Tag Archives: quests

The Argent Tournament in Patch 3.2

With my “Tourist Guide” series I attempted to present a comprehensive guide to the Argent Tournament and their goings-on in Northrend, so let’s look at the new content coming in Patch 3.2.

This post is Part IV in the series, a guide to all the new content introduced in Patch 3.2. This includes a new quest hub, new rewards, and changes to existing quests.

  • Part I: explains the scenario and the location, the side quests and the Aspirant stage of mounted combat.
  • Part II: covers the Valiant stage of the mounted combat event and questing.
  • Part III: covers the Champion stage of the questing, and where to go from there.
  • Part IV – The Argent Tournament in Patch 3.2: covers changes to the Argent Tournament, and delicious new content and rewards.

Caveat: Due to the PTR login problem, this guide has been developed with the aid of notes and screenshots I took earlier in the PTR testing process. I’ll update the guide with the most recent information as soon as I’m able to access the PTR again, but for now I felt an approximate guide was better than no guide at all. (Note that I’ve only included information where I’m reasonably confident it’s correct.)

Approaching the Argent Tournament

New Rewards

There are a range of new rewards available. (You can see existing rewards in Part III of my Argent Tournament guides here.)

  • Mini pets:

    • Silver Covenant/Sunreavers: Shimmering Wyrmling – this is BoE, but requires Exalted with the Silver Covenant or Sunreavers to use. 40 Champion’s Seals.
    • Argent Crusade: Argent Pony Bridle – BoP, 150 Champion’s Seals. This upgrades the Argent Squire or Argent Gruntling you receive in the first stages of becoming a Champion; once you’ve done this upgrade, your Argent minion can give you access to your mail, your bank or a vendor, once every eight hours.
  • Tabards, all 50 Seals each:
    • Silver Covenant (Alliance only) – requires Exalted
    • Sunreavers (Horde only) – requires Exalted
    • Argent Crusader’s Tabard (looks like a fancier version of the Argent Crusade tabard, see right) – requires Exalted
  • Ground Mounts, 100 Seals each:
    • Silver Covenant: Quel’dorei Steed – requires Exalted
    • Sunreavers: Sunreaver Hawkstrider – requires Exalted
    • Argent Crusade: Argent Warhorse, Argent Charger (the latter is paladin-only). These both require the Crusader title.
  • Flying Mounts, 150 Seals each:
    • Silver Covenant: Silver Covenant Hippogryph – requires Exalted
    • Sunreavers: Sunreaver Dragonhawk – requires Exalted
  • 1 new banner for the Argent Crusade, costing 15 Seals.
  • Bind-on-account chests with a 10% XP bonus (which stacks with the heirloom shoulders), costing 60 Seals each. (Other heirloom items will now be purchasable with Seals as well as Emblems of Heroism.)

New Achievements

There are, of course, a number of achievements relating to deeds in the new 5-man dungeon (Trial of the Champion) and the new raid zone (Trial of the Crusader). In addition, there are two new achievements relating to the Argent Tournament world event:

  • A Silver Confidant, for the Alliance, requires you to have reached Exalted with the Silver Covenant and Champion status with at least one city.
  • The Sunreavers is the Horde equivalent, requiring you to reach Exalted with the Sunreavers and Champion status with at least one city.

New Quests

The new quests generally focus around two plot points in 3.2: either keeping the tournament competitors happy (and, usually, well-fed), or helping save the Tuskarr of Hrothgar’s Landing (an island to the north of the grounds) from the aggressive invading Kvaldir.

The following new dailies can be found in your faction’s tent. They both require Exalted with Sunreavers/Silver Covenant, and reward one Champion’s Seal each.

The following new dailies require you to be a Crusader, and are given by new NPCs in the Argent Crusade tent near Crusader Rhydalla. They give one Champion’s Seal each unless otherwise stated.

Changed Quests

There are a number of changes to existing quests. As a general rule, the dailies will now send you further afield, and you will no longer be able to “double up” and complete the Valiant and Champion versions of a daily by killing a single set of mobs.

  • A Valiant’s Field Training used to require you to kill 10 Scourge in Icecrown. Now it specifies 10 Converted Heroes, north of Corp’rethar.
  • Taking Battle to the Enemy used to require you to kill 15 Scourge in Icecrown. Now it specifies 15 Cult of the Damned members anywhere in Icecrown.
  • Battle Before the Citadel used to require you to kill 1 Boneguard Commander, 3 Boneguard Lieutenants, and 10 Boneguard Scouts (which overlapped nicely with the Valiant version of the quest, At the Enemy’s Gates). This now requires you to kill 3 Boneguard Commanders; the Valiant quest remains unchanged.

Remember – more details to follow, as soon as the PTR is accessible again!

The Argent Tournament Tourist Guide, Part III

Patch 3.1 brought the Argent Tournament, a new world event featuring mounted combat, new daily quests, new mounts, pets, tabards, and new and interesting ways to get reputation. Read on for a guide to the Argent Tournament!

Note that this is a couple of months late, by now! However, I know there are some folks out there who still haven’t started the Argent Tournament and have found the previous parts of my guide handy, plus I’m about to write the fourth part with a guide to the changes in Patch 3.2.

I’ll present this guide in three posts:

  • Part I: explains the scenario and the location, the side quests and the Aspirant stage of mounted combat.
  • Part II: covers the Valiant stage of the mounted combat event and questing.
  • Part III: covers the Champion stage of the questing, and where to go from there.

Approaching the Argent Tournament

Phase 5: Becoming a Champion

So! You’ve acquired your 25 Valiant’s Seals and you’re keen to qualify as a Champion of your faction? Read on!

Hand those 15 seals in to your faction’s Grand Champion, who will give you a new quest, The Valiant’s Challenge. This quest asks you to equip your lance, mount up and ride to the Argent Valiant’s Ring (location A on the map below).

Map of the Argent Tournament Grounds

When you’re there, speak to Squire Danny; he summons a Champion for you to fight.

This is basically a harder version of the trial to become a Valiant that you successfully completed 25 seals ago. The Champion you’re fighting will use all the same abilities the Valiants use, but he’ll be faster to put his Defense stacks up when you knock them off, he’s more likely to Charge and Shield-Breaker you, and it’s generally got less margin for error. However, it’s easily soloable if you can do the Valiant jousting with no problems, and if you do have difficulties you can get a friend to help you on foot. (Ranged DPS is better than melee, because the Champions run around so much.)

Once you’ve beaten the Argent Champion, return to your faction’s pavilion and hand in. Congratulations, you’re now a Champion! If you have Exalted reputation with your home city, you’ll also get the “Exalted Champion of…” achievement at the same time, and a shiny new title.

Phase 6: The Champion

Now that you’re a champion, you’ve got two paths to follow: doing the Champion-only dailies, and beginning to Champion another city.

In your faction’s tent, the other racial faction leaders will have quests; pick the next faction you wish to champion, and accept their quest. That will make you a valiant of that faction, as well as a champion of your first faction – for instance, if my home faction is Stormwind and I go to the Ironforge leader next, I’ll have access to all the Champion dailies, and the Stormwind vendor, and I’ll also be considered an Ironforge valiant and have access to their dailies.

The Champion dailies are given in the Argent Pavilion in the west of the grounds, and are as follows:

  • Taking Battle to the Enemy requires you to kill 15 Scourge in Icecrown, and can be done at the same time as the Valiant daily A Valiant’s Field Training for doubled-up quest credit.
  • Battle Before the Citadel is a mounted quest at Corp’rethar, and can be done at the same time as the Valiant daily At the Enemy’s Gates for doubled-up quest credit.
  • Threat From Above is a group quest to kill a frost wyrm near Aldur’thar; you can only get this quest after completing Crusader Rhydalla’s questline about the Black Knight.
  • Among the Champions is the Champion-level jousting quest.
  • Squire Artie in the Argent Pavilion also gives a daily quest to donate 10 gold in exchange for 100 Argent Crusade reputation; obviously this isn’t available to people with Exalted reputation.

Champion dailies pay gold, plus Champion’s Seals (the currency for Argent Tournament rewards), plus a choice of either a Writ or a Purse. The Writs can be turned in at the factional vendors for tokens that increase your racial city reputations; the Purses contain 10g and very occasionally an extra Champion’s Seal.

Threat From Above

This is a fairly straightforward group quest to kill the frostwyrm Chillmaw, who spawns around 43,32 in Icecrown. Throughout the fight Chillmaw spawns three Cultist Bombadiers, who are also required for quest completion.

This quest can be soloed by some classes, particularly those with self-healing abilities and/or pet tanks. However, on reasonably populous servers there’s a constant stream of “LFG TFA!” in Icecrown General chat, so there’s no reason to go it alone unless you’re trying to prove something to yourself.

The ickiest bit of the fight, other than competing with other groups to nab the spawn (which is mostly handled fairly courteously on my server, but not always), is in handling the bombadiers who spawn. They throw bombs on the ground which explode on a time delay, so if you stand in the one spot for too long and don’t watch your surrounds, you easily can be killed by a couple of explosions.

Among the Champions

This is the Champion-level jousting quest; look for the Ring of Champions at point E on the map above.

The Trial to become a champion is a good indication of the increased difficulty of the NPC champions, compared with the NPC valiants. They’re tuned more finely; they put shields up faster, they’re more aggressive, and they’re harder to shake to get Charge distance on. However, they’re still eminently beatable; if you have problems, just stick to the strategy I described in Part II of this guide series for the valiants, and you’ll come out on top (albeit slowly).

Rewards

Once you’re a Champion of one or more factions, you can buy rewards with the Champions Seals you receive from the daily quests (which, unlike the Aspirant and Valiant tokens, can be found on your Currency pane rather than in your bags).

At present, the following are available:

  • 5 mini pets, one per faction. 40 Seals each, and unlike all the other rewards, the pets are BoE:

    • Darnassus: Teldrassil Sproutling
    • Exodar: Ammen Vale Lashling
    • Gnomeregan: Mechanopeep
    • Ironforge: Dun Morogh Cub
    • Stormwind: Elwynn Lamb
    • The Horde equivalents are the Sen’jin Fetish, Tirisfal Batling, Enchanted Broom, Durotar Scorpion and Mulgore Hatchling.
  • 5 tabards, one per faction. 50 Seals each.
  • Ground mounts: 5 “cheap” mounts using old skins and 5 regular mounts using the current jousting mount skins. One cheap mount (5 Seals and 400g each) and one regular mount (100 seals each) per faction (listed as Cheap/Regular):
    • Darnassus: Swift Moonsaber/Darnassian Nightsaber
    • Exodar: Great Red Elekk/Exodar Elekk
    • Gnomeregan: Turbostrider/Gnomeregan Mechanostrider
    • Ironforge: Swift Violet Ram/Ironforge Ram
    • Stormwind: Swift Gray Steed/Stormwind Steed
    • The Horde equivalents are the Swift Purple Raptor/Darkspear Raptor, White Skeletal Warhorse/Forsaken Warhorse, Swift Red Hawkstrider/Silvermoon Hawkstrider, Swift Burgundy Wolf/Orgrimmar Wolf and Great Golden Kodo/Thunder Bluff Kodo.
  • 1 flying mount, available to Alliance and Horde: the Argent Hippogryph, for 150 Seals.
  • 5 banners, one per faction. 15 Seals each. Banners have no purpose other than to be placeable decorative items.
  • Epic weapons costing 25 Seals each, and Rare armor pieces costing 15 seals each. (These are all accessible as soon as you reach Champion with your first faction, although they have racial-specific names.)

The Argent Tournament Tourist Guide, Part II

Patch 3.1 brings the Argent Tournament, a new world event featuring mounted combat, new daily quests, new mounts, pets, tabards, and new and interesting ways to get reputation. Read on for a guide to the Argent Tournament!

I’ll present this guide in three posts:

  • Part I: explains the scenario and the location, the side quests and the Aspirant stage of mounted combat.
  • Part II: covers the Valiant stage of the mounted combat event and questing.
  • Part III: covers the Champion stage of the questing, and where to go from there.

Caveat: This guide is based on the quest chains in build 9658 (current as of March 13th 2009); the devs have been actively adjusting this event, so some details may be different when it goes live. I will keep it as up to date as I can, however!

Approaching the Argent Tournament

Phase 3: Becoming a Valiant

So! You’ve acquired your 15 Aspirant’s Seals and you’re keen to qualify as a Valiant of your faction? Read on!

Hand those 15 seals in to your faction’s leader – Arcanist Taelis for the Silver Covenant, Magister Edien Sunhollow for the Sunreavers – to complete Up to the Challenge. The leader will give you a new quest, The Aspirant’s Challenge. This quest asks you to equip your lance, mount up and ride to the Aspirant’s Ring (location B on the map below).

Map of the Argent Tournament Grounds

When you’re there, speak to Squire David; he summons a Valiant for you to fight. (Tip: he also offers a dialogue option – ‘How do the Argent Crusade riders fight?’. It’s worth a read for fight strategy.)

Be warned: this fight is not easy. You need a good grasp of your mount’s abilities and decent decision-making on the fly about what to use when. In a way, it’s like very slow-paced PvP (only with a character whose abilities you’re barely familiar with).

That said, it’s not necessarily hard, either: it’s just not a straightforward ‘easy win’ like most PvE quests. If you fail, you can keep calling for an opponent until you win, so you don’t have to spend another three days getting more seals to try again.

Tips for fighting the Valiant:

  • Have your Defend at three stacks before you start the fight, and keep it up during the fight as he Charges or Shield-Breakers you.
  • Rather than messing about with manoeuvering, let the Valiant be the one to get range – periodically he’ll back off; be ready to Charge him as soon as he’s at range. This is essential, else he’ll Charge you instead. Make sure if he’s backing off you keep your GCD clear; don’t try and be clever and throw a Shield-Breaker, you won’t have time.
  • Once you’ve charged him, wheel around for some melee Thrusts, and while you’re wheeling throw a Shield-Breaker or two to keep his Defend stacks down.
  • Repeat until win!
  • At present, you can be assisted on this challenge by a friend who attacks the Valiant once you’ve engaged. This may be disabled once it goes live, if Blizzard want this to be a truly solo affair. If it remains an option, it’s best if your friend keeps at range and uses Shield-Breaker and Charge repeatedly to keep the Valiant’s Defend stacks at nil. The Valiant will consistently attack you, so your assistant will have a much better chance to keep at range than you will.

Note: apparently this fight has yet to be tuned, and may change in difficulty.

(Edit: Note that this quest has been tuned, downwards in difficulty. It’s still not a walk in the park, until you get the knack of fighting the Valiants, but it’s easier than I described. You can have a friend assist you, but only on foot; they can’t co-joust, but they can attack with special attacks and spells, although threat will be an issue.)

Once you’ve beaten the Valiant, return to your faction’s leader and hand in the quest. You’ll be offered the quest A Valiant of [City], depending on your character’s racial home. This quest sends you to talk to the leader of your city’s delegation, who’ll enter you into the tournament on your city’s behalf.

Go and talk to your city delegation, who are based in the same pavilion. Congratulations! You’re a Valiant!

Phase 4: The Valiant

Each city has four NPCs in its delegation: a Grand Champion, a Master of Arms, and a Master of Horses (or Rams, Nightsabers, Chocobos, et cetera), who all give quests, and a Quartermaster who sells items purchasable with Champion’s Seals.

The Grand Champion gives you The Valiant’s Charge, which is the quest to acquire 25 Valiant’s Seals and pass the test for Champion rank. He or she also gives you one of A Blade Fit For A Champion, A Worthy Weapon, or The Edge of Winter; these are the same dailies you did as an Aspirant, although they now reward 2 Valiant’s Seals instead of 2 Aspirant’s Seals.

The Master of Arms offers you the daily A Valiant’s Field Training to kill Scourge in Icecrown, which rewards 1 Valiant’s Seal. The Master of Horses/Rams/Whatever offers two dailies: At the Enemy’s Gates (worth 1 Valiant’s Seal) and The Grand Melee (worth 1 Valiant’s Seal).

At the Enemy’s Gates

This quest sends you to the Argent Crusade forward camp at Corp’rethar, where there’s a Stabled Campaign Warhorse for you to mount. This mount has the same four basic abilities as the Tournament mounts; it lacks a heal of any type, and a duel ability.

Approaching the Argent Tournament

My thanks to Quirell of Gnomeregan, who was a very friendly and informative questing buddy when I was learning about this area.

Near the camp, there are formations of Scourge Boneguard forces; these are elite undead mobs that interact with your mount’s abilities in various ways. This area is also the focus of a similar, harder daily at the Champion level.

  • Boneguard Scouts

    These are flying gargoyle mobs; their spell attacks strip away Defend stacks. Kill them with ranged Shield-Breaker attacks; it should take two hits to kill one.

  • Boneguard Footmen

    These are skeletal soldiers; they’re grist for the mill. Run over them on your mount and they die, literally.

  • Boneguard Lieutenants

    These are mounted fighters. They’re vulnerable to melee attacks; they do use Defend, but they don’t reapply it. Just use your Thrust to beat them down.

  • Boneguard Plague Wagons

    These are vulnerable to Charges; a single Charge will take off half its health. Use Shield-Breaker to get the wagon down to half health or below – it won’t retaliate or attack you – and then Charge it to finish it off. (Wheel very sharply after your charge or you’ll probably wind up in the middle of a lot of nasty mobs, and then it’s off to the glue factory for you and your horse.) (Edit: Note that these are no longer reqired for the quest.)

  • Boneguard Commanders

    These are the nastiest of the lot. They’re needed for the Champion daily, but not the Valiant version – but there’s a Commander in each formation, so you’ll have to avoid him where possible. (He’s way too much of a pain to kill if you don’t have to, so don’t aggro him.)

The Grand Melee

This is the other significantly new daily, compared with the Aspirant’s dailies, and requires you to mount up and challenge and defeat three Valiants. You need to do this in your faction’s Valiants’ Ring – C or D on the map above.

You can challenge Valiants from each city, and they use different strategies depending on their race.

  • Draenei: run slowly. Don’t melee them; kite with Shield-Breaker with occasional Charges.
  • Dwarves: try and burn their defense down as quick as possible, then get in a Thrust before they reapply Defend. Slow and tedious.
  • Gnomes: are fairly balanced, much like the Valiant you fight to be promoted from Aspirant. Keep Defend up, stay in melee range, use occasional range to throw Shield-Breaker.
  • Humans: have an anti-Charge ability, but are ‘unbalanced’ by Shield-Breaker. Throw a Shield-Breaker to unbalance them, then Charge before they get back to normal. Otherwise, stay close.
  • Night Elves: stay in melee to stop them using their superpowered Shield-Breaker. Keep Defenses up and Thrust them down.

Note that Horde has equivalents of each of these, but I’m not sure on the pairings yet. Also, for Alliance, there’s a good write-up of the differences at this WoWwiki page.

Edit: Note that none of the above applies any longer; all the NPC valiants have the same racial abilities. The simplest strategy is to stay in melee and Thrust the enemies to death; when they move away to get range, throw a Shield-Breaker to knock off a Defend charge and then run up to them so they can’t Shield-Breaker or Charge you. If you feel daring, Charge them instead of Shield-Breaker, then throw a Shield-Breaker when you’re wheeling around and closing again after the Charge. This is faster, but riskier.)

Each faction only has 2 Valiants; if both are on the field, it seems that you have to wait for them to win or loseWeight Exercise before you can challenge them. I foresee a lot of people helping each other to get the matches over faster, to free up the popular Valiant types faster.

It may be the case that you can only beat one of each type of Valiant each day, to stop you finding a single strategy and working it to death; however, this behaves inconsistently at the moment on the PTR, so it’s hard to tell. (Edit: It’s one an hour; you get an hour-long city-specific debuff after defeating each Valiant.)

My Impressions

This stuff is hard. Veteran PvPers and kiters will be fine, but for the average player used to zapping their way through quests with ease, it’ll be a nasty shock – and I can see a lot of people giving up because it’s too hard to be fun. (Let’s face it, it’s not often – in standard WoW gameplay – that you fail a quest if you’re not doing things like pulling an entire camp at once.)

That said, I’ve heard that this content has yet to be tuned, and right now the Valiants might just be harder than Blizzard wants. If not, though, you can expect co-operation to be the order of the day, because most people just won’t want to spend hours failing on solo content.

My feelings are mixed. On the one hand, I like the mechanics, the level of detail, the setting, the concept. On the other hand, this is the kind of content I’m not particularly good at – twitchy, highly-mobile, PvP-like stuff reliant on positional advantage and excellent skill use. On a personal level, I’ll doubtless play the Argent Tournament content, but if it takes as long as I expect to get decent at the combat, I’m honestly not sure how much I’ll enjoy it.

The Argent Tournament Tourist Guide, Part I

Patch 3.1 brings the Argent Tournament, a new world event featuring mounted combat, new daily quests, new mounts, pets, tabards, and new and interesting ways to get reputation. Read on for a guide to the Argent Tournament!

I’ll present this guide in three posts:

  • Part I: explains the scenario and the location, the side quests and the Aspirant stage of mounted combat.
  • Part II: covers the Valiant stage of the mounted combat event and questing.
  • Part III: covers the Champion stage of the questing, and where to go from there.

Caveat: This guide is based on the quest chains in build 9658 (current as of March 13th 2009); the devs have been actively adjusting this event, so some details may be different when it goes live. I will keep it as up to date as I can, however!

I’ve edited some details in of the Argent Tournament on the live servers; some details may still be old, but the bulk is current.

Approaching the Argent Tournament

The Argent Tournament is located in Icecrown, in the north-east of the zone, north of Sindragosa’s Fall. The site is home to inns, mailboxes, a flightmaster, profession trainers for every tradeskill, and a host of questgivers.

The whole area is marked as a Sanctuary – like Dalaran or Shattrath. (Currently the opposite faction’s pavilion guards are attackable, but that should change before it goes live. If it’s not fixed, be careful – if you attack them, they’ll flag you, net you, and own you in the face.) (Edit: This is now fixed.)

Approaching the Argent TournamentThere are storyline quests in the area, and dailies with pure cash rewards, but what sets the Argent Tournament apart is the new system of mounted combat with a quasi-feudal rank structure associated with it.

When you begin working on the mounted combat quests, you’re called an Aspirant of your race’s faction – a Stormwind Aspirant, Orgrimmar Aspirant, et cetera. You earn Aspirant’s Seals from the quests you’re offered at this level. Once you’ve completed enough tasks as an Aspirant (i.e. accrued 15 Aspirant’s Seals), you can pass a test to become a Valiant of your race, and further, more complex tasks open up. These earn Valiant’s Seals. Once you’ve completed Valiant training (i.e. accrued 25 Valiant’s Seals), you can take the challenge to become a Champion of your race; if you’re as fast as possible you can go from Aspirant to Champion in ten days.

At this point you can earn Champion’s Seals to buy rewards like tabards, pets and mounts (as well as epic weapons and rare-quality armor). Champions can also work on becoming Valiants for other races of their faction – a troll Champion could then become a Valiant of, say, Silvermoon, and work up to Champion status with Silvermoon as well. (However, you can only be a Champion of one city at a time.) You can buy a mount, pet, tabard and banner from whichever race you’re currently Championing, so if you want all the rewards you’ll need to work your way through all your faction’s races. (Edit: Note that you don’t loseWeight Exercise Champion status once you’ve got it, so once you’ve earned Champion with one city, you can always access their vendor and purchase rewards from them, regardless of who you’re working on Championing.)

(A note on banners: no-one seems to know what they do yet. Carry on.) (Edit: Still no idea!)

Faction Rewards

  • The Black Knight questline gives Argent Crusade reputation.
  • The mounted combat quests give Silver Covenant reputation for Alliance and Sunreaver reputation for Horde.

Achievements

There are a number of new achievements introduced for the Argent Tournament.

  • Tilted!: Defeat another player in a mounted duel at the Argent Tournament.
  • It’s Just a Flesh Wound: Unmask and defeat the Black Knight at the Argent Tournament.
  • Argent Aspiration: Train to compete in the Argent Tournament by becoming an Aspirant for your race’s faction.
  • Argent Valor: Train to compete in the Argent Tournament by becoming a Valiant for your race’s faction.
  • Champion of Darnassus: Earn the right to represent Darnassus in the Argent Tournament.
  • Exalted Champion of Darnassus: Earn Exalted status with and the right to represent Darnassus in the Argent Tournament.
  • Champion of Exodar: Earn the right to represent Exodar in the Argent Tournament.
  • Exalted Champion of Exodar : Earn Exalted status with and the right to represent Exodar in the Argent Tournament.
  • Champion of Gnomeregan: Earn the right to represent Gnomeregan in the Argent Tournament.
  • Exalted Champion of Gnomeregan: Earn Exalted status with and the right to represent Gnomeregan in the Argent Tournament.
  • Champion of Darnassus: Earn the right to represent Darnassus in the Argent Tournament.
  • Exalted Champion of Ironforge: Earn Exalted status with and the right to represent Ironforge in the Argent Tournament.
  • Champion of Ironforge : Earn the right to represent Ironforge in the Argent Tournament.
  • Exalted Champion of Stormwind: Earn Exalted status with and the right to represent Stormwind in the Argent Tournament.
  • Champion of the Alliance: Earn the right to represent every Alliance race’s faction in the Argent Tournament.
  • Exalted Champion of the Alliance: Earn Exalted status with and the right to represent every Alliance race’s faction in the Argent Tournament.

There are, of course, equivalent Horde achievements.

And, of course, there are five new mini-pets available (for Alliance: the Teldrassil Sproutling Ammen Vale Lashling, Mechanopeep, Dun Morogh Cub, and Elwynn Lamb) which will make Lil’ Game Hunter (collect 75 mini-pets) much easier. Similarly, there are six new mounts (for Alliance: Swift Darnassian Mistsaber, Great Azuremyst Elekk, Turbostrider, Swift Ironforge Ram, and Swift Elwynn Steed; plus the Argent Hippogryph for all factions) which will make Mountain o’ Mounts slightly less impossible. The mounts and the pets are all purchased with Champion’s Seals. (Edit: Of course, there are also equivalent Horde mounts and pets too.)

Phase 1: Introduction

The layout below shows the location of important places and NPCs.

Approaching the Argent Tournament

When you enter, you want to head to the Argent Pavilion first, where you’ll speak to Justicar Mariel Trueheart. She’ll give you a link quest to speak to an NPC in the Silver Covenant Pavilion (if you’re Alliance) or Sunreaver Pavilion (if you’re Horde). She also gives you a link quest to talk to the Blastbolt brothers, goblins who give daily quests.

So, head to your faction’s pavilion and talk to the main questgiver. For Alliance, it’s Arcanist Taelis; for Horde it’s … well, I can’t tell you, because you get teleported out of the opposing-faction’s pavilion if you try and enter. So I’ll be looking at the Alliance-side quests, but the Horde side should be equivalent.

Neutral Quests

The Blastbolt brothers (who are at location 1 on the map above) offer you two dailies: A Chip Off the Ulduar Block and Jack Me Some Lumber. The former sends you to the Storm Peaks and the latter sends you to Crystalsong Forest; both ask you to gather resources to help build the new coliseum. These are straightforward dailies with a simple cash reward. (Edit: Despite their wording, they’re not required to ‘open up’ the coliseum, a la the Isle of Quel’Danas. They’re flavour only.)

Once you’ve seen your faction’s questgivers for the first time, a new quest opens up back at the Argent Pavilion. Crusader Rhydalla gives you The Black Knight of Westfall? which sends you to Moonbrook (the Horde version is The Black Knight of Silverpine?; I bet you can guess where that sends you). There’s a quest chain following it up, investigating the mystery of the Black Knight and culminating in a showdown. (Edit: Note that you can’t do the last stages of this showdown until you’re a Champion.)

Phase 2: The Aspirant

In the Silver Covenant Pavilion, Arcanist Taelis gives you the Mastery of Melee quest. Near Arcanist Taelis there’s Avareth Swiftstrike and Scout Shalyndria, who give you Mastery of the Charge and Mastery of the Shield-Bearer respectively.

Each of these three quests require you to equip a lance, mount a steed outside the pavilion, talk to an NPC near the Aspirants’ Ring (see ‘B’ on the map above) and go attack one of the melee targets using one of your special mounted abilities – Thrust, Charge and Shield-Breaker respectively. These quests will show you how to use the mounts and their abilities.

Once you’ve completed these three quests, Arcanist Taelis offers you one of three dailies: A Blade Fit For A Champion, A Worthy Weapon, or The Edge of Winter; Avareth Swiftstrike offers you Training in the Field (a daily), and Scout Shalyndria offers you Learning the Reins (also a daily). Between them they offer 5 Aspirant’s Seals.

Taelis also offers Up to the Challenge; once you’ve acquired 15 Aspirant’s Seals from the other quests, you can turn them in for this quest to take the Aspirant’s Challenge, which tests your mounted combat prowess. Success means you’re promoted to join your race’s city delegation as a Valiant. (Note that at the moment, Aspirant’s Seals take up an inventory slot rather than being added to your Currency window.)

Note that completing Learning the Reins (and in fact mounting up on a combat mount at any time) requires you to equip a lance; you can pick one up from the lance rack near the exit of your faction’s pavilion if you don’t have one in your bags. The lance uses your weapon slot and can be wielded one-handed; unlike WotLK fishing poles, it does not make a good substitute weapon. ;)

Mount Abilities

Your mount bar has six abilities on it:

  1. Thrust – a melee attack (6 yard range, 2 sec cooldown) that inflicts 3250 damage.
  2. Shield-Breaker – a ranged attack (5-30 yard range, 2 sec cooldown) that inflicts 2000 and reduces the opponent’s defenses.
  3. Charge – a charge (8-25 yard range, 6 sec cooldown) that inflicts 8500 damage and reduces the opponent’s defense.
  4. Defend – a defensive ability (self-cast, 4 sec cooldown) that reduces damage taken by 30%, and can be stacked up to three times. One charge of Defend is removed by an opponent’s Shield-Breaker or Charge.
  5. Refresh Mount – heals your mount to full health (self-cast, 1 min cooldown), can only be used out of combat.
  6. Duel – challenges another combatant to a duel.

The green “bottle” on the left of the mount bar is your mount’s health meter. The black bottle on the right is … apparently nothing, perhaps decorative (or not yet implemented).

(Unfortunately, the Aspirant-level mount is not what you’d call speedy.)

My Impressions

The mounted combat is fun and well-implemented; I haven’t encountered any bugs yet. The Aspirant quests are excellent when it comes to explaining new abilities and teaching you how to use them.

If anything, at this stage of play the Tournament’s biggest flaw is a lack of content. There are only a few repeatable quests, and it takes four days to reach Valiant status. I’m finding the experience and environment fun enough that I wish there were more quests to do – not necessarily to get to Valiant faster, but just so that I don’t have to run out of fun things to do.

Poll: What Kind of PvE Do You Prefer?

Whenever I read people talking about their progress in 10-man raiding, my immediate response is to hope they can get into 25-mans soon for their sakes. I know that’s completely irrational of me; a number of 10-man encounters are more challenging than their 25-man counterparts, and plenty of people are happier in the smaller raid sizes, fo various reasons. I sincerely believe 10-man raids are just as real and valid as 25s.

But! I prefer 25s, and it’s so hard not to project this when I’m thinking about what other people want out of the game.

So please educate me, gentle readers – everything else being equal, what kind of PvE content do you prefer?

[poll=15]

Instance Quest Checklist: Azjol-Nerub & Ahn'Kahet

Next in the list of instance quest checklists: Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’Kahet, the two five-man wings of the Azjol-Nerub hub near Star’s Rest and Agmar’s Hammer in Dragonblight. I’m putting them all in the one checklist because there are so few of them. Also note that all these quests are available to both Alliance and Horde from the same questgivers.

Instance Quest Checklist: The Nexus

Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’Kahet are two wings of the Dragonblight instance hub also called Azjol-Nerub. The former is a fast, three-boss run full of gauntlets – the first two bosses have little trash other than several waves of trash mobs which attack as part of the boss encounter (much like Mount Hyjal). The latter is a more traditional dungeon with spectacular scenery and a wide range of enemies. Azjol-Nerub is a 72-74 dungeon and Ahn’Kahet is a 73-75 dungeon, but I successfully cleared both of them when I visited at 71 with a group of 70s and 71s. You can’t get the quests until 72 for AN and 73 or 74 for AK.

The history of this zone is tied up with the history of Northrend as a continent. 16,000 years ago Azeroth was dominated by two nations of silithids; the Qiraji in the south and the Nerubians in the north. When Arthas came to power as the Lich King, the Nerubians opposed him and were eventually destroyed; many were turned to his service in undeath. Azjol-Nerub, the Upper Kingdom, is controlled by the Scourge; Ahn’Kahet, the Old Kingdom, is largely populated by Nerubian rebels and their various servants, although the Scourge does have some presence there.

Azjol-Nerub

Don’t Forget the Eggs!

  • Quest level 74, requires 72 to get.
  • Given by Kilix the Unraveller at the Azjol-Nerub meeting stone, to destroy Nerubian scourge eggs.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • The eggs are in a pit off the room with the first boss, Krik’thir the Gatewatcher, and can easily be destroyed after Krik’thir’s been killed.

Death to the Traitor King

  • Quest level 74, requires 72 to get.
  • Given by Kilix the Unraveller at the Azjol-Nerub meeting stone, to kill the last boss of the dungeon.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • Pro tip for not wiping on the last boss – an impassable wall springs up around the boss platform when the fight starts, so make sure everyone is on the platform within the pillars before you engage. See the image below – you enter down the web ramp on the left, and you can see the purple ‘wall’ that appears when the fight starts. Make sure everyone is inside the outer ring of the platform.

Anub'Arak's platform

Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom

The Faceless Ones

  • Quest level 76, requires 73 to get.
  • Given by Kilix the Unraveller at the Azjol-Nerub meeting stone, to kill some trash and the last boss of the dungeon.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • The Forgotten Ones are the three final trash mobs of the instance, before the last boss. There are only three, so if someone misses credit for one for any reason (being out of range, disconnecting, whatever) they’ll have to re-run the instance to finish the quest.

Funky Fungi

  • Quest level 76, requires 73 or 74 to get.
  • This is a very easy quest to miss. It starts from an item drop within the zone, from mobs don’t otherwise need to be cleared.
  • To get the quest, kill Prince Taldaram and head down the tunnel to the large open area with lots of patrolling humanoids and elementals. To the right is the web ramp to the area of the final boss (Herald Volazj), in front is the third boss (Jedoga Shadowseeker) and to the left there’s a ramp down to a subzone called the Shimmering Bog, full of Savage Cave Beasts.
  • The Savage Cave Beasts drop Ooze-Covered Fungus, which starts this quest. Although it says it requires level 74, there are reports of being able to get the quest at 73, either by clicking on the drop or by having someone else share the quest with you once you’ve got the quest starter item.
  • The quest requires you to collect 6 pieces of Grotesque Fungus, which drop from the Savage Cave Beasts in the Shimmering Bog.

Instance Quest Checklist: The Nexus

Next in the list of instance quest checklists: The Nexus, which is the first dungeon in Borean Tundra.

Instance Quest Checklist: The Nexus

The Nexus is the first wing of the instance hub in Borean Tundra also called the Nexus. It’s a level 71-73 instance, although semi-geared level 70s will have no problems with it. It’s in the centre of Coldarra, the island in the NW of the zone which can be accessed by catching a flight from Borean Tundra (for Alliance; I’m not sure where the Horde flights leave from).

Lore-wise, it’s focused around the Blue Dragonflight storyline; it’s a haven for Malygos’s allies and the final boss is a red dragon who’s been magically controlled into being Malygos’s latest consort. (Malygos seems to have bad luck with consorts – Sindragosa, his first consort, is the unlucky dragon who features in the WotLK cinematic and on the loading screen, and his second consort Saragosa meets an untimely end in Coldarra.)

Quests

These are the quests you should have when entering The Nexus:

Have They No Shame?

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • Given by Librarian Serrah in Transitus Shield, Coldarra, to pick up a book from the ground in the Nexus.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • Finding the book: it’s on the ground in a tunnel before the first boss, Grand Magus Telestra.

Postponing the Inevitable

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • Given by Archmage Berinand in Transitus Shield, Coldarra, to use an Interdimensional Refabricator inside The Nexus (on the eastern edge of the platform of Anomalus, the third boss).
  • Precursor chain:
    1. Berinand gives you a quest to take geological readings around Coldarra.
    2. The three main readings are taken in the large blue buildings (which can be seen on the minimap as clumps of blue circles). The readings are taken by clicking on the blue spheres on the ground in each building.
    3. The fourth reading is taken just behind the meeting stone outside the Nexus entrance (down at ground level among the crevasses).
    4. Then return to Berinand, and he gives you this quest.

Quickening

Prisoner of War

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • This quest is given by Raelorasz in Transitus Shield, Coldarra, to lay Keristrasza to rest in the Nexus. This one’s the only long chain in this set, and the second-last step is a pain in the neck:
    1. The chain starts from a dropped item, the Scintillating Fragment which drops from Coldarra Spellbinders and Mage Slayers (the human mobs in the area).
    2. Take the pendant to Raelorasz and he asks you to get items from General Cerulean and Warbringer Goredrak. These are two named mobs – a dragonkin and a drakonid respectively – who can be found on the blue ‘summoning circle’ areas near the Nexus. General Cerulean is to the north of the Nexus, Warbringer Goredrak is to the south-west.
    3. Raelorasz then gives you an item which can be used to summon/release Keristrasza, a member of the Red Dragonflight.
    4. Keristrasza wants to deal with Malygos, and asks you to gather Crystallized Mana Shards from around Coldarra – they’re pinky-purple crystals that can be picked up from the ground.
    5. Then she asks you to kill Saragosa.
    6. Once you’ve done that, return to Raelorasz, who gives you a quest to lure Malygos out. Warning: this quest can bug out easily. Here’s how to complete it.
      • First, ride to the north-west entrance of the Nexus (around 25,23), and use the Flare Gun you’re given. This calls Keristrasza down. Make sure you’re dismounted.
      • However, do not use the flare gun if Keristrasza is already on the ground doing the quest event for someone else – make sure you don’t fire it til she has flown away, or you’ll put your flare gun on cooldown and cause the quest to bug for the person who was there first.
      • When Keristrasza lands, she’ll address you, so you know it’s your turn to do the quest. She lies Saragosa’s corpse on the ground, calls to Malygos, sets Saragosa’s corpse on fire, and then flies off (with you on her back – you don’t have to mount up, it’s just an automatic part of the quest event).
      • Keristrasza flies around for a while, then lands – do not move and you should get the quest completion just fine, unless it’s bugged out. (Malygos then turns up, taunts her, freezes her and takes her away, but that’s not your concern until later.) If you fail to get the completion, you’ll have to redo the event from the flare gun step.
    7. Return to Raelorasz, who gives you the final quest to enter the Nexus and lay Keristrasza to rest.

Instance Quest Checklist: Utgarde Keep

With the launch of Wrath of the Lich King (which I am thoroughly enoying, incidentally), there are a whole bunch of unfamiliar instances to play in. Of course, one can dive right in and just go for the sights and the bosses and the loot, but in the drive to hit 80 some quest XP is always nice.

Edit: Galadria has posted a horde-side quest guide on her blog.

Instance Quest Checklist: Utgarde Keep

Utgarde Keep is the first and easiest dungeon in Wrath of the Lich King. It’s inhabited by half-giant vrykul, and is a quick and easy run (until you get to the last boss, who is disproportionately difficult).

Quests

These are the quests you should have when entering Utgarde Keep:

Disarmament

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • Given by Defender Mordun in Howling Fjord to loot items from within the dungeon.
  • No pre-requisites.

Into Utgarde!

Quick and easy, just like the instance!

Wrath: Jewelcrafting Tokens

Note: this post contains information on Wrath of the Lich King, although it’s not hugely “spoilery”.

As a followup from my last post about new jewelcrafting dailies and patterns:

  • Dragon’s Eyes are purchasable from the Dalaran Jewelcrafting vendor, Tiffany Cartier, for one Dalaran Jewelcrafting Token each
  • Twenty-three rare gem cuts I discussed in the last post are now five tokens each, not eight. The eight meta gem cuts are still eight tokens each. This brings the total tokens required to 179 – about six months of daily questing, rather than eight.

Wrath: Jewelcrafting Dailies & Epic Gems

Note: this post contains information on Wrath of the Lich King, although it’s not hugely “spoilery”.

In my recent introduction to jewelcrafting in WotLK I noted that there were a few missing stat combinations that we could expect future jewelcrafting cuts to fill. Read more for information on a number of new rare gem cuts, jewelcrafting daily quests and new epic gem cuts in Wrath.

Edit for visitors from Google: I have three more recent posts you might find more useful: a guide to the epic gems in patch 3.2, a quick reference sheet for all WotLK gem cuts, and a guide to the Jewelcrafting daily quests. Hope they’re useful!

Continue reading Wrath: Jewelcrafting Dailies & Epic Gems