It's not quite the end of the week and I'm writing an article about my time in the world of warcraft. What gives?
Well, dear reader, turns out I didn't perfectly time all aspects of my adventure down to the last detail and so I ended up reaching level 60 (i.e, the end of the 'vanilla' or 'classic' World of Warcraft levelling content) in the middle of the week.
Because Burning Crusade and its content is the driving force behind this article series, I wanted to make sure there was a clean break between the end of my adventures in 1 - 60 vanilla WoW and my trip to Outlands.
Now traditionally, you do travel to Outlands at level 58 and the content is designed for 58 - 62. That's the whole point. But I had some profession farming I wanted to do so that for the first time, I would be able to use the materials I gathered as I went along. Sort of. Cooking and fishing I left behind, because, well, bollocks to that nonsense.
I did, however, hoard a bunch of runecloth to smash out bandages so that I could continue levelling first aid up (even though for me it's kind of pointless because I have healing in my class and my real cap on levelling speed is mana.)
I also got a snapshot of this happy chappy, now deceased, poisoned by Magatha Grimtotem in a duel with Garrosh Hellscream. But for now he's alive and rules Thunder Bluff with an iron hoof:
My enthusiasm for World of Warcraft continues to grow. Every time my excitement starts to taper off, the thought of going to Outlands and doing Raid content and gearing up starts to get me excited all over again.
It also helps that despite my levelling rotation (spam lightning bolt, kill folks) being simple, it's still really fun. There's a little slot machine element built in by Blizzard which makes fun noises and lights appear when I meet certain conditions. I've told my guild that getting a lightning bolt critical hit is like a hug from Jesus, and that'll still be true when I finish up.
I also don't feel bad about neglecting my miniatures. Yet.
I'm also torn on retail. I won't be playing it until I finish up here (whenever that is) but all the things that aren't in BCC make me realise how much Blizzard's QoL improvements have been taken for granted. Sort of. Dungeon queues so you can gear up as you level, Transmog so you can look like a real baller - even the LFG tool (which was maybe improved? I dunno) - just, little useful things.
Critical Information Summary
Level Reached This Week: 60
Current Playtime: 105 Hours
Professions: Leatherworking (300) Skinning (300)
Last week we left off in the crater. Killin' dinosaurs, rummaging through dirt, gathering power crystals. It's not the fanciest zone - infact the quests are quite rudimentary - but the landscape is just, beautiful. It's not mysterious like Feralas, but has a savage beauty all of its own.
I know it's to help with the draw distance and to prevent the game's immersion dribbling out of your ears, but the sort of different coloured fog in each zone helps the zone to come to life. Like you're really in a hot and humid jungle crater.
Our laundry list here was half done. We killed some gorillas in a cave, that kept yelling out to each other to summon their burly mates:
We killed a big ol' raptor who killed an NPC's hunting partner.
We also harvested some tar from creatures inhabiting World of Warcraft's version of the LaBrea Tar pits.
And, lastly, we climbed a volcano. Both for science...
...and also to escort the Goblin equivalent of a fainting goat.
I eventually returned to Marshal's Refuge - to turn in like, 10 quests, to recieve a level and a half in experience. Rocket on, indeed.
But all good things must come to an end - and whilst I enjoyed my time in Un'Goro, it was time to head to the next zone - only taking a small detour to Silithus - otherwise known as bug land.
Readers of this blog series will spot that the first time I came through the Burning Stepps, all the enemies were ten levels higher and were really scary. Well, now I'm back - and on their level.
This is the only zone I returned to. First for the levelling content and then to pinball between dragon camps for Worn Dragonscales and Rugged Leather to level my Leatherworking.
There was also some walking back to the Badlands to wrap up some of the quests - including one where you find a Troll that has been killed by some Ogres for the purposes of a snackrifice.
and then have to deliver the bad news to her... smismar? Life partner? I dunno what to call it, and it doesn't really matter.
I also avoided having my face smashed in by the local Magma Giant, Volchan (no relation to 4chan)
And sampled the local architecture.
In Classic this place is a real hotspot (pun semi-intended) for Blackrock Spire, Blackrock Depths and Molten Core. In Burning Crusade, everyone's in Outland, so it's empty. And most of the quests involve content in Blackrock Depths and Blackrock Spire.
Only Blackrock Depths is run now as there is a chance to get some loot whilst still levelling. More on that later.
I mentioned that I returned here to kill some Dragonkin for Leatherworking, but I also stumbled upon a ritual platform.
I do really like that there's some mystery about certain locations - and feeling that a part of the zone is important, but you don't yet know why - or may never know.
With scant few quests here, it was time to hit the road again - this time, taking a trip through Ashenvale Forest.
Ah, yes, evil Felwood - home to corrupted Furbolgs, Satyrs and insurgent Orcs belonging to the Blackrock clan. You get another taste of reputation grind here, as the Furbolgs of Timbermaw hold will not talk to you unless you kill enough of their corrupted brethren to gain their trust. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I guess.
In another "are we the baddies" moment, you're tasked to take corrupted Moonwell water from Orcs and Satyrs and feed it to a captive kitten, tasked to you by a member of the Forsaken.
We're leaning a lot closer to "unambigiously evil" than in later expansions.
Felwood is by no means a pretty zone, but it's an interesting zone. There's lots of greens, browns and purples. The hues of the fog change depending on where in the zone you are, sometimes clearing up entirely. So that's a bit of fun.
Felwood is a small zone - I blasted through it in just over an hour and a half. Admittedly with a guide and being somewhat overleveled for the content. But it wasn't long before I found myself hitting the road again through the winding depths of Timbermaw hold.
Like Freeze-eezy peak, but with more bears, furbolgs, chimeras and elite blue dragon enemies. Fantastic.
I can remember coming to this zone as a young lad and freaking out - why were the blue dragonkin elites? The answer is because Blue Dragonscales are useful for crafting Blue Dragon armor. Seems obvious now, but back then, not knowing how all of that fit together, it blew my tiny mind.
Winterspring is home to a lot of "Kill X of Y" quests and not much else. It's not a very interesting zone and I can't really appreciate the snowy landscape as I'm not a Dwarf. It's not for me, I'm a troll, I like humidity - in the game, I mean - in real life I'm a pasty white dude and just hate everything.
The only real interesting thing is the first leg of a quest I completed to scare different goblins in different goblin towns with a mechanical yeti. Not bad.
I killed bears, furbolgs and chimeras (oh my) and continued on my way.
Here is where it started to get real. I'm pretty high level, Outland cannot be that far away - and then it will be time to leave Azeroth in favor of "now trashed" Draenor.
Western (and Eastern) plaguelands are here as a setup for Shadow of the Necropolis (patch 1.12, which introduces Naxxramas) and also to introduce the Argent Dawn, a combined-race faction that wishes to see the Lich King and the Scourge defeated.
But of course for some reason the Forsaken are also hanging around and want you to go and weaponize the scourge plagues for their own devices.
There's also a big long quest chain (which I didn't do) for Scholomance - a reminder that fifteen years ago, you couldn't just walk into an instance. You had to do preparation and attune yourself to each instance.
(fun fact, the terminology of 'Attune' comes from the original attunement quest for Molten Core, called 'Attunement to the Core'. Now you know.)
Your old friends the Scarlet Crusade are here and they're just as unfriendly as ever:
You also visit Andorhal, a city in Warcraft III (which is another reminder that without Warcraft III's strong story chops, none of this has any point) that was the outbreak of the plague and then destroyed by Arthas.
You also meet Chromie, the Bronze Dragonflight aspect - and your first contact with the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey aspect of World of Warcraft.
He asks you to get some watches and to cleanse Andorhal of the Scourge's timeline meddling, which involves you going to some grain silos and killing temporal parasites. Lots of them, apparently.
But, all cool stories must come to a close - and it was time to start the final chapter of my classic world of warcraft questing journey:
Like the Western Plaguelands, but somehow more rubbish.
If I thought Winterspring had lots of "Kill X of Y" quests, I was sorely mistaken. You meet this historically significant character, exiled on a farmstead on the edge of the zone.
Tirion eventually becomes a keystone of the World of Warcraft story. But for now, his son is the leader of the Scarlet Crusade and he inhabits a beat-up farmstead. Chin-up, buddy, it does get easier.
You can also visit the Light's Hope chapel, where the Scarlet Crusade are sitting down with the Brotherhood of the Light and the Argent Dawn. Also note the 'Princess Bride' reference closest to me.
He does, however, give you three seperate quests to kill over 100 enemies. Man doesn't like bats, plaguehounds or carrion grubs. Can you blame him.
You also visit 'Plaguewood' near the city of Stratholme, where Arthas massacred his own kind to try and save them from the plague. You can also go to Stratholme, although it does have an attunement of sorts itself.
Lastly, I did get a shot of the big doom fortress itself - Naxxramas.
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Naxxramas was held up as the pinnacle of World of Warcraft for its difficulty. The four horsemen encounter still holds the (probably unbreakable) record of longest time to defeat at nearly four weeks. When it was re-released in classic, it was cleared in an hour and a half.
Make of that what you will.
And that was it. One to sixty. All told. I felt almost a pang of remorse, knowing that, unless I played Alliance next time, that'd be it. But I'll always have this blog series to remember it.
Oh, and, one last thing. I made my way to the Badlands to pick up the Dragonscale Leatherworking sub-profession. Yes, farming it was annoying, but, we'll see how good it proves to be.
Not much to add here. The second group I had more levels, I had a quest for the key and I knew what I was doing.
The run still took two hours, but that was more due to our tank having issues with his internet connection. I can imagine an experienced, geared group with an experienced tank being able to blast through here in an hour or less.
I also got a much better shot of the entrance of Molten Core. To the left you'll see the item you need to collect to provide to the questgiver just outside the Blackrock Depths instance, who will then teleport you into the instance.
...if you're playing classic, that is.
So, for half of this week and all of next week, it's time to step through the Dark Portal...
Catch you next time,
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