Returning WoW players' pre-Legion guide - Part 1: PVE
With the release of Legion getting closer and closer, it's only natural to see a great deal of hype and excitement about the upcoming expansion. However, a topic that seems to go unnoticed to some extent, is WoW’s current state of affairs.
As many of you might know, World of Warcraft has been bleeding subscribers ever so slowly over the past few years, and with Blizzards decision to stop announcing subscription numbers, it is no longer possible to quantify the game’s popularity. Suffice it to say though, that the game is not the MMO powerhouse it once was. This is also the likely cause for Blizzard’s decision to cut Warlords of Draenor short earlier than expected, and to announce Legion's launch in August.
However, there are still plenty of things happening around the world of Azeroth, and that’s exactly what we’re going to focus on in these series of guides.
So as you may well know, the current tier of raiding takes place in Hellfire Citadel (HFC). This consists of 13 bosses, the first 6 of which make up the Lower HFC, and the other 7 make up upper HFC.
ilvl distribution is somewhat different this time around; Normal, Heroic and Mythic gear have their ilvl going up by 5 every four bosses, with Archimonde - the final boss - dropping the highest ilvl of loot.Tier pieces have their own set ilvls, sitting at 695 for Normal, 710 for Heroic and 725 for Mythic.
Below is a break down of all the bosses and their loots' ilvl on each difficulty, as well as the bosses that drop tier pieces;
Normal 690, Heroic 705, Mythic 720
Kormrok (Head Tier)
Normal 695, Heroic 710, Mythic 725
Hellfire High Council
Gorefiend (Leg Tier)
Socrethar the Eternal (Hand Tier)
Normal 700, Heroic 715, Mythic 730
Fel Lord Zakuun
Xhul'horac (Shoulder Tier)
Mannoroth (Chest Tier)
Normal 705, Heroic 720, Mythic 735
Along with the tier loot, there is now also a class trinket which drops from Archimonde. This trinket doesn't add to the tier bonus, but instead provides a unique set of changes or additions to each spec within your class. Do note that the trinket changes when you respec, making it quite handy for players who play multiple roles.
When using Masterlooter, the trinket drops in the three tier variations; Vanquisher, Conqueror and Protector. On Personal Loot however, you simply get the trinket appropriate to your class.
Pugs and Loot Types
Considering the fact that we are now almost done with the current content, most pugs are capable of clearing Heroic and even most of the Lower HFC bosses on Mythic. The best way to find a pug would be to go to the Premade Groups function of LFR, and filter it to the difficulty you'd like by simply typing the difficulty, and choosing Hellfire Citadel. Check out the image below for clarifications.
If you're going to venture into the world of pugs however, you should note a few important things. First and foremost, most pugs expect a minimum average ilvl from you, with Normals usually looking around the 700 ilvl mark, and Heroics looking for anything between 710 and 720 avg ilvl. Mythic can be quite variant, but 720+ is a good place to start, although you'd probably be better off finding a guild for Mythic content.
You'd also want to take note of the loot type within the pug; while many pugs use Personal Loot now, the majority make use of Masterlooter, many of which have certain items reserved. You'll obviously want to take note of this, especially if every item you'd be interested in is reserved. With the sheer number of pugs being run these days though, you can certainly find a suitable one without any of your prospective gear being reserved.
Next up we have the Legendary ring; Not unlike the previous expansions, this ring is something you earn along the way, with each tier of content allowing for further upgrades. While this is great for continuing players, it serves as a bit of a shortstop for returning ones. Don't start panicking just yet though, because there are quite a few easy ways to farm this item, with LFR also dropping all the items you'd need to build it along the way. Going over the procurement of the ring requires a guide of its own, but the quest chain starts from Khadgar in Zangara, and takes you through the three raids asking you to collect a set of items along the way. Pretty standard stuff.
Once you get to the Legendary ring however, things get more interesting; the ring comes in three varieties of Healer, Tank and DPS, with the DPS version also having three sets of stats for Agility, Strength and Intellect users. Along with the very nice stats, you get an awesome on-use effect, that activates all rings of the same type, and has a 2 minute cooldown. In other words when one Healer pops their trinket, all Healers get the buff. The same goes for all Tanks, and all DPS (who share the cooldown between all the DPS types). Needless to say, this is a pretty handy ring.
Once you have your legendary ring (which starts at ilvl 735), you can then upgrade it by 3 ilvls at a time, by using Crystalized Fel, an item that drops from Archimonde on Normal and higher difficulties (once per week), and can also be bought for 1,250 Valor. This allows your ring to go up to a possible ilvl 795.
Valor has also made a return, with its main two uses being item upgrades and purchasing the Crystalized Fel mentioned above. You can once again upgrade all new gear - that is HFC gear, crafted gear, Mythic dungeon gear, and loot from Tanaan jungle - by upto 10 ilvls, costing at 500 ilvls for every 5 ilvls. This is done by the Ethereals next to the Transmog vendors in every city.
You can earn Valor, by doing a variety of things, which we'll get to in a moment. The cool thing though, is that there is no longer a weekly Valor cap. Just a 5000 Valor hardcap, which doesn't really affect you much. You earn Valor by doing the following acitivies;
- Daily Heroic Dungeon: 100 Valor (700 per week)
- Completing a Mythic Dungeon once a week: 300 Valor (2,400 per week for all 8 dungeons - more on these below)
- Completing a HFC LFR wing once a week: 150 Valor (750 per week for all 5 wings)
- Completing a Highmaul or Blackrock Foundry LFR wing once a week: 75 Valor (525 per week for all 3 Highmaul wings and 4 BRF wings)
- Weekly Bonus event: 500 Valor (these change every week - note that the Battle pet event doesn't award any Valor)
You can theoretically earn up to 4,785 Valor per week, which would mean upgrading all your gear and getting your ring to ilvl 795 will take about 5-6 weeks.
The final addition to the fold are Mythic Dungeons; these are more difficult than Heroic Dungeons, but lack the ilvl cap of Challenge modes. They also have a weekly loot limitation, which is only expected seeing as you can get 685 loot from the bosses. The best part though, is the fact that loot from Mythic Dungeons have a chance to be Warforged, anywhere from ilvl 705 ilvl 725! While the latter is quite rare, you would certainly get a few 705/710 pieces a week on average.
While WoW is certainly not what it once was, there are still plenty of people playing the game, and no excuses to not get back into the saddle (or flight form) and do some PVE!
We'll go over the PVP state of affairs in our next segment, but if there's anything you'd like to cover, definitely let us know in the comments section below.