It's time to look at one of the worst quests in the game. It's not one of the worst because it is horribly boring, long and tedious, but because it is horribly boring, long, tedious and mandatory. That is if you intend to play a shaman. I am talking about the water totem class quest for horde shamans (I don't know about the alliance one, but I hope that it is equally horrible, or else. Since they got that quest implemented with the draenei, I suspect it is way easier...).
First of all, it is a 9-step quest, which never bodes well. I realize that Blizzard have had some sort of thought about making the class quests a little special and maybe epicish, so that whoever plays that class also feels special and epic. And I do think most class quests are quite fun, the very first time I do them. Not this one. This was horrible even the very first time, and the worst thing about it is that every time you roll a shaman you have to do this awful quest again. I have leveled alot of shamans, and each time I take a long deep breath about whether I really want to put myself through this again. To quote some of the users at wowhead.com;
- "WARNING!: This is the beginning of the longest class quest chain in world of warcraft and takes forever due to the annoying travel".
- "I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more, to be the man to get my water totem then fall down at your door!"
- "prepare to have your patience tested to its very limits."
- "Just by looking at the number of parts this quest line has....I'm dreading leveling my shaman any further.... :("
Sounds just peachy, doesn't it?
Let's go through it, step by step, so that you can make out for yourself what's so horrible about it. And in the unlikely event of you not getting it, I will explain it afterwards.
No matter which race you play (tauren, troll or orc), your local trainer will tell you that Islen Waterseer wants to see you. Islen has a hoof into many things in WoW, she's one of them omnipresent cows *eerie music*. She delegates your training to an orc named Brine, who lives in southern Barrens. So there is where we will have to go.
Brines first task is simple enough, run to the pond just below her hut and fetch her some water. This is an important step towards learning how to use water to your benefit /end irony. No seriously she's probably just thirsty and needs a little drink before she sends you off onto... the quest chain from hell!
Apparently Brine has been to Tarren Mill. She quickly noticed the water in their well was especially tasty and yes, she wants you to go get her some. Now wait a sec. We're in Southern Barrens and you want me to run to Tarren Mill? Ok...
Sooo you've run all the way to Tarren Mill and run back again. Considering you get this quest chain at level 20, you probably haven't been to TM yet. So no cheating by using flightpaths! She accepts your water sample, which probably took you 20 minutes to get, with an indifferent face. She takes a sip and then...
...she realizes she wants some other water too (maybe she's pregnant?). So she sends you off to Ashenvale. She probably thinks that after having to run to TM, Ashenvale will feel like running to the neighbor for a cup of sugar. You have to run past Lake Mystral, to the holy place Ruins of Stardust to get her sample. And off you go.
Sooo you've run all the way to the Ruins of Stardust and back again. There isn't even an fp to this place, so you can't even think about cheating. She takes a sip of the water and gives you that look that you're starting to hate. You're relieved when she tells you to "only" go back to Islen. *phew* you think, finally I'm done with this! She sends you off with the words "go now, we shall meet again some day", and you already dread the moment.
Running all the way up to Ratchet feels like nothing. You happily greet Islen and think "just give me my totem already". You really think it would be that easy? Hah! I laugh in your face. Or maybe Islen does. She looks at you with that slightly lost look that female taurens all have. She says something about having to run to the coast of Silverpine Forest and kill some manifestation of water. Wait a second? Silverpine Forest? "But I was in that area before!" Like it matters, off you go.
This is the best part. The place you have to run to isn't used for anything else. No other class or race will ever travel to this place, so there isn't even a real road to it. You have to run to the northern coast and swim along the mountainside until you find a little, secluded place with a troll. Killing the manifestation is simple of course. Finding the dang place is the hard part!
So you kill the manifestation to prove your power over the waters and return, yet again, to Islen. All the way back to Barrens, yes of course. At least this time she will actually give you the totem, and torture you no more. But you are sure you see an evil smile in her face when she hands you the totem. I am sure she lives for these very moments.
Why is this quest chain so horrible then? Well, where should I start? First of all you've got the endless running hither and dither. Worst of all, when I did these quests you didn't get mount until level 40. Yes, these quests are designed to be done by foot. It's like Blizzard asked Dr. Evil to design one quest and this is the result. Doing this by foot takes a couple of hours of just running. This isn't even fun the first time. But having to do this everytime you roll a shaman is just... ridiculous.
The warlock succubus quest chain is about as horrible (and I might write about that one too some day), and I really think Blizzard should do something about these kinds of quests. I remember the quest you have to do to be able to do Caverns of Time: Durnholde and Black Morass. How many new players will ever see these instances? They'd have to run all the way to Tanaris to do this little quest, just to be able to join the queue for them. And how many old players run their alts all that way? Those instances are probably never done anymore. Even if you have the fortitude to be arsed to do this, you still won't be able to do this instance, because no one else is attuned. It's a little branch line on the main subject of this post, but it's still to the point. If they want to keep us players interested, either by re-doing instances and dailies or by rerolling alts like me, they have to simplify the process. They've already made it easier to be a lowbie, and these quests have become way less of a nuisance by getting the mount already at level 20. But they're still boooring. Even if they might've been ok they're now the very essence of bad design compared to the rest of the game. I'd rather level a little slower than having to do this kind of tedious work over and over.
I'll end this post with a great little poem I found over at Wowhead.com. All the kudos to the creator.
- by Far Seer Direwolf - Ravenholdt(EU)
This "quest" is a chore.
It's a KING bore.
Oh wait! I've FINISHED!....
Oh no.... There's one more.
..nah not really... there's one more line.
...ermm, sorry can you just?