This story carries on from yesterday’s post. If you need context, you should start there.
We left off with my rogue, Chad, sitting outside of the west gate of Orgrimmar, having scouted our route to the city with an eye towards our group running the Ragefire Chasm instance.
We just had to get everybody together with me so we could begin working on getting to the instance.
Skronk and Ula both had characters on and were ready to go. The Bung and his son logged on and we started to finalize the group. Bung’s son, who I will call Nuget since that is his handle on Discord, had a level 13 warlock ready to go, which was perfect. Bung on the other hand had been uncertain about which class he want to play. In the face of that he apparently rolled up on of each option and played them to level 8 or 9. He had decided on a mage, but he was only level 9 as of when he logged in on Saturday, so was well shy of the suggested level range of the dungeon. Moreover, at level 9 he would be something of an aggro magnet trying to make the run to Orgrimmar.
We had to change up our plan.
We decided that three of us should run to Orgrimmar… I was already there… and get to the instance so as to use the meeting stone to summon Jeepy, Bung’s mage, to us once he had leveled up some. Obama, Nuget’s warlock would help him with that while we got in place.
Now, before you rush to the comment section to tell me what was wrong with this plan let me get that out of the way.
The meeting stones in WoW Classic do not allow you to summon players.
That is probably the most direct comment on their functionality you can find on the internet right now.
Figuring that out, however, was not straightforward. The meeting stones are there in their long standing locations outside of each instance. They had been there since WoW 1.3 or so and had been used for a couple of things on the way to the WoW Classic version of 1.12.
However, the actual “three players can summon somebody to the stone” aspect of them was not put in until The Burning Crusade launched. I have distinct memories of us using the stones to summon people in the group, but we formed the group in September of 2006, just a few months before TBC launched. So we were able to summon as we worked our way though the instances in vanilla. Given that was more than a dozen years ago, all of that has blurred together in the mix of time in my own brain.
Finding something that definitively stated whether or not you could summon was something else. There is a lot of stuff out there about the meeting stones, but not so much specifically about WoW Classic. People in General Chat said the meeting stones were there and I visually verified this.
But we didn’t try summoning anybody to make sure that feature was in place.
So cool your jets on that and just smile knowingly as I tell our tale.
Skronk and Scscla (pronounced “shizz-la”) made the run and caught up with Chad. We were levels 13, 16, and 15 respectively, stripped down with our gear in our bags, and ready to take our first run at Orgrimmar.
Here is how you get this done. You run into the city until the guards kill you. Your ghost runs back from the graveyard (which is way down at Razor Hill in Durotar in this case) until you get with in resurrect range of your corpse.
For the first part of the run you want to go back via the bridge you came in over. After a you get into Orgrimmar proper it becomes easier to just run in through the front gate… though you do have to know a bit about Orgrimmar to find the spiral ramp up to the level where your corpse hopefully is. Also, watch out for that canyon area along the Southfury River in Durotar on the run back. Falling in is annoying, requiring you to run out the end of the canyon. Also there are gaps that humans can clear in a jump that gnomes and dwarves cannot. Some gnomes and dwarves at least.
Once back to your corpse there is a circular area in which you can resurrect which is generously sized… you can laugh at the locals standing right on your corpse… so you go to the point the furthest along your intended path, hit the button to revive yourself, and start running again until you die or get to your objective. In our case that was the Ragefire Chasm instance portal in the Cleft of Shadows in Orgrimmar. Through that we were safe.
Being a rogue with all my rogue skills, I volunteered to be the first to run at the guards, hoping that some combo of stealth, evasion, and sprint would get me at least across the bridge. While I attracted the attention of the guards Skronk and Scscla could get past and get some distance in.
That didn’t quite go the way I thought. Stealth did nothing for a start, save for slow me down. The guard quite obviously saw some human in his skivvies hunched over and tip toeing up to his position, so ran right at me swinging his axe. But at least I provided the distraction.
After we were dead Scscla and Skronk both said they had gotten flagged PvP, which is what happens automatically when you enter an enemy home city. I did not get so flagged. You can see my corpse behind the guard on the right, which fell just shy of the bridge. I didn’t even make it into Orgrimmar on the first run. Skronk at least made it onto the bridge, while Scscla managed to scamper over the crown and down the other side a ways.
And with each death we had to come back from the graveyard at Razor Hill in Durotar, which was a good five minute run. But at least that let the cool down on my perhaps less than completely useful rogue skills run down.
But with each death, even if we only made it a few steps, the revive radius let us get somewhat more forward.
We just had to keep going until we made it into the Cleft of Shadows and the instance, so we revived, ran, died, returned to the scene, and did it all again.
Sometimes we made a good run. Sometimes we died just a few steps from our last corpse. But every death carried us forward. There was a nice moment at that button-hook turn where we found that you could go up the path, get out of revive range, turn the corner and come back, only to be back in range again.
It took Scscla 8 deaths before she made it into the instance. Skronk took 9 deaths, while Chad had to die 10 times before he made it in. That last death was a heartbreaker too, coming pretty much on the one yard line. But on revive he was able to jump on in.
There we were, in the instance at last, ready for the next step of the plan.
Jeepy was already level 11 at that point, so we figured we might as well try to summon him. Our plan was to step out of the instance, take the few steps to the meeting stone, and try to do the summon thing as quickly as possible. We hashed out the dynamics of how to do that aloud, refreshing and correcting our flawed memories of the days before the Dungeon Finder.
As we recalled, one person had to select the person to be summoned, then click on the summoning stone, after which the other two people had to click on the summoner in order to complete the process to bring the person to the stone. We repeated that a few times, Skronk said he would be the summoner, we got Jeepy and Obama in the group, and we got ourselves right to the edge of the portal back into town. Then Skronk said “Go” and we stepped through.
And nothing happened. We were there, the meeting stone was in front of us, but we couldn’t summon. We ran back in the instance. We thought maybe Jeepy was too low level. If you moused over the meeting stone it said the instance name and the level range, but the cursor did not change to the expected activate cog wheel. We decided to try Obama instead, who was 14.
We stepped out again, but we couldn’t summon. no cog wheel.
Meanwhile the locals, hanging around on the city side of the instance portal, started to take notice of the three Alliance characters in their underwear stepping in and out of the instance. On a third try a couple of the names out there went red as they took shots at us, flagging themselves PvP. We were already flagged ourselves, since you get flagged the moment you step into a hostile city.
More research ensued as we tried to figure things out. In the end I finally found a definitive “no summoning” statement mixed in amongst the many opinions about meeting stones and out of date references concerning their behavior or functionality. Summoning was not a thing. So what to do?
Reluctant to give up our hard won gains, we stepped out of the instance and let the locals have a free kill. That made us ghosts with corpses right on the instance line. Then we logged out.
We were set so that we could run back to the instance if we wanted and jump back in. Our corpses would stay there. I wasn’t sure if they would stay forever, but I seemed to recall we were good for a few days.
Then we logged alts back in and went off to Westfall to go help Jeepy the mage get a few more levels. If he was going to make the run we figured more levels would be good.
And if we were going to give up, well, the next instance was the Deadmines, and we would need to be around level 18 or so in order to go after that… plus we would want to get to the right spot in the main Westfall quest line in order to be sent there… so more levels would, again, be good. After doing that for a while we called it a night. We had been playing WoW Classic pretty much all day and into the night at that point.
The next morning Scscla ran back to the instance and recalled home, either to help escort our two missing group members if they wanted to make the run or to just get on home if they were not. Skronk and I decided to revive at the graveyard there at Razor Hill in Durotar, take the durability hit (hiding gear in your bags doesn’t help if you let the angel revive you), wait out the PvP flag, and make a run to Ratchet.
However, I managed to stumble over a guard and get killed, so had to do the revive at the graveyard twice, for a double hit to my gear. Eventually though the ress sickness passed and the PvP flag dropped and we were able to trot safely across Durotar to the Southfury River and follow it south to Ratchet, which ended up being closer than I imagined.
We grabbed the flight point there, figuring that might be useful in the future, then ran down to the dock to take the boat to Booty Bay.
After sailing to Booty Bay we were able to run up and grab the flight point there. Since that connects directly to Stormwind we now had a way to get directly to Ratchet without having to run the gauntlet of Stranglethorn Vale or the long way around from Darkshore through Ashenvale.
Now we just had to decide what we were going to do next. Bung said he and his son would be on around 1pm the next day. We decided to figure it out then, which is where the next post will pick up.