It isn’t as though I am avoiding Outland, I am just having a bit of trouble letting go of Azeroth because there are still things to be done there.
I mentioned last week that I had run my druid up from level 36 to 58 since the pre-patch hit, which enabled him to head on through the Dark Portal. And through he went. But after doing the first few quests and getting some gear upgrades, he was back in Azeroth again.
He was back in part because I wanted to see how the gear upgrades would fare in places like the Eastern Plaguelands. But mostly he was back because I needed thorium.
I needed thorium because my druid had picked up mining and herbalism as trade skills and, while I managed to get the latter up to 300 long before I hit level 58, mining was another story. You cannot mine fel iron in Outland until your mining is up to 300 and his was still 280.
So there was mining to be done and thorium was where the skill ups were to be had and that was all back in Azeroth.
I do sort of wonder why there are Azerothian herbs in Outland… you find them all over Hellfire Peninsula… but no thorium. Hellfire and the Blasted Lands look similar enough, at least at a glance, so tossing a little thorium into the former seems like it would fit the pattern. But no. Or at least I’ve never seen any thorium.
I also needed thorium for Wilhelm. His trade skill is engineering and to make that last run up from about 285 to 300 he needed a bucket or two of thorium bars.
And then there was Viniki, who took up blacksmithing. He too needed thorium… about 400 bars of it to go from 270 to 300, since the path forward for him needed about a dozen bars per skill up if he followed the least resource intensive way of leveling up.
That is a lot of thorium, and all the more so when a small thorium vein might cough up 3 ore if you’re lucky, while a large vein could be good for as many as 6.
This was all complicated by the fact that everybody and their dog has been out hustling for thorium nodes because they also need the skill ups or because they want to make some gold. That hot market I mentioned last Friday? It is still going strong with a huge demand for mithril and thorium.
If I didn’t desperately need the thorium for trade skills I might be making even more gold. Still, I picked up enough mithril along the way to have something for market.
And I was not the only one in the group our working on that sort of thing. Fergorin decided to go with jewel crafting as a profession, a new one that came in with Burning Crusade, so he too needed to mine himself up into and through thorium.
Ula was also out working on enchanting, which she took up in addition to being our tailor, in order to get herself up to 300. Viniki managed to get far enough up in blacksmithing in order to craft the arcanite rod, which covers the last tier of enchanting. Fortunately Skronk was able to transmute arcane crystals into arcanite bars to make that. (The transmute also required thorium, so add that to the list.)
I did managed to get Alioto up to 300 mining (along with hitting level 60) and Wilhelm up to 300 engineering, but Viniki is still stuck at 280 blacksmithing, so there is some work to be done there.
In addition to all of that, Potshot (who plays Skronk and Fergorin, keeping the names straight is a chore all around I guess) also took to heart a comment about Hellfire Ramparts having encounters that suited a shaman. So he rolled up a Draenei shaman and started working him up through the levels this past weekend as well. Alioto took some time out to shepherd him trough the Deadmines, which was fun.
It is a long climb from character creation to Outland, but it isn’t impossible. I managed to get most of the way there with Alioto. Still, we might not have a shaman healer in the group for a while still.
Then there is the epic mount question for Wilhelm, Fergorin, and Beanpole. We still have things to take care of on the Azeroth side of the Dark Portal.