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The Iron Horde is Coming

Robert Lashley Posted:
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The last time Blizzard introduced a content update to World of Warcraft was September 10th, 2013. That was the Siege of Orgrimmar patch. It has been a long time since Blizzard has updated their game, especially when you consider they charge a subscription. Finally relief is in sight, however. With the release of the fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor (WoD), imminent Blizzard has released patch 6.0.2 The Iron Tide, or what I like to refer to as the Squish patch.

Like a lot of you out there, I have probably spent too much time playing World of Warcraft. That said, I decided to skip Mists of Pandaria, insert obligatory panda joke here. Whatever the real reason being, I decided MoP wasn’t for me and I took a pass. I have been looking forward to jumping back in though and, with the release of 6.0.2, I decided there was no time like the present. I clicked the “upgrade now” button on my character select, received my instant level 90 boost and applied it to my Paladin. Turns out that if you apply the boost to a character that is over 60 you get your two primary tradeskills and first aid maxed out too, though no such luck for fishing, cooking, and archeology. Regardless it was a pleasant surprise since I was mildly dreading have to level up mining and blacksmithing.

The new content for this patch takes place in two areas. The first area of interest is the Dark Portal itself in the Blasted Lands. No longer is the Dark Portal green in hue. It has now started to glow an ominous red. You’ll get up close and personal with it on the new loading screen but that version is lacking the Iron Horde that surrounds the one you’ll see in the Blasted Lands.

This new Iron Horde must be one heck of a threat too because the first thing I noticed is that Thrall has gone bald. That might be why he was wearing a hood these last few years. Thrall didn’t want anyone to know he had a receding hairline. But enough about Thrall’s bald pate.

The new quest line seems like it was specifically designed to work as in introduction to new players and a reintroduction to returning players. Much in the same vein as the Death Knight starting area, if you complete a series of quests, you will be rewarded with a group of skills. These skills are related and offer an explanation of what their family does, such as healing, crowd control, etc.. To avoid spoilers I won’t give too many details away other than to say you are investigating why this Iron Horde is pouring out through the Dark Portal and will end up having to report back to Vol’jin the Horde’s new Warchief where you will get a new pet, a trinket, and a feat of strength achievement.

The second area of interest is an updated dungeon, Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS). UBRS was home in a past life to the Beast and his pristine hide. This was a fan favorite and may end up that way again now that the Iron Horde is busy knocking the cobwebs out and clearing the place of its former residents. This new version requires an iLevel of 510 to enter on group finder so fresh 90s are out of luck. If you want to enter you are going to have to gear or find a group the old fashioned way.

In this new UBRS Warlord Zaela of the Dragonmaw clan is reading a doomsday device in Blackrock Mountain. It is up to you and four other adventurers to stop her. Since I’m one of those people with only a 490 iLevel I wasn’t able to jump into this right away but I am hopeful to get it done in the near future.

All told the new storyline can be completed in under an hour. While I can’t say for certain, I don’t think the new UBRS takes that much longer. That said the amount of new adventure content with this patch is minimal but it does serve to whet one’s appetite for what is to come.

The big changes that 6.0.2 brought along are to the underpinnings of the game. Along with the new character models, the numbers squish is the most visible of these. Besides these changes Blizzard has also modified the quest log, group finder, added a toy box, changed the raid structure, changed primary stats, reworked itemization, removed hit and expertise, and the list goes on. You can find that list here. I’ve been waiting for the squish for a while. The numbers over the last few years have grown just ridiculous in size and smaller numbers, I believe, will make upgrades feel more meaningful again.

Even with the small amount of new content it is nice to finally see something new in WoW for a change. I’m still looking forward to WoD next month but in the meantime I think I’ll be soloing some of the old raids. Look for me in Molten Core. I still want that Eye of Sulfuras.

Make sure to let me know what you think of 6.0.2 in the comments below.

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Robert Lashley

Rob Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can chase him down on twitter @Grakulen or find him on YouTube @RobUnwraps.