Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Argent Dawn & You - Scholomance First Runs

Allegedly, one of the Old World reputations that will matter in the future is the Argent Dawn. For those of us who were in the game when there was no direct flight path from Chillwind Camp to Light's Hope Chapel, this is a familiar faction. We may not have actually visited them in forever, but they still recall us as friends.

The good news is that this is not a hard faction to really amass reputation with when you're already level 70. And to some degree, depending on your trade skills, this isn't a complete waste of time.

It would be possible to have reached Hellfire Peninsula and never gotten reputation with the Argent Dawn. Since the leveling up to level 60 got a boost, it's more likely than ever. However, the reputation flows pretty fast and free at least at first.

If you have no (or low) reputation with Argent Dawn

You should fly your butt out to Chillwind Camp (or I guess The Bulwark if you're on the other side - Undercity will be the closest) and pick up your Argent Dawn Commission. This trinket allows you to collect Scourge Stones (in 3 sizes) from just about everything you kill in Eastern or Western Plaguelands, in Scholomance and in Stratholme. At this level, merely killing things will give you reputation. In good WoW fashion, we're going to maximize our rep by not doing that many quests until the reputation gains from killing becomes minimal. And since dungeons are our best bet in having tons of mobs that are ours and ours alone, we might do some quests associated with dungeons.

Scholomance used to be one of the final non-raid dungeons so there are plenty of longish quest lines that have you go in there MANY times. We're going to pick up three to start our foray.

  1. Barov Family Fortune - asks you to collect four deeds inside Scholomance and is available from either Chillwind Camp (Alliance) or The Bulwark (Horde).
  2. Plagued Hatchlings - asks you to slay 20 plagued hatchlings inside Scholomance.
  3. Doctor Theolen Krastinov, the Butcher - Eva Sarkov is a ghost standing right outside the Scholomance entrance. Talk to her, listen to her story and she gives you a quest to kill someone inside and burn some remains.
Getting into Scholomance can be a problem. We've not done the questline to acquire the key yet (because we want to save our reputation gains). At this point there are several ways to actually get in there and start doing our thing.
  • The lock on the door can be picked by 300 lockpicking skill (if you are a rogue or have a rogue friend)
  • The lock on the door can be blown open by appropriate engineering explosives (powerful seaforium charge or above)
  • The lock can be opened by anyone who already has the key (dig up the crusty old guildies who have been playing forever)
  • The door can be opened by manipulating a torch on the wall just inside (if you're lucky enough to find someone there)
I'm not going to step you through each pull and room in Scholomance. There are some tips though, which I'll share.
  • Mobs inside can drop Bone Fragments and Crypt Fiend Parts. These can be turned in at Lights' Hope Chapel (along with Dark Iron Fragments (from Blackrock Mountain instances), Savage Fronds (from plants in Felwood, Un'Goro Crater or Dire Maul), and Core of Elements (from elementals all over high-end Azeroth). There is no point in turning in more than 30, so you can sell the extras.
  • Most of the drops in here aren't much use. Some crafting recipes do drop and the BOE blues can go for a fair amount. If you're an enchanter the BOP blues will turn into Large Brilliant Shards.
  • The first deed is in the first BIG room you go into. As you first enter, it's in the far left corner. The mobs in this room have annoying abilities like knockback (the ghosts) and fear (the casters) which can quickly get you more than you're bargaining for. Use the CC that's available to you and line of sight the mobs when you can.
  • The next major room has six groups of casters. In each group is a summoner who cannot be line of sighted. They'll happily sit there and cast summons for non-elite skeletons who can overwhelm even the most powerfully geared 70. They also run (usually into another pack of mobs) when low on health. Don't head down onto the terrace (to the right as you enter), we'll do that later.
  • The next major room is chock full of mixed groups of casters and ghosts. The casters run at low health. The ghosts split into three projections. AOE damage will cause them to coalesce into something you can kill. The second deed is in the far right corner of this room. Don't go right (into the basement) or left (into the Viewing Room). Those both come later.
  • The next room has the dragons we're after. They come in mixed groups of dragons & trainers. The trainers have a knockback and the dragons shoot poisons. There are enough to complete your kill 20 plagued hatchlings quest.
  • After the dragons comes Rattlegore (our first boss). Warning: Rattlegore and his buddies hit VERY hard and can easily kill a non-armored sole 70. Pull carefully to make sure you survive the experience. He also drops the Viewing Room key which we need to get deeper into Scholomance. Unfortunately, this key is consumed on use so anytime you come into Scholomance, you'll have to kill him.
  • Backtrack to the room where the second deed was and head into the viewing room. Clear it and open the locked door. The skeletons in this room are immune to magic damage and have to be killed by melee. This can prove problematic to some casting classes.
  • Head across the room full of non-aggro mobs. If you attack things in this room, you'll probably be quickly overwhelmed. So be careful. Don't go to the left, that's for after we kill Ras Frostwhisper.
  • Ras Frostwhisper is in the Scholomance Alchemy Lab (originally the only one in the game. Later Blackwing Lair added one and another was added in Shattrath City). He, amazingly uses frost spells and does some knockback. He can also drop the recipe for Flask of Supreme Power (also purchasable from Keepers of Time at Exalted). The third deed is on the right hand side of his room on a ledge.
  • Backtrack through the room and head down to the headmasters study. There are six rooms here, each with a mini-boss. I always do the rooms on the top floor first, workign counter clockwise.
  • Kite the zombies in the first room around the catwalk. Then kill Lorekeeper Polkelt.
  • Theolen Krastinov (the target of one of our quests) hits like a truck. Once he's dead, burn the bodies on each side of his room to complete Eva's quest.
  • Instructor Malicia has mobs that turn into ghosts. In this form they are immune to physical damage. Be creative in your use of abilities to kill them. (Poisons are nature damage, Arcane Shot does arcane damage. Warriors may need to be engineers (bombs, pets) to kill these.)
  • On the bottom floor,Lady Illucia Barov can mind control, but that won't affect us since we're solo.
  • Lord Alexei Barov has a nasty aura and two hard hitting adds, but it's doable. The last deed is also in his room.
  • There's nothing special about The Ravenian in the last room on the bottom floor. However, don't exit out until you're ready to fight Headmaster Gandling who spawned at the death of the last miniboss.
  • Kill Gandling. He's not too bad solo.
  • Head out of Scholomance, some pats may have respawned.
  • Turn in the Butcher Quest and take the followup to Kill Jandice Barov. Head down to her room (across from the viewing room) and kill her. She splits partway through the fight into duplicates (a LOT of duplicates) A raid targeting icon will help you find the right one as will a hunter or warlock pet since their target is not reset upon the duplication. She spawns a book next to her dead body that teaches tailors a soulbag pattern. There's a movable torch in her room that makes a chest in the viewing room accessible, but it's usually not worth it. Head out and turn in the quest.
  • Get the followup (we're nearly done) and head back into the room where the summoners were. Take the right down onto the terrace and use the Blood of Innocents (you get one when you take the quest) to summon Kirtonos the Herald. Dispatch him and run out to turn in the quest. You'll get a trinket (which only works if equipped in the environs of Scholomance) to see the Caer Darrow dead. One of them to the left of Eva offers another quest for a forgotten keepsake which sends you to Stromgarde. Another previously invisible guy sells a couple of blacksmithing patterns and the Major Mana Potion recipe.
And we're done with Scholomance. Head back to either Chillwind or the Bulwark to turn in scourgestones (you did have your Argent Dawn Trinket on, right?) but don't use the Argent Dawn Valor tokens yet. You can turn in the deed quest, but don't take the followup yet. Head to Light's Hope and turn in the Plagued Hatchlings. On future trips to Scholomance, the dragons can now drop Healthy Scales which can be turned in to the questgiver. Before your next session get to Arathi Highlands and visit Stromgarde. The book you're wanting can be found in any of the fireplaces.

And that's our FIRST run at Argent Dawn rep. Stay tuned for future Installments!


Andrew said...

I just wanted to say. I discovered your blog in the last week and really like your writing style but most of all the content regarding Argent Dawn Rep and reading about the non combat pets.

My acct is lapsing on the 15th and I likely won't reactivate until after the expansion is out. Since my current "main" never did the plaguelands quests the first time around, starting last night I've decided to spend my last few days doing those quests and raising my Argent Dawn faction.

How important will Argent Dawn faction be in the new expansion?

Andrew said...

I also want to mention reading your 3 posts about the plaguelands' quests and instances remind me of good times on my first 2 characters and save me the trouble of collecting this info again elsewhere.

Brehm said...

Unfortunately, if WOTLK is anything like BC, Argent Dawn will be worth exactly as much as an empty styrofoam cup. It can't even be recycled.

If Blizzard follows their BC example, the faction may LOOK the same but will have a different name (Cenarion Circle vs. Cenarion Expedition) and any previous faction you've ground will be worth nothing.

Of course, you can say the experience you have is worthwhile. I certainly think so.