7 Mar 2011

Caster Legendary Staff: The Lowdown

UPDATE: I’ve done a big roundup of all the most important news relating to Dragonwrath, along with a guide on how to make sure you get one as quickly as possible. You can find all this and more here!

It’s only recently emerged in the Public Test Realm datafiles, but the internet is already rife with speculation about the new Legendary Caster Staff. The dataminers over at MMO-Champion have been diligently hard at work, while the folks over at WoW Insider have been putting their theories to the test. But if you’re looking at putting your hands on one of these incredibly desirable staves how would you go about it?

Possible Caster Legendary Staff (from MMO-Champion.com)

Much like a visit to your local Ikea, this new piece of raiding equipment will come with some assembly required. You’re going to need to do a lot of raiding in order to collect all the materials needed, as well as deep pockets to pick up all those vendor-only items. You’ll also need to work with your guild or raid team in order to ensure success, just as with Shadowmourne. At the moment though we don’t know the whole picture, so a lot of this is conjecture.

What We Do Know

The next Cataclysm legendary is a staff suitable for spellcasters, assuming that the statements made by Chris Metzen at Blizzcon 2010 can be taken at face value. This means that all casting classes with the exception of holy Paladins should be able to make use of this weapon.

The staff is likely to have a Shadowmourne-style quest that takes you to the Caverns of Time to meet Anachronos the Ancient. Before you begin on this legendary journey, you’re likely to need to have earned enough reputation from whichever faction will be linked to the new Firelands raid. Once you hit that magic threshold, Zoradormi should become visible and send you on your way to the Caverns of Time.

From there, you’ll be sent by Anachronos to gather the materials to craft a Timeless Eye. This won’t come cheap – you’ll need to buy three Sands of Time at 3000 gold each. You’ll also need 25 Living Ember, which look likely to be the next version of Primordial Saronite. Expect competition for these from your guild crafters and auction house fanatics, as these are likely to be worth a small fortune to buy.

It’s worth talking to your guild about the Living Embers now now in order to start a plan forming on how to distribute them. Leatherworkers, Tailors and Blacksmiths will probably see them as the key to some great gear upgrades through reputation-unlocked patterns, while every single caster in your guild will probably want to get their hands on this new staff. Planning ahead now should avoid drama later.

Either way you can give yourself a huge head start by putting those gold-making strategies into high gear. You’ll need 9000 gold just to make the buy-in for the Sands of Time even if you’re handed every Living Ember you need from your guild. If you’re hoping to pick up further Embers from the auction house to speed up the process then expect to pay a lot more. I’m already hearing early estimates of thirty thousand gold coins each. You might be able to spend Valour points on them, but there are no assurances. The only sure-fire way to get ahead is to start saving your coins now.

What We Don’t Know

The big question is what roles the staff will be designed for. Will we see something with hit rating, marking it as a clear DPS choice? Or will it have a more limited set of stats in order to make it appealing to healers as well? While we’re unlikely to see multiple variants depending on your role, we’ll probably see a set of stats that make it worthwhile for as wide a selection of classes and talent builds as possible.

We’ve already seen hints that Flaming Splinters will need to be collected from the Firelands raid, but it’s not known if further boss kills will be required in a similar way to Shadowmourne. It’s also likely that any quest items needed from boss kills will not be group loot, and instead only one item per boss kill will be available. Again it’s worth planning with your guild to decide who gets priority for these.

It’s also not clear if creating this staff will only require you to work your way through the Firelands raid, or if you’ll also have to enter the War of the Ancients raid in Caverns of Time. If we do then it’ll be the first legendary since Atiesh that required elements from different instances in order to complete it.

That said, the three upgrade points would make it ideal as a carry-over item between multiple tiers of raiding. This may become a weapon that becomes initially forged from the Firelands but then becomes augmented in later tiers to become something truly legendary. Since we don’t know what is involved in the creation of the later phases of the staff this remains a possibility.

Most importantly we still don’t have a name for the new legendary. A name defines a weapon, shedding light on its history. It also gives the weapon a direction and sense of purpose in the world. A good name will ensure the weapon lives on beyond its usefulness, becoming part of the folklore shared between gamers the world over.

Where It Will Leave Us

The formation of the new legendary staff will contain a rich level of lore, helping to propel Anachranos further into the limelight as the de-facto leader of the Bronze Dragonflight in Nozdormu’s absence. We’ll probably see further interactions from this dragon in the future as further story indicators for the Infinite Dragonflight are put into place.

This also might indicate that Anachronos has another hand to play in the role of the Aspects and their progeny. During the War of the Shifting Sands he called upon the aid of the children of the remaining Dragonflights to help beat back the Qiraji swarm. With the War of the Ancients coming, he may again be calling on the remaining flights for aid.

Finally, it’ll set things up nicely for a Burning Crusade and Infinite Dragonflight expansion next year. With this story just starting to build and a number of lore theories circulating, the scene is definitely being set for the best time travel story since Back to the Future.

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