Ah, the slow grind of the early days. Stabbing your way through boars and sick wolves and such for some pitiful amount of xp. It’s a bit slow in the beginning, with such simple quests and such limited abilities for your character, but it was probably necessary, as we had no idea what we were doing after almost a decade of absence from this game. It’s not terrible, having to run around doing these early solo quests, but we were both eager to get to the dungeons, as that’s where all the real action and rewards are. Also, holy shit is it slow to have to walk everywhere. Level 20, where the first dungeons and mounts are, couldn’t come fast enough.
Once we got there though, it’s been almost nothing but non-stop back-to-back dungeons. I’m not complaining, it’s just strange to look back and realize how often we’d have to resort to doing everything BUT dungeons back in the day because we couldn’t find a group or we found one and it went wrong part way through. Without the reliance on large groups of friends or random strangers, you can just dive right into the dungeon content and never really stop.
We blew through quite a few places before it occurred to me that I should take more screenshots in order to keep some kind of record of all this, so there isn’t much to show for all these early ones. I actually screwed up a bunch of the first batch of screenshots by accidentally re-binding the same button to both video and image capture. Oops. So, I’ll keep these brief this one time.
The first dungeon for the Alliance side is The Deadmines. While it was nice to finally get into a dungeon again, this one is a bit annoying in the beginning. Dungeons are typically instanced so you can’t be disturbed by other players while you’re in there and the creatures don’t ever respawn as long as one of your group is still inside, so it’s strange that this one has a massive outer area that you have to fight through to get to the actual instance entrance. It’s really long for an entrance area and it’s a bit of a maze of caverns so there was a good amount of backtracking to find the right passage to the entrance, and since those no-respawn rules don’t apply to anything outside, we had to go through the same large groups of enemies multiple times. Oh well. It was fun once we got in. Rogues, goblins, and pirates. Pirates with attack parrots. Fun times.
Next on the list was Shadowfang Keep. This was one we never saw much of back in the day because it’s deep in Horde territory and very difficult for low level characters to get to without help. It’s a shame, because it’s my kind of dungeon, a dusty old mansion filled with werewolves and ghosts.
Then there are The Stockades. This was a common, popular one since it’s right inside one of the major Alliance cities. It’s not a particularly exciting one though. It’s very short and you just fight a bunch of prisoners with no real variety and no interesting bosses. Oh well.
After that was Blackfathom Deeps. This is a weird maze of ruins and caves that’s partially submerged under water. This is probably the first “real” dungeon you go to. It’s noticeably longer and broken up into different sections, each with their own different visual style and set of enemy types. You’ll come up against murlocs, nagas, giant snapping turtles, a variety of evil cultists, many more bosses than before, and there’s even a giant three headed hydra boss at the end. This is what it’s all about, that sweet, sweet dungeoning!
Then there’s the infamous Gnomeregan. A strange clockwork labyrinth full of trogs, diseased gnomes, and many bizarre mechanical enemies. The quests in this one are a bit complicated, requiring you to find well-guarded terminals in a specific order to upgrade a key card level by level until it’s high enough to open the door to the last boss. The layout of this place is pretty complex and it’s easy to find yourself lost or missing the one terminal you need. Still, without having any impatient team members trying to rush things along, we were able to explore it all at a nice relaxed pace and find everything we needed. Looking back on it, we used to play with some real assholes back then, that made things not so fun sometimes. I don’t want to get into all that, I’m just glad it isn’t an issue anymore.
The last stop on this particular tour is The Scarlet Monastery. This was another semi-popular one, but also one that was pretty difficult to get to for the level range it was intended for. It’s not only in Horde territory, but it’s through a few areas that are of much higher level than you are if you’re going to this place. You’d either need an escort or just have to try to run for it and hope you survive until you get there. It’s a pretty fun place if you make it though. A lot of crazy templar types and big boss fights.
That’s all for now. I apologize for how basic this post is, I’ll make sure to have more pictures and details on adventures in individual dungeons now that this has caught up to the point where I actually realized “I should record this shit!”. Goes to show how much we’ve been playing this and how quickly we’re progressing, as we’d already shot up to the mid 30’s by this point.