Thursday, September 9, 2010
Gnomeregan vs Echo Isles
Seems like every WoW-blogger is doing a post on the Gnomeregan/Echo Isles event. So I must too, right? At first I was kinda annoyed that none of the blogs that I follow, and they're quite many by now, seemed to do a post on the horde side of the event, Operation Echo Isles. Heck even WoW.com picture a huge gnome on their post about it. Are all WoW-bloggers alliance? o.O Then Elkagorasa saved me from having to put my shoulder to the wheel and write one myself, although his guide is very straightforward about it. Instead I'll do another take on it and do a comparison between the two events, just for the heck of it. And also there will be pretty pictures to look at. If you don't want to know anything about these quest chains I'll warn you, this is a huge spoiler, so read no further.
I'll say right away that Operation Gnomeregan was funnier, but Operation Echo Isles was way better designed. And I've bet you'll all done it by now, but it could be interesting to know that you need to be 75 plus to complete the final part of the two quest-chains, the assault on Gnomeregan/Echo Isles. Otherwise the quests just end when you get the transform-item.
EDIT 10/9: I realized not everyone knows how to get to Echo Isles! Just travel to Orgrimmar and then follow the road from the main entrance all the way south through Durotar. If you run through Razor Hill you're on the right track. Echo Isles are the small islands on the south-eastern coast of Durotar.
To help Vol'jin you first have to collect a bunch of frogs. The frogs are going to be used as very sneaky spies on the islands, to check out what Zalazane is up to, and has been up to the last 5 years. You seduce the frogs and then throw them out over the islands in an pass that seems to take forever.
The frogs quickly report back that they've seen a mysterious tiger spirit roaming around this island. Who is this figure? You must find out of course, and Vol'jinz lady friend Vanira turns you into a Kraven-like tiger person to go kick that tigers ass. As we all know the best way to make friends in WoW is to kick their asses. The mysterious tiger spirit turns out to be a druid troll, one of many who has been hiding on the Echo Isles for all this time waiting for Vol'jin to make his move. So that's where you've been! That explain perfectly why trolls can be druids in Cataclysm. They could all along they just didn't know it! Hah what would you know.
Vol'jin also needs more trolls to help him in the fight, so he asks you to go back to Razor Hill to help him recruit some more citizens for the task. This is easy since all you need to do is play some soft tunes on the Bongo-drums and the trolls are game for some fighting. Ride with your posse back to Vol'jins Champion Uru'zin (which almost sounds like the swedish word Ursinnig - furious).
Now everything is almost set. You just have to ask the spirits if the time is right for the attack. If it isn't then all your work would be for nought, so now better hope that the spirits are in a good mood. The spirits will tell you that you need the help of the überspirit Bwonsamdi to defeat Zalazane. And guess what? You're going to go kick Bwonsamdi ass too. After doing this Bwonsamdi decides that you're a really nice chap and that he will help Vol'jin in killing off Zalazane. I really did hate that bastard when leveling as a troll, so it was nice to see him gone and dead forever now (?). As a reward for dancing with the spirits you get a Darkspear Pride that transforms you into a Darkspear Warrior for 30 min (4 hour cooldown).
When you're all set you set off with Vol'jin to kick Zalazanes ass. On the way you kick Bwonsamdis ass (like mentioned above) and then Jun'do the Traitor before killing Zalazane. Victory to the Darkspear!
EDIT 10/9: In case you don't know how to get to Steelgrill's Depot, it's quite easy. Just travel to Ironforge, exit through the main gate and follow the road down, keep slightly to the left (east on the map) till you get to Kharanos. You should be able to see Steelgrill's Depot before you get to Kharanos.
Unlike Vol'jin, High Tinker Mekkatorque has decided to stay in Ironforge instead of going where the battle is. Might be as well since there are alot of gnomes over at Steelgrills Depot and trying to find one in the mass is one of the trickier things you'll do when doing these quests.
Mekkatorque will ask you to use his little Motivate-a-tron (side effects included) on various Gnome Citizens standing around to convince them to become pilots for the assault on Gnomeregan. You ride with your gang over to Steelgrills Depot and get to learn that you have to know how to express the proper emotions when Gnomeregan finally is won. You do this by going over to Drill Seargeant Steamcrank who will make sure you know how to /roar, /dance, /cheer and /salute.
You will also have to use a Radiageigatron to fly by Gnomeregan and measure the radiation levels. There are also some quests to learn how to drive and throw yourself out of Mecha-spider, but I'm not sure if they're part of the whole quest line or just for flavor because I can't see them listed on wowhead.com.
Then comes a really pesty quest. It's fun, but badly designed. Toby Zeigear has written a speech for Mekkatorque to say when Gnomeregan has returned to his hands and he wants you to find three specific gnomes to try the different speeches out on. Trying to find something one apple high among a throng of characters is extremely difficult. Sure you can /tar, but knowing the needle's in the hay stack won't make you find it any faster. This part of the quest included alot of running around and mouse overing all the npcs I could find.
The reward was the speeches given by the little Mekkatorque simulation. They were in fact hilarious. Bonus points if you can guess which movies these speeches were taken from. The answer is at the bottom of this post.
1. High Tinker Mekkatorque says: What I want out of each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every refuelling station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in his area.
Your fugitive's name is Mekgineer Thermaplugg
Go get him.
2. High Tinker Mekkatorque says: They may take our lives, but they'll never take..."
"... our INNOVATION!"
3. High Tinker Mekkatorque says:
We Will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!
We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate...
...our Autonomy Day!
(Thanks to Valdan at wowhead.com for collecting the quotes as I forgot to scribble them down when I did the quests).
When completing this you get the Gnomeregan Pride to turn you into Gnomeregan Infantry! After this I couldn't go any further. Unfortunately I don't have a level 75+ alliance char, I actually really would've been there to retake Gnomeregan :/ It's going to be an awesome place to be in the end!
Overall I really liked both quest chains. The horde ones were more fun to do, but the alliance ones has way funnier dialogues. If you can I recommend doing both, and you can be any level for all the quests except the last one. So you could just roll a level 1 dwarf and run there to do it! Or the other way around of course, roll a level 1 orc for the horde side. (EDIT 9/9: Apparently you have to be level 5 at least to do the quests :S)
They could've been a little longer, now they were like versions of the "retake Undercity" quest, but without all the questing before. Maybe we will get to rebuild the areas like we did with Isle of Quel'Danas? That would really be a blast.
1. The Fugitive
3. Independence Day