Interdimensional Time-Orcs: WoW 6.0.2 Coming Soon

I returned to World of Warcraft earlier this year on the encouragement of a few online friends. I hadn’t played since the release of Mists of Pandaria in late 2012 and hadn’t paid attention to the game’s systems since the end of Cataclysm’s life cycle. It was an odd experience; a game that I find in some ways intimately familiar, made strange through numerous small changes. Not bad, just different.

I’ll be feeling that again come October 14th, when the pre-expansion patch for Warlords of Draenor – called 6.0.2: The Iron Tide – is released and everything is different again. These patches bring the systemic and mechanical changes of the expansion to the game, and set the scene for the new expansion’s big bad with new world events.

In this case that’s the Iron Horde pouring out of the Dark Portal, Warcraft’s dimensional gate which causes most of its ills. The Iron Horde is, as everyone knows and understands, the time-travelling future-tech powered orcs that didn’t drink the blood of a demon to become super strong and evil. From timeline B. Obviously. I’m positive this isn’t a Star Trek Online storyline that’s somehow been confused, because I checked twice.

What this means for players is a new series of quests about pushing back the invasion. Part of what piqued my interest in the game earlier in the year was the return of a classic dungeon, Upper Blackrock Spire, as part of this. It’s likely my favourite from the game’s earlier years and maybe overall – I once ran it eleven times in a single day while searching for a specific item drop. I’ll be re-subbing just to see what Blizzard have done with it and for the glorious nostalgia kick it’s likely to provide. That’s something I can often rely on WoW for: no matter how much it changes, it’s still the same base and therefore offers safe familiarity.

The full list of changes is massive despite the scale of what is being altered being far smaller than previous iterations. It’s a legion of minor tweaks along with a few larger philosophy changes to help overall design. The major additions, such as the player-developed land plots called Garrisons, are saved for the release of the expansion itself.

There likely aren’t any WoW-based surprises left for Blizzard to reveal at Blizzcon on November 7th/8th ahead of the Warlords of Draenor launch the following week. The focus will probably be on Blizzard’s other titles. More details about Hearthstone’s 100+ card update are expected, as is something about StarCraft II’s final expansion, Legacy of the Void.

11 Comments

Top comments

  1. malkav11 says:

    Some highlights:
    Quest items won't take up bag space anymore! (This was something other MMOs discovered in like, 2007, but it's nice to see Blizzard finally getting with the times.)
    There will be a GW2-esque crafting resource bank with easy depositing that you can craft directly from.
    Also a "Toy Box" for storing all those pointless but fun vanity items, accountwide. (complete with collector achievements, I suspect)
    And a bunch of other handy inventory UI changes that seem nice but aren't competitive with the bag addon I use so won't affect me much. Freeing up all that bag and bank space will be super nice, though!

    Fairly massive class changes. I know my Death Knight will take some getting used to again.

    And they're revamping the group finder so that you can use it both for random grouping like now, and for putting together premade groups for basically any sort of content whatsoever. I am really hoping this includes the teleporting function for doing old raid/dungeon content, but I kinda doubt it.
  1. daphne says:

    “Not bad, just different.”

    I haven’t played WoW since 2008, but this seems like a succinct summary of why the game is still so persistent after all these years. Blizzard deserves credit for making it feel sufficiently different with each expansion.

    I would love for it to go F2P to be honest, I don’t really see myself playing it all that much now that I’m no longer a teen with tons of free time, but it would be the ideal occasional treat to drop in and out of.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      I find it’s just about worth it to drop £9 on every now and then to dip back in, level a character a bit, maybe redo some amount of the endgame. I can’t imagine buying a year’s subscription again or whatever though.

  2. Silith321 says:

    “Part of what piqued my interest in the game earlier in the year was the return of a classic dungeon, Upper Blackrock Spire, as part of this. It’s likely my favourite from the game’s earlier years and maybe overall – I once ran it eleven times in a single day while searching for a specific item drop. I’ll be re-subbing just to see what Blizzard have done with it and for the glorious nostalgia kick it’s likely to provide.”

    Be warned that you may not be able to run it if you haven’t played since 2012 and therefore don’t have sufficient gear on your character. I just stumbled over a thread on the US battle.net forums where a blue stated that apparently there will be an item level restriction to queuing for the dungeon and that it is tuned for people with “at least a few pieces of Siege of Orgrimmar LFR gear” (which is the top tier raid – thread here: link to us.battle.net ). I’m somewhat baffled at this because I looked forward to the new dungeon myself and I just resubbed after a long, long hiatus looking forward to WoD…on the other hand, if they tuned it for returning players like us, it’d be no challenge for the people bored by the old content. Guess Blizz can’t win, but I’ll be sad if it turns out that my char is too weak for the new UBRS. I still hope that it will be doable by people in Timeless Isle gear (which is fast and easy to get) if run in a coordinated (guild) group instead of a random one (if you go with a premade group item level restrictions don’t apply AFAIK it’s just if you want to queue in the dungeon finder tool that you have to meet the requirement).
    Oh and if it does turn out that we won’t be able to run it now, we can still run UBRS later down the line when it returns as a lvl 100 dungeon.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      Ah piss, I was afraid of this. That’s a shame, I’m still in some levelling greens, don’t think I did a single 90 dungeon on my old character. I’ll do it at 100 though and everyone will get mad at me for not knowing what I’m doing.

      • PaladinGunn says:

        honestly, there’s nothing to worry about.
        Just go spend a few hours on the Timeless Isle, get a few items, and you’ll be set !

        • malkav11 says:

          Depends on how they structure it. If it’s really “tuned for people with at least a few pieces of LFR Siege of Orgrimmar gear”, then you would need to fill every slot with the default Timeless Isle gear (which is ilevel 496) or equivalent just to get access to the Raid Finder version of Siege of Orgrimmar, and that will take some significant grinding (I don’t think a weapon token even drops, and those are 10,000 timeless coins per hand at the vendor). If you get lucky and get one or two of the item that boosts the gear token to ilevel 535 you might be able to skip in a little earlier. That said, dipping your toe into the Timeless Isle will probably be enough to bump 3-5 slots worth of armor up to 496, and if you combine that with some 489 gear from justice points (gained at like 400-500 points per heroic dungeon) you are then in position to run some earlier raids as well, and combining drops from those with a few pieces of valor point gear (which is 522 at the moment) should let you increment your way up the raid finder chain. Personally I’ve been back about two weeks and all I need to replace to get SoO access is a better weapon. Unfortunately, the only purchaseable one I’ve seen is that 20,000 timeless coin one on the Timeless Isle. I spent more time than I enjoyed spending in that place, including completing most of the introductory quests as well as several achievements(/steps of achievements) and I still only have like 7,500.

          Still, the whole thing represents a much, much faster and smoother gearing up curve than I recall from the last time I was raid-ready (Wrath of the Lich King era), where I spent weeks grinding dozens of heroic dungeons for slivers of purchasing power on raid gear. And that was probably the first time in WoW’s history that heroic dungeons were so trivial that that process was just time consuming, not frustrating. (I quit before I even got to that point in Cata because those dungeons were way too hard to repeat over and over with randoms to eke out a little gear at a time.)

  3. banski83 says:

    The image in the article instantly made me think of the time I spent back in Warhammer Online. I miss that game.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      I was browsing the warlords of draenor site for a good image to use. Lemme tell you, they know how to make video games but god damn Blizzard take some dull-ass landscape screenshots. I was like “well this will do, it has cannons in it”

  4. malkav11 says:

    Some highlights:
    Quest items won’t take up bag space anymore! (This was something other MMOs discovered in like, 2007, but it’s nice to see Blizzard finally getting with the times.)
    There will be a GW2-esque crafting resource bank with easy depositing that you can craft directly from.
    Also a “Toy Box” for storing all those pointless but fun vanity items, accountwide. (complete with collector achievements, I suspect)
    And a bunch of other handy inventory UI changes that seem nice but aren’t competitive with the bag addon I use so won’t affect me much. Freeing up all that bag and bank space will be super nice, though!

    Fairly massive class changes. I know my Death Knight will take some getting used to again.

    And they’re revamping the group finder so that you can use it both for random grouping like now, and for putting together premade groups for basically any sort of content whatsoever. I am really hoping this includes the teleporting function for doing old raid/dungeon content, but I kinda doubt it.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      It is horrifying that it has taken this long to get quest items not taking up bank space, but it’s the BEST.

      • malkav11 says:

        Indeed. I may be more excited about that than the entire upcoming expansion.