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Posts with tag valley-of-the-four-winds

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Of replays and linearity

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One of the most common complaints surrounding Cataclysm is the extremely linear nature of questing, both in the 1-to-60 experience and from 80 to 85. For levels 1 to 60, this linear nature almost works for me, largely because presumably new players heading through this content would like to do so as efficiently as possible. With a multitude of zones to choose from, the replay experience with Cataclysm isn't too bad -- particularly because it's really not that hard to level from 1 to 60 at the moment. And that's especially nice for new players trying to get the hang of the game.

However, when you hit level 80, there is one distinct path to follow to level 85, and each zone in that path has been carefully laid out. Quests are divided into hubs, and each hub must be completed in order to move on to the next. If you're taking an alt through these areas, you must replay through the same set of hubs and the same set of quests. If you're replaying several alts, this gets incredibly tiresome incredibly quickly.

Thankfully, we're about to say goodbye to that leveling model. Let's look at Mists, shall we? No spoilers, I promise!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Black Market Auction House offers rare and removed items

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According to reports by MMO-Champion, the Black Market Auction House is now live on beta realms. Attempts to confirm this by chatting with Madam Goya just kicked back a UI error at me, but there seem to be plenty of people stopping by to check her out. Madam Goya makes her home at the Tavern of the Mists in the Veiled Stair, north of the Valley of the Four Winds. She's not alone, as Wrathion is still quietly hanging out in the tavern as well.

So what's available at the Black Market? A little bit of everything, including rare mounts like the Ashes of Al'ar, pictured above. Also included are pets that require a grind to obtain such as the Sen'jin Fetish, previously available only from grinding out Argent Tournament reputation, and high-level crafting recipes, although we don't have a lot of information on what those recipes are exactly.

However, perhaps the most interesting note to glean from this is that the Black Market Auction House appears to be carrying the original tier 3 sets that were removed from the game when Naxxramas was moved to Northrend and changed from a 40-man raid to a 10- and 25-man raid in Wrath of the Lich King. Obviously, this means that those looking to transmogrify into these rare tier sets can now pay to do so -- provided they've got the gold to fling around.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Cleaning up the Stormstout Brewery

The Stormstout Brewery opened its doors for business last week. Megan and I, both avid brewery enthusiasts, decided to pay a visit. You can find the brewery entrance in the Valley of the Four Winds. As you adventure through the valley, you'll be assisting Chen Stormstout, and your adventures will take you inside the brewery, where you have to assist him in retaking and restoring the brewery to its former glory.

Our brewery testing composition consisted of myself healing (on a priest, naturally), Megan on her druid (the tank), a balance druid, and two mages. Our character levels were all over the place, from freshly transferred 85s to level 87s.

Ook-Ook

Not exactly Donkey Kong, but Ook-Ook is a giant banana-chucking monkey. Ook-Ook has a pretty fun mechanic that enables players to jump on top of barrels and direct where they go. He has a few friends that are busy. If the barrels make contact with you, you'll explode and take some damage (Brew Explosion). Don't worry -- it's not lethal. Ook-Ook Goes Bananas at 90%, 60%, and 30% intervals. He starts throwing some bananas around; they're harmless. His attack speed goes up, and he hits a touch harder. You'll see a wave of barrels coming in, so either dodge them or jump on them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Wrathion's return?

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The latest patch on the Mists of Pandaria beta opened up Pet Battles (briefly), new areas and more -- including a very familiar face from Cataclysm. Wrathion, the only uncorrupted black dragon in existence and source of the legendary daggers Fangs of the Father, has apparently made good on his mention of exploration in the Fangs of the Father recap posted by Blizzard. Wrathion can now be found in the Tavern of the Mists in the Veiled Stair, north of the Valley of the Four Winds.

Lest you think that Wrathion is a Goody Two-shoes, make note of the location. It's also the location of Madam Goya, titled Leader of the Black Market. Goya has nothing for sale yet -- she merely replies to questioning players with a sly, "Wait till you see what I have for you ..." and no other way to interact. But given the shady nature of the black market, it makes one wonder whether Wrathion is simply taking a rest from travel or if perhaps he's up to slightly more sinister pursuits.

Tangling with Wrathion wouldn't be recommended, either -- not only is he in the company of Madam Goya, he has two personal guards, simply named Right and Left. All guards and NPCs in this location are level 90 elites. While Wrathion's presence and motives are a mystery for now, it's still nice to see the return of the temperamental prince who earned the respect of many a rogue in Cataclysm.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: The return of Hemet Nesingwary

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For those wondering where Hemet Nesingwary wandered off to after his illustrious Sholazar Basin appearance in Wrath of the Lich King, we now have the answer -- Pandaria, of course! Both Hemet and his son Hemet Jr. are currently camped out in the Valley of the Four Winds. Pandaria's a huge new land just waiting to be explored, and Hemet and son are there to explore it.

Well ... maybe not explore. The two of them are, however, ready and waiting for explorers both Alliance and Horde who'd like to gleefully murder some wildlife in mass quantities. Hemet's camp is far off the beaten path, and his quests are completely optional. Players who don't wander to that particular corner of the zone won't be missing any of the main storyline in Valley of the Four Winds.

Those who do choose to go adventure with Hemet and son, however, may encounter a surprise ...

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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