Patches, Expansions and the vanishing world

As you may know, patch 4.0.1 is right around the corner. With this patch, all of the basic game mechanics changes will be live (talents, glyphs, User Interface, the works). It also might allow us to work on the next pre-expansion event, since they are now on the PTR for testing. According to what I know, patch 4.0.3 would be the Cataclysm itself, changing the old world forever and making everything ready for the expansion. You might not be able to fly in Azeroth yet, but you should be able to get a feel for the place you will be spending the rest of your game time in.

(Spoilers!): This post will contain information regarding questlines which will be removed, changes in achievements and the like for Cataclysm. If you want to be surprised and not know what’s in store – stop reading here.

Out with the old

This also means that some changes will permanently end our ability as player to get our hands on certain achievements, gear and questlines. In other words, some things need to be done now if you ever want to get them done.

Scepter of the Shifting Sands

According to reports from the PTR, this one’s broken. The NPC Narain Soothefancy has been moved, and no longer gives the quests. According to Bornakk the quest will be fine in 4.0.1, but when the Cataclysm hits (4.0.3?) it will definitely break. I myself completed the Red and Green questlines and am a few Elementium Ore away from finishing the Blue questline. I suggest that if you have the intention of doing this line, start now.

Each run in Blackwing Lair has a chance to net you 1-6 Elementium Ore. So far I’ve never seen more than 6 drop, but if you are lucky it can happen. They also can be bought on the Auction House, but usually for ridiculous amounts of gold. As far as show-stoppers, the Elementium needed for crafting the Arcanite Buoy is definitely the worst.

Zul’gurub

The [Zul'gurub] and [Deadliest Catch] achievements become a Feat of Strength, and being Exalted with the Zandalar as well. The whole area has become a leveling zone on the PTR, so it seems that if you want those Trolls to like you and have it on record, you’d have to do it now. The Zulian Tiger and Razzashi Raptor are two rare drops from the bosses, and there’s no telling if they will become available through some other means, or are simply gone.

It’s not all bad, however. Zul’gurub has a 3-day lockout, can be soloed by a tank or 2-manned by anything else, and awards 2.5K-3K rep per run. During the run you will also find rep items (coins and bijoux) which can be turned in from more rep. A combination of 3 coins of the right types awards 25 rep, while destroying a bijou gives you 75 rep. Each of these actions also awards you with 1 Zandalar Honor Token, which you can use to gain another 50 rep.

A good tip would be that if you have well-geared alts, to do multiple runs in ZG. If your character’s less powerful, find others who also need the rep. Between your characters you will easily amass the rep and items to become Exalted in two or three weeks. You can also buy them on the Auction House, but now that people are aware that they are a rare commodity now, the prices are going up.

You also gain some rep by handing in the Head of Hakkar for the first time, and obtaining your class gear from the Zandalar.

Epic Class Quests

It’s not 100% sure to me whether the Epic Class quests (Hunter, Paladin, Warlock and Priest) will vanish or not, but it’s a fact that there’s no better time to get them done than right now.

The Hunter quest begins with the Petrified Leaf dropping from Majordomo Executus in Molten Core, and leads you to a ring of Elder Trees in Felwood. A good write-up of the questline can be found on Wowwiki and WoWHead and at level 70+ the quest is a breeze. The reward is an epic bow which sprouts flowers, a quiver and a staff. While not the most awesome pieces of eye-candy, it does have that “I did that” feel.

The Priest quest likewise begins with Majordomo’s chest and the Eye of Divinity that drops from it. The second part of it is the Eye of Shadow dropping from Elite demons in Winterspring and Blasted Lands. Again, a full description of the quest can be found on Wowwiki and Wowhead.Your reward for this quest is Benediction, a Holy Priest’s staff, which can be transformed into the shadow-staff Anathema.

Paladin and Warlock quests revolve around their mounts, and start at the class trainer. Nowadays you can get these mounts from the trainer without doing the quest, and completing the quest is a Feat of Strength. But with changes to the areas in which the quests are done, such as the Plaguelands, make it impossible to complete it. Even if this is not intentional, it could be a long time until that’d be fixed.

Crafting Recipes

When dungeons and areas are changed, it is possible that loot tables are adjusted for mobs in the area, or that vendors are (re)moved. Examples are the Gnome vendors in Azshara where you can get the engineering schematic for the water-breathing helm. I can imagine that with the Goblins invading the area, they’d be taking up their business and leave, taking the pattern with them.

I’d recommend getting the addon Ackis’ Recipe List and using it. When you open your crafting pane, you see a button called “scan”. It will then give you the locations of each recipe for that tradeskill, if you do not know it yet. Especially in the old world, a lot of Blacksmithing recipes could be gotten via quests started in areas you’d normally not spend time anymore, such as Winterspring. With this, you can be sure to satisfy your completionist’s soul while you still can.

Unusual Questlines

There are tons of unusual questlines, which are very long, expensive or out of the way. Since the design for Cataclysm is to streamline and enhance the leveling experience, some of these are likely to go away. A good list on this can be found here, so you can check if there’s any in there that seem interesting. If you feel bored and want to relive some of the old days, go and do some of these old quests. Do bring lunch however, some of these take more travelling time than actual questing!

Conclusion

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. There’s no way you can predict what will stay and what will go in Cataclysm. Maybe pets and mounts will become available through alternative means, maybe not. If you want to get some of these classic things done, now is the time, because there’s no turning back once the Cataclysm hits.

It is safe to say that the TBC and Wrath quests and items will be largely unchanged, except for no longer offering the special achievements for Northrend raids. So while Invincible and Mimiron’s Head are still to be found when doing the hard modes for LK and Yogg, respectively, you will not be able to get Conqueror of Ulduar, Undying, Immortal and the like.

Best thing to do is make a checklist, in order of how badly you want to get these done along with the Classic stuff, and see what can be done. Others are likely to share your goal, and making this known may spark quite a rush. In our guild, a one-time BWL for the Red scepter shard become a weekend special, as did Onyxia. Achieve your goal, inspire others!

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4 Responses to “Patches, Expansions and the vanishing world”

  1. Bimini Asheye Says:

    4.0.1 will likely drop tomorrow. Do you think that ZG will be gone with 4.0.1 or with 4.0.3 (the Shattering)? I’m wondering if I should skip out of running MD/BWL tonight with my guild in order to do ZG instead. I think I just need one more run to get exalted with Zandalar.

    • Well, patch 4.0.1 should not remove ZG, no worries. Since its change is part of the shattered Azeroth, this means it will not be gone until 4.0.3.

      But, if you want to make sure to get the Zandalar to Exalted, just buy the rep stuff from the auction house (bijoux and coins) and turn them in at the Island.

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