Pandaria has a lot of things; raids, achievements, resources, quests, annoying monkey-like creatures that like throwing derk at you with every ranged opportunity they have. But the one thing that it doesn’t have right now, ironically considering the horrors of leveling to 90, is time. With all the hullaballoo on account of the pre-patching preparations that Blizzard has had us do in the past few weeks, we know that not only is the Iron Horde at our doorstep but so is change. As anyone who has played World of Warcraft for even a short time knows things can and will drastically change, possibly making us miss some things that we couldn’t ever have when the expansion comes.
Old Stuff!!! Upper Blackrock Spire and LFR of the Mists!
Hoho, you thought I’d start off with the Garrosh kill, didn’t you? No, this takes precedence over anything else: Vanity. If you can recall, past all the forms and nuances of more recent and developed dungeons, Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS) is that one place most of us dread levelling with, but if you are one of the older gents of WoW, this place is rather nostalgic. Whatever the case, the dungeon, as we know it, is going to disappear; reworked to fit the new scenario of facing Warlord Zaela as a preview for Draenor, effectively redesigning the entire stage, much like the original Leeroy achievement becoming a feat of strength, and it will be replaced by an updated version for Draenor, which is far more challenging than smushing eggs. Personally, I don’t need anything there, but some of you might find some other useful things for transmog that can disappear forever. Heaven knows how pissed off I was when I realized that there was no other way to obtain Scholomance’s Cadaverous armor set pre-Pandaria.
Looking For Raid (LFR) is another thing. Sure, it’s not really going away, but it still has a lot of unique colour palettes of the tier armor pieces that set it apart from normal or heroic. Even at this pre-expansion laziness, LFR is still just as active as it was, albeit a tad bit longer of a wait now, but just thinking about how much of an impossibility it will become getting a queue pop for it when Warlords of Draenor hits, makes this pretty much your last chance to get a specific tint for your look.
Felfire!!! The Code of Xerrath!
Oddly enough, not many people know of the Sealed Tome of the Lost Legion, obtained from any of the many rares located on the Isle of Thunder, even though that it was all the rage during patch 5.2. With a low drop chance to boot, this quest line boasts one of the most challenging fights in the game, for Warlocks at least, and will net you the passive to turn all your fire spells green, as well as your class mounts, like that of an Infernal. Being able to complete this current tier will net Warlocks a nifty feat of strength called “Breaker of the Black Harvest” and a coolbeans title suffix, “of the Black Harvest”.
Before you ask, no, the questline will not be removed and I can imagine that Blizzard won’t be removing the quest reward either, but it’s definitely awesome to be able to say that you were able to complete the content while it’s current. To be perfectly honest, the best thing about this quest line isn’t in the WoD reward or obtaining the green fire, but the actual fight against Kanrethad itself. I swear to Yogg-Saron that not only is the fight extremely enjoyable, challenge-wise, but it will increase your dps output by about a good 40k from learning how to play your class better. It’s horrendously difficult at 450ilvl and gets progressively easier, but of course you could always cheapen it by bringing in your Normal or Heroic SoO gear and just roflstomping Kanrethad in case you really are just after green. Or you could just wait to become level 100 and effortlessly get green, but, come on, don’t be a bastard; enjoy the game for what it’s meant to be.
Badassery!!! Proving Grounds and Challenge Mode!
Again, these are one of those things that you probably don’t care about. Why are you playing this game, then? In any case, you must be familiar with the Proving Grounds by now, considering one of the pandas over at the shrine is making you do it. Before you completely throw it out as some senseless PvE e-peen rating apart from raiding, remember that we all want to play our games as best as we can and this mode does just that; train us. Just like the Code of Xerrath quest, this mode brings out the best in us through our game. Seriously, people will appreciate you having some or all the achievements here because it is indicative of your mental capacity to actually play the game, unlike 90% of WoW’s population. Also, you get a title for the role you went for. The Proving Grounds will also be revamped in Draenor and it’ll even be a requirement to finish a good sum of it in order to qualify a player to raid or participate in heroic dungeons.
The same goes for Challenge mode but with the reward of the Alar-like Pandaren Phoenixes, unique transmog armor sets, and a much harder landscape, considering that it is a concerted team effort. This will also become unavailable in WoD and will be, in the foreseeable future, unobtainable by any other means, but it’s definitely worth it.
Gear!!! And, uh, More Gear!
There is almost always a general consensus that it is pointless to gear up this late into the life of an expansion; especially more so with a newer one looming over the horizon. However, we all know pretty well how usually maddening a new level cap is to reach at an xpac’s launch. The process can be expedited by acquiring what you can in the higher tiers of SoO, because a lot of these things are those that will accompany you five or six levels into WoD, according to beta-tests, with Heroic gear making it far more than that. It relieves us players from the tedious task of hastening our levelling and even more with the heirloom weapons you can acquire from Garrosh in Flexible, Normal, and Heroic difficulties that level with you until 100, being a very viable companion to farm heroic dungeons with, up until you get something better at least. Not only that, but the unique skin of these heirloom weapons will be unobtainable once the pre-patch is up as Garrosh will cease to drop them.
Also, if you haven’t finished your legendary cloak quest yet, better get to it fast because they are pretty much still early end-game material in WoD, also accompanying you until 100. With all the buffs to quicken the pace of players in the questline lately, Blizzard sorely wants us to take advantage of those awesome cloaks, and we should oblige. The pre-patch will also close up any possibility for continuing or starting the quest line, soon becoming unobtainable like everything else.
Finally, we get to obtaining the “Ahead of the Curve” achievement by downing Garrosh for the first time in Normal or Heroic, and in both 10 man and 25 man versions. I shouldn’t even be including this here; doesn’t everybody have this already? The Normal 10m at least. And even if everybody doesn’t have it yet, how could anyone not know one of the most coveted achievements in MoP? Not only does this net you the said achievement, but it also grants you the title of “Conqueror of Orgrimmar” for Alliance, and “Liberator of Orgrimmar” for Horde on Normal. Heroic grants both factions the title of “Hellscream’s Downfall”. Regardless of what difficulty you finish first or what faction you are, you obtain the Kor’kron War Wolf, the mounts that the Dark Shamans ride on in their encounter. Not only are they damned cool, but they are much more special for Alliance players due to this being the only wolf model available for the faction.
Another note for you would-be Heroic raiders and mount collectors out there is that there is the Kor’kron Juggernaut mount that is a 100% drop from Garrosh on this difficulty. After the pre-patch comes, he’ll only have a very, very low chance of dropping it, much like the Pureblood Fire Hawk mount back in Cataclysm. If there’s a time to maddeningly dominate the team challenge of Heroic, now is as good as any.
Git Er Done!
Don’t fret, don’t forget, and don’t delay; it’s a pretty big list for such a short amount of time.When all this is over, and when you get them all done, you totally won’t be one of those guys in WoD that goes, “Oh, man! That *insert mount or armor piece here* is so awesome! I wish I got it!”, but instead, you’ll be one of the few that can relax and say that they completely exhausted MoP for all it was worth. The end of the whimsical panda is near, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t take a few things with you against the Iron Horde. With that said, stop reading, and get to playing!Related: Column, Expansion, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday