Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vanilla Quest Chains To Do Before Cataclysm

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.

2) Darrowshire

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.

5) Dreadsteed

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.

4 comments:

bobreaze said...

I hated leveling in WPL, EPL, Sylithus pre 60. I hated it when i was leveling to make it to 58 so i could go to BC. To me there is nothing redeeming about the quest but i generally see quest as a means to an end not something to enjoy. Unless its ungoro i will set aside 3 hours just to do all of its quest One of the best quest zones pre-bc minus random drop quest. The ability to do 5 quest at once really makes it feel less grindy.

Dorgol said...

Bobreaze's view is completely foreign to me. I *love* a good questline. Probably why I have two characters with the Loremaster title and am working on a third.

Regarding this list:

1) Tirion's quest was not only really cool from a lore perspective, it was also fairly unknown back in the day. Unless you happened to pull it up on Thottbot, you had no reason to visit the location he is camped out in. I've done this quest on every single character, except perhaps my mage (so 6 or 7 times now).

2) Darrowshire. Agreed on its fantasticness. I was able to complete it once in Vanilla (with the full raid requirement). During TBC I managed to get about 3 or 4 people together and clear it. In WotLK I solo'd it at 65 on my Death Knight. So yeah, it's nerfed... and DKs are way too OP in their starting gear. :)

3) Caer Darrow. I need to redo this one! I did it in Classic and for the alchemy recipe only available from the ghost vendor. My newest Loremaster needs to complete it for the exact same reason!

4) Fallen Hero. If Tirion was a hard quest to find, this one was even harder for Alliance players. The starter quest is in a tower that you have ZERO reason to go into. Again, I finished this one in Classic, with a full group. I even had to kite the demon off the mountain since the rest of the group couldn't go up. My Warrior still has the Azurite weapon in his bank since he was never able to get a group in Classic to finish it. Since then I've done it on my Paladin (at 70) and most recently on my Shaman (at 60). Heavily nerfed, I thought I would die or just barely survive. Instead, his adds went down fast and my wolves outhealed his damage. :|

5) Dreadsteed is awesome and should be done. Coincidentally, my Classic character is a Warlock so I did this one too! I remember skinning dragons for what felt like ages, then dropping skinning for Herbalism to get the Ghost Mushrooms. My guild ended up fronting me the last 200g (and it felt like a fortune) and I was the 2nd warlock in guild with the mount (probably the 5th or 6th on the server). Ah, the good ol' days of working for your stuff... :)

Most recently, though, I started the Scepter of the Shifting Sands questline. This and the Horde Onyxia questlines are the only two I have never done, so I am working hard on both. I'm only 2 steps short of finishing the Scepter... but I need 10 Elementium. NOT an easy ore to get ahold of these days. :|

Hana said...

Not everyone's into lore admittedly, but I'm the sort of person who will replay a non-MMO game to experience the story again. I reread books too. :)

Dorgol, I did the Horde Onyxia chain with a guildie during TBC and it was a lot of fun! We ended up two-manning almost everything, but it was still cool traveling everywhere.

I definitely recommend the Shifting Sands quest. My guild ran BWL a few times to help one of our guys get enough ore to finish the questline and we hung out with him as he fished up the giant shark, met the Eranikus in Moonglade, and rang the gong at AQ.

Though I didn't personally do the quest chain, it was still a worthwhile experience.

Maestro said...

Fallen Hero of the Horde was one of my favorite chains back in Vanilla WoW. I remember giving it a go with my best in-game friends and the feeling of greatness upon beating it. In fact, I'm gonna go check to see if my current incarnation of Relevart has done it. Here's to hoping he hasn't!!