I have gotten a fair amount of mileage (verbage?) out of my multiple attempts to complete the Legendary Cloak quests (as well as from just talking about the quests in general). What has amazed me about repeating the process for what is now my third time is that how each attempt surprises me and teaches me more than I knew before.
The challenges of my first try stemmed from the fact that I had to learn how to properly play my class. Those skills transferred to my second attempt since it was for the same class, yet I still struggled. Going on my third attempt, now as a rogue, I think I may finally have an idea what I am doing.
I tend to be stubborn with respect to quests and their relationship to the lore. It is irksome to get a quest to do something I had already completed, like Kairoz’ repeated requests to go to the Siege of Orgrimmar and use the Vision Stones. Narratively, there is only one Siege of Orgrimmar. Despite his powers over time, we are not canonically returning to the city-fortress and killing the same bosses over and over again. While the entire experience lacks immersion (click a button to get teleported to a group of 24 other random people and take as many attempts as needed to kill three or four bosses), I feel like the quests should be designed to maintain the illusion of Azeroth existing as its own world, and getting asked to return to a one-time event, or even being asked to defeat Garrosh after I’ve already done so, is off-putting.
To that end, in my prior attempts I focused just on running the parts of the raids I needed to run for the items I needed to collect. On my first play through, I even held off on killing Lei Shen until close to the end because I knew Wrathion would ask me for his heart, and I wanted to deliver that after my first kill (the lure of guaranteed Titan Runestones eventually freed me of that notion). I did not intend to set foot beyond the Gates of Retribution until I had my cloak and was on my way to declaratively face Garrosh. And so, with few items higher than ilvl 528 (and most at 502), my Tauren and Worgen Hunters ventured to the Temple of the Jade Serpent and fell to Wrathion over and over. This time, things would be different.
I got lucky and managed to collect 10 of the 12 Runestones in the two weeks before the patch. Given that Lei Shen and the Sha of Pride are guaranteed drops, I knew that I could complete my quest within a week of the patch, provided I survived the Wrathion fight. I was hoping to earn my cloak before 6.0.2 released, but that was my own fault for not paying attention to the calendar, and I forced myself to take a chances with a class I am only moderately proficient with and whatever changes Blizzard was planning. To compensate, I had experience on my side.
Whereas previously, I was being both economical and stubbornly lore-focused, I have no such illusions this time. One of my problems was that my ilvl did not need to be so low for my encounter with Deathwing’s child. After running LFR for my runestones, I also did my weekly Celestial and even managed to sneak into an Ordos group to earn a set of warforged shoulders. My ilvl was higher on my rogue than it was for either of my hunters when they faced the challenge. I even managed to down Garrosh in an attempt at additional loot. I did not know if I could play my rogue at the required skill level, but I knew that my gear would not restrict my progress.
Patch 6.0.2 dropped on schedule, and that night I ventured into LFR. Luck was on my side as the Pinnacle of Storms, home of Lei Shen (and a guaranteed Runestone!) was the first raid to pop for me, and luck remained in my quarter as the first boss, Iron Qon, dropped a runestone. The severe changes to healing combined with Lei Shen emerging from the Item Squish relatively overtuned meant that his fight was not easy, especially on that night as everyone was still relearning their classes. After a few wipes, he fell, and the final Titan Runestone was mine. I returned to Wrathion and he tasked me with slaying Lei Shen yet again to claim his heart.
I re-queued for the Pinnacle of Storms and resumed my fight against Lei Shen. Lei Shen’s heart was a special quest item that could be looted from the raid boss even if you had already looted him that week – it did not count as a regular loot drop that can only be obtained once per week. Yet there were murmurs in raid chat that players were unable to claim the heart from Lei Shen after defeating him. I doubted I would suffer such a bizarre fate – the heart is a 100% drop, they must be doing something wrong! – and the group battled with the Thunder King until he fell. And I strode to his corpse, and could not click on it. The heart did not drop.
Apparenty Blizzard made changes to how bosses are looted, and in doing so, the ability to claim the heart from Lei Shen after having defeated him once for the week already was affected. All I could do was wait for the hotfix, which was implemented on Thursday. I immediately rushed out and re-queued for the fight. The hotfix also reduced the damage of some of Lei Shen’s abilities, so downing him was easier, and the heart was finally mine. I gave it to Wrathion, and we ventured out to visit the Celestials.
Our tour of the Celestial Temples stopped with Xuen in the North. This was where the melee challenge against Wrathion was to take place. Blindly, I accepted the challenge, got the whelp down to about 30% health on my first try. I tried a second time and did not do as well. I queued for Seige of Orgrimmar in a last ditch effort to up my ilvl, and the Underhold popped. We downed Malkorok on our first attempt (I still hate that guy), but mid-fight, a timer appeared indicating the the server would be restarting in 15 minutes. With no time to clear the instance, everyone left, and I returned to Xuen’s court with about three minutes until the reboot. I decided to give it a try. Unlike the ranged fight, which was a test of kiting, the melee fight was a test of interrupts and AoE. Once I realized this, I focused on enabling blade flurry when when the Corrupted Bloods were around, and saving my kicks for his casts. With less than a minute until server reboot, Wrathion admitted defeat, and the only thing standing between me and my cloak were four Celestial fights, which I had done before and would be a simple task. I had my cloak within an hour of the server coming back up.
If you had told me that I would earn the legendary cloak three times when Mists of Pandaria was released, I would not have believed it. I have never been one to go for the Legendaries, but the fact that the cloak was open to anyone who was willing to put the time in to get it, combined with the fact that it’s one of the major goals to achieve at max level, meant that I was eventually going to try my hand. I had never properly raided before Mists, and the cloak quest encouraged me to try out LFR. I do not know what I would have done throughout the expansion without it. I am a little sad that I will not be able to get the cloak on my warlock (especially since I think the green tentacles are the best looking effect!), but I will enjoy having that cloak on my other characters late into Draenor’s leveling process.
I am sad to see the quest go, and I’ll be just as sad to place a mere blue or green cloak in my back slot in a few weeks. But at least it can forever sit in my bank, to wait for me to equip it briefly and admire the blue and white wings that randomly appear. That warped image of Xuen will remind me of all these struggles from the last two years to complete the assorted challenges. There are many players who despise PVP, or failed to wait for all their random drops, or simply never bothered to complete the quests, and while this legendary may have been more accessible than others, just equipping it and thinking about those accomplishments will always make me feel like a Legend of Pandaria.
Blizzard keeps dropping hotfixes like they’re hot… fixes. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/16370024/602-hotfixes-october-21-10-21-2014
Metallica will be the closing act at Blizzcon. I look forward to the “Metallica – What’s Next” panel where they discuss The Unforgiven IV. http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/16466905/metallica-performing-live-at-blizzcon%C2%AE-2014-10-21-2014
Blizzard posted an article about the beasts of Nagrand. Looks like someone was a little too into The Last of Us during development… http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/16280607/beasts-of-the-savage-lands-gorgrond-10-21-2014
The Blizzcon Online Merchandise Sale is live. I STILL WANT THAT HEARTHSTONE SHIRT!!! http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/16368218/blizzcon%C2%AE-online-merchandise-sale-begins-10-17-2014
The level 90 crash course videos have been updated. They’re shorter since they have less abilities to talk about. Blizzard is now nerfing their videos!!! http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/14005221/updated-new-level-90-crash-course-videos-10-20-2014
Hallow’s End is live. Good luck getting the mount! http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/7305445/hallows-end-is-here-10-17-2014