¡Viva la Darkspear Revolución!

***SPOILER ALERT!!!  The following post contains events from Patch 5.3, so read at your own risk!***

Staging the Attack

“Da Darkspear never gonna give up.”

- Vol’jin

Patch 5.3 hit last week and the time to end Garrosh’s reign as the leader of the Horde and take back Orgrimmar has begun!  The first thing I did Tuesday was to start the new questline, which involved the new scenarios.  With these new scenarios came Heroic versions as well and weren’t too difficult to complete.  Completing your first Heroic scenario of the day can reward you with a ilevel 516 item, which is a nice upgrade from your standard ilevel 502 drops from LFR Throne of Thunder.

The first scenario you’re given by Lorewalker Cho is Blood in the Snow, which is a story told from the Alliance side, so Hordies get to be transformed into the Alliance, similar to the Culling of Stratholme instance.  This scenario was pretty quick, just be careful of the patrolling mobs, they could make your Heroic run messy.

Blood in the Snow

Hekima's Heal-Halter

Heed the Weed

The next scenario you’re given is the Dark Heart of Pandaria, which involves investigating the hole that the Horde dug up in the Vale of the Eternal Blossoms.  The only tricky parts I found here were pulling too many of the Elementals at the beginning and make sure to keep moving on the last boss.

Dark Heart of Pandaria

I also noticed this giant Mogu NPC named Norushen at the end of the scenario.  I wonder what role he has in all of this..

Norushen

Afterwards, Cho sends you to Sen’jin Village to meet with Vol’jin, Chen and Thrall.  Vol’jin plans on taking over Razor Hill, which will act as his staging grounds for the upcoming assault on Orgrimmar.

Onwards to Razor Hill

Once Razor Hill is under control, Cho will send you on a quest in Kun-Lai to help Seer Hao Pham Roo get to the top of Mount Neverest where he gives you information on the final Sha and rewards you with ilevel 502 boots.

Back in Razor Hill, you’re given a weekly quest to gather supplies from certain mobs in the Northern Barrens to assist in the siege of Orgrimmar efforts.  You need to collect 150 supplies of wood, meat, stone and oil and you’re rewarded with 200 Valor points and a Radical Mojo.  The Radical Mojo can be used to purchase a mini hydra pet, Gahz’rooki, a Brawler’s Guild quest or to convert any of the Kor’kron vestments you find in the Barrens to a ilevel 489 armor piece for your spec.  Kinda pointless for your main toon since they should have better, but would definitely help out any alts that might need it.

After completing the weekly quest, you’re rewarded with an achievement.  If you are Horde, you are also granted the title, “Darkspear Revolutionary”.

Darkspear Revolutionary

Darkspear Revolutionary Arvash

Sadly, it’s not a sharable title that you can have on your other Horde toons, so you’ll have to complete the questline again if you want it.  I think the title goes great with any Troll, but my hunter is only 86, so he’s got a long way to go, lol.

Completing the questline on the Alliance side grants you the “Hordebreaker” title, which sounds sooo much cooler.  I’ll have to get working on Val so that she can sport that title in true Alliance fashion.

I thought the story progression for 5.3 was done well, albeit short, but it definitely sets us up for what’s to come in the 5.4 raid.  Look out Garrosh, your time as ruler of the Horde is about to come to an end!

Blacksmithing, Reborn

The Thunder Forge

Rejoice, fellow Blacksmiths, Patch 5.2 and the Isle of Thunder has finally given us a daily cooldown for our profession and the ability to learn new recipes!  These new recipes allow us to create PvP armor and new “Reborn” weapons; weapons that were learned back when Blacksmithing had the Weaponsmithing specializations, which was even more specialized to Hammer-, Axe- and Swordsmithing.  These specializations were removed at the beginning of Cataclysm because of their complexity, so if you didn’t have the plans before, you were out of luck making these weapons….until now.

Making these Reborn weapons requires several bars of a new reagent, the Lightning Steel Ingot, 2 to 3 bars of Living Steel and 3 Spirits of Harmony.

To begin making the Lightning Steel Ingot, you first have to obtain a quest item, a Strange Metal Ingot, from Itoka, the Master of the Forge, located on the Isle of Thunder.  He first becomes available once your realm opens up Stage 4 of the Isle.

Itoka, Master of the Forge

Once you have the quest item, you turn it in by reading one of the books in the Thunder Forge, which is located just north of Itoka.

Location of the Thunder Forge

Completing the quest rewards you with your first Lightning Steel Ingot and the Notes of Lightning Steel.  Opening the Notes provides you with the plans to create more Lightning Steel Ingots as well as the six “new” weapons I previously mentioned.  They are:

Reborn Weapons

The Reborn Weapons

These Reborn weapons are of rare quality and have an item level of 463, which would be perfect for fresh level 90 toons.  They are Bind on Equip, so you can craft these for your friends and fellow guildies or even sell them on the Auction House.  You can also mog these weapons if you prefer that instead.  Here are previews of each of the Reborn weapons.

EDIT: I just found out that you do need to use the anvils at the Thunder Forge to create any of the Reborn weapons.  Guess you have to make the trip out there after all, lol.

Drakefist Hammer, Reborn – this one-handed mace with spirit can be useful for Holy Paladins, Elemental/Restoration Shamans, Balance/Restoration Druids, Priests and Mistweaver Monks.

Drakefist Hammer, Reborn Description

Preview of Drakefist Hammer, Reborn

Fireguard, Reborn – this one-handed sword with agility can be useful for Rogues and Brewmaster/Windwalker Monks.

Fireguard, Reborn Description

Preview of Fireguard, Reborn

Lionheart Blade, Reborn – this two-handed sword with strength can be useful for Retribution Paladins, Blood/Unholy/Frost Death Knights, and Arms/Fury Warriors.

Lionheart Blade, Reborn Description

Preview of Lionheart Blade, Reborn

Lunar Crescent, Reborn – this two-handed axe with strength can also be useful for Retribution Paladins, Blood/Unholy/Frost Death Knights, and Arms/Fury Warriors.

Lunar Crescent, Reborn Description

Preview of Lunar Crescent, Reborn

The Planar Edge, Reborn – this one-handed axe with strength can be useful for Protection Paladins, Protection Warriors and Frost Death Knights.

The Planar Edge, Reborn Description

Preview of The Planar Edge, Reborn

Thunder, Reborn – this two-handed mace with agility can be useful for Guardian/Feral Druids.

Thunder, Reborn Description

Preview of Thunder, Reborn

Once you’ve created a Reborn weapon, you automatically learn how to create its upgraded version, which requires the Reborn weapon and additional Lightning Steel Ingots, Living Steel and Spirits of Harmony to make.  These upgraded weapons are epic quality and have an item level of 476.  They are:

And you can even upgrade these weapons one more time!  Once you’ve created these upgrades, you automatically learn how to create its final version, which requires the Reborn weapon and even more Lightning Steel Ingots, Living Steel and Spirits of Harmony to make.  These upgraded weapons are still epic quality and have an item level of 502.  They are:

….yeah, I’ll be crafting Lighting Steel Ingots for a while, just to learn all these new plans, lol.

So what weapon will I make first?  I like the look of the Lionheart Blade out of the six Reborn weapons and I probably won’t see a two-handed strength weapon drop for Arv unless I start running LFR as Retribution, so that’ll be the first weapon that gets made.

The Lightning Steel Ingot Cooldown

To craft all these Reborn weapons and to learn all the new plan is going to take a lot of Lightning Steel Ingots.  Creating a Lightning Steel Ingot requires 10 Ghost Iron bars and can only be made once a day.  At first, I thought these special Ingots could only be created at the Thunder Forge, but you can actually create them with any anvil you find, which is very convenient.  Thank God they are not like making the Dark Iron Bars from Vanilla WoW, which requires you to use the special Dark Iron Forge in Blackrock Depths to be smelted.

For every Ingot you make, you learn a new armor plan, either for PvP or PvE, similar to how Tailors learn their new plans from their Imperial Silk cooldowns.  So far, the only PvE plan I’ve learned is the Holy Paladin ilvl 522 boots, the Haunted Steel Greaves.  I have a handful of PvP plans learned, a couple of ilvl 458 Paladin ones (Crafted Dreadful Gladiator’s Ornamented Legplates and Crafted Dreadful Gladiator’s Scaled Helm) and some of the ilvl 458 Death Knight Crafted Dreadful Gladiator’s Desecration set. Crafting the PvP only requires Ghost Iron Bars, none of the precious Lighting Steel Ingots, whew.  The Death Knight set looks really cool, I’m tempted to make the set for Arv for transmog once I get the rest of the plans.

Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Desecration set

So, fellow blacksmiths, we finally get a second chance to create some old-school weapons and upgrade them to fit the current content.  Get those hammers ready and keep the anvil hot, we’ve got lots of work to do!

Back Into the PvP Groove Again

Escorting a cart in Silvershard Mines

Last week, I finally finished up Wrathion’s A Test of Valor quest and got the 6k Valor needed to prove my worth to him (yes, I’m a total slacker =P).  So for my next tests, Wrathion asked me to kill some dwarf with braids at Lion’s Landing and earn a victory in each of the new BGs introduced in Mists, the Temple of Kotmogu and Silvershard Mines with the quest Glory to the Horde.

Now the last time I did any serious PvPing was towards the end of Cata and I’ve never seen either one of these new BGs, except for the time I queued up for Kotmogu just so that I could /love a Dancing Water Skimmer to complete the To All the Squirrels I Once Caressed? achievement, lol.

So I queued up for both BGs Sunday night in my Ret PvE gear and got the Temple of Kotmogu as my first one.  The object of this BG is to hold onto one of the four orbs that spawn in the corners of the field the longest.  The closer you bring the orbs to the center of the field, the more points you accumulate.  Kinda reminds me of one of the game modes in Halo, where you carry around a skull for as long as you can.

The Horde got obliterated and I could not for the life of me stay alive long enough to help out our cause.  I went back to my bank and grabbed all my Season 11 Cataclysmic Gladiator gear, replaced some of those pieces with a set of PvP gloves from an early Sha of Anger kill and a Season 13 Malevolent Gladiator helm and shoulders bought with my leftover Honor points.  I did some gemming, enchanting and reforging and I was ready to head back out to the battlefield.  Here is my “Sun Knight” look, lol:

Arvash in Malevolent Gladiator Gear

My next Kotmogu game was much better, as the Horde controlled the orbs for most of the match.  I even got the Temple of Kotmogu All-Star achievement without even knowing it.

Temple of Kotmogu All-Star

Temple of Kotmogu Victory

Next up was Silvershard Mines.  The premise for this BG is to escort slow-moving mine carts from the center of the mine to designated shafts spread around the edges.  To gain control of a mine cart, you need to be within a short-range of it and the more members of a faction near it will claim it.  You can’t ride the mine cart or make it move faster, but you can change the tracks to make it go to a different shaft.

The group I was in was really good and we quickly won the match for my first win in Silvershard Mines.

Silvershard Mines Victory

And with those three achievements, I finally joined the 16,000 achievement points club.

It's over 16,000 points!

It was nice to do some PvPing again, I just need to work on replacing my Cataclysmic gear with Malevolent and eventually to Tyrannic when I get more Conquest points.  I like the new BGs, especially the Kotmogu one.  Looking forward to farming more HKs and Honor/Conquest points!

Oondasta Owned

Fighting Oondasta

Last Friday, I saw someone in trade chat trying to get a raid together to take down Oondasta, the giant T-Rex that resides on the Isle of Giants.  I had read earlier that day that Blizz put a hotfix that would make Oondasta spawn more often, so I figured I’d give it a shot.  So I whispered the raid leader to see how many they had in the raid and they told me they were only up to 6 people.  This was a little disheartening, especially since Blizz eliminated CRZ grouping by not giving players from other servers loot on a kill.  And since Drak is such a low population server, getting a decent sized group together would be difficult.

So I decided to queue up for a random LFD instead and after that was done, Van asked me if I wanted to kill the Zandalari Warbringer in Kun-Lai Summit.  While flying out there to meet her, Wok managed to join the Oondasta group and I whispered to him, asking him how many they had in the group.  He said there were about 17 people, so I told him to keep me updated while I help kill the Warbringer with Van.  Van asked me how many it would take to take out the Warbringer and I suggested two or three more dps to make the kill go faster, so she invited Averry and Shirl to come along.  And wouldn’t you know it, the Kun-Lai Warbringer drops the mount, which Shirl won.  Feeling lucky, I suggested that we go for the others in the Jade Forest, Krasarang Wilds, Dread Wastes and Townlong Steppes, but our luck ran out and we didn’t get any of the other Warbringers to drop their mounts, just a whole bunch of insignias and bags of crafting materials.

I had whispered Wok on the way to the Townlong Warbringer and he said that the Oondasta raid was full and that they were heading out to the Isle of Giants.  I told him to let me know how it went and a few minutes later, I got Wok’s DBM automatic message saying that they had wiped on Oondasta at 86%.  Wok was saying that it was pretty much insta-death out there and that he was getting 2 minute rez timers, lol.  On their second attempt, they managed to get to 64%.

After our Zandalari mount farming, I dropped group and headed out to the Isle to see if I could assist with killing Oondasta.  When I got there, there was already a second raid forming, so I joined it and invited Van back.  We only had 22 people in our group, but I figured this would be enough to take Oondasta down, since the raid was getting closer and closer to killing it.

I tried to take on some of the Crushes that Oondasta would lay on the tanks, but I wasn’t able to taunt off and instead kept getting smashed by the Piercing Roars and Spiritfire Beams.  I died four times and ended up with a minute rez timer.

Waiting to Rez

It wasn’t too long after that last death, though, as Oondasta finally bit the dust.

Oondasta Dead

Millions of Years of Evolution vs. My Fist

And for my troubles, I won a sweet ilvl 522 belt, Voolar’s Bloodied Belt.

Voolar's Bloodied Belt

I don’t usually save belts in my bank for future transmogs, most of them are too thin and small to notice, but this is definitely one I’m going to keep.  Look at the teeth on that thing, lol!

Arvash sportin' Voolar's Bloodied Belt

The loot tables for Oondasta are pretty good, so I hopefully I can get in on a few more kills on the dino.  One world boss down, one more left to go, can’t wait for Nalak to drop me some tier gear!

Why umadSha?

The Sha of Anger is one of two world bosses in Pandaria that can be found in Kun-Lai Summit.  It has 260 million HP and is recommended to have a full 40 man group to defeat it.  The groups I’ve been in usually have between 3 to 5 tanks, 5 to 7 healers and the rest dps.  Although one week, Moog and I managed to two-tank it, so it really depends on how well the raid performs.

You want to have at least one tank on the Sha and the other tanks pick up the adds, either the small Ires that spawn or any elite mobs that the raid may aggro.  The raid also wants to keep out of black clouds that spawn in the area called Bitter Thoughts.  These clouds prevent you from casting or using any abilities, so get out of them ASAP.  The Sha also casts Growing Anger, which mind-controls several raid members.  These raid members need to be dps’d down to 50% before you can break away.

Other than that, this is pretty much a tank-and-spank fight.  If you do die during the encounter, release and run back to the raid.  Every bit of dps and healing is gonna help to bring this boss down quick.

For killing the Sha, you will be rewarded with an achievement:

And you will receive either a piece of Tier 14 gear, Season 12 gear or a Cache of Sha-Touched Gold.  If you get lucky, you could even obtain the Reins of the Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent.  You will also receive a quest item on your first kill, the Claw of Anger, which you can redeem for a pair of item level 476 boots.  You can also use your Elder Charms of Good Fortune for an extra chance at gear or gold; I know some of my guildies who were lucky to get gear from this. =P  I’ve killed the Sha a handful of times and I’ve only managed to get gold or my Tier 14 gloves, the White Tiger Handguards…..twice. ><

Good luck on killing the Sha!