I like having a goal, but I don’t want a friggin’ mortgage!
-Piacenza, on hearing about my Loremaster aspirations
The run for the loremaster achievement continues, though I am starting to feel a bit of the weight behind the task at this point. I keep thinking “I am almost done with Kalimdor!” forgetting how much else was on the list.
And being done with Kalimdor got two zones closer since I last wrote on the topic.
After finishing up Thousand Needles I sent my rogue, Trianis, up north to Ashenvale again so he could make the run to Felwood, the next unfinished zone on the list.
Felwood, another long, narrow zone, wedged in between Darkshore and Mount Hyjal. Oddly, Mount Hyjal has always been there on the map as I recall, though it only became an accessible zone with the advent of the Cataclysm expansion. (There is a good description of the old version of the zone, including the original map, over at Giant Bomb. I only found that after I wrote 90% of this post.) It had been a long, long time since I stalked the length of Felwood.
More after the cut. Many words.
And stalk is the operative term.
It is funny how each of these zones left very specific impressions on me from my past experience. Two things stick out in my mind from the last time I went through Felwood, which had to have been before Wrath of the Lich King came out.
The first is running through that damn tunnel at the end to get to Winterspring and dying. I have to imagine that is a pretty common memory for anybody who tried to run the tunnel before getting enough Timbermaw rep.
The other memory is fighting my way through the large, underground tunnel network of the satyrs, which seemed to go on forever. So, if nothing else, I was looking forward to taking this on with a rogue who could at least stealth his way through the whole thing.
And then there are the more general memories of too much running back and forth for quest turn-ins, lots of “kill this very specific type of mob” quests, and being generally lost and having to look up locations on the web. Actually, that last is probably the memory theme… being lost in Felwood.
Being level level 47, I was well positioned for the zone, which is scaled for level 45-50, thus fulfilling one of my “I’m going to try to stick to this” aspects of my project, not just doing all the quests for the achievement, but doing them at something close to “at level” for the zone. We’ll see how long I can stick to that. I suspect I’ll be one-shotting grays with a level 90 eventually. But for now, I am still on track.
Felwood has, of course, been given the Cataclysm make-over. It wasn’t drastically altered in any visual/physical sense. Blizzard added a couple more flight points, and under the current model, you still have to go find them first before you can use them. And the quest chain was updated. There are now a variety of quests types to break up the times you are sent to kill 6 or 12 or 15 of whatever mob the quest giver has a grudge against. So you get to get honey from hives, but if the bees get on you, you have to go jump in the water. (Or wait them out, as the bees turn out to be a rather light damage over time effect.) At one point I was sent to go slay some imps using rainbows.
That quest rewards you with a rainbow generating trinket, which makes it all worthwhile.
I was a little concerned when I arrived in the zone and found I could get all the quests in the first quest hub save one. There was a gray exclamation point there, telling me I wasn’t high enough level for a quest.
That seemed odd, right there in the first quest hub. I began to wonder how many quests I would be running out of this hub that I would be around long enough to get a quest for which level 47 was deemed too low of a level. And when the quest chain move on, that gray exclamation point stuck in the back of my head. Why won’t he give me that quest?
But the quest chain did move on, and I was sent to my rendezvous with the satyrs and their tunnel complex. This has actually been changed in multiple ways. The first quest giver is close to where you need to go. There kill and collect quests are less onerous than I remember. The next quest giver is over by the tunnel entrance. And then the named mobs you need to kill each have their own quest, which you get one at a time, with each kill ending the current quest and giving you the next one. Combine that with rogue stealth and I was zipping through the whole thing.
That chain runs until you get to the final named mob in the tunnels, at which point the chain send you back to the quest hub. But, if you are paying attention, which, out of character, I was actually doing, there is a portal next to the final mob that teleports you right where the quest chain ends.
Finishing that up moves you on up the zone. There is a whole quest hub that seems new to me, in and about the Whisperwine Grove area. These get into a number of Cataclysm related quest events, including a display that shows you a set events that bear on the lore of the game. Sort of a “Previous on World of Warcraft” quest chain.
I was a bit confused by the mechanics of this. The quest just tells you to view the events. However, if you do that, you get a “Quest Failed” message and have to start over again. This is apparently interactive history, and you have to actually get in there and pound on the bad guy in each scene. I guess that makes sure you are paying attention. You have to identify the right guy and actually do something. And you get to see Illidan transform into what is the final boss in Black Temple.
Finishing that up I was whisked off to the final quest hub at the tunnel end of the zone, just three quests shy of the achievement. Another zone with no shortage of quests to get there.
I knocked out a couple more of the quests, but declined to start on the Timbermaw Hold quest line. I figured I would save that for another time. In flying back to the starting quest hub I found that, now being level 50, I had access to that one grayed out quest. It turned out to be the linking quest to send me to the next zone, Winterspring. I headed out for that, running through the tunnel without issue as you now get enough faction to keep the Timbermaw furbolgs from being aggro. There I met up with the first quest giver who has a suddenly topical name, Denova Snowden.
I’m sure the NSA will flag me for even using that name in a post.
At that point I headed for the Everlook with its inn and flight point to put my rogue on the back burner for a bit. The next zone on my list was Un’goro Crater.
My monk had already started on Un’goro Crater, just about a month back, when I was debating fast panda versus happy panda. Since he was already in place, level 53, and a few quests in, I though it would be best to just carry on there. And once I remembered how to play the monk, and that I could no longer just stealth past stuff, it was okay.
As with Felwood, Un’goro Crater hasn’t been changed much physically. The upheaval of Cataclysm did not alter the geography. Some encampments have been redone and a number of the quest chains have been revamped, but a lot of stuff is still the same. The first few quests at the zone start involve the raptors and grabbing the pheromones. You still have to collect the colored crystals, though not as many as you used to… I think. I could be remembering that wrong. You go take temperatures at Fireplume Ridge. You find the pylons around the edge of the zone.
As an aside, I just as I was starting on the whole loremaster achievement thing, I dug out some songs that Earl had written about World of Warcraft back in 2008 and 2009 and recorded with his band… because he is a Renaissance man and fishes, races cars, and has a home recording studio. I used one of the songs for my video about Sunken Temple, but there are others about various areas including The Barrens, the Deadmines, and even Un’goro Crater. Starting off in Un’goro, I picked that song and was somewhat confused by the lyrics, which center around somebody who built a girlfriend named Amy.
And then, of course, I go to the A-Me 01 quest chain and suddenly got the whole meaning.
While there are some new quests in the zone, including an amusing set with Maximillian of Northshire, who is determined to defeat dragons and save damsels, there is more than enough left of the old zone to trigger memories and be a nostalgia tour. And given how much time many people spent in Un’goro back in the day for the climb from 50 to 60, which used to take a while, there are lots of memories there to be mined.
As with Felwood, I actually ended up with enough quests for the achievement, a total of 41 are needed, before I ran out of quests to run.
I ran out a couple more just to finish the stories and called it a wrap on Un’goro crater, with Makawao hitting level 57 along the way.
That just leaves me two more zones to finish up on Kalimdor. Winterspring, where Trianis is set to carry on, and Bloodmyst Isle, the 60 quest achievement that covers the Draeni starting zone. I will probably roll a new Draeni character to pick that up. Then that will be Kalimdor.
Which will leave me, on the vanilla-ish WoW front, a bunch of zones in the Eastern Kingdoms. Still on the list are:
- The Cape of Stranglethorn 30-35 – 60 quests
- Eastern Plaguelands 40-45 – 70 quests
- Badlands 44-48 – 35 quests
- Searing Gorge 47-51 – 35 quests
- Burning Steppes 49-52 – 40 quests
- Swamp of Sorrows 51-55 – 25 quests
- Blasted Lands 55-60 – 35 quests
Makawao, my monk, will probably knock off Swamp of Sorrows and Blasted Lands before heading into Outland. I have a warrior who is about a third of the way through the Eastern Plauguelands, and a level 36 shaman who could take on the Cape of Stranglethorn. Still a bunch of work to go before I start to contemplate the zones I have left unfinished in the expansions.