So, now that phase 1 of the Shattered Sun Offensive is over on many servers, phase 2 is in full swing. Phase 2 is a little bit smaller than phase 1, but you can still do all the phase 1 quests just fine, so it's more of a question of deciding how many you want to fit into your daily rotation. So what about the phase 2 quests? Progression needs aside, are they worth doing?
The Battle for the Sun's Reach Armory is the first quest I do almost every time I head out to the Isle of Quel'danas. This is actually a pretty short, sweet, and easy quest to do. Once you step out the front door of the Sanctum, the demons are almost immediately right there for the taking, both in the building across the street and in the Dawning Square below (Incidentally, I am about to make a "/1 Dawning Square is just south of the Sanctum, where you did the Missing Magistrix quest" macro now with how often the question is asked). They also spawn rather fast. Generally, even with the square being relatively crowded, I could find a new demon to kill almost as soon as I looted my last one. As for the Emissary of Hate, he spawned pretty quickly, and I like that his corpse is open to anyone to plant a banner. It means no waiting around being 20th in line to kill him or something. This is a short and sweet quest that'd should only take you about 5 minutes to do, tops, as long as the demons aren't overcamped.
The other main phase 2 quest takes a bit more work. Distraction at the Dead Scar fulfills the seemingly obligatory bombing run daily for each new daily faction (perhaps we'll need to bomb Meat Wagons based around Icecrown Glacier for our WoTLK dailies?). The nice thing about is that you don't need to worry about Fel Cannons like in Blade's Edge Mountain or those damned Monstrous Kaliri like in Skettis. The not so nice thing is that it takes a bit of getting used to. So far, I have still needed at least 2 runs each time to get the needed demons. Part of that is the fact that so many people are doing the runs, so you're usually right behind another dude who's already killed everything. The other part is that you need to use the bombs twice on some types of demons, so you have to have your finger on your bomb hot key while you're straining to hit an Eredar Sorcerer as soon as it comes into sight and praying you can swing your camera around and hit him again before you fly out of range.
That said, It's still a bit better than doing the old bombing runs sans epic flight, and I think I'll probably get the hang of it after another run or two. Plus the feel of flying down the dead scar trench throwing down bombs left and right as the legion and the scourge swarm below you is... actually pretty epic. I wouldn't mind if Blizzard upped the spawn rate or lowered the HP on the Sorcerers or Pit Lords a bit more, otherwise it isn't bad. I may start skipping it when I'm lazy and it's no longer needed for the island's progression if only because of the frustration of getting those damned Eredar Sorcerers, but for now, it seems worth a run or two, at least until the novelty of dive-bombing Brutallus wears off (Seriously, chuck a bomb at him when you fly over, it's funny).
The last new quest (at least for now), Intercepting the Mana Cells, is actually sort of a retread of "Potential for Brain Damage = High" from Netherstorm. This time, you don't have to actually drink dead ethereals, which I am grateful for, but find a Phase Device. So far, I've pretty much always found it on my first or second ethereal kill, so the drop rate on the device seems to be pretty nice. I'm also pretty grateful that once you right click the device, the buff is permanent until you leave the area. No rushing to find the stuff you need in 15 seconds like in the aforementioned Netherstorm quest, and no dodging legions of ethereals, since the phased out buff makes you invisible to them. The needed mana cells are also hot pink in color and rather large, so you can't miss them very easily. The one real annoyance are the Phase Wyrms that guard the cells. They have rather large aggro radius and an annoying damage shield, but the consolation prize is that they seem to have a rather high chance to drop Motes of Mana. I also appreciate that the quest also gives you an excuse to cook up some Demon Broiled Surprise, farm some Ethereum Prison Keys, or participate in a Bash'ir Landing Raid.
So so far, I'm pretty impressed with the new Shattered Sun Offensive. There's some minor points that could use some work, and some quests that I may start neglecting a little bit once they're no longer needed for progression, but for the most part, Blizzard has introduced a nice batch of varied, engaging dailies that should keep us all busy until WotLK comes around. I'll definitely be checking out the upcoming phases and letting you know how it goes, so stay tuned to WoW Insider for all the latest Sunwell patch news and opinion.