Tag Archives: Searing Gorge

Suddenly Serious about Blacksmithing

I am unable to resist the lure of crafting and trade skills in MMORPGs.  Despite more than 20 years of fumbling with them halfheartedly and having them draw off huge amounts of play time and in-game resources, I still jump right on them every time.

Seriously.  My advice after all these years.  At most, pick up a harvesting skill or two and just sell stuff you get and use the money you make to buy things you need.  Don’t try to make it yourself.  Every brief moment of profitability and convenience at having investing in crafting is far outweighed by the cost and effort.

And yet, knowing this in the logical and analytical portion of my brain, every single time I start an MMORPG I immediately start on crafting.  Even in games where I have done it before.  I start on a new server and crafting is on the menu.

So it will come as no surprise that I have several characters who have picked up and pursued trade skills in WoW Classsic.  Not all of them, thankfully.  Most of the alts just have two harvest professions.  But I have a leather worker, an engineer, and a blacksmith that I have pushed along into the mid-200s for skill levels.

Viniki, tank for the current incarnation of the instance group, is my blacksmith.  I have been able to keep him moving along by sending him out to harvest ore on his own.  Unlike retail WoW, there is no xp for harvesting, so he has managed to progress.  Ula has an alt that does blacksmithing as well, so I made the choice, when he made it high enough level, to split off and specialize in weaponry.  Ula’s alt could go down the armor path.

On the weapons path

That meant crafting some weapons as part of the quest to open up that path.

A dozen weapons

That was actually a bit of a pain, but mostly due to inventory space.  Collecting up the materials meant devoting precious bank space to the task, and then as I made each group of weapons, they also had to be stored away or carried with me.  But I got that done and was able to turn it in.

That unlocked the first set of weapons for me.  I still have a sub-specialization to go after later.

But then I realized, as we were working our way through Blackrock Depths, that I had an opportunity to pick up some additional recipes.  In the Grim Guzzler, inside the instance, is a NPC who will sell you such, so long as you have sufficient reputation with the Thorium Brotherhood, the Dark Iron Dwarf faction that resides in Searing Gorge.

So I set my sights on doing that.

Getting the faction though, that meant getting the attention of Master Smith Burninate out at Thorium Point.  He has the quests that let you raise your faction.

Is that name a Homestar Runner reference?

But to get to those quests you first have to do another quest, What the Flux?, which requires you to obtain the Firey Flux plans.  The plans are sitting on a table behind Overseer Maltorius and his two companions down in the slag pit in Searing Gorge.

The table behind them

The problem is that all three of them are elite mobs and were a bit too much for Viniki to handle solo.  I managed it with my hunter some time back by sacrificing his pet while he grabbed the plans, but it looked like I would need help to do this with a warrior.

Then I realized that one of my skills, Intimidating Shout, might do the trick.  It is a short term AOE fear that sends nearby mobs running away.  So I ran over to the table, got all three on me, then did my shout.  They ran off just long enough for me to scoop up the plans and jump of the ledge and run away.  The hard part was over I thought, now I just need to grind out the faction quests.

There are three quest options, each of which gives you 25 faction to the approximately 2,500 faction you’ll likely need at this point if you’ve done most of the quests at Thorium Point.

The three faction quests

The first requires four Kingsblood, the second four iron bars, and the third ten heavy leather.  After assessing my situation, it seemed that Kingsblood would be the best route.  I used a bit of heavy leather and some iron bars, but I sent my harvesting alt out to the Wetlands to get me Kingsblood.  I supplemented that with some I found cheap on the market.

The quest requirements

Each turn in also required two Incendosaur scales, which come from mobs down in the slag pit.  I had almost enough on my hunter from his time in Searing Gorge, and sent him down to collect some more… and skin… to fill out my need there.  And then you need one coal, which Master Smith Burninate sells, so seems like something of a silver sink, as you buy they from him only to turn them right back into him.

So I did that set of quests the 100 times required, which got me to friendly with the Thorium Brotherhood.

To get to honored you have a different quest.  You need close to a thousand Dark Iron Residue climb the 6,000 faction you need to go from friendly to honored and you need to do it in increments of 25 faction.

Dark Iron Residue has a use

Fortunately we had all been saving or Dark Iron Residue from the Blackrock Depths runs, so when everybody sent me what they had I was pretty much covered.  The tough part was doing the four clicks to turn in the quest 240 times.  I did it over three sessions.

But I made it, and am now ready to go talk to Lokhtos Darkbargainer in the Grim Guzzler in Blackrock Depths.  Of course at honored I can only get a few of the recipes, and to get beyond that in faction you have to raid Molten Core regularly.  And the recipes require Dark Iron Bars, the smelting of which requires another quest from one of the dwarves in the Summoner’s Tomb.  But we’ll be going there.  Then to actually smelt the bars I have to get down the the black anvil by Lord Incendious again, so I have been collecting those up to carry along if we make a run down there again.

All of which is more serious than I have ever been in the past about a WoW trade skill.  We’ll see how far I get and whether or not I end up making anything in any case.

As usual, if I had used the time I spent on this to just level up a character I would no doubt have at least one level 60 by now.  But that is the way I roll.  I cannot stop crafting.

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.

Fifty in Searing Gorge

I had been poking around with my hunter nearby where the instance group had been working, running down quests in Tanaris and Feralas, which got him into level 49.  But as those started to dry up I was looking for a new place to make that final push to 50.  In Tanaris you get that first lead-in quest to Ungoro Crater, but I did not want to get started too early there.  WoW Classic does not reward getting into quest lines too soon.  My pally committed the sin of getting quests done out of order and I’ll be grinding mobs for a level or three to get him out of that.

My memory failing me… I remember levels 1-30 no problem, but after that it is blur… I decided to consult WoW Head and their leveling guide for classic.

For levels 45-50 they suggested:

  • Tanaris
  • The Hinterlands
  • Feralas
  • Searing Gorge

I had pretty well worn out the first three, but Searing Gorge, that one had promise.  I even remembered there was an outhouse quest there.  I guess bathroom jokes stick.  And it is a short flight from Ironforge, once you have the flight point.  To get that you have to get there, and how to do that stumped me for a bit.

There is a tunnel, but it is locked and I don’t have the key.

The gate needs a key I do not have

There is also a path into Searing Gorge from the Badlands, but I couldn’t quite recall where that was.  So I went to Loch Modan and searched around the edges of the zone.  There are a couple of places that look like they might be a path through the hills around the zone, but are not.  I did eventually find the path though, at the west end of the zone, just south of the Horde camp.

Path from the Badlands is here

Once in I ran to Thorium Point, where the flight point is located, grabbed that, then loaded up on the quests there abouts.  Then it was time to get into the zone.

Surveying the zone from the flight point

One of the first things I saw when I was getting started was a mass of level 60 players on mounts landing at the flight point and then riding off.  There were a few dozen of them in a minute or so.

Riders passing by

I suspect that was a raid group (or two) headed off to Blackrock Mountain and the raids therein.  Thorium Point feels like the closest flight point to that.

Searing Gorge Map

Meanwhile, the zone offered me just about exactly what I was looking for.  I find grinding mobs with my pally to be tedious, but with my hunter it is light and easy, so when I was handed a couple of “kill 20” quests along with a few more that needed drops, I got stuck in to the grind.

Pausing for a light snack now and then

That kept me going though until level 50 and beyond.  I even got the key drop that starts the quest chain around the outhouse.  First you rescue the occupant, then get revenge for him… and fetch him some toilet paper… silk cloth for that.

Free from the privy

The outhouse is behind the Dark Iron dig site that is along the road that runs down the east side of the zone.  There is also an escort quest down in the dig as well which has the usual “NPC walks straight into mobs and every time he stops you know an attack is coming” mechanic to it.

I still have a couple more quests to finish up there, but my goal was achieved.  I made it to level 50 at last.  And I was the first in the guild too, though only just barely.  Moronae is very close to level 50 at this point I am sure.

Level 50 hunter

Of course, with an even numbered level came skill upgrades to buy.  He was closing in on being able to buy a mount before he hit 50.  Now he has a ways more to go.

It is also about time to go hunt down some skill upgrades for my pet.  I am a bit behind on that.

After I am done in Searing Gorge, my level 50 to 55 options are:

  • Blasted Lands
  • Un’Goro Crater
  • Azshara
  • Felwood

I have a quest for Un’Goro already, and the skinning there would be good, but I also got the level 50 hunter class quest, which sends you to Azshara.  I feel like I should peek in on that first.

Either way, I am going to have to step up the pace a bit if I want to have a level 60 character before WoW Classic turns one years old.

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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