Tag Archives: Burning Steppes

Recipe Hunt in the Burning Steppes

Ula has been working on her tailoring in WoW Classic and has been able to make us 14 slot runecloth bags for a while now.  But we have recently started getting a felcloth drop now and then, which she can convert to mooncloth, which can be used to make 16 slot mooncloth bags.

It takes some time, as there is a cool down on the conversion, but she also needs the mooncloth bag recipe.  There was one available at the auction house for 48 gold, but that is a lot of cash for us.  It is also a drop from various mob around Azeroth.  So, when we got online on Sunday and didn’t have a plan, we decided to go see if we could farm some mobs for a while to see if we might get lucky.

The nearest likely mobs were over in the Burning Steppes.

The Burning Steppes, squeezed in between

According to WoW Head, there were a few different mobs that might drop the recipe.  We decided to concentrate on three groups that were fairly close together.

The usual suspects

While at Morgan’s Vigil we also made sure everybody has the quest for drops off of the Blackrock orcs, since we would be slaying them in great numbers.  Once that was in hand we mounted up and headed across the zone.

Mounting up at Morgan’s Vigil

There were, of course, no Blackrock Battlemasters in sight when we arrived at the first location.  But we needed drops and it seemed likely that they shared spawn points with the other Blackrock orcs, so we slew them all, out and about and inside the fort they were around.

Clearing the halls

We had a bit of a problem with Grark Lorkrub, a named orc inside the fort with the Blackrock orcs.  He would de-aggress and run away when we fought him.  Later research showed he was a quest mob for a Horde quest that requires players to beat him into submission and then escort him to Searing Gorge.  Still, we found if we sat right on his spawn point and kept beating on him without letup, we could kill him.  It wasn’t worth the effort in the end, but we managed it once.

We never did run across and Blackrock Raiders.

But the Flamescale Wyrmkin were out in force, and were elites, so we were able to dig into them for a while.

Flamescale Wyrmkin

Naturally, the recipe did not drop, though that did not stop me from thinking it would every time it was my chance to loot.  Go optimism.

While we did not get that, we did rack up a bit of xp as we ran around and slew mobs.  Moronae and I both hit level 59 while we were out there and Skronk and Ula got close to the mark.  Level 60 is in sight now.

After about 90 minutes the mob grinding started to wear a bit thin and Skronk asked aloud what I was thinking, “Don’t we have a quest to finish up for Moronae in Blackrock Depths?”

I mean, it was right there.  And we did still have to get the shadowforge key for Moronae.  So we headed off up the ramp and into Blackrock Mountain for another visit to our most visited instance.

Blackrock Depths map

All we had to do was get through the main floor, through the Ring of Law (6), and around to the monument to Franclorn Forgewright.  Moronae already had the drop from Fineous Darkvire from a past run. It would be easy.  We zip in, we pick up the key, we zip right out again.  It’s BRD.  It’s like going into Wisconsin.

Getting through the main open area was easy enough, and the Ring of Law… well, we drew the Eviscerator yet again.  He was easy enough.  Then it was through the back gate, up the ramp, past the crowd upstairs watching the Ring of Law events, and to that first set of five mobs that gave us such heartburn in one of our early runs.

We had gained a few levels by then, something proven when, in an effort to get a closer look at them, Ula wandered into aggro radius of the group and started the fight.  In we went.  And we got the wandering fire elemental that passes up and down the hall as well.  Still, we held it together and by virtue of experience and being nearly level 60 we knocked them all down and nobody died.

All six down as we recover

From there we could see our target.  There was another group to deal with, then the boss who guards the monument, but neither group was a big risk so long as we were ready before the fight started.

Just a boss to remove before the monument

Once they were down there was a little bit of figuring out how to turn in the quest.  There isn’t a big yellow question mark or anything.  Vanilla WoW had conventions, but wasn’t 100% locked into them.  Once that was accomplished, we took a group shot.

On the invisible ledge before the monument

Then Ula opened a portal to Ironforge for us.  From there we flew out to Morgan’s Vigil to turn in the Blackrock orc quest.  It was there that Skronk noticed that he still had an ogre head in his bag from one of the other quests.  However, when we went out to where the quest is supposed to send you, Skronk found that he did not have the quest and we couldn’t get it from the quest giver, so he probably got credit when somebody else did it.  Vanilla WoW was also pretty bad about clearing up quest items from your bag.

While we were out we ran across Volchan, the wandering level 60 boss in Burning Steppes, and managed to drop him fairly easily.  The loot was yet another mail item.

After some mucking about at Morgan’s Vigil to figure out Skronk’s quest issue, we called it a day and recalled back to Ironforge.

Everybody stoning home

While we didn’t do much in the instance, that is our tenth run in and about Blackrock Depths, and we’re still not done yet.

Heading to the Detention Block in Blackrock Depths

After our previous prep run we were all about ready to take our first steps into Blackrock Depths.  We met up in Ironforge and flew out to the Burning Steppes together.  Our group lineup was:

  • Viniki – level 54 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 54 dwarf priest
  • Ula – level 54 gnome mage
  • Moronae – level 53 night elf druid

Normally we would just fly to Thorium point, which is both a shorter flight from Ironforge and a shorter run to the instance, but we had a few things to wrap up on the way in.

First, we had a quest to finish up from Morgan’s Vigil that involved sticking an ogre’s head on a stick as a warning to the others.  Easy to do and it cleared out a space in our nearly full quest logs.

Ogre head in place

We quickly rode back and turned that in before setting out again across the zone.  We stopped along the way again as Moronae was behind on one quest.  He did not have the Kharan Mighthammer quest from King Mangi Bronzebeard yet.

The list so far

I figured he could grab the bits for the quest along the way and then turn them in later.  After all, the quest in question was RED in out log, so it was probably something at the back of the instance that we wouldn’t get to this run.

Doing that also gave us some warm up time with our characters, which at least I needed.  After playing a Demon Hunter in retail for a couple of days, I was very set on a constant key rotation, which is not at all how you play a warrior tank in WoW Classic.  I also had to get used to manually dismounting for a bunch of things.

We got Moronae his update and rode on to Blackrock Mountain.

Destination in sight

In one of those very vanilla WoW mechanics, the ramp up top the doors is flagged as “no mounts,” so we were dismounted automatically for once and had to go on foot up to the doors.

Going in the front doors

Through the doors we got to see the inside of the mountain.  It has been a while since I was in there.

The view inside the mountain

Fortunately, not everything was forgotten.  I knew we had to go across one of those chains to the rock suspended in the middle, then down another chain to a chamber that would lead us into the instance itself.

The second chain… also, it feels like the nether in here

We ran around and up the ramp, found the chain we could get to, and made our way to the big rock which hold the tomb of Franclorn Forgewright.

The tomb

The ghost of Franclorn Forgewright had a quest for us, but you can only get that quest when you, yourself, are a ghost as well.  So we ran on down the next chain and into the open area before the instance and found some orcs to kill us.

Slowly getting ourselves dead

In hindsight, this was an act of some hubris, assuming that we would need to deliberately get ourselves killed, as though the instance wouldn’t take care of that for us at some point.  But we did it.

That put us at the graveyard by Thorium Point and we ran in ghost form back to the Franclorn Forgewright, where he had a quest for us.

Franclorn Forgewright revealed

You speak to him, get a quest, and… well, you’re supposed to speak to him again and finish that quest and get the next step.  But since you’re dead and everything is grayscale, three of us just assumed that was a gray question mark above his and didn’t do the next step.  Only Ula got that one right and by the time Skronk noticed, we were well inside the instance.  But we had time.

That done… or half done for some of us… it was back down in the chain again and time to revive.  We healed up, spelled up, and went looking for the instance.  There is a long hallway that will get you there.

The way in

There was supposed to be a boss mob, Overmaster Pyron somewhere along here, but there was a group of level 60s hanging around the instance line and apparently farming him for some drops.  We made our way into the instance.

Once inside we cleared out some of the big open area that has paths off in several directions.

The big open area in the instance

I went and dug out a map from the internet to help us along.  There are a few available.  I wish I could just find a blank version of the map that is used to populate the mini-map, but I was out of luck there.  We went with an annotated map.

Blackrock Depths map – A is where you start

While we want the experience of WoW Classic, we’re also not as patient as we might have been 15 years ago.  At least I am not.  I can learn boss dynamics on the fly, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time lost, and this instance is sprawling enough that you could spend a lot of time lost.

We decided to go off the right to the prison cells as our first destination, the little oval area at the bottom with numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5 indicated.

A cheerfully decorated area

We were doing okay clearing groups of mobs along the way.  Pairs of elite mobs were no problem, nor were triples really.  The elite mobs in there did seem to hit for noticeably more damage and Skronk was kept busy healing.

Pairs and triples with some non-elite mobs in tow, and the groups of non-elite hounds that rove in packs, were more problematic.  Groups like that always cause me anxiety as the tank because, being down one DPS, we don’t always have quite enough AOE damage to do an effective “freeze and burn” to kill the group before they break loose.  And once they break loose and start running after Ula it is always a struggle for me to get aggro back.  I have one skill that will pull all aggro in the area to me, but it has a 10 minute cool down, so I hate to burn it unless we really need it in the moment.

Still, we managed to push our way around the loop, one group at a time, until we had sight of High Interrogator Gerstahn, the first boss on our list, and number 5 on the map above.

High Interrogator Gerstahn

She is up a hallway and has a couple of mobs off to either side.  Still, we figured it wouldn’t be a huge issue.  Just pull her via line of sight, sheep her friend, tank her and the adds, and kill them one by one.

And that might of worked expect the High Interrogator casts fear, and hit Moronae with it, who then ran off down the half of the loop that we had not cleared, bringing back an additional pair of elites and another group of hounds.  This did not end well.

The chaos that followed

You can see me dead on the floor… I think Ula was done by that point as well, Morone in the middle of things, and Skonk trying to get clear off to the left.  It was a wipe.  But the corpse at the lower left is High Interrogator Gerstahn.  We at least knocked her out before we began our run back.

Through the back doors as a ghost

We got ourselves back in the instance and together again, buffed up, and ran back to where we had wiped.  Skronk, the master looter, got the prison cell door key from Gerstahn.  Then we finished off the rest of her group up the hallway.

However, once we did that and went into the area where she had been standing, we decided that there wasn’t really any value in clearing out all of the rooms behind her position.

We did take a moment to sit down in the four dwarven barcalounger that were set up in the room for whatever reason.

Getting comfy

With the key in hand, there were several cell doors to open up, some of which clearly had somebody inside keen to speak with us.

Somebody wants out… and how did they know I was a gnome through the door?

We decided to take some care here.  This smelled a bit like it might end up as an escort or something, so we carefully cleared all of the rest of the way around the cell block loop… and, for good measure, cleared all the mobs wandering around the big open area so we had a clear shot to the instance door.  I mean, there was a freaking store room with the cells, so we could just image the whole “follow me, I need my gear, now I need to walk slowly out of the instance, directly through any mobs I can find” routine.

But we need not have been quite so careful.  There was no escort quest looming.  Behind one of the doors was Marshal Windsor.

Okay, okay, stop yelling at me

He had a quest update that required us to head back to Morgan’s Vigil.

And in one of the other cells was Kharan Mighthammer.

Kharan Mighthammer

He is, of course, the quest mob for the quest in red that I thought we wouldn’t get to on this first run… because the quest is red and the instance is a huge sprawling dungeon… but there we were.

On the bright side, we had the key now and the path to his cell isn’t that big of a side trip… and the next step of the quest is Princess Moira, mob 21 on that map, who is way the hell in the back of the instance, so it seems likely that we won’t be getting there on the next run… but it is still another item on the list.

That done, we looked around for something we could knock out before we called the run for dinner.

Not too far around the corner was the Ring of Law.  We had some vague memories of it being a boss fight challenge… as Skronk succinctly put it, we didn’t exactly have this instance set to farm back in the day… but that seemed like something we could tackle, so off we went.

We had the good sense to all enter the ring together, at which point a Dark Iron dwarf came out and pronounced our doom.

Also, heresy by word, heresy by deed….

After that, out came the spiders.  Lots of spiders.  Non-elite spiders, yes, but a bunch of them, in two waves, and we had our usual freeze and burn problem, I blew my AOE taunt on the first wave, and Ula died during the second wave as we tried to get stuff off of her… also, the spiders kept webbing everybody, keeping us immobile, and hitting everybody with a poison DOT which blew a lot of Skronk’s mana as we struggled.  But we made it and killed all the wee spiders and had a bit of a breather before the big boss came in.

Skronk got a ress off on Ula, we healed up a bit, and then the main boss came in, another spider, Hedrum the Creeper.  Things did not go well.  We wiped.

So it was another run back from Thorium Point and back into the instance.  By this point Skronk had noticed our Franclorn Forgewright problem, so the three of us who needed to updated the quest.  We jumped into the instance and back out again to grab Overmaster Pyron, who was up outside the instance.

Burn, baby, burn

We then went back into the instance and back to the Ring of Law to find Hedrum the Creeper waiting for us.  So we gave him another try.  Again, it did not go well for us.

Hedrum done with us

The fight was summarized well by one of the comments on his page on WoWHead, which said:

Problem wasnt heals or tanking or DPS, problem was the mob’s would root the tank, drop aggro and go crazy on the rest of the group. The web root lasted like 12 secs and the mob would stun for 10 secs. Overall, this mob is a pain the booty.

That is the way it went for us.  A single mob seemed ideal for us, but when he roots the tank… and my escape artists skill, which is on my hot bar, has a cool down so you really only get one use per fight… and runs off to kill the healer or the DPS, things are not going to end well.

So we decided to call it a day.  We took the gear damage hit and revived at the graveyard by Thorium Point, then flew over to Morgan’s Vigil to turn in some quests.  Then Ula put up a portal to Stormwind because I thought we had a turn in there, but we didn’t.  So we stoned back to Ironforge and updated our quests there, the repaired.  My bill was 2 gold 38 silver, which is pricey in classic terms.

So went our first venture into Blackrock Depths.  We have quite a ways to go before we’re done.

Preparations in The Burning Steppes

I haven’t had much about the group in WoW Classic recently.  In part that was due to some interest in the Shadowlands pre-patch… and Skronk and Ula moving… but most recently it was because Moronae’s computer died and he had to put together a new one.  And some of us like to take their time researching before they throw together a new rig.  But his new Ryzen 5 powered system was up and running this past weekend, so we were able to get back to it.

We last left off in September when we finished our final Sunken Temple run.  From there the path headed to Blackrock Depths.  But one does not just walk into Blackrock Depths, as they say.  BRD is another one of those multi-week events, and the first step is preparation.  There are many quests to grab and lead-ins to find.  The fist on the list was in Ironforge, where we spoke with the royal historian who stands off to the side of King Mangi Bronzebeard.

Listening to the historian

She has a quest, the first step of which is to listen to her tale.  Then she wants you to head out to Searing Gorge.  But for us the next stop was Kharanos, down the road from Ironforge, to update another lead-in quest for the instance.

That was a quick round trip, after which we headed to the flight point to fly off to Loch Modan.  There were no quests for us in Loch Modan, but it is the nearest flight point to Searing Gorge and the flight path at Thorium Point.  That is the closest flight point to the instance, so we rode around into the Badlands and through the gap into Searing Gorge.

Path from the Badlands is here

We rode to Thorium Point and picked up the flight path and then took the bird to our next destination, Lakeshire in the Redridge Mountains.  That is the nearest flight destination to Morgan’s Vigil, the Alliance encampment in the Burning Steppes, which is also where Blackrock Mountain is, home to several instances including Blackrock Depths.

The Burning Steppes, squeezed in between Searing Gorge and Elwynn Forest

We arrived in Morgan’s Vigil, a sleepy little Alliance outpost.

A flight point, a barricade, and a few tents

There we picked up basically all the quests and headed out to work on them.  Some were going to end up in BRD.  There was a vital quest up in a cave in the northeast corner of the map with

Cyrus has a quest for us

The problem with the quest from Cyrus Therepentous is that completion is not shared with the group… it is a drop from an elite mob he summons… and the quest mob can only be triggered every 10 minutes.  Once again, we were probably better off with a party of four, as it would only take us 30 minutes to run through each of us.  In the mean time we went along the north side of the zone.

There is another quest hub along the north wall, up a ramp over some lava.  More quests to grab, and one to update.

The other quest hub

There I had to drop some quests as my quest log was filling up.

Those quests had us running around a bit in the ruins just south of the cave.

Out in the ruins

Then it was back to one quest hub, then the other.  We made our way around the eastern half of the zone pretty thoroughly.

Oh the places we’ve been

Strictly speaking we didn’t have to go do the quest with the ogres in Deadmaul Rock and over past the Pillar of Ash, but screw the ogres.

 

And then there was a series of trips to be made as one quest chain sent us back to Redridge then to Stormwind where we had an encounter with Lady Kartana Prestor.  I’m sure we won’t run into her again.

Katrana, young Anduin, and Bolvar Fordragon

Prince Anduin looks so… badly rendered.  His feet are huge.  And then there is Bolvar, most recently seen in the Shadowlands cinematic.  He looks better here… though maybe not as good as he did out in Northrend.

Bolvar and Dranosh and their smoldering look

Then it was back to Redridge and back to Morgan’s Vigil to finally cement that quest line.

We also had to go back to Ironforge to update the royal historian.  Doing that got us a quest from King Mangi Bronzebeard himself… well, all of us save Moronae, who forgot to do the “listen to the historian” part of the quest, so we may have to catch him up a bit on that.  There is no “party sync” in WoW Classic.

But after our running around, we now have a list of quests ready to go for the instance.

The list so far

And those are just the ones from outside of Blackrock Mountain.  There are a couple more to pick up there, including the one from Franclorn Forgewright, which you need to be dead in order to obtain.  I might need to delete a few more quests.

But next time we should be able to head in and at least get started.

Wrapping Up the Eastern Kingdoms

With the Cape of Stranglethorn out of the way, I had just four more zones left for the Eastern Kingdoms Loremaster achievement.  They were:

  • Eastern Plaguelands    40-45 – 70 quests
  • Badlands    44-48 – 35 quests
  • Searing Gorge    47-51 – 35 quests
  • Burning Steppes    49-52 – 40 quests

And given that my shaman, who had just finished up the Cape of Stranglethorn, had just turned level 40, I was a bit tempted to just keep running with him.

The Eastern Kingdoms

The Eastern Kingdoms

However, I decided to switch characters once again.  So far I have used a rogue who ended up at level 61, a monk who now sits at level 57, and my shaman.  Now I brought out my warrior, Makarov, who sat at level 46.  That seemed to be a bit high level to launch into the Eastern Plaguelands, but I had a reason to fall back on him.

For starters, he laid the groundwork for this Loremaster achievement bid back before I had actually decided to make a go of it.  As I leveled him up, he managed to knock out a few of the zones I would have otherwise had to go back and complete, the most immediate of which was the Western Plaguelands.  That meant he had a flight point up there.  Plus he had a fair start already on the Eastern Plaguelands, having completed about half of the required 70 quests for the zone achievement.  That was enough of a head start to seal the deal.  It was off to the Eastern Plaguelands with Makarov.

More after the cut, as there are four zones worth of words and pictures.

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