Ah yes, the Timeless Isle. So called because time stands still there, and you keep hunting rares and killing things so by the time you next look at the clock figuring it’s been half an hour, it’s been five hours instead.
I’m aware this is kind of late, since the content was released quite a while ago, but I know a few people who aren’t currently playing the game but will want to be doing Timeless Isle content once they resubscribe. Writing this gives me a convenient page to point to and say “here’s what you should know, ask me if you have any questions.”
First, a few basic pointers.
You need a game plan on the Isle — a priority list, if you will. Do you want to get some gear for your alts? Kill all the rares? Get all the pets and the mount from Huolon? Get the Bigger Bag achievement (good luck)? Reach Exalted with Emperor Shaohao? Your aims affect what you kill and on which character (since the items for the Bigger Bag achievement are not account wide as far as the achievement criteria is concerned, so you’ll need to use one character).
You need to learn where rares are if you want to have a hope in hell of tapping them. When they spawn, people kill them, and they do so very fast. The only exception are the Sanctuary rares (Urdur the Cauterizer and Flintlord Gairan), due to their location and the fact that many people have no idea how to deal with them. The Sanctuary version of Archiereus of Flame is also often left alive, because he’s tough to kill and the Three-Breeze Terrace version is in much easier reach. Garnia may stay up forever or die immediately, depending on whether there are people actively camping the spot or not.
Likewise, you should to get a feel for how long it takes to get from A to B for pretty much any point on the Isle. (It will come with experience.) It’s not essential, but it can save you time, since if a rare is called that you have no hope in hell of reaching before it dies you can just stay put.
Speaking of which, do not expect people to wait before they kill a rare. Just don’t. It’s not going to happen, except very late at night (around 3-4am server time on my server) when there are few people around.
Also, people will be dicks. It’s a fact of life. Examples include: pulling Huolon on the top of the bridge and solo-killing him so he’s out of range of everybody else who was waiting; not calling events until the actual rare spawns, at which point it’s way too late for anybody to get there — Rattleskew is a prime candidate for this); and, on a PVE server, people using the Censer of Eternal Agony and then standing on what you’re killing or trying to loot, hoping you’ll mis-target, hit them and get flagged.
You will miss rares. The geography of the place, plus the randomness in the spawn timers, means that while you’re killing one thing, another rare is dying elsewhere. It happens. You have to pick what you care about most, and if a rare is due (or overdue) for a spawn and you care strongly about it, just drop everything and go sit at the spawn point. Don’t be that guy who misses Huolon because he expected the 40-50 people that were already there to wait for him to get there before engaging.
That said, some rares do allow for multi-camping, provided you are ready to move very quickly when one is up.
- Firewalker Ruins has Watcher Osu and Jakur of Ordon, plus you can get at Bufo and Zesqua via dropping off either side of the cliff. Rattleskew is also reachable if somebody is polite enough to call the event (the rare itself dies in a few hits). Other rares may seem close enough, but you won’t make it before they get turned into a smear on the ground unless there are only a handful of people around.
- The general area of and near Old Pi’jiu has Gu’chi the Swarmbringer, Zesqua, Cranegnasher, Zhu-Gon the Sour and Karkanos. Again, you can make it to Rattleskew if somebody calls the event.
- Spirit of Jadefire and Rock Moss spawn in the same cave. (If both are up, go kill Jadefire first. It’s not elite and has one third the health of Rock Moss, so it’ll die much faster.)
- Sitting near Leafmender, you can usually get at Champions of the Black Flame before they die; Cinderfall is also a possibility (though it depends on how fast his health is going down). If you know how to get off the cliff without killing yourself (or you have a glider), also in reach are Spelurk (if somebody calls the rock fall instead of just pulling it) and Tsavo’ka.
- Being in neighboring caves, Spelurk and Tsavo’ka are obviously reachable from each other.
- Golganarr is easily reachable from pretty much anywhere, provided you’re paying attention to his zone-wide yell and move immediately. He’s sturdy enough that he takes a bit to die.
There are other rares near each other (the west beach comes to mind), but they typically die so fast that you’ll often miss them anyway.
If you’re a melee-based character, look through your spellbook, find the longest-range ability you have that is capable of tapping and put it somewhere in convenient reach. You’re not always going to make it to melee range of a rare before it dies.
That said, there are addons I would recommend. The first one is RareCoordinator. In addition to keeping track of when rares last spawned, it has one other feature that’s gotten me a bunch of kills I otherwise would’ve missed. I don’t know how it does it (combat log watching?), but when you’re close enough to a rare that’s alive and engaged, it’ll pop a 3D model of it on your screen, regardless of whether you have it already cached or whether it’s visible on your minimap.
If you’re not good at finding your way around just from coordinates and Wowhead comments, install HandyNotes plus the two Timeless Isle plugins — one adds Timeless Isle chests to your map (and keeps track of which you’ve looted), the other gives you a rough idea of where rare spawns show up.
Before You Go
You want to have some form of water walking. The Azure Water Strider mount will work for most purposes, but if you plan on regularly chasing after Evermaw, you need something you can use in combat. If your class doesn’t have a water-walking ability, try the Anglers Fishing Raft, Elixir of Water Walking or perhaps Aqua Jewel (though I’ve not tested the latter). An item from the Timeless Isle itself can also help — I’ll detail that in the next section.
If you intend to work on Shaohao reputation, grab any buffs to reputation gain you can get your hands on (such as the ones from certain holidays or the Darkmoon Faire). If your guild has access to it, get the Battle Standard of Coordination (or the Standard of Unity, but the former is better) and drop it whenever you’re killing yaungol. (I’m assuming you’ll be doing that — hitting Exalted just by doing the daily, at 250 rep a pop before any bonuses, will take you almost six months.)
If you’re a druid and you’re not usually specced into Displacer Beast, do yourself a favor and carry around some respec tomes. Displacer Beast can get through the Spelurk rock fall just the same as Blink.
On the Isle
Certain items that drop (or, in one case, are sold) on the Isle itself will make your life much easier.
- The Cursed Swabby Helmet could be very annoying to get, depending on your luck — to open the chest it’s in, you need to loot a key off the mobs around it. It took me, I kid you not, an hour before it dropped for me. With it, though, you’re guaranteed to be able to keep up with Evermaw.
- Book of the Ages, Dew of Eternal Morning and Singing Crystal drop off literally everything in the place. Unless you die all the time, you’ll be getting far more than you spend, and they make a huge difference.
- Windfeather Plume drops from elite cranes and the rare Emerald Gander. They’re great for leveling alts, but they’re also great for when you’re rushing to a rare. Just be mindful that the buff will drop if you go somewhere you can’t mount (inside caves, for instance).
- A slow albatross is not the only way to get up to Garnia’s lake. Get Falling Flame from Cinderfall, aim correctly and you’ll get there much faster. Alternatively, buy some Golden Gliders, swim out to fatigue waters near the lake, get on your flying mount, fly up to the “ceiling” of the sky, pop a glider and head to the lake.
- Bubbling, Misty and Thick Pi’jiu Brew are also quite helpful if you’re feeling underpowered, although to be honest, I’ve not actually bothered farming any after getting one of each for the achievement. (They can also be used in Brawler’s Guild, apparently, which might get me to farm some…)
- And here’s a reason for you to grind Honored with Shaohao posthaste — Time-Lost Artifact. This drops you at the entrance to the Celestial Court from anywhere, and “anywhere” includes the Timeless Isle itself. The one-minute cooldown is completely negligible.