I’ll be compiling more information and user-friendly guides over the course of the day/week, but for now, here’s a quick checklist of things to know before tomorrow’s patch goes live. Consider this a preemptive TL;DR for this coming week’s content.
:: Valor Points are not being reset or converted ::
In theory, you can start out the next tier with full valor cap to shop during your first week. Purchasable items available and attainable are described below.
:: New Faction: Shadow Pan Offensive ::
Shadow Pan Offensive is a newly introduced faction. Reputation for them is gained from trash and bosses inside raid instances. You are able to gain this rep from each boss once a lockout, including the LFR difficulty. There is no information yet regarding difficulty contributing to amount of rep gained or not.
The faction’s reputation rewards are purchasable with valor points and are 522 ilvl. Of these items, one (a neck) is available immediately and only requires Neutral reputation. It’s estimated that you will reach Friendly after one boss kill. The two items unlocked at this reputation level are bracers and ring. This reputation offers a 522 ilvl item for almost every slot. This will make it easier to quickly gear up if you’re just starting out as well as for those of us who are re-rolls, have swapped to a new main, gearing an alt, people just returning to the game.
Keep in mind, this faction has no daily quests to grind and is not farmable via trash. You are rewarded with clearing at least LFR every week and using your valor on pieces to fill the holes in your gear as needed. This is a model I think I’m pretty happy with.
:: New Faction: Kirin Tor Offensive ::
This is a newly discovered quest-giving faction with a twist. You are given the choice daily to do PvE or PvP quests. You cannot do both sets of quests in a single day. The PvE quests reward Valor Points while PvP quests reward Conquest/Honor points. Both sets of quests also reward reputation and Lesser Charms.
This faction offers a 496 ring for 977 VP at Exalted.
:: Bonus Roll Token Change ::
You will still acquire Lesser Charms from dailies as you have all along but there will be additional ways to earn them.
The Greater Charms you have now will only be usable in MSV, ToES and HoF raid instances and the two current world bosses, Sha and Galleon. After 5.2 goes live there will be a new NPC to turn in your Lesser Charms to and these new Elder Charms will only work on the new 5.2 raid bosses and the two new World Bosses!
:: New World Bosses ::
More information about this to come. There are two new world bosses with an increased respawn rate from what we’ve seen so far. Galleon woes begone!
One of these bosses will be tuned to a Heroic difficulty which will make it something requiring a decent guild raid group, so don’t expect to pug this in trade chat very early in the tier!
:: Changes Down on Sunsong Ranch ::
There will be many quality of life changes made for those of us who’ve literally been e-farming for materials and resources. These changes look to reduce the time-sink to turn over crops a little. They are implementing a way to plant 4 seeds at a time and you will be able to reduce pests’ health to 30% by utilizing the plow as just two examples.
The drop rates on herbs and some of the other consumable mats has been increased as well.
:: Item Upgrade NPC ::
Blizzard is removing the NPC that currently allows you to upgrade your gear with the appropriate level of either PvE or PvP currency. Current upgrades are not being removed but no additional ones are able to be made.
If you have additional VP/JP on alts to spend, you may want to consider upgrading the Archaeology/Rare Spawn BoAs or 476 Inscription staves, upgrade them now while you can!
:: Valor Point Costs ::
All current Faction Rewards will still cost Valor Points, although the costs for all current reputations are being reduced by 50% with the exception of Operation: Shieldwall/Dominance Offensive which will be reduced by 25%.
:: T14 LFR Remain Open ::
The three Tier 14 raid instances will continue to be available to players as a LFR queue. The droprates have been increased to provide a quick step up to current raid content in the gearing process for new players and alts.
:: New Legendary Quest from the Black Prince ::
Wrathion has new rewards for us to unlock as his quest line continues. You will get a legendary Meta gem. New weapons will not be Sha-touched and will have no use for the Sha-touched gems. New weapons, however, will be able to have prismatic sockets attached to them from the Test of Valor section of the quest chain, purchasable from the Valor Point vendor.
:: New Tier, New Raid Instance! ::
Halls of the Thunder King! Tier 15 will be all about twelve new bosses in this new instance, as well as an unlockable Heroic-only boss! It seems as though there will not be gating and that all twelve bosses will be reachable in week one.
If you’re interested in watching my guild smash our faces (and hopefully the normal mode bosses’ faces!) tune in to twitch.tv/katarszina Friday-Sunday nights. We plan to quickly clear through Normal modes and be working on Heroic difficulty as soon as week 2.
Normal-mode boss drops will be 522 ilvl while the heroic versions will be 535 ilvl.
Once all 12 bosses are defeated on Heroic difficulty, an additional boss is unlocked. Ra-Den is only available on Heroic difficulty and will have a limited number of attempts available per week.
The LFR version of this raid instance will be split up into 4 queues of 3 bosses each. The LFR will be gated and we will see the initial stages during week 2. The drops in LFR will be 502 ilvl.
Written by @katarszina