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An Intro to Outland
#1
Preface: Above all else in the expansion, take your time and enjoy it.

A while back, Umu offered an extra beta key he had received to me, saying he knew I would do something productive with it. This is going to be the the result of that gift. I would like to thank him for the opportunity to do this for the Tribe, and also thank Efluvia for providing the excellent maps for the zones I will discuss below. Some of this will be from my own exploration, and other parts will be from online resources. I hope you find it helpful, and I will attempt to include as few lore spoilers as possible.

Your exploration of Outland will begin at the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands. This is the only way to reach Outland, and you must be 58th to journey there. You will find an Alliance and Horde camp before you joruney through, and a quest that will lead you on your way. From here, you arrive in Hellfire Peninsula. I will discuss Hellfire more in the next post, but I want to give a rough idea of how the zones in outland are laid out.

The best resource I can suggest is the interactive map of outland(click on a zone for more information):
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningcrusade/townhall/outlandmap.html">http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningc ... ndmap.html</a><!-- m -->

The intended path of leveling progression through outland is as follows:

Hellfire Peninsula
Zangarmarsh
Terokkar Forest
Naggrand
Blades Edge Mountains
Netherstorm/Shadowmoon Valley

This is a loose estimate, but I will say that appropriate challenges for your level range will feel much tighter in Outland. Areas 3 levels higher than you will feel harder than they did in Azeroth. Quest availability is also limited at first, so while you could go directly to Zangarmarsh, there will not be much available for you to do until 61st. Naggrand is much the same, with most quests not opening until 64th.

That brings me to questing. I will cover some quests for specific zones in the posts below, but I recommend doing them all. Why? Because there are many quest chains for the various factions that are important later, they let you explore with a purpose, and they give significant faction rewards.

Factions are a very significant part of Outland, and there will be at least one per zone. They all give rewards for tradeskills and items, but more importantly, you must be revered with the appropriate faction to access the heroic version of an instance, which will be important in the long run. While this may sound like a grind, it really isn't for most of them. Running the instances themselves boosts your faction, and none of them require the endless killing of creatures that the old world ones did.

Shattrath City: It is important to note this location, as it is the only major city in Outland and it is very unique. You can find a quest in the main center building when you arrive that will guide you around town and introduce you to the story behind it. This city has 4 major factions, and 2 of them oppose eachother. These are the Aldor and the Scryers.

An important note on the Aldor and the Scryer: When you choose one, you will become hostile to the other one and will be attacked if you venture onto their terrace.

Before you choose a faction, you are neutral to both of them and can freely explore their terraces and examine what they have to offer. Each one has their own bank, faction vendor, and trainers... consider your choice carefully. While it is possible to reverse your decision, it is extremely difficult and requires many hours of work. Any quest you do for one faction will result in a penalty with the other.

For help in choosing based on rewards, I recommend this wowwiki article as a good starting point:
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Comparison_of_Aldor_and_Scryer_rewards">http://www.wowwiki.com/Comparison_of_Al ... er_rewards</a><!-- m -->

Another important note about the city are the portals. You can find a portal to every major city in the old world in the central building of Shattrath City, which makes it an excellent place to bind your hearthstone. However it is important to note that these portals are one-way and that there is no auction house in Shattrath.

Finally, a note on tradeskills. The highest level trainer for each tradeskill will only be found in outland. I do not know where all of the specializations can be found, but I know that armorsmithing and weaponsmithing recipes can be found in the lower city of Shattrath. Also, I recommend one of the first things folks do is take a trip to Falcon Watch in Hellfire Peninsula to learn the next level of first aid right away. It will require roughly 100-120 runecloth to reach a point where you can start making netherweave bandages, and you start finding netherweave right away. Most of the other tradeskills can be trained in Thrallmar, as can cooking. You will need to travel to Cenarion Refuge in Zangarmarsh for fishing though.

Below I will discuss each of the first four zones individually, with varying levels of detail, as a guide on how to get around and what to watch out for.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
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#2
Hellfire Peninsula

This is the very first zone you will encounter in Outland, and you are immediately dropped into an ongoing war. The Alliance and Horde are holding the Dark Portal against the Burning Legion in a continuous battle, and the path is blocked by a pit lord and his continually summoned minions. Luckily you don't need to go through them.

On your right you will find the Horde commander here, and he will send you to Thrallmar via a flightpath right away. This unlocks your first Outlands flightpath.

Hellfire peninsula has 3 flight path locations for the Horde: Thrallmar, Spinebreaker post in the southeast, and Falcon Watch in the west. The zone is roughly divided in half by the Hellfire Citadel wall, and you'll likely be chased any time you pass through the gaps. You will need to ride to Falcon Watch for that flightpath, but Spinebreaker post can be flown to via a quest, which is very nice.

As a side note on exploring the zone: If you come across a named mob while on a quest in an area, odds are good that it drops an item that starts a quest. Always keep an eye out for them, as they are much more common in Outland.

Fel Reavers: These are the things in Hellfire Peninsula that truelly give you the feeling of being behind enemy lines. I watched these 1-shot several unwary players. They are roughly 50 foott tall, black, metal monstrosities that patrol most of the region aside from the far west, and they are looking for you. Remember the first time you saw a devilsaur, and you will begin to understand. Pay attention wherever you are, always glance over your shoulder, and listen for them. The one plus side to them is you have plenty of warning that they're approaching... the ground shakes very far away, and they make a metallic scream periodically that does a lot to enhance the terror.

Thrallmar is the major quest hub for the Horde in Hellfire, and you will find some profession trainers here as well. Thrallmar also has its own faction that is linked to Hellfire Citadel, and gives a number of faction rewards in the main stronghold.

I will attempt to lay out some of the quest chains, but bear in mind that quest availability was constantly changing in beta. One quest may unlock others around a town, especially the main questlines.

The main quest line for Thrallmar fighting the legion begins with Eradicate the Legion. This leads through Felspark Ravine, Reaver's Fall, Disrupt the Reinforcements, Gateways bombing run, and the abyssal shelf. Those last two are very fun bombing runs. The quests continue with Forge camp Mageddon, Felcannons, Doorway to the Abyss, Cruel Intentions, and the Agony and the Darkness. It may continue beyond there, but the last quest requires a group.

A note about Forge camp Mageddon: This quest was very bad in beta, and I hope they fixed it... the Alliance and Horde are both sent through this camp to kill the same mobs, and the named one had a 7.5 minute respawn time. I highly recommend taking a group so multiple people are completing this at once.

There are other minor quests around Thrallmar, but the one for Bonechewer Blood is important because it leads you to getting a free flight to Spinebreaker post, unlocking that flightpath.

Also of note is the mine behind Thrallmar... be sure to check it out, as Foreman Razzlecraz will have several quests for you. I recommend taking friends with you into the mines themselves, as the respawn rate is pretty fast and it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Finally for Thrallmar, at some point a quest called Assassin will open up, that is a very interesting chain for lore and for the Horde in general. The first quest objective is hard to find (it is the "Mankriks Wife" of Outland), but here are directions: ride west through the northern rampart and follow the road. After passing through a small wooden wall, look to the north along the mountains for a body.

Spinebreaker Post and the Zeppelin Crash cover quests for the southern part of the peninsula. The quest called Preparing the Salve will send you to the Zeppelin crash site as a next step, so I recommend doing that first. The Zeppelin crash quests give experience but no faction, and the collect quests there can honestly be a major pain. You've been warned.

Falcon Watch is a settlement of Blood Elf pilgrims that covers questing for much of the western part of the zone. Being 61st or in a group will help a lot in this region. In fact, at 61st you will be sent further west to a small Cenarion Post that will begin quests for that faction as well. The quests in both places are great for exploring the west, and you start to feel like there is more breathing room here than there was in the east. Falcon Watch also has the first aid trainer... buy the book asap so you can get past the need for runecloth.

As a final note on progressing through Hellfire Peninsula, there are two ways out of the zone in the west and both go through ravager nests. Thornfang Hill leads to Zangarmarsh, and Razorthorn Trail leads to Terokkar Forest. Both areas are easy enough to simply ride through without much hassle.

I may add more quest detail to thislater, but the map below will help a great deal with navigation.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
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#3
Zangarmarsh

I recommend waiting until 61st to start questing here, as the majority of quests are not available until then (assuming no changes from beta). The first place you will likely come to is Cenarion Refuge, which is its own faction. You begin at neutral, but quests give a large boost as well as some wings of Coilfang Reservoir, which is located in a northern lake.

The marsh itself is laid out with a large number of lakes, as you can see from the map, and none of them are very safe. The roads in the eastern part of the zone are fairly clear, but if you go north of Zabra'jin there are a lot of ogres.

Zangarmarsh contains two flight path locations for the Horde, one at Swamprat Post (just north of Cenarion Refuge) and one at Zabra'jin, a troll town in the western marsh. If you head to Zabra'jin, do not worry about the alliance outpost at Telredor, as it is atop a mushroom and you are well clear of the guards. However, if you are seeking a pass to the Blades Edge mountains, be aware that Orebor Harborage is an Alliance stronghold... you want the eastern caves at Blade's Run, as these are held by the Horde.

When you arrive here I recommend doing the quest Disturbance at Umbrafen Lake first, as the second step sends you on a nice aerial tour of much of the swamp. The site you are looking for in the first quest is location 16 on the map below.

One thing of note here is the village of Sporeggar. This faction is very similar to the Timbermaw, but you start at unfriendly and it is much easier to raise. They have a number of quests and items (especially recipes) available as your faction improves. I believe that if you should find any bog lord tendrils, you should keep them for this faction. Finally, you can raise this faction in the Slave Pens wing of Coilfang Reservoir.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
Reply
#4
Terokkar Forest

I did not do as much exploring in the southern part of Outland as I would have liked, so discussion of Terokkar and Nagrand will be limited.

The primary point of interest in Terokkar is Shattrath City, which has been discussed above. There is a flight path there, as well as one at Stonebreaker Hold for the Horde, which lies on the edge of the Bone Wastes. The Bone Wastes themselves contain the ruined fortress of Auchindoun, and smaller faction related camps may have been added late in beta.

Factions in Terokkar are mainly based out of Shattrath City, as other parts of the forest tend to be groups allied with Illidan. Be wary when approaching Cenarion Thicket, as something may have befallen the druids there. Also note that the blood elves found at Firewing Point are the servants of Kael'Thas, and are aggressive to the Horde.

The final faction here that will make an appearance with relation to Auchindoun and Shattrath is the Consortium. They are etheral traders with their main outpost in the Netherstorm. They are a neutral group much like the goblins, interested in profit.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
Reply
#5
Nagrand

Nagrand is a land much like Mulgore, and my personal favorite in Outland. The Horde town of Garadar is not very far into the zone, and is on the Maghar faction. Quests involving their story begin in Hellfire Peninsula, and the story behind them is one of profound hope for the Horde.

For the pvp minded, the Ring of Trials and Halaa are also to be found here. The Ring of Trials is the Nagrand Arena, and information on this model of pvp can be found elsewhere. Halaa is a town that can change hands in world pvp, complete with guards and questgivers. Be wary of venturing into it even if it is under our control, as the wyvern camps nearby are used for bombing runs on those within.

Finally, if you are traveling here from Zangarmarsh, one of the first camps you come to will likely be very familiar. Much like in Stranglethorn Vale, a hunter has come here in search of big game, and he is in need of help.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
Reply
#6
Below I will give general information on the various instances. There are faction bonuses associated with most of them, and both the faction and wings completed will determine your ability to access other wings of the instance. As an example, the Escape from Durnholde instance of the Caverns of Time must be completed before you can access the Dark Portal wing (a fact that I find very ironic given the nature of the Caverns of Time).

(Hellfire) Hellfire Ramparts: 60-62
(Hellfire) Blood Furnace: 61-63
(Coilfang) Slave Pens: 62-64
(Coilfang) Underbog: 63-65
(Auchindoun)Mana Tombs: 64-66
(Auchindoun)Aucheni Crypts: 65-67
(Auchindoun)Sethekk Halls: 66-68
(Caverns of Time)Durnholde: 67+
(Coilfang)Steam Vaults: 68+
(Auchindoun)Shadow Labs: 69+
(Hellfire)Shatttered Halls: 69+
(Caverns of Time)Dark Portal: 69+

All Tempest Keep: level 70 only due to requiring a flying mount
*Druids due to flight form may go to Tempest Keep at 68.

Edit: I have removed the links below because my computer has started detecting a virus any time I visit ampwow.com. Not sure why, nothing has changed on my end, so I assume it is the website. I recommend avoiding it and possibly scanning your machine. It was a dropper that would install the delphi.gen virus.

Hellfire Citadel - Hellfire Peninsula - Thrallmar Rep
Coilfang Reservoir - Zangarmarsh - Cenarion Expedition Rep/Sporeggar Rep
Auchindoun - Terokkar Forest - Lower City Rep/Consortium Rep
Tempest Keep - Netherstorm - Sha'tar Rep
Caverns of Time - Tanaris - Keepers of Time Rep

Heroic Instances
These are level 70, bar none. To put it simply, much of the trash in the heroic 5-mans hits harder than the trash in Karazhan. Read that again, and realize that Karazhan is a 10-man zone.

As another example, the second boss in Hellfire Ramparts in the regular version tosses a curse on people that does no damage to them, but ticks an AE on the people around them. You decurse it, or have the person move away. The heroic version of that same curse is uncurable and hits for 3000-4000 per tick on the people around you. It is a very large difference.

Each heroic instance will require attunement, generally via being revered with the faction associated with it. The end boss drops a gauranteed epic, and all bosses drop a token that I believe is lootable by everyone. These tokens are then spent on gear rewards in Shattrath City.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
Reply
#7
Wow, that's a lot of stuff to digest. Thanks, Kosath, and Umu. Lots of useful info in here. Glad I didn't read it before now. It makes me want BC here, NOW. The Outlands sound pretty interesting, to say the least.
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#8
This is incredibly helpful! Thank you very much!
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#9
The warning about the Fel Reavers alone made it worth while. It literally saved me from dying to one of them.
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#10
I would re-emphasize Kosath's point to do all the quests. There are a number of "invisible prerequisites" in Thrallmar, for example -- finishing a world quest may unlock an instance quest, without a story hook to lead you to the next questgiver.
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#11
Oryx Wrote:I would re-emphasize Kosath's point to do all the quests. There are a number of "invisible prerequisites" in Thrallmar, for example -- finishing a world quest may unlock an instance quest, without a story hook to lead you to the next questgiver.

This is especially crucial in Nagrand, where doing every quest in the zone unlocks another quest line you probably don't want to miss.
"You can never run from trouble, 'cause there ain't no place that far." - Scissor Sisters, "Lights"
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