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Posts with tag timeless-isle

What's going on with Karazhan?

It's no secret that I love Karazhan. Making its debut in Burning Crusade, Karazhan was and still is, to me, the perfect raid. The sheer scope of the instance and the variety of bosses within it were more than enough to keep my raid guild at the time happily occupied. But for myself, it wasn't just the raid, it was the story behind it. I spent most of vanilla plaintively wondering when we'd see Medivh's tower open for visitors ... and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest with what we eventually saw inside.

On the 5.4.2 PTR, Karazhan is in the middle of what seems to be not a revamp, but a restoration. Mobs aren't changing, neither are bosses. But the cobwebs, the overturned chairs, the randomly placed skeletons of the dead are all being quietly swept away. One has to wonder ... what's up with that? What's going on with the tower of Karazhan, and why the sudden makeover now? Rather than indulge in yet another speculative edition of Know Your Lore, let's just take a quick look at the possibilities.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Casual content convenience

As someone who writes about World of Warcraft for a living, something I do a lot is read the Blue Trackers. These systems watch every blue post, and collect them all into one place for your convenience. Just occasionally, there'll be funny ones that catch my eye, like this one from Senior Community Rep Jonathan "Zarhym" Brown:

Zarhym
I disagree with everything you didn't say.

And on this occasion, the thread he was responding to actually got me thinking. You see, the OP was jokingly taking one of the arguments that people make, the predictable ones about how everything was better back in the day, and isolating a key component of that argument: convenience and time spent.

The TL;DR on the post is that the game is now too easy, because everything's too convenient. It's worth noting, again, that the OP is entirely joking. He specifically spells out that one "issue" with the game as it stands is that you no longer need to sit in Trade for 30 minutes to an hour or more to get tanks and healers for your dungeon runs. You can now sit in capital cities, or even quest, while you wait for the LFG tool to do all the work for you. Terrible, right?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The disconcerting sensation of contentment

The Disconcerting Sensation of Contentment
Spoilers for Patch 5.4 in this post

Guys, I'm happy with patch 5.4.

I know there's lots of people who don't like the Timeless Isle, but for me it's perfect - head on over, do a few quests, blow some coins gambling with a monkey person, head on out. I very much enjoy Siege of Orgrimmar. I feel like progression has been at a decent clip and I really, REALLY liked the after quests (and my wolfie mount who is now my favorite mount ever) including the bit in the Vale that I won't talk about before the jump for spoilers. I'm even happy with my class - protection is better (it still needs a ton of gear to be viable, but it always has), arms is much improved and is great for AoE, and fury is solid if unremarkable (and there's something beautiful about Storm Bolt for fury right now). In short, I really have to work to find something to complain about.

I admit, I don't really know what to do with myself. I'm an infamous curmudgeon - to find myself logging on, enjoying myself, and then logging off is somewhat confusing for me. Now, I've always enjoyed playing World of Warcraft - if I didn't, I wouldn't still be doing it this many years later - but it's always been an enjoyment tempered by this or that thing that really bothered me.

Right now, nothing in game does that. I still have my concerns, of course - I am never going to stop hating Dark Shaman, because no matter what I do, it's possible for two or three things to pop up at once and do 750,000 damage to everyone in melee in one second, and when that happens I almost always end up sniffing the dirt in the Valley of Strength. But that's a minor quibble.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Twists in time

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Twists in time
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.

Two weeks ago, we looked briefly at the Timewalkers and the strange goings-on on the Timeless Isle. Since then, players that have been dutifully completing Kairoz's weekly quests have reached the end of the mysterious visions Kairoz has been trying to pinpoint -- with some disturbing results and implications. In fact, the whole mad journey has been a steady trickle of unanswered questions and dizzying scenarios that might or might not be true. Or perhaps they're all true, just in different versions of reality.

And that's the bronze dragonflight in a nutshell. It's a headache-inducing puzzle of events that might have been, have been, never been, and may have meant to be but hadn't, that can't quite be untangled. Led by Nozdormu, the bronze dragonflight's missive has always been to protect and observe the pathways of time. The Titans gifted Nozdormu with the knowledge of when and how he would die as a warning, a lesson -- that no matter how powerful Nozdormu might think he was, he, just like any mortal, would have to answer to time eventually. This was meant to keep the Timeless One in check, an effective plan.

But did it really work?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: This post contains spoilers for events on the Timeless Isle.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Drowning in Timeless Coins

Drowning in Timeless Coins
I've been happily completing the daily over on the Timeless Isle every day -- it's an easy 50 valor points, after all. And while farming the 20 elite mobs needed for the quest, of course I've been hopping from rare mob to rare mob in search of pets or interesting toys. In the meantime, I've piled up a lot of Timeless Coins. I mean, a ridiculous number. I'd noticed people complaining that they had all these Timeless Coins, but I didn't really understand the problem. I mean, they aren't sitting in your bags taking up space in your inventory, they're just ... there. Incorporeal currency.

But it's slowly begun to sink in that there's a legitimate problem with the Timeless Isle and its bizarre form of currency -- namely that the only place you can spend that currency is on the Timeless Isle itself. Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy buying trinkets and unusual things, but at the same time, if all those Timeless Coins pictured above were actually gold in my bank, I'd be ecstatic. Instead, I'm slightly nonplussed and wondering what the heck to do with all these incorporeal things I've gathered.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne: Death knight tricks for surviving the Timeless Isle

Lichborne Death knight tricks for surviving the Timeless Isle
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.

The first time you set foot on the Timeless Isle can be pretty intimidating. All of these massive, giant elite mobs. How's a death knight supposed to solo these? I'm here to tell you it's possible. There's both general tips and class specific tips you can take to hear that will help you survive and thrive on the island, whether your goal is to unlock the weekly Epoch Stones quests, track down a rare for a specific fun or useful drop, or anything else.

Back to the basics

Before you do your class specific tricks, it always helps to have the non-class-specific basics down first. And make no mistake, the mobs on Timeless Isle are a lot easier if you have the basics down. In this case, a little bit of gear optimization hurts. For example, if you don't have your hit and expertise to 7.5% each yet, try to get them there. The rares and higher level elites get easier if you're actually hitting them every time. In addition, once you start getting some of that timeless gear especially, consider springing for enchantments and gems for an extra edge.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Downfall raid loot and patch 5.4 world boss loot for death knights

Lichborne Downfall raid loot and patch 54 world boss loot for death knights
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.

This week brings us to the end of our patch 5.4 raid gear guide as we take on Garrosh and the bosses guarding him. In addition, we'll take a quick look at what the world bosses of this patch have to offer a death knight. The disclaimers from previous weeks still apply, so keep those in mind. Read on for the breakdown.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Patch 5.4 Developer Round Table information roundup

Blizzard has just released a new developer roundtable video featuring Production Director J. Allen Brack, Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, and Game Director Tom Chilton talking about Patch 5.4 and the future of World of Warcraft. The 28 minute video is worth a watch, but we have a full roundup of all the new and interesting information after the break.

Patch 5.4
  • Overall, patch 5.4 was a very smooth launch for them. The servers even came online earlier than expected.
  • In EU they had to temporarily nerf the Celestial bosses on the Timeless Isle because of the massive influx of players trying to get their legendary cloak. Boss health was nerfed by up to 80%, and some abilities were removed entirely to facilitate a steady rotation of players without negatively impacting server performance.
  • The rush for the legendary cloak was more of an issue on EU servers because EU tends to have more hardcore raiders, and their time zones are more compressed leading to more people playing during prime times.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The curious case of the Timeless Isle

Know Your Lore The curious case of the Timeless Isle
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.

Its existence is an enigma that even the wisest of pandaren have yet to unravel. A place of great reverence for the pandaren, many warriors and aspiring leaders once traveled to this remote isle to test their mettle against the great Celestials themselves. Yet at some point, some moment in history, the Timeless Isle vanished. And as history continued to wind on in Pandaria, the Isle would reappear from time to time -- long enough to perhaps be noticed, but never quite long enough to allow more than a few unfortunate adventurers upon its shores before blinking out into history once more.

Until now.

The Timeless Isle represents a curiosity both to the pandaren, who are glad to see the Isle back again and stable -- for now -- and to the Bronze Dragonflight and their allies, the Timewalkers. To many players, the Timeless Isle simply represents a fun way to pass a few hours, killing rare spawns, picking up enticing Bind-on-Account item tokens for alts, and of course gathering tons of Timeless Coins to turn in for other rare rewards. But there's something ... different about the Timeless Isle. It's a puzzle, one that has yet to be fully solved. And of all the questions I have about this odd island in the middle of nowhere, the one that stands out at the front of my mind is quite simply -- why now?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Love and hate in the Timeless Isle

Why I love the Timeless Isle
The Timeless Isle is one of the biggest new things for patch 5.4, and indeed for WoW as a whole. It's a departure from previous styles which were focused around daily quests and mob grinds, and personally, I'm a huge fan of it. It's like content that was designed specifically for me, but I tweeted as much the other day, and was really surprised to hear that so many other people didn't like it at all. So, as ever, I thought I'd write an article exploring both why I love it and why you might not.

Freedom

This is a huge element of my enjoyment of this content. On the Timeless Isle, you can really do pretty much exactly what you want. I mean, sure, if what you want to do is 5-man dungeons, there's not so many of those available, but you can form groups to kill one of the four world bosses, you can hunt down chests, you can farm mobs, you can go in search of elusive rares that might just drop mounts, you can do jumping puzzles, you can engage in some world PvP, seek out cool toys, the choice is yours. There are a couple of quests, but you're not constantly being sent out to kill 10 of this mob or collect fifteen cat feet from inexplicably footless cats. You're free to murder as you choose.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Is the Timeless Isle still keeping your attention?

Breakfast Topic Is the Timeless Isle still keeping your attention
We're in the third week of patch 5.4 and the Timeless Isle is still buzzing, but the population does seem to have dropped somewhat. There's actual living mobs walking around for me to quickly finish the daily and I'm still working towards the achievement when I can, but I'm definitely not farming the Timeless Coins as fervently as I used to. I've instead found myself camping certain rares, like Garnia for the pet, while chatting and fishing with others who are doing the same.

Overall, I like how the Timeless Isle turned out, but I think I may have gone a little bit too hardcore with it in the beginning, so I've decided to tone it down to avoid burning out.
Are you still participating on the Timeless Isle?
I'm still farming it every day. Must. Have. Coins.1140 (21.0%)
Not as much as I used to, but I'll still camp some rares.1746 (32.2%)
I just do the weekly quest for the valor points.1120 (20.6%)
I'm done with the Timeless Isle.1420 (26.2%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Timeless Isle toy box

Timeless Isle toy box
We're Going To Need A Bigger Bag. Yes, Blizzard, we do need a bigger bag. Thank you for pointing out the startlingly obvious. Instead of giving us bigger bags, you decided to compound the problem by giving us new and awesome toys. What am I supposed to delete to make room for my Falling Flame? It certainly won't be my Golden Banana or Rainbow Generator. I guess I'll just make do with only having 3 free bag slots.

Before this turns into a rant on bag space, let me get right down to it: Falling Flame is just awesome. It's one of the many new vanity items available on the Timeless Isle.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

How easy should it be to gear an alt?

That's been the question this expansion, ranging from "The daily quest rep faction grinds lock gear away, I can't get it fast enough" to "The Timeless Isle makes it too easy to gear up my alt" and I'm not sure where I fall, but the EU forums had an interesting discussion on the issue this week. CM Takralus weighed in with an opinion as well, and it's one I figured we could chat about.
Takralus - Way too easy to gear up alts now
I dinged a fresh 90 on Monday, and yes I went straight to the Timeless Isle. However, in questing greens & blues, I had a very hard time. Also, I still have to go through all the old raids in LFR to unlock the latest content, not to mention get my item level high enough to enter.

I've picked up a few purples on the Timeless Isle, but I'm still nowhere near high enough yet to enter SoO LFR. Sure, if you go for it really hard and prepare with crafted goods, Valor gear etc. I'm sure it can be done. But that's why the system's good IMO, if you put in the effort you can be caught up quickly, if you're more of a casual player like me it's going to take a while, and I'm fine with that personally.

I much prefer this to the alternative-getting my alt to level 90 then having to go through the exact same content I spent months on with my other characters.

This is hardly new to Mists of Pandaria - we've been walking a balance on gearing up alts forever, with some expansions (Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King) having a see saw between difficulties similar to the one Mists is now showing. It was much easier to level an alt in Wrath than it was at the beginning of the expansion, as the improved Dungeon Finder debuted and multiple tiers of heroic dungeons were released with better gear in each. Without new five mans in Mists, we've seen LFR and Heroic Scenarios trying to do the work that dungeons did in Wrath and Cata to an extent, and now the Timeless Isle has made that process much easier.

For myself, I'm actually running the Timeless Isle on my main, whose rotation I have down cold and who I know backwards and forwards, for gear to send to my shaman alt, who has been neglected this expansion. Since I can send any mail drops and any cloaks and rings his way, boosting his iLevel while not even playing him has become possible, and I'm not sure how I feel about that - I was very fond of it at first, until I realized I'm not getting any practice in on how to make his rotation work, and that's a big counter-intuitive to me considering it's always been Blizzard's stance that you should have to play a character to get it geared.

So how about you? Are you gearing up your alts via the Timeless Isle? Do you have to catch yourself from calling it the Timless Isle, as if its major characteristic was its lack of Tims? Where are all the Tims? Sorry, digression. What are your feelings about the ease of gearing this patch?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Guide to every chest on the Timeless Isle

Guide to every chest on the Timeless Isle
Among the rares and elites and world PvP and cute quests involving Blizzard community managers, the Timeless Isle is littered with chests. And, opening these chests is one of the easiest ways to rack up a collection of Timeless Coins, tokens, burdens and other loot. In order to make this easier for every one, Simca over on the MMO-Champion forums has put together a truly excellent guide to navigating your way through the island's chests in the most efficient way possible.

Simca's first step is to split the chests into ranks according to their loot, so a higher number denotes better loot. This applies to both the number of coins found inside them and the likelihood of finding tokens, or indeed the number of tokens you're likely to find. It will come as no surprise that the higher numbered chests are often in areas filled with mobs that aren't easy to bypass or kill -- you have to work for it! Simca also includes weekly chests, symbolized by the Ws on the map.

But that's not all, a map is useful, but Simca's guide offers far more. Simca has created a set of Tom-Tom macros for each level of chest. These will navigate you from chest to chest, so you won't even need to open a map! Simply install TomTom, and follow Simca's instructions, and you'll be reaping the rewards in no time.

Filed under: News items

Treasure on the Timeless Isle

Treasure on the Timeless Isle
Players wandering the Timeless Isle have, doubtlessly by now, discovered that the place is absolutely crawling with treasure chests for the discerning traveler to hunt down, pry open, and loot. But one thing that has remained somewhat fuzzy to players is just how many of these treasure chests are weekly, daily, or even if they respawn at all. To clear up matters: None of the treasure chests on the Timeless Isle appear to be daily at all. In fact, there are only a handful of chests that are weekly -- the rest are bound to your character, and once you loot them, they are gone for good.

Plenty of people have offered maps and guides to those seeking chests -- I found this map on Reddit particularly helpful myself. The moss-covered chests are limited to once per player, and will not respawn -- the same goes for the Blazing Chest found in Ordon Sanctuary, and the Smouldering Chests found on the way there. Sturdy Chests also do not respawn. In fact, there are only six chests total on the Timeless Isle that respawn not on a daily, but a weekly basis -- and there's a trick to getting them all.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

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