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The trial of Chi-Ji is a test of hope. Uncertain of the future of his people, Emperor Shaohao sought out the great Red Crane. The Great Crane challenged Shaohao to find the hope within himself, and cast off his uncertainty. Once the Sha of Doubt was vanquished, the Emperor became a beacon of hope for his people. To pass the trial of the Crane, warriors must believe in hope, even in the darkest of days.
The trial of Yu'lon is a test of wisdom and faith. With omens of a bleak future floating through his mind, Emperor Shaohao climbed to the summit of Mount Neverest to seek the council of the Jade Serpent. Yu'lon urged Shaohao to cast off the dark emotions that plagued him, and through his trials, Emperor Shaohao would become one with the land. To pass the trial of the Serpent, warriors must be wise in their choices.
The trial of Niuzao is a test of bravery and fortitude. When Emperor Shaohao was overcome with fear, the Black Ox counseled him to face his fears directly. After a protracted battle with the Sha of Fear, the Emperor emerged victorious. To pass the trial of the Ox, warriors must be resolute in the face of overwhelming danger.
The trial of Xuen is simultaneously a test of strength and a test of restraint. When Xuen gave Emperor Shaohao a 10-foot-pole and asked him to strike one of Xuen's warriors, the Emperor could not land a blow. For without restraint, anger and hatred run wild. To pass the trial of the Tiger, warriors must harness their power, while burying their thoughts of violence.
By perculia on 2013/05/07 at 11:19 AM Pacific
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There’s a storm brewing on Thunder Isle in the form of the newly risen Thunder King: Lei Shen and the invading Zandalari forces who support his bid to regain his seat of power over Pandaria. Once more the heroes of the Horde and Alliance are being called forth to take on this threat, but they do so in the midst of their own dark and bloody war reignited by the decimation of Theramore and the betrayal that split the Kirin Tor. Waging war on two fronts isn’t easy and the Shado-Pan have no interest in anything more than using the power of both factions to put down a more clear and present danger.
With the release of patch 5.2: The Throne of Thunder, a new island will open up off the coast of Townlong Steppes and add a bounty of new daily quests, rare spawns, summonable bosses, hidden treasures, and more.. Taking part in these daily quests will lead up to an epic showdown between the last emperor of the mogu, Lei Shen, the Zandalari, and those who would stop them – the Shado-pan and the heroes of Azeroth.
Where do we go from Here?
First things first, how do you get to the island to begin with? At level 90, players will get their first quest in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms where they’ll automatically get the quest “Thunder Calls” or you can go directly to the Shado-Pan Garrison in Townlong Steppes to get started. From there you’re on your way. This isn’t a walk in the park and while flying seems like the easiest way to get where you need to, these are definitely not friendly skies. Flying won’t be available on the island as much as the invading forces would like it to be. A portal between the Shado-pan Garrison and the Alliance or Horde quest hubs will be available after your initial flight to the island so that you can get back into the action quickly.
Once More Unto the Breach
Similar to the War Effort with Ahn’Qiraj or the Isle of Quel’Danas, the effort of the overall realm population’s participation and activity will affect the progression toward unlocking the various stages of the Isle of Thunder as you and your allies push further into the island. You’ll be able to contribute by taking part in the daily quests that are made available at various points of interest on the island. Once established on the beach head, you’ll also have a choice between PvE or PvP oriented quests. (Warning, choosing the PvP option will flag you for PvP automatically.) Each will provide slightly different rewards and faction with your chosen allies. If you’ve missed unlocking a section of the island, don’t panic. You’ll still be able to experience the story by taking part in the solo Scenarios that will be available as you progress through the island.
Who's the Boss?
The Horde and the Alliance will be working for some familiar faces as they make their way through the island. Each faction's finest are spearheading the assault: the Kirin-Tor Offensive led by Jaina Proudmoore and the Sunreaver Onslaught led by Lor'themar Theron. Earning reputation with these new factions offers heroes the opportunity to gain new tabards, banners and an intimidating new mount.
But Wait, There's More!
The island isn’t just about unlocking new quests and earning some reputation. There is also plunder to be had and foes to be vanquished.
We don’t want to give everything away here, but the island holds many secrets and opportunities to test your mettle. Your realm and your faction are counting on you to take the island by force and stamp out this new threat. Can you survive the trials of the Isle of Thunder? The Thunder King comes, the Thunder King comes...
*Danielle “Nethaera” Vanderlip is a Community Manager for World of Warcraft, and owns her own real life elite dinosaur. (Bearded dragons count, right?)
By perculia on 2013/02/25 at 11:41 AM Pacific