and can progress through bronze, silver and gold ranked challenges. After completing gold rank, you are able to head into endless mode, which is exactly what it sounds like - endless waves of mobs to fight. They're a great way to learn a new role or hone your skills at the one you already play. But beware - your stats are scaled down a bit. ;)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more new things in patch 5.4, such as mounts, pets, new armor sets, legendary cloaks, glyphs and even a new boss at the Darkmoon Faire! But... I felt it was best to leave you guys some stuff to see on your own.

As usual, if you have any questions or want clarification on anything, feel free to leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter!


  1. I have to say. Good screenshot. There are so many new things in this patch. Can't wait to 12th when the new patch launch China servers.

    1. Thank you! You're going to be very busy when it launches for you. It's hard to get through everything.