10 Jun 2011

Firelands Legendary Staff: Get Ready!

Patch 4.2 is looming towards us at a steady pace, bringing with it a whole truckload of shiny new stuff for us to get stuck into. The current best guess is that it’ll be hitting live servers on 21st June in US and 22nd June in Europe, putting it at less than two weeks away.

With patch 4.2 comes the Tier 12 raiding content and the new Firelands raid instance. It’s also when the new caster Legendary staff becomes obtainable. Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest will be the single most important item of loot for almost any raiding damage-dealing caster.

If you’ve decided to get started on the path to completing one of these then be aware that it’s going to be a long one. With only a single raid instance for the tier, the difficulty curve is likely to be a high one. Expect to spend at least three months putting this thing together.

I’ve mentioned before that it’s worth planning ahead to decide how your raiding guild is going to support obtaining this staff and who gets priority. By making these decisions beforehand you’re likely to avoid potential drama and disagreement in the future. There’s also personal planning to be done – this thing is likely to cost you every scrap of gold you have and more besides.

Starting The Journey

Before you can even start getting on the quest line for Dragonwrath, you need to have the title “Defender of a Shattered World”. Unless you’ve cleared all existing Cataclysm raid content, you won’t be able to get started. Update: According to a recent blue post, this will no longer be required. Instead you’ll only need to defeat a Molten Lord Firelands mob to get access to the quest chain.

Next up there’s a bit of a “buy in” hurdle to overcome. You’re going to need deep pockets to fund this part, with deeper pockets being able to get through it quicker than others. You’ll need a flat 9000g to buy three Sands of Time, but that’s the easy part.

You’ll also need to get hold of 25 Living Embers. Sounds easy enough, except that these bind on equip materials will probably only drop in the Firelands, and then not from all bosses. They’ll also be used for a range of 18 new craftable items made by Tailors, Leatherworkers and Blacksmiths.

This is where one of those tricky guild discussions come in. Are you going to prioritise people getting to the next part of the Legendary quest chain, or will you instead focus on helping people buy new patterns and craft new gear?

From there it’s a case of collecting quest items from the Firelands. The first part will be obtaining the Branch of Nordrassil and getting the first stage of the staff. From there it’s a case of collecting 25 Seething Cinders before finally dispatching Ragnaros and collecting his heart at the end. Once this long process is complete Dragonwrath will be available to you.

Finding Help

The two immediate challenges to overcome are finding the 9000g to buy the three Sands of time, then getting the 25 Living Embers as quickly as possible. Some of these embers will come from raids, but it’s possible that several will also appear on the auction house. In order to buy these you’re going to need vast reserves of gold.

Your guild can help out by putting all that gold from selling Tier 11 BoEs to good use. Use a team of buyers to stalk the auction house, snapping up bargains when they see them. Competition is going to be intense so you’ll need to have the coins within easy reach when you spot auctions.

You might be able to spend valour points on Living Embers as well but it’s currently unconfirmed. This might be an effective way of reaching your goal quickly but comes at the cost of helping you gear up in other ways.

Making Gold to Spend Gold

Your own gold can also help – there’s also nothing to stop you from buying Living Embers from the auction house yourself. To do this you’ll need a large chunk of gold ready to spend on Living Embers as soon as they become available. If you don’t already have a large chunk of gold, you’re running out of time to get it sorted.

If you think it was expensive to buy a Mechano-Hog or Chopper, imagine if you wanted to buy one every single day. Those are probably going to be the kind of prices we’ll be looking at.

You could have a fire sale – clearing out your bank of all crafting materials and reagents before the end of the tier. While you’ll get a fair slice of gold from it, you won’t have any regular income from it and your reserves will vanish quickly.

You could also look at completing any quests you skipped on your way to 85. At max level all XP gains are converted to gold, making questing a nice little earner. You can also use quest rewards from alts to help fund your reserves.

The final option to consider is joining up with one of the gold-making communities and look to learn ways to continually make gold. Remember that you’re looking for regular income here to keep buying Living Embers and not just one-off lumps of gold.

The three main gold-making strategy sites are Just My Two Copper, The Gold Queen and Cold’s Gold Factory. All three produce regular advice on how to use the auction house effectively, how to use some of the more obscure addons and what’s currently selling well. JMTC also sell an in-depth guide to making gold, while the Gold Queen sells a guide on starting up your own pet shop. Both are worth considering if you’re thinking of longer term income.

Is It Worth It?

The Firelands Legendary is statted to be equivalent to tier 13.5 at the minimum, so it’s not till tier 14 that you’ll find anything that comes close to being equivalent. Since it’s likely that tier 14 will be the final set of raids before the next Warcraft expansion, it’s safe to say that this single weapon will see you through to the end of Cataclysm.

More than that, this is the first legendary suitable for DPS casters that has emerged since Atiesh. Considering how far we are along the Warcraft lifecycle, it is unlikely that we’ll see another one emerge before the game moves into retirement. By completing the quest to secure this incredible weapon you’re taking part in a rare segment of Warcraft’s legacy.

Plus it turns you into a blue dragon! What’s not to like?

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