While the major focus of Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar is the Alliance and Horde taking the fight to Garrosh, players will also have a new land to discover, far away from what’s going down in Durotar . . . and this new land is like no other before it.
The Timeless Isle, so named because it exists in a state of perpetual sunset, was once a place of great reverence for the pandaren. It was here that trials of wisdom, hope, strength, and fortitude took place in front of the great Celestials . . . where warriors and aspiring leaders would show their willingness to walk in the footsteps of the great Emperor, Shaohao. As a testament to their goal of achieving balance in all things, the pandaren monks even existed in harmony with the nearby Yaungol, worshippers of the fiery demigod Ordos.
But one day, the island vanished. Some scrolls indicate that the Timeless Isle has come and gone throughout history—sometimes just a glimmer in the distance, often appearing in different locations. Some less fortunate adventurers dared step foot on the island during these moments and were just as quickly lost to the Timeways, never to be seen again.
Now—and perhaps only for a moment—the island has returned.
Once you’re on the Timeless Isle, it’s open-world adventuring at your own pace. There are a couple quests on the island, but they’re not going to tell you exactly where to go and what to do. Instead they exist to encourage you to explore caverns, discover underwater grottos, and battle all manner of frightful beasts for great rewards.
The island offers greater challenges as you move away from the serene forest surrounding the temple grounds and into the fiery Ordon Sanctuary, Cavern of Lost Spirits, Croaking Grotto, and other mysterious locales. 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.
Being able to take on large creatures by yourself also means that long after Patch 5.4 comes out, when the number of people visiting the island dwindles, you’ll still be able to bring new characters there and engage with everything it has to offer. 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. Everything on the island also drops something unique. For the easier enemies, it may be consumables that grant you Timeless Coins (see below) or aid you in your adventures into darker places, while tougher enemies can drop epic BoA tokens that can be used to gain Item Level (ilvl) 496 loot, upgrade tokens to gain ilvl 535 gear, Lesser Charms, battle pets, and more. There are also a ton of new achievements for doing just about anything and everything on the island.
The currency of the Timeless Isle is Timeless Coins, which players can use to purchase Mogu Runes of Fate, additional BoA gear, pets, mounts, and some just-for-fun items. The island also contains a new faction—one that forges a mystic bond with the lost Emperor of Pandaria, Shaohao himself—that will grant you access to even more cosmetic rewards. Gaining faction with Emperor Shaohao isn’t gated, but it does require battling some of the most ancient and powerful creatures the island has to offer.
Whether you’re a newly level-90 player, a fully geared raider, a pet battler, a PvPer, or anything in between, the Timeless Isle features something for everyone.
To support the process of exploration and discovery on the Timeless Isle, we’re also introducing something we’re calling the Event System, along with some new UI elements. The Timeless Isle is filled with rare spawns, rare Elites, chests containing epic loot, and events that are all highly rewarding. When you find yourself in close proximity to any of these, you’ll see them pop up on your minimap, denoting their location and event type. Some won’t be simple to get to or easy to find, as many parts of the island are entangled with puzzles lost to time. Some involve more than a simple alert . . . but we’re not going to spoil the surprises, and we’re really looking forward to see how quickly players can unlock the island’s mysteries and hidden treasures.
Let’s talk about raid bosses! First up are the four August Celestials: Chi-Ji, Niuzao, Xuen, and Yu’lon, found at the ancient proving grounds in the middle of the island. This location was used for generations to prove a pandaren’s worth as a warrior, and you can challenge a Celestial to prove yours as well. An able group can simply stroll in and begin the fight with one of the Celestials. Upon completion, each player will receive personal loot, just like with any other world boss.
In addition to the Celestials, which are the Patch 5.4 equivalent to a Sha of Anger or Nalak, we’re taking another look at a hardcore world boss intended for end-game progression raiders. This new world boss, Ordos, provides a few unique challenges. For starters, to even reach Ordos, you must have received the final Legendary cloak from Wrathion on any of your characters. In addition, once the battle has begun, players will not be allowed to enter or leave the Ordon sanctuary where the boss resides. Good luck!
Those who choose to join the burning ranks of the Ordon, the yaungol followers of Ordos, will have access to the powers of the Censer of Eternal Agony. Using the Censer will flag you for PvP to everyone—even your own faction. Your skin takes on a bright flame effect, showing all around that you’ve summoned the rage of Ordos and are out for blood. Using the Censer also immediately reduces your health to 10% of its maximum (which you can then heal back up over time), keeping it from becoming a quick ganking device. On PvE realms, the rules of flagging still apply; it won’t become open warfare, but players can choose to engage these flagged players if they like. On PvP realms, though, this menacing new threat will certainly be a target for both factions. Finally, when you kill other players while you’re under the effects of the Censer, you’ll gain Bloody Coins, a currency that can be exchanged for exclusive rewards.
As you explore the Timeless Isle, you’ll see and speak with many of the characters you’ve come to know throughout your quests in Pandaria. We could go on and on, but we don’t want to spoil everything. The Timeless Isle is meant to be experienced—we hope you enjoy it.