Loch Modan occupies the same spot in the level curve as Westfall, being good for players up to about level 20. It has long been my practice… since my first serious ventures into WoW… to run both the human and dwarf/gnome starter zones. The pacing is about right if you bypass a quest here and there, and you never start running up against quests in the orange or red range.
That and I enjoy both zones. They are similar in being smallish zones that feel bigger than they are, yet very different in layout. Westfall has you ranging out from Sentinal Hill near its middle while Loch Modan is almost the inverse, with the loch in the middle forcing players to travel in a circle around it.
Unlike Westfall however, Loch Modan does not have a dungeon at the end of its main quest line. Even with the vanilla experience curve there is probably a limit to the number of low level dungeons you need.
There are, however, come elite ogres to battle with if you want a group challenge, congregated in the Mo’Grosh Stronghold in the northeast part of the zone. I mentioned them in a previous post as we passed through Loch Modan in a series of quests that ended up with us in The Barrens on the way to Ratchet. There are three “elite” quests that send you into ogre valley, and we had only knocked out one. So this past Saturday we decided to take on the other two.
Well, some of us did all three since we ended up with some alts in rotation. The main group has still not formed up. Earl is still mid-move and Bung was away for the weekend, so it once again fell on alts to keep us busy. I’ll have a whole post on alts later.
Actually, one main was with us. Ula was on as her level 20 mage, a key part of the planned main group. But Skronk was on with a level 19 dwarf paladin and I had my level 20 restoration druid, rounding on what would have been a decent group in EverQuest. We had a tank, a healer, and a mage for crowd control and DPS.
The first two quests come from Thelsamar, while the third is part of the quest line around Stonewrought Damn. After running into The Wetlands you come back and need to get a drop the ogres, which is kind of a pain because the rest of the quest line is soloable, with a group quest popping up in the middle of the chain. Later WoW would never do that except to lead you into an instance. Classic has no qualms on that front.
So off we went to take on the ogres. And it went pretty well.
As I said the last time we were out here, a dedicated healer changes the equation. We were able to take single ogres without issue and pairs with some effort, though Ula was quick on the polymorph to sheep them if we needed.
We were again sitting at a cave to fish out some of the specific ogres we needed.
It was also said that the drop needed for the Stonewrought Dam quest would only drop from the ogres in the caves, so we kept on them. But once you’ve cleared the easy cave… easy because your group is up to it… then you start eyeing the more difficult cave. The cave where Chok’sul lives.
Chok’sul is the named ogre in the area, and one of the quests is to slay him and bring back his head. Slaying him was the stretch goal for the evening, but we started off so well that we decided to head over and see about him.
His cave, the main cave in the valley, is deep. Oddly, for me it was quite recognizable as the same cave used for some of the ogres in Nagrand in The Burning Crusade. Never remake an asset when you have a good one to hand.
The cave itself wasn’t so bad. We had to knock over a couple of ogres to get way into the back where Chok’sul was. We found him there with two attendants. We hoped that we could get one or both of them on their own, but when the pull happened we got all three. Ula sheeped one and we tried to burn down the other two as quickly as possible.
We killed one attendant but in keeping Skronk alive I had pulls aggro with healing and Chok’sul was on my druid, pounding him to paste before I could adjust. In hindsight there were a few things I could have done… going into bear form, for example, might have kept me alive longer since I had aggro… but I went down. And without heals we were all soon running back to the cave.
When we got back we found we had made the classic WoW Classic blunder. We had wandered into the cave after another group had cleared a bunch of it. We saw them headed across the valley. But rather than suspecting anything we wandered straight to the back of the cave. But as we were running back to our corpses most of the cave respawned and we were in an ugly location with a couple of ogres wandering close to our corpses.
The plan was to resurrect and take, use a health potion quickly, then take whatever came at us. We knocked down the closest one, but ended up wiping as we caught a couple more.
Back to the cave again.
The second time our position was better. The ogre we had slain had been alone to one side of us, so we had a safer spot in which to resurrect. There was still an ogre on us, but we were able to take him down right after we resurrected.
Or space cleared out, we turned our attention to see how the Chok’sul situation had developed. It looked like the respawn popped another ogre in between us and Chok’sul, but it looked to be far enough out to be able to pull on its own.
We got lucky on that. Skronk was able to proximity pull only it and we had cleared enough space for ourselves to be able to break line of sight so it would come to us.
The bigger bit of luck was that Chok’sul attendant, the one we killed, did not respawn. So we only have Chok’sul and another ogre. It was time to sheep the ogre and let Chok’sul come and get us.
We were able to knock him down, though his ogre helper had to be re-sheeped before we were done with him. Then we all looted Chok’sul to get his head right away lets something else go wrong and leave us in another situation.
We then went after the other ogre, dispatching him. We were done with that quest, we just had to fight our way back out of the cave. Fortunately getting out wasn’t so bad and we were able to clear our way to the cave entrance without further mishap.
There we took stock. Chok’sul’s head had been obtained and we had knocked out the various ogre flavors that needed to be slain. However, despite all that work in Chok’sul’s cave, we still had not come up with the crystal drop needed for the Stonewrought Dam quest. It was back to the smaller cave, where an ogre at the entry waited for us. We slew it and got the drop at last. It was time to get out of Mo’Grosh Stronghold. As with Chok’sul’s head, the corpse nicely yielded up a crystal for each of us.
We still needed a drop each from spiders and crockalisks, so spent some time hunting them. Unlike elite ogres, they were only dropping one each. But we were able to burn through them as fast as we could find them… finding them being the only real issue. Eventually though we all ended up with the quest items we needed and headed back to the dam to turn in the quest.
After that there was a small matter of jumping in the water to defuse a Dark Iron blasting charge set to blow up the dam. Then it was the final quest turn in.
As with the end of the Deadmines quest after you slay Van Cleef, Chief Engineer Hinderweir VII shouts out your name for the whole zone to hear when you wrap up the quest line.
After that it was back to Thelsamar for the other quest rewards. Probably the best item received was the ring for slaying Chok’sul.
It is not the best ring in the game, but for me it was the first ring I had received. And any ring with some stats is better than no ring at all.
There is a post brewing in the back of my head about comparing how gear gets doled out in WoW Classic, where certain slots are not filled for many levels… shoulders just started to drop for us while rings, trinkets, and headgear are still mostly to come… to how a game like EverQuest II does it. I cannot recall a slot you can’t fill by level 10 there, though one would need to loop in crafting, and there is another comparison to be explored I suppose.
Anyway, post ideas for the future. But our Saturday night adventure in Loch Modan came to a successful conclusion. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we get everybody together and into the Deadmines.