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World of Warcraft Column: The Thunder Road

By Reza Lackey on December 31, 2012

Happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed some fun down time in the company of family, friends and delicious food! Blizzard presented us all with a nice holiday gift with the announcement of Patch 5.2 and hearty list of additions and changes it will include. Based on the patch notes that have been released so far, this thing is massive. It’s incredible that this much content is being created and released so quickly. Let’s take a look at what Patch 5.2 has to offer.

Just a quick note about class changes in Patch 5.2: I won’t be discussing them in this article because of the nature of the Public Test Realm. As the numbers will surely be tweaked over the course of the testing period, I would prefer to discuss the more concrete changes that have been announced.

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Isle of the Thunder King

The Isle of the Thunder King is believed to be on the island just north of Shan’ze Dao in the Townlong Steppes. Here players will find a new daily quest hub, new quest lines to be unlocked and other special events to partake in. Alliance players will join Jaina Proudmoore and the Horde will follow Lor’themar Theron assaulting the island, earning reputation to unlock more rewards and quests. Speaking of reputation, a new item was datamined from the PTR files -- the Darkmoon Top Hat which will give characters a 10% increase in reputation and experience gains for one hour. At a certain point, players will be able to take on quests that are either PvE or PvP focused, keeping the momentum of the Landfall dailies moving along. The isle is also the home of the Lightning Forge, which once unlocked will allow blacksmiths to craft high-level items as well as classic weapons for Transmogrification. 

The Throne of Thunder

Lei Shen, the Thunder King ancient ruler of the Mogu and as he rose to power, he gained control over the other inhabitants of the land, ultimately crowning himself as the first emperor of Pandaria. Now resurrected after all this time presumably by the Zandalari, players will be able to face off against Lei Shen and 11 other encounters in a gigantic new raid. Should you defeat Lei Shen on Heroic mode, there will be an additional boss encounter for you to tackle totaling to 13 encounters in the new raid. For those of us who use the Raid Finder, this raid will be split into four separate wings, which I assume will have three encounters each. Additionally, there will be reputation gains for the Shadow-Pas Assault faction that can only be earned inside this raid that will unlock Valor rewards. Adding exclusive reputation gains to raids is a fantastic idea as it adds incentive to run a raid even after acquiring the drops you want from within. This new raid will be dropping Tier 15 armor for all classes.

World Bosses

Two new world bosses will be added, Nalak, the Storm Lord and Oondasta. Once players have won victory over the Isle of the Thunder King, Nalak will frequently appear at the gates of the Thunder King’s citadel. Oondasta will spawn on the Isle of Giants north of Kun-Lai summit and he sounds pretty crazy: a great devilsaur outfitted with weaponry and armor by the Zandalari. 

The way world bosses will work in Patch 5.2 is getting a small tweak. Come 5.2, all world bosses will be "Tap to Faction". This allows all players of the same faction that engage a world boss the opportunity to earn loot once a week per boss and the ability to use bonus rolls. All of the world bosses will also spawn more frequently.

Life on the Farm

The player run farms at Sunsong Ranch are one of my favorite features of this expansion -- a great mini game that provides useful rewards on a daily basis. Whether growing vegetables or crafting materials, it’s great that players have a plot of land in Azeroth to call their own. In 5.2, we’ll actually be able to purchase the land from Farmer Yoon which will turn the farm into a personal inn, where you can bind your hearthstone and log out instantly. Another interesting and fun change coming to Sunsong Ranch are the new work orders you will receive. Various factions in Pandaria will send work orders to your farm for you to complete which will award you with additional reputation with a given faction. Additionally, new seed bags will allow the planting of crops four at a time making things a bit easier. Also worth mentioning, wild crops will appear less often and the yield from special crops will be improved.

Other Noteworthy Additions

As I said, Patch 5.2 is massive. Here is a brief list of some other highlights from the patch notes:

  • The Legendary quest line continues allowing players to unlock a new head slot enchantment, the Crown of the Heavens.
  • New quest line for Warlocks allowing them to have their fire spells appear with green flames.
  • Zandalari forces will spawn around Pandaria. Scouts can be defeated with one or two players while Warbringers will require a larger group and drop reputation gains, crafting materials and possibly one of three new mounts.
  • Level 90 characters have a chance to earn Lesser Charms of Good Fortune after winning a pet battle against a pet that is within five levels of the highest level pet on the players team.
  • New Battle Pets can be found on the Isle of Lightning and Elite Battle Pets have been added throughout the world.
  • Using the Master Plow in Sunsong Ranch over underground Virmen will cause them to appear stunned with 30% health.

For the full list of notes, including class changes, visit:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/8226552/Patch_52_PTR_Patch_Note_Preview-12_21_2012

There is a lot to be excited about in this new patch and it will be a great way to kick off the new year for us World of Warcraft players. I wish 2013 to be a year full of health, happiness and epic loot for you all!

Let us know what you’re most excited about in Patch 5.2 in the comments below.

Twitter: @rezalackey 


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