Sunday, September 7, 2008

Argent Dawn - "Live Stratholme"

By now you've finished your first run at Argent Dawn Reputation. We've been through Scholomance for the beginning of some quest chains. Hopefully, you've also headed to Stromgarde and plucked the book out of one of the ogres' fireplaces. This is turned in at Light's Hope Chapel (with a quick trip back to Caer Darrow and equipping your "see ghosts" trinket). And you're set and ready to hit the other dungeon that grants reputation.

Stratholme - Scarlet/Live side

Before you actually set foot inside Stratholme, there's a long annoying series of quests to get out of the way. When you first cross the bridge from Western to Eastern Plaguelands, hook and immediate left and follow the river up north. You'll find Tirion Fordring ready to offer you three quests. The culmination of this long (and annoying quest line) is in Stratholme and the pre-quests don't reward Argent Dawn reputation, so you can get these out of the way and still maximize reputation gains inside.

He offers Carrion Grubbage, Demon Dogs and Blood Tinged Skies. These involve killing plaguehounds (of three varieties), bats, and carrion worms in Eastern Plaguelands. The carrion worms will take the longest to complete as you're looking for a drop. Once these are done, there's a bit of running around hither and yon. Finally, he'll send you to Caer Darrow to talk to a ghostly artist. After that you're ready for Stratholme.

You should already have "Of Love and Family" from Tirion's quest line. Make sure to pick up these other quests that will award Argent Dawn Reputation:
  • The Flesh Does Not Lie (Collect 20 plagued flesh samples)
  • The Archivist (Kill Archivist Galford and burn the archives)
  • Houses of the Holy (Collect 5 Stratholme Holy Water)
You'll enter Stratholme from the "Live" side. That is the front gates of the city. If you are solo, make sure you have a way to cleanse a disease. There's a fairly nasty disease, Carrion Worms, that the undead can apply. It lasts for 10 minutes, does periodic damage, and reduces your health regeneration to zero. This will kill anyone given enough time. Eating and bandaging will no help as your health regenertion will still be zero. Paladins, Shamans and Priests can cure the disease. Other classes will need to rely on Purification Potions. A mage can stave it off by continually casting mana shield and then drinking.

Here is the lowdown on the pulls:
  • Make sure you have your Argent Dawn Commission equipped.
  • Always keep an eye out for the Eye of Naxxramas. This will spawn randomly, /yell "The Living are here" and then spawn elite gargoyles if it isn't killed quickly.
  • The beginning will be all undead. This is where the disease comes from.
  • The Holy Water you're after is inside crates scattered throughout the instance. Many of these are trapped to disease you or release hordes of tiny critters. Dwarves using "Find Treasure" can tell the difference between "good" and "bad" crates.
  • The Plagued Flesh Samples drop from any undead mobs in the instance.
  • The Stratholme ghosts ("yellow" mobs) will stop attacking if they're aggroed if you /dance with them. At least for a while.
  • Turn left at the first intersection. Veer right at the next toward the portcullis. *WARNING* the portcullises in Stratholme are generally traps. As soon as you enter, both gates will close and rats, insects or some other annoying critter will spawn. Usually 3 dozen or so. AOE them down or single target them quickly. Hunter traps aren't triggered by these tiny mobs.
  • After the trap, head left and through the next big (non-trap) gate. The mobs here switch to human Scarlet Crusade guys. In the courtyard just outside the Scarlet Headquarters, an elite ghoul will spawn when all of the Scarlet dudes are dead.
  • Entering the citadel requires the Scarlet Key (or lockpicking/explosives). The key comes from the Library wing of the Scarlet Monastery.
  • Periodically hordes of (non-elite) undead will storm the citadel once you're inside. They die quickly but can surprise you.
  • The citadel is generally a straight line run to the end. There is one fork that leads to Cannon Master Wiley, the other leads to the Archivist/Balnazzar.
  • In one of the side rooms is a chest (it doesn't look like a treasure chest--more like a strongbox) that contains a "Medallion of Hope." You can use this when you're off to kill Baron Rivendare.
  • After you kill the Archivist and burn the archives, don't forget to pick up the objective of "Of Love and Family." It's a clickable picture on the wall in his room.
  • After killing the Archivist, you shouldn't kill the Champion of the Scarlet Crusade in the next room. Instead, hearth out and go turn that in. The Champion will drop a quest item ONLY after you've turned in The Archivist. Then high-tail it back to Stratholme and work your way back to the final boss on live side, kill him and loot his head. Make sure to turn this and The Flesh Does Not Lie in before doing the undead/Baron side of Stratholme since they both have followups.
  • Now you can either finish the "dead" side or sell and come back later. Either way, leave the Scarlet citadel and head back towards the gate trap. Instead of going through the trap, go straight towards the undead side. We're going to get the Key to the City to make entry through the Servant's Entrance (the back door) possible.
  • Keep an eye out for Hearthsinger Forresten. He's a yellow mob that can drop the Piccolo of the Flaming Fire. This is the annoying trinket that makes everyone around you dance. Everyone wants this thing, don't they?
  • Once you reach the back door (veer left at the fountain), Magistrate Barthilas is there. Kill him and loot the Key to the City.
  • You have a choice, you can either head out through the door, sell, repair and restock or continue on. Either way, I'll cover the Baron's side of Stratholme in another post.
And that's half of Stratholme. By now you're reputation should be approaching Honored. Remember to turn in the scourge stones, but don't use the Argent Dawn Valor Tokens until you're honored.

1 comment:

Grimmtooth said...

Regarding Carrion Worms; if you are a dwarf, Stoneform will clear it, too.