When Isle of Thunder first came out, I did a few dailies. But the sheer number of mobs ended up frustrating me pretty badly along with all the chaos of people swarming the area. It’s calmed down quite a bit but still has more people than older daily zones. While other guides do exist, I wanted to share my experience with this area.
At first, I really hated the zone. The lack of flying, high mob density, gloomy atmosphere and high respawn rate turned me off initially. Also, in looking at the Sunreaver Onslaught rewards, I questioned whether or not to do these at all. This just seemed like an upgraded quest hub for those that have grown tired with the other daily quest hubs. Another thing is that the mobs are still fairly dangerous. I read a comment where a fairly decent geared guy had some issues with the mobs. They do have quite a bit of health and some do nasty damage. If you combine all these factors, it makes the area a real turn off.
However, the area does have it’s positive points. The Sunreaver Onslaught rewards, while for the most part useless for those who are focused on doing the new LFRs, still help fill in some missing slots that the Dominance Offensive (or Operation: Shieldwall) factions may lack. Also, I thought the ilvl 476 belt that you can purchase for gold at Honored reputation is good for certain classes that might be struggling to upgrade their ilvl (this is especially true for plate wearing DPS classes since you either have to purchase one from VP or wait until Heart of Fear).
Also, you can get approximately 60 VP for clearing the dailies with the end quest giving you a Sunreaver Bounty chest. The important thing about these chest is the chance it drops a Key to the Palace of Lei Shen. The key leads to a scenario where you essentially get to loot a treasure zone. In this treasure zone, you can find the Elder Charms of Good Fortune. Since the weekly quest giver no longer hands these out, it’s pretty essentially to make an attempt to grab these for lower geared toons so you can try for re-rolls.
For myself, I got really lucky in finding a non-elite mob that dropped the key. Afterwards, in doing the scenario, I managed to pick up quite a few of these Elder Charms. By the time I finished the dailies and scenario, I had roughly 10 Elder Charms of Good Fortune on my Death Knight.
That said, the 10 extra charms for my death knight motivated me to run my shaman through the island. In direct contrast, I didn’t find any keys nor picked up any Elder Charms of Good Fortune. I might attempt this on my druid and perhaps my hunter since they still need gear from LFR (despite qualifying for the new LFR).
Another major thing people are doing is looking for rare mobs. Rares also have a higher chance of dropping the keys and other goodies. The main three items to receive are Tombs of Valor (which grant 15 valor once per hour), keys and Shan’ze Ritual Stones. One tactic that I’m seeing is small groups being formed that spread across the island in search of rare mobs to tag. I haven’t done much in this regards, but WoWhead has a nice write up on all these mobs.
The thing with the Shan’ze Ritual Stones is that they allow you to complete a quest upon finding three of them. Afterwards, you are able to summon an elite that has a good chance of dropping a key (and a nice dagger). So far I only received one stone through luckily discovering a chest.
At any rate, even after completing your dailies, you definitely can stay for other activities. My personal recommendation depends on if you’re alt heavy or not. In my case, I have enough toons where sticking around felt like a waste of time. If there was a group to be invited to for slaying a rare, I wouldn’t mind but there’s too much to do already.
I think the area is great as a supplement for the rest of your dailies, especially if you’re starting your daily route. It’s great for quickly picking up the Lesser Charms for getting the weekly quest complete. However, I do think that if you’re starting to gear up, you’re better off waiting a bit or finding a group because of the difficulty for the mobs. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself eating a lot or dying here and there.