Tag Archives: Shadowmoon Valley

In Search of Hypnocroak

There were only four of us on last Saturday night, Earlthecat, Skronk, Bigbut, and myself, playing as Tokarev.

That meant postponing the question from last time, how will Draenor work out for a part of five playing through, to embrace the question of the moment, which was how will Draenor work out for a party of four playing through that doesn’t want to get too far ahead of a fifth member who is out for the week.

Skronk, who had been thinking of this in advance, suggested that we roam Shadowmoon Valley in search of rares and whatever else we might encounter.  That sounded like a reasonable plan, so we ran with it.

We met up right outside of the garrison border line and hit that “suggested three player but you can probably solo it” Elekk quest that is right there.  Knocking that out, we moved on into the zone.

Initially we were following Skonk, who was looking for rare locations in a browser window while we roamed hither and yon.  After a bit I grabbed an addon, MyRareFinder, that marks all the rares on your map and marks them off once you have killed them. (They are only good for one pass, after which they are just regular mobs.)

MyRareFinder map

MyRareFinder map

Of course, in an age of all ground travel, having something marked on the map doesn’t automatically mean you know how to get there.  In fact, I am beginning to suspect that we won’t get flying mounts in Draenor for a long while as Blizzard clearly spent some time making things a bit tricky when traveling on ground mounts.

In the north of the zone mobs were on one plateau or another and we had to find the right path.

At the Anguish Fortress, which was guarded by a forcefield because none of had done that quest with Khadgar yet, we had to find our way around into the place through a back door in order to get to Voidseer Kalurg.

Levitate let us drop right in on him

Levitate let us drop right in on him

I wonder if, when I do get to that quest, if I can just tell Khadgar that forcefield is no big deal because the Iron Horde left the back door open?

But our biggest challenge of the night was getting to the rare named Hypnocroak.  He isn’t just a Futurama reference, he is also a jumping puzzle, and one it took us a while to find.

We went to the spot on the map where his location is marked, which is up on a plateau, in a lake.  However, he was nowhere to be seen, though we could, when in the correct position, see his icon on the mini map.

The lake had a waterfall at one end that led down to another water area.  Standing at the edge of the waterfall, however, put his icon on the mini map behind us.  So we decided he must be behind the waterfall.

The waterfall

The waterfall

Standing on the edge of the waterfall, we thought we could just glimpse a cave opening.  I tried to see if I could get to it by dropping first onto the trunk of a tree sticking out from the waterfall, then jump to the mouth of the cave.  That did not quite work out as I expected.

Tokarev, dead on the rocks behind the waterfall

Tokarev, dead on the rocks behind the waterfall

But from there I could at least see the cave.  It was also clear that the cave was situated in a way to prevent us from dropping in from above.  Instead, we would have to reach the cave from below via a jumping puzzle.

Another corpse on the rocks

Another corpse on the rocks

As it turned out, I fell to my death at just about a perfect spot, as it marked the point you had to get to on one of the rocks in order to be able to successfully jump to the next. A death not in vain.

Scrambling and jumping and falling and trying again, I managed to bull my way up and into the cave without really being able to describe how I did it.

Looking down from the cave

Looking down from the cave

Earl made it up next, then Bigbut managed the last jump and was up in the cave as well, which left only Skronk working his way up.  And he was having problems, to the point that we were beginning to discuss whether or not this was a short race issue.  As the dwarf in a group with two Draenei and a human, Skronk was at a serious height deficit.

Eventually though, he was able to get past the two big jumps, which were really all that was standing in his way.  With a dwarf you have to time them just right.  So he made it up and we were able to slay Toxicroak.  His loot was a toy that lets you hypnotize critters so that they will follow you around.

The group in the mouth of the cave

The group in the mouth of the cave

From there, Skronk hit us all with levitate again and we were able to cruise on down to the water below and float to our next objective.

Levitation party

Levitation party

Levitate is kind of a creepy way to travel.  You just adopt a casual pose and float off in the direction you’re headed.  There is no look of “I’m moving” on your character.  It is, rather, one of some indifference.

From there we went on to hunt down a few more rares.

They all have their own special gimmick

They all have their own special gimmick

But it wasn’t much long before I called it a night.  We managed to find some rares, we all added a follower to our garrison, and we at least picked up the quest chain that unlocks the level 2 town hall upgrade, though we did not finish it up.  I went and did that the next day and ran the upgrade.

No a bad evening.  We will see if we can get back to the party of five next time.

Ula Ascendant

Saturday night found us short a gnome (that line is never not funny) as Bung apparently had some sort of torches and pitchforks event to attend on the far side of Bedrock in a town so small that not only do they not have wireless internet or cell phone but they still find carbon paper a magical modern convenience.

One of the local potentates there appeared to have been caught with his hand in the seed corn, which could have either been the literal truth or some sort of provincial euphemism, and the whole village was coming out to see justice done on a Saturday night like the final scene from The Wicker Man, though sans the goat, PETA entanglements being something we’d all rather avoid.

None of which directly explained why Bung had to be there, but off he went, leaving us with a group of four.

Not quite enough to go try Durnholde Keep again, especially since Bung was one of those who missed the quest update last week, so we would have to go run it again.

So we headed back to Shadowmoon Valley with our group for the evening:

69 Mage – Ula
70 Paladin – Vikund
70 Priest – Skronk
70 Warrior – Earlthecat

Our goal: Get Ula to level 70!

Which meant running through some quests.

We picked up some quests, eventually settling in with a series that ran through Legion Hold and the Death Forge.  After a while Earl called it a night but Skronk, Ula, and Vikund pressed on.

We ended up doing one of those really fun WoW quests.  The staple of quest lines may be deliver this, talk to so and so, and slay a certain number of creatures, but once in a while Blizzard actually comes up with way to make these things really fun.

Boy, doesn’t that sound like a condemnation of the genre?  Once in a while we do something fun!

Anyway, this one, called “The Fel and the Furious” involved using controls to take over a fel reaver guardian then going on a rampage with it to destroy sixty Deathforge Infernals.  But you have to manage that before the guardian takes too much damage and you lose control of it.

Really, it was fun, whimsical, and it was a lot easier to destroy 60 infernals than you might imagine.

And, at the end of the quest, when we turned it in, we hit the magic moment:

Ula hit level 70!

And then WoW promptly locked up on her.

Actually, Quest Helper appeared to be the culprit, as Skronk also locked up at the same point with errors from that add on.  Vikund was not running it, so was spared and could take the screen shot.

The whole team was finally level 70.

Once Quest Helper was disabled and everybody was back online, we had to get back to Wildhammer Outpost to turn in the quest line.  Then Ula had to train and buy her flying mount.

Then it was flying lessons.

We all took off, then began to follow one another off and on, flying in formation for a bit, then peeling off to check something out.

Trail Formation

Trail Formation

Everything went fine until Ula went in to land at the horde outpost with Skronk and Vikund in tow.  Skronk got blown out of the air by one of the horde flying patrols while Ula and I made our escape.

We regrouped at one of the peaks overlooking the zone.

Parked Up High

Parked Up High

Being able to fly, even slowly (though Vikund gets a 20% speed bonus for himself and the group with the crusader aura) is really a lot of fun, eclipsing even the joy of fae glide in EverQuest II.

Earl was a bit short on gold when he hit 70, but we’re close to being the airmobile permenant floating saturday night instance group.

And next week, perhaps, we can finish up with Durnholde Keep at last.

Cheers for Bungholio!

Saturday night and we were down a tank, so the four of us remaining took a trip to Shadowmoon Valley to work on a few group quests. Our group was:

69 Warlock – Bungholio
69 Mage – Ula
69 Paladin – Vikund
70 Priest – Skronk

With Vik back in protection spec and Skronk rolling holy again, we felt prepared.

I haven’t spent much time in Shadowmoon Valley. We bypassed it for the most part. But my minor past experience there was that it can be a tough zone.

Riding to adventure... or away from danger... in Shadowmoon Valley

Riding to adventure... or away from danger... in Shadowmoon Valley

And that impression was reinforced as we did a series of quests on the Path of Conquest.

The Path of Conquest is somewhere between a zone and an instance.

On the instance side of things, you have plenty of elites, annoying patrols, and a couple of bosses. But everything respawns like an outdoors zone.

Which meant lots of running around and surprises.

We nearly wiped on the elite, named patrol that moves along the path. Nearly, as in Vik did not have to run faster than the patrol, just faster than the mage and the warlock.

Oh, yeah, Vik was the tank. Sorry guys!

Still, we collected ourselves and with the usual knee-bent, running about, advancing behavior we were finally able to make our way to the two named elites at the end who were on our hit list.

Dispatching them and finishing the quest was enough to put Bung over the top and into level 70, making him the second member of the team to hit the level cap.

And, since we were right there next to Wildhammer Stronghold, Bung was able to train for and purchase his flying mount. Just the base model, not the epic, but he is now able fly!

Vik, Ula, and Earl are not far behind though. We should soon all be airborne.