There are a ton of cutting edge guides talking about all the new things for Patch 5.2. With all the information available, it can be overwhelming. But what these guides do not reveal is what you, the casual PVE player, should or can be doing in Patch 5.2.
First, the raid schedule shows that like raids in the past, will be gradually released. LFR for the first wing won’t be released until March 12th. That means for people who are not properly geared you can still use the time to make some major pushes in preparation for the upcoming LFRs.
Beyond the new items and dailies, the “old” content from patch 5 – 5.1 are still valuable for gearing. Don’t forget that the minimal level for the new LFRs is 480. Even if you have that level, it does not mean be lazy. That means, the very least you require to get into the LFR. Once LFR is released, you can be certain that it’s not going to be a cake walk. Just look back to Garalon. So you’ll need as much help as you can get. Also, this will be the first major raid/content patch that will attempt to enforce a progression style raiding mechanism in LFR. So for alts or new 90s, you still will have to go through the motions of farming gear to obtain the minimal ilvl for entering the newer LFRs.
In that sense, this week will provide extra time for preparing with a few nice bonuses. First, the LFR drop rates for pre-5.2 patch raids will increase (people are saying roughly 30%). Second, Galleon will now spawn more frequently. Third, there will be new crafted PVP gear at ilvl 458. And lastly, the cost for Valor Point gear will significantly decrease. With these elements in mind, we can create a plan for hitting the new LFRs.
The first thing to do is examine where your toon is in ilvl. Did you just hit 90? Are you at the bizarro 450 point? Are you at the 460 or mid 470 stage? Or are you at the end of the 470 stage and possibly 480 stage?
These levels are important because we can set the tone of gearing in terms of a plan for each one. If you just hit 90, the first thing you should do is buy the new crafted pvp gear where you can. It will take some time for the new PVP gear to trickle in as people slowly start getting recipes and craft items for the AH. Not to mention the initial items will be fairly pricey. Fill in as many slots as possible and examine your ilvl. More than likely, you’ll still be under the mark, requiring items like trinkets, neck, rings and a weapon to fill in. Hunters and enhancement shamans will suffer the most as they do not have a 463 weapon immediately in their grasp (enhancement shamans can cheese it slightly through purchasing a craftable dagger, but it’s the ideal since they prefer slow weapons). After that, get into a Sha of Anger raid (hopefully those will continue) and possibly Galleon (assuming that Galleon spawns at near the frequency of the Sha of Anger). If you’re still below the 460 minimal mark for Mogu’shan Vaults Part 1, see if you can buy an item or two off the auction house.
If you were hovering around the mid 450 mark, apply the same strategy. I would attempt to spend the minimal and slowly fill in the gaps with the PVP crafting gear. Since Galleon spawns more frequently (people are reporting between 30-120 minutes), I would try to get into that group as soon as possible and perhaps even locating an epic or two off of the auction house.
In both cases, try to get some dailies in. Get your reputation up as soon as possible and get all the valor you can. You’ll probably want around 613 valor minimum to make your first major purchase (quite possibly a cloak from the Klaxxi if you have honored or above). You could try saving up for the 522 necklace, but the new area will be fairly chaotic. Without others to help you out, it might be tough initially. So some preparation is in order.
If you are in the 460-470 zone, plow through the new LFRs as much as you can. Today, I took my druid who just made the minimal amount to enter Heart of Fear (actually 468 boosted by some PVP gloves I received off of Sha of Anger) and sliced through Part 1, 2, Terrace of Endless Spring and came back to do Mogu’shan Vaults Part 2. The 30% droprate seems to really apply for lowly geared toons. In my case, I only had one spare charm that I used for a re-roll and got nothing from that. Disappointed, I still went through each area and ended up collecting 5 drops total. Now, my druid is sitting at 476 ilvl. Fairly impressive indeed.
If you’re sitting just below the 480 mark, things can get a little tricky and it all depends on your current valor points, charms and gaps you need to fill in gear. If you have spare charms, hit Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring first and use charms to fill in whatever remaining slots you need. Hopefully, the high droprate will give you the items you want. If you’re still a little off, then just buy valor gear. You could start by getting the 522 necklace if you have enough points. That should provide that boost just to get you to next level. Otherwise, take advantage of the valor point cost reduced items.
If you’re at the 480 mark and above, then you might just save your valor until you can get the reputation for better vendor gear from the new faction. The necklace looks to be a great starter item and I’ll assume that it’ll take several runs to get enough reputation to buy the higher end gear with valor.
What about the new areas? I have mixed feelings on this. Right now, on my server, I’m finding that the respawn rate can be quite insane. I would heavily suggest grouping to handle the adds. There’s lot of them too and it might get frustrating to do everything by yourself. Since the island will be unlocked by factions, you can contribute right away. I definitely suggest trying it out as this period will be the most exciting. If you don’t have guildies to run with, ask people around you. This might be the best time to make friends on your server.
One thing I’ve discovered as I started the new Island of Thunder is that there’s a lot of rare spawns that people camp. Because of the faction tagging aspect, this is a great opportunity to meet other people and do activities with others. There are some good rewards from this too so definitely try to get into a group and go after these rares.
Something I’ve discovered on my own is finding the new crafting recipes. Each crafter has a slight variant on the way they discover new stuff. Tailors have it the easiest since crafting Imperial Silk will allow you to discover new recipes. Leatherworkers can find recipes on mobs. In my case, I was able to discover both recipes. The tough thing for leatherworkers though is getting more materials to create the items in order to make those discoveries. Lastly, there’s blacksmithing. I think this part is going to be time dependent since it relies on a certain segment of the island to open up before you can get into the area which will provide the quest. Right now, on day, I’m not seeing a single plate item yet on the Auction House.
I still have to progress a little further to see how this patch goes. I’m hoping that the combination of increased droprates in LFR combined with other elements will really expedite the other aspects of the game which have been slow and painful thus far. My druid’s experience with LFR today was highly positive and gave me some hope and desire to push harder.