When World of Warcraft Patch 5.4 goes live there will be a very dramatic change to one of the key zones in Mists of Pandaria. The change is coming to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, home of the Golden Lotus faction.
The change is pretty substantial since the whole zone becomes overrun with the Sha and many areas are completely decimated. In addition to the actual physical changes to the zone, there are numerous changes to the Golden Lotus faction as well since most of the areas they used to have bases at and supply daily quests from are now gone.
This guide looks at the new Vale of Eternal Blossoms as well as the changes to the Golden Lotus Reputation.
NOTE: The changes discussed here are still being tested on the PTR, in fact many things may still yet change as there are still quests and NPC's that link to things that are no longer there. Those will need to be cleaned up, and may be moved or removed, no one can be sure yet.
Vale of Eternal Blossoms - Patch 5.4 Changes
The vale used to be a sublime sanctuary for the Pandaren, however with the release of patch 5.4 that will all be a thing of the past. Compare the before and after screenshots below to visually see the devastation that the Sha have brought.
Before and after Mogushan Palace.
In fact the vale has changed so much that it is now referred to as the Vale of Eternal Sorrows instead of its original name. That shows pretty definitely that the zone is no longer the care free Shangri-la of the past.
Most of the sub-sections of the Vale have changed significantly. For example the place that you are likely most familiar with in the Vale, the Golden Pagoda, is now gone. That's right the key location for the both loved and loathed Golden Lotus daily quests is no longer standing. In its place is a blackened Sha infested wasteland.
Before and after Golden Pagoda.
Another key location familiar to everyone, Whitepetal Lake, no longer exists. In its place is a dried up gorge surrounded by corrupted land crawling with the Sha.
Before and after Whitepetal Lake.
In fact most of the zone is a wasteland now. The Mogu'shan Palace, White Moon Shrine, and The Stars Ascent all still exist, as does the Setting Sun Garrison and Mistfall Village. Other than that, don't expect to see much familiar other than the backdrop of the mountains surrounding the Vale.
You can see pretty easily the changes unleashed on the vale when looking at the new map of the zone as well.
Patch 5.4 Golden Lotus Reputation Changes
With all of the above changes taking place in the Vale, what about all of the Golden Lotus daily quests? After all you need to get them to revered before you can move on to other factions like the Shado-Pan Clan and the August Celestials.
Many things have changed with the Golden Lotus faction, not the least of which is the loss of most of the daily quest hubs. Here is a listing of the changes coming in patch 5.4:
- No longer linked to the Shado-Pan or August Celestials. This was actually done in Patch 5.3 but most people missed it, since you still had the Golden Lotus dailies available.
- Many of the daily quest hubs no longer exist, therefore the daily quest system for the Golden Lotus is greatly simplified.
- Quests still exist centered around the Setting Sun Garrison and potentially elsewhere, however they have not yet been implemented in the PTR.
- The Eternally in the Vale achievement is going away (if becomes a feat of strength and is no longer attainable).
- Killing the various mobs in the Vale will reward you with 10 points of reputation with the Golden Lotus each.
- Killing the elite mobs in the Vale will reward you with 200 points of reputation with the Golden Lotus.
This new layout in the Vale and the loss of a lot of daily quests will be welcome news to some and a disappointment to others. Personally, I feel there were too many daily quests anyway, and welcome the return to killing mobs, or running instances to gain rep, so I like the changes to the Golden Lotus faction.
The change to the Vale itself, I like a little less. I do like the way that Blizzard is giving us a very visual reminder that this is a war between the two factions, but I grew to like the utopian Vale of Eternal Blossoms. This change is stark and dramatic. It shows the real impact that the war is having on the world. Which is a really cool as an effect, but like I said, a real shame to see happen to such a picturesque zone.