The next phase of the Pre-Cata event has occurred now in Wow and for those of you who have been hiding under a rock time line wise this is Post Stormrage Novel and Pre Shattering. (You would be surprised how many individuals I ran into yesterday that were COMPLETELY lost as to what was going on.) In their defense since the vast majority of us have been hanging out in Northrend on our level capped characters. It is fairly easy to remain obliviously isolated unless you happened to return to the Old World for trick or treating at Hallows End and there by encountered the fact that Azeroth is heaving about like a woman about to give birth. For those who only queued up for the Headless Horseman, the vast majority never noticed when an earthquake was taking place right around them, they just attributed it to the quick fight in which they were a part, and popped right back out after receiving their pumpkin.
Now however things have gotten a little more obvious and there are actually QUESTS you can do even at LOW levels so individuals attention are starting to return to the Old World. One of the things I LIKE about these events is that really all they are doing is introducing you to the major players of Cata. Unlike in Wrath in which you arrived and BOOM here is King Varian back on his throne and BAM here is Garrosh being hot headed at every turn. So even if you are one of those individuals like I have been running into on line who have NEVER heard of places like Wowhead or MMOChampion you will enter THIS expansion have SOME clue what is going on and WHO these individuals are that you are interacting with. Even better WHY you should care.
This review and Guide will all be done from the Alliance perspective. (Sorry Horde.)
If you return to Ironforge, Darnassus or Exodar from Northrend first you will find a small contingent of Earthen Ring members near the banks (Remember those guys from the Summer Fire Festival?) They will send you straight over to Stormwind because THIS is where all the action really takes place at this phase. The Earthen Ring Representative located near the Stormwind bank is a Broken by the name of Erunak Stonespeaker. Erunak sends you off to Stormwind Keep to check in with a Wildhammer Shaman there by the name of Gavan Grayfeather. Now this introduction is really nothing more than a "get you into the right place so you can observe some things" as well as "meet someone who is important" type of quest.
On the way to Gavan you will cross paths with Captain Anton, the individual in charge of investigating all the cultists who seem to have sprung up around Stormwind. Captain Anton you may notice is surrounded by a rather large group of women. These aren't his adoring fans, but rather a group of concerned relatives with missing family members. Your going to want to make sure to come back to him later. Continue on to Gavan and you will find something that is every Hordies dream, though conducting such a raid with every single Alliance player hanging out in Stormwind at this time WOULD be the stuff of legends...
There in the throne room of Stormwind is EVERY CURRENT ALLIANCE LEADER under one roof. King Varian, King Magni Bronzebeard, Lady Jania Proudmoore, Tyrande Whisperwind, High Tinker Mekkatorque, and Prophet Velen. What is interesting if you stop to listen to the discussion is that King Varian is NOT the one who called the meeting, he is simply HOSTING it as the most central location. Magni is the one who called them all together. Gavan is observing the conversation with great interest ALSO at the invitation of Magni, though he is NOT a part of the major circle. Even if you never read Christie Golden's Best selling book the Shattering Blizzard has made certain that you won't be completely lost this time around as to what is going on IN GAME. After you speak with Gavan, and if you take the time to listen to the conversation between the leaders, it shows a great deal about each individual's mind set. Velen (who has gone through something like this before) wants to run away, Varian wants to exhaust whatever options are available before fleeing is even considered, Mekkatorque is trying to find a mechanical solution, Jania is questioning living arrangements (ok, this remark by Jania just made me laugh because it is just such a MOM type of concern...), etc.
The majority of the quests for this portion of the Pre-Cata event stem from Captain Anton and his dealings with the Twilight's Hammer Cultists. When you first speak to him Anton will request that you go to Old Town and listen to the Cultist's Doomsayer speeches then report back. This quest is deceptively simple but some people have a problem with it because they just rush around picking UP the speeches and never stay in place long enough to actually HEAR one of the Doomsayers TALK. You have to do BOTH. After you report back Anton will send you back out to post warning signs around town about the cultists. Next comes two other quests which can be done at the same time. The first is to pick up a set of Twilight Cultist robes and infiltrate the cult (they will take just anyone) all you have to do is say "yep I want to join" or just grab a set from the box next to a Doomspeaker if you don't like lying to the nut jobs.
Head off to the Twilight Cult's "oh so secret camp" next to Mirror Lake. Make sure to put on your robes before hand, they won't attack you, but they won't talk to you either otherwise. Overseer Sylandra will send you off to do your duty as a "Recruit" to the cult. You may wish to wander around the camp first to find the four "Missing persons" Anton sent you to locate before starting off on her quests. The first is located in a pup tend right across from the Overseer. Cultist Wyman is quite happy where he is and has no desire to leave. Cultist Kaima is located at the back of the wagon on the edge of the orchard. She is also feeling enlightened and has no desire to return. Cultist Orlunn is at the table behind the house feeling quite justified in his choice of joining the cult, so has no plans to leave either. Finally you have Cultist Lethelyn, who apparently left after a huge fight with her family and feels that returning is just not an option, she can be found INSIDE the house at the camp.
The quests you are asked to do for the cult are simple. First you just need to run around wearing their "Doomsday Message" placard. Run up to the gates of the Westbrook Garrison, through Goldshire and by General Marcus Jonathan in the Valley of Heroes and you've done your "duty". Then head back to Overseer Sylandra. She will send you to the far side of the camp where you will find a rather creepy looking alter. There you will witness another "lore moment" and the reintroduction of Cho'Gall. Many Lore junkies are going to know who this is but for everyone else, this is going to be a "AH HA" moment of "so the leader of the Twilight Hammer is a Ogre", it is also the introduction of one of our future raid bosses. Race back to Sylandra and she stupidly hands you a stack of devices and sends you into the city to plant them. Now you can go turn them over to Captain Anton. (These Cultists are not the sharpest tools in the shed that is for sure.)
Once you get back to Anton he of course sends you out to find more of those devices and neutralize them. What is rather nice about this is the air Elementals that emerge are level appropriate to what ever character happens to be doing the quest. Once you have managed to destroy a few of the devices and report back to Anton he sends you back up the corridor to King Varian to report your findings. This results in the typical screamed out speech praising your work. (I personally HATE those but I know some people love them.) At this point the quests end but don't worry, things will pick up again soon.
One other thing that has happened is that Elementals are starting to show up in scattered places across the country side. The quest associated with THESE at this point you have to go looking for. Once you have defeated a rift a "Mysterious Device" will drop that you need to take back to your local Earthen Ring Representative (anyone of them will do, they can be found at any of the faction capitals) this counts as a daily quest. You can also get an achievement (as well as a nice little buff) for defeating the Elementals. There are four different types of Elementals out there Wind, Fire, Earth and Water. One thing that I did find interesting is that the spawn points are NOT limited to just the Old World, you can find the Elementals in both Outland and Northrend as well. This means you can continue about your normal routine near those zones if they are level appropriate for you. The Elementals appear about every hour.
Blade's Edge Mountains
The Storm Peaks
Swamp of Sorrows
So enjoy the event, I know I am going to. While some have already started complaining that this one doesn't have the "epic feel" that the Lich King's Scourge invasion did, I think people are forgetting that we still have a month to go...remember, that started out slow too, I think this is going to turn out to be just as epic and enjoyable as the Lich King's Zombie invasion.
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