I think I've firmly established that I really love doing quests, and that I'm fine with daily quests as a whole. Sure, some of them may have had their moments of extreme frustration, but by and large the daily quest system in Mists of Pandaria is pretty entertaining. But while it's entertaining to me, and it's fine with some players, there are others who cannot stand the system. They hate daily quests. The sight of a blue exclamation point is a source of constant irritation.
And it doesn't really matter how you wrap up that package, it's still going to be annoying content that players feel they must complete in order to be competitive. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to matter what is tied to the system, or if it offers rewards of value, like Lesser Charms or valor points. Adding the value to the daily quest system doesn't make completing the quests any more compelling, it just makes them another chore that must be completed.
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.
The Sin'dorei have been a presence in WoW since The Burning Crusade -- and surprisingly enough, as members of the Horde rather than members of the Alliance. This turnaround in events was largely due to the treatment of the blood elves by the Alliance during Warcraft III. Kael'thas Sunstrider watched as his people were slaughtered by the Scourge, and set out to lend a helping hand to his supposed allies, hoping that they would lend a hand in return. However, he was sent to help Garithos, a man who was -- let's face it -- incredibly racist.
And in the face of that not-quite-blatant racism, Kael'thas turned to the only people offering any sort of real alliance; the naga. While Vashj and company helped Kael'thas far more than any of his supposed Alliance allies, Garithos was happy to find an excuse to condemn the leader of the sin'dorei, and had him imprisoned in Dalaran for his supposed treasonous actions. It was this waterfall effect that eventually led to the sin'dorei's withdrawal from the Alliance, and into the arms of the Horde.
Which makes the events of patch 5.1 all the more ironically interesting ... because it's happening all over again, but wearing a slightly different face.
Please note: This Know Your Lore contains spoilers for Tides of War as well as patch 5.1 content from both Operation: Shieldwall and the Dominance Offensive. If you have yet to complete these stories, you may want to veer away.
The patch 5.1 daily system seems fairly straightforward for the most part -- you either get your dailies directly at the base camp for your respective faction, or you get a quest that will send you to a daily hub in Krasarang Wilds. Once your dailies are completed, you can then turn them in for reputation. But there's another daily quest out there, one that's hidden behind a purchasable item.
This daily quest not only grants you a chunk of reputation, it'll give you a useful buff as well. But how you go about the process of getting that quest, and the limitations to the quest, seem to be a mystery to many players. And if you ask Jorn Skyseer or his Alliance counterpart Huntsman Blake, they have pretty much nothing to say on the matter. So how do you go about getting this useful bit of extra rep?
It took until patch 5.1, but we got it. The most perfect reputation grind in the game to date. I don't say these words lightly, because let's face it, I have pretty high standards for what I like and what I don't like with daily quests. But the Dominance Offensive appears to have taken the best out of all previous reputation grinds and wrapped it all together in a delightful ball of compelling story and quests that barely feels like a grind at all.
Please note that this is a review for the Dominance Offensive, which is the Horde side of the 5.1 reputation. At this point in time, I don't have an Alliance character at level 90, so I'm unable to play through the Operation Shieldwall quests. However, I have been assured that not only are the Operation Shieldwall quests just as good, in some ways they are even better than the Dominance Offensive material. I'm not even sure how this is possible, because these dailies are just that good.
But enough gushing. Let's get into the nuts and bolts of what makes this reputation grind so different from everything before it.
Patch 5.1 introduced a lot of new content, and a lot of new lore -- and who better to explain it all than Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton, and Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak? We sat down with both, along with Community Manager Zarhym to talk about some of the new features found in patch 5.1. Along with questions about the Brawler's Guild, both Kosak and Stockton addressed scenarios, daily quests, tweaking old content, that pesky matter of player housing, and what's to come in patch 5.2.
Patch 5.1 was an incredibly fast patch. Is this going to be a trend with Mists?
Cory Stockton: Yeah, for sure -- this has been our goal for a long time. We can't promise that we're going to have the exact same amount of content in the exact same amount of time, but it's definitely our intention to deliver patches in a time frame similar to this with a similar or larger amount of content. It just all comes down to each individual patch and the details of what we can do, but it's definitely our goal.
Dave Kosak: We'll alternate between patches that have raid content and patches that don't have raid content as sort of required by what players are doing in the game and try and space it out. But our objective has always been faster content delivery, and we're hoping that players are seeing that we're trying to live up to that.
Upon logging into patch 5.1 for the first time, I was greeted immediately by the same type of auto-quest that was used to start off the opening storyline of Mists. It should be noted that, as I play Alliance, this is all from the Alliance perspective.
Spoiler Alert! If you haven't got into these quests and you don't want to know what happens, don't read this! I definitely don't go through the entire questline, as you'll see I get distracted by something shiny, but there is a good amount of information that could be considered spoilers after the break!
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.
Patch 5.1 contains relatively few direct death knight changes, but those changes it has are large enough to talk about. PvE escapes relatively unscathed and gets a few nice goodies, but PvP takes a bit of a hit. Today, we'll talk about what patch 5.1 has in store for death knights thus far.
The death of Death Strike in PvP?
So far, there is one single class change for death knights in the patch notes, but it is a doozy. Death Strike's bonus healing from taking damage will no longer apply to damage received from PvP combat.
This doesn't mean, of course, that death knights are completely without healing in PvP now. They should still successfully get the minimum heal and the shield it provides. It does mean, however, that they lose a lot of self healing, enough that a lot of people are working on their frost and unholy PvP skills once again.
Patch 5.1 introduces two new factions -- Operation Shieldwall for the Alliance, and the Dominance Offensive for the Horde. With these two new factions are new dailies to complete that involve the new faction areas in the Krasarang Wilds. Although the new factions are meant to encourage world PvP, it is not necessary to flag in order to participate in the quests. So far the daily quests involve gathering resources and cheerfully murdering the other faction.
And of course both sides have their own sets of reputation rewards available for purchase with Justice and Valor points. There is a reputation requirement on gear, but it never goes above Revered -- the only bonus to being exalted is the sweet new mounts that were datamined earlier this month. As for the gear, some items can be purchased immediately for Justice points, but the more valuable gear requires at least honored reputation to obtain.
If you're interested in seeing what your faction has to offer in 5.1, check out the full galleries below.
WoW Insider posted in early October, detailing Blizzard's announcement of the upcoming changes to reputation gain. Blizzard had recognized that the heavy demands placed on players to grind out seemingly endless daily quests to gain reputation with a faction were altogether too onerous, particularly for those with a substantial stable of alts.
Therefore, a system was announced whereby, once one character had attained revered reputation with a faction, every other character on that account would receive doubled reputation gains. Now, wowhead's dataminers have uncovered the method used by Blizzard to implement their new system: Grand Commendations.
The war between the Horde and the Alliance gets a lot more interesting in patch 5.1, and Wowhead has a ton of details on the quests available for both factions. Not only are there new dailies, but there's extended questlines that advance the story of the conflict, more developments in the Wrathion legendary quest chain (which requires you now to work against the opposite faction) and new PvP related purchases such as the Hired Mercenary (one of several you can hire) or the Hired Guard.
So get ready to take a stand for Operation: Shieldwall or the Dominance Offensive. There's lots of surprises in store (just what is the Monkey King's story of the Greatest Prank? Why does Thrall travel to the Echo Isles?) and it's all coming in patch 5.1.
With patch 5.1 hitting the PTR, spoilers are now out and abundant in regards to the new patch for Mists of Pandaria. MMO-Champion has datamined several bits of information from the PTR, including spells and item information. But most disturbing is a set of voice files, presumably from a scenario of some sort that involves Horde and Alliance facing off in the wilds of Krasarang.
We'll post the full voice files after the break, but be forewarned: This is absolutely, without question spoiler content. If you'd like to remain unspoiled about what's going on in future patches, I'd strongly recommend against clicking through. In addition, keep in mind that this is early PTR, and the voice files you hear may not even be included in the completed patch -- so listen if you'd like, but remember that what you are hearing is not completed content, and may change drastically before the patch is released.
Spoilers follow after the break. Read on at your own risk.