It's a whole different game without Shepard. People like Garrus and Liara have lost someone they relied on. There's no one with the force of personality to force the Krogan and Turians to get along or get the Salarians to give back the female survivor of Maelon's research, no one to stop Cerebus from hijacking the Mars archive. I've been thinking about running a pen-and-paper RPG based around the idea that Shepard gives his/her life to blow up the relay, and now someone (or someones) else has to step up and fill that gap.
Would a group of new eyes have seen a different solution to the Reapers? Was Shepard a little too good at things, and as a result people just kept throwing stuff into Shep's lap instead of trying to fix it themselves? I really think it could be interesting to play around with.
And now, your questions.
Q1: Are the redesigned SM, Scholo, and RFC debuting with 5.0.4 or with Mists?
Q2: Whatever happened to tier 3 gear? I wasn't doing high-end content back then so I never got a chance to get any of it. Why is there a tier 2.5 but not a tier 3 anymore?
Answer 1: I do not know for sure. I know the level 90 heroic versions of SM and Scholo are not likely to show up, but as to whether or not RFC, SM and Scholo get their upgrades before Mists launches, that I cannot say. The patch notes do not mention them.
Answer 2: Tier 3 gear was attainable using tokens that dropped in the original, level 60 40-man version of Naxxramas. Once Naxx was removed from the game with the patch 3.0 update to the world in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King, it was gone, too. With the further update of Light's Hope Chapel in Cataclysm, even if you were holding on to a token, you won't be able to turn it in to most of the people, since many of them were Scarlet Crusade figures who are since dead.
When do the Adventure Gear NPC become available? Next week or MoP launch date?
The vendors are in Pandaria itself. There's really no chance they'll be accessible before Pandaria becomes available for play -- definitely not patch 5.0.4.
"Since your quest rewards are determined by your spec now," What why huh? So I won't get quest that have no rewards for me any more? So all quests are useful for fear that's nice I guess
The way it works is that each quest has a variety of rewards, and the game actually looks at your spec when you attempt to turn it in and offers you specific rewards. So for the quest Critical Condition, as an example, my arms warrior would not be offered the agility weapons or the intellect shield. I'm told that if you don't like any of the quest rewards for your spec, you can switch specs before turning in the quest and try again.
The transition from WotLK content to Cata content is quite harsh, even when you do it at level 80. Quest greens from the 79-80 range are rubbish when you start taking on the starting Cata mobs.
Is this the same in MoP? Is there a huge jump in difficulty until you complete your fist 10 or so quests and start getting MoP level greens?
While there's still a difficulty jump, a lot of the starter quests are based around vehicles or turrets and get you into the action fairly quickly. I think anyone starting in gear at least as good as 333/346 won't have any major difficulties, and the quest gear comes fairly quickly. There are also, as stated above, vendors in the starting zone that sell green-quality gear to make catching up even faster.
What do you think is going to be the gearing path for the everyman's fresh level 90 character in questing greens? I'm talking about a lone character on a server without acccess to a ton of gold or the ability to be carried by overgeared guildies.
On live, you're supposed to run normal dungeons until you hit an item level of 333, then run heroic dungeons until you hit an item level of 353, then run hour of twilight dungeons until you hit an item level of 372, then run LFR until you're geared enough to not be a liability in a pug raid.
Those initial steps (successfully completing normal heroic dungeons) are actually the toughest right now- I gave up on gearing a character that was abandoned on a dead server a while ago because of that. I want to avoid this situation in the future!
Quite frankly, the easiest path as of the launch of Mists will be to run zones, get your quest gear, and begin running leveling dungeons as soon as you can. Then, when you hit 90, if you've been running the available dungeons, you should have gear sufficient to begin running heroics. They're less punishing than Cataclysm heroics were. I'd recommend questing, then normal leveling dungeons, then heroics.
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