27/11/2019

An Afternoon in Jaedenar

As of me writing this, my hunter is sitting at level 56. Pretty much as I predicted, I'm finding that the fifties seem to go much faster than the twenty levels or so that preceded them, despite of their objectively higher XP requirements.

Contrary to the common wisdom, I'm also having no problems with finding quests. In fact, many of them go green before I actually get around to doing them, as I seem to be levelling up faster than I can complete them. At level 56 I still haven't even touched many of the higher level zones, including Searing Gorge, Blasted Lands, either of the two Plaguelands, Winterspring or Silithus.

Mind you, I will admit that the quests do seem to get somewhat more annoying at this level. The amount of travel required is considerable, and I'm forever busy trying to minimise the pain through efficient use of my hearthstone and hopping on long flights before going AFK.

What's worse though (in my opinion) is that every quest suddenly seems to involve one to four quest items. I don't have that much bag space, man! This in turn makes the above issue worse since it means that I can't pick everything up at once and sometimes have to go back and forth between places repeatedly for no other reason than that I don't have the spare bag slots to ferry all the different items from one place to the other at the same time.

What's good though is the increased incentive to group. It was very high in the lower levels but seemed to peter out somewhat in the midbies, but at my current level it's worth throwing group invites around for a lot of things again, not just dungeons. Clearing all the quests in Jintha'alor in the Hinterlands took a full five-man group longer than most dungeons for example, even with our tank being somewhat over-levelled for the area.

But it doesn't even have to be elites. I was just heading down towards Jaedenar in Felwood when a mage whispered me to group up. I hadn't planned to do so since Jaedenar is basically just a big cave full of normal mobs and I figured I was going to be okay on my own... in hindsight I was lucky that the mage invited me though, because I had underestimated just how much tougher the mobs got further in compared to near the entrance.

Somehow we picked up a level 60 warlock as well who didn't really need our help but just felt like being social I guess. She was there for her Dreadsteed quest, having imbibed a special potion that made her friendly to the mobs and required her to talk to some of them, but was repeatedly stalled by other players killing who she needed to talk to.

She did have to kill a mob as well though, and when we did that as a group he dropped an epic ring. I think it was this one? We all made o-faces in chat and I went ahead and rolled greed.

As a tangent, I've seen some discussion about loot etiquette when it comes to BoE epics, and most people seem to recommend that everyone should need "because someone is going to need anyway and that way they can't ninja". I've met many players who hold similar attitudes when it comes to valuable loot in SWTOR, but I've always been against this practice. Basically, the worst that can happen if I hit greed is that I unjustly miss out on a chance at some loot. The worst that can happen if I hit need is that I end up being the ninja! The latter would be much worse to me, so I always hit greed right away to be on the safe side.

Anyway, the others hit greed as well, even though I said that I would be fine with the mage needing since a ring with frost damage on it was obviously a mage item. However, she wanted to give everyone a fair chance and rolled greed too. The warlock ended up winning the roll, but then graciously agreed to sell the ring to the mage for 50 gold, which was an absolute steal compared to how much the item would have fetched on the auction house, but as she said: "It's not like I'm losing out here, I got an extra 50 gold that I wasn't expecting!"

Anyway, with those quests done we set out to do the local escort. Rescue from Jaedenar is a quest I always found quite memorable because of the pathos conveyed in the quest text but also but also because of what I tend to think of the night elf's Sailor Moon routine when she finds her armour. Unfortunately, Classic servers being what they are, the area was busy and Sailor nelf was not in her cage when we got there.

We saw some Alliance players go past escorting her outside and waved at them, patiently awaiting our turn. Shortly before she respawned however, a level 60 dwarf warrior showed up and jumped the queue. We made /shoo emotes at him, but he was determined to get in there before us, and indeed he did - since we were in a group and had tried to make sure that everyone was on the right step, we were too slow and had to watch our escortee walk off without us yet again.

By this time we'd been in there for a while and I was willing to call it a day, but the warlock suggested that we should help the dwarf to make him finish faster, even as she expressed annoyance about his behaviour. So this dwarf warrior bizarrely ended up with an escort of three Hordies that killed everything ahead of him to clear the way, while one of them (the warlock) also kept hitting a macro to insult him. (How's that for mixed messages?)

Anyway, we helped him finish his escort and went back to waiting at the cage. Eventually Sailor elf respawned again, and this time we got to rescue her. But then there was a follow-up! It sent us back into the cave yet again, to retrieve the remains of her dead friend and kill the succubus who had tortured him to death. (Grim!)

The mage was starting to fret a bit as apparently their girlfriend was getting impatient for them to finish up. We went ahead anyway, but the succubus was nowhere to be seen. After a few minutes of waiting I looked her up on Wowhead and relayed one of the comments there which said that her respawn timer was long and to "bring lunch and dinner". "Oh god," went the mage, clearly fearing an incoming domestic, but just then she appeared anyway, ready for us to cut her head off.

As a final farewell, the mage offered us a portal to a destination of our choice (I opted for Undercity, which was quite far away and where I had some quests to hand in) and logged off. I was pleased to have completed several quests and with having had another interesting adventure.

I'm also quite excited by the prospect of finally being able to run some dungeons with my guildies soon, since I haven't really been able to join a guild group for anything since the first week, after which I was left in the dust and had to watch their max-level adventures from afar ever since. I have no real plans for Classic endgame, but it would be nice to be able to at least dip my toes into some level 60 dungeons this time around.

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