Why are the Zandalari so concerned with getting dinosaurs? Well, if you've wandered around on the Isle of Thunder or stepped into the Throne of Thunder, you'll see that the Zandalari are pretty keen on enslaving the dinosaurs and using them as mounts, pets, and even raid bosses. The bigger question on the mind of a lot of players, however, is why we should be concerned with the Isle of Giants at all.
With no quests, no portals, no lead-ins and no clear defined purpose besides the world raid boss Oondasta, why would we want to spend any extended amount of time on the island at all?
If you're a pet collector, the Isle of Giants should be very interesting to you. There are four new raptor pets that drop on the Isle -- the Zandalari Toenibbler, Anklerender, Kneebiter and Footslasher. Not only are they cute as the dickens, they're a pretty formidable addition to anyone's Battle Pet arsenal. The pets have a chance to drop from any of the mobs on the island, or on the boat off the eastern coast of the Isle.
If you're looking for more of those stolen reputation insignias, you can find those on the island as well. War-God Dokan makes his home on the boat off the eastern coast of the Isle. Just like any of the new rares you'll find on the coasts of Pandaria, Dokan will drop bags of supplies as well as those wonderful insignias. Be prepared to bring a group, however -- not only does Dokan pack a punch, but there are a multitude of Zandalari Dinomancers on that ship, along with a Primal Devilsaur. It's a fight to get to him, and a fight to get him down.
If you're a hunter, keep your eyes peeled for the Ancient Tome of Dinomancy. The book will teach you how to tame the direhorns that wander the isle. And if you're not a hunter, but more lore-inclined, all of the Dinomancers on the Isle have a chance at dropping any of the five Zandalari journals required for the Zandalari Library Card achievement, which is one of many required for the Stormbreaker meta achievement.
Them bones and mounts
But the core of the island appears to be dedicated to one thing -- bone collecting. Located in a cave on the western side of the island is Ku'ma The Bone Collector. As his name suggests, he's interested in just one thing -- bones. Lots of bones. Luckily, the dinosaurs on the Isle of Giants drop tons of them. And the more bones you bring to Ku'ma, the more he'll give you as a reward. Nine bones will net you a Mote of Harmony, and 99 bones will get you a Spirit of Harmony, guaranteed.
If you're really industrious, gathering 999 bones for Ku'ma will get you a Spectral Porcupette, another awesome addition for Battle Pet enthusiasts. And if you're really, really dead-set on gathering bones, bringing Ku'ma 9,999 bones will get you the Reins of the Bone-White Primal Raptor -- a white raptor mount that looks remarkably similar to the Whistle of the Ivory Raptor removed way back in patch 1.4. For Alliance players, it's a guaranteed shot at getting a raptor mount through farming. For Horde players, it's a shot at getting a white raptor mount -- something that hasn't been seen since vanilla.
Even if you aren't up to the task of gathering all those bones for the white raptor, there are still more to be had. The dinosaurs on the island have a chance to drop a Primal Egg. It takes three days to hatch ... and if you're thinking this sounds remarkably similar to the eggs from Sholazar Basin, you'd be right. After three days, the egg will hatch, and it has a chance of containing yet another mount. It's been reported that both the Reins of the Black Primal Raptor and the Reins of the Green Primal Raptor have hatched from the egg on the PTR. The Reins of the Red Primal Raptor were also added with this patch, but it hasn't been determined whether this is another egg possibility or not, yet.
Back to the old grind
To get to the isle, you can simply fly north from Zouchin Village in Kun-Lai Summit -- but fly low to the oceans. Once you get close to the Isle, you'll be dismounted. There are two flight masters stranded on the southern beach, one Alliance, one Horde. You cannot fly on the island, so you'll have to be careful on your trek -- although at the top of the island are vendors that will sell you Intact Direhorn Hides. These will give you the appearance of a Direhorn and allow you to move around the island as if you were in stealth -- just don't get too close to the dinosaurs, because they definitely know the difference.
All the mobs on the Isle of Giants are elite, and the large dinosaurs in particular pack a whallop. You'll want to bring a group to the island if you're going to kill any of the larger dinosaurs, but they drop more bones for collecting. And honestly, that's where the big appeal of the Isle of Giants comes in. It doesn't have any quests. It's not pointed out to you at any point in your journey through Pandaria, including on the newly introduced Isle of Thunder. It's just there for the farming.
And there is something ridiculously fun about grouping up with a few friends and murdering a heck of a lot of dinosaurs. We haven't had anything that has been a flat-out grind in a long time, certainly nothing on the scale of this. There's no real purpose to what you're doing beyond collecting things. There's no pressure to get stuff done. It makes the island an oddly relaxing way to spend a few hours with friends, chattering over Mumble or Vent and simply spending some time mindlessly killing things.
If that sounds like a good time to you, then I suggest you check out the Isle. Sure, it isn't directly progression-related. It's not part of the main storyline of 5.2, beyond the Zandalari's odd attraction to really huge dinosaurs. It's just a place to relax, have some fun, and do the thing that many of us love to do most -- kill internet dragons. Dinosaurs. Whatever!