As well as ramping up the Horde vs Alliance theme of the Mists expansion, patch 5.4 has a new zone – the Timeless Isle.
Open world content
It seems that, just maybe, Blizzard are finally moving tentatively away from such heavy instancing of content:
As this is an open-world experience, everything except the raid bosses (more on those below) is designed to be taken on solo. See a level-93 Elite? Attack it! Depending on your spec and gear it may take you a while to whittle down its health, but your ability to skillfully play your class and dodge attacks can lead you to victory.
I presume then this means less phasing and content that is actually a challenge some might not be able to sleep-walk through – i.e. you won’t automatically have a bunch of NPCs to help you on any elite mobs you encounter.
I’m equally glad to hear they’ll be keeping one of the newer mechanical experiments in the form of the boss monsters that do not “tap”:
While the Elites on the island are standard “group-tap,” all of the Rares are “no-tap,” so if you see anyone fighting them, even someone from the opposite faction, you can join in and both benefit from bringing it down.
I think this worked very well on the Isle of Thunder and it’ll hopefully encourage players to work together more rather than against one another, or at the very least it’ll make attempts at ‘kill stealing’ less of an issue.
Now with added Events!
Yes, WoW will finally be joining the ‘public event’ crowd by introducing “Endless Events” in this new zone. I’m cautiously optimistic about this as I personally have enjoyed the events in Guild Wars 2 and Rift. I’ll wait to see more details on how this will work before I get too excited though.
So coupled with the flex-size raiding mode, this new zone might be enough to tempt me to re-subscribe again for at least a month or two.