The Suramar zone has a lot of quests.
As noted previously I floundered about a bit figuring out where the lead-in for the zone was, eventually catching up with Khadgar and getting on the right path. But that is quite a path.
To start with there is a whole quest chain series to run through… not a zone’s worth relative to the other zones, but maybe half that amount… to get the Nightborne up and running and willing to start you off on the actual series of quest chains for the zone achievement that is on the path to unlock flying.
Suramar itself is in the shape of a section of a circle, an arc with open countryside and ruins on the outside two thirds of the arc.
The outside boundaries are a bit rough, but it is mostly an arc. It is in this outer area where you start to delve into the tale of the Nightborne, their deeds and sites, and their huge mana addiction.
Basically, the whole story is about a bunch of isolationist night elves who became junkies, slaves to their mana addiction, how they got tied up with the Legion, and the search by one underground group to rid themselves of the Legion and to find the mythical mana methadone equivalent. You seriously have to get the quest givers a fix before they’ll talk to you if they are Jonesing.
Fortunately bits of mana are literally sitting all over the countryside and by a few quests in you’ve been given the power to see such mana nodes on your mini-map, all the better to keep your Nightborne buddies lit and sweet.
There is even a sort of mana pool game you have to play. When you start out there is a hard limit on how much mana you can acquire, but one of the rewards you get as you move along is boosts to the total pool you can have. Nothing like ending up in a mana rich area and finding you’re already full up, though at least some of the nodes yield crystals, good for 50 or 100 mana, that go into your inventory as a secondary storage which can be accessed later.
Once you have followed through setting things up in the outer arc, the quest line begins to focus on Suramar City in the center of the circle.
There you get in touch with the underground seeking to overthrow the Legion and their Nightborne allies.
Suramar City itself reminds me a bit of Annuminas in Evendim back in LOTRO, at least in its semi-circular form around a central bay/harbor and the somewhat overwrought grandness of its structures.
I like how fantasy cities all seemed to have been built by one architect. Nobody dares violate the style guidelines.
The city has an interesting game mechanic. To those running the city you are a hostile outsider who is kill on sight, so the underground hooks you up with a disguise that mostly fools the bads. However, some of those bads possess “true sight” which allows them to see through your disguise. Fortunately for you, you can spot them a mile away by the glowing blue eyeball hovering above them when you are disguised.
If you get too close they call you out and you have to either get away quickly or kill them. Once combat starts… or once they identify you… your disguise drops and any other guards in the area will also join in.
And so you do your bit for the underground, avoiding true sight and recruiting allies, assassinating foes, and generally sowing discord. It can be a nifty and immersive experience. Also, the grapple mechanic from Stormheim is a thing in Suramar City and you can get up onto the room tops at various points… though you mostly do that to find treasure boxes and bits of stray mana to keep everybody sweet.
There is one guy along the quest chain who wants 1,200 mana to carry on, which at that point is most of what you can carry and he just asked for 800 mana a bit ago, so I spent some time just refreshing my supply. It is a good thing that the stuff is lying about all over, to such an extent that you might wonder who couldn’t keep themselves supplied, but maybe they’re all just high and can’t be bothered.
Still, while this is all good fun, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, there are some kinks in the plan. There are a series of solo quests that require you to run through the Moonlit Landing area of Suramar city in order to speak to people, pick up a few items, or kill a few foes.
However, what distinguishes the Moonlit Landing is that most of the guards both have true sight and are elite.
Yeah, yeah, out in the open world “elite” doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in a dungeon or a raid. For the most part an open world elite means that you can probably solo it with some effort/competence, but that getting a couple of them on you is bad news. The problem is that the true sight elites are packed in tight so the idea that you’re going to get spotted in the middle of the area and only have to fight one at a tight is unlikely in the extreme.
If you’re very patient you could probably get through with stealth. If you are very lucky you could probably get through skirting the edge of detection circles while speeding through.
For the rest of us, there are alternative means.
There were a couple that I managed to do by using the good old Goblin Glider kit to jump off from the vineyard level above Moonlit Landing to glide on down to the person I needed to speak to or the dingus I needed to acquire or modify. From there I used the whistle you get when you open up world quests… and this may be the best thing ever for those who don’t have flying yet… that summons a flying mount to take you to the nearest flight point.
And then there were a couple I did by the brute force corpse and revive method. I didn’t start out with that as a plan, but I had to speak to three NPCs in the midst of the area and I failed at stealth and speed, so I just ran to a safe spot near the first one and died. Then I ran back as a spirit, revived, spoke to the NPC, then ran for the next one, died in a safe spot, revived, and then again for the third one.
Finally, I had to kill some of the elites for drops. Again, killing one is possible, but getting a group means you die. I found a couple on the periphery and pulled them out into the water to take them down, a plan that worked three out of four times.
The first time I did it I didn’t see the other guards behind something on the dock, but still managed to slay my target before dying, so I could loot him after I revived.
It wasn’t horrible, and it did provide a challenge of sorts with a few possible solutions, but I could see those quests being a real barrier to some people. I told my daughter that when she gets there I’ll help her out, either healing for her DK if we need to brute force some of it or flying her in for some of the trickier ones. But she might not need my help as she is generally more savvy at that sort of thing than I am.
The other issue turned out to be less of an issue than I thought it might be. You get sent off to slay Xavius in the Emerald Nightmare raid. On the plus side it was doable with the LFR version of the raid, so I queued up for the Xavius section of that thinking that I might be a couple hours getting through it.
However, that section of the raid is a few quick fights and then Xavius shows up. Our group took him down without issue and I was able to run off to Cenarius, pick up the required quest item… which doesn’t drop with Xavius but is stilling next to Cenarius… and be done.
I spent more time waiting in the queue for the raid… maybe 10 minutes… than it took to get through it. It went so fast I forgot to take a screen shot until I was done.
The raid and that final venture into Moonlit Landing were the last real hurdles. There were a pair of quests that required me to do Heroic instances, which I felt would be a real problem… everybody is fine with sloppy in easy normal mode, but in Heroic people start hating strangers when the difficulty ramps up… but those turned out to be option for the achievement.
So I finished out the quest chain which knocked out a couple of achievements for me, the important one being Loremaster of Legion, one of the five required for the Broken Isles Pathfinder (Part One) achievement that gates flying.
Meanwhile, along the way I also managed to complete my order hall class quest. I had a little bit of trouble figuring out where this quest was and ended up getting both of the other paladin artifact weapons… the same orange punctuation heralds both quest types… before finally getting on the right path. That also rained down some achievements on me.
You get the new champions as soon as the chain is done, and they are 110 to start with, so that is a twofer right there if you’ve kept your other champions trained up.
Now my Ashbringer seems bigger and even more glowy than it did before.
Now I can turn undead to little piles of dust even more quickly!
That also knocked out another section of the first Broken Isles Pathfinder achievement, leaving me with two to go.
The first is Variety is the Spice of Life, for which I have to run 100 different world quests. If you look on the side of one of the screen shots above, you can see that I am tracking that achievement and sit at 71 out of 100. I should be able to knock that out. The only issue is remembering which world quests I have done before. I’ve done some I could swear I was hitting for the first time, only to not see the number go up, while I’ve done others I know I’ve done and they count. There is some confusion possible as a lot of world quests seem to be re-worked versions of normal quests. Either way, if I run enough I know I’ll get there. I still have not done any Broken Shore world quests, so those will boost that number.
And I know I will be running world quests because the last bit of the Pathfinder achievement is the Broken Isles Diplomat achievement which requires you to get revered standings with a list of factions. I have a ways to go there.
The Nightfallen is our Nightborne friends in Suramar, and I managed to squeak into revered with them on the last quest in their chain, so I am covered, there. But as for the rest, it will be world quests ongoing. Lots of work to do on The Wardens as they are only Friendly at this point.
And that is just the Broken Isles Pathfinder Part One. There is the Part Two portion, which extends things to the Broken Shore. Fortunately that seems to be a single zone worth of exploration and a quest chain to do along with another faction to revered.
Anyway, some progress made and I continue to track myself as I go over at WoW Head.