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Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

While it’s not really topical to this blog’s stated theme, the Lunar Festival is one of my two favorite holidays in Azeroth. (The other is the Midsummer Fire Festival.) I’ve been through the gathering of the (Azeroth) coins a few times and I thought I would share my routes with you.

Locations are pulled from Wowwiki. A sampling of them this year indicates they remain accurate.  There is a route for each continent (Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, and Northrend) and each route includes cities and instances as they come.  The idea is to be able to move within a continent, gathering up all the elders efficiently.  I realize in Northrend you may want to run the instances separately, and that’s perfectly reasonable!

 

Kalimdor

1. Silithus: Elder Bladesing [50, 36]

2. Silithus: Elder Primestone [23,12]

3. Un’goro: Elder Thunderhorn [51,75]

4. Tanaris: Gadgetzan: Elder Dreamseer [50,28]

5. Tanaris: Elder Ragetotem [36,80]

6. Zul’Farrak: Elder Wildmane

7. Thousand Needles: Mirage Raceway: Elder Morningdew [79,77]

8. Thousand Needles: Freewind Post: Elder Skyseer [45,50]

9. The Barrens: Camp Taurajo: Elder High Mountain [45,58]

10. Mulgore: Bloodhoof Village: Elder Bloodhoof [48,53]

11. Thunder Bluff: Elder Rise: Elder Proudhorn [72,23]

12. The Barrens: Crossroads: Elder Moonwarden [51,28]

13. The Barrens: Ratchet: Elder Windtotem [62,37]

14. Durotar: Razor Hill: Elder Runetotem [54,44]

15. Orgrimmar: Valley of Wisdom: Elder Darkhorn [41,33]

16. Feralas: Elder Grimtotem [76,37]

17. Feralas: Dire Maul (Arena): Elder Mistwalker [62,31]

18. Maraudon: Elder Splitrock

19. Aszhara: Elder Skygleam [72,85]

20. Ashenvale: Astranaar: Elder Riversong [35,48]

21. Darkshore: Auberdine: Elder Starweave [36,46]

22. Darnassus: Cenarion Enclave: Elder Bladeswift

23. Teldrassil: Dolanaar: Elder Bladeleaf [57,60]

24. Felwood: Elder Nightwind [37,52]

25. Winterspring: Everlook: Elder Stonespire [61,37]

26. Winterspring: Elder Brightspear [55,43]

 

  Eastern Kingdoms

1. Stranglethorn Vale: Booty Bay: Elder Winterhoof [26,76]

2. Stranglethorn Vale: Zul’Gurub (Outside): Elder Starglade [53,18]

3. Blasted Lands: Dark Portal: Elder Bellowrage [58,55]

4. Sunken Temple: Elder Starsong

5. Westfall: Sentinel Hill: Elder Skychaser [56,47]

6. Stormwind: Park: Elder Hammershout

7. Elwynn Forest: Goldshire: Elder Stormbrow [40,63]

8. Burning Steppes: Elder Rumblerock [82,46]

9. Burning Steppes: Elder Dawnstrider [64,24]

10. Blackrock Depths: Ring of Law: Elder Morndeep 

11. Lower Blackrock Spire: Elder Stonefort

12. Searing Gorge: Elder Ironbrand [21,78]

13. Ironforge: Mystic Ward: Elder Bronzebeard 

14. Dun Morogh: Kharanos: Elder Goldwell [46,51]

15. Loch Modan: Thelsamar: Elder Silvervein [33,46]

16. Hinterlands: Elder Highpeak [49,48]

17. Silverpine Forest: The Sepulcher: Elder Obsidian [45,41]

18. Tirisfal Glades: Brill: Elder Graveborn [61,53]

19. Undercity: Lordaeron Throne Room: Elder Darkcore 

20. Western Plaguelands: Elder Meadowrun [66,47]

21. Western Plaguelands: Elder Moonstrike [69,73]

22. Eastern Plaguelands: Elder Windrun [39,75]

23. Eastern Plaguelands: Light’s Hope Chapel: Elder Snowcrown [81,60]

24. Stratholme (Live): Elder Farwhisper


  Northrend

Lake Wintergrasp: Grab it whenever your faction holds the zone.  This is an elder of opportunity.  (Elder Bluewolf, WG Fortress)

1. Sholazar Basin: Elder Wanikaya [64,49]

2. Sholazar Basin: Elder Sandrene [50,64]

3. The Nexus: Elder Igasho

4. Borean Tundra: Transitus Shield: Elder Northal [34,34]

5. Borean Tundra: Elder Pamuya [43,50]

6. Borean Tundra: DEHTA: Elder Arp [57,44]

7. Borean Tundra: Valiance Keep: Elder Sardis [59,66]

8. Dragonblight: Star’s Rest: Elder Morthie [30,56]

9. Dragonblight: Agmar’s Hammer: Elder Skywarden [35,48]

10. Azjol-Nerub: Elder Nurgen 

11. Dragonblight: Moaki Harbor: Elder Thoim [49,78]

12. Utgarde Keep: Elder Jarten

13. Utgarde Pinnacle: Elder Ghogan’gada

14. Grizzly Hills: Camp Onequah: Elder Whurain [64,47]

15. Grizzly Hills: Elder Lunaro [81,37]

16. Grizzly Hills: Westfall Brigade Encampment: Elder Beldak [61,28]

17. Drak’Tharon Keep: Elder Kilias

18. Zul’Drak: Zim’Torga: Elder Tauros [59,56]

19. Heroic Gundrak: Elder Ohanzee

20. Storm Peaks: K3: Elder Graymane [41,85]

21. Storm Peaks: Frosthold: Elder Fargal [29,74]

22. Storm Peaks: Elder Stonebeard [31,38]

23. Halls of Stone: Elder Yuruak

24. Storm Peaks: Camp Taunka’lo: Elder Muraco [64,51]

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Bellwether, over at 4 Haelz, wrote an interesting post about the direction questing has taken in WoW with the latest expansion.

I started this blog not long ago with the basic intent of writing about quests and storylines. Since Northrend is where my druid is questing now, I’ve found myself wrestling with these issues. I play on an RP server, and while I don’t spend as much time formally RPing as I used to, there are definitely differences in how I feel when I’m questing on different characters, because each character has its own personality and viewpoint.

Athorius was sickened by what the Azure Dragonflight is attempting in the Dragonblight and elsewhere. But he was almost more sickened by the inhuman insensitivity of Archmage Modera and by proxy the Kirin Tor. He’s a good-hearted person, and a restoration druid to his core, and even though he’s responsible for his share of death he’s always considered his actions to be unfortunate necessities in the greater cause of healing the world of its old wounds. The events at the Black Dragonshrine provoked a similar reaction. He destested the callousness of the dragons, but realized that necromancers raising yet more undead dragons was a situation worth preventing. He tried his best to close his ears as the cultists begged for their lives, and he would have refused any trinket the dragonflight offered if he could. (As it was, he sold it as soon as he found a vendor.) The whole situation left him with some ugly memories.

My death knight, Mulifein, has a completely different point of view. (I can’t help but recommend another 4 Haelz post here.) He wouldn’t have lost a wink of sleep (if he, y’know, slept) over Emmy’s death, and as a player I wouldn’t have worried about it as much because when I play him I see the world more like he sees it. He would have seen the Black Dragonflight as valuable allies. He doesn’t like what’s been done to him or the things he’s done himself since, and deep inside he probably hates himself more than a little, but outwardly he’s convinced that he owes the world nothing. In Blade’s Edge, to bring up another quest Bell mentioned, Athorius didn’t do the ogre quests after becoming their king, even though most of them were still undone. Betrayal is a sad and dirty thing- and no, I have no idea how I’m going to justify that when I return to that zone. At 66, Mulifein is still in Outland, and probably won’t go through the process of becoming an ogre king, but if he did he’d definitely be more ruthless in his reign.

These kinds of quests also put me in an interesting position as a player. On one hand, I want to be true to my character. This is who he is. If you don’t roleplay, write fiction, act, etc. I’ve found this is a pretty hard experience to explain. Yes, Athorius is my creation, but I can’t take him any direction that works for me at the time. There are things that are right for the character and things that simply don’t work. Some actions are like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole- you might manage to force it in, but it’s never going to look right, and it’s going to do serious damage to both the peg and hole. Once a character is crafted it takes on a life of its own. Often you will find the character telling you things you didn’t plan or know ahead of time as you play them.

On the other hand, Loremaster is an achievement I really want as a player. I want to experience all these storylines, good, bad, and ugly. So I have to stretch to find explanations for why Athorius would do this work. Thus far, the druid angle has worked. Athorius clings to his druidism like a talisman and he’s sacrificed a lot for it before now. He’s serving the greater balance in helping destroy a necromantic cult, regardless of the Black Dragonflight’s hand in it. Emmy’s death was a terrible accident, one that will haunt him, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Azure Dragonflight might just destroy the world if they aren’t stopped- and that the Kirin Tor might be right proper bastards, but they are also capable of opposing the blues.

Maybe that’s why I’ve had such difficulty getting into questing in Grizzly Hills. Athorius is just plain sick at heart after the Dragonblight. He doesn’t have the stomach to listen to people complain that orcs stole their cedar chest, or get their hackles up because he ate some nuts that were left out unmarked for anyone to mistake. He can’t bring himself to help the ZA gang capture trolls for whatever nefarious purpose they have in mind (slavery comes to mine). And after the Wrathgate, he can’t even find the will to fight the Horde, who stood against Arthas side by side with the Alliance and were betrayed even more deeply, by one of their own.

There have always been choices in this game. Northrend, as Bell points out, isn’t the first place to offer quests of questionable morality. And while Northrend may be more obvious about it, what MMOs in general lack compared to single-player games, and what Northrend continues to lack, are consequences for the choices you make. I can kill people in cold blood as they beg for mercy, I can betray my allies, I can help myself before I help people in genuine need, and still be greeted as a hero the next time I come around. (And Northrend is VERY heavy-handed with the “you’re a hero” spiel.) As time goes on, Athorius is less and less certain what that word, “hero”, must mean, and more convinced that whatever the definition, he doesn’t qualify. When people call him a hero, he cringes.

However, Mulifein, who doesn’t even try for good intentions, would accept the accolades with a grin and a swagger as only his due.

And me, their player? This game furthers an opinion I began to formulate when I first started playing RPGs. Heroism has absolutely nothing to do with what people think of you. A villain greeted as a hero is still villain, and that is the definiton of someone who can do evil without flinching. Possibly, it’s also the definition of someone who can always find a way to justify evil in the name of good.

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Quick Update

Finished Dragonblight as far as the achievement is concerned.  Still have some quests to mop up.  Write-up tomorrow.

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The Decision

 

January 5, 2009, after much deliberation, I decided to go for the loremaster achievement. 
 
The next thing I did was create this blog to chronicle my journey, and provide a place to share it. 
 
For those who don’t have any earthly or azerothian idea what I’m talking about, Loremaster is an achievement that comes with a title and a tabard, at the cost of completing nearly every quest in the game.  What does “nearly every” mean?  In the old world, this is about 700 quests each for Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms.  Outland and Northrend are broken down by zone, and there are 50-some to over 100 quests per each zone.  This isn’t a trivial achievement or time commitment.  It’s going to take months of effort on my part.  (There are some people who have already met the achievement requirements, but unfortunately I lack both their intense focus and free time.)
 
So, why would anyone want this?  A tabard and a title are fairly pathetic rewards, honestly, even if it is a really nifty tabard.  Some people just want the prestige.  For me, it’s more complex.  This goal will also help me achieve several other goals, like exploring all of the world and increasing my reputation with many factions substantially.  But the overriding reason is this: since the arrival of Wrath, I’ve found myself intensely immersed in the questing.  Since we now have a way to track our progress I’ve been finishing zones before moving on, and on the way discovering quest chains I would likely have otherwise abandoned at an early inconvenient stage.  The stories have engaged me on a level I hadn’t thought possible in an MMO platform.  Now, Wrath is undeniably an amazing expansion from this perspective, but the question that has been haunting me for two months is this: How much of this stuff did I miss before?
 
I want to find out.
 
My vehicle will be my main character, an alliance restoration druid named Athorius on Feathermoon server.  (Yes, I level restoration.  Maybe, someday, in another post, I’ll explain why.)  He’s currently level 74.  He’s also the character I’m most attached to, so it makes sense to sink this into him, even if my level 70 hunter probably has a starting advantage.  Here is where he currently stands on this achievement:
 
  • Kalimdor: 202/730
  • Eastern Kingdoms: 250/700
  • Hellfire Peninsula: 53/80
  • Zangarmarsh: 49/54
  • Terrokar: 30/63
  • Nagrand: 45/75
  • Blade’s Edge Mountains: 28/86
  • Netherstorm: 31/120
  • Shadowmoon Valley: 31/90
  • Howling Fjord: 130/130 DONE!
  • Borean Tundra: 0/130
  • Dragonblight: 60/115
  • Grizzly Hills: 1/85
  • Zul’Drak: 0/100
  • Sholazar Basin: 0/75
  • Storm Peaks: 0/100
  • Icecrown: 0/140
 
Here’s the final kicker: I have only the vaguest idea which quests I have and have not done in the partially completed zones, with the exception of Dragonblight, which is currently in progress.  I was last questing in some of these zones four years ago.  My strategy will be to take it zone by zone, tracking low-level quests.  I will also have a printout with a list of all the quests in that zone, which I will cross out as I complete or discover I have already completed.  This will help me form a sort of record after-the-fact, so that when I’m down to those last 20 Kalimdor quests that I absolutely can’t find, at least I’ll know where NOT to look. 😉
 
In this blog I’ll talk about my victories and frustrations, track my progress, and probably discuss a little about how I roll around WoW in the process.  However, I hope most of this blog will be dedicated to the quests themselves, exploring the sheer detail, number, and variety of stories, large and small, this game has to offer.
 
We’ll start in the second half of Dragonblight, ground zero for this blog.

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