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.
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.
Guard Thomas, of course, sends you out on two quests. The first is to kill Prowlers and Bears. A pretty standard MMO quest.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
He is out there, somewhere, waiting for me.
Another elite quest to face.