As has been a thing with the last few expansions, I was wondering how I should use the level 110 boost that came with the Battle for Azeroth expansion. And, as I suggested in that post, I decided to go the Horde route.
I already had a level 110 Tauren druid, but wasn’t happy with the druid thing in Legion. The only class with four specs and still I wasn’t happy, eh?
And while I thought about something new, like maybe a monk, in the end I copped out and went with a class I knew I would enjoy. So now I have a level 110 Blood Elf paladin.
My new pally out in Uldum
Even the name was less than original. I was running through names to see what I get and I put in the name of a friend who still plays on TorilMUD… and that name was available. So now I have Nilan the Blood Elf pally. I’ll have to apologize to the original if he finds out.
I had started working on a different pally with an eye towards getting to level 60 so I could get the trade skill boost along with the level boost… but then I found out that the trade skill boost went away with the 8.0 patch, when they redid how profession skills are distributed. I was bummed on that.
On the other hand, during my nosing around to figure that out I ran across a suggested plan for how to boost a character. Apparently if you roll up a fresh character and use the option to try it out at level 100 and then boost from there, you get more stuff. An extra set of 22 slots bags is always appreciated, but better still you get a level three garrison in Warlords of Draenor if you go that route, with some key buildings already setup and a suite of followers.
This, and the changes to professions so that they are now served up per expansion rather than as one long, 800+ point single continuum, made up for the lack of trade skill boost. The only reason I wanted the boost was to be able to make some 30 slot hexweave bags. I am pretty much on track for that now.
All I need are the materials and I am set
Covered on that front I, ran him through the pre-expansion events in order to see them from the Horde side then, when the expansion actually hit, I ran off with Vikund, my alliance paladin and the oldest character I still play, and went to Kul Tiras with Jaina.
Having gotten stuck into that a bit, and impressed with the lay of the land, I decided I wanted a peek at Zandalar.
There are some spoilers about the Horde starting event past this point. Not a lot of details, but key events are covered. If you want to stop here, just know that if you’re going to run them both and you want to do them in chronological sequence, you should do the Horde first, then the Alliance.
That starts off the same way on the Horde as it does the Alliance. You have to run off to Silithus to wrap things up and get the Heart of Azeroth so you can play with azerite.
Still looks like a magic pocket watch to me…
Then you’re back to Orgrimmar where Sylvanas has a new task for your. She wants you to go on a raid to Stormwind to break out some prisoners from the stockades.
In the Stockades you visit Saurfang who, like many players, is still bitter about what happened during the pre-expansion events.
In Saurfang’s cell
He won’t escape with you and talks on about honor and seems prime to be the resolution to the Horde Warchief problem at the end of the expansion.
Also on the list of prisoners of interest are a couple of high ranking Zandalari trolls.
They don’t stand out at all in Stormwind…
Sylvanas wants the Zandalari as allies, just as Jaina went to Kul Tiras looking for allies, so these two were a bargaining chip.
As we broke them free we were discovered and ended up in a running battle with the 7th Legion, who dogged our every step as we tried to slip down to the docks where a boat waited to carry us off.
Eventually even Jaina stopped by to say “Hi” to as as we tried to get to the docks.
Not the Jaina I remember from Kul Tiras
However she had other fish to fry… or fires to put out. It seemed that Stormwind was having a flammability issue.
Seriously, is there anything the Horde won’t try to burn down?
That gave us the breathing room… sans smoke inhalation… to make it on to the boat and set sail. However the locals set out in pursuit of us.
Stormwind Navy is in hot pursuit…
However, as we sailed through a fog bank and closed in on Zandalar, we met their navy. They made short work of the Alliance ships, with only one surviving to escape.
The Zandalari open fire
This I recognized from the Alliance starter story. As you speak to King Anduin Wrynn he is interrupted by a report from the surviving ship about what happened here. This is what sends the Alliance looking for allies in Kul Tiras and has Jaina back home with her very unhappy mother.
So yes, as I noted above, if you want to do this in chronological order, you should do the Horde starter first, then the Alliance.
After that I was into Zandalar and… and… it was everything I hoped for.
Welcome to Zandalar!
And when I say, “everything I hoped for,” what I mean is something like a Blizzard homage to The Emperor’s New Groove, one of my secret Disney favorites.
I mean, it isn’t blatant… and the city is amazing and beautiful… and it takes itself as seriously as an Azeroth setting can.
With King… and I am not making this up… Rastakhan
But the city is also very over the top, with stairs and giant carvings and images, and when the possibility of the King throwing me out the window came up if he was displease, I will admit I laughed. It is very much an Andean civilization setting in its way… only with dinosaurs.
Even flying dinosaurs
Anyway, you get yourself setup in the city without the inconvenience of having to escape from jail or anything. Portals are opened to the Horde cities so you can get back home, you get a tour of the location and can check in with the profession trainers to get the current starting level for the expansion.
Then it was time to choose a zone to start in. As with Kul Tiras, there are three zones on Zandalar to choose from.
The zone choice map
I did not make a choice yet, though there is a story for each zone.
This is the reason I wanted to boost a level 110 Horde in a class I enjoyed, so I could see all six of the initial zones and run through the stories within.
Of course, it turns out that just because you’re Alliance it doesn’t mean you won’t be running around on Zandalar. Vikund had already been for a visit.
Warning: Heart of Darkness references ahead…
But that is a tale for another post.