While we knocked out our first instance, we still are not quite settled as a group. After running Jeepy the mage in Ragefire Chasm, Bung wanted to try out a druid. This led to something in a shift of who was playing what.
Basically, what I will call the “small council,” Skronk, Ula, and I, decided that going without a mage would be bad. Not only is the mage arguably the best DPS in a group, but there is also a ton of utility that comes with a mage, from food to transport to crowd control. We would feel naked without a mage.
So Scscla, our Ragefire Chasm tank, was sent to the bench as Ula the mage came in for the team.
That meant we needed tank and the feeling is that only a warrior will do. Until Earl is settled… still in transition to Japan with most of his stuff still in a shipping container on a boat somewhere… I pulled out my fourth alt, Viniki the gnome warrior. Poor Chad was going to be on the bench as well. Too bad. He was feeling like he had a personality to me.
The changes, in turn, meant making sure we were on the right path to the Deadmines in Westfall. With five active alts having run into the zone I am now a bit hazy on who has been where. Viniki, it turned out, was reasonably far along. He was at the Defias messenger stage of the lead in, which meant standing around in Moonbrook until he popped.
The first time I did this I ran it from memory. But my memory was from a less busy time, when there wasn’t something of a queue waiting to kill the messenger, so he would actually have time to wander up and down the road between Moonbrook and the quarry.
There is also a bunch of running back and forth, both to keep you busy as well as to introduce you to another zone, Redridge in this case, before you get back to Gryan Stoutmantle. At that point you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle if you don’t read his quest text… or maybe even if you do. He doesn’t give you another quest, he just tells you to go talk to somebody. But, if you’re like me and it is the last quest you do in the evening before you log out, you might not get what you need to do next.
I had to go do that step with a second character to get the quest text, as once it is gone it is gone.
That isn’t a lot to go on, especially since the Defias traitor is likely nowhere in sight.
It is another quest, like the Defias messenger, where there is one NPC and if somebody else is using him you’ll have to wait your turn. It just seems odd that Blizz didn’t put in a linking quest from Gryan to the traitor, just to remind you of what you need to do. I mean, the traitor isn’t too far off.
And he does have a quest available marker above his head. But if you’re like me and you’ve done all the other quests you’ve been handed, your quest log might be empty when it comes to Westfall, and some of us older players need a reminder.
Ah well, Classic is as Classic does.
The plan was to get everybody to the Defias traitor, as that is the lead-in to the instance if I recall right, and you want to be on that quest chain because otherwise Gryan won’t shout out your name to the whole zone.
Having gotten that lined up, both Viniki and Ula needed to get a couple levels as the guild target was level 18 to go forward. With Westfall pretty much done we headed to Loch Modan with Skronk’s hunter in tow, since Skronk was already set in levels.
It has long been my habit to run both the Stormwind and Ironforge quest zones, and Viniki has a a few on the list there while Ula had a mage class quest in the zone as well. So we spent some time slaying troggs, finding all of the tools Bingles lost, getting supplies to Ironband’s expedition, which has that odd surprise aspect that triggers an event when you arrive at the quest target, and a few other items along the way.
Then, for kicks, we decided to visit the ogres. There are a couple of quests flagged as “elite” that involve bagging some elite ogres for one and a named ogre for another. As there were three of us, we figured we could give it a try.
It was one of those things that, for the three of us, a single elite ogre wasn’t so bad. The brutes were a bit brutal, but the others were no big deal. Pairs of them though… well, when the tank yells “run” you should run.
If we had had Skronk the priest along for heals it would have been a walk over, but a tank and two DPS meant getting things done with only a lesser healing potion for backup if there were adds or other issues. Only one death, but we were dissuaded from going after the named ogre without heals.
We decided to take the path across Stonewrought Dam to turn in the quest, which had us stumble across another quest. This is the thing about WoW Classic, there are proto-quest hubs, but there are a lot of rogue quests just out and about as well. This had us checking up on the Darkiron dwarves hanging about the dam, then sent us off to the Wetlands. So, after turning things in, off we went, letting the game guide our adventure.
At levels 16-18 the Wetlands were not a problem, not for three of us anyway. I wasn’t keen to go chasing herbs in the middle of the local orc camp that Skronk saw on tracking, but on the road we were fine.
We got the turn in for the dam quest, which sent us back to Loch Modan, but we had also picked up a quest along the way that sent us to Menethil Harbor. Since two of us needed the flight point there anyway, it seemed like a good plan to just keep on running that way. We could always fly back.
At Menethil Harbor we picked up the flight point and turned in the quest, but also found another quest that sent us off to Theramore Island, the Alliance outpost on the eastern side of Kalimdor. Well, the boat to Theramore was there, so why not keep on rolling?
Once there, we grabbed that flight point, turned in the quest, and then decided to see if the run to Ratchet from there was viable. Going via Theramore was one of our possible routes to Orgrimmar for our Ragefire Chasm run.
We gave up on that route at level 13 as being too dangerous, but at 17 or so… well, it was still pretty dangerous. The mobs were still level “skull” to us, but so long as they picked on Viniki we seemed able to outrun their interest in us. When they went after Ula though, things were less happy.
We were able to get through with just that one death, though we had to learn the lesson about just sticking to the road in the Dustwallow Marsh, as Ula tried to take a direct route as a ghost and ended up getting funneled the wrong way for a bit. But we eventually arrived at the Shady Rest Inn, where the sign promised refreshments.
The inn itself however did not live up to the promise of the sign.
I especially like the skeleton against the tree, its skull pinned to the tree with a knife.
There is a quest that sends you to the Shady Rest Inn at some point, that shield on the chimney being part of it if I recall correctly. But that is for later levels. We were into The Barrens, just a simple run up to Ratchet.
That was when we were reminded just how big The Barrens really is. This is a zone on the scale of a couple of the Karana zones in EverQuest. There is a reason they split it into two distinct zones with Cataclysm. Running from what was not nearly the southernmost point to Ratchet, which is well shy of the northern end, was a bit of a hoof. We made it without incident, save for a level 24 hyena jumping us at the southern end of the run, and ran into Ratchet to pick up the flight point there and take the boat across again to Booty Bay.
Across the water in Booty Bay we picked up our last flight point for the day, rounding out another travel adventure. However, on seeing the price of a flight from Booty Bay to Stormwind (6 silver? Am I made of coin?), we opted to use our hearthstone to return home.
Viniki and Ula got far enough along to be in the zone for Deadmines and I was able to work on a bit of the warrior tanking skills. The hope is to be able to run the instance this coming weekend.
And I still have to get back to Stonewrought Dam to finish off that quest line that sent us off across the world.