5.2 PTR: Reputation Changes, Lei Shen Raid Video, Gear Clarifications
Reputation in 5.2
Two new ways to speed up Mists of Pandaria faction grinds were added in last week's new PTR build.
Random dungeons and scenarios now have a "*Bonus Reputation:" line and a button that opens up your reputation panel. Draztal posted that the rep bonuses are "750 for your first heroic and 325 for your first scenario."
Sunsong Ranch also has a new way to improve reputation with factions of your choice--Work Orders.
A pillar has been added to your farm, by Farmer Yoon. This pillar has quests for all of the major Mists of Pandaria factions (The August Celestials, Shado-Pan, Golden Lotus, The Klaxxi, Operation: Shieldwall, Dominance Offensive), but you must have unlocked that faction's dailies in order to access the Work Orders. These initial quests (such as Work Order: Golden Lotus I) ask you to plant 8 specific seeds on your farm and do not grant reputation.
Draztal also clarifies: "In order to use the Work Orders in Sunsong Ranch, you need to be exalted with The Tiillers and all plots unlocked, but it's not required to own Sunsong. Work orders will be available for most 5.0/5.1 factions, but it will most likely not include Black Prince."
Once that work order has been completed, you are then told to harvest eight specific crops the next day and turn in 40 vegetables (such as Work Order: Golden Lotus II). This then rewards you with +300 reputation before bonuses. A pile of crates and food has been added to a corner of your farm, which completes the quest.
You can pick up all "Work Orders I" quests at once, but can only really proceed with two of them if you have a maxed farm, since each quest takes up eight out of sixteen farm plots.
To learn more about 5.2 reputation changes, check out PTR reputation coverage at WoW Insider and El's Extreme Anglin'.
Also, don't forget that Zandalari Warbringer currently on the PTR can drop Stolen Celestial Insignia, Stolen Golden Lotus Insignia, Stolen Klaxxi Insignia, Stolen Shado-Pan Insignia for additional reputation!
Click the cut to read Blizzard's gear clarifications!
Raiding Gear in 5.2
Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas saw this thread, and wanted share his thoughts on some of the issues you guys have raised:
We think it’s worth noting that many players began their Mists of Pandaria raiding experience with an average item level in the low 460s. Over the course of the past four months, Heroic raiders have seen their average item level climb by as much as 50, while normal mode raid groups that are just getting to Sha of Fear for the first time likely have an average item level that compares to what the cutting-edge guilds had when conquering Heroic Heart of Fear. Getting raid loot along the way has likely felt like a meaningful progression, and the overall damage and healing output of a raid group grows measurably from week to week with each piece of gear looted from a defeated boss. We like that, and we want Throne of Thunder to give players a similar sense of progression.
We could have taken an alternative, more conservative approach, where Throne of Thunder Raid Finder awarded ilvl 496 items and Normal awarded 509 items. A guild that has only done the current normal mode raids, but no Heroics, might then walk into Throne of Thunder with an average item level near 500 (lots of 496 items from Heart of Fear and Terrace, some of them upgraded to 504 with Valor). That doesn’t leave much room to grow – it means that players would only be a few percent stronger when facing Lei Shen at the end of the instance than they were facing Jin’rokh at the start. It also means that when raiders run into a roadblock halfway through the raid, there wouldn’t be much hope that a bit more gear from the next clear would have a significant impact.
Ultimately, we think that raid progression works better, and is more compelling, when there are meaningful increases in power from gear. The effort of downing a boss for the first time is properly rewarded with loot that is attractive to all members of the raid, and the steady increase in player power over the course of progressing through an instance allows us to scale the challenge accordingly. For example, we can now design Lei Shen around the expectation that the average raid group that reaches him will have an item level of nearly 520. The cutting-edge groups that tear through the zone in the first week or two will be comparatively undergeared when they reach him. Without any other changes on our end, item progression means that the same encounter can pose a stern test to a top guild when 5.2 comes out, while still being doable by the groups that only reach the same encounter a couple of months down the line. For example, Heroic Gara'jal the Spiritbinder was a brutal test of DPS for raiders who faced him last October, but now he feels like part of a smooth progression for groups that are just graduating from normal modes and beginning Heroics.
We’re confident that our planned item levels are not going to skew class balance or degenerate gameplay, and we’re monitoring the performance of all classes and specs in the new gear that will be available in 5.2 and going forward. Stat “inflation” was probably most out of control during the Wrath of the Lich King, but that was an issue with how powerful the gear was that was available as the expansion began perhaps more than any other factor. As a point of comparison, the item level 213 warrior set breastplate that was available in Naxxramas gave a level 80 player 2% critical strike chance; the item level 496 warrior set breastplate available in Heart of Fear gives 1.32% critical strike chance. We’ve learned from the past and carefully left ourselves a lot more room to grow this time around.
It's our expectation that Heroic raiders should have no interest in 5.2 Raid Finder gear. If you have item level 509+ gear from 5.0/5.1 Heroics, then the question is, why would you want item level 502 gear from the Raid Finder? Players wearing normal mode gear might find some slight upgrades in the Raid Finder in the first few weeks, but it's a safe bet that any gear that was upgraded with Valor Points will probably beat anything found in the Throne of Thunder Raid Finder.
No New Sha-Touched Weapons
You're really best off sticking to information actually contained in our patch notes or other official channels of communication if you're looking to avoid confusion.
There are no more Sha-Touched weapons forthcoming. If you've been diligent about helping Wrathion and continue to do so, your reward in 5.2 is going to be a legendary meta-gem that can go in any helmet.
PvP Gear in 5.2
I don't think it's that cut and dry. If I'm understanding the numbers, 5.1 Malevolent will only be better than 5.2 Malevolent if it's carrying 2/2 item level upgrades (though it will have more stamina).
Currently, the PvP Power and stats on each tier of gear are tuned to ensure that they're the best choice for PvP compared with a PvE equivalent:
Malevolent > LFR gear for PVP.
Tyrannical > normal mode raid gear for PvP.
Elite Tyrannical > Heroic mode raid gear for PvP.
News Round Up: Initial Isle of Thunder Stage, Tier 14 Nerfs, Ghostcrawler on Class Balance12 comments
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