A Novice’s Mistake

So, there I was.

Doing a bit of questing.

I’m finally pursuing my dream, a goal I have wished to take part in from the first day I dinged 60 on my first character.

I’m following the lengthy quest chains needed to transform a Rogue’s Shadowcraft Armor Dungeon Set 1 into the Darkmantle Dungeon Set 2.

This is a very lengthy chain, as I believe I mentioned already.

It is in the finest tradition of level 60 Vanilla WoW time wasting quest chains, when the goal was to give casual non-raiding players something to keep them occupied for months on end.

In this case, you begin by running certain level 60ish instances and raids over, and over, and over, and over, and over until you get each of 8 pieces of your Dungeon Set 1.

Three items CAN be found on the Auction House, being Bind on Equip, except that the Shadowcraft Gloves drop only from Shadow Hunter Vosh’gajin in LBRS, a boss and an instance not exactly known for it’s frequent clears these days. As an example of the fun of drop rates, let me tell you that I ran LBRS back to back on my Druid a few nights ago, using stealth and skill, and it took no less than 12 kills before the Gloves dropped. In the meantime… 9 sets of Demonic Runed Spaulders, a bow and a crossbow. Nine sets of shoulders.

Imagine for a moment, if you weren’t there at the time, how much fun it must have been when level 60 was the max, when gear was pretty skimpy with stats, to want a piece of your set oh so very bad, and run LBRS in full no less than 11 times without ever having seen the Gloves. I say in full, because who would leave a group in disgust when the only item they truly cared for didn’t drop? I know I’ve never heard of it happening.

And when they drop… God help you if it was a pug with a Druid in it, because Ferals wanted those pieces JUST as bad, and if it was a pug, they’d ninja them in a heartbeat. Oh, the drama. Oh the galactic levels of drama.

I bet that out there, if you look, there are still ancient forum flamewars between Rogues demanding the Shadowcraft pieces as theirs alone because only Rogues can upgrade them and wear them as Darkmantle, and Druids claiming they have equl right because Shadowcraft is optimised for Ferals in the day, and the Shadowcraft is NOT restricted to any one class.

The flames from those wars shall not die, nay, not though a thousand years shall pass… which, in internet time, is next week. 

Now consider this… the chest piece for every set for every class drops from the same boss, General Drakkisath in UBRS. That was quite easy to keep back then… until your guild geared past UBRS and wanted to kill Onyxia and take on Molten Core. After that, max level 60 pugged UBRS.

And again… pugged Druids grabbing the chest, even if there is a Rogue.

Hey, I AM a Druid on my main… and I was there. I was Feral, and I was right there hoping and praying the armor bits would drop, and any Rogue along would say, ‘Oh no, I’m fine, I’ll pass.” Hoping… My friends, hope in one hand and shit in the other, and see which one fills up first. So much for hope.


Just take a moment. Consider the horror, or reminisce about it if you lived it.

I took on the challenge for my Druid, the Wildheart Raiment, and never finished it. I just never could get those damn birdie shoulders to drop from Gizrul (the Slavener.. whatever the hell THAT is) in LBRS.

Many back then took the Dungeon Set 1 to 2 challenge on, I think everyone back then harbored some aspiration of completing the entire chain.

So few completed it. So many were lost along the wayside, doomed by poor drop rates and progressive raiding guilds that had no time in their 7 night a week raid schedule to do old crap like UBRS or LBRS clears.

But I’m doing it now. And if my Rogue can solo to Cannon Master Willy in search of the set shoulders 10 times without seeing them drop, so what? They’ll drop eventually, and at least I’m not wasting an entire groups’ time.

But the quest chain. Ah yes.

Even IF you had somehow managed to run every instance and raid often enough at level 60 to get all eight pieces of your class set, you weren’t done. Not by a long shot.

You had to follow a quest chain that, as I said, was meant to keep you busy for a long, long, long time while the special people raided.

I’ll leave the entire Sillythis end part of the chain out of the discussion for now, because I have yet to hit it at this point, and I have a strong feeling that when it does, additional fodder for blog posts will be born in the fires of drop frustration.

What I will touch on, what’s relevant to the post, is that the way Blizzard created a time consuming quest chain, in part, was to send you to the farthest reaches of the globe, there to ride to the farthest reaches of the zone, and kill a bunch of mobs for a drop. And then return for the next step, rinse and repeat.

This, I am proud to say, I’m doing, mostly by cheating.

I’m a Rogue. I’m an Engineer. I got Sprint, I got an epic mount, I got Rocket Boots, I’ve got a Teleport Trinket to Gadgetzan, I’ve got a Teleport item for Northrend, I’ve got a Dalaran hearth point set with a 30 minute cooldown, Dalaran even has a port straight to Tenaris… In one day I can get my ass around Azeroth back and forth to Gadgetzan pretty darn fast.

This fine evening, I’d used ALL of it in the following of the quest that requires you to travel to Silithis and get 12 ghost ectoplasms, then travel to Winterspring and get 12 ghost ectoplasms, and then to Eastern Plaguelands and get 12 ghost ectoplasms.

These would be undead thingies I’m killing. Just thought I’d mention it, since, y’know, ghosts and ectoplasms… you mighta been confused and thought I was hunting wabbits.

The quest started in Gadgetzan, and I have to return the 36 ectoplasms (I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!) back to Gadgetzan.

I do this thing. I turn in the ghost goo. He seems grateful to GET the ghost goo. Woo!

I open up the next part of the chain, and see that, sure enough, the next step, surprise surprise, is to travel across the world and kill some dude for some drop, and then bring it all the way the hell back here. And all my hooyahs are on cooldown, so damnit, time to get on the flight to Theramore and get on a boat and then fly to Burning Steppes. Time to pick up my “in flight” book. If I was smart, I’d have an in flight movie playing, and I’d tab in and out while on fights, but this is a good book. Gene Wolfe has me hooked.

I haven’t watched Immortal Beloved for a few years, I feel the urge. Maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, to make a long story even longer, I see where I have to go, I run down and hop a flight, read until I’m at the dock, read until the boat comes, read until the boat docks, read until the flight lands in Burning Steppes, and then once I’m there I pop open my quest log to see who is marked for extermination….

I have no quest in my quest log.

Hmmm. Did I? Did I really? Why yes, yes I did.

See, I neglected, in my ennui and haste (if there is such a thing as rushed boredom, I experienced it) to actually click on the little “Accept” button when I was reading the quest description.

I’ve been playing this game HOW long, exactly, and I didn’t click the stupid little accept button? Isn’t that reflex, like, hard wired in by now? Somebody rings a bell, I salivate and click “Accept Quest”?

But yes. Yes, I did that. Or failed to do that, which is more completely accurate.

Guess what? Hearth was off cooldown. I’m not ashamed to admit I used it. Why look, a portal to Tanaris in the Violet Hold? Oh, you shouldnt have!

Can I get frequent porting miles? Is there an in-port beverage service?

Why hello there, handsome, and don’t YOU look familiar? Hey, gotta quest? You do? I’m /shocked!

And now to return to reading/flying/reading/flying/riding/killing/riding/flying/reading….

36 thoughts on “A Novice’s Mistake

  1. I was doing this quest chain as part of my loremaster achievements. (Yes I was a bit desperate for quests). I remember the quest to get 3 different ectoplasms from 3 corners of the world. I remember it very well.

    It kind of contrasts with the more compact questing we got from TBC onwards, and its frustrating as hell. I remember on one of these amazing race quests, I accidentally did not loot one quest item properly, (9/10 or something) and only discovered it when I arrived at the questgiver to find a grey question mark. Had to fly back across the world to get the one drop, then all the way back again. I swear, my blood pressure remained at very unhealthy levels for a while.


  2. Thats all out of overselfconfidence, if you know what I mean =)
    You have all your ports and stones, and herts and rings and uber puper super gear and level way above all the quest chain is aimed on and… you just know you can everything because … ah cmon! I will not fear this word, even when the quest chain looks scary, somewhere in your subcunsion you think: its just a JOKE! Ofcause I can do it, and nothing will stop me. And thats where you fail – at paying attention. If it would have cost you more resources, definately you would be nore attentive!
    But hey! We can afford to fail sometimes, rite? =P


  3. I remember doing this entire quest chain on my alt fury warrior.

    The main draw for an alt was that some of the epic bits of the set were as good or better than AQ20 epics, and as an alt it was unlikely that I would be able to upgrade them for a while. As it turned out my alt ended up being a capable offtank for AQ40 and Naxx, but never really managed to replace the really good bits of the Dungeon set 2 (boots and chest iirc).

    All in all the whole quest chain at level 60 was a really good distraction at a time when 40 man raiding had become a real grind.
    One of the big blocks for most was the 45 minute Baron Run, but we managed that after about 2-3 tries getting the pull sequence right.
    The big headache though was the boss in UBRS. The first time we tried him he took a group of AQ40/Naxx geared raiders and handed our heads to us on a plate.

    I still have the epic parts of the set gathering dust in my alt warriors bank, along with Arlokks Grasp and Thekals Grasp, which I sometimes still use just for the fun of the tiger proc.

    I keep meaning to solo it on my shaman, but somehow it feels like it would diminish the effort and the memories from doing it on my little alt gnome warrior at a time when it really was hard to do.


  4. My most recent one was missing out on the Fire Festival. I have all the other world event achievements wrapped up, and just needed this for my drake.

    And I just couldnt muster the energy to log in more than once or twice during the event. And now I am even considering not renewing in September when my current subscription runs out.

    Busy at work, renovating the house, wife is pregnant, turned 30.

    Just not so much time for WoW any more.

    I even had aspirations for wrapping up Loremaster, and I cannot muster the energy.


  5. Oh my goodness, I did all of that and loved it. However, my reasons for doing it were a little different than yours. I had bought WoW, and played it up until level sixty before ever buying the expansions. I was in college, and waiting for the next influx of cash, which was about a month away, before buying the next two parts.

    I became a fan of sitting in front of UBRS waiting for a bored 80 or a group running toward me to get a run. 17 times I’ve killed that final boss, then finally it dropped. All of that armor, and the Headmaster’s staff, made me a happy boomkin. The shoulders from the upgraded set lasted me until level 67. I still have that set of armor, and I am never, ever getting rid of it.


  6. I did the same thing with the Kara attunment. I got through like 3 out of the 4 dungeons didnt realize I needed a quest first.


  7. omg, you’re awesome, i miss these days… however, 2 words for vanilla “What’s feral?” lol

    I actually raided/pvp’d as 5/15/31 back in the day, feral to add to dps, resto to heal and nature’s grasp was a balance talent! So I was one of those looking at those shoulders and drooling (until I got my PvP ones).


  8. I started playing just a about a year and a half ago, so I don’t know the vanilla days, but my fiance loves the idea of going through the zones in order, and doing all the quests. Yes, I have my EK and Kalm loremaster achievements at level 70. We just started doing the upgrade quests for the t2 sets. I love that you have the same beef that I do. What is with this 1-2% drop rate? Could we be just a bit more realistic, and I know I should get frequent griffin/hippo. flyer miles. I don’t mind running a dungeon even 5 times, but when I can run brd with a blindfold on I know I’ve done it way to much. I wanted badly to get the complete Prophecy raid set for my priest, but I can never find a group to do MC. Everyone keeps telling me don’t even bother with it, but the set is so cool. I wish Blizzard would wake up, and make the lower tier sets much easier to get, so we could actually wear them before they are obsolete to us.

    Good luck getting your tier set. I’ll be watching to see if we are having the same frustration. Just two nights ago I was distilling ectoplasm in winterspring. Oh, so much fun.


  9. Wow! Best of luck with the questing. I often thought about doing the same thing with my rogue but the time sink (not to mention my insanity) swayed me not to do it. I’m sure the rocking armor will be well worth it in the end 🙂


  10. @Grul – I have one very, very long questline from TBC I’d like to finish – the original Black Temple attunement questline. I still have it in my log.

    That said, Classic just had more long questlines / grinds to do – so of course it is more likely to have some left over. 🙂


  11. It seems to me that despite the casual / raider schism that existed back in vanilla WoW, players were much more involved and have all this “unfinished business” that we still like to go back and complete. By comparison I have very little of Burning Crusade that I want to revisit – probably only really Karazhan has this for me.

    It may have been a bunch of grinds to occupy the non-raiders, but somehow it also had a lot more depth than things do today. Or is that just a hopelessly rose-tinted view?


  12. I finished my chain quite some time ago. I started when I was level 60, finished it at level 80. Only at level 70-ish did I actually get all the pieces. The hardest time I had was getting people to help with certain parts of the chain. The last part has a boss that summons adds that will channel an effect on you that will stop you and kill you if they’re not killed first. So you need help. It’s a lot of fun, and if you don’t mind using up your bank space, you get a lot of neat stuff in the process, aside from the dungeon set 2 gear of course.


  13. I started gathering pieces for my Shaman set back at 60, but never bothered to do the quest line until I was bored and working on Loremaster at 80. I do still applaud those that attempt this line, because it does take a lot of will and time to get it done.

    And Silithus can go die after all that. My suggestion to everyone is do this in tandem with getting Cenarius rep, because you’ll probably hit exalted with page turn ins before the right elemental spawns with the disguises.


  14. I completed Soulforge on my Paladin awhile back. Fantastic questlinr, and Soulforge doesn’t look 1/2 bad.

    I’ve had a few “I did what!?!” related to quests. Just recently while working on my third Loremaster (why are you looking at me like that?) I did a quest, traveled around the world to turn it in – only to realize I only killed 8 of the 9 guys I needed.


  15. I just recently finished getting the Feralheart set, and I must say, that it’s one of the best looking druid sets out there (T3/7.25 is a pretty close second), so best of luck with your efforts to get it 🙂


  16. 25 runs over the course of a year for my legs from Strat:(

    But your missing 2 items from your zip zap set, Argent tournament Tabard for a port to icecrown and the mole machine to get to the BRD bar. I stil have the chain partially completed on a couple of chars both got stuck at 45 minute strat back @ 60, oh well maybe in the pre-cata lull along with a bit further into the AQ gates chain.


  17. Oh the nostalgia! I don’t think I ever made it through the magey version of that quest chain (T1 to 1.5 I think it was?), because I started getting better gear in raids and didn’t have the time to waste on the inbetween stuff, but I remember the old days when you had to fly all over the place to do quests. I remember UBRS too, and The Beast (that big dog), and skinners fighting over who would get to skin him, and the little gnome that popped out of his belly. And how hard General Drak was and how stoked I was to finally get my chest piece off him. /sniff ‘As time goes byyyyyyyy….’


  18. BBB,
    While I can’t find any specific definitions online to link, something tickles the back of my brain regarding Gizrul. I believe the appellation “the Slavener” refers to the fact he’s a dog (wolf) and he drools a lot. 😉


    If I recall correctly, that’s an older form for the word.


  19. my biggest struggle now, since I finished my 0.5 set, is to replace the 0.0 set that I used up to create it. Only need the chest piece again….of course that’s the one that took the longest before too 😦


  20. I almost wish you hadn’t posted this, Bear… I might find myself with a new in-game project. My guild has always been casual and, at 60, we *might* have been able to field 15 60s for ZG. And then people started to leave for raiding guilds. I did some MC and ZG with other guilds that we had good relationships with. I had a few pieces of D1 and, ultimately T1 by time BC came out – and then I went feral and it all became so much vendor fodder.

    Flash forward to now. I’m working on the Exalted title and have 2 (3?) more reps to go. I’ve been leading MC runs every week I can get enough guildmates interested enough to go with me and I’m up to 7/8 of my T1 set. I’ve soloed ZG enough times to get to exalted and assemble my entire 5pc set from there. Since we’re casual, we’re only 6/12 in ICC-10 (regular). Now I’m going to have to go and get my full D1 and convert it to D2 for our screenshot when we finally down the Lich King. (It’d be great if everyone in my guild did that because the screenshot would be hilarious.) At least I know my way around LBRS from soloing it for the UBRS key back at 70.


  21. Four years ago, in Vanilla, I started working on my Dungeon Set 1 (I’m a mage) and I must’ve ran Scholomance a hundred times and I *never* saw the Magister’s Helm drop. Flash forward to a month ago: I was bored and decided to run Scholomance for Argent Dawn rep (had been sitting at Revered forever) and lo and behold, the Magister’s Helm dropped!

    Of course I had the other 7 pieces in the bank and I had already done the first two legs of the upgrade quest. Let me tell you, the last part was a pain in the ass. You have to run all over the place and pick all kinds of crap up. Oh, and plan on spending an entire day in Silithus killing guys. If I never see another Twilight Trappings Set it’ll be too soon. It was all worth it in the end though when I could put on 8/8 Sorcerer’s Garb!

    On an unrelated note, I love the blog. My Druid just dinged 78 and I’ve got Resto as my 2nd spec but I’m gonna try tanking. Wish me luck!


  22. Heh, that brings back memories.

    The timing of the Dungeon Set 2 (aka Tier 0.5) chain was introduced with patch 1.10, so it came in after AQ20 / AQ40 and before the original, vanilla Naxxramus. This meant that they were really targeted at non-raiders, since even Molten Core and Zul’Gurub gear was better. Anyone that raided pretty much had better stuff. My wife and I were running ZG and AQ20 at the time, so it wasn’t an upgrade for us… but we chased it anyway, for the challenge.

    And it was a challenge, at least, if you weren’t sporting 40-man gear. For someone doing Blackwing Lair and AQ40 it was cake. But if you were in some ZG and Dungeon Set 1 (Tier 0)? Wow. The one I really remember was the dreaded “45-minute Baron run.” Take Baron Rivendare within 45 minutes of going through the gate past the first two pulls deadside Strat. This required real careful and quick pulls, a solid group, a bit of luck.

    I still think that, for the gearing level you were expected to have to pull it off, that chain was the single most technically difficult feat in the entire game, all expansions included. Incredibly rewarding (emotionally, the gear was weak). Good luck on your quest for it!


  23. I’ve been dungeon leveling a resto shaman and just finding all the quests for each dungeon can be a pain. Do not get me started on the bag of random goodies rewards, apparently Blizzard does not believe that anyone levels as resto because there are evry few caster drops for mail wearers. If it were not for the heirloom pieces my shammy would be wearing all cloth/leather gear.
    As I continue to level I find I do enjoy running through dungeons that seemed to be quite a struggle on my main as he was first venturing into Azeroth. But hey I have a short memory so it’s still fun. I’ll keep on questing fro better gear because I remember what my fiture self told my main in Dragonblight on a quest…..’get better gear’. I think that comment is what started the gear score craze.


  24. Heh. Ah. Yes. I’ve also noticed a direct relationship between the travel time and how likely I am forget to accept the quest….


  25. myself and four other guildies all completed the entire chain at the same time. We had all the bits and managed to convince 5 more to help us take down the special boss. Then we danced for hours outside the auction house looking all shiny and new. ahhhhhhh lovely darkmantle


  26. I didn’t have the joy of these long, complicated quests, as I didn’t hit max level until a month before Wrath…

    But I do have just half an inkling, as I did put myself through completing the quest chain for Swift Flight Form, even if I did it long after i actually HAD Swift Flight Form…


  27. To add fuel to the Druid wars thier were runs that people wouldn’t take healing druids on because they only had one rezz. And we were usually forced to heal when we were allowed which just made the fights even worse when we rolled on “rogue” gear. Those quest chains were horrible and the sad thing is a few runs in ZG or some questing in silithus would get you better gear. But Itemization aside the good side of those vanilla days was that up until BWL there were actual reason for people to run all the instances. Newbies could get into runs with seasoned players who’d teach them by showing or explaining. It wasn’t all bad.


  28. I’ve killed Chillmaw and jousted with Boneguard Commanders in front of Icecrown Citadel without actually having picked up the appropriate champion quests to kill them. More than once. So I know the feeling. 🙂


  29. I’m interested to see how this turns out and how long it takes you 🙂 I’m also currently finishing my shadowcraft set for nostalgia’s sake (only the legs to go, curse you baron!) and was contemplating doing the upgrade quests but don’t want to start and not finish, I’d rather a full set of shadowcraft to a mix. So keep us appraised of how things are going and how much actual effort is involved these days 😀


  30. I to this day have the tier 0 helm & chest sitting in my bank with all of the quest items awaiting the day that I get bored enough to finally go finish the Beast encounter for the chain. Those are the last two pieces. By the time BC came around, I was so absolutely fed up with the tier 0 & then the t0.5 chain that I refuse to give that little quest giver bugger in Org the satisfaction of my attention. But it would be such a waste to just ditch the items >>. So there they sit…

    Also, to share in the pain of the tier 0 pieces. The mage shoulders drop off of Ras (I think that’s his name–lich dude in Scholo). I was in a casual guild in vanilla for the most part and I was an officer so I was CONSTANTLY running all of the dungeons helping people and myself get the set pieces. I ran scholo probably 5 or more times a week (thank goodness I started AFTER they converted it to a 5-man or it would have been even more painful) for MONTHS. Somebody that started playing after I was 60 levelled all the way to 60 and got his shoulders before I did. In the time it took me to get those damn things to drop, I got tons of other stuff most notably the epic chest piece off of Ras BEFORE they upped the droprate. The shoulders were something like a 15% droprate. The epic chest was a 0.1%.

    But let’s not forget the BEST tier 0 piece to get. The priest belt I believe? drops off of the Father Flame event in UBRS. It was totally easy to get if you went with a guild run that knew what to do, but pugs almost never tried it much less were successful. Ah, the good ol’ days.


  31. Haha, it sounds familiar this one 🙂
    I recently completed my first dungeon set on my mage. Apart from the sense of completion those sets gave back in the days, don’t you agree that the sets actually looked much nicer than nowadays?
    The Magister’s set, actually looks like a decent set of clothes. It matches and feels complete. Now take the T10 sets… They look so crappy, I log out wearing my T0.5 set, just for the looks in the character selection page 🙂

    I completely understand your desire to get the upgrades, I’m not sure if I can muster the energy to do it myself though. Even though with all the portals a mage has, it should even be easier 🙂

    I hope you get it done BBB!


  32. cool story, bro

    nah, just kidding
    very fun to read, you should post more of this crap 🙂 Unfortunately I completely missed those events, having started towards the end of BC, but.. meh
    But seriously, keep posting, it’s very entertaining. 😉


  33. Ah, the good old days!

    It’d be cool if quests and lore accompanied Tier gear again. Emblem farming is just so painfully boring… Not to mention the reason why there are so many jerks in LFD!


  34. I finally finished mine a couple months ago. Darkmantle set is teh secksie.

    That is one heck of a long quest chain…and farming the chest piece off Drak solo is tough even as an 80 rogue if you can’t burn him down before conflag. The nice thing is that you can run out and reset the instance and do it again right away!

    Anyhow, good luck, and god speed (and here’s hoping you don’t forget more accept buttons 😛 )


  35. You bring a tear of memory to my eyes as I read this blog post. I was one of those people who tried to upgrade their T1 to T1.5 and fell by the wayside. Oh, I upgraded 3 pieces of my warlock set, and then I think BC came out and I gladly said goodbye to those horrible quest chains. Even with all the “cheats” available, I don’t envy you the time-consuming path you’ve chosen for yourself.

    Oh, and the druid / rogue wars in groups. Aah, the memories. The drama that would cause in guild groups, let alone in pugs was epic. There would be threads posted in the realm forums regularly full of horrible things that rogues wanted to do to druids that took their set pieces after they’d run 20+ times. (threads that inevitably included “that’s a hunter item” comments)


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