5.2 Blacksmithing: The Thunder Forge Quests

Today I finally made progress on accessing the Thunder Forge. I wish I had a firm grasp of the true progression, but the test realm has been forcibly progressed by the developers and I'm not 100% certain of the player requirements. We were in Stage 5 of the unlocking process until today and I don't know if this quest is available sooner than that. From what I've read in comments on Wowhead, this quest chain was not implemented until this past week or so, which is when Stage 5 was already active. I also have no way of knowing whether there are rep requirements for accessing this quest, but I am currently Honored with the Kirin Tor Offensive.

It may well be that Stage 5 is required, that is when I completed the new scenario for the Thunder Forge. I don't know whether you'd be able to reach the Thunder Forge area until after you finish that quest (done via scenario). For now I would hedge your bets and make sure you do every non-daily quest that Jaina offers you.

It's possible that you could just find Itoka (Master of the Forge, blue dot) outside the Thunder Forge and kill him. He drops the Strange Metal Ingot you need to start the quest. You can find him at the marked location on this map:

After you get his item, you enter the Thunder Forge room (red dot) and there will be a book laying by the forge that you can click to complete the quest. Your reward will be a Lightning Steel Ingot and Notes on Lightning Steel. The note contains seven new recipes: one for making a Lightning Steel Ingot and six plans for "Reborn" weapons. The six plans are Drakefist Hammer, Reborn | Fireguard, Reborn | Lionheart Blade, Reborn | Lunar Crescent, Reborn | Planar Edge, Reborn | Thunder, Reborn. Each of these recipes is still orange at 600 skill, even though they are marked as learnable at 500 skill.

I went ahead and learned the Lightning Steel recipe and made one - as suspected it does indeed have a daily cooldown. This will put a pretty effective throttle on the creation of Lightning Steel and limit how many Reborn weapons show up for sale. That's at least 4 days for a rare weapon and 14 days for epic weapons. If the tooltips are to be believed, you'll need to make each rare weapon in order to learn the epic version. Then you'll need to make the epic version to learn the upgraded epic version of that. This seems to model the original path of progression for these recipes where you were able to upgrade each weapon twice to get a more powerful version.

You also learn new recipes when making lightning steel. Today I learned the recipe for the Haunted Steel Greathelm. Apparently the item for this recipe is not yet implemented. I will post additional recipes as I learn them from the daily cooldown. I also plan to run my Engineer through this quest and report back on that process. Feel free to leave questions in the Comments!

New Solo Scenarios in 5.2 "Treasures of the Thunder King"

This is just a quickie post to share some details about the "Treasures of the Thunder King" scenario that's coming in the 5.2 patch. This is unlike most scenarios where you just kill stuff and collect justice points. In this scenario, you run a gauntlet-style area and avoid bad stuff. At the same time there are treasure chests sprinkled throughout the chamber which you can loot. I picked up a couple of the necessary keys while doing other scenarios/quests, so I thought I'd use one and see what kinds of booty I could collect. 

I only made it through the first room because I was unable to find the key to unlock the second door. But I took notes on the treasure I collected from the first room:

20 Motes of Harmony
4 Elder Charms
1 Shan'ze Stone
10 Justice Points
3 Tattered Parchment
97 gold
Plus another 52 gold from quest turn-ins

This seems like quite a good haul to me for 5 minutes of work. As you get used to this run I'm sure your cash and goodie pile will increase. If you want to learn more about the scenario, you can read about it on Wowpedia. The main reason I wanted to share my information with you guys is because this is a substantial source for motes of harmony as well as rep items. So if you end up with a key from doing dailies, don't be afraid to use it and beef up your stash of SoH for crafting!

5.2 Stockpiling & Musings

I still have some investigations ongoing from the PTR: JC daily results | LW daily results | continued progression on BS at the Isle of Thunder | EG progession out there as well. In the meantime, we're closing in on the patch deadline and I thought I should put together some information while it's still actionable.  I got an email from Desade with his thoughts on stockpiling for 5.2 and I'm going to add my own thoughts as well.

I'm going to rank these in order of priority:

1) Ghost Iron!! If you do nothing else, start collecting/saving/buying ghost iron. There are so many new things going in that involve ghost iron it's not funny. Blacksmiths will need it for their new daily CD as well as the new PVP gear they'll be learning. Engineers will need it for their new component which is used in all three of their new recipes, and Jewelcrafters will need to prospect it for the Serpent's Eye(3) they need to use their daily CD. That's not to mention all the ghost iron bars required for the new "improved" Blacksmith leveling process that uses ghost iron instead of all the old-world metals. I expect this to put heavy demand on ghost iron.

2) Trillium Bars/Living Steel: I expect trillium bars to get residual pressure from the ghost iron squeeze. If ghost iron becomes too expensive, we may see crafters start shopping for trillium bars to make their Living Steel. I expect a spike in Living Steel demand due to increased interest in the current epics (new Raid Finder requirements) and demand from raiders for the 5.2 epics. Living steel is also used in all three of the new Engineering recipes. And apparently trillium bars are required for a 5.2 quest involving the Black Prince (ty Christina!).

3) Exotic Leather & Prismatic Scales: Leatherworkers will need a stack per day for their daily discovery cooldown, in addition to what they might use for crafting gear. The discovery recipes will unlock crafted 458 PVP gear and epic quality items as well. Currently the item level of the new crafted epics is not known. Both of these types of leather will work for the cooldown and both produce the magnificent hide needed to craft items.

4) Windwool Cloth/Imperial Silk: I expect a modest bump in demand for these items as raiders start purchasing 5.2 crafted gear and non-raiders start purchasing 476 gear to get into the higher Raid Finder groups. If your Tailor won't be participating in the new 5.2 content, you may not need to stockpile much if at all.

5) Spirits of Harmony: All crafters should be stockpiling SoH for making raid gear in 5.2. Even if you don't plan to do the Isle of Thunder content, you can still make 476 gear to sell players who need to beef up their item level for the 5.2 raid finder.

Be prepared that once 5.2 drops all of these items will go up in price to some degree. This weekend should be a good time to start purchasing cheap materials so you don't have to pay sky-high prices later. Good Luck and stay tuned!

5.2 Jewelcrafting Patterns

Per suggestion from a reader on my last post, I decided to tackle the new Jewelcrafting recipes this weekend. The choice of where to farm for these recipes is somewhat limited because my JC is only level 87. This seemed like a good chance to try some of the early zones and see what kind of luck I might have.

My first stop was in Valley of the Four Winds. I went for the mantid on the western edge of the zone. Based on my fuzzy head-math (aka keeping mental track of kills) I got the recipe for Serpent's Heart in about 14 kills. That's pretty decent considering the level of the mobs. Also, this recipe is still yellow at 600 skill. It might be an interesting addition to the leveling process for those who haven't capped their JC skill yet.

Next I thought I'd hit the Arboretum in Jade Forest, a zone that any 85 alt should be able to handle. I just killed orchard wasps around the area and I got the recipe for Primal Diamond in 20 kills. For me this pretty much confirms the likelihood of a Pandaria "world drop" designation for these items. This recipe is also yellow at 600 skill and may be useful for generating skill ups while leveling.

I went ahead and tried making both recipes to see if there were any weird caveats to them. The primal diamond recipe is not on a cooldown (presumably because it uses SoH) but it does require an anvil. Kind of annoying since we don't rely on anvils for other JC items. The Serpent's Heart recipe is on a daily CD and also requires an anvil. My mystery heart package contained one Primordial Ruby.

I'll keep playing around with the Serpent's Heart and get a better idea of the output. If I see anything interesting I'll post an update. If you have any questions on these two recipes, feel free to share them in the Comments!

UPDATE: Day 2 Serpent's Heart = 1x Vermilion Onyx, Day 3 Serpent's Heart = Imperial Amethyst, Day 4 Serpent's Heart = Imperial Amethyst, Day 5 = Sun's Radiance + Design: Jade Owl!!, Day 6 = Sun's Radiance, Day 7 = Vermilion Onyx, Day 8 = Sun's Radiance, Day 9 = Primal Diamond, Day 10 = Wild Jade, Day 11 = River's Heart, Day 12 = Imperial Amethyst, Day 13 = Vermilion Onyx.

5.2 Leatherworking Patterns

I'm still seeing very little information on Wowhead about how you acquire the two new "magnificence" recipes, so I decided to just go out and experiment. The only helpful clue available was that these new recipes are a "smart loot" item, which typically means they drop without a lot of effort. So I decided to take a pretty reasonable location and start killing stuff. Areas that are involved in daily quests seemed like a promising spot, so I went with the spiders in the northeast corner of Dread Wastes.

I probably killed about 15 spiders when the pattern for the Magnificence of Scales dropped. It binds when picked up, which I would expect with a smart loot item. It requires a skill level of 500 so it may even be available to Leatherworkers just getting into Pandaria.

There are actually two different recipes, so I picked a new location for part two of my test. This time I went to the Skyrange area in Valley of the Four Winds. This is where many of the Tiller daily quests take place. Once again I started killing quests beasties and this time got the drop on the fifth mob. From this I would assume that the drop rate is pretty generous and that it's very likely a "world drop". We have no hard data to back this up yet, but I suspect you could farm any mob in Pandaria and get these recipes. Just to be conservative, I'll suggest sticking with level 89-90 mobs. I feel fairly confident that Leatherworkers can get these recipes on patch day if they do a bit of farming.

March 5th Update: After the patch yesterday I killed turtles in Valley of the Four Winds and got the recipe from the first pair of mobs I killed. I feel pretty confident that these recipes are a world drop from any Pandaria mob.

Here are pics I took of both recipes:

Both of these recipes allow you to make a magnificent hide at less than half the mats currently used to create one. These recipes are on a daily cooldown that is shared, so you can only use one of these recipes once per day. You can see from the actual recipe tooltip that making these items also gives you a chance at a discovery pattern.

When I made mine I supposedly learned a new pattern but could not locate it in my spellbook. So clearly there are some kinks to work out. I will add more information on the discovery items as I utilize the daily cooldown. Feel free to leave questions about these new items in the Comments!

UDPATE: My 2nd discovery actually shows up in the recipe book -- check it out:

UPDATE #2: My 3rd discovery is yet another item that is not in my recipe book. You can see from the screenshot here that I don't actually have it:

The one entry on Wowhead suggests that it may be an epic recipe. I sure would love to actually see it!

Update #3: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Ringmail Gauntlets.
Update #4: Today's new recipe is Quilen Hide Helm, also MIA from the recipe book.
Update #5: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Wristguards of Alacrity.
Update #6: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Waistband of Accuracy.
Update #7: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Chain Spaulders
Update #8: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Copperskin Tunic
Update #9: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Sabatons of Alacrity
Update #10: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Linked Leggings
Update #11: Today's new recipe is Spirit Keeper Footguards
Update #12: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Chain Gauntlets
Update #13: Todays's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Kodohide Gloves
Update #14: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Ringmail Helm
Update #15: Today's new recipe is Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's Chain Leggings

5.2 PTR Update

So I blast out all these tweets and no posts go up with details. I know, I'm with you on the frustration. I've been working on the new dailies at the Isle of Thunder, but they moved the quest hub a couple of weeks ago to a boat. You know it's a bad sign when you're on a boat instead of getting an actual town.

They also added an annoying zone counter to the top of the window which showed massive amounts of resources we were collecting. As of two days ago the count was at 35k/38k and nothing had changed with the content. In this new build, the counts are gone, but we are still on the friggin' boat. My zone map tells me that we are now on Stage 4 but I have no idea what this means. Clearly this will be a server-wide event with all players contributing to progress. But I don't know what the stages are or how many stages we need to complete.

At this point my Blacksmith is 4k into Friendly with the Kirin Tor Offensive (you start at Neutral). There are about a dozen daily quests you can do for 250 rep each, but I've only been doing 4-6 each day. Some of the quests are harder than others and there are quests that involve elite mobs. I suspect you will need a buddy or two if you want to get all dailies done.

I have yet to find the new forge or

Jewelcrafting is supposed to have some new recipes as well, but no sign of those either. I visited the trainer this afternoon and there is nothing new there. I also did the daily research to see if the new recipes are gained through discovery, but I learned nothing new from that. I'm not ruling it out at this point, I'll keep working on it.