Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here's to You, Marshal Windsor

With the return of King Varian Wrynn to Stormwind, one of WoW's greatest quest events is no more. I speak of the quest The Great Masquerade, where Marshal Reginald Windsor marches through the streets of Stormwind, and exposes Lady Katrana Prestor as the black dragon Onyxia.

This event was more than most other events in WoW. In a lot of ways, this was WoW's Triumph of the Legions, the ticker-tape parade for the conquering heroes. There are a lot of elements that made this event so special.

First was the decision to put the capital city right next to the starting areas. This meant that there was a whole range of player levels in Stormwind when the event takes place. I remember first seeing it as a very young player, seeing a group of max level players walking through Stormwind in their shiny high-end armor, with the guards all saluting. This event never failed to attract a crowd of people to see the fuss, really emphasizing the sense that this was truly a parade.

From the other side, a player usually completed this quest chain as they hit endgame. In many ways, it functioned as the dividing point, the graduation ceremony, between leveling and the endgame. This quest was the reason the Walk key needed to exist. As well, unlike the raid events, this was accessible to just about everyone. It was also the culmination of a long chain, and Jailbreak was not a trivial quest, so the parade was a worthy reward for the effort.

I think events like these, where the player gets to show off--to strut a bit--in front of the other players are important. It provides incentive and aspiration to the lower level players, and acknowledges the effort of the higher level players. Events like the hanging of Onyxia's or Nefarion's head. I don't think the Burning Crusade really had anything, other than maybe Magtheridon's Head and Kael. But so few people did those bosses, that it didn't have the same feel.

As well, I think the "graduation ceremony" feel, at the edge between 5-man and raid content was important. We mark important transitions with ceremonies, and I think TBC could have used a similar ceremony between raiding and levelling.

I'm kind of sad that the event has gone away, but with 20 extra levels, it doesn't have the same impact it once had. Still, here's to you, Marshal Windsor.


  1. Man...I completely agree.

    That was a horrible quest line to complete, but it was a Right of Passage for all serious players. If you weren't Ony keyed, you weren't getting into any raiding guilds...period

    Its really sad that it is out of the game and I hope Blizzard puts an event in the lich king or future xpans like this one.

    You said it best, its a perfect transition between 5 mans dugeons and end game raids.

    /salute Marshal Windsor

  2. Oh I remember doing it ... it felt great ... an accomplishment :D Thx for reminding me.

  3. I remember my first time seeing it...

    ...I got wtfpwned by a Dragonkin =/

  4. As Horde, I never had the chance to see it, less do it. I have friends Alliance-side and when I learned that the chain quest was being removed, I urged them to do it. I haven't followed up though.

    Reminds me, anyone Alliance side on Skullcrusher that want to do the Theramore Lurker-type boss so my rogue can wtfpwns it ?

  5. When the first Rogue on our server got both glaives, he stood around in IF for hours showing them off.

    The top guild on our server recently got all the faction leaders down and got their black bears and rode them around IF for hours.

    I agree it would be nice to have that "messuring stick" quests but players will find a way to show off without them.

    With the ability to right-click a players and compare acheivements, it's an easy way to see who's done what in the game. (Not all of them are listed I know) :-( I had completed Gruul/Mag a year ago and they didn't show up. Not a big deal.


  6. I recently went back and did the Draenei starting zones, and its 'graduation' event is also excellent. In my view, even better than the Onyxia chain. It's a great rite of passage. Like the DK starting zone, everyone should at least spend a few hours doing them even if you don't intend to play those characters.

  7. /raises a mug of ale



  8. I remember our regular group finally hitting that event. After seeing it happening so often from the point when I started in on WoW, I was finally part of the parade as opposed to one of the spectators.

    A right of passage indeed!

  9. Tears of joy when Jonathan salute and kneel down with the rest of the guards in respect before Windsor, and letting him in SW. Good times.. ;)

    Very powerful event...

  10. Horde side myself, so will never see this event. TBC does have the return of Thrall, although I've yet to perform the questline, I hear it is really awesome with the whole story arc of the orcs returning home once again.

  11. It was indeed a difficult quest to complete at lv 60 (without raiding gear), and I was not only incredibly pleased with myself for having done it, but I also 'did the walk' from the gates of Stormwind to the castle on my Dreadsteed, to show everyone how cool I was twice over.

    Yes, a shame it had to go, but it pretty much lost its kudos when BC came out (as did attaining the Dreadsteed).

    Time moves on.