Proving your Worth: Why Class quests had value

Cymre put up an interesting post a while back about the old AQ Gates quest chain which got me thinking about a couple of my favourite and now removed quest chains. Then when I was attempting to clear out my drafts folder I came across this. A post I started in November 2009 but never got around to finishing or publishing (before now) plus it is Druid week and thus ever so slightly relevant (at least the first paragraph is).

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I’m currently re-running the Swift Flight form quest on my second druid. The experience has left me  feeling a little saddened and humbled. Why aren’t there more of these awesome quests scattered through the game. Why don’t all classes have the opportunity to discover more lore about their class? I had to use virtually all my spell book, from hibernate to cat form, to remove curse to moonfire. I visited places I’d never seen before, like the pink frosting masquerading as water outside the Barrow Dens and the river border of Azshara and Ashenvale. I came out of Sethekk Halls feeling like a proper grown up Druid.

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Back in Vanilla, I had the pleasure of doing the Benediction chain and I watched the Gnomeling do his Rhok’ledar (I was there for moral support and to kill any Horde who looked at him funny). Both were amazing chains but when you compare the Priest/Hunter epic chains to the Druid model, there are a couple of crucial differences. The Druid one doesn’t rely on RNG. I got lucky, my Eye dropped from our very first Majordomo “kill”. However I knew Priests who had to wait months for that chest to stop yielding leaves, conversely, my guild got Eye after Eye and so our Hunters were epic bowless. Putting the two parts that both Hunters/Priests needed on two different raid bosses meant that in order to experience your epic class quest you had to raid. For Priests especially, getting the Eye of Shadow on my server was hard. One guild (mine) tended to get 95 percent of all the Lord Kazzak kills and when you factored in the fact that we had something like 12 raiding priests and numerous priest alts, it took a while for them to filter onto the Auction House. Yes, you could farm it from those horrible demons in Winterspring but doing so as a Priest solo was hard and the drop rate sucked. That’s actually how I got mine, farming with three other holy priests and a resto druid until 4am – roots, smite, smite, smite, smite, wrath, roots, smite, smite, smite, smite, roots, wrath, wrath, wrath and so on. Painful doesn’t even begin to describe the experience. To be fair we started out with a bunch of dpsers but they all went to bed early. Not sure if that was because they were bored or because they had to get up early in the morning and we healers soldiered on.

So if any future class quests were added, I think that Blizzard should follow the Druid model and make the chain easily available to anyone regardless of how they choose to spend their time in-game. Availability obviously has to impact on the reward, but the rewards could be cosmetic or fun or even powerful at the start of the expansion but wilt over time. If something is easily obtained by say all warriors willing to spend a few hours running quests and probably doing a dungeon or two, I can’t think of any reason why it couldn’t be comparable with the first tier of raid weapons. It would provide a different gearing path and help factor out RNG for people trying to get their first set of gear together. As for dealing with the different specs, Benediction/Anathema was an awesome way of doing that and it would be nice to see Blizzard implement that on other stuff.

Which then got me thinking, Blizzard originally added quite a few class based zones. Think Ravenholdt hidden away in the hills, compete with its poison garden and staffed by persons of a dubious nature. Or Fray Island, the fight club of WoW where warriors would brawl to prove their worth and receive Berserker Stance. Then there is the Moonglade itself, the tranquil valley in which druids of both factions can meet, watched over by the Cenarion Circle. When Cataclysm rips a path through the world as we know it, WoW’s very own disaster movie, I really hope that areas like those get a bit more love.

Also WTB a Priest hideout where Erinys can sip honeymint tea and debate the finer points of religion with other Priestly types. Although I suspect we might as well just rent a battleground or a graveyard because given the diversity of our faiths, someone is bound to end up dead.

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Returning back to 2013, clearly my crystal ball was a bit out of tune. When Blizzard added the latest class quest (the epic Rogue one), they made it require a raid boss and so much for embellishing those class areas…

What I loved about all three of these quests was the fact that they made you think about what it meant to play that specific class. Not only in terms of playstyle although all three required you to explore your spell book, perhaps the Druid and Hunter more so than the Priest, although plenty of people I knew did take Holy Nova especially for the quest but also from an RP perspective if you wished to indulge it.

With the Priest quest, you had to merge the dual nature of the class by acquiring both the eye of shadow and the eye of divinity before striking a balance between them.

You have come for redemption, yet you yourself do not realize this… Do you?

From a roleplay perspective, when I look back on all the terrible things my Priest(s) have done since that day in EPL, I remember this:

I never stated that you were here to redeem yourself, priest/priestess. You are here to redeem me and the innocents murdered while trying to escape Stratholme. My spirit and the spirit of those lost are bound here, cursed to endlessly relive our own tragic deaths.

and consider the slate wiped clean. I really would love to see the quest chain added back into the game, possibly with the Eyes being available through the Black Market.

I also loved the fact that you had to do it by yourself otherwise the “Cleaner” would come and squish you underfoot.

Be warned, you must complete this task alone. It is recommended that your allies remain at a distance. Interference by outside agents will result in a most severe punishment.

Although that plus the fact that Eris Havenfire would yell, alerting the entire zone Horde and Alliance alike that some brave Priest was attempting the quest did make it easier for the opposing side to grief.

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Therefore it probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the main aspect of the next patch which I’m really looking forward to is the “Proving Grounds”. Yes I’d rather have the storytelling and romance of class quests but given that Blizzard understandably wishes to design for the masses not a percentage, I’ll happily settle for that.


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11 Responses

  1. I agree, bring back the Class quests. They did make you learn a lot about your character.

    • I think they’re definitely one of the bigger aspects I miss about the game now compared with previous expansions.

  2. I remember getting my eye from farming those demons in winterspring back then.. Though I ended up just getting my staff shortly before it got removed from the game, which didn’t exactly made it easier to obtain. I think I had the eye sitting in my inventory for a long, long time.. And man, I miss those times a bit. Would be awesome if we could somehow experience those class quests again, I would love to do the ones I missed at some point.

    • Me too. I never got a leaf on a Hunter so I’ve only ever seen it second hand but would have loved to do it myself.

  3. Loved the class quests! I am with you with regards to the Benediction/Anathema quest, was amazing! I remember the cleaner very well…

    • The first time I saw him was watching a friend get her Benediction. I didn’t do anything to help but a passing Mage got too close because he couldn’t figure out what was going on. Didn’t end prettily at all.

  4. Every time Cat flies through Zangarmarsh she gets a tear in her eye when she sees those flowers on the top of the mushrooms. So glad I got to do the swift flight chain not to mention the quests to get her other forms. Loved those class quests.

    • Me too. That’s why I hate them taking content away. It would be a shame to start playing now and not be able to achieve something like doing the Druid flight form quest.

  5. Those class quests were fantastic and I feel fortunate to have completed both the hunter and priest (as well as the druid) ones back then. I do remember attempting the heal gauntlet on a US server and I ended up logging out to try it at about 3am-5am server time so my latency wasn’t as bad. Also because I didn’t want spectators.

    I didn’t realise the Fray Island/Warrior link and I would love to see a priestly area although I don’t see it happening.

    Great post!

    • Ty. The game definitely needs a Priest area!!!
      Both Mr Harpy and I did our respective class quests at around 5am. People watching always makes me play bad :(

  6. OMG…just saw this post. I played avidly in vanilla as a priest, and I DID wait forever to get my Benediction. But I remember the quest, as well as the hunter bow quest. I remember exploring new zones and gaining a serious appreciation for the scope of the game. I lost my account and started a new priest last year, and I was disappointed to find that you can no longer get Benediction or Tier 3 gear.
    I am now soloing BWL and soon the Tier 5 bosses, and you can see what I’m up to on my blog, priestandpilot.blogspot.com
    Great post!

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