Questing

My Groove

In my search of all the hidden treasures in Stormsong Valley I landed at this specific mountaintop and was instantly enamoured with the view from here. The skies in Stormsong Valley often remind me of the skies here at home in the Netherlands with awesome and sometimes terrifying cloud formations. World of Warcraft may be more cartoony than some of it’s counterparts, especially Final Fantasy XIV which has the slick Japanese polish, but sometimes I shoot pictures like this and I’m reminded that even with all it’s flaws it still is at times a gorgeous game. My Rogue looking at the clouds in the distance just kind of finishes this picture for me aswell.

I’ve settled on a nice groove when it comes to gaming right now. Putting Classic aside and all the frustrations that came with it has been a good choice. Instead I’m focusing on WoW Retail and FFXIV again and have been able to fit in a tiny bit of Guild Wars 2. Especially Retail has gotten some love from me over the past few days. I’ve been doing a bunch of World Quests, taking full advantage of the reputation buff that is going on right now. I’m also chasing some achievements again, most notably killing all rares and finding all treasures in given zones. Unfortunately I had to find out the hard way that the final rare that I need in Stormsong Valley is tied to a world quest that has a very low chance of showing up on the map. Nonetheless I want to log in on the daily to see if it’s up so I can finally complete this achievement. After that I will turn my attention to Drustvar and Tiragarde Sound and with some outside help from WoWhead will probably tackle finding all the hidden treasures there.

Next to grinding World Quests I’m also slowly trying to empty out my regular questlog. I finally started the 8.1.5 War Campaign questline, the one where (spoilers!) Jaina gets her brother delivered back to her by Baine. I’ve just gotten past the cutscene and as always it’s superbly done by Blizzard. I also managed to stumble upon the Xal’Atath questchain on accident and am running around trying to complete that aswell. Because obviously the best idea ever is to give a mysterious whispering dagger surrounded by void energies what it wants… Right? Especially since it manifests itself after you feed it a Void Stone as one of the first steps of the questchain.. Creepy stuff.

Coming back into Retail WoW and being able to pick up undiscovered lore and clear out quests is exaclty what I needed. I know that the storytelling isn’t as great as FFXIV and their mainstory but Blizzard has tried this expansion to tie things together a bit more. The War Campaign, even if not always high quality, has been a nice consistent line of story throughout Battle for Azeroth. When I leveled up during launch I also remarked that the zone stories themselves, especially Drustvar on Alliance side, were extremely well done aswell. Mechagon and Nazjatar may be a tad below that experience but still have interesting stories in their own right. I just have to tie everything together more by actually doing all the raids that I’ve missed out on. Maybe I will set aside a night or two for that the coming week, starting with the Battle of Dazar’Alor and working my way from that.

Another interesting addition they made are the changes to the Heart of Azeroth. With opening up skill slots and tying some questchains to that I already feel much more involved in the system and leveling up my necklace than before. For instance yesterday I did the quest to level up one of the skills you can slot into the necklace and it sent me back to Val’Sharah and the Emerald Dream to aid the Green Dragonflight. I still remember how much of an impact that cutscene of Ysera dying in Legion had on me and to be back and see the rest of her brood being shattered struck a nerve. The quest itself was short and maybe not that interesting except for the dialogue referring to Ysera. It took me about 15 minutes to complete and I had a nice upgrade and a bit of lore expansion after that. It’s little things like these that make me so fond of WoW as a whole and I can’t wait to discover more quests tied to the necklace. Even though I already know that everything has been one big manipulation show and in essence we are exactly doing what Azshara wants. Oh well. For now I’m mostly just playing catch up to various quest chains and raids and who knows. Maybe I will even dip into doing some Mythic dungeons again.

Helping the Ehcatl Nine and More Beast Tribe Silliness

After my recent levelling spree, I decided to turn my attention to the last “A Realm Reborn” beast tribe I needed to get max rank reputatin with: The Ehcatl Nine (better known as the Ixali). A group of Ixali who don’t believe in worshipping Garuda, but instead searching for a way to get back into Ayatlan, a floating paradise high up in the sky… And their home.
Over the course of the quests you help build components for their airship, making it a unique Beast tribe… Seeing as the quests were meant to be completed on Disciples of the Hand, rather than Battle Classes/Jobs.
I was very happy to see the happy ending here, which mostly constitutes of the airship you helped build doing a succesful test flight.

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After I completed this tribe, I picked up a new questchain (SPOILERS AHEAD) that would send back to all the old beast tribes. At first I had to return Little Solace and the Sylphs, where they had me steal back a batch of podlings that were kidnapped from their camp. While surveying the Sylphlands I encounter a mysterious lady called Sylvie, who tells me the podlings were kidnapped as part of a bigger, darker plot… And then she heads off to La Noscea.
After that I paid a visit to the Sapsa Spawning Grounds and the Sagahin, where the youngest of Novv’s clutch has been kidnapped by a mysteriously masked Miqo’te… Who then almost murders Novv!
Going out on a short sidenote here, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Sahagin. The story of their Beast Tribe is about protecting family most of all, and in this questchain Novv tells you you are like a daughter to him, not only that, his only and strongest daughter. It really struck a chord with me and reminds me how Square Enix has absolute gems of story in their game.

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Our story continues with Sylvie showing up in Aleport, telling me she is after the same masked Miqo’te that I just encountered. Apparently he is known as the Ebon Claw. She sents me to Baderon in the Drowning Wench, who starts the next part of the chain which sends me to the Kobolds of the 789th Order in Outer la Noscea. Where entire scores of Kobolds have been disappearing.
(How do you kidnap so many at once, really!)
Our friend Sylvie is at the scene and gets wounded by the mysterious “Ebon Claw”. She tells us the Ixali are the next target, so I hurry to Ehcatl Nine, hoping to get answers there.
The Ebon Claw raided a party of Ixali near Hyrstmill and luckily for us, a part of his airship fell off and I could take it back for identification. Which then sends me to Ul’dah where I encounter an Amal’jaa from the Ashen Brotherhood frantically running around in the city, who tells me the Ebon Claw stole mere hatchlings away from the encampment in Southern Thanalan. After a brief talk with the Warleader, and (involuntarily) recruiting Loonh Gah the Miqo’te to my search for the Ebon Claw, Sylvie introduces me to the chairmain of the organization she works for: The Ashcrown Consortium. It has been dealing with friendly beast tribes forever and wants to put an end to the kidnappings.

For the last leg of the quest I have a few friends that help me track down the Ebon Claw and the organization he works for: The Laughing Alchemists. After running around all over the city talking to various people it’s time to for the encounter with the Ebon Claw, who confirms earlier suspicions that the head of the Laughing Alchemists, Memeriga, has been kidnapping the beast tribe younglings to turn them into an undead army! Sylvie turns out to be Silbexio, a Sylph who escaped death by the Ebon Claw before.
A final battle ensues in the Invisible City in Eastern Thanalan. We save the day, blow up Memeriga’s cauldron with zombie mixture and kill the Ebon Claw and put a stop to all the Beast tribe abductions once and for all. Beast tribes unite!
A lot more details happen in the quest obviously, but you really need to play through it yourself to fully grasp the story.

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So yeah, that was my Saturday evening! That last Beast tribe chain quest was quite a monster and took me about 2 hours to complete. In the end I managed to get an achievement and I unlocked additional wares to buy from all the old Beast tribes, including pets. So my collector’s heart is at ease.
Oh, I also managed to obtain my Lore tome chest for Ninja… Doesn’t it look pretty?

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The Zodiac Journey Ends

Yesterday morning I was finally able to complete the last few Mahatma’s I needed for my Zodiac Zeta Dragoon Weapon. Granted they have nerfed the quest of this weapon by quite a bit. But I’m still superhappy about the end result!

My lovely lady with her Zeta!

All in all it has been a great journey and I hope the new Relic Weapon will be just as awesome.