Ladies and gentlemen, get your caffeine ready - World of Warcraft Patch 5.3: Escalation is imminent. Since my last look at Patch 5.3, Blizzard has released a plethora of new information about what lies ahead. My Spidey sense tells me this patch is going to be deployed very soon. Time for another look at some of the new highlights of the next major content update.
At the Gates
Whether you fight for the Alliance or the Horde the objective for both factions remains the same: Remove Garrosh from his seat of power in Orgrimmar. The Barrens in Kalimdor serve as the focus of a new set of daily and weekly quests where those who have not sided with Garrosh will make preparations for the inevitable assault on the heavily fortified Horde city. In the Northern Barrens, a weekly quest will have players hunting for four different resources: oil, wood, meat and stone. These resources can be found in various locations including the Caravan Escort missions that I discussed in my last 5.3 preview article. Additionally, Elite Commanders who randomly spawn throughout the land will drop these lucrative resources among other things but will require a few players to take down.
During questing in the Northern Barrens or by visiting the Darkspear Quartermaster, players will be able to acquire Laten Kor’Kron iLevel 489 armor. These armor pieces can be turned into usable items with random stats by using Radical Mojo which is rewarded to players by completing the weekly quests. Interestingly, armor created this way may have the chance of producing “unexpected” results not found on other gear currently in the game.
A new battleground is also being introduced, Deepwind Gorge. This new battleground is a 15v15 map that is essentially the combination of Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch. The map features three mines which serve as control points. By controlling a mine, each faction slowly earns gold and the first side to reach 1600 gold wins. What sets this battleground apart from Arathi Basin is the ability for players to also steal gold from the opposing team's base. In each base there is a mine cart filled with gold that if stolen and safely transported back to your home base, will earn 200 gold for your team.
The terrain is reminiscent of Valley of the Four Winds but with fewer trees. The terrain is well designed with plenty of height features to take advantage of such as bridges, valleys and hills. There are also several wide open areas for larger battles to break out in.
Speaking of PvP, some of the new changes to the way resilience works appears to be for the better based on what I experienced on the test realm. For those unaware, Blizzard has essentially removed PvP Resilience from items and has given all level 90 characters a base resilience of 65%. What this does is essentially make PvP more about skill than gear. Don’t worry though because gear still matters as it will still provide the PvP Power stat which is what helps bypass an enemies PvP Resilience. The other benefit to this change is that it allows players who are mainly geared with PvE items to have the opportunity to be viable in PvP situations. This dramatically lowers the barrier to entry of PvP for those who spend a majority of their time with PvE content. Players new to PvP won’t need to spend hours trying to put together a new PvP armor set to have a fighting chance.
Also coming with Patch 5.3 is a new item level cap for Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds and Arenas. All gear will now be scaled down to ilvl 496 but armor will not be scaled up. This change along with the new resilience mechanics has made PvP much more enjoyable from what I have seen thus far. Battles are closer and more intense with the outcome of most fights determined even more so by skill than gear.
If you’ve fallen behind and are looking to catch up to experience the upcoming patch, the official World of Warcraft site posted a great guide on doing so. There is also a handy article on how to best prepare for the upcoming patch here. Additionally, the experience required to level from 85 - 90 has recently been decreased by 33% giving players just getting to Pandaria the chance to get up to speed in no time.
Let us know in the comments below what you’re most looking to in Patch 5.3.
This weeks throwback item: Robes of Azure Downfall
Reza Lackey / Reza is a giant nerd who loves video games, board games, film and way too many other things. Works in the film industry, on some startups and thinks science is cool. Also launches rockets.
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