Monday, September 30, 2013

Into the Valley

I'll take what's in Box #2 please Debbie...

A second post in a day? This must be important!

It is indeed, because I have some news of things I was vaguely aware of but had no details to share, but now I can provide both, there's a post to be made. It concerns cooking without carts, loot that you can actually sell and the best mob respawn rate this side of Deepholm. Yes, my friends, it's time to make some Potions of Luck and launch headlong into another (long-overdue) episode of Farming for Fun and Profit, and it's going to quietly insist that you to leave Lootistics Island well alone for now and go back to farm the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Yes, you heard me right.

We return once again to the terror that was 5.0, except it appears someone left us a few surprises after the Vale became toast... and ironically, they're food-related.

That's not bad for an hour and a bit.

This began as an exercise in rare farming outside the 5.4 Island, as Pandaria itself during weekday daytimes is quiet and therefore ripe for exploitation perfect for pottering. In the Vale, there are still a number of familiar Rares, but there are a number of new additions too, and because their presence isn't as big a draw as free 496 epics, their arrival has passed without too much ceremony. The Blizzard blog post tell you about the changes, but not much else. Once you kill one of these rares you also realise that something has changed, though it is not immediately obvious what.

That's a HONKING HUGE Scorpion.

My good friend Euphyley has got a full list of the new rares and a map for their location, but what this doesn't tell you is these guys drop three items that bear closer inspection: all of which are integral in a batch of new Cookery recipes that don't require a trip to an instance to complete:

So, I have a confession here...

I'd (mistakenly) assumed these new items were for the Deluxe Noodle Cart still on my list of things to do to complete. I was still under that assumption when, after a period of farming in the Vale I had a larger number than usual of Ancient Guo-Lai Cache Key drop. I found myself wondering why someone hadn't made them BoA as I wandered to the Guo-Lai Halls to see I could find a chest to open and to check if the contents were still largely pointless. Needless to say, the revelatory five minutes that followed is possibly THE BEST THING to happen in my casual gaming experience for several months. You know when someone says it's great not to get spoiled if you're going to see a film or a show you're really looking forward to? That's SO true.


It transpires the Chests in the Halls not only got a new location, but some new contents. Relic of the Thunder King has become BoA (nods approval), there are Treasures of the Vale as random drops (CHESTS INSIDE CHESTS THIS IS GENIUS) and it appears the Golden Lotus' legacy extended to not simply what seems like a ton of saleable items but SIX new cookery recipes to boot:

You'll find the biggest concentration of chests in the Crumbling Hall area of the Vaults, and be ready to fight a far larger than pre-5.4 number of mobs to get there. These recipes are +300 to a key stat and the materials are, quite literally lying around the Vale. Those of you paying attention during the 5.0 Golden Lotus grind will recognise these items as quest gathers to boot. The catch appears to be that all the 'fresh' components of the recipes are two hour conjured spawns [*], so it appears worthwhile gathering your aged ingredients first, of which there are three:

Needless to say, opening chests and finding recipes was an OMG YAY I'M SO GLAD I DIDN'T SEE THE PTR moment. It was on the back of an hour long grind in the Vale where mob spawns are robust to say the least. I think I can now say with a degree of confidence that after I've done my 20 Elites for Emperor Rep on the Island, I'm going back to Pandaria for the foreseeable future because this beats the heck out of running around after rares for coins.

I does love me some HUGE PILES OF SPARKLES.

I'd go so far as to say the loot drops are actually TOO good from both the chests and the Rares, to the point were I could see a tactical hotfix to amend that. Needless to say, it might be time to get back from the Island and make food while the sun shines. If you want me, you know where I'll be.


[*] Strawberries can be found by talking to Merchant Tantan in the Kun-Lai Summit, co-ordinates 55.0, 92.0]

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