Tag Archives: Wrath of the Lich King

Out Running the Argent Tournament

Phase 2 of Wrath of the Lich King Classic brought us the opening of the Argent Tournament up in Ice Crown.  And, as I noted previously, I was all in on that, and somewhat surprisingly so since it was something I ran to its extremes back in the day.  I keep running those dailies.

Don’t forget to put on the lip balm first!

Or, rather, I kept running those dailies.

I went out there almost every day and did the whole load of dailies

The list of all the solo ones

The thing is, there is an end goal for some of the dailies.  Once you do your tournament initiation, then you go fight for each of the races of your faction to become a champion of each.  It takes five days to become the champion, and there are five factions, so at the end of 25 days of dailies you get to the end of the last city and get a new achievement.

Champion of the Alliance

And then, that is it for the faction dailies, which are four of the eight daily quests you can get in the phase 2 version of the Argent Tournament.

That leaves me with four daily quests, three of which are solo and which I run through pretty quickly.  There is a fourth quest, which involves slaying Chillmaw, and elite dragon that floats around in a corner of Icecrown.

Watching Chillmaw circle

I have some vague memories of being able to solo Chillmaw and his three helper NPCs back in the day.  But I must have been much better geared or more talented back then, because right now he eats me up pretty quick if I try to challenge him.

So when I am doing the dailies I grab that quest and hang around where he spawns to see if I can find a group to work with.  That can be pretty hit or miss.  Sometimes I find somebody eager to help, sometimes I am hanging around alone.

I did try using the group finder interface that Blizz put into Wrath Classic.  A good idea in concept I suppose, but not very effective in practice.  I have yet to have anybody take me up on a group I have formed, and the ONE time I found somebody else who had setup a group, I couldn’t join because they were full.

I suppose that the group filled up proves that there is somebody out there willing to join… and who knows about the group finder.  But it has yet to work out for me.  I think our server might be a bit low on the population scale.

Now, if we were in phase 3 of Wrath Classic, with the rest of the Argent Tournament available, I would have an additional series of dailies to work on, the set that unlocks once you are champion of your faction.  But phase 3 is somewhere in the distance.  People are still doing Ulduar regularly if the LFG channel is any indication.

Also, I did find it odd that you cannot post in the LFG channel unless you have created an advert in the group finder.  I guess that is a feature, but it does complicate what was once a fairly straightforward operation.  Hey, come help kill a thing, it will be quick.

So I continue to pile up the currency from the dailies.  I have bought a couple of the gear upgrades, but it is the Argent Hippogryph I am saving up for.

A Spark of Memory in the Halls of Lightning

We are at a point in Wrath where I am reminded that it was really the last hurrah for the idea of leveling dungeons along the way of your adventure.  Wrath opened up with a dozen five player dungeons in the tradition of vanilla and TBC, and we get another four as the phases unlock.

Once we get to Cataclysm we get fewer dungeons along the way, more at level cap, and we start getting special ones, like the old Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub raids re-cast as five person heroics.

There was certainly a reason for this change.  Our own travel through Northrend has required very little overland adventuring, even with us all starting at level 68 rather than 70, and we have leveled up into and sometimes beyond the levels of the dungeons.  The realities of managing an 80 level xp curve where Blizz wants people to get into the latest stuff and the plan to go to five level expansions for a couple of runs made the situation untenable.

Because, unless you’re going to do heroics at level cap, the instances can become a blur of one and done events.

I have strong memories of several dungeons in Wrath… Utgarde Keep and the Nexus for various reasons, and the Oculus for very specific reasons… but many of the other were things we did once back in 2009 and now, 14 years later, we’re doing once more.

Which brings us to the Halls of Lightning, which I actually bit more vague memories of from back in the day.

Riding up to the Halls of Lightning

Going back in the history of the blog… I am so glad I tagged every dungeon run with the name of the dungeon… so Halls of Lightning will bring up this run and the past two… I was able to see that we had to take two runs at this one.  We failed on the final boss and it was late and we had to call it a night on our first run.  So we spent a second week there on a return visit to finish it off.  By the second round we were all level 80 and managed to finish it off.

Which doesn’t mean I have any strong memories of the instance.  It was more a series of vague “we had trouble here” sensations now and then that came up.  But that was often guide enough for us, at least until the last boss.  We also came in at about the same level as we did in our first run at it back in the day.

The group

The first thing we noticed on arriving was that the first boss was there, wandering around the paths between us and the rest of the instance.

General Bjarngrim doing his rounds

He wanders around between a set of groups, seeming to get charged up with power as he visited each group.

The first floor map

That seemed like a hint that maybe we should take out those groups while the general was elsewhere before engaging with him.  We acted on that plan, taking out the nearest two groups while the general was on the far side of his patrol.  But after clearing the group in the lower right of the pentagon on the map, we ended up a little too close to the general on his walk back and suddenly it was on.

But we managed to power through it… mostly.  Ula got dropped, but on being revived she did win the roll for a new pair of shoulders.

Mantle of the Electric Charges

We went around and cleared out the last group, then turned to the Iron Cruicible room, which I remembered as some sort of event.  It ends up being a room with non-elites in it that respawn quickly, so if you sit there and try to clear them, which we did for a bit, you’ll never get to the far side of the room.  In the end we made a dash for it, cross the room, then made our way up to the second floor, where the remainder of the bosses reside.

Up to the second floor

The first boss waiting for us was Volkhan, whose name was changed for copyright reasons I am sure, whose location again triggered some deep past memory of trouble.

Volkhan works at his forge

Still, we took a run at him… and it did not go well.  We were not ready for his mechanics and barely disturbed his work.

Volkhan back to his forge after our brief interruption

His gimmick is summoning some golems who, when you burn them down to one hit point, he has explode for lots of damage.  Avoid the golems.  We read up on a couple of suggested ways to deal with it, but in the end I just pulled him across the room then kited him around in a corner while people steered clear of his helpers and we managed to bring him down.

Then it was around through the Hall of Watchers which, again, I somehow knew was going to be trouble… well, that wasn’t even memory, it was just the certain knowledge that in a room with a bunch of hostile looking guys frozen in place somebody had to become animated and attack us.  We made our way past there as quickly as we could and over to Ionar, who was clearly going to be dealing some electric damage.

He looks like a thunder storm wearing armor, what do you expect?

Bjorid was able to put up a nature resist group effect and, when it came down to it, we were able to get through him on the first run.  There is a point where he lets loose with some electrical creepy crawlies that wander around, but they were easy enough to avoid.

With Ionar out of the way, we went through the passage behind him and into the last big area which leads to the final boss, Loken.

Loken is kind of bored with the whole thing

Yes, there was some trash to clear along the way, but we managed that and were standing before Loken before too long.  Proving I pay some attention to what goes on now and then, I did recall Brann Bronzebeard mentioning Loken the previous week when we were in the Halls of Stone.  I don’t remember what he said, but the name definitely came up.

Loken has a couple of tricks up his sleeve.  He has an ongoing AOE attack that gets stronger the further away you are from him, and then a sudden AOE attack that you really want to run away from him before it hits.  So stay close, until you need to run away, then stay close again.

Also, he attempts to monologue you to death with how tedious it is to have to get up out of his big chair to deal with mortals.

The latter was survivable, but we managed to mis-time the former and ended up with just me standing there, embarrassed, with Loken down to 12% and little chance that I was going to finish him off.

We didn’t even have a soul stone, so we had to release and run back.  While we got ready again, I looked Loken up to see if there were any suggestions for the fight.  The clearest on I found just said fight him on the glowing line, so everybody knows where to be, then just back up when the big attack is coming, then let him come to you again once that has passed.  Rinse, repeat, and finish him off.

And it worked like a champ.  The first fight was chaos with us running all over, the second fight was all backing up every time I called out that the big hit was coming, standing just out of range, and picking up the fight again from there.  He went down, dungeon complete.

Halls of Lightning achievement

He dropped a nice wand upgrade that went to Beanpole.

After we rolled on that we went to take a final picture in the instance.

Loken’s end

We made it through, though we did wipe twice and, somehow, Ula and Bjorid managed to die an additional pair of times.

After this we will likely make our return to Utgarde Pinnacle to finish that off.  If nothing else, that will put off us having to face The Oculus.  That will be an adventure in and of itself.

Wrapped up in Wrath Dailies

I know that daily quests didn’t start in Wrath of the Lich King.  They were there at the end of The Burning Crusade.  But they felt tacked on and a bit tepid, as though they were more of a reaction to players hanging around at level cap than a plan.

In Wrath though, they were clearly part of the plan.  I knew they would be coming into Wrath Classic.  I was more interested to see what I would do with them, because I was very much split in my thoughts on the subject.

On the one hand, I wanted to wallow in all that was Wrath, to relive the glory days of WoW, or at least MY glory days with WoW, and do all the things once more.

On the other hand, I did all of this before.  I have a character in retail WoW that I logged in every day for months at a stretch to run dailies in Wrath.  He has the titles, tokens, achievements, and mounts to prove it.  Was I really going to invest all that time once more?

The first test was the Kalu’ak dalies, which you run into early on in the path through Northrend.  I did those dailies and ended up exalted with them on not just one, but two characters.

But the Kalu’ak are not exactly a steep climb to exalted once you have done their quest chain.  No, the real test for me was going to be the Argent Tournament.

Approaching the Argent Tournament

I basically spent the back half of Wrath leveling up an alt or two and doing dailies, and especially Argent Tournament dailies, until I was exalted with everybody I could managed.

And then I ran some more because I wanted some of the goodies in the various faction stores.

That was a level of commitment that a much younger me was up to.  But what about me today?

Meanwhile, the Argent Tournament starts out kind of slow.  You have to prove yourself by doing a couple of training dailies and one roaming quest daily that sends you out to do, among other things, kiss frogs until you find a princess.

Don’t forget to put on the lip balm first!

But once you get through the preliminaries you go to work for your home city faction and the tournament every day and suddenly you can start stacking up a pile of dailies to run.

I passed on one that is too high level for me at 78

At that point you are earning tokens, the champion’s seal currency, towards the goodies.  I started in at level 78, so I will have banked some for when I hit 80, which is the level requirement for the good stuff.

And then there are the champion’s writs that let you buy faction standing with the home cities, starting with your own.  I am, at last, exalted with Stormwind.

Exalted champion of Stormwind

And, having done that, I have moved on to the next city.  I’ll probably come out of this exalted across the alliance.

Will I keep going until I have earned the Argent Hippogryph?  We shall see.  I do have to watch out though, because running dailies also pays off in xp, so I might start out-running the rest of the group in levels.  Then again, we’re all about level 78 now anyway, so I can’t run very far.  And when I hit level cap the dailies start paying off in gold.


Exalted with the Kalu’ak and the end of Winter Veil

It was a busy holiday season.  Somehow we managed to extend Christmas into a four day event, spending time with different parts of our extended family.  Then our daughter turned 21 and there was a full day of that, and then New Year’s Eve, and in all of this I didn’t have a bunch of vacation time saved up so I only took a couple of days off at the end of the year, which all added up to not a lot of free time to play video games.

Oh well.  It happens.

That meant not much time for big gaming goals, so I set myself a small one.  One of my checklist items for Wrath Classic has been to become exalted with the Kalu’ak, the walrus-oid peoples who should be a playable race by now, but shamefully are not.

They have three daily quests that earn 500 reputation, though as a human I get 550 reputation.  That 10% bonus can add up.  Doing that meant basically flying Wilhelm to three different points to do the daily quests.

The flight points cut together

Each quest is just a couple of minutes, so it is mostly the flights between the three points that takes up the time every day.  And that was enough time that there were a couple of days when I only did two.

Swimming to net some fish for one of the quests

But as I got closer to exalted (and started having a bit more time in the evening to play) I realized that I had a pile of quests at Moa’ki harbor, the middle flight point, that would also cough up 550 faction for me.  So after one evening run I went back there and chased those down, earning myself the exalted status and the achievement.

Also, my first exalted faction I guess

Once I had that I flew to Kamagua where the Kalu’ak faction vendor is and bought the items I had been looking forward too.  Sure, Pengu the pet penguin is nice, but the fishing pole is the item to have.

Time for more fishing!

And it is honestly not a bad weapon either.  Enough to whack anything that interrupts my fishing time, though some of that time is spent fishing in the fountain in Dalaran.

I swore I wasn’t going to do this, and yet there I am

So I did get that done over the holidays.  What I did not do was make any progress at all on the Feast of Winter Veil achievements.  After having done the Pilgrim’s Bounty achievements to get the meta achievement and title I thought sure I would be on the road to that during Winter Veil.

However Ula and Fergorin (and Bjorid) had been on the case for Winter Veil and were almost done when New Year’s Day rolled around.  They just needed on more item, the holiday cap, to complete the final achievement to get the Merry Maker meta achievement and title for the holiday.

To get the hat you have to take it off of a dungeon boss.  There is a list of possible bosses, including some in Outland.  But to have a 100% chance of a drop you have to do a Northrend boss, and the easiest of those is Grand Magus Telestra in The Nexus.

We had actually defeated her with this very group of four, and at lower levels than we were currently, so it seemed like a viable plan.  Doing the run as a threesome, even with three level 76s, was a bit much without a dedicated tank, but the four of us were able to run in and take her on.

Making our way to Telestra, past the Hall of Stasis

The fighting to get to her wasn’t too bad, though there was the that section in the Halls of Stasis with the frozen mobs that got a bit out of hand due to tab targeting and auto-targeting on cast deciding to select the next group while we were still involved with the previous one.

But other than that we were able make it to Telestra and defeat her.

Telestra down, with Pengu peeking at the camera

The problem came when we looted her.  We all hit “need” on the hat and I won it… but there was only one hat.  And I won the hat, the person who needed it least.

As it turns out, while Van Cleef can offer up five heads, dungeon bosses can only have one hat.  Going back to our 2009 Merry Maker run, it turns out that one hat per run was the way it was.  So we had to run back to the entrance and reset the instance and fight our way back to Telestra again, and again, and again.

There was an issue in the Hall of Stasis on one run

We managed to make it, did our four runs, and everybody got a hate.

Telestra looted four times

There was a brief moment of potential disaster when somebody forgot they got a hat and went need again, but the RNG was kind to us and we did not have to do a fifth run.

That got Ula, Fergorin, and Bjorid most of the way there, though we had to run around a bit to get some rugged leather so Tistann could make the Winter Veil boots that are required wearing for the final achievement.  You put on the hat, the boots, and the tunic, then eat Graccu’s fruit cake, and there you go.

The achievement

For me it was just the one achievement, for them it was the final achievement that got them the meta achievement and the title.

After that I started looking into what it would take me to get to the meta achievement as well.  Unfortunately, I was starting off on that journey about 14 hours before Winter Veil ended, and I was going to need to sleep at some point in the middle there.  So I made a bit of progress on some of the achievements.

Just 36 more honorable kills to go

So I have a head start on next year, if Wrath Classic is still a thing next year.  Retro experiences go much more quickly.  I seem to remember the Kalu’ak achievement taking me much longer back in the day.

And the four runs was enough to get me to level 76, even though I had the Joyous Journeys bonus xp turned off.  And that level unlocked a nice upgrade for me, again from the Kalu’ak.

A nice tank chest piece

I had been honored for a while, but I needed the level.

So now we’re into the new year and the group will be looking towards the next dungeon… and the next holiday I suppose.  The Lunar Festival kicks off in a couple of weeks.  Maybe I can manage that.

Level 80 in Northrend

I got my first character to level 80 in Wrath of the Lich King Classic.  My Death Knight, Irondam, has hit the level cap for the expansion.  Not bad for pretty much the last character I created in the game.  Yes, DKs start at 55, but I had a level 60 warrior before I even made Irondam.

So he marched ahead and became my highest level character… because DKs are hilariously OP in Wrath.  I may have mentioned that I have the glyph that resets the timer on death coil every time you get a kill that grants xp or honor and it makes just gabbing mobs too much fun.

The moment I swap to another character I feel its lack.  I’m just sorry I didn’t make a DK back in the day.  I mean, my paladin no longer sucks like he did in vanilla, but DKs… bwahahaha!

Anyway, as I mentioned when he made it to 77 and unlocked cold weather flying, I had been diligent with him, going through zone by zone and doing all the quests and getting the achievement.  I made it through five zones doing that.  And then he got flying and Blizzard threw the Joyous Journeys xp buff at us and I said “to hell with that” and went into Icecrown and just did quests until he finally capped out.

And so the magic moment hit.

Bazinga… or something

Level 80.  And look at the xp from that quest turn-in.  That is some Joyous Journey bonus xp being reflected in that.

Now what?  Am I done?  End of the line?  Boredom city?

You tell ’em!

Nah.  Irondam is kind of becoming my “do all the things” character… well, except dungeons I suppose.  But I guess I could solve that by standing out in front of some of the lower level dungeons offering to tank.  I actually spec’d blood, so part of the hilarity of my DK is that he has all sorts of self-healing on tap AND he still beats the crap out of most things he runs across.  I could carry some randos through at least half the dungeons with some mediocre healing.

Also, level 80 quests up in Ice Crown… they now pay out some gold when I complete them.

Some cash for my trouble

Yes, I realize that if you’re playing retail WoW a 20 gold quest reward looks like penny ante stakes.  But I am pretty happy with 20g a quest.  If only the Joyous Journey’s buff applied to the gold payout as well as xp.

And that will help me build up some gold reserves as my other characters move ahead.  And they can move ahead in style, because one thing you can buy in Dalaran is a tome of cold weather flying.

Just 1,000 gold – account bound

That account bound book lets you fly in Northrend as early as level 68.  You’re alts need never walk again.  I forget if you can send it across factions or not.  But, then again, I didn’t even remember such a thing existed.  Was that always in Wrath?

Anyway, I am split as to whether I should carry on earning cash or use the current holiday xp buff to get an alt a leg up into Northrend… flying as they go.

Rushing Through Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom

After getting through Azjol Nerub we took a bit of a break to get everybody to level 74 and Dalaran, so spent some time running the group quests in Dragonblight and Borean Tundra to get the group boosted up.

We managed to get that setup and spent a bit going off to get a flight point off in the Snow Peaks before decided we had a bit of time and thinking maybe we should hit the next dungeon, just to peek in and see what the first boss was like.  Beanpole had a hard deadline which gave us enough time for that certainly.

The next instance on the list was Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom, which I would show on the map, but it is literally 50 paces from Azjol Nerub, so doesn’t have a marker on the map.

Azjol Nerub in Dragonblight… complete favoritism in this marking

We flew on down to Stars’ Rest and jumped in the hole where Azjol Nerub is and only got a bit lost before finding the summoning stone that both instances share so we would setup our little pre-run picnic.

The door is down that away…

Our party for the day was, indeed, all level 74.

The group before the Old Kingdom

Once we got ourselves sorted out, it was down the slope to the front door and in we went.

Behold, the old kingdom

The Old Kingdom is mostly undead things, which meant having two paladins along was a bit of a boon, since at least I, as tank, practically radiate holy damage.  There was a bit of a warm up with the trash, but that seemed to be enough to get us lined up for Elder Nadox, the first boss on the list.

Elder Nadox awaits

I had some vague recollection of this fight being a problem back in the day, so I went and looked it up.  However, the guide made it sound simple.  Clear the stuff around him, fight him, when he summons a helper, kill the helper, carry on until he is dead.

And that turned out to be the key.  We managed him on the first go.

That goal accomplished, we had more than enough time to carry on, so we ended up down a ramp and clearing out an open area all in furtherance of getting to Prince Taldaram.

He has a few tricks of his own, but we managed to plow through him as well.

Prince Taldaram getting worked by us

We got a bit lost after that as it wasn’t immediately obvious where to go.  There was a tunnel down to another location that had some quest markers, but there didn’t seem to be much there.

Map of the instance

There is the marker for another boss down there as well, but we doubled back and eventually found our way down to the Desecrated Altar and the next boss, Jedoga Shadowseeker, who we managed to summon inadvertently, which ended up with us wiping.  The second round however saw us managed to win, though it was a bit of a near run thing.

And the clock was running down on Beanpole, he was going to have to leave in about 20 minutes, so skirted past any mobs we could as we headed for the final boss, Herald Volazj.

Herald Volazj awaits

He isn’t a tough fight really, except for his special ability, when he casts insanity on the group and each of us ended up in our own little pocket instance and had to fight and defeat versions of the rest of the group.

That wasn’t too bad for me.  The tank can run over and put down a couple of clothies pretty fast, the finish off the other two.  But the clothies also had to deal with a version of me in their own instances.

Fortunately, once you finish of your own foes you join up with somebody else in the group who who is still working on it, so we ended up consolidating into a bigger and bigger group again until we were back facing Herald Volazj again.

You have to do that twice, but after the first run through it the routine held no terror, and we managed to pass through again and bring him down.  Instance complete.

The achievement

By this time Beanpole was at the hair edge of his time, but he stopped long enough to be in the victory shot at the end of the instance.

The group in victory with Herald Volazj‘s remains

And then we ran out the back door of the instance, found the quest giver out there to turn in the two quests we had been given, after which Ula opened a portal to Dalaran… she had been able to teleport to Dalaran since 72, but at 74 she can bring the whole group… and we called it a day.  It was a rushed run through, but I am not sure we missed anything really.

We did seem to get through it with less issues than we did back in 2009 when we ran it with the group.

That puts Drak’Theraon Keep next on our list.

First Flight in Northrend

Irondam, my Death Knight, was getting towards the end of the quests in Grizzly Hill when he ticked over to level 77, the magic moment when flight becomes available in Wrath of the Lich King.

The classic comes to classic

That makes Wrath different from Burning Crusade, and was probably a self-conscious move by Blizzard when they realized that, having given everybody flight as an option at the end of TBC they were taking it away the moment we stepped into Northrend.

This is, of course, and issue that Blizz would wrestle with in every subsequent expansion up until the current Dragonflight, where they just said, “screw it, everybody flies all the time after the intro” and then found ways to make flying a thing you needed to unlock attributes for to make it all you wanted it to be.

The problems are multiple, starting with the fact that once you give people something they really hate it when you take it away.  That fights with the fact that if you make ground based content and give people flying, then they just fly past all possible obstacles, speed running through the content until they finish it, after which they will complain about there not being enough content.

But those were all arguments for the future when Wrath was out, because in Wrath Blizz decided to split the baby and give players flying part of the way through the expansion, and included along the way content that required that ability.   And it you have content built around flying, that is better, right?

(Maybe.  I don’t like swimming content because of the problem of moving in three dimensions, so you can clearly do flying content that would be as bad as that.)

Anyway, I did not come here to rehash old complaints, but to talk about flying in Northrend right now.  And once Irondam hit 77 I got him straight back to Dalaran in order to pick up the cold weather flying skill.  That runs 1,000 gold.

Cold Weather Flying

But, as it turns out, Irondam is the most wealthy of my characters.  It turns out having only had to pay a pittance for riding and flying skills after the Wrath Classic pre-patch, he has been able to simply accumulate wealth.  It also helps that in running his gathering skills… I have him doing mining and herbalism… he not only didn’t have to blow a ton of gold on a useless crafting skill, but was able to sell quite a bit of what he harvested to people who were prepared to blow a ton of gold on useless crafting skills.

And, with flying now an option, finishing up Grizzly Hills became a tad bit easier.

The main problem I had was finding the final 20 or so quests I needed for the achievement, which happened to be locked behind a quest I had missed at one point.  That meant retracing my steps quite a bit.  It turned out to be a quest where you are a passenger on a horse and worgen are chasing you… because they were just on the NPC list until Cataclysm.

They’re on our tail

That done I was able to wrap up the quests I needed.  I actually didn’t remember much of Grizzly Hills… there were some odd quests in there for sure.

The bunny escort quest

It was a bit less epic than Dragonblight… and included some of the Blizzard staples that seem to be required for any expansion.

Outhouse fart jokes? Blizzard?

Anyway, I was able to wrap things up, and all the more quickly due to being able to fly.  Achievement earned.

Grizzly Hills quest achievement

Then it was off to Sholizar Basin next.

Into the Basin on a flying mount

Sholazar Basin went by very quickly.  I think I did it in three sittings, ending up at level 78 at the far end after having earned the achievement.

Sholazar Basin Quest Achievement

This was a bit odd because, in my brain, Sholazar was a long bit of work.  I remember having to run up and down the zone multiple times.  But when you can fly… well, as noted above, you can bypass all the obstructions on the ground.

After that I was considering going to Zul’drak.  I had been sent over there and picked up the flight point as part of a quest back in Dragonblight.  However, when I arrived there I realized that the quests were already pretty low level for me.  I should have gone there from Grizzly Hills first, then to Sholazar Basin.  But, whatever.  I was already well into 78, I started thinking that maybe getting to level cap with Irondam ought to be my next goal.  So I changed directions and headed for the Storm Peaks.

On the glide path into K3

Because, if I get to level cap I can then buy cold weather flying for my low level alts and my druid can be one of those obnoxious level 70s dropping in to harvest herbs in while the plebs are still walking.

And it seems that Blizz wants to help my on my way to level cap.  Yesterday saw the return of Joyous Journeys, the 50% XP buff that they had up during the Wrath pre-patch.  I am not sure what that portends.  I was happy enough wandering through the expansion at the current pace.  Sure, I can turn the buff off… and I will for Wilhelm so he doesn’t get too far ahead of the group doing Kaluak dailies… but Irondam can get there and then all his quest rewards will have extra gold rather than xp, and I’ll need that if I am ever going to get epic flying.

Honest Game Trailers takes on Wrath of the Lich King Classic

We’ve been at Wrath of the Lich King Classic for… wow, has it been two months already?  It doesn’t feel like that long at all.

The classic comes to classic

Of course, anything that Blizzard does it news, so naturally Honest Game Trailers got out there and took a run at it, and I was eager to see where they went.

And… I feel a little called out by that video.  I mean, I laughed, but I also went, “hrmmmmm.”

I am on record here as saying how happy I am with how well my classes play and the story and seeing Arthas in Dragonblight and following his tale and that I am on board with achievements again despite having done them all before.

Look, I am down with playing through the MMO version of Warcraft III

And then the video hits me with everything is OP and too easy and achievements and the fact that holy paladins don’t completely suck anymore… and we have a holy paladin as our group healer.

But, you know what?  I don’t care.  I am fourteen years older, slower, and less capable, so the whole thing is just about my speed.  I am happy playing Wrath Classic.  I am glad I play a protection paladin tank that is pretty much all about AOE’ing all the things… because that is what makes the damage meter pop, and that is what it is all about, right?

You kids, get off my lawn.  I’m having fun here!

Cooking Amnesty with Pilgrims Bounty in Wrath Classic

As I mentioned in my post about working on my harvesting skills with my Death Knight, my hope was that we would get the Thanksgiving Holiday event that would allow me to catch him up on cooking more easily that it has been to get him into Northrend levels of harvesting.

And that hope was fulfilled.  The Pilgrim’s Bounty event in Wrath Classic was all that I had hoped for.  Irondam, my DK, was only level 1 in cooking, but went out to the Pilgrim’s Bounty area in front of Stormwind on Thanksgiving and set out to get into Northrend levels of the profession.  350 cooking is all you need.

The first part, the stuffing recipes, are easy and can be done at any of the major cities, but after that each of the three alliance cities has their own specialty.  Cranberries are only available out in front of the gates of Ironforge, sweet potatoes are exclusive to Darnassus, and Stormwind has all the pumpkins for pumpkin pie, so I traveled between the cities, using the recall to Dalaran and the portals there when I could.

There are some daily quests that send you along with specific dishes to each of the cities.  You need 25-30 of each item to cover all of those quests, but Irondam was making a lot of each to level up, so he had plenty of everything on hand.

There is a handy cooking trainer at each city event area so I was able to train up quickly as I leveled up.

The last recipe on the list is slow roasted turkey, and turkeys are the one item you cannot just buy from a vendor.  You have to hunt them in Elwyn Forest.  They are critters, but have a 100% drop rate for the ingredient you need, so I ran wild trying to collect enough to get me all the way to 350.  In doing so, I managed to get a turkey kill streak… less than 30 seconds between turkey kills for 40 consecutive turkeys… which netted me another achievement.

Turkey Triumph gets you the Turkinator achievement

Then it was back to the cooking area to start working on that last stretch of training.

Cooking turkeys

I ended up needing every single turkey I grabbed because the recipe goes green at 240 and you only get occasional skill ups after that.  But I had enough to cover my needs.  After that I was able to recall back to Dalaran and go to the cooking trainer to get Grand Master Cooking.  There were a few achievements on the way to that.

The most recent of the cooking related achievements

So my plans for Pilgrim’s Bounty were met.

Of course, there are other things to be done.  We went out as a group to get some of the other achievements, like Terokkar Turkey Time.

Terokkar Turkey Time

That one requires you to slay the final boss in Sethekk Halls in Outland while wearing event costumes.  Fortunately we were geared up enough to managed it.

Turkey team in Sethekk Halls

There are a few other achievements I need to work on in order to get the meta achievement for the event, but I do not have any characters that lack for cooking skills now.

Arrival in Dalaran

Citizens of Dalaran! Raise your eyes to the skies and observe!

I have arrived!

Okay, maybe I’m not up in the skies yet, but I made it to Dalaran with my first character.

The map of the city

A problem with showing up on day one for Wrath Classic attempting to play four characters, none of which were higher than level 68 at the time, is that you tend to be a bit behind the curve when it comes to leveling up.

By the time I had my group of four all up to level 70 I was already competing in the two starting zones with level 72 alts on flying mounts zipping between objectives and dropping down on harvesting nodes as I slogged around on the ground.   You see, while you need to be level 77 to unlock cold weather flying in Northrend for your first character, you can buy it and pass it on to your alts as long as they’re level 70.

Anyway, that wasn’t the big problem.  The big problem was that Northrend is kind of an annoying place to play when you’re stuck in the first few zones without easy access to a real city with a bank and all the other facilities.  I left my hearthstone set to Shattrath on my characters because it has the basics and portals back to the major alliance cities.

So visiting the bank generally means stoning back to Shat, taking a portal to either Stormwind or Ironforge, then taking the boat from there to get back to Northrend, a bit of a trek at times.

Because of this I decided to push forward with one of my characters and get to Dalaran.  That means getting to level 74.  Irondam, my Deathknight, was my choice.  Despite having been barely level 66 when Wrath unlocked, he is fun and hilariously OP for overland questing solo.  I made him the glyph that removes the cool down on the death grip skill on a kill than generates honor or xp, so he can basically run around grabbing mobs he needs, chain yanking them away from their friends, who don’t notice half the time.

With that I managed to work my way through Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord and well into Dragonblight before I finally hit 74.

On leveling it was time to recall to Ebon Hold to train up skills.  Then the hearthstone and portal route back to Stormwind to take the boat to Borean Tundra to start looking toward traveling to Dalaran, because I honestly had no recollection about actually getting there back in 2008.  With Cataclysm‘s arrival you just got the Dalaran flight point by default so there was no issue.

So I opened up the map and was wondering the best route to take to Crystalsong Forest, above which the city floats, having some idea that maybe there was a quest down there that would unlock the teleporter gem down in the forest that brings you up to the city.  That was going to be some travel and probably some sort of quest… I was settling in for what I expected to be some effort.

And then I noticed a guy at the Inn had a new quest for me.

Pssst… hey, you wanna go to Dalaran?

The quest was to go to Dalaran and speak to somebody.  I didn’t bother reading the quest text… because of course not.  And then, wanting to document this epic journey I clicked on him again to get that screen shot and got this dialog from him,

I guess there will be no epic trip

So I clicked on that and I was in Dalaran.  I have no memory of the whole thing being that simple… though there is a distinct possibility I somehow did it the hard way back in 2008.

Yes, there was a little quest to run to unlock the teleporter from Crystalsong Forest, but the first thing I did was get the flight point, connecting myself to the rest of the places I had been so far, and ensuring I could get back in case I messed things up somehow.  I have that ability.

All flight points lead to Dalaran

Meanwhile, being in Dalaran was… just kind of normal.  Unlike the ongoing, “Oh yeah, I remember that!” experience I have been having out in the zones so far, Dalaran itself was completely familiar.  That is likely because I have probably spent more time in Dalaran than any other city in the game.  Hell, they moved Dalaran so it could be the main city in the Legion expansion.

There were certainly some old school bits to it, like the portals back to the main cities.

These get taken away with the Cataclysm pre-patch.

And now my Death Knight needs to carry on.  The next goal is 77 and the unlock of Cold Weather Flying.

Soon it will be Zoidberg’s turn to fly!

Then, if I can scrape up the gold, I can be the guy with lower level alts able to fly… and then they can fly on up to Dalaran and get the flight point there on their own.

Addendum: I wrote this and then later in the day we went to Star’s Rest and Ula got teleport to Dalaran at level 72.  Them mages.  But she won’t get portal to Dalaran until 74, at which point alts can jump in.