Tag Archives: Redridge Mountains

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.

Running Redridge

The Redridge Mountains zone has never been one of my favorites in Azeroth.

Pre-Cataclysm it was pretty much a long string of “kill 10 mobs” and “get 10 drops” sort of quests, though of the very picky variety.  Often it wasn’t kill 10 gnolls, but kill 10 of a specific type of gnoll which were mixed in with a few other types of gnolls as though slaughtering gnolls in general wasn’t good enough.  And I still remember searching for a long time to find vultures for the vulture meat drop.

So my enthusiasm for the zone has never been high.

Enter Makarov the warrior.

He is my first real warrior character in WoW, all previous warriors having been deleted before getting to level 15.

And his purpose in life is to provide the non-instance view of post-Cataclysm Azeroth.  So Maloney will do dungeons with the instance group and Makarov will run through the outside world experience.  Or such is my plan.  We’ll see how far I get with this.

Makarov kicked off last Saturday in the starter zone and ran through Elwynn forest pretty quickly.  The starter area has changed up a bit and serves as a good example of the different sorts of quests you can expect to run across in game, while the rest of Elwynn forest is relatively unchanged.

Some of the quests have been moved a bit to make them easier to complete, a couple were trimmed from the mix, and there are two flight points, one in Goldshire and one at the Eastvale logging camp, to limit the tramping up and down the road.  But otherwise, it is pretty much the same old set, from kobold candles to princess, to Hogger.  Although you don’t get to kill Hogger.  Instead you just beat him down until help arrives and he is taken off to the Stormwind Stockade, where you do get to kill him.

Hogger, you are under arrest!

Makarov then went off and did Westfall on Sunday afternoon.  I would say that running through Westfall again was easier because of the repetition, but it didn’t make that big of a difference.  The built-in quest helper points out locations, so for most quests it is a matter of going to the place indicated on the map and doing what it says on the quest guide right there on the right side of your screen.

That caught Makarov up to what Maloney had done, as well as getting him to level 17, now it was time to diverge.

Two quests then send you off to Redridge.  Fortunately, if you grabbed the flight point, you can fly to the Eastvale logging camp and then make the short run into Redridge.

Once there, the first big change is a tower out at the crossroads where a single guard used to partol.

New fortifications

The tower and small palisade seem to be arranged to keep people OUT of Redridge rather than keeping all the bad guys (orc, gnolls, murlocs) in Redridge and away from Stormwind.  The pointed stakes point towards Stormwind, the open door of the tower faces the orcs in Redridge.  It was probably a government contract.

The tower is the first quest hub, and the quests start off disturbingly familiar.  Kill gnolls (though any damn gnoll will do), collect animal parts (but the animals are all in the vicinity now), and pick up a few things from the gnoll camps.  You then move to the town hall where, as in the old days, you kill some more gnolls (some for drops, some for just being damn gnolls), a few murlocs (many, many fewer than before, thank Pardo), and find that little girls necklace.

And then you start picking up the Bravo Company quests from Colonel Troteman.

This is the main story line in Redridge and if you hate when Blizz makes pop culture references, you will hate this quest line, because Blizzard proceeds to send up the Rambo movies in a series of quests that take you all over the zone to defeat the Blackrock Orc invasion. (I’d like to think there is a little Missing in Action in this quest chain as well, since that was a Chuck Norris vehicle, the patron saint of Barrens chat.)

First you have to rescue some key members of Bravo Company who have been captured by the Blackrock orcs.  You start off looking for help from John J. Keeshan, the John Rambo of the story line, but he doesn’t want any part of your mission.  He’s busy working out his aggression in underground fighting tournaments.

The first rule of underground fight club…

Rejected by Keeshan, Col. Troteman has no choice but to send you off alone to rescue the remains of Bravo Company.

As you rescue each member of Bravo company, they join up with you, allowing you to take on a series of powerful elite NPCs who would otherwise wipe the floor with your lone character.  You do have to take care not to stray off to an encounter with the later bosses too early, as the last one requires you have most of the team behind you.

Once freed, and returned to Colonel Troteman, Bravo Company heads out to their base camp across the lake, bringing you along.  Even John Keeshan is moved by the rescue of his comrades and finally joins in enthusiastically.

Mage power!

From there, it is preparations then a very good stealth mission where you scout, grab keys, free prisoners, plant explosive, and then blow up the Blackrock compound.

After this, you are give then a quest titled AHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHH!!!

No, really.

You drive a demolisher through hordes of Blackrock orcs while John J. Keeshan mans a gun on the back which he uses to slaughter the orcs wholesale.  While you only need 200 orcs (only?), it was amusing enough that I kept rolling through the orcs for a while after the quest was completed, just laughing at what Keeshan was yelling as he fired.

AHHHHHHHHH!!!

That done, you meet up with Col. Troteman who sends you and the five members of Bravo Company off to face the Blackrock leadership in a final battle.

Bravo Company ready for the last battle

That ends the quest and story line for the zone.  You get a very nice blue quality item with the last quest.   This seems to be the standard now when you finish the main storyline in a zone, a non-heroic quality boss drop.

Oh, and you get Keeshan’s bandana as well.

Adrian… no, wait, wrong movie…

The whole zone has a very linear quest progression now, the main quest line is a chain of events that gives you as many as four parallel quests at once, but I cannot recall ever having any more than that in my quest log.  This is not the quest hub with a dozen quests that you pick up and run through.  While you might not like being on rails, at least your quest log won’t over flow. (A problem I often have.)

The quests are amusing and diverse.  You end up doing a lot more than kill 10 rats for credit or drops.  I had fun.

The whole zone is for solo consumption only.  We’ve crossed a line somewhere, in that not only are there no group quests, but when you need a group the quest line provides it.  I’m not even sure what would happen if you tried to do some of these quests as a group.

The whole zone makes heavy use of phasing once you get into the main quest chain, which is probably a good thing since seeing other people on the same quests gets to be immersion breaking.  I was running in parallel with another player at one point and took a break so he could get far enough ahead of me that I wouldn’t keep bumping into him.  The stealth quests, for example, would be much less fun with other players around doing the same thing.

When finish the quest line, and are in the final phase of the zone, the Blackrock are gone.  Hey, the world changed!  A little.  For me.

The quest line also guides you through all the locations in the zone, so if you follow it to the end, you’ll get the exploration achievement.  You will also get the quests achievement about a half a dozen quests shy of finishing the main story line.

And when you’re done, you do feel like the zone is done.  It is something like an open air instance now, though the gnolls were still hanging around when I left.

Makarov ended up well into level 22 at the end of the zone.  While he got a boost from the fact that he mines and gathers herbs, he had almost zero blue bar rest experience.  He is now lined up for Darkshire.