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Fear and Loathing in Terokkar Forest
When we last left off, our hero-The Mage They Call Jayne(z)-had completed the various quests in Zangarmarsh and made his way to the grand sanctum of Shattrath City, where refugees from various wars and two opposing factions of Draenei and Blood Elves coexist under the watchful "eyes" of an all-powerful Naaru. At the Naaru's side stood one of the great figures from the history of Azeroth: Khadgar, one-time apprentice to Medivh.
It's freaking KHADGAR.
Ok, I'm done now. Whew.
For once, my quest log is feeling kinda empty; I've only got one or two left. I travel around Shattrath and find only two quests; one from a little boy who can't go fishing because of monsters around the lake... incidentally, this quest reward is the BEST FISHING POLE EVER. The other quest is to hunt down various Blood Elves affiliated with Kael'Thas and bring the Scryers the Marks of Kael'Thas that they wear. That seems to be repeatable for Scryer rep. Incidentally, they've just added a content patch, and I go check out the now-available Scryer and Aldor rep rewards, which look pretty cool. Most notably, at high levels of reputation you can buy shoulder enchants that put the ZG ones to shame and rival the Naxx ones. Nifty.
Since the new talents are in, I think it'd be a good idea to try out the sick-looking +crit damage in the Arcane tree. After finding the current state of deep Arcane to be weak and Slow to be pretty damn crappy, the crit damage boost looks like it could be mighty fine. I remember to pick up the Teleport: Shattrath spell from the Scryer trainer... it turns out there aren't any class trainers in Outland, so people who aren't Mages who want some training need to either make a Mage friend or hoof it back through the Portal (unless they've still got their Hearthstone bound in Azeroth for some bizarre reason).
Sometimes, I love being a Mage.
Okay, respecced! Got 40 points in Arcane now, to take advantage of the new Mind Mastery and Spell Power talents. It's kinda weird having AP and PoM again, and I vaguely remember being a 3-minute trinket mage back in the day. Oh, the memories... when all you needed to ROCK FACE was a single macro.
Back to Terokkar we go (thanks to that handy-dandy Teleport spell) to get our quest on, yo. I've got one of those "hey, you're done here, time to go to the next zone" quests where the head of the Cenarion Refuge in Zangarmarsh is worried that she hasn't heard from her colleagues down in the Cenarion Thicket in Terokkar for some time (man, these druids are EVERYWHERE in Outland!) and would like me to go check on them. Of course, there are two possible outcomes here: they're totally okey-dokey fine and it's a quest hub, or they're all dead.
Given what I know about how freaking impossible it is to kill a Druid, I'm surprised to find out that it's the latter. All of the Druids are dead, and the tower of Cenarion Thicket is filled with Vicious Teromoths-including a big elite one at the top of the tower that I don't notice because of a weird camera angle that scares the crap out of me. Unlike the normal Teromoths of Terokkar that are Neutral yellow, these buggers are Hostile and attack you on sight.
I was wrong about all the Druids being dead, though. There's a Night Elf wandering around who's alive if completely insane who gives me a quest to go talk to the big elite moth and engage in diplomacy with it. Since that's clearly insano-speak for "kill it," I decide to give it a try... and quickly find out it's immune to snares, so kiting it is a no go. I think I'll do that one later.
There's also a Tauren (with a kodo! I've missed kodos...) standing outside who's slightly more sane and who is understandably disturbed over the slaughter of his comrades. He tells me to investigate... and a search reveals a Broken corpse with a special box beside him. DUN DUN DUN... the big cow tells me to go get some samples from the normal Teromoths and the Vicious Teromoths so he can look at the difference.
The normal Teromoths drop theirs every kill, but those damn Vicious ones just GOTTA be stubborn and keep theirs. Curse them!
Anyway, I decide to go find another area for quests. To the south, I see what looks like a Horde settlement... but upon seeing lots of red names above the various Orcs, Trolls, and Gnomes there I decide that maybe I should look somewhere else. Heading farther south, I reach Stonebreaker Hold, the ACTUAL Horde place. Sweet. I receive a few quests there, as I am wont to do. I decide to start on the quest to kill some of the Royal Teromoths in the area. There's also another quest I work on at the same time regarding the Wolf Spirit of Draenor.
Apparently, once the Orcs started getting all big, mean, and red, they lost contact with the primal Wolf Spirit-and one of their shamans is trying to show the spirit that "Hey, we're cool again, man!" He decides that the best way to go about doing this is to dress in a wolf pelt outfit, so he asks me to go kill a bunch of Timber Wolves and get their pelts.
Gee, you ever think the reason the Wolf Spirit left was because you WERE KILLING WOLVES TO GET IN TOUCH WITH HIM? I mean, I've only got over 400 Intellect, so maybe I'm missing the intelligence in this act? (Although, going by D&D rules, I guess that'd be more of a Wisdom thing, wouldn't it...? Bah, I digress)
I go around, killin' me some moths and wolves. Good stuff. XP = yay! At some point around here, I hit 64 and go back to train-click Teleport: Orgrimmar, go down the stairs, train, Teleport: Shattrath back... yay Mage! Hey, my first new spell, Arcane Burst. Arcane Burst is kinda funny. It can be both the most mana-efficient spell in the Mage's arsenal (if worked into a rotation to give the Arcane Burst debuff time to clear)... or it can be the highest DPS spell we have, but a massive mana-guzzler. I wish it would have some sort of interruption talent a la Arcane Missiles, though.
Speaking of Arcane... at this point in time, the Arcane tree-specifically, the +crit damage Spell Power talent mentioned earlier-is bugged, and is giving more bonus to critical hits than supposed to. I savor 3000 Fireball crits (before Ignite) and 6.4k Pyroblast crits (also before Ignite) while I still can.
Anyway... as I quest, I head south to the Bone Wastes.
One thing that's been kinda cool about Outland thus far is that there haven't been any Undead around (at least, other than that of the Forsaken variety). Whereas in Azeroth, you can't swing a White Kitten around on a stick without hitting an Undead, Outland is pleasantly devoid of the living-challenged. But here come the Bone Wastes, where Draenei ghosts and skeletons traipse around with vultures, spiders (including an elite mini-Maexxna that a guildie hunter tamed) and Warp Hunters.
Warp Hunters are annoying, because I'll be winding up a spell and then they'll go invisible and it'll cancel the spell. Stupid Warp Hunters.
As I mentioned in my guide to Outland World PvP, there are five Spirit Towers scattered through the Bone Wastes surrounding the onetime Bleeding Hollow fortress of Auchindoun (the ruins of Auchindoun look hella cool, by the way). The timer counting down to when the towers will be capturable is under an hour now... apparently, servers were way too unstable to ever capture them during Alpha, so my guild decides to go for the World First!
We get a full raid of 40 people and group up in Stonebreaker Hold... as soon as the clock hits zero, we storm out of the Hold onto the Bone Wastes... and find that there is absolutely no Alliance presence whatsoever other than a poor Paladin and Mage duo. Fairly anticlimactic, and we capture Auchindoun very handily. But, as Horde, our blood thirst has not been quenched, and we decide-hey, there's no more DKs... Allerian Stronghold is right over there... let's go tear some **** up!
So we do. We run into the Alliance town and slaughter everybody, Mushroom Vendors and all. And then the guard spawn suddenly ramps it up so we're forced out after about 10 minutes of holding the town, but it was cool nonetheless. No DKs = Jawesome.
There's another quest from Stonebreaker Hold to investigate the "Orc Village" I mentioned earlier. I talk to the Troll spy we have watching it, and she gives me a "disguise" (that doesn't make me look any different) to make me friendly to all of them. I go in and talk to some NPCs... gasp beyond gasp, they're members of the Shadow Council! So, the only way to deal with them is swift flaming death. Oh, I love it when you talk dirty to me, baby. Troll women are t3h r0x0rz.
Being the Mage of unimaginable cosmic power that I am, I kill enough of the Shadow Council members to satisfy her. But for every one I kill, another takes his place... it's either great recruitment methods or just the respawn, take your pick.
An Orcess (is that the proper term for a female Orc? I have no idea...) who is in Outland not for honor or heritage but some phat cash asks me to go pick some Terokkar Pine Seeds for her so she can collect the oil.
Lousy wench asking me to do her work. Bah. I do so, and she asks the illiterate Orc Grunt nearby to test it. He responds by asking her if she thinks he's some sort of dress-wearing caster or what!? I resent that remark, good sir. Just know that you probably have less Intellect than this Staff of the Shadow Flame. You, sir, are literally dumber than a stick.
And I look GOOD in this dress! >.<
There's also a quest to find out what happened to an Orc merchant named Dugar, since he hasn't been heard from in a while. Obviously he didn't get delayed by like customs or red tape-no, in Outland (and Azeroth, and Kalimdor) it must be foul play!
Er, actually, that's a fairly literal interpretation of the case, for it seems that Dugar was assaulted by the arakkoa, the bird-like creatures of Outland. Time to track him down and get to the bottom of this, of course. Incidentally, I have a few other quests to kill arakkoa leaders and retrieve some artifacts and get their feathers for some weird Shaman ritual. Why not get it all done at the same time? Seriously, don't you love it when that happens, and you get four or five quests that all kind of overlap with one another? So then you go back to town and turn a bunch in at once for a good chunk of coin and a bunch of XP. Awesomeness indeed.
It turns out that there's a fourth encampment of the arakkoa cities to the southeast of the Bone Wastes, where the birdies are holding Dugar-and a human captive as well, which makes me believe there's an Alliance version of this quest as well. HA, Alliance, I'm spoiling it for you as well! Take THAT! How do you like your Fear Ward and chairs in cities now, huh? HUH?
Oh, by the way, there are chairs and benches in Silvermoon. Blood Elves get tired more easily than the rest of the Horde, it appears-they must sit.
Before heading down to rescue Dugar, I decide to pursue the Cenarion Thicket questline some more (remember that one? With the dead druids?) I go and beat up a Broken merchant and his bodyguard, who tells me he sold a box much like the one found in the Thicket to an Ethereal in Shattrath. I forget that there's actually an Ethereal race and think he's just referring to a non-physical being, so I spend a few minutes wondering why neither of the Naaru have golden question marks above their heads.
The Ethereal sends me to the Broken city of Tuurem, to do a little favor for him and collect boxes that the Broken stole from him. No problemo, mummy man! After that, he tells me that he remembers selling some "exotic engineering parts" to the Draenei merchant I leaned on earlier, and that they'd been delivered to Tuurem. Sigh. Back we go!
Upon finding the box, I'm attacked by... gasp... a Blood Elf and two Broken bodyguards! Looks like the Blood Elves are in on this one, gang! Let's split up and look for clues!
Remember how I just mentioned how awesome it is getting multiple quests in the same area? Yeah... I do another quest dealing with an outpost of Fel Orcs to the East of the zone, and it turns out that the rather testy Forsaken scout who'd been observing them noticed a Blood Elf emissary giving the orcs orders.
Lousy elves. I wonder if this could be related to the nearby Blood Elf settlement? My quest log says "Yes."
I'm given a quest to kill a bunch of elves and their leader. Now, none of the ones I kill are elite, but the quest is labeled as such-so I guess that means their leader must be elite. After dealing with a Paladin and Warrior who bash my head in a few times (and by dealing I mean waiting to resurrect until they've gone) I discover that yes, he is, and he's got two non-elite bodyguards. No problem, then... I'll just sheep him and kill the bodyguards, then kite him!
One corpse run later, a guildie warlock helps me out and deals with the two adds due to his Warlock Overpoweredness™ while I kite the boss in the limited room I have. Afterwards, it's simple. I finish the quest and get my third blue shoulder upgrade since I've been here. Blizzard sure likes cloth shoulder rewards, don't they...?
With that, the one real quest chain remaining in my log the Missing Merchant (Dugan, held by the arakkoa, to refresh yer memory)... I decide to get that done tomorrow, when I'll hit 65, and relate my attempts against the brick wall known as Pandemonius.
Honestly, there's really not much to say. We tried him, wiped, tried some more, then gave up. But I'll make it sound epic and dramatic... for you guys. Because I love you guys.
Psst. Call me!