On a Quest for the Best Quests : Dustwallow Marsh Alliance

Edit: Thanks to @spacebard for pointing out my Freudian slip with the name of the zone, as I prefer the place at twilight or dusk I have a terrible habit of calling it Duskwallow plus I suspect the correct name annoys me on some basic level because it’s not dusty in the slightest.

Leveling my Warlock has made me realise one fairly important fact, well two if you count that it highlights just how much I’m a creature of habit. Each zone seems to have at least two or three attractions within it, things which even if I’m just passing through I tend to be lured towards. Obviously this comes down to personal opinion and preferences but now I find myself wondering if this is true of every zone in game. Is there something  whether it’s because of the lore, the rewards or just the quirkiness which makes each individual zone interesting and worth repeating?

Well there is only one way to find out!

Today I want to look at Dustwallow Marsh, a zone I’ve always loved even back in the days when the Alliance barely had any quests here apart from the wonderfully convoluted “The Missing Diplomat” which had you running around Azeroth in search of the missing King. I know we could hardly be hunting Varian when he’s standing brooding in the Keep, but I wish when they redesigned the zone, they had left in the bit where Jaina and the Archmage port in to capture the bad guys.

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The one quest chain I always complete when I wander through the Marsh is that tragic tale of Smiling Jim and his unlucky family. There is something about Jim with his broken mind, perhaps the one person in the walled city for whom the destruction of Theramore was a blessing which always inspires me onwards to track down those responsible and of course to lay a wreath on the grave of his wife and son.

Flicking through my archives, I wrote about this chain way back in 2010 before Cataclysm ripped everything asunder and it’s interesting that unlike most quests in Azeroth it hasn’t actually changed much between now and then. The bread crumb from the Wetlands is gone but the essence of the chain remains the same.

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The second quest I tend to make a bee-line for is that terrible tale of a sea monster  named Tethyr. The chain begins with a quest to help a curious Gnome restart the Theramore Lighthouse and then once  you’ve got it going again, you learn from Nat Pagle that not only are legends of a sea monster off Theramore real but that Tethyr was the real reason they closed the lighthouse in the first place.

Yes, Tethyr is certainly real, and he lives in the waters off Theramore.

Has a thing for bright lights. He’s the reason they shut down the lighthouse in the first place, you know…

And if you light it up again, he’ll come right back. But no one in their right mind would do that.

Everyone’s favourite in-game fisherman and of course giant monsters with huge teeth are always going to be a winning combination.
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The Marsh is also the location of my favourite escort quest in the whole of Azeroth although to be fair that’s not particularly hard since I hate the rest of them with a passion.  Escorting Stinky through the marshlands as he pauses searching for what you assume the first time around is some tiny little flower hidden in the long grasses and swamp waters and saving him from angry crocodiles is fun enough by itself but that moment when you realise that plant which has taken him five minutes to find is actually the giant root you can see for miles…

The last thing I always do is pay Oxynia a visit in her lair and ponder the issue which has bothered me since the first time I killed her way back when, exactly who is the father of all those whelps? Our Priest chat* at the time decided it was either Bolvar or Marshal Windsor (well he knew she was Dragon…) although there are exceedingly dodgy theories out there on the internet if you are feeling brave enough to search for them.

*No one actually talked about Priesting, unless you count loot.

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder – Death Knight Week

So my latest Death Knight has finally escaped the start zone with only one embarrassing death to her name and to celebrate I thought I’d post about the one thing I do love about playing a Death Knight through the first few levels.

The Scenery.

The way it changes as you progress through the various quests had me oohing on the beta and even now, having leveled and then deleted far too many Death Knights, I can spend hours riding around taking screenshots instead of progressing the quest chains.

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Although I have to admit I’m also passing fond of the fact that we have to first steal a horse and then enter a shadowy realm to defeat it’s ghostly rider to claim it for our own.

Perhaps I’m more in-tune with Death Knights than I care to admit.

Dog eat Dog: or why I’d rather save the Vermling and feed the player base to the Sha

I’ve always been a firm believer in the WoW community, that regardless of the depths some players sink to, that they are the minority but now after levelling and starting the daily grind, I’m starting to wonder.

The sheer number of players who are so focused on achieving their own objectives that they’re happy to step on other people amazes me. You pull mobs next to something you need to pick up and next thing you know four other people are trying to nab it whilst you beat up it’s guardians. Spectral guise has turned out to be priceless in buying enough time to grab pickled vegetables or loot some artefact. I don’t know, perhaps it’s just me but I never go for anything that someone else is fighting next to on the principle that they wouldn’t be fighting some trash mob if they didn’t want whatever it was. I’ve noticed as well people with mobs on them running straight for the nearest player aoeing in the hope that they can shake off a few without having to kill them. It doesn’t matter if the guy aoeing happens to be struggling against his own mobs and might die because helping out would slow them down.

Best of all are those who come running up to something you’re already looting and then turn around and /spit on you because you “ninja’d” THEIR item. Had a couple of hilarious conversations with irate questers who seemed to think that just because they’d set their sights on looting a specific item everyone else who was closer to said item should have read their minds and walked away. When me, Mr Harpy and the Godmother were running some Alterac Valleys for achievements and fun, we encountered perhaps the most amusing example of this to date. So there was Mr Harpy, tagging Snowfall for his graveyard achievement, the last thing standing between him and Master of Alterac Valley when this Gnome Priest uses leap of faith to pull him away and promptly starts tagging itself. Of course I arriving at this point, promptly pull the Priest away in turn who then starts this massive rant in both whispers and chat about how unfair this is. Regardless of how we worded it, he didn’t seem to grasp that I’d basically done the exact same thing that he had, only my timing was ever so slightly better. Had he arrived first and been tagging, I wouldn’t have touched him because it’s the wrong thing to do unless they do it first of course because greedy people don’t deserve to profit from their badness.

I do wonder, especially now most people have hit 90 and are doing the dailies whether Blizzard should have adapted the archaeology model into working with quest items too. So that instead of 1 jar of pickled vegetables spawning and being contested by the fifteen or so people within ten yards of it, jars would spawn and would only be visible by you and your party members. This would make people slightly less aggressive in their looting tactics and perhaps speed up the dailies, which right now could really do with a speed up. I know doing them all is optional and on paper it’s easy to say only do x, y and z today but once you start getting close to certain rewards, it’s not that simple. Factor in pressure from raid guilds and arena teams and the situation gets worse.