Tag Archives: Stormwind

Touring with Marshal Windsor

Last time in Blackrock Depths we made our way to Marshal Windsor, having gone in to retrieve the items he was searching for.  However, our attempt to escort him out of the instance failed at the storeroom where four elites were waiting in addition to another group that spawns outside as soon as he goes through the door.  It ended with a wipe, including Marshal Windsor.

Dead in the storeroom as Windsor dukes it out in the hall

We were headed back to in to finish the escort part of the quest and wrap up the Marshal Windsor story.  Our group for the event was:

  • Viniki – level 56 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 55 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 55 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 55 gnome mage

After the previous week I had gone to the auction house to look for some upgrades.  I found two items from the warrior Valor set, the belt and the gauntlets, for cheap.  They were upgrades over my current gear and boosted by armor by 200 with both on as a set bonus.  I also found a 1h axe called Serathil for 20g, which was half my savings, but it boasted 40 dps and 100 armor when equipped.  My axe skills were low, 150 out of 280 for my current level, but I got out in Searing Gorge ahead of the group and killed lava spiders until everybody got out there, which got my skill up to 250.  Good enough to carry on.

So we met up out past Thorium Point and ran over to the instance, once more heading down the mighty chains.

That view never gets old

There we decided to clear a path in advance of talking to Marshal Windsor.  We knew he was going to the storeroom and then over to the Ring of Law before he would head for the exit.  With that in mind we cleared a path for him that looked like this.

The path we cleared

We cleared the detention block, including opening up the storeroom and killing the group in there.  Then we fixated on the Ring of Law and where you go in to meet the challenge, which has a number of cells close by.  We cleared up to past the last cell on that side, taking down Lord Roccor while we were there.

Then we went back to Marshal Windsor.  We had everybody check and delete the failed version of the quest from last time before Skronk unlocked the door.  We got in and spoke to him, starting him on his way.

Things went much more smoothly.  We stopped at Dughal Stormwing, which spawns a group that attacks, which we managed fairly well.  Then it was off to the storeroom.

Headed to the storeroom

There another group spawns when Windsor opens the door.  Again, we managed that.  Windsor then went in and rummaged through the boxes for his gear.  When he finds it and puts it on, he is ready to go again.

Rock? What is this rock?

The power he seems to be referring to is the buff he gives off when he is geared up, which is a fairly substantial boost.  And it is a good thing too, because we needed it.

His AOE buff

He then headed towards the Ring of Law… sort of.  As we walked with him through the big open area he was clearly not headed towards the stuff we cleared out.  He was aimed at the other side of the ring which, it turns out, goes all the way around to where we were.  I thought the “ring” was the bit on the inside, but I guess it is the path around the outside as well.  This is where he goes.

Where Marshal Windsor walks

And Windsor gets stuck right in.  He is no Sara Oakheart when it comes to pace, he moves quickly and doesn’t pause between fights.  We kept up, clearing groups and then helping him settle scores with some of the mobs in cells.

Windsor holds a grudge

We managed to make it though the half of the ring that we had not cleared, Windsor punching sheep mercilessly all the way, after which things got considerably easier.  Windsor was still in a hurry to get the last cell opened though.

I’m pretty sure we killed them all, but sure

The last guy we freed had what I can only describe as the correct attitude about the whole experience.

He wants out

He runs off and disappears in a way I wish more escort targets would.  No hanging about to find his missing gear or to settle and scores.

At that point Windsor finally headed towards the exit.  We followed him and he announced where we should head next.

Group shot with Windsor while he speaks

We didn’t follow immediately.  We had a bit of time so we went back to the Ring of Law, went inside, and rand the event.  We got the Eviscerator again, who dropped a nice belt for Moronae.  After that Ula opened a portal to Stormwind for us and we went to the flight point there and flew out to Morgan’s Vigil to talk to Marshal Maxwell.  He sent us on to Stormwind where we were supposed to speak to Squire Rowe out at the front gate of the city.  He would summon Windsor for us.

Howdy squire!

However, he had to tell us that Windsor was otherwise indisposed.

Leave a message at the beep

Squire Rowe kicks off an event in the city and only one group at a time can run it.  We saw the guards all kneeling as we ran to the front gate, so we were going to have to wait until that was done.  Eventually Rowe was ready and ran out the gate and set off a firework to summon Marshal Windsor.  He rides up, dismounts, shoos his horse… I think he punched it too… and had us follow him into the city.  There is a brief confrontation with the guards, but they defer to Windsor and in we marched.

Follow me!

He walks through town and, being on an RP server, we set ourselves to walk along with him.  The guards are all in awe as you pass by.

Windsor is their hero

Some of the guards are a bit too obsequious.

Grow a spine man!

And off you go into the presence of the young King Anduin, Bolvar Fordragon, and Lady Katrana Prestor.  Then the confrontation takes place as Windsor calls her out.

A dragon in human form!

Then she reveals her true form while Windsor expresses the greatest moment of optimism in his life.

Guards grab her indeed!

Of course the guards are dragon kin in human form, so Onyxia flies off and there is the big fight with half a dozen level 60 elites.  Back in the day I was worried that Bolvar Fordragon might not be up to the task.  But we sat back and watched the fight as he took on the whole group.

Letting Bolvar do the heavy lifting

Ula tried to help early on and got killed for her troubles, our only death during the whole run. Moronae hit her with the combat ress and we carried on as spectators.

Bolvar wins, Windsor dies, the quest updates, and the throne room resets to normal with Bolvar, Anduin, and Prestor back where they started.  Such is life in an MMORPG.

And then Moronae realized he hadn’t gotten the quest update back during the Squire Rowe segment, which meant he had to go back and do it again.  He went off to do that while the rest of us called it for dinner.

This finished up one of our tasks for Blackrock Depths as well as opening the way to Onyxia.  You might think that the raid would be too much for us, but after reading about groups of three defeating Onyxia, it ought to be easy for the four of us, right?

Maybe we’ll get to level 60 before we start down that path.  We still have work left in Blackrock Depths after all.

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.

Coming Ashore at Exile’s Reach

With the big squish last week came a new introduction experience for players starting off in World of Warcraft.

You can still use the old-ish race-specific starter zones, but Blizz has rolled up this whole new zone to help get people going, so I figured I would give it a look.  So I rolled up a Gnome hunter… mechanical pets for the win… and chose that as my starter path.

When you load in you find yourself on a boat.

A nice boat.

And, of course, my first thought on seeing the boat was, “Oh, we’re going to do the ship wreck starter trope, aren’t we?”

Seriously, the industry needs to sit down and brainstorm some game starting options beyond “jail break,” “ship wreck,” “amnesia,” and “lets just not talk about it.”

On the boat you go through the basics of move and attack and what the UI elements mean.

This is the XP bar, you will stare at it for 60 levels then it will disappear

This was pretty clear, though I have the problem of already knowing how to do these things, so I sometimes get ahead of the tutorial or do things that they don’t want you to do yet.

Meanwhile, the weather was beginning to get stormy… because of course it was.

It was sunny when I arrived

And, sure enough, you end up in the water as the ship goes down.

You knew it was coming

On the beach you go meet up with the captain and start going through a series of quests and see the usual things.

It isn’t WoW without murlocs

It is really two series of quests.  There is a main story, but you also get a series of quests related to your class.  As a hunter, that meant learning how to tame and hand a pet as well as using traps.

I will say that one of the things that kept tripping me up was the fact that most of my hunter experience over the last year was in WoW Classic, so I kept looking for ammo and pet skills and stuff like that.  Things have changed a lot over the years, and swapping straight from 2006 to 2020 puts the two eras in sharp relief.

Also on the odd front, when I was learning about hunter skills, I got the achievement for completing 100 quests.

100 when?

That was odd, since I would say by then I had maybe done a dozen.  I saw somebody else get the 50 quests complete achievement as well, so something is clearly up with the quest counter.

I made it through the hunter training, then took a break.  When I came back, Ula and Skronk from the instance group were on and into experience as well.  We were able to group up and share notes and finish the last bits of the tutorial.

After fighting through some ogres, the final task is to do an instance run.  As with much of the tutorial, a pop up was displayed to tell us what to do.  In this case, it was to use the Dungeon Finder to enter the instance.

The instance is right there though…

This highlighted the problem of these pop up notifications.  I had already experienced a couple of them that wouldn’t go away.  If you earn a new skill or pick up some new gear, there is a pop up to inform you.  But if I already dragged the skill to my action bar, or dragged it to an action bar other than the one indicated, the pop up would stay there, annoyingly telling me to do the thing I had already done.

Furthermore, I had a couple of cases where, even after having successfully satisfied the pop up’s request it came back later to tell me to drag the same skill to the action bar.

But the Dungeon Finder pop up was a special hell.  Since we were already in a group, only the group leader could press the button to send us into the instance, which meant the other two could never dismiss that pop up.

Conflicting pop ups

Fortunately for me, with the big monitor, it was easy enough to ignore that pop up way down in the lower right corner, but it still managed to grab my eye every once in a while as we ran through the instance.

In the instance you have some NPCs to guide you as you move along to the final boss fight.

The final ogre in the instance

You learn to the mechanics of running an instance, including the fact that sometimes everybody gets loot but you.

No cape for me

We wrapped that up, left the instance, and turned in the quest for that, which popped Ula and I up to level 10.  Skronk… Fergorin… was still a couple of chiclets shy of the level, so we ran around and killed orges and looked for missed quests until he made it.  Then it was time to take our final, definitive leave of Exile’s Reach.

Are you sure you want to go?

When you’re ready to go, you are flown off over the island for one last glimpse, then it is off to Stormwind.

One last look

Once in Stormwind we grouped up and followed the quest path that welcomes you to the city.  You visit a few locations, get to buy your riding skill and get handed a mount. (Though, thanks to mounts being account-wide I already had that mount, plus access to more than 200 additional mounts.)

We hit a point where the quest sent us off to meet with King Anduin, which felt like the start of the BFA intro, so we ran off to find Chromie in order to choose our timeline.  We wanted to go back to Wrath of the Lich King.  However, Chromie wasn’t having it.  So I ran back and spoke to the king and went through his quests.

I didn’t want to have to keep running back and forth to check with Chromie, so I ended up doing the full intro into BFA… which meant doing the jail break start, so two tropes in one night… up through the intro to Boralus Harbor quests, which ends at the flight point.

I stoned back to Stormwind then and rode back to Chromie.  At that point I was able to choose my timeline in the way I indicated in my previous WoW post.  I reported back to the others on this and they followed in my footsteps and got lined up for Northrend as well.

But I had heard other people say that you should get an option to talk to Chromie before that.  So later on I rolled up a Horde character, a goblin warrior, and ran through Exile’s Reach again, both to see it from the Horde side and to see if I missed the turn-off to Chromie.

The Horde version of the island is mostly the same.  Sure, you get orcs and goblins and a more sinister looking boat.

It is going to sink all the same

The story is 90% identical for Alliance and Horde, though I did spot at least one amusing difference that hinged on the difference between gnome and goblin engineering.  I also got the achievement for 100 quests again at the same point I had with my Alliance hunter, so there is something about my account that must be incremented to cause that.

I also spotted a few more flashing help messages.

Low health? Then EAT! Don’t take that potion! I don’t care if you’re still in combat!

I made it through to the end… I’d guess you could roll through the whole thing in 30 minutes if you were efficient… certainly less than an hour… and flew off to Orgrimmar after finishing the instance (with strangers this time, so I was able to use… and thus dismiss the reminder for… the Dungeon Finder) and what not.

There I went through the tour.  You have to march all the way over to the Valley of Honor, but it is all in a day’s intro.  And when we got to the point where that seemed to be done, I noticed a dialog option with the next quest offered.

Maybe you want some Chromie action sailor?

I totally did not see that option my first time through, and Ula doesn’t recall having seen it either.  It is entirely possible that I just missed it clicking through to the next quest… and I guess that means if you click through too fast you have to go to Boralus Harbor. This time I took the direct option to Chromie.

Chromie looks a little out of place in Orgrimmar.

Chromie stands out in gnome form there in the Valley of Spirits

I mean, she is a dragon and all and just goes around as a gnome or something.  But it still must be a bit jarring for your average orc to run across a gnome just hanging out in town.

Anyway, as starting areas go it was as good as most.  It was mildly engaging and, while there were a few bugs, a lot of the problems I had were more related to me knowing the game already and getting ahead of myself.  Clearly it didn’t think people would group up ahead of running the instance, for example.  I suppose it was a good thing there were only three of us, because that is all the instance serves at once.

There is always the question about whether or not learning the mechanics actually teaches you how to play.  I found my hunter to be powerful enough that I would just shoot via auto-attack and let my pets do the work, so I didn’t really build up the idea of a rotation.  But that can come later.

And, in the end, we got ourselves pointed towards Northrend with some fresh characters, which was our real goal.

Related:

The Long Road to Sunken Temple

I had a notion in my head that perhaps we could run down the lead-in quests for Sunken Temple and then maybe set foot in the instance for a bit, just to get started.  Some wildly optimistic part of my brain thought maybe we could even slip in and finish Moronae’s class quest.  WoW Classic, however, had other ideas.

But first we had to pick up where we left off with Moronae’s class quest in Un’goro Crater.  He had one last thing to wrap up there.  I had move myself out to the flight point in the zone and Moronae had camped there the week before so was still there.  Skonk was in Tanaris and running down one of the Sunken Temple lead-in quests when we were all getting logged in.

Moronae and I headed out from the flight point at Marshal’s Refuge to try and track down a Devilsaur, the mob he needed, while Skronk flew out to meet up with us.  Ula was still back in Ironforge, so she started heading for Tanaris.

Moronae and I found a Devilsaur in short order, and started following him as we waited for Skronk to catch up to us.

Devilsaur in the crater

Following is easier said than done.  The Devilsaur stomps around at a brisk pace and pays no mind to all the other aggro mobs in the vicinity, so we were weaving around trying to keep on eye on him and the other on potential dangers.  Also, he isn’t restricted to a small area.  According to the wiki he can wander in a large U-shaped area that spans most of the zone.  So we kept on him.

I had read that a druid could possibly use soothe on him, then hibernate, to put him to sleep long enough to plunge in the stinger that was the quest objective.  Then you run away.  That was supposed to be the solo method.  With three of us, I figured we could take a level 55 elite if we had to, but first we had to get him.

At one point I ran ahead a bit and grabbed him, only to find that Skronk and Moronae had gotten tangled up with another mob.  And then another.  And then when we finally were all on him we managed to pull in three more of the local beasts just to make things exciting.  It became a bit of a scramble, and Moronae forgot about the whole stinger thing for a bit, which would have been quite a blow, but remembered in time to stick the Devilsaur and update the quest.

Devilsaur Down

That done, we rode on back to the entrance to the zone for the quest update, only dragging along a few additional mobs along the way.  From there we needed to get to Tanaris to meet up with Ula who was now in Gadgetzan.  How to get there was a toss up.  We could ride back across Un’goro to the flight point, or just ride up the ramp and through Tanaris.  We chose the latter.

Riding out of Un’goro

Along the way we started doing a quest checkup.  Skronk had picked up the quest from Feralas and a couple of us had grabbed the one in Stormwind, though both could be shared.  But then we noticed that Moronae did not have the quest The God Hakkar.  It turns out that he never went back to Steamwheedle after Zul’Farrak, so had not gotten the update, so we took a little detour.  Then it was back to Gadgetzan to share the shareable and get started on the next step.

We had to find Marvon Rivetseeker out in Tanaris somewhere.  Given the general description, I figured I knew where he was, having done one of his other quests with my hunter.  We found him out in the ruins south of Gadgetzan.

Finding Marvon

He wanted us to go retrieve his toolbox from Ratchet, which meant riding back to the flight point, flying to Ratchet, finding the tool box (it is just sitting on the ground outside of one of the shops, no marker, just a cog wheel when you mouse over it), then fly back to Tanaris, and ride back Marvon.  He then gave us the task to go into Sunken Temple.

That done, we started on the quest out of Stormwind, a chain that first sends you to find the instance.  So we rode back to the flight point, flew back to Ratchet, and waited for the boat to Booty Bay, which we had just missed.

Waiting for the next boat

In Booty Bay we ran to the flight point… there is no riding in Booty Bay… and flew out to Nethergarde Keep in the Blasted Lands, then rode to the Swamp of Sorrows next door and headed towards the instance.  It is not hard to find.

There it is

To get the quest update you just have to swim a short distance towards the temple and then you get the complete message.  At that point you have to head back to Stormwind.  But we were in luck as Ula had the Portal to Stormwind spell, so we were spared some of the running around and flying.

Stormwind is just a click away

From there it was off to the Dwarven District to find Brohann Caskbelly to get the next stage of the quest.  He sent us off to The Hinterlands, so another flight for us.  Up there the quest plays mistaken identities for a bit before sending you to find Rhapsody Shindigger, who is at the end of a little path in the hills by Aerie Peak.

Just overlooking Qeul’Danil Lodge

He is an alcoholic dwarf… which I realize is like saying a “short dwarf” in Azeroth, but he takes it to the next level… who needs some ingredients for his special concoction before he’ll share his tale of the Sunken Temple.  He wants some roc gizzards and some livers from Groddoc apes and Ironfur bears.  The latter are found in Feralas while the former are from Tanaris, where we had all met up previously.

So it was back to the flight point and off to Menethil Harbor to take the boat to Theramore… because Portal to Theramore is a WotLK era mage spell… then on the bird again to Tanaris to find some rocs.

There were several suggestions as to where to find rocs, but the most insightful was the mention that rocs and hyenas shared spawns.  So after some fruitless chasing potential spawn points, we just went to the big old pile of bones in the middle of the zone that was overrun by hyenas and started slaughtering them.

Hyena corpse pile forming

And it worked.  Rocs began to spawn.

This is the problem of the shared spawn point where more than one type of mob can spawn, but where only one of those mobs is desirable.  The desirable mob is hunter until all the respawns are the other mobs and then nobody can find what they need.

So we basically came along and fixed the spawn.

Rocs spawn!

From there we just slaughtered… though the drop rate was pretty low.  And then, as the three hour mark came and went on our venture, dinner was ready at our house, so I had to log out.  But the rest of the group carried on and noted on Discord that they had collected their drops while I was away.

I got back on later in the evening and got my quota of roc gizzards, then flew over to Feralas and headed to the Feral Scar to hunt Ironfur bears and Graddoc apes for their livers.

The apes were a little rare on the ground, though I think they share spawns with the bears, as once I had killed a bunch of bears the apes started showing up.

Once I had all the entrails requested, I recalled back to Ironforge and flew back up to The Hinterlands again to speak with Rhapsody Shindigger who, after some theatrics, was ready to tell his tale.

Being drunk means never getting to the point…

Once I had the update from him it was back to Brohann Caskbelly, who I will mention is hanging out in an Inn in the Dwarven District of Stormwind, to get the quest that actually sends you into the dungeon to collect some stuff for him.

So I believe we are now all ready to enter the Sunken Temple for real.  But that will have to wait until next time.

Can I Ride Here Please?

There are many places in Stormwind that are flagged so that you get removed from your mount should you ride into them.

For the most part, these locations are inside building.  You get removed from your mount when you ride into the auction house or the bank or any of the vendor store fronts.  That is fine.

But there is one place that I get removed from my mount that really bugs me.  This little stretch here in Stormwind.

No Mounts Allowed!

That little strip of real estate around the flight master in Stormwind.

And this drives me crazy for a few of reasons.

First, it is debatable that this is really an indoor location.  While it may be covered, it is otherwise pretty wide open to the elements.

Second, not only are there sample flying mounts standing around the area, there is also a riding master there who teaches all of the riding skills.

Third, I seem to use this flight point more than any other,  so I am yanked off my mount and forced to walk the last 20 yards to the flight master enough for this to really become a sore point with me.

That last items is aggravated by the fact that this seems to be the most aggressive of the “no ride zones.”  I can trot into the auction house and get the the auctioneer before my mount goes away.  Similarly, I can get pretty far into the bank.  But I’ll be damned if I can get more than two or three steps into this area before my mount is gone.  It is like they are trying to protect that wood paneling.

So Blizzard, can you help me out here?  Can you flag this area as available for mounts?

And while you’re at it, can you do the same for the spiral ramp in the middle of Thunder Bluff?

The View Above Stormwind

When moving over one of my daughter’s characters to the Cataclysm Beta, we noticed that there was a list of pre-made level 80 characters that you could also use.

So my daughter grabbed a couple of those and has barely been heard from since.

Still, I did get her to take on the assignment of getting some screen shots while flying over Stormwind.

Looking over Stormwind towards the citadel

Stormwind's roof line

Looking towards the front gates

Close to the clock tower

Some cataclysm damage... used to be a park here

As always, click on the pictures to see the full size versions.