I recently transferred my Alliance warlock alt to join a bunch of coworkers on another server. This warlock was 54 before I started playing her again and I figured with Cataclysm coming I really should relive some of the more epic quests I'd done before, or had never done at all.
For me this meant traveling to both Western and Eastern Plaguelands. I'd really only spent time here on Hana, since she's my only character that hit 60 before TBC. Sure Gillien and Darkker had made brief forays, but Gillien moved on to Outland around 58 and Darkker focused on PvP as she reached the upper end of the 50-59 bracket.
Oddly enough, doing mundane quests in Plaguelands felt like a home-coming of sorts. There was a time when these zones was bustling with activity, and there's so much lore to be found here. I'm pretty sure the majority of WPL is changing and EPL will probably have some significant changes as well.
The following is my list of quest chains to do before I hit up Outland. I don't care if I'm over level 60 by the time I finish them. I want to do them as close to the level I was when I did them originally, or as close to the level I was intended to be in case of the quests I never completed. It's just not quite as epic when everything gets one-shot.
1) Tirion Fordring's Redemption
When I originally met Tirion back in vanilla WoW, he was this old human hermit in EPL and I was struck by how he saw honor to be a facet irrespective of race. As a Horde player, he immediately won me respect, and though he offered tedious kill 30 of this particular monster quests I did them anyway. Gold was hard to come by in vanilla WoW. Doing quests in the later half of vanilla was one way to earn some.
After I finished killing many horrible things in Eastern Plaguelands, Tirion told me his true story for being out there, that he had refused to betray his honor for his station, and that his greatest regret regarding his exile was that he hadn't been able to guide his son into being a better man.
In this quest chain, the player has to gather a bunch of items to remind his wayward son, now a Scarlet Crusader, of what his father stood for and to reunite father and son together. The chain ends with Tirion vowing to reforge the Silver Hand and lays the groundwork for everything that happens in WoLK with the Argent Crusade.
Of course, then he gets all shiny in Northrend and I can barely stand him anymore. But once upon a time I thought he was one of the coolest NPCs in the game.
Darrowshire was so epic back in its day that its finale was one of the few raid quests that did not take place in a instance. There are a couple ways to start this chain. One is from Marlene Redpath's ghost in WPL, and the other is from Jessica Redpath (still living) in Winterspring. Both want you to check up on little Pamela's fate since the town of Darrowshire was overrun by the Scourge.
It turns out Pamela, a young girl, did not survive the attack and her ghost still wanders waiting for her family to come back. As you go through the quest you learn the story of the horrible battle that razed Darrowshire and how Pamela's father had been corrupted by the Scourge and betrayed the town.
The quest chain eventually shifts from finding out what happened, to recreating the battle (which is why you needed a raid--there was a hell of a lot to fight!) so that the spirit of Joseph Redpath can be redeemed.
From my understanding, it can be solo-ed now if a person is careful. Many of the formerly elite mobs have been nerfed, and even the elites have been pulled down to the level of being a "normal" elite rather a "boss" level elite.
Still, it's a very moody quest that really drives home what it was like for the families who were assaulted by the Scourge. Probably one of the best examples of vanilla WoW storytelling.
3) Avenging the Ghosts of Caer Darrow
Scholomance sits above Caer Darrow, a town that has been ruined and his inhabitats butchered. Initially there is a quest chain from a pair of ghosts to destroy their bodies and those who tormented them, which awards the player with a trinket that gives them the ability to see all the ghosts of Caer Darrow.
One of those new ghosts sends the player on a quest chain to return the lich Ras Frostwhisper to his human form so he can be slain. While not quite on the epic scale of the previous two changes, it certainly involves its share of running round to Arathi Highlands, to Baron Rivendare's room in Stratholme, and back again.
I've never done this quest chain before, so I figure I should give it shot.
4) Fallen Hero of the Horde
There are few quest chains that rival the full length of Fallen Hero of the Horde. Only the longest of the WotLK chains can hope to match its 20+ quests (exact numbers appear to vary between Alliance and Horde).
The basic story is that an orc grew tired of waiting for orders that never came and unwisely led his unit into the Blasted Lands where they were overwhelmed by a powerful demon and his followers. Their souls were torn from their bodies and made to serve. Only the Fallen Hero, managed to escape though he still died shortly afterwards.
He asks the player to free his trapped soldiers, then discover the name of the demon. Once the demon's name is known it can be forged into a weapon against it. Finally, by killing the demon's three followers, the player can assemble an amulet that will allow the summoning of the demon.
To do this the player must scour not only the Blast Lands, but enlist help from a demon hunter in Azshara and a smith in Stranglethorn Vale. It's the kind of globe-trotting only a vanilla quest would make a player do.
After all that work, the player can face the demon himself in a hellish battle atop a mountain in Blasted Lands. Judging from comments on Wowhead the battle has been nerfed by a fair margin, but it used to be a 5-man quest that required careful preparation before anyone went up there.
It additional to all its other rewards, the chain also awarded a 16-slot bag, which was the gold standard back then. I still have that bag as a keepsake on Hana.
This is my first and only warlock, so the dreadsteed quest chain was not of interest to me before, but since the old world's being overhauled, I think there's a good chance this quest will be going bye-bye. Dire Maul is being retuned for a lower level and the level at which the player needs to be in order to visit the all areas needed by this quest won't match with the finale in the revamped Dire Maul (even allowing for the fact that Scholomance will now be similarly low in level).
I know this chain involves stealing a dreadsteed from a very cranky demon and traveling to such locales as Felwood, Burning Steppes, and Scholomance. Personally, I plan to combine the Scholomance run with turning Ras Frostwhisper into a human to save myself a trip.
It's also going to cost gold, but I think I have gold to spare. My alt is extremely rich compared to a vanilla WoW character, thanks to the incredible price people are willing to pay for herbs, so I don't anticipate going broke for a mount I already bought off my trainer. I just want to do the quest for posterity.
And it'll be a good excuse to do Dire Maul West since I've never done it before.
Timeless Exploration and Legendary Frustration
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