I haven’t really been giving my consoles the love they deserve, mostly due in part to the recent content patch (5.4) in World of Warcraft. Yes, I am an on-again-off-again WoW player. I’ve been playing for the better part of 9 years and generally play as a Moonkin or a Demonology Warlock, focusing more on the PVE aspect of the game. If you’re not familiar with the MMO world, PVE stands for Player Versus Environment, which basically means that I’m more in to the story/quest/raid aspect of the game over the PVP, or Player Versus Player, aspect of killing each other.
Patch 5.4 brought with it a slew of class changes, a brand new tier of raiding with Siege of Orgrimmar, the ability to raid with any number of players between 10-25, called Flex Raiding, a personal challenge mode called Proving Grounds, and a brand new zone, the Timeless Isle, full of hidden treasure chests, rare enemies to kill, a few quests here and there.. and more treasure chests and rare enemies to kill.
You really could spend all day out there exploring or finding new BoA (Bind on Account – items you can send to any of your other characters on the same realm) items for your alts and catching them up to the minimum gear requirement for the new raid. My girlfriend recently hit level 90 on her Death Knight and within 24 hours was ready for Seige of Orgrimmar. This is something that would have normally taken weeks to accomplish, and is a welcome change after spending enough time hunting for better gear across numerous characters.
It *is* the end of the Mists of Pandaria expansion after all, so this is genuinely when the loot pinata bursts open and Blizzard makes it much easier for players to catch up who may have taken a hiatus from the game, who are brand new to WoW or have decided to play a different class. It’s something that has occured within every expansion prior to Mists and not something I see changing any time soon.
My friends and I had recently taken a break from WoW right at the start of the Throne of Thunder tier of raiding (roughly 4-5 months ago). With the Siege of Orgrimmar raid bringing the expansion to a close, we wanted to jump back in to see how everything played out with Garrosh Hellscream, who would be chosen as the next Warchief of the Horde and find out what else we had been missing out on during the hiatus.
Now that we’re back in, it’s safe to say that we hadn’t missed much at all prior to the release of patch 5.4. The game was still full of reputation grinds, daily quests and a player base that largely consisted of chat trolls, elitists and the occasional helpful/respectful player scattered about. If you’ve ever played anything on Xbox Live with complete strangers, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve always enjoyed playing the game with the people I know, but sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to experience certain things (raids, for instance, generally take 10-25 people to accomplish).
Since returning to WoW, I’ve spent some spare time over the last few weeks catching up on a few of my max level characters, namely my Moonkin, Ret/Holy Paladin, Frost Mage and Shadow Priest. I also have a max level Warlock, Rogue and Warrior, but I’m not in any hurry to play any of those.
Prior to my break, I was running my characters through LFR (Looking For Raid, an automated matchmaking system for players to form a raid group to take on current dungeon content) for upgrades, doing some of the dailies and working on their crafting/gathering professions, but my gear level wasn’t good enough to run Seige of Orgimmar. Within the week between the release of the content patch and the release of the LFR-mode, I had gotten all of my characters to at least the minimum gear requirements (aside from my Warrior, who I loathe) thanks to the Timeless Isle lootstorm.
Thank you, Blizzard, for saving me a ton of time. I really just wanted to see the new raid, and not having to farm for weeks and weeks to do so is most welcome. Now if you could just have a separate LFR for the assholes to queue up with so I can avoid them, that’d be super. I know it’s just par for the course when you group with total strangers, but the ignore button can only do so much.
Here’s to more blasting things as a giant owlbeast,