Tag Archives: Tanaris

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.

Death on the Stairs with Sergeant Bly

It had been almost a month since we had our last outing in Zul’Farrak.  There was just too much going on for a few weeks for us to find the time.

The Tanaris area of operation

But this past Sunday we finally got online together with the time to return to the instance.

Meet up in Gadgetzan

The line up for the day was:

  • Moronae – level 49 night elf druid
  • Viniki – level 48 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 48 dwarf priest
  • Ula – level 47 gnome mage

We did a quick check on quest status for everybody and found that Moronae, Skronk, and Ula all still had Screecher Spirits.  However, Moronae still had to go to Feralas to get the drops while Ula and Skronk just needed to turn the quest in for the next stage.  We ran over to Steamwheedle to do the update for them.  It seemed likely that Moronae would have another shot at finishing the quest down the road.

The Steamwheedle Waterfront

From there it was back past Gadget and on to ZF, dodging past the elite mobs that guard the outside of the instance.

A fireball chasing us to the zone line

Once into the instance we buffed up and started clearing mobs, which was nice as it gave us a to warm up a bit on some easy stuff after the time off.

There is, however, a lot of trash to take out, but we managed it, even clearing around the fountain without too many accidental pulls.

The fountain area has plenty of walkers

From the fountain we turned left again, both to pick up the quest objectives for Ula and Skronk for the Screecher Spirits follow on quest and because we totally missed a boss that lives off the path that direction.  As we approached his lair, none of us could recall having ever done this fight.  But we spotted his cave easy enough.

The cave of Antu’sul

Since none of us could remember the fight, all of the details and surprises seemed to get us, like the fact… which I read up on later… that you don’t have to attack Antu-sul, or even get within casting range of him, you just have to get within a reasonable distance of his cave and he comes running out to get you.  Surprise!

Oh, and he quickly summons some elite helpers for the fight as well.  Surprise!

Oh, now he has friends

And he doesn’t just do that once… he keeps doing it as you kill his helpers off… and he keeps rooting everybody as well as dropping totems and healing himself every so often.  We were quickly in over our heads and I was scrambling to remember some warrior skills to help keep me alive.

Somehow we managed to keep going… nobody died… and we got Antu’sul down, which stopped new adds from showing up, and we made it through.

For all that he dropped the Lifeblood Amulet, which was a bit of an upgrade for me, adding +3 stamina over what I had.

From there we moved on, picking off Theka the Martyr for the quest update for Ula and Skronk, avoiding any scarab entanglements, and then heading to the graveyard.

The graveyard again

This is, of course, where we got surprised last time.

We did this again, the right way, digging up all the graves first, then going after Witch Doctor Zum’rah.  All I can say is that there are way more graves in that area than there needs to be to make whatever point some Blizz dev was trying to make.  But we could use the xp and the undead trolls dropped the troll temper for one of the Gadgetzen quests, so there was some upside.

The witch doctor himself wasn’t so tough without the zombies, though he does still summon some help on his own.

He dropped Zum’rah’s Vexing Cane, a staff that I thought might be up for contention between Ula and Skronk.  However, it didn’t seem like much of an upgrade to the Illusionary Rod from Arcanist Doan back in Scarlet Monastery, something we picked up in our low 30s in December, though there was some uncertainty whether the bonus to healing/damage casting was worth the sacrifice of 10 spirit and 5 intellect.  Ula decided to try it out, though the fact that it looks like somebody glued a door knob to the end or a broom stick did not endear it to anybody.

From there it was time to decided whether or not to attempt the stairs.

The stairs loom in our future

We cleared our way to them and decided to give it a shot.  As with other fights, our memories were vague at best and we didn’t stop to look up a strategy, preferring to have at least one go in as raw a state as we could manage.

Up at the top we met the Sandfury Executioner who attempted to live up to his name.

Execute! Execute!

He dropped the key to the cages where Sergeant Bly and his companions are.  Opening those up starts off the big event on the stairs.

Standing with Sergeant Bly

Down below the trolls formed up.

That is where we are headed

The trolls then start coming up the stairs.  Most of them are not elite, but there are a few elites mixed in every so often.  We tried to focus on the elites to burn them down.  Bly and his crew seemed pretty able to care for themselves otherwise.  It was chaotic and nearly got out of hand a few times when healing pulled aggro onto Skronk and there were shouts of “Get the combat ress ready!” but we seemed to get through each crisis.  The Bly wanted to start moving.

Bly gives the command

It was at the bottom of the stairs that things got out of hand.  There are two named mobs that spawn, and we ended up pulling them early, while we were still mixed up with the greater trash at the bottom of the stairs.  We lost control, people started dying, and the last I saw of Sergeant Bly he was in a mass of trolls holding his own until he was polymorphed into a frog and beaten down.

Corpses around as Bly gets pounded

Once that was settled out, we released and ran back to the instance.  Since Bly and his crew were dead the event could not be run again and the remaining trolls were too many and packed too close together to try and finish them off.  So we decided to save the stairs for another time… after some research… and finished off the quest Ula and Skronk had.

That meant clearing out some of the area around Gahz’rilla, and since we started on that, we finished clearing around and then used to Mallet of Zul’Farrak to summon Gahz’rilla again.  This time we fought him from the water so when we got tossed in the air we had a soft landing.

We waited in the deep end of his pool

That worked out well and Gahz ended up being a pretty easy fight.  He doesn’t drop anything we need, but it all sells for coin and we all need more of that.

From there we mounted up and tried to ride on out of the instance, out running the various patrols and respawns between us and the exit.  We almost made it too, but Ula took a big hit right at the zone line.  We went back in and Skronk ressed her.

So close you could feel static off the portal

We got Ula back up on her mount and we road out and back to Gadgetzan for quest turn ins and such.

For next time we need to get Moronae to Feralas for his quest update as well as looking up some tips for the fight on the stairs.  I think I know some of what we did wrong, and we know better what to expect, but after one run winging it I’d like a little more info.  And we can managed that we can get to the final fight and finish off ZF.

The Three-Percent-Solution

The week before we could not get together, but this past Sunday… Mother’s Day… we managed to find the time to take our first step into Zul’Farrak.  Our lineup was:

  • Moronae – level 48 night elf druid
  • Viniki – level 47 gnome warrior
  • Ula – level 47 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 46 dwarf priest

As we met up at the flight point outside of Gadgetzan it was time for a quest check to make sure everybody was on the same path.

Everybody at the flight point

It quickly became clear that not everybody have wrapped up and turned in the Screecher Spirits quest that was the focus of last post.  What can I say?  People were busy.  And, frankly, I was in a hurry.  I was feeling like I might be on the highway to the danger zone taking some time out to play WoW Classic on mother’s day, so I wanted to get going right away.  So rather than sorting out who needed to just go to Steamwheedle and get the right quest and who still needed and expedition to Feralas, I went with the fact that we were likely going to be making multiple visits and we’d get everybody caught up next time.

Steamwheedle wasn’t on the way, so screw it

So we headed away from Steamwheedle and towards the instance.  Somebody was outside clearing things up for us, no doubt trying for the 20 troll temper drops you need for one of the quests, so we didn’t have to fight all the way to the front door.

The way in

Once inside we started to try to call upon our various faded and mixed memories of the instance.  I think we came up with “it’s big” and “it’s outdoors so we can ride our mounts” and “it really is big” and “I think we messed up this pull and wiped.”

It had been a while.

In the instance so far

Still, we didn’t have much of a problem taking down mobs as we moved forward.  The groups of three and the occasionally singletons and wanderers were not much of a problem, save for those troll hunters who kept polymorphing me into a frog.  But Skronk could cure that, so we made pretty good progress forward.

Trolls just hanging out

We did get a couple of extra adds as we moved into the main junction with the fountain in the middle, but we didn’t mind slaying a few extra trolls as we each needed 20 drops, and the drop rate wasn’t very good, so we were clearly going to have to kill all the trolls more than once.

From the junction we decided to turn north.  I knew that south was the way straight to Gahz’rilla, who was our goal for the expedition.  But we had the a quest for scarab shells, which something in the back of my brain told me was up the northern route.  So we went that way.

And, sure enough, that memory was reliable.  There were tons of scarabs up that way.

Also that way was Theka the Martyr who, true to his name, died.

We make martyrs all the time

Rather to my embarrassment, Theka had one of the drops for the Screecher Spirits follow on quest which I hadn’t let anybody grab, so I was the only one who got the update.  But we will be making another trip here, I am certain of that.

Like the troll temper drops, the scarabs seemed rather reluctant to cough out, and we may have gotten a little bit greed in taking them on as they were non-elites, trying to do the freeze and burn with only four players.  We killed lots of scarabs, but Ula got mobbed at one point and died mid-air trying to mage hop her way out of the mess.

Ress incoming for the floating corpse

Having cleared most of the scarabs away, we moved on to the next area which had a bunch of graves.  Clicking on the graves sometimes gave us some random gray loot and sometimes spawned a zombie or two, which we took out quite easily.

That routine got boring quickly though, and we spotted a big chest in a building close by, and the troll in there was green to us, so it seemed totally safe, so we ran over to get it.  Nobody felt even the mildest twitch of memory about this place, so we were all pretty surprised when the troll, Witch Doctor Zum’rah, turned aggro and started summoning zombies from the graves, a couple at a time.

Oh, this will not end well

You can see above that Skronk was already down, and when Ula fell, the last to go, we got the warning about the place.

Oh, now you tell us!

I suppose it wouldn’t be the complete Zul’Farrak experience if we didn’t wipe at least once per trip.  So it was back to the instance as ghosts.

Running back from Gadgetzan

Back in we mounted up and, aside from a patrol now and then, we able to get back to where we died.  From there we had to carefully pull the zombies, who were all hanging around where we had fallen.  Then it was time to get to work on the remaining graves.

And there were graves all over

At first we thought this was going to be a problem.  Once you get stuck in with Witch Doctor Zum’rah, any further zombies run straight over to the steps in front of his building, which felt like it could go very badly for us.

But the witch doctor didn’t aggro, and once arriving at the steps, the zombies then turned to come after us, all of which just gave the casters an opportunity to soften them up a bit with ranged attacks before they came back at us.  We cleared then and then Witch Doctor Zum’rah, but he didn’t have anything much in his chest.  Kind of a bummer after all of that.

Somewhere in the mix I ended up with an ancient tablet in my inventory, which turned out to be the instructions for summoning Gahz’rilla.  But we had done all that groundwork already.

This? This we remembered.

From there we moved on into the open area below the steps where the big event happens.  But we were not up to the big event.  That was more that we had signed up for that day.  Instead we cleared along the left edge, past the gates that lead to the final fight, and down the back route to Gahz’rilla’s pool.

Pool This Way – No Running

We nearly stumbled into a pile of trolls too.  Just off to the right as you go in there is a group of five mobs, which would have been a bit of a surprise.  Instead, we went to the left and cleared clockwise around the pool, finishing up with the group of five, which we though might be a group of three and a group of two… but which turned out to be a full group of five.  But we were up to it.  And that group dropped the other piece for the Screecher Spirits follow up as well as the drop for the quest from Tabetha out by Theramore.

The area cleared, we set our plan.  We would fight him in the big open area at the end of the pool opposite the gong.  I would go ring the gong and bring him back.  I had remembered the Mallet of Zul’Farrak, which is something we forgot back in the day, so was ready to go.

Of course, he shows up at the far end of the pool, away from the gong, so I had to run back to grab aggro.  And then the fight was on.  It went pretty well, too, though I had forgotten about how much damage can hit you when you land after he throws everybody in the air.

Up I go, and soon it will be down

I think the solution to that is to fight him in the pool where you can land in the water and not get hurt, but we managed it.  We brought him down without loss and were able to loot the scale for the quest that bears his name.  We then posed for the victory shot.

Gahz’rilla defeated

The mission of the night completed, we mounted up to ride back out the route we came in.

Leaving Gahz behind

We stopped only to slay some more scarabs to finish off that quest for Skronk and myself.

And to visit our remains

Then we skirted past a few patrols and exited the instance.  We found the outside still fairly clear, so road off to turn in the most important quest.

Don’t mind that troll chasing us

That turn in wasn’t at Gadgetzan or Steamwheedle, but out at the Mirage Raceway.

Mirage Raceway with the gnomish team

There we turned in Gahz’rilla’s scale for the coveted Carrot on a Stick trinket.

The Three Percent Solution

We then rode back to Gadgetzan, feeling very good that we were moving a full three percent faster on our way back.

That seems like a trivial speed boost, but back in the day WoW didn’t exactly rain trinkets down on you and I recall wearing that item well into The Burning Crusade.  Of course, I think I was also wearing that Argent Commission trinket into that expansion as well, so I might have just been bad at upgrading my gear.

That complete, we were done for the day.  I camped and quit and found my wife, who had been busy with something while I had been playing, so didn’t seem upset.

Now we just have to get back for the return trip.  We missed a boss completely and still need to do the event on the stairs and the final boss.  Everybody gained a level this round, so we’re better prepared.  But first we have to get everybody done with that Screecher Spririts quest.

Down Around Gadgetzan and Steamwheedle

Previously our run up to Zul’Farrak moved from the Hinterlands to Booty Bay.  This past weekend we got a bit closer to the dungeon as the group took the boat across from the Eastern Kingdoms to Kalimdor and flew on down to Tanaris.

Tanaris is where Zul’Farrak is located, so we were at least moving closer to our destination.  But our group of four still felt a little light on levels to tackle the instance.  Our lineup as the afternoon started:

  • Moronae – level 47 night elf druid
  • Viniki – level 46 gnome warrior
  • Ula – level 45 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 45 dwarf priest

So we decided to tackle some of the quests in the area first, hoping to squeeze another level in for everybody across the board.  Gadgetzan was quite amenable to that plan.  There are lots of quests in the area.

Also, it has a Mos Eisley vibe to it

If you can find all the quests… and there are some behind the buildings and two as part of a notice board… you can fill up your quest log pretty quickly.  When I scouted ahead I dumped all the quests I had left from Stranglethorn Vale (all of which I could go get again if I wanted) and anything else I was unlikely to pursue and found that all my local quests, including the ones from down the road at Steamwheedle Port, and all the Zul’Farrak quest I had gathered, totaled up to 17 quests.

That is quite an investment for your quest log.  But Gadgetzan isn’t a bad place to stick around for a while.  It has vendors and supplies and a bank and access to the neutral auction house.  The latter isn’t great, but you can sometimes find a few things you need.

So when we got online on Sunday afternoon and met up in town we had a list of things to go after.  The first tasks were with the Wastewander mobs that hang out between Gadgetzan and Steamwheedle.  Those involved slaying some specific mob types, collecting water pouches, and bringing down a named mob.

We actually went too far into their territory to start with, running into the mobs that are part of the second set to be slain in a follow up quest.  We moved a bit north and found what we were looking for.

Wastewander camps

A few of the mobs in the camps were bugged.  Specifically, the ones under the shelters would suddenly go into “evade” mode and run back to their spawn point and reset if they got pulled anywhere.  You had to go slay them where they stood, but at least you could slay them.  Something in the back of my brain says that this was an issue at some point back in the day as well… authentic experience… but I could be wrong.

We also stumbled over the named mob pretty early on, knocking him over to finish another quest.  We then went back to town to pick up round two, the second check list of mobs, during which everybody also got their water pouch drops.

After that it was on to Steamwheedle Port.

The Tanaris coast has nice beaches

We actually had a quest from last week in Booty Bay that sent us out to the coast.  There we turned that in, picked up a couple more quests which, along with the other wanted poster quest from Gadgetzan, all pointed us toward the Southsea Pirates and their camp a ways down the coast.

The Southsea Pirates are another spot I remember from the history of the instance group as it was where we picked off after the long break when Earl had to move to New York and then Ula and Skronk moved back to California.  We did a warm up round with the pirates before heading off to Zul’Farrak.

My pally back in the day

We all also seemed to share some collective memories of trying to do this area solo with various classes during the vanilla WoW time frame.  They seemed to all involve some pain.  But as a group venture it is a pretty good area to hit.

The checklist kill quest is easy enough to  do solo, but all the more so as a group.

The named mob you need, the vile pirate Andre Firebeard, isn’t impossible solo, but is definitely easier with a group.

But it is Stoley’s Shipment, the follow on quest from Booty Bay, where have a group can be critical.  The quest is simple enough.  You just have to go pick up his missing shipment in one of the building.

It is the pile of boxes in the two story building

The problem is that the mobs are close by, often hiding around corners, so it is really easy to accidentally proximity pull the whole building.  As a group we burned through it pretty quickly, but later we saw a druid go in there solo and come running out shortly thereafter with half a dozen mobs in tow.  We ran over to help him, pulling mobs off of him, but he died.  Still, we cleared out the rest of the mobs, gave him a ress, then ran back in to clear the way for him.

Not everybody in the area was so nice.  We went over to the dock in the pirate camp where the last type of mobs, Southsea Swashbucklers, were located.  As we setup to start picking them off, a mage that had been sitting off to the side mounted up and rode through all the mobs.  I thought he was trying to grab them all for a freeze and burn.  But somehow the all managed to get trained right on to us.

We had a fairly frantic battle for a bit, but managed to tamp everything down and came out the other end okay.

The victims strewn about us

But we couldn’t tell if the mage had done that on purpose or by accident, and if we should be mad that it was kind of a dick move or happy because we pretty much filled up our swashbuckler quota in one quick go.

We made it onto the ships at the port… this is a little out of order, we went there for Stoley’s shipment, thinking “shipment might mean on a ship!” and failed to find it, moving over to the buildings later as bits and pieces of memory floated into our consciousness.  But there was the Captain’s Chest in the far ship, which needs the Captain’s Key, a drop that comes in the pirate boxes that are occasionally found on mobs in the area, along with map fragments for another quest, and some random items.

However, once we got off the ship Viniki got the key in a box, so we had to go back and open the chest.  There was an upgrade for Moronae in it, so it was worth the effort.

The one quest we did not finish involved pirate hats.  Everybody needed to get 20 and they are random drops off of Southsea Pirates.  However, even having to kill about 50 such pirates doing the other quests did not get anybody close to that total.  I think Skronk topped the list with nine.  So we decided to maybe not stay to the bitter end farming for hat drops.

Of course, I went back the next night with Tistann, my level 45 hunter, and did all the quests AND got the 20 hats all in one go, though it was not pretty.   A quest like that with 20 drops favors the solo player.

Anyway, we took down any pirate on our path out of their cove, then rode on back to Steamwheedle.

Time to turn in quests

We turned in our quests, by which point all of us had gone up a level.  There was one more quest line to run down, so we flew up to Ratchet to take the boat back to Booty Bay to turn in the one that originated there.  And that was about all we had in us… or about all I had in me anyway.  But we’re about far enough along that I think next time we’ll just head to Zul’Farrak and start in on it.  There are a bunch of quests we can close out and we have the mallet, so we can summon Ghaz’rilla and maybe get that Carrot on a Stick trinket.

The Golden Age of Ballooning – Gadgetzan Episode

It is becoming quite clear that I am going to have to start another new character (or two) to run through the 1-60 content in Azeroth, since the instance group is bypassing a lot of the solo content.

I have been out with Tistann, my hunter, now level 83, running some low level quests in order to get him exalted status with five of the six alliance race factions so that he can spend those Argent Tournament marks he has sitting in his currency tab.

And every time I go our in the old world with him I find some huge change in the world I want to explore or some amusing quest that I’d like to run at level.

For example, last night, I made my way to Gadgetzan with the idea of getting Tistann a little closer to exalted with Gnomeregan.  And there I found the balloon quest.

Even the balloons look crazy

You are supposed to fly around in the balloon (it follows its own path) and drop rescue rocket packs to goblins stranded by the floods caused by pirates sinking supply boats.  The goblins grab the packs and zoom off into the sky.

Oh, and you also get to bomb the pirates as well.

Targeting Pirates!

I know it is really just another one of those fly and bomb quests.  We’ve had those since Burning Crusade came out.  But so many of them have their own little twist with Cataclysm.

And, as seems to be the norm now with this sort of quest, you can keep flying around as long as you want.  When you are done, you click the button for your own rocket pack and get sent back to Gadgetzan.

Flying back to Gadgetzan

You also get a feel for how the world has changed.  Gadgetzan is now a port town, the tide having come in quite a bit.  And over the hill in Thousand Needles?  Let’s just say the Southsea Pirates have a new place to sail.

I’m going to have to roll up a new character to see this.  The instance group seems to be bypassing a lot of content, so Maloney might not get to see as much of the world as I would like.

Preparing for Sunken Temple

Well, that sounds silly, doesn’t it?

I mean, we did Sunken Temple the previous week, why would we then start preparing for it?

Well, we’ve been big on doing all the quests for instances and seeing all the sites as we make what might be the last run through pre-cataclysm Azeroth, and Sunken Temple has a couple of important quests.

Sunken Temple has the level 50 class quests.  Remember those?

Maybe not.

There were a set of quests, one for each class, that finished up in Sunken Temple.  But you have to be level 50 to get those quests, and as you can see, our line up for the night was just a bit shy of the mark.

49 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
49 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
49 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
49 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
49 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)

Hurmoo actually got on earlier in the day to get to 49 to try and keep up, so he still had nearly a full level to go before 50.

Anyway, the class quests each end with a nice blue item as a reward.  This was fine back when you had to be level 50 to have a hope of finishing Sunken Temple.  Our first run at the instance back on the alliance side ended badly when faced with the level 55 Eranikus.

And then came the great November nerf of 2007 on the Tuesday after that first run.  And suddenly Eranikus was level 50 and we walked all over him.  Well, we didn’t wipe in any case.

But they didn’t change the levels of the quests associated with the instances.  So despite being able to finish Sunken Temple, we weren’t high enough level to get the quests.  We decided to work on that.

The quests aren’t simple, talk to the NPC and head into the instance variety either.  No, we had an evening of prep work to do.  First it was off to Steamwheedle.

Taurens on the Beach

There to pick up Screecher Spirits, a quest line that runs along through a couple instances.  This required us to run out to to the Feralas coast to kill three flying snakes, talk to their spirits, and then head back to Steamwheedle.

Flying through Thousand Needles

Once complete, we had to then run off to Zul’Farrak to knock off a couple of bosses for their tablets.

But first we had to engage in a bit of at-level PvP.  A slightly higher level shaman and priest were on the dock at Steamwheedle.  Enaldie rushed right in to tackle them and promptly died.  Then we managed to continue to squander our numerical advantage by joining in one by one until we were all dead.  It took a while, and Earl, Azawak, and Hurmoo keep them busy for several minutes, but in the end we were all dead.

Fortunately for us, they had other tasks to take care of and they didn’t hang around to camp our corpses or otherwise make us any more miserable.  We took our meager revenge on an alliance player hanging around at the Zul’Farrak entrance.  That will show them we’re serious!

Back here again

Once in Zul’Farrak, we made our way reasonably quickly to the first boss.  We managed to bypass quick a bit of the troll trash on the way, but on defeating the first boss somebody, who shall remain nameless, did not get the tablet.

They did not get the tablet because they did not have the quest.  In tracing things back, in turned out that they had not picked up the initial quest.  So it was break time for some of us while others returned to Steamwheedle then flew to Feralas to kill wind serpents, then came back, updated the quests, and finally returned to Zul’Farrak where we reset the instance and started over again.

Fortunately, as I said, the effort to get in and find the bosses was not substantial.

Finishing up our time in ZF

We actually stopped, rang the gong, and killed Ghaz’rilla again, just to do it.  Then it was back to Steamwheedle and off to the next destination, the Hinterlands.

At least we have a mage in our group, so we could get a portal to the Undercity from Tanaris.  However, once there, it seemed that only two of us had the flight point way out in the Hinterlands.  Tarren Mill seemed to be the closest point we all had, so it was off to Tarren Mill.

Luck was with us in that it was Saturday night and we managed to fly in during one of the few moments that Tarren Mill wasn’t under siege by high level alliance players.  We were able to fly in and head to the Hinterlands unhindered.

Through the Hinterlands

We had to head to the far end, both to get the flight point, but also to visit Jintha’alor, where our next quest objective lay.  Hurmoo happened to have a couple of other quests for that area which were sharable.  As on our past visit, we did the slogging fight into Jintha’alor to get to the pinnacle and grab the ancient egg, but on the way out we did the wild ride through everything.

Airborne Kodos!

The ride is not without danger.  But we managed to get down mostly intact.

Post-ride Health

Once clear, we headed down to Raventusk Village, the horde encampment in the Hinterlands, turned in the extra quests we had for the area, then looked towards getting back to Steamwheedle to turn in this leg of the long quest line.  A portal to Orgrimmar and a flight down to Tanaris, then a ride out to Steamwheedle took care of that.  We turned in the quest and got the next segment that leads us to Sunken Temple.

Which left Hurmoo one final task.  We quickly ran out to knock off one more quest which, when Hurmoo turned it in, made him the last one in the group to get this particular achievement.


We were all now ready for our individual class quests in Sunken Temple.  We’ll have to do a bit more preliminary work on a some of them, but we should be ready for our final assault on Sunken Temple come Saturday night.

Oh, and with level 50, Hurmoo can now be a tree.

Make like a tree!

Another advance in healing.