WoW: Healer Performance in MoP, Tiller Love, Final Achievements

We’re moving to doing game-specific roundup posts here at the Pot for a while – let me know what you think, or if you prefer the old grab-bag style.

Today’s game is WoW – from Reasons To Love The Tillers, to some seriously hardcore graphing of healer performance so far this expansion, it’s all interesting stuff for those of us in the Land of Pandas:

  • Erinys writes a quick post crowing about three little fluff items that make her love the Tillers farming faction“This wonderful set makes your character don a chefs hat and start chopping as if you’re in the final minutes of a closely fought Iron Chef battle. You swiftly reduce your kill to a pile of blood red guts such is your enthusiasm”
  • Beruthiel is back on the case with some serious graphs, as she looks at the state of the various healing classes one month into the expansion“Monks are undeniably the strongest healers at this juncture in the game with none of the other healing classes coming close to them in performance. They are followed by Shaman and Paladins, with Druids and Priests bringing up the rear.”
  • The Ancient Gaming Noob writes about his experience completing his last-ever WoW achievement as he leaves the game behind” The account was cancelled and would no longer be a worry. Around 5am today it was closed. But last night, when there were still a few more hours left to go, I decided to log in one more time and bang out one last achievement.”
  • And Lono is embarking on an ambitious-sounding research project to figure out just why and how raids work – and he needs your help to do it.“To put it simply, people are keen to say that they loved some raids but not why.”

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Bits Of Mists

It’s Day 2 of Mists, and we will indeed do another big “impressions so far” roundup soon. However, today we’re focusing on a few posts that are taking a different angle on Mists of Pandaria.

From farming to the reality of Pandaria’s space utilisation, these bloggers take a look at some aspects of MoP that you may not have considered yet:

  • The Godmother has leaped whole-heartedly into farming – and I don’t mean ore. She gives a detailed overview of her Tiller experience so far“There appears to be a fair bit of misinformation on exactly how the Tillers work, so lets try and use this first (of what is likely to be many) ‘I Own a Farm’ Reports in clearing up some key details”
  • Killed In A Smiling Accident’s Zoso satirically reports on the FURY around the, well, lack of fury about Mists, Pandaren, and so on““I just don’t understand it” said keen WoW player Ian Keenwowplayer; “after the rage that greeted the announcement of Pandaria at Blizzon 2011 I was sure we were in for a maelstrom of all-caps fury, but it’s been a real let-down. “
  • Big Bear Butt looks at Pandaria, and finds it astonishingly real and lived-in as a simulated world“The big thing to me, the thing that feels RIGHT, is it feels like a land people actually LIVE in!”
  • And Keredria gives us a detailed overview of what she’s starting to believe could be a real competitor for raiding time – yes, Pet Battles“There was boasting, there was swearing, there was crying after losses and celebration after wins. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were hearing us fight some dungeon or raid boss.”

What little nooks and crannies of Mists are you exploring?

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Factions in Mists of Pandaria – the Tillers, the Lorewalkers, the Brewmasters, Golden Lotus, the Shado-Pan, the Anglers and more.

Yes, with Mists of Pandaria come a whole host of new factions for us to grind up reputation with. But with this expansion, Blizzard have really let their imaginations go, and there’s some very cool stuff headed to your Reputation window. The Tillers let us farm in a more literal sense, the Anglers will delight fisherpeople everywhere, the Lorewalkers promise to make Archaeology interesting, the Brewmasters let us finally return their damn keg, the Shado-Pan let you get your Shaolin on, the order of the Cloud Serpent let you grow your own mount from an egg, the Klaxxi let you ally with cannibalistic insects, and the August Celestials and the Golden Lotus – well, just feel really damn Oriental. Plus, of course, there’s Wrathion, the Black Prince and Hander-Out Of Legendaries.

Here’s everything we know so far about the people you’re going to be kung fu questing for.

Updated September 17th 2012

Tillers

Never let it be said that Blizzard don’t learn from other games. In this case, Farmville.

Yes, by going down to Halfhill in the Valley of the Four Winds, you’ll be able to start up the idyllic agrarian lifestyle for yourself. Starting with the quest chain Lore and Grow, you’ll acquire an instanced farm of your very own. You can do the first chain at level 85, which will teach you the basics of WoW farming – the earth-based version, that is – but after that you’ll need to be level 90 to get your farmin’ on.

Every day, two farmers will come into the Market with a variety of problems. You’ll fix their problems for them – which will apparently involve less monsters and more ploughing than we’re used to – and plant crops, which you can harvest the next day. You’ll also care for your farm, deal with pests on the vegetables, and presumably shout at young Pandaren to “GET ORF MOI LAAAAND!”

Apparently there will be quite a bit of customisation available for your farm too. The details are still a bit thin, but Blizzard mentioned being able to grow an apple orchard, breed pigs and maybe even plant herbalism ingredients. You can even grow a pet there.

Is it me, or does this sound like Blizzard sidling into player housing through the back door, as it were?

Lorewalkers

The Lorewalkers ask you to collect books from around Pandaria, as well as Archaeology items, to build reputation with them. They’re meant to be an optional faction, although currently a couple of profession items require Lorewalker rep.

The books that you collect can be found all over Pandaria. Some of them appear to be quest items, wheras others can be found out in the world.

The Lorewalkers will be great fun for anyone who enjoys WoW’s stories. You can build a historical library with them, and bring back items from all across Pandaria to their base in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Apparently they’ll sometimes give you a spontaneous historical presentation on items you bring back. I can see that being a bit of a love it / hate it feature – I know the serious lore people will love it, but I’m rather seeing Open University Azeroth here…

Brewmasters

No longer in the current build of MoP – they appear to have been scrapped in development.

Shado-Pan

And now we’ve got the straight-up kung-fu warriors. Created by the Pandaren Emperor to protect aganst the Sha (the forces of “bad” emotion in Pandaria), they’re found in Shado-Pan Monastery in the Kun-Lai Summit area.

You’ll need to have some reputation with the Golden Lotus to start doing Shado-Pan quests. They have several huge questlines, plus daily quests to protect Pandaria.

Once you’re training with them, each set of dailies will take you to a different corner of Pandaria, where you’ll fight various enemies of the Pandaren. You’ll also get the opportunity to defeat other members of the Shado-Pan in an arena – after which time you can recruit them to join you on your Shado-Pan dailies!

The Shado-Pan are one of the four factions in MoP which offer epic armour as rep rewards, so you’ll probably end up grinding reputation with them at some point.

Finally, and interestingly, the Shado-Pan appear to include a number of references to another force of guardian warriors in fantasy fiction – the Night’s Watch from George R R Martin’s “Game Of Thrones”. Notably, several of their common emotes seem to reference Game of Thrones!

The Anglers

Yes, in Mop, Fishing has a posse.

The Anglers are a fishing-centric faction, with whom you gain rep from fishing-based dailies, and from whom you can buy, well, fishing-based items. But some of those items are very cool – new fishing poles, yes, but also a new mount and even a fishing-specific mount, the Water Walker, which we believe we’ll be able to fish from!

And in a touch WoW lore lovers will appreciate, you’ll recognise their quartermaster – one Nat Pagle, who was apparently ahead of the curve when it came to getting shipwrecked on mysterious islands…

The Klaaxi

Rebel mantids working to free their queen from the influence of the Sha, you’ll encounter them whilst fighting the Mantids. Subsequently, they have several long questlines and a lot of quests, involving freeing their leaders amongst other things.

The Klaxxi are one of the four factions in MoP which will give rep-based epic armour and weapons (along with a neat scorpion mount), so you’ll probably be getting quite familiar with them throughout Mists…

The August Celestials

Followers of the four guardian creatures of Pandaria, Yu’lon the Jade Serpent, Xuen the White Tiger, Chi Ji the Red Crane, and Niuzao the Black Ox, the August Celestials are a dailies-only faction. You’ll need to be Revered with the Golden Lotus before you can even start questing with them.

Every day, you’ll be directed to one of the four temples of the Celestials, where you’ll get 5 quests to help Pandaria.

The Celestials are the second faction in MoP which will offer rep-based armour, so you’ll probably be doing those 5 daily quests a lot to get your gear up to LFD/LFR standards. They also offer a couple of unique Cloud Serpents and some enchanting recipes.

The Golden Lotus

And here’s the last rep-based armour faction! They open up both the August Celestials and the Shado-Pan factions, so they’re pretty much going to be a must-grind for most players.

Lore-wise, they’re a mysterious society focussed on defeating the Mogu, the brutish creatures found in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. You’ll start their questline around level 87.

Other Factions

  • The Order of the Cloud Serpent are really cool – they’re the faction that let you breed and train your own mount. We’ve got an entire article about Cloud Serpents and the Order – go read!
  • The Forest Hozen and the Pearlfin Jinyu are the two factions at war in the Jade Forest, the opening area for MoP. The Hozen are a crude race of monkey-people, whereas the Jinyu are reserved fish-creatures. No word yet on their rep rewards.
  • Wrathion, the Black Prince, has come to Pandaria too. Information on his questline and rep is very vague, but it’ll be raid-level and connected with the many Legendaries that MoP offers us.
  • Shang Xi’s Academy is the starting faction for Pandaren, training Pandaren heroes. It doesn’t have much impact outside the Pandaren starter zones.

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