Journey through the Valley of the Four Winds

A tranquil plain of lush farmland, bordered by dense mysterious jungles along the south and impassable mountains to the north. The valley is considered the “breadbasket” of Pandaria, but the year’s harvest is in jeopardy and a terrible malaise has overcome the pandaren that live along the coast. The valley is also the home of the legendary Stormstout Brewery, where Chen Stormstout and his niece Li Li hope to journey to discover the whereabouts of their long-lost ancestors.

When you first enter the second area open to players from the Jade Forest, you are met with Chen and Li Li. From the initial dialogue, it appears she isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

The Valley itself is a lush area filled with an abundance of farmland and variety of crops which makes it the agricultural centre of Pandaria. It’s also home to the Stormstout Brewery where Chen will will ask you to help clear the Brewery as well as discovering what happened to his long lost ancestors.

One of the first things you’ll notice here are the extremely large vegetables said to be the result of the water flowing down from Vale of Eternal Blossoms for over a millennia. If you decide to explore the area as I did before questing, you’ll see part of the Great Wall showing it’s first cracks as the only thing dividing the violent Mantid race from the Pandaren.

Here you’ll also begin your reputation grind with the Tillers. Every day farmers will come to the farmer’s market, the social hub of the Valley, with different problems and providing daily quests:

  • You will help Farmer Yoon fix up his overgrown farm, which in turn will show your progress with the faction.
  • You can clear plots of land and plant things like cooking ingredients, herbalism nodes, gifts for the different NPCs to build your reputation. You then come back the next day to harvest what has grown.

You will be able to decorate the farm as you gain reputation. For example, you can add some pigs and slop, some other animals, and grow an apple orchard.

Other characters of note include Hemet Nesingwary and son. You know he was bound to make an appearance somewhere in Pandaria as he hasn’t failed to do so in past x-pacs. I love the name of the hot air balloon… The Killem’ Jaro

Oh, and one other thing… those turtles are really annoying…

The Jade Serpent

While questing in The Jade Forest, you’ll find the main chain leads you directly into the Temple of the Jade Serpent. Not only do you end up questing inside the temple but it’s also the location of the first dungeon you encounter, in an attempt to undo a lot of bad stuff that’s been happening as a result.

Before embarking on our journey, however, Coolidge stated that he would need some sustenance by stopping at his favourite noodle bar beforehand. Boys and their stomachs. /Sheesh!

Players begin by tracking down jade shipments for a sassy pandaren, Foreman Mann.

From there, you’re asked to make some jade deliveries…

Once enough Jade is collected, you’re tasked with sending word of the progress to Yu’Lon. Yu’Lon puts you through a series of tests to prove your honesty before talking directly to you. Here you’ll do quests in the Heart of Jade, Scrollkeeper’s Sanctum and Fountain of the Overseeing subsections of the Temple.

jade serpent deception

Finally, Yu’Lon will fly you around the jade statue, still under construction, talking about her hopes to fuse her spirit with the finished product. However, there’s still a few unsolved mysteries to solve. Most importantly, the increased presence of the Sha, the physical manifestation of negative energy.

All-in-all this was a very enjoyable chain of events which does in fact lead you into the Dungeon. There also aren’t too many cut scenes which seemed to be overly done in Uldum, which I think is a good thing.

Love Story – Lo and Syra

Dawn’s Blossom is the venue where we aid two pandaren from rival brewmaster families, the Goldendrafts and the Wanderbrews who fall in love and end up winning the blessings of the pandriarchs ancestral spirits.

We first meet Lo when he asks us to gather some silk as he wants to impress Syra.

As he rushes off to show his beloved the silk we collected for him, Kai Wanderbrew appears looking for his son.

Have you seen my son, Lo? He was here a moment ago and I told him we were leaving today.

I’m sure he’s off trying to woo that young Syra Goldendraft. That is the very reason we need to leave!

No son of mine is going to run off with a Goldendraft!

Could you ask around and see if anyone knows where he went?

Peiji Goldendraft at the inn might know where his daughter is. You may also want to ask Lo’s friends Toya and Yufi. They may tell you more than they told me.

That Wanderbrew? Why would a Goldendraft ever know where a Wanderbrew is? Their family has always been a scar on our beautiful town’s reputation.

To make things worse, that filthy creation is probably making eyes at my daughter. That I will not have!

If you see either him or my daughter you tell them as much for me.

Lo? Sure. I’ve been sent to hunt him down lots of times. Well, him and Syra Goldendraft.

Best places to look for them are either the inn or the Arboretum.

It’s easy to locate people you need to talk to as the chat bubble is visible from the map.

I have not seen Lo since he made off with my student, Syra. They were heading east toward the Arboretum.

It will not go well if their parents learn of this. The Wanderbrews and the Goldendrafts have had a long standing feud.

Inkmaster Wei nearby states that Syra and Lo may be found at the Shrine of the Dawn, seeking an answer to their dilemma amongst the pandriarchs of old.

At the Shrine, Syra says to you:

My love, Lo, tried to get permission to marry me from the pandriarchs. Though they have passed beyond, their favor would carry a lot of weight.

Thing is, they are spirits, and none of the gifts or tributes we brought impress them. To win their favor they claimed that either Lo or a champion must defeat them in single combat.

Lo is a good man, but not a fighter.

Would you be our champion?

After defeating all three Pandariachs, the two are ecstatic. Syra tells you:

Fantastic! thank you so much! With their blessing we can be the happiest pandaren in all the land!

Toya, Peiji Goldendraft, and Kai Wanderbrew walk up.

Toya says: Here they are. See, told you I could find anyone or anything.
Lo Wanderbrew says:
Mister Goldendraft, I humbly ask permission to marry your daughter Syra.
Peiji Goldendraft says:
What?! This is preposterous.
Kai Wanderbrew says:
Son! What are you doing! She’s a Goldendraft.
Lo Wanderbrew says:
It is not her name I am interested in. It is her. She is the kindest, nicest, prettiest person I have ever met.
Peiji Goldendraft says: My Syra will NOT be seen with the likes of a Wanderbrew.
Syra Goldendraft says:
No, father, I will. Lo was willing to fight the Pandriarchs for me. It took Cymre to champion us but they consented.
Peiji Goldendraft yells:
They agreed?!
Kai Wanderbrew yells:
They agreed?!
Lo Wanderbrew says:
Yes. And now, with your permission, I would like to ask for your daughter’s hand.
Peiji Goldendraft says:
Well… um… I…
Kai Wanderberw says:
Come on Peiji. I don’t like it any better than you do but there is honor in the Pandriarchs’ blessings.
Peiji Goldendraft says:
Fine. What’s done is done. But don’t think I will ever like this. Or you, Kai.
Kai Wanderbrew says:
Same. Now lets get these kids back to Dawn’s Blossom.

Toya says: Wow! That was amazing. What’s next, Cymre? Think you can get the hozen and the jinyu to get along?

This was a lovely side chain that was quick to do. I look forward to doing this again on live since I’m a sucker for the romantic stuff :P

Scouting Report: Like Jinyu in a Barrel

Scouting Report: Like Jinyu in a Barrel

Ugh! Phasing quests! Here’s another one that’s just as annoying as the Wisdom of Ages. A short but fun series of phased quests leads you to this one as you follow the objectives set out by Kiryn, an undead NPC and Riko, one of the monkey people.

This particular quest involved you taking control of a sniper rifle and shooting all the Jinyu enemies you see by right clicking on the targets, allowing Kiryn to sneak in and set down barrels at three points which you blow up. I found you had to be fast with the rifle to get the screen to advance otherwise the scene stalled leaving you no option but to use the only action button in the vehicle (allowing you to reset this bit). The advantage here is that you don’t completely come out of phase meaning you can just re-click the rifle and try again.

I had to do this about 10 times as the quest kept bugging out for me. It’s the same deal as the other phased meditation quest, as someone else can phase into their version and bug yours out. Now I know why there was a number of people hovering around those NPCs back at the camp. However, with perseverance I managed to get it done eventually.

Shooting the Jinyu was actually a fun shoot ‘em up game, something you might find at Timezone or something. As long as your screen keeps advancing with the visual cues while you kill all the enemies, you should be fine. Be aware that there are a few that hide behind the trees but turning on enemy bars for this is a good idea (I’m sure you have these on already) :P

Just remember to kill all the Jinyu as soon as you see them, including the ones behind the trees. Shoot the barrels when Kiryn sets them down at three set points. Unfortunately, I had trouble targeting the third barrel as it appeared halfway behind my portrait so I couldn’t get the targeting icon to come up. On my successful attempt, it seems I only needed to shoot two of the barrels to advance to the next phase. This involved a faster number of the incoming enemies but is easily doable by spamming the right click button.

The dialogue from this series of quests was pretty amusing at times. Here’s a short excerpt from the scenario.

The Coast was clear. Kiryn began to make her escape. Damn, another Jinyu net! We were so close, too… I sensed a commotion in the village’s eastern village.

Riko yells: I’M BACK YOU DOOKERS!

Shademaster Kiryn says: Riko…

Wisdom of Ages

Wisdom of Ages

If you’ve had the Beta a while you may have done this quest already. But for those of you who haven’t, feel free to read on.

Today, I was up to the quest Wisdom of the Ages. Basically it’s a quest where you have to talk to Loremaster Cho while maintaining a meditative state while he hits you on the head. Not at all distracting, right? You maintain the balance by hitting the left or right arrow on your bar which sometimes takes a second or two before you see the bar going in the other direction. If the bar reaches either side, you fail.

So after receiving the quest, I saw there was a huge line going towards the quest giver I needed. At first I thought it was a bit funny there was a line for anything in this game. I mean, how often is it do you see a civilised line of anything in WOW, unless it’s a Congo line, maybe.

But anyway, I thought I was seeing things or it was just part of a phased quest but then I realised they were all queuing for the guy I needed. So off I went to the back of the line. Probably 20 toons or so back at the time. But then I thought, why are we all waiting in line when you can just talk to the NPC to complete the quest. Little did I know that when I went up to talk to him, I entered a phasing scenario where I actually had to do something. The last two meditation quests simply required just a short cut scene. I told Coolidge that I was able to start it and he followed. However, I managed to fail the first two tries. It was only after I came back out that I saw someone saying my name in the chat, not to do the quest.

This is where I found the purpose of the line. It seemed that if two people tried to do the quest at the same time, the quest would bug for the other person. While I realised this was happening, Coolidge had already gone into his phase and after what seemed like a minute, came out and said he was done (I think after 2 attempts). At the same time, I felt bad for pushing in, so I decided to go back to the end of the line (a little further back than before, mind you) and waited.

Waiting, waiting…

Jokes were made and the Druid in front of me kept trying to invite me to group and asking me to mount him. No thank you, I’m not that easy…

After about two hours, I finally found myself at the front of the line. This made me a little apprehensive as there were such a lot of people behind me it would have been embarrassing to fail over and over. This happened to quite a few people ahead of me, as well as the odd person who would jump the queue and muck up the quest for someone else.

However, if you do fail and it bugs out for you, don’t worry about abandoning the quest. It doesn’t mark the quest as failed. Just try it again by talking to Cho. Also, some have said that they bugged out while phased and couldn’t move while Cho despawned. If that’s the case, just eject yourself from the vehicle.

So there I was at the front of the line, when I heard the guy in front of me say “Done. Your turn”. In I went, hitting my left and right buttons, hearing him hit me with something that sounded like nuts on my head. The bar almost got close the the RHS at one stage and I think I squealed once or twice. A little after that I saw some critters or something coming in to watch, like some bizarre ‘fairy circle‘ thing. This is when I knew I was on the home stretch. I didn’t dare take my eyes off that blue bar so I relied on my peripheral vision to see what was happening around me.

Thankfully I got it first go. Phew!

Next was a similar quest which was a little harder, at least that’s what Coolidge told me. Great! >.< So off I went to the Cairn of Scale (in the middle of the lake) to do the next part of the chain. I started it by clicking on the vase on the ground. It started ok with no-one around me, at least until one of the monkey people swam out from the lake and started poking me with a stick. He also had a few things to say but I took no notice of him.

As time went on, there were no critters to come and watch but a crocodile who came out of the water. Luckily for me, he proceeded to eat the Chieftain. Well better him than me I guess. Had a couple of close calls with this one but managed to get it first go too.

I was so relieved after that, I went back over to where I had left Coolidge and found the line even longer than before… Poor saps.

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