Do I want to be a Loremaster?

I recently decided to start doing old quests on my priest. I won't say that I'm trying for Loremaster, because I'm really not fretting about it... though if I did manage to persist that's what I'd be going for eventually. Maybe I'll just get to Seeker, or maybe I'll grow bored after two zones. I'm just experimenting with the general concept.

I really like quests, but the problem I always have nowadays is that I like instances even more, and ever since BC Blizzard has worked on making the latter much more appealing. Even back at level seventy when heroics were hard and not nearly as popular as they are now, they were still rewarding to run, with new badge of justice rewards getting added with every major patch and reputation gains actually being kind of a big deal.

But quests? I remember running quests past the level cap back in Vanilla, simply because there wasn't that much else to do for a newly dinged sixty. In BC I always cleared the first couple of zones very thoroughly whenever one of my characters made it to Outland, but never completed all the quests in Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley because as soon as I hit the level cap they just stopped being rewarding. I did a few more while playing with friends and to get decent starter equipment for dungeons and raids, but after that... eh. Now with the dungeon finder out, I struggle to make my alts above seventy complete more than one zone worth of quests in Northrend, and even my low level toons have discovered chain-instancing as a more worthwhile activity than questing.

It's kind of sad really. I love exploring the world and learning about all its little stories, but at the end of the day I also really like to advance my characters. And once a quest goes grey and/or you hit the level cap, quests just don't have anything to give you but a bunch of gold, which is pretty worthless in today's hyper-inflated economy. Dungeons on the other hand almost never stop rewarding me with better items (even if the rate of acquisition slows down considerably), plus I get to play with other people and be social. It's just no contest.

So, from that point of view, going back to do quests in the old world is a very odd thing to do. After all it would be much more rewarding to simply roll up a new alt and do it all at the right level, so I get to see new content and actually gain experience from questing at the same time. The only problem with that is that it's very hard to keep track of which quests you've done on which character. I reckon I've probably done quite a few out of the overall total, spread across all my characters, but with the current quest tracking system I can't very well know. Better to just get it all done on my priest once and for all, so I can say that I've been there and done that.

I do have to say, riding around Mulgore on my Amani war bear and killing level five mobs in my full Sanctified Crimson Acolyte outfit makes me feel like a bit of a tool though. You'd think that I'd enjoy showing off to the newbies or something, but in fact I just feel embarrassed. Whenever I spot a low-level character, I flush quietly and then give them a wide berth. I feel bad about destroying their private immersion of the quillboar being a genuine danger (because to a low-level character they are) by one-shotting them with my caster dagger. I feel like I'm shooting pigeons with a rocket launcher, while attending a sport festival in an evening dress - out of place in so many ways.

It is an interesting experience though. For example it makes you realise just how much of our questing time is actually taken up by running around. Contrary to what you'd believe, killing the mobs ten times faster doesn't make you complete the quest ten times faster, because you still have to run all around the zone to find just the right kind of kitty to extract a femur from, and then back again to hand it all in. That's not all bad though. It's nice to just move through the old world again and take it in in all its glory before the Cataclysm will change things forever.

And of course you do find little gems among the quests. So far I'm only working my way through the starter zones, which I already know pretty well - being an altoholic and all - but even there I haven't seen everything before. For example I was quite surprised to discover this quest a little northwest of Razor Hill, on top of a watch tower. And here I always envied the draenei and blood elves for their bag-rewarding starter quests... without knowing that the orcs and trolls had one too, providing them with nothing less than an eight-slotter!

It really doesn't seem to matter how long I play this game, there's always something left to discover that I simply didn't know yet. It's just harder nowadays to motivate yourself to actually go out and look for these things.


  1. Get yourself a shiny set of old world gear to run around in. It's less intimidating when it says "requires level 60" than "requires level 80 and learning to play, noob". Go for flashy over effective.

    I swear that bag quest is new, in the sense that it wasn't there when I started, or I was just that bad at finding quests back then. I only found it one day when I had quest tracking on, I think for Loremaster.

    It might help to think a lot about the quests, to see how so many of them tie together into a coherent story, even if they aren't all in one chain. For example, I enjoyed seeing the story of the Silithid slowly develop as different NPC factions and individuals tried to figure out the mystery which stretched from Silithus all the way back to the Barrens, and the 40 or so levels contained between.

  2. ^_^ or you could always whip out a fishing outfit and work on unarmed skill hee. You can be that battleworn vet just passing though.

  3. I've done some old quests too, to get exalted with my priest with Darnassus and get a cute tiger to ride. In the old times some quests were really painful: cross the ocean to the other continent, kill a mob, return, go again to kill another mob, return and when all is done you discover another quest in a different area that sends you to the same spot. Not to mention the lack of slow mounts until level 40. You spent more time travelling than questing. And while I like travelling, it turned out too much.
    Thanks to the new "quest hub" philosophy things are much better now. But sometimes too much. Now it seems to easy compared with the old times, quests don't last long in your queue.
    Rewards in the old times weren't also up to the time inverted in the quest. Crossing continents, clearing a whole zone to get to a special mob, killing it and then returning whatever object you were asked for only rewarded you (most of the times) with a crappy green object that might not even be useful for your class. proper gear itemization and multiple offer in quests now solves the problem at leat. And if the item is not useful at least can be sold at a fair price.
    So I'd like to recover a bit that epic feeling you had in the old times when doing a quest that required a good amount of time and effort, while still retaining the "quest hub" for more "normal" quests.

  4. I wussed out of Loremaster out of social embarrassment as well. It didn't help that curious newbies would sometimes ask me what on earth I was doing there, which just made me feel even more of a pillock.

    Also I remember how infuriating it was while I was levelling when I'd be gamely killing my one-mob-at-a-time, and then some level 80 tit would waltz in and blast everything in sight.