|coming later as you open the island?|
First off, rep. First thing I did was queue up for my daily dungeon and my daily scenario. Upon firing up the console I was asked "who I wanted to gain rep with during my run?" Of course, I picked Dominance Offense, so I can continue working on my grabbing the 496 gear. After running that darn mogu temple, and that scenario where you escort the brewmaster panda home, I had gained ~1000 DO rep and 70 valor points. There are other options right? I seldom see them...
Speaking of valor points, as Nibuca commented on in my last post, my valor DIDN'T reset!! Woot! In fact, I found the cave where the Shado-Pan Assault is held up and purchased my 522 necklace. That one purchase put me over the 470 gear score for the next round LFR. Guess what I'll (hope to) be doing this weekend?
Ok, maybe the neck didn't solely put me over the top, but I did get a purple BOE drop, a nice i476 strength ring. Didn't check the auction house, but hoping it will sell for some nice gold. In addition, I grabbed a key off some of the quest trash. The key opens a (5 minute) timed scenario were you try to grab as much loot as possible. Starts off easy with obstacle course, ends with a AOE fest of a handful of the stone lions and wandering adds. I died twice in this scenario, luckily once I had my soul stone on me so I was able to res inside. Second time the timer 'ran out' prematurely.
Before doing the scenario, I recommend that you spend an Elder Charm to buy a potion from the vendor near where you talk to the person to start the timed run. It's an obstacle course inside with a bunch of traps on the floor. The potion lets you levitate over them. (source)
Suggestions for next time: Run speed potion, avoid traps on floor, look in 'hard to reach places' for larger chests and lastly set interface to auto-loot. :)
In addition, one of the quests had a reward of a loot bag, er chest, reminiscent of the old Tourney of Champions dailies. This chest gave me gold, a relic (to summon a rare when i get 3), and 2 rep tokens (Shado Pan Assault and Sunreaver Onslaught). Nice bonus from simply questing.. 660 rep for SPA and haven't even entered the raid yet (won't until I get some upgrades, need 480 average gear score).
Blizzard has done a nice job with changing things up. It doesn't quite feel like a rehash of every other zone. First off, the quest hubs on Thunder Isle (at least for the Horde) are hidden. Yep, you need to find the dome of invisibility and step under it (remember the mages of Coldarra and their giant shield?). When you're outside the shield, it's just a 'rain' effect, but if you stand there it turns into a mini-inivisibility shield that also keeps out angry mobs. This took awhile to actually figure out the first time, ("where is this quest giver? underground?") but made sense when thinking about it later on.
Second, in one quest area after you complete the first quest, you get enchanted and turn into the NPC lizards of that zone. They gone from hating me to friendly. As the lizards you have a nice run-speed buff, plus can jump small buildings in a single bound. My minion would randomly change into a maggot (small and huge) or a lizard familiar. Start attacking and we both revert to normal to fight, then 5 seconds out of combat, we turn back into lizards. It was nice to be able to complete my quests, without having to fight my way all the way in and then all the way out.
There is more I have yet to see.
I haven't checked my farm, the rep gains from planting items may or may not be available. I am only Honored yet with the Tilers. Having the farm as a Inn 'could' be interesting.
I have a long time before I can see the new raid, but hopefully with the rep gains from the dungeon/scenario bonus, I'll hit revered quickly (of course I spent a bunch of valor points so I have time to regain them).
With a reported 33% drop rate, the keys may come quicker than expected. Have to see what happens tonight..