On your mark, World of Warcraft players. Get set. Quest and kill!
On Aug. 14, when Blizzard Entertainment announces the release date for the new Warlords of Draenor expansion pack, the scramble will begin.
Each new expansion brings with it new content but also erases some of the old, making it impossible for players of the popular massively multiplayer online game to get certain achievements or items after the magic date passes.
Plan for two milestones: first, Blizzard will release the “pre-expansion patch,” which changes substantial things about the game for existing World of Warcraft players. For this expansion, that’s patch 6.0.2. Then Blizzard will release the expansion itself: Warlords of Draenor. Both stages take away things currently in-game.
Blizzard will hand out keys to the beta test at the announcement on Aug. 14. It will likely be at least a few weeks from that date until patch 6.0.2 launches.
After that, it’s likely to be at least another few weeks before the expansion pack goes on sale — so you have a good but not unlimited amount of time to clean up Mists of Pandaria content.
We’ve compiled your to-do list: everything that you should tackle now in the current Mists of Pandaria expansion pack before those dates hit. Read on to find out what’s going away, what’s coming in, and what you need to get done ASAP.
Last chance to face the challenge
Right now, players can take five-person groups through dungeons in challenge modes. These scale down players’ armor to a lower level, ramp up the dungeon difficulty, and add timers to achieve gold, silver, and bronze ratings.
Players who earn silver ratings in all challenge modes earn the rights to a phoenix mount. Players who earn golds get pieces of special challenge mode armor sets (which they can transform their usual pieces of armor to resemble).
Mists of Pandaria challenge modes are going away with patch 6.0.2, so anyone who wants the armor sets or mounts needs to do them now. There will be new challenge modes at level 100 in the Warlords expansion, with new rewards.
One bonus: If you have earned a phoenix during your challenge mode runs, you do not need to complete them with other characters to earn the other colors. After 6.0.2, any character on your account can fly using any of the four phoenix mounts.
The armor sets will continue to be available only to the character with which you earned the gold ratings, however. If you misplace any pieces, you’ll be able to repurchase them.
It’s not easy being green (before Warlords)
Warlocks who have not completed the difficult quest chain to get a green color for their fire spells might want to finish that up now.
If you complete the chain, you’ll be awarded the “Breaker of the Black Harvest” Feat of Strength when patch 6.0.2 launches, which gives all warlocks on your account the “of the Black Harvest” title.
Players can’t get the title and Feat of Strength after patch 6.0.2 hits, but warlocks will still be able to get green fire. The quest starts from the Sealed Tome of the Epic Legion, a book only visible to warlocks, dropped by elite-difficulty creatures on the Isle of Thunder.