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Posts with tag Timeless-Isle

WoW Archivist: Epics

Bulwark of Azzinoth
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Leveling through Draenor has been a blast, but as a player from classic WoW, a few things have struck me as incredibly strange. Triple-digit numbers in the guild panel. Sending NPCs to do quests on my behalf. And most of all, getting epic armor and weapons from solo leveling quests.

Many players in classic WoW (and not just raiders) opposed making epics more available to players. They called Blizzard's evolving attitude a slippery slope. "What's next," they argued, "epics for doing solo quests?" They never actually imagined that would happen. In 2005 it would have been unthinkable. Eight years later, here we are. But it's all been by design -- an evolving design with many steps along the way. Let's look at how we got here, one random drop at a time.

The few, the proud, the epic

In early classic WoW, only one path allowed you to deck out your character in purple items: 40-player raiding. Other raiding didn't cut it. Bosses in the 15-player (later 10-player) Upper Blackrock Spire dropped rares. Even bosses in the 20-player raids, Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, dropped mostly rares when they first opened their instance portals. Only their end bosses consistently dropped epic loot.

Outside of 40-man raids, a handful of bosses had a very small chance to drop an epic item. Emperor Thaurissan in Blackrock Depths had a tiny chance to drop Ironfoe. The "tribute run" chest from Dire Maul very rarely offered up Treant's Bane -- and I'll never forget the joy in my warrior friend's voice when it dropped for him, all those years ago. DM was also the source of the highly coveted tanking weapon Quel'Serrar, but the quest item to obtain it had an incredibly low drop rate.

Back then, even the recipes to craft epics (such as the awesome Force Reactive Disk) could only be obtained from 40-player raids.

Even if you were raiding with 39 of your closest online friends, earning purples was no picnic. With two drops per boss at first, odds of getting an item on any given run were slim. You could complete a full clear without a single drop for your class and spec. Each epic you equipped generally represented several weeks of endgame effort. When a player sauntered through Orgrimmar or Ironforge in head-to-toe purples, players knew this was a person who had spent many, many hours on that character.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

How I came to love the Timeless Isle

I make it no secret that I don't have much love for Mists of Pandaria. For reasons I haven't been able to quantify, most of it bored me beyond belief. I can make some guesses, but no individual thing clicks with me as the reason, though all of it combined may be the cause: the tedium of daily quests in the earliest stages of the expansion, the lack of new 5-man dungeons in content patches, a general disinterest in the renewed faction war, and not being compelled by the story or aesthetic elements that formed Pandaria. I kept on trucking through those early months, and I did find some fun in it, but the fun faded quickly and I found myself less and less engaged throughout the expansion. Because of that, I ignored many of the expansion's later additions, particularly the Timeless Isle. When it released, I poked around on the island, but left quickly. Now, in the final stretch of the expansion, I gave the Timeless Isle another shot ... and realized too late that it's wonderful.

One of the things I once loved about World of Warcraft was the daily choice between structured and unstructured gameplay. If I wanted to go questing, I could do so -- and Blizzard's quest design has consistently improved since the game's launch. If I didn't want to quest, just screw around solo and fight monsters, that option was available, and not only available, but rewarding. That changed over time.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Did you miss in Pandaria?: Timeless vendors

Whizzig the snail rider
I've spent so many hours on the (now ironically named) Timeless Isle that I thought I knew everything about it. I was researching how I could help Golganarr to spawn to finally complete the Timeless Champion achievement, and I realized I'd missed something.

I never thought to look for anything interesting by the Celestial Court itself. I figured it was static, like every other quest hub in the game, more or less. I thought the two vendors standing next to the emperor were the only ones who sold anything of note.

Then I stumbled across Whizzig <Merchant of Time> in Wowhead's excellent Timeless Isle guide. I was sure I'd seen this snail-riding gentlemen before. But it never occurred to me that he was, in fact, a "rare vendor." He sells four different vanity items for your Perky Pug, such as Dread Pirate Costume. He also sells Magical Pet Biscuits and (for some reason) a glyph recipe. All of his items cost Timeless Coins. If you've got thousands of extra coins laying around, you might as well spoil your pup.

Once I made this discovery, I took a closer look around the court. There are so many NPCs and so many of them sell useless things that it's easy to overlook things you might actually care about. At this point I also found a pandaren boy named Ku-Mo <Hand-Made Kites>. He sells the Sky Lantern pet for 7500 coins and a consumable Golden Glider for 1000. The latter works just like the engineer's version, but it only works on the island -- if you're willing to risk your neck on a makeshift glider a little kid cobbled together.

You can't help Golganarr to spawn, by the way. You just have to get lucky. Fortunately he has a zone-wide announcement like the Dread Ship Vazuvius, and he takes much longer to kill than the average rare.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Patch 6.0.2: Ordos cloak requirement removed

One of the unique quirks of the Timeless Isle, introduced in patch 5.4, was the means in which players accessed Ordos, Fire-God of the Yaungol and the world boss located at the highest heights of the Isle. In order to even get to the temple in which Ordos was located, players needed to either fly very carefully on one of the Isle's many flying albatross taxis, or have a legendary cloak that would glide them right on over the broken bridge that led to the Ordon Sanctuary. And even if you took the albatross, fighting Ordos required the legendary cloak -- you could not engage the world boss without it. But according to developer Jeremy Feasel on Twitter, that's about to change in patch 6.0.2.


Later tweets clarified that the cloak wouldn't even be needed to get over the broken bridge -- the Celestials will send everyone flying to the other side, regardless of whether they have the legendary cloak or not. For those that don't really do any raiding, Ordos has quite the loot table of gear. Every item he drops is ilvl 559, and although we won't be able to upgrade gear with Valor when the patch hits, it's still some pretty good gear for getting a head-start on leveling in Warlords. If you don't have a legendary cloak, or don't plan to obtain one, you might just want to focus your attention on Ordos for a few last pre-Warlords upgrades once patch 6.0.2 goes live.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Time

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today is one part serious, one part silly. Brace yourselves.

antiganon asked:

Did anyone else have a Queue to log in to the battle.net app on Sunday night?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Know Your Lore: Warlords, timelines, and the Bronze Dragonflight

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Many of the questions that have had players mystified since Warlords of Draenor was introduced last year at BlizzCon surrounded Draenor itself. How did it appear? Why is it different? Why don't the events that occur on Draenor have any kind of bearing on what's going on with Azeroth? If Draenor is an alternate Draenor, is there an alternate Azeroth as well? Does this mean there are duplicate lore characters? Will we see two Thralls, two Velens, two versions of Garrosh? And as the year has slowly marched on, that question has been answered in bits and pieces, but never with enough clarity to really set people's minds at ease.

When the Warlords of Draenor beta was released, it became immediately clear to anyone that knew the history of Warcraft that this Draenor, the one on which we are going to be building garrisons, amassing armies, and defeating the Iron Horde, is not and never was the Draenor we were already familiar with. It's an entirely different planet. We've been using the term "alternate universe" in reference to Draenor because seems the best term to encompass the concept of this strange world. With the release of the short story Hellscream, it has finally been made clear just what is going on with Draenor -- and it has nothing to do with Garrosh's trip, and everything to do with the Bronze Dragonflight.

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor as well as the short story Hellscream.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Resurgence of the Infinite Dragonflight

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Long ago, the Titans empowered five dragons with unique abilities and powers, entrusting to them the protection of Azeroth itself. While each had their own specialization with its own odd foibles, none were as strange as the task set to Nozdormu. Aman'Thul, Highfather of the Pantheon, entrusted Nozdormu with the task of watching over time -- to guard the myriad paths of time and keep them pure. A strange task, to be certain, and one with a heck of a lot of power involved. To keep Nozdormu from abusing that power or thinking that he answered to no one, he was given the knowledge of the exact moment of his demise.

Yet somewhere in one of those myriad timelines, this apparently wasn't enough. Somewhere, somewhen, Deathwing prevailed and brought about the Hour of Twilight, leaving Nozdormu a haunted, twisted version of his former self -- a version that cared little for the restrictions or rules bestowed by the Titans, and cared much more for preserving his own skin and preventing his own death. The twisted version called himself Murozond, first of the Infinite Dragonflight, intent on bending time and changing events solely for the purpose of evading his inevitable demise. We defeated Murozond in End Time, and prevented the Hour of Twilight from taking place. But have we actually saved Nozdormu? Have we secured time itself?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Bloody coins now 100% drop rate


Bloody coins, which you get through the Timeless Isle's Fire-Watcher's Oath, have recently undergone some major changes. The drop rate was nerfed when the Censer of Eternal Agony was nerfed, and collecting bloody coins became a head-desking activity. Fortunately, that's changed now.

Hinted at over Twitter yesterday and posted on the forums last night, the Oath now guarantees a 100% drop rate on the bloody coins in Battlegrounds. Just get the killing blow and you'll be set. The full blue post as follows:
Lore
Thanks for all the feedback on this change. We agree that the chance to earn a Bloody Coin from the Fire-Watcher's Oath buff felt too low, especially with all the competition for killing blows in Battlegrounds. We've just pushed a hotfix that will increase the chance of earning a Bloody Coin from a killing blow while Fire-Watcher's Oath is active to 100%. Enjoy!

Filed under: PvP

Censer of Eternal Agony and Bloody Coin hotfix and changes

A very brief list of hotfixes for patch 5.4.8 were introduced on Friday, brief enough that they likely escaped the attention of most players. However, if you are one of the players currently farming Bloody Coins on the Timeless Isle via the Censer of Eternal Agony, you may have noticed a few changes in the way the Censer works, and in the manner that Bloody Coins are farmed. The cooldown for the Censer of Eternal Agony has been increased from ten minutes to one hour.

In addition, Fire-Watcher's Oath now has a cooldown of ten minutes, down from the one hour mark it was set at previously. Its cost is now 100 Timeless Coins, rather than 50 Bloody Coins, and the transformation now allows both mount usage and druid shape-shifting. In addition to that, the internal cooldown on earning Bloody Coins has been significantly reduced.

Community Manager Lore hopped on the official forums to discuss the changes in detail.

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Filed under: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4.8 and the wait for Patch 6.0

With patch 5.4.8 we're seeing a new way to achieve an old goal - allow players to get further in established content while it remains the most recent content available. In essence, with this patch, we will be able to buy slightly increased ability to progress with valor points. This isn't new - it's what the item upgrade system has always been.

I've been thinking about the new item upgrades and the Deeds of Valor since they were announced. I haven't been able to play WoW as I'd like lately (health reasons) but one of the things that immediately came to mind when they announced Deeds of Valor was that this was an entirely new way to nerf raid content at the end of an expansion. Instead of a progressive buff to the players, or a progressive nerf to the bosses, we're seeing a mechanical way to spend valor points to gain the same ultimate aim. Making it possible to trade in your Timeless Coins for valor points is a good way for players who are flush from constant Timeless Isle grinding to convert them to something useful, and allowing players to upgrade items an additional 2 times (for a total of four upgrades) serves to nerf content without nerfing it. Everyone will be stronger, will hit harder, will have more mana for heals.

I have some opinions about this, of course. Others have already expressed theirs - and to be fair I accept the basic premise that these are quality of life changes that will cease to matter in patch 6.0. And I'm okay with that, because again, I see this primarily as a way to nerf Siege of Orgrimmar without actually doing so. It gives us another valor dump, of course. But with changes like Heart of the Valorous (which won't be live when 5.4.8 drops) it feels as if valor itself is being made into a progression mechanic.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Wowhead interviews Warlords developers at PAX East

Our friends over at Wowhead are attending PAX East this weekend, and Perculia had a chance to sit down and interview Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut and Game Designer Steve Burke about Warlords of Draenor. A variety of topics were discussed -- Garrisons were discussed in detail, as well as raid cooldowns, the strengths and weaknesses of the Timeless Isle, professions and the removal of damage bonuses, and much more.

One of the more exciting discussions addressed the issue of storage space. Mentioned in the interview was the new toy box tab that will rid your bags of all the interesting gadgets and toys you find while questing. But that's not all -- most profession materials will stack to 100 in the new expansion, and gathered quest items from kill and carry quests will be tracked, but not actually take up space in your bags. And perhaps the most exciting news from the interview (for me, anyway) is that at long last, transmogrification fanatics will be getting a second tab of Void Storage in which to squirrel away their favorite fashions. You can listen to the full audio from the interview above -- it's well worth checking out.


Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

How to fix the Censer of Eternal Agony

The Censer of Eternal Agony has been an interesting piece of game design. If you're not aware of just what the Censer is, it's an item purchased on the Timeless Isle for 1,000 Timeless Coins that makes you hostile to all players, including your faction. If you kill players while the Censer is active, you get a currency, Bloody Coins, one per kill, that can be traded for a mount, a pet, and some other items.

So what's the problem? What needs fixing? Well, the Timeless Isle is home to three types of character. First up, you've got the intended audience -- new level 90 characters. They're there for the catch-up gear, the easy boost to ilvl 496. There's an influx of them at the moment, thanks to the boosts. The second group is people who are there for the Celestials. They zone in, grab their kill, and leave. Then, there's the third group -- high-geared players who are there with the specific purpose of using the Censer to kill other players.

That third group is mostly targeting the first group. Entering the Celestial Court with the Censer up will get you some attention from the guards, so the Censer people are roaming the island, in search of low-geared players to kill. Some servers have it worse than others, and before you dismiss it, this problem caused the devs to hotfix the boosted 90 spawn-in to be the Shrine instead of the Timeless Isle.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The real reason I hate the Timeless Isle

I hate the Timeless Isle.

I hate the lack of clear objectives. I hate the pseudo-platformer elements. I hate the pouncing tigers, stomping rock monsters, and the shield bearing Ordon yaungol (all of which have abilities I'd be perfectly happy to deal with in a dungeon but am inconvenienced by when I just want 50 Lesser Charms of Good Fortune for the week). There's also the unconventional grummle mailbox that requires two clicks instead of one, and the apocalyptic typhoon of random consumable items wrecking my bag space. But above all of those there is one thing I hate more than anything about the Timeless Isle ... The yaks.

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Filed under: Humor

The Queue: No auto-play zone

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Sorry about that auto-play video yesterday, everyone. We thought we'd fixed it earlier in the day, but apparently not!

mattprendo asked:

I don't remember seeing an answer... what happens to garrisons in the next expansion? I know it's at least 2 years off but isn't it a waste to spend all this time building up a garrison then wow 7.0 comes out and poof they are useless. I understand gear being outdated, buff items... but garrisons aren't an item per say but an extension of our tools and utilities. Was it mentioned anywhere that we will be able to call u-haul or something and move these around?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Blood Pact: So you want to play a warlock

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill explores the beginning of MoP.

The next thing is to write a "how to warlock" at 90 series, but I feel like I've done this before. The deja vu is strong with this one topic.

Oh right! I wrote something like it back in 2012, when the big patch 5.0 first came out. Not all of the same advice is relevant -- well, Soul Link isn't what it was anymore, for one -- but the basics are all still there. I'll go over the specs in detail later, so let's start with the general introduction to warlocks.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

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