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Emerald Dream – Murlocs Never Evolve, Defias Never Forget October 26, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Warcraft.
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Again into the pretend past on the Emerald Dream server.

I started out after my diversion to Kharanos and my post-level 10 plateau looking for a new weapon.

Need to save up for that!

To do this, I ground kobolds around Fargo Deep Mine until I had the requisite about of silver.  I could finally afford my new hammer.  It was time to say good-bye to the Kobold mining shovel.

Thus armed, I was able to make it through the exploration of the Jasperlode Mine and was finally sent on my way down the road to Guard Thomas and the Eastvale Logging Camp.

Hey, he has a quest for me!

And, well, more after the cut to avoid spamming up the front page with nostalgia.

Are we all here?

Guard Thomas, of course, sends you out on two quests.  The first is to kill Prowlers and Bears.  A pretty standard MMO quest.

Certainly not the last wolf I’ll be asked to kill

The other is one of those great quests that sticks with you long after you have completed it… and not always for the best reasons.

You have to find out what happened to two missing Stormwind guards.  Guard Thomas sends you up the river to look, which is about as good a set of directions as you are going to get in a quest.  I took a side trip to the Eastvale Logging Camp to pick up the wood collection quest, which happens to overlap nicely with the wolf/bear quest.  I also got the next in the long line of “collect items of Defias apparel” quests.  That one doesn’t overlap, but I was there and had room in the quest log.

The first guard, who turns out to be just a pile of meat sitting in the grass, is just about where you expect if you followed the river as directed.  It wasn’t radiating little sparkles, that effect having come in further down the line for “hey, quest thingy here” indications.  But I was still able to find the pile of meat, which showed the little cog wheel when I moused over it.

Finding the first guard then gives you the clues to find the second.  It describes webbed foot prints and a village just visible in the distance.

A murloc village.

Murlocs… why did it have to be murlocs?

I think that this quest… and the murloc village… was one of the few areas not to be “made safer,” for lack of a better phrase, with the advent of Cataclysm.  The remains of the other guard are still a pile of meat in the middle of the village, and the murlocs are all still crowded so close together that multi-mob pulls are just a fact of life.

It is one of those situations where you think that if you just approach it from another direction, there might be an easier path.

There isn’t.  Instead, only death awaits the solo adventurer.

Look at the bones!

The ground around the village was covered with a fairly consistent semi-circle of bones.

I don’t know if that was death spread over many different players or just one guy who was ~really~ persistent.

Still, as I always do, I looked around, trying to find that mythical safe path into the murloc village while hoping for a bit of luck.  Fortunately, luck stepped in, because myth has always evaded me.  A level 9 warrior and a level 16 hunter came running into the murloc village, so I was able to tread in their wake.

Help from random strangers

Of course, the murloc village is still not that easy.  I got in and helped, but the warrior still died once and I had to heal the level 16 hunter to keep him alive as we finished up the murlocs within aggro range.  The respawn was just slow enough for all of us to click on the second pile of meat and evacuate the village without getting into another full on rumble with the murlocs.

Then it was a bit more wood, a few more prowlers, and time to turn in a few quests.

Of course, the way things worked, turning in my two quests to Guard Thomas got him to send me out to collect… murloc fins!  Like I hadn’t just killed about 25 murlocs in the last ten minutes.  I think you have to turn in the wolf/bear quest first before you go after the guards for maximum efficiency, a detail that slipped my mind.

But, I still had Defias gear to collect and there were, as I recalled, murlocs in the river to the south.  So time for some new locations.  Fortunately, the zone decided that there had been enough rain for a while.  I think it had been raining in Elwyn Forest for a week straight.

Down stream murloc

Murlocs were easy enough to find along the river as I wandered around looking for a decent sized concentration of Defias.  They have a couple of small camps down by the river.

Defias are where you find them

I managed to stumble into a camp with a named Defias, Dead-tooth Jack.  He was level 11, which put him a couple levels above the rest of the Defias in the area.

Me and Dead-tooth down by the school yard

I do not remember anything in particular about Jack, though on looking him up I gather he is part of a warrior quest line.  He sure didn’t drop anything nice for me.  Well, he dropped a shadow gem.  Fat lot of good those are.

Anyway, I slayed and disrobed enough Defias and clubbed and de-finned enough murlocs to satisfy the blood thirsty ambitions of the local Stormwind aligned residents.  However, on the way back, I stumbled across one more prize: Princess!

Some Pig!

I had forgotten about Princess.  I still had the quest, but it is a quest that starts at one farm, goes to another, then vaguely refers to some third farm that is pretty far across the zone.  It is another one of those things that if you were coming from pre-tutorial EverQuest, you would accept this as an pretty easy quest chain.  But if you were coming from a 2012 MMO, it would seem bizarro world complex for a starter zone.

Anyway, Princess was level 9, while I had just hit level 12, while her two minions were each level 7.  None of them was elite.  Despite not having hit my trainer, who was way back in Goldshire, I decided I could take them.  I ended up needing a health potion to do it, but I managed to put all of them down and collect the brass collar that Ma Stonefield was asking for about 8 levels ago.

Then it was the quest turn-in loop.  Guard Thomas, Sara Timberlane, Ma Stonefield, and then back to Goldshire.  Among the rewards was the red shirt (I hope that is not blood) made from the bandanas of the Defias.  No wonder they remain so hostile to Stormwind, as the citizens go around wearing such trophies.

Next, I need brown pants!

Arriving back in Goldshire I was immediately sent back to the Eastvale Logging camp because… it is 2006 and we think making you run across the zone and back builds character!  I had to consider this, because Eastvale is… a little odd at the moment.

We don’t hold with floors ’round these parts!

By this point though, having knocked of Princess, I was feeling I needed to be a completionist in Elwyn Forest, so I did the run out.  I did use my hearth stone to return to Goldshire though, because… screw character!

Then, at last, I was sent off to the Westbrook Garrison, where I was to collect the quest everybody has been waiting for.

Best Wanted Sign Ever!

He is out there, somewhere, waiting for me.

He is out there… wait, I just said that

Another elite quest to face.

Comments»

1. Tesh - October 26, 2012

“…making you run across the zone and back builds character!”

I still think one of these MMO things should really embrace the retro and make you run uphill *everywhere*. In the snow. Barefoot.

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2. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 26, 2012

@Tesh – Both ways! While being chased by wolves!

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3. Tesh - October 26, 2012

:) Definitely. Though I guess too far in that direction and we get WURM or something too simulationist. Imagine your WoW character getting winded or having fatigue from carrying around a pack full of old weapons and armor.

It needs to be just onerous enough to be character-building, but not enough to break the escapism.

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4. HarbingerZero - October 26, 2012

+10 points for the Holy Grail reference. Oh…and I hate murlocs. For all the reasons mentioned here.

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5. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 26, 2012

@HZ – That was one of those references that wrote itself. I think I even said it aloud in the voice. Other references were a bit more forced. I am not sure what synapse fired to equate Dead-tooth and Julio.

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6. SynCaine - October 26, 2012

I fail to see how you could possibly have had a group-like encounter without the minimap showing you a giant red circle, the game automatically grouping you, and everyone on the server getting a reward chest full of epic loot when the dynamic event was completed and the world was forever changed (phased just for me).

Clearly a major flaw in the MMO formula that I hope someone fixes soon. Totally unplayable and really immersion-breaking.

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7. Darraxus - October 26, 2012

I remember the Murloc quest most vividly with my Druid….because I think I died about 10 times while doing it. It was terrible. I remember Hogger on my Warrior as well. I am pretty sure he kicked my ass the first time I ever faced him.

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8. Kess - October 26, 2012

The murlocs in that village made me quit playing for almost two weeks, back when I started my mage in early 2006. That and the guard by the river that I couldn’t find until I finally looked it up on thottbot.

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9. NoAstronomer - October 26, 2012

There’s similar evidence of carnage amongst the player base in Kolkar Crag in Durotar. Like the murlocs, the centaur flee when at low health and then pull in adds. But because it’s an enclosed canyon rather than an open village what I found was a continuous trail of bones hugging the walls where people had tried to either skirt the groups or had pulled individuals away from their mates. Obviously without success and I did make my own contribution.

I would definitely approve of a game where running uphill was slower One of the things that was utterly hilarious about SWG was how it was possible to scale near vertical cliffs at a sprint.

Mike.

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10. Aerynne - October 26, 2012

The Holy Grail reference was good, but the Charlotte’s Web reference was better.

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11. MMOgrumpyoldgrognard - October 26, 2012

Someone needs to design an MMO with toilets. The game needs to have a mechanic that forces you to go to the toilet every 10 minutes, If you don’t you will explode. And you must do this whilst grouped.

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12. Matt - October 26, 2012

Hardest part about Durotar that I remember from those days was one of the last quests, called Darkstorms or something, where your goal was to kill this goblin named Fizzle Darkstorms…you had to fight your way through a ravine filled with thunder lizards, and then the goblin in question was surrounded by burning blade orcs that respawned quickly and dealt extra fire damage with each attack. I died so much…I’m not sure if I ever even completed it on that character. Another quest sent you to Skull Rock to find a burning blade insignia, filled with those same fire damage dealing bastards. Oh, the pain. I remember being really confused when the whole ‘burning blade infiltrating orgrimmar’ storyline just kind of ended at RFC…I was thinking it would be the storyline for much of the game.

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13. Telwyn - October 27, 2012

Oh that Murloc village. I died many times there on my old paladin, of course he had no way of pulling at range so overpulls were almost guaranteed. I also remember dying repeatedly in Loch Modan on those islands in the middle since troggs were in tight-knit groups…

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14. NetherLands - October 27, 2012

Doesn’t it help if you apporach the Murloc village in a half-circle pattern ie start where you cross the river and then move in a half circle towards the flesh heap?

As far as I remember you mainly picck off singular stranglers then and only 1 pack near the flesh heap (in case the group is fully spawned).

BTW: does the Emerald Dream feature a working Auction House?
I can see for example Crafting your own Gear being a valid option (no Node XP and hyper-XP in general, still Elites in the open world etc.) but being able to sell your goods would be sweeter still.

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15. Asmiroth - October 29, 2012

Do you find a disconnect between nostalgia and reality of system? Perhaps you can write down what you expect to see with Hogger from memory and then compare that to the actual reality.

Related of sorts, I had an uncle when I was younger (still have) who was a giant of a man. I thought he was He-Man. He’s nowhere close to that now and by all rights I should be intimidating him. He still scares the crap out of me, which my wife finds curious. It’s like my brain won’t get out of gear and move on.

I like these posts, they give some tangible flavor to the rose-colored waters going around lately.

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16. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 29, 2012

@Netherlands – ED does have a working auction house. I have peeked into it once or twice. It suffers from the usual problems of a low population server, which includes a lack of price stability and people eager to dump stuff at the lowest possible price just to get a silver or two. But I am still really low level and not yet into the bracket where gear drops become more common.

@Asmiroth – I do not think I have hit any major disconnects yet. It has been more a matter of “Oh, I remember this!” so far. Stuff I remembered being difficult, like murloc pulls when you have no ranged skill, seem to be as difficult as I expected.

But yeah, Hogger. Fearsome death dealing beast of horror, slayer of new players, terror of Elwyn Forest. He might be a bit outsized in my memory. We’ll get to him soon.

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