On the Beach in Borean Tundra

The Saturday after Wrath Classic launched we were able to get the whole group together at Valliance Keep in Borean Tundra for our first group venture into the expansion.

Actually on the beach

Strictly speaking we were not doing anything that was really a group activity.  It was more of an attempt to get us all aligned and pointed in the same direction on the right path and maybe a bit of a teamwork exercise.  And it was a chance to dig into the new zone… or old zone.

Borean Tundra so far

So our group on that first day of October was:

Not everybody was there when I took this

Long time readers and astute observers of the blog my notice that there are five names on that list, rather than the usual four that we had been running with since we were not too far into WoW Classic a couple of years back.

Running into Prince Keleseth in the Death Knight starter area reminded us that the very first dungeon, Valgarde Keep, features him as a boss, and his was a fight that nearly broke the group back in 2008.

As Cataclysm is the point where the “classic” era of WoW fully ends, the Prince Keleseth fight was where we as a group finally had to stop half-assing our runs and actually learn to play our classes.

I’m not sure how we got through so much of Outland the way we were playing, but back in vanilla things were loosey-goosey enough that you could get away with all sorts of odd groups and still power through.

Anyway, that got us discussing how to fill the empty slot in our group.  This is where not having the dungeon finder in Wrath Classic comes back to bite us, because the easiest solution would be to just use that to fill the DPS slot and wing it.

Alas, no dungeon finder… nor any pals who played with us previously.  It is not that we’re against making new friends, but we’re kind of a tight knit group who all know each other IRL and who play together as a group for maybe three hours at some random, last minute time frame on any given weekend, so we would be annoying to try to group with.  We all have different and often shifting play time budgets.

Among the possible solutions came the idea of somebody running an alt, some form of ranged DPS that could put out some damage without needing constant rotation attention.  So Potshot stepped up, created a second account, rolled a survival hunter, and boosted him to level 70… which made him the highest level character in the guild when he did it.

Some of us have too many alts already.

Anyway, how that will fare has yet to be determined.  It certainly would have been easier before Blizz banned broadcast inputs and broke all the remote control addons.

But it was our chance to try to stay together as a group of five and to learn about our classes a bit since the big pre-patch re-spec.

One of the first new items was Beanpole’s healthstone dispenser, which you have to summon as a group.

Summoning the dispenser

We ran around, getting everybody together and onto the same quests, which meant some of us running back into town to do some remedial work.

Hi, my friends spoke to you earlier…

We ended up all on the first of the Farshire quests which, ironically, is just outside of the keep, so not very far at all.  We managed to rumble through that series of quests together, only occasionally losing Bjorid as we got used to having an alt along.

Beanpole had to go after that… as I said, our play time budget is not very consistent… so the rest of us carried on, heading down to the beach at Riplash Strand, which might be the very first place you run into phasing as it was introduced in Wrath.

You stand talking to the quest giver in the normal tundra, then as you walk down onto the beach you phase into the mist shrouded area that the Kvaldir are running all over.

Me doing my Mage impression in the mists of Riplash Strand

That was a bit of a pain because, while it is annoying that you can see people in your party when the phase onto or off of the beach… even when they are literally just a few feet from you… phasing also appears to break follow, so it was a bit of a pain every time Bjorid had to cross the line.  And you have to do that a few times.

Some swimming was also involved.

In the chilly waters

Swimming does not dismount you in Wrath either.  I am learning about a lot of changes I had forgotten about.

We did that, made our way around to Amber Ledge, did that quest line, got the flight point at Coldarra, then went back and did some other quests near Amber Ledge before calling it.  The D.E.T.A. quest givers were also nearby, but you need to be level 70 to get on that quest chain and we were just pulling up through 69 still.

On Sunday we found some more time in the afternoon.  At that time I had my Death Knight out and decided to see if I could quickly catch up to where Beanpole had left off, so I ran through many of the same quests.

The other, other group

After getting him through Farshire, Beanpole and I ran down and did the Riplash Strand quests.

I wanted to get Irondam caught up because I am considering swapping my pally out for him as the group tank.

So Beanpole and Irondam caught up and the whole group ran together again to do some more quests.

During that time there was a question about what the DK brings to the group.  The pally gets a lot of buffs and healing as a tank.  The DK, with the right spec, gets a lot of its own powerful self-heals.  New classes are always OP.  If they weren’t we wouldn’t all play them.  But he doesn’t get auras or other party buffs.

He does, however, get path of frost, which I got to demonstrate was a group buff of its own utility.

Riding on water

Now, how useful will that be when we’re in a dungeon is certainly a question to be asked.  But we’re not close to a dungeon yet.  In fact, that first dungeon, Utgarde Keep, is on the other side of Northrend, in the other starter zone.

We’ll have move on over there before we test ourselves against Prince Keleseth again.

2 thoughts on “On the Beach in Borean Tundra

  1. Shintar

    I’m curious, it kinda sounds like you would’ve considered taking a random fifth from the dungeon finder, but not from the manual group finder. Why’s that?

    Like

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Shintar – I haven’t really looked at the manual group finder yet, but I imagine that the “manual” part means more work. The blessing and the curse of the dungeon finder is that it is instant and teleports the person directly to the instance.

    Like

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