Thursday, November 16, 2006

Quests That Should Have Been Epic

The one thing WoW has done really poorly is rewards at level 60. Restricting epics to raids was a mistake in my opinion. For most of the game there was a decent balance between rewards for instances, and rewards for quests. However, at 60, the balance swings way too much towards instances. There are some questlines that are epic in scope, and really deserve epic rewards.

Here's my list of quests that deserved epic rewards:

1. Tirion Fordring questline

This is one of the best loved questlines in the game. It takes you across Eastern Plaguelands, to Stratholme, and to Hearthglen as you help Tirion Fordring seek redemption. It's a gorgeous questline, and the rewards are quite good, but if they were bumped up a notch, this quest would be perfect.

2. The Lich, Raj Frostwhisper questline

This quest takes you from Scholomance, to Stratholme, and back to Scholomance as you seek the key to defeating Raj Frostwhisper. It's quite long and involved, and very few people actually do the whole questline. I've actually gotten more whispers about my Warblade of Caer Darrow than any other piece of gear. By the time most people would have completed the questline, they've moved on to raiding instead.

3. Hero of the Fallen Horde questline

This one has you fighting in the Blasted Lands, seeking to destroy Razelikh the Defiler. I remember forging the Sword needed to defeat his Servants, and the questline culminates in an awesome battle atop the Defiler's Rise.

4. Dawn's Gambit questline

I'll be honest, I haven't even finished this questline yet. It's the one where you have to collect the eggs from Upper Blackrock Spire and then go to Scholomance and defeat Vectus and his students. I just don't feel like going back to UBRS.

Personally, I love these long, involved questlines. They are a fair amount of work, and really deserve to have better rewards. Hopefully, end level questlines in Burning Crusade will have improved rewards.


  1. You make a strong point.

    I guess that's another corollary to the 'casual' argument that has swirled around WoW for years -- epic items are inaccessible to casuals / players who choose not to raid or PvP. One famously obvious negative side effect of the inaccessibility of epics through questing is "farming rep" in PvP, especially in AV. (Sometimes WoW *does* have the feel of a great big farming operation... :P )

    The great thing about long quest lines is that they can easily take as long as a raid -- several hours to complete -- but the time requirement is "chopped up" into manageable pieces.

    Even raiders hate the hours of grinding to get to a boss -- reference the top raiding guild that was recently banned for a hack to knock down walls to go more directly to a main raid boss. When elite guilds are willing to risk resorting to hacks that will get them banned, Blizz should see the red flashing light and take a clue: WoW has a design problem.

    Top gear should be tough.
    But how tough?
    As tough as a 7-day-a-week 4+ hours per session raiding schedule?
    If we take a look at the PvP honor system re-design, I think Blizz would say, "No, we don't want to *require* you to live in Azeroth in order to get the epics you want.

    A solution?
    The time problem could be solved rather easily by Blizz if they chose. They already have the capability in place with things like keys and teleporters. Would it be unreasonable for a raider to, say, have to fight once (or a set number of times) though, and then obtain a reward (token, key, rod, whatever) that allowed the raider to skip to near the boss? It could even be balanced by making the boss harder when you use the key. Or require recharging with gold or mats or repeatable quests.

    I guess the bottom line of what I'm saying is that in a game full of so much imagination and so many ideas and so many capabilities, it seems strange to me to have robotic instances that are more-or-less always spawned from the same fixed template. As I said before (somewhere) it would not be hard to turn instances into 'building blocks' that combine differently every time they spawn (video games were using that trick back in the '80s). Fixed maps with the same spawns every time are very old-school. It's just not right that I can pull a fixed map off the web for Ragefire Chasm -- and for raid dungeons, too.

  2. Great list. I believe I have started 3 of your 4 listed, but I shall have to get going on that Warblade. :)

  3. The only problem is none of those quests are very difficult. As long as you have a few friends you can do it. Maybe the demons and the end of fallen hero of the horde is hard. And Demtria the Scarlet Oracle is a nightmare. But yes all the rewards for those should be bumped up. I don't even have any of them, my 5-10 man gear and some reputation gear is better.

    There are two you left out: the Battle for Darrowshire rewards are nothing special.

    Also the horde version of the questline that ends in Demetria the Scarlet Oracle. This is way tougher than the Blightcaller questline (esp fighting her vs fighting blightcaller). Not only should they make it more equal (such as have both end in fighting her), but definitely a 62dps wand is not good reward for going through all that.

    I have never even turned in my Tirion's quest. The rewards are just not worth it (even compared to the 5-10 man instances and the AD ring). I think being able to turn into a scarlet crusader paladin whenever I want is worth more to me than the quest rewards :)

  4. the only reason to do dawn's gambit that I could see was to shoot for the rare drops Vectus has...

    Dark Advisor's Pendant
    Binds when picked up
    +8 Stamina
    +7 Intellect
    Requires Level 56
    Equip: Increases damage done by Shadow spells and effects by up to 20.


    Skullsmoke Pants
    Binds when picked up
    Legs Cloth
    76 Armor
    +20 Stamina
    +20 Intellect
    +10 Fire Resistance
    +5 Shadow Resistance
    Durability 65 / 65
    Requires Level 56

    note that they're 4% and 6% drops respectively according to thottbot, so I had to abandon and retake the quest quite a few times to get my skullsmoke pants.

  5. You didn't have to abandon it. After turning it in the little dwarf will give you another dawn's gambit every time you ask.

    I've killed him a bunch of times and still no pants. Of course, the mage in my guild killed him once and they dropped :)

  6. "3. Hero of the Fallen Horde questline"

    I remember doing the first couple parts of this quest with jethill and I think it was you along long time ago! :)

  7. Probably was. Those were good times. :)