Tag Archives: Loch Modan

The Ogres of Loch Modan

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.

Loch Modan – Classic Map

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.

Fighting an elite ogre

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.

Orge cave screen shot from the previous trip

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.

Ogre in the cave – note all the skeletons

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.

That ogre mystic up and off to the right

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.

A shout out for the help

After that it was back to Thelsamar for the other quest rewards.  Probably the best item received was the ring for slaying Chok’sul.

A ringing endorsement

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.

Deadmines Preparation and Some More Travel

While we knocked out our first instance, we still are not quite settled as a group.  After running Jeepy the mage in Ragefire Chasm, Bung wanted to try out a druid.  This led to something in a shift of who was playing what.

Basically, what I will call the “small council,” Skronk, Ula, and I, decided that going without a mage would be bad.  Not only is the mage arguably the best DPS in a group, but there is also a ton of utility that comes with a mage, from food to transport to crowd control.  We would feel naked without a mage.

So Scscla, our Ragefire Chasm tank, was sent to the bench as Ula the mage came in for the team.

That meant we needed tank and the feeling is that only a warrior will do.  Until Earl is settled… still in transition to Japan with most of his stuff still in a shipping container on a boat somewhere… I pulled out my fourth alt, Viniki the gnome warrior.  Poor Chad was going to be on the bench as well.  Too bad.  He was feeling like he had a personality to me.

The changes, in turn, meant making sure we were on the right path to the Deadmines in Westfall.  With five active alts having run into the zone I am now a bit hazy on who has been where.  Viniki, it turned out, was reasonably far along.  He was at the Defias messenger stage of the lead in, which meant standing around in Moonbrook until he popped.

Outside the blacksmith’s shop

The first time I did this I ran it from memory.  But my memory was from a less busy time, when there wasn’t something of a queue waiting to kill the messenger, so he would actually have time to wander up and down the road between Moonbrook and the quarry.

There is also a bunch of running back and forth, both to keep you busy as well as to introduce you to another zone, Redridge in this case, before you get back to Gryan Stoutmantle.  At that point you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle if you don’t read his quest text… or maybe even if you do.  He doesn’t give you another quest, he just tells you to go talk to somebody.  But, if you’re like me and it is the last quest you do in the evening before you log out, you might not get what you need to do next.

I had to go do that step with a second character to get the quest text, as once it is gone it is gone.

The Defias Traitor

That isn’t a lot to go on, especially since the Defias traitor is likely nowhere in sight.

Just hanging about Sentinel Hill, nothing special here

It is another quest, like the Defias messenger, where there is one NPC and if somebody else is using him you’ll have to wait your turn.  It just seems odd that Blizz didn’t put in a linking quest from Gryan to the traitor, just to remind you of what you need to do.  I mean, the traitor isn’t too far off.

There he is, back from another walk to the Deadmines

And he does have a quest available marker above his head.  But if you’re like me and you’ve done all the other quests you’ve been handed, your quest log might be empty when it comes to Westfall, and some of us older players need a reminder.

Ah well, Classic is as Classic does.

The plan was to get everybody to the Defias traitor, as that is the lead-in to the instance if I recall right, and you want to be on that quest chain because otherwise Gryan won’t shout out your name to the whole zone.

Having gotten that lined up, both Viniki and Ula needed to get a couple levels as the guild target was level 18 to go forward.  With Westfall pretty much done we headed to Loch Modan with Skronk’s hunter in tow, since Skronk was already set in levels.

It has long been my habit to run both the Stormwind and Ironforge quest zones, and Viniki has a a few on the list there while Ula had a mage class quest in the zone as well.  So we spent some time slaying troggs, finding all of the tools Bingles lost, getting supplies to Ironband’s expedition, which has that odd surprise aspect that triggers an event when you arrive at the quest target, and a few other items along the way.

Then, for kicks, we decided to visit the ogres.  There are a couple of quests flagged as “elite” that involve bagging some elite ogres for one and a named ogre for another.  As there were three of us, we figured we could give it a try.

Flushing ogre brutes out of a cave

It was one of those things that, for the three of us, a single elite ogre wasn’t so bad.  The brutes were a bit brutal, but the others were no big deal.   Pairs of them though… well, when the tank yells “run” you should run.

And then run back to where it all happened

If we had had Skronk the priest along for heals it would have been a walk over, but a tank and two DPS meant getting things done with only a lesser healing potion for backup if there were adds or other issues.  Only one death, but we were dissuaded from going after the named ogre without heals.

We decided to take the path across Stonewrought Dam to turn in the quest, which had us stumble across another quest.  This is the thing about WoW Classic, there are proto-quest hubs, but there are a lot of rogue quests just out and about as well.  This had us checking up on the Darkiron dwarves hanging about the dam, then sent us off to the Wetlands.  So, after turning things in, off we went, letting the game guide our adventure.

At levels 16-18 the Wetlands were not a problem, not for three of us anyway.  I wasn’t keen to go chasing herbs in the middle of the local orc camp that Skronk saw on tracking, but on the road we were fine.

True dat

We got the turn in for the dam quest, which sent us back to Loch Modan, but we had also picked up a quest along the way that sent us to Menethil Harbor.  Since two of us needed the flight point there anyway, it seemed like a good plan to just keep on running that way.  We could always fly back.

Across the Wetlands

At Menethil Harbor we picked up the flight point and turned in the quest, but also found another quest that sent us off to Theramore Island, the Alliance outpost on the eastern side of Kalimdor.  Well, the boat to Theramore was there, so why not keep on rolling?

Once there, we grabbed that flight point, turned in the quest, and then decided to see if the run to Ratchet from there was viable.  Going via Theramore was one of our possible routes to Orgrimmar for our Ragefire Chasm run.

Routes to Orgrimmar

We gave up on that route at level 13 as being too dangerous, but at 17 or so…  well, it was still pretty dangerous.  The mobs were still level “skull” to us, but so long as they picked on Viniki we seemed able to outrun their interest in us.  When they went after Ula though, things were less happy.

That did not go well

We were able to get through with just that one death, though we had to learn the lesson about just sticking to the road in the Dustwallow Marsh, as Ula tried to take a direct route as a ghost and ended up getting funneled the wrong way for a bit.  But we eventually arrived at the Shady Rest Inn, where the sign promised refreshments.

Viniki could go for a short beer

The inn itself however did not live up to the promise of the sign.

Not at all like the pictures on the Airbnb site

I especially like the skeleton against the tree, its skull pinned to the tree with a knife.

There is a quest that sends you to the Shady Rest Inn at some point, that shield on the chimney being part of it if I recall correctly.  But that is for later levels.  We were into The Barrens, just a simple run up to Ratchet.

That was when we were reminded just how big The Barrens really is.  This is a zone on the scale of a couple of the Karana zones in EverQuest.  There is a reason they split it into two distinct zones with Cataclysm.  Running from what was not nearly the southernmost point to Ratchet, which is well shy of the northern end, was a bit of a hoof.  We made it without incident, save for a level 24 hyena jumping us at the southern end of the run, and ran into Ratchet to pick up the flight point there and take the boat across again to Booty Bay.

The boat was pulling in just as we arrived… we missed it

Across the water in Booty Bay we picked up our last flight point for the day, rounding out another travel adventure.  However, on seeing the price of a flight from Booty Bay to Stormwind (6 silver? Am I made of coin?), we opted to use our hearthstone to return home.

Recalling from the roof

Viniki and Ula got far enough along to be in the zone for Deadmines and I was able to work on a bit of the warrior tanking skills.  The hope is to be able to run the instance this coming weekend.

And I still have to get back to Stonewrought Dam to finish off that quest line that sent us off across the world.

The Farstrider Lodge

The recently introduced achievements in World of Warcraft are like bright, shiny, irresistible candy.  I want them all, but I am interested just looking at them at times.

Of course, there are a lot there that I am probably never going to get… but then if they were all easy, they wouldn’t really be achievements.

On the other hand, there are some in there I am surprised I do not have already, especially in the exploration category.  Zones I thought I had traveled to death seem to have one or two locations off in a corner that I have missed over the years.

And then there are some locations I cannot believe I missed.  For example, The Farstrider Lodge in Loch Modan.

Yes, it is a bit out of the way, over on the southeast edge of the zone, but it seems to be a sizeable outpost, with vendors, a few trainers, and quests to be done.  There were quests that I missed!

Anyway, that finished off Loch Modan for me.

Now to go find that spot I missed in the Wetlands.