Prepping for World of Warcraft’s Patch 5.2

Blizzard broke tradition and the company famous for a “when it’s ready” release policy recently announced when a patch would be pushed live. In this case, it’s World of Warcraft‘s Patch 5.2 and it will arrive in late February. With it comes a large island with locked content that will be progressively opened as players complete tasks as well as a very large new raid. It also comes with alot of changes to the game that you need to prepare for.

Valor Points. Come Here. No, Go Away!

Running random heroic dungeons, raiding and certain daily quests have awarded Valor Points players can spend on upgrading their gear. In the past, when new raid content is introduced, Blizzard didn’t want players to save up their Valor Points from the older raids and spending it on the new rewards. So they converted Valor Points into the lesser-valued Justice Points and downgraded the old Valor gear to be purchasable with Justice Points. But this time they are taking a different tack.

Initially, Blizzard announced they were going to convert all Valor Points to Justice, but they weren’t going to make the old raid gear purchasable with the Justice Points like they have done in the past. After a great outcry from the community, Blizzard reversed its position late last night. You will now get to keep your current Valor Point total when the patch lands. This is great news because the Valor Point cost of pre-5.2 raid gear will drop: 50% for 5.0 raid gear and 25% for 5.1 Operation Shieldwall/Dominance Offensive gear. This will allow players to gear up a bit faster as well as run alts through 5.0 raiding to gear up quickly for 5.2. Raid bosses in 5.0 will get a 10% nerf and cross-realm Looking for Raid functionality is also coming with 5.2 for even easier runs.

This won’t allow you to instantly buy 5.2 raid gear with your Valor, since that requires rep with the new 5.2 raid faction Shado-Pan Assault, as well.

Bottom line: Hoard your Valor Points if under the cap 3000 point cap.

Gearing up for the New Raid

You’ll need an average iLevel of 480 across your gear to be able to try out the new 12-boss raid, Throne of Thunder using the Looking For Raid feature. If you have your eye on a Valor piece and aren’t at the cap, definitely wait until 5.2 to hit to get it at the deeply discounted price.

Another way to use your Valor is upgrading item level and power via the upgrade vendors next to the transmog vendors in Pandaria. Those vendors are going away in 5.2 (and likely back in 5.3), so if you are planning on using them, now’s the time. For other slots/items, use Wowhead or the filters on the in-game dungeon journal to target the upgrades you need to hit the iLevel minimum threshold.

Bottom line: Upgrade now to 480 gear to be ready to tackle raid content in 5.2 unless it’s soon-to-be-discounted Valor gear.

Not the Charms!

If you are ready for the 5.2 raid, don’t turn in your Lesser Charms for Elder Charms. There is a new kind of Elder Charm called a Mogu Runes of Fate and you’ll need your Lesser Charms to get it. However, if you are still slogging through 5.0 raids, definitely use your Elder Charms now to get geared up.

Bottom line: Hold on to your Lesser Charms if you’re ready for 5.2 raid content.

Farm Like There’s No Tomorrow

Players who are exalted with The Tiller’s Pandaren farming faction and have all 16 plots available will get access to a new series of items that allow you to farm rep. Literally. You will receive work orders from the rep of your choice to plant and deliver certain crops. Finishing the work order will result in a rep gain with that faction. These work orders are dailies and will be available with all reps, but the Black Prince.

Bottom line: Hit exalted with the Tillers and unlock all plots for new rep gain feature.

PvP Gearing Overhaul

A recent post by the Blizzard devs laid out the gearing problems with PvP. Essentially, with only two tiers of gear (the weaker Honor-bought sets and the superior Conquest-bought sets) there was a huge gap in between them which made it difficult to transition from one to the other. Two new sets are being added: a crafted set that is the weakest of the four and an Elite set for those that max out their Conquest points over the season.

What this means pre-5.2 depends on where you’re at now. 5.2 will bring not only a new season to PvP that will reset the standings, but all your current Conquest points will be converted to Honor. If you have Conquest points now, you can spend it on current Malevolent gear or wait until 5.2 when Malevolent can be bought for Honor and becomes the 3rd most powerful set of the four. If you buy Malevolent gear now, you’ll need to have the points to upgrade it twice before the upgrade NPCs disappear. Otherwise, it pays to wait for the patch before making any purchases. Also, you can fill in any glaring holes in your set with the weak, but serviceable crafted PvP gear coming with the patch.

Bottom Line: Max out your Malevolent gear now or save your Conquest points to buy better when it is converted to Honor on patch day.

Any other prep tasks you can think of to get ready for 5.2?

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