Is there going to be any gear available in 5.3 that is higher than i522?
Sort of! Wrathion's chain will offer cloaks as a reward that are currently ilvl 600 on the PTR. And you'll have the option to upgrade your gear with valor points again. Other than that, it seems as though most of the rewards are a lower ilvl, or cosmetic.
In the most recent Q & A, it was mentioned that the developers had learned from Dragon Soul, and that they wouldn't be just using old locales with the Ogrimmar raid. So, lorewise, where do you think we'll go?
Well, there's supposedly a subterranean complex that's been hidden away in Ragefire Chasm -- you'll get a look at it in the Ragefire scenario in patch 5.3. It stands to reason there may be other hidden pockets of places in Orgrimmar that we simply haven't seen yet. I can't really imagine the Siege of Orgrimmar without actually, you know, involving Orgrimmar at all, however.
Why can't Sargeras physically arrive on Azeroth and start tearing stuff up in person? It's apparent that it's not possible without help, but I don't think I've ever ran across the reasoning behind that.
That's an excellent question! Sargeras currently resides in the Twisting Nether -- it's not like another planet, it's more like an alternate dimension. Dimension traveling is a big deal for demons. Most of the time, when you see a demon on Azeroth, you aren't seeing the physical demon at all. That's why when you kill a demon, you're not really killing it -- you're sending it back to the Twisting Nether. Think of it in terms of druids and the Emerald Dream. A druid can go to sleep, enter the dream, and interact with everything inside. But if a druid is killed in the Emerald Dream, he doesn't die -- he just wakes up. It's kind of like that with demons and the Twisting Nether. The real world is the Emerald Dream of demon-kind, in a way.
In order for a demon to physically cross over, they need a portal between the two planes. Archimonde successfully crossed over into Azeroth, but it took an incredibly powerful ritual using the Book of Medivh to pull it off. Kil'jaeden was nearly summoned into Azeroth using the Sunwell as the source of power to do it, but we stopped that. A demon as powerful as Sargeras would require a portal of immense magical power to come through. That's what the Well of Eternity was being used for. It took the combined powers of the Well of Eternity, the most skilled Highborne sorcerers, Queen Azshara, and the Dragon Soul to even begin to make it work. It would take items of at least that much power to try and make that become a reality again.
QftQ: Has DPS become more complicated, and therefore, less forgiving of unskilled play this expansion?
I don't think it's a matter of DPS becoming more complicated so much as fight mechanics becoming more complicated. Rotations are fairly forgiving for most DPS classes -- but fight mechanics require players to pay attention and perform certain tasks with far more precision this expansion. It means that DPS players can't just stand there and DPS anymore. There are abilities that you have to avoid, special abilities that you need to use, things you shouldn't be standing in, and things you absolutely should be standing in -- sometimes all in the same encounter. That ramps up the difficulty for those who aren't prone to paying attention to what's going on around them in raids.
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