I have reached level 82 on Das Warlock, and it’s been mighty fine, mighty fine.
While leveling in Northrend, I found myself in Icecrown for the level 77-78 range.
Specifically, I was level 78 while clearing the Knights of the Ebon Blade questlines in the Shadow Vault.
I like those quests. Good sense of humor, fast pacing, lots of variety.
Fast pacing. Did I mention the fast pacing?
Once I’d completed those quests, I had some breadcrumb quests, and I started to dump them from my journal before heading out to Storm Peaks, and the inestimable Goblins of K3.
Hmmm…. one of those breadcrumbs was to go out to the ledge of Death’s Rise.
I remember going there… but I don’t remember any of the quests.
Oh, what the heck. I’ll go check it out. They probably suck if I don’t remember them.
I headed to Death’s Rise, which was a shelf with a flight point, and a bunch of Death Knights wanting to get revenge against the Scarlet Crusade/Scarlet Onslaught.
The Scarlet Onslaught, who are located in force, at Onslaught Harbor.
The what to the who?
Where the hell did THAT come from?
In all my years of playing this game, how did I never visit, or even see Onslaught Harbor?
This makes no sense. I had to have at least flown BY the damn place once at some point. WTF?
Okay, fine. Maybe I’ve truly gotten so old I can’t remember shit I’ve done anymore. Whatever.
I took all the quests, and headed out to Onslaught Harbor.
We’re all OP now, this will be some easy XP.
Wow… the skies were black with Gryphon Riders. The grounds were thick with guards. And they were all ranged caster/archers, no easy melee trash pulls.
What a pain in the butt.
Still…. new shit to do in Icecrown! Yay!
I did all the quests, and while doing a daily to open chests and steal communications I got another breadcrumb quest, the Note from the Grand Admiral, which started a new quest chain… to find and kill Grand Admiral Westwind.
Grand Admiral Westwind… that bastard that pops bubble and hearths out after I kill High General Abbendis for the group quest in the cathedral of New Hearthglen.
Every character I’ve ever leveled through Dragonblight had killed High General Abbendis, and this was the first time I’d ever found a trace of what became of that bubblehearthing little bastard.
Now, here was a chance to finish the job?
Hallelujah, and pass the fel ammunition!
The quest chain led me to go beat information out of a couple of Captains… all good so far.
Then, I was sent to kill Archbishop Landgren in the Crimson Cathedral, and summon a death knight gate near his corpse so he could be interrogated from beyoooonnnnnd the graaaaaavveeeeee.
Oooh, spooky! Don’t look, kids. Scary.
The Archbishop was hiding INSIDE the Crimson Cathedral, but I’ve been down this road before. High General Abbendis was a group quest too, and she was inside a cathedral. That wasn’t exactly a stiff challenge. Sneeze and you’ll miss it.
So what if the quest recommends a group of five people? That was OLD Wrath of the Lich King. Back when shit was hard, yo.
So, I swooped on into the entrance and… holy shit, that’s a LOT of Scarlet Onslaught!
Okay, stay calm and HOLY SHIT!!!!
Okay, keep calm and DPS HARDER. Self heal, corruption, corruption, corruption, dot dot dot dot bubble, bubble, holy crap, that’s really a lot of…
Okay, I’m inside. Whew!
I can do this.
There are fewer on the inside, no problem. Just pull the packs, clear them out, take the boss. No sweat.
5 minutes later… I’m still working Archbishop Landgren down.
He had a not insignificant amount of health.
I killed him, no question, but this fight bore no resemblance to the fight against High General Abbendis. It was actually… a challenge, requiring the use of every ability I had to heal faster than he did DPS.
The rest of the chain was similar.
I found myself getting vaguely resentful. I mean, these were hard quests. This was taking a lot of time, and all for the sake of just one quest reward. I could be making a lot more XP.
What the hell am I saying? These were five person group quests! I’m sitting here soloing them all, in melee battle AoE tanking as a cloth-wearing Warlock, and I’m bitching because they were taking a while to finish?
The point isn’t that it’s taking me a while to kill everything, it’s that I’m able to solo a five person group quest in the first place.
Those were pretty amazing, and from now on when I level a class, the yardstick I’m going to use to judge how strong they are is by how tough that quest chain is to solo.
Oh, and can I just say how satisfying it was to find out the truth about Grand Admiral Westwind?
The whole thing was intensely satisfying.
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to continue questing through Deepholm.
What solo fights have you done that tested you to the very limits and made you stretch out your class abilities?