Tag Archives: seasonal events

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).


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.


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.

One (More) Good Reason To Play The Lunar Festival, Again

Last year, I wrote about the usefulness of the festival dumplings compared with conjured manna biscuits.

Let’s look at it again compared with the level 80 Conjured Mana Strudel. It restores 15000 health and 12960 mana over 30 seconds, whereas the Festival Dumplings restore 4% of your health and 3% of your mana per second for 25 seconds, for a total of 100% of your health and 75% of your mana.

So: if your health is more than 15000, or your mana is more than 17820, the festival dumplings will return more health or mana than the strudel – and it will do it five seconds faster, too!

Since everyone’s going to be flush with coins of ancestry after visiting all those elders for the achievements, if you’re not a tailor or engineer you may as well buy some tasty, tasty dumplings!

Two Wintergrasp Tips

Two handy Wintergrasp tips for you:

  • It’s a great place to get the With A Little Helper From My Friends achievement. WG is one place where it’s fairly easy to get a lot of HKs without getting repeatedly killed by the other side, provided you’re smart and you use cover and teamwork appropriately. It’s easier if you’re the defending team, of course. And best of all, there’s no deserter debuff – if you loseWeight Exercise your gnomeness halfway into the match, just nip out, regnomify yourself, and get back in there to finish the battle. I got all my kills in about 25 minutes of a defending WG this morning.
  • If you’re a healer, you can heal from the back of a moving siege engine. I had always assumed it would be impossible for spells with a cast time, that you’d get prevented due to movement, or that you’d be locked out from doing anything when you’re a passenger. But no! Protected by the tank, and free to cast to my heart’s content? I have a new favourite hobby.

Brewfest – Preparing For Achievements

Note: this post contains spoilers for Patch 3.0.

Patch 3.0.2 is expected to herald the introduction of the new Achievement system, so for many of us it’s time to start planning ahead and working on Achievements for which we can get retrospective credit.

There are a number of Achievements centred around the current seasonal event, Brewfest. With a bit of careful planning, you might well be able to get credit for a number of these achievements from Brewfest 2008, instead of having to wait for next year.

Please note that this is currently in development, and could change wildly at any time. Achievements have appeared and disappeared frequently during the Wrath beta; these may suffer the same fate.

Also, please note that the Brewfest is a fun and original seasonal event, and the following guide is a very dry and analytical way to maximise a certain kind of reward. Don’t forget to actually play the Brewfest content, too. Get drunk, clobber Dark Iron dwarves, have fun! If you’re looking for a good guide to the Brewfest in general, I recommend Dwarf Priest’s “Beer Me!” guide.

Brewfest Achievements

Achievements You Can Complete In Advance

  • Direbrewfest – kill Coren Direbrew, the Brewfest special boss in Blackrock Depths.
  • Down With The Dark Iron – defend the Brewfest camp from the Dark Iron attack and complete the quest, “This One Time, When I Was Drunk…” (which is the quest that becomes available every half-hour after the Dark Iron attack).
  • Disturbing the Peace – while wearing 3 pieces of Brewfest clothing, get completely smashed and dance in Dalaran. Obviously you can’t complete this until WotLK goes live, but you can get the clothes in advance so you won’t have to wait for Brewfest ’09.
  • Does Your Wolpertinger Linger? – obtain a Wolpertinger pet. In Brewfest ’07, the Wolpertinger was a Brewfest quest reward – this year it’s purchasable from the Brewfest vendor for less than 50 silver.
  • Strange Brew – drink the nine Brewfest beers. These beers are sold by the various brewmasters around the Brewfest camps; however, like the foods, they only last 2 days. The same trick of mailing them to an alt and then returning them should work, however.
  • The Brewfest Diet – eat 8 of the Brewfest foods. These foods are sold by the various vendors around the Brewfest camps; however, they only last 2 days. They’re not BoP, however, so you can buy them and mail them to a banker alt, and leave them sitting in the mail (which doesn’t cost any lifespan), and mail them back when Achievements go live.
  • Have Keg, Will Travel – obtain a Brewfest mount. Last year’s Brewfest Rams count, as do this year’s rams and kodos dropped by Coren Direbrew.

Achievements That Will Have To Wait

  • Drunken Stupor – fall 65 yards without dying while completely smashed during the Brewfest Holiday. Unless 3.0.2 goes live before Brewfest finishes, this will have to wait for Brewfest ’09.
  • Brew of the Year – sample 12 beers featured in the Brew of the Month Club. You join the club by handing in 200 Brewfest Tokens to the Brewfest Vendor, and every month you’re mailed a new sample of beer.

    Each beer only lasts 14 days, so I’d recommend leaving them sitting in your mail (which doesn’t cost duration) until Patch 3.0.2 hits, and then drinking all the ones you have saved up – however, finishing off the achievement will have to wait twelve months unless the beers are indeed available from a vendor who sticks around after Brewfest. (Update: I’ve just checked the vendor, and she only sells one brew at the moment – so either she sells only the brew of that month, or only the brews that have been release so far. Either way, you’ll have to wait the full year for this achievement.)

  • Brewmaster – complete eight of Brewfest achievements (all of the above except “Have Keg, Will Travel”). The reward is a “Brewmaster” title.

    Obviously, as Drunken Stupor and Brew of the Year can’t be completed when achievements go live, neither can this achievement – and nor can any achievement which requires it (like What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been, the overall World Events achievement which awards a Violet Proto-Drake mount).

How To Do The Achievements

Food and Drink

Buy one of each type of Brewfest food and drink from the vendors, and mail them to a bank alt. Leave them sitting in the bank alt’s mail; return them after 29 days, and mail them off again if Achievements still aren’t live. Once Patch 3.0.2 goes live, mail them back to your main character and consume each one. This will complete Strange Brew and The Brewfest Diet.

The Brewfest Camp

Apart from normal questing, there are two important things to do in your faction’s Brewfest camp. The first is to buy a Wolpertinger pet from the Brewfest vendor if you don’t have one from last year, for Does Your Wolpertinger Linger?.

The second is to stick around until the hour or half-hour, and help defend the camp from the Dark Iron dwarves by throwing beer mugs you pick up from nearby tables. Once you’ve defended the camp, you can click on a piece of leftover Dark Iron machinery to get the quest that will give you the Down With The Dark Iron achievement. This quest is repeatable daily and awards Brewfest tokens; see below for more details about tokens.

Kill Coren Direbrew – A Lot

Go and see Darna Honeybock in Kharanos (for Alliance) or Slurpo Fizzykeg on the road to Razor Hill (for Horde), and get the quest to find the Brewfest spy in BRD. You’ll need to be level 65 to get this quest. Head to BRD, zone in and just to the right you’ll see some Dark Iron dwarves digging around some rubble. Kill them and use the consoles, and you’ll be transported via Mole Machine to the Grim Guzzler bar within BRD. The spy is just around the corner; he’ll give you a follow-on quest to insult Coren and kill him.

Coren drops a quest item which you hand in for Brewfest tokens, and completing the quest will ensure that your kill of Coren will be credited for Direbrewfest when Achievements go live. Coren also drops the Brewfest Ram and Brewfest Kodo mounts; you’ll need one of these to get credit for the Have Keg, Will Travel achievement. There are no concrete figures on drop rate right now, but it’s looking fairly low – probably less than 10%. You’ll probably need to kill him quite a few times – each person can trigger the event once a day (on the standard daily quest reset timer) so a normal group can try five times a day for a mount.

Get Brewfest Tokens

Brewfest Tokens are used to buy things from the Brewfest vendor, and can be gained from a number of quests, some of which are repeatable. You’ll need tokens to complete the Disturbing the Peace and Brew of the Year achievements.

  • Disturbing the Peace, completed after Wrath goes live, requires you to have three pieces of Brewfest clothing. The hat (available in four colors) costs 50 tokens, the boots or slippers cost 100 tokens, and the dress or regalia costs 200 tokens – so completing this Achievement requires 350 tokens, minus the cost of any Brewfest clothing you got last year.
  • Brew of the Year requires you to join the Brew of the Month Club, which costs 200 tokens.

Ah, but how to get tokens? The WoWwiki Brewfest page has a listing of all the Brewfest quests, but in short:

  • If you have any Brewfest Tickets left over from last year, you can exchange them (at a 1:1 ratio) at the Brewfest vendor.
  • Killing Coren Direbrew the first time awards 40 tokens.
  • Completing one of the Barking quests (riding around the city on a special ram) awards 15 tokens, repeatable daily.
  • Completing There and Back Again (ferrying 3 kegs to the Brewfest camp, non-repeatable) gives 15 tokens.
  • Completing keg runs awards 2 tokens per keg you ferry back; typically you should be able to do 10 kegs or more in the time limit. This is on a 12-hour timer, separate from daily quests, so if you time it right you can get 40 tokens or more a day.
  • Completing the daily quest to defend the Brewfest camp from the Dark Irons awards 15 tokens.

Thus, you get 55 tokens from non-repeatable quests, and can easily get 70 tokens a day (or more, if you’re good at ram riding) from repeatable quests.


As a summary of everything above, here’s a quick checklist to help you get the biggest Achievement bang for your Brewfest buck:

  • Buy one of each Brewfest food and beer, and mail them to a bank alt. (Strange Brew, The Brewfest Diet)
  • Buy a Wolpertinger if you don’t already have one. (Does Your Wolpertinger Linger?)
  • Do the quest that becomes available after the Dark Iron attack on the Brewfest camp. (Down With The Dark Iron)
  • Kill Coren Direbrew. (Direbrewfest)
  • Kill Coren Direbrew repeatedly until you get a ram or kodo. (Have Keg, Will Travel)
  • Gather 350 Brewfest Tokens and buy three pieces of Brewfest clothing, minus any you have from last year. (Disturbing the Peace)
  • Gather 200 Brewfest Tokens and join the Brew of the Month Club. Leave beer samples in mail. (Brew of the Year)

Happy drinking!

Ahune, take two.

For those of you well-aware that I’m a tabardaholic, here’s the latest to grace my collection!

Tabard of Summer Skies

This means, of course, that we succeeded in getting Ahune down on the first attempt, this time around. Group makeup was: bear druid, holy paladin, prot paladin (the alt of one of the frost mages from last time), fire mage (the other frost mage from last time, post-respec) and a (different) BM hunter. Bear druid tanked the hailstone elite elemental, prot paladin held the swarms of little elementals, holy paladin (moi!) healed, and the mage and hunter DPSed. Zero problems – as it should be, given that everyone other than the prot pally was in T5+ gear.

Given the un-sterling loot off him, I’m not particularly fussed about going back in to farm him, but I’m glad to be able to say the sucker’s dead – and I’d have been mighty upset about missing out on the tabard!

Ahune = Too Hard

Bellwether of 4 Haelz recently posted about her woes with Ahune, the summonable boss who’s around during the Fire Festival. I commented there, agreeing and saying that I think Ahune is tuned too hard, and I want to elaborate on that here.

I’m sure plenty of people can comment and say they PUGged Ahune with no problems, and that clearly I’m “lol doin it rong”. So, let me explain my problem with the issue:

We went in there with a group of T5/6 geared people who’ve been grouping for two years or more; as a group, we can do heroic Magisters wipe-free; we’re not random Donalds. We had a bear tank, a BM hunter, two frost mages and me healing.

First up, of course, everything in the encounter is immune to frost, which limits the mages to arcane damage (or below-par offspec fire spells), which means they OOM in no time flat. So there are swarms of adds around, which the bear finds very hard to control, so there’s lots of stray agro, everyone gets smeared, I can’t heal through splash damage very well as a paladin, I get smeared from heal agro, we wipe. And because the daily quest is to summon Ahune, not to beat him, you only get five tries a day at him.

You should not have to ask people to respec for a holiday event. Holidays are supposed to be fun and relaxing, with some free gifts for everybody. Look at the Headless Horseman – he was, in my opinion, a well-tuned holiday event. Easy enough that you didn’t have to be well-geared to take him on and people could bring alts for a bit of fun; rewarding (gear-wise) for people at the right level to take him on. Compare that with Ahune, who is far more challenging, with a loot table that’s fairly unrewarding for people who can actually beat him.

I understand why Ahune and his adds are immune to frost damage, but I think it makes for a bad seasonal event. The one-two punch of the frost immunity plus there being a score of adds that have to be AoE-killed or AoE-tanked is just too picky for a holiday event.

In other words: Blizzard, if you’re going to put in a holiday event that’s unplayable for a (fairly popular) spec, you need to make it easy enough that the rest of their party can successfully ‘carry’ them through it rather than having to replace them. Who wants to PuG a holiday? That’s like going on a roadtrip with a stranger because he’s got a better car than your friend.

So, I will still be heading for Ahune to smash his face in – I’m not letting that tabard pass me by. But I’m not happy about the design of the encounter, and I think it’s disappointing that Blizzard dropped the ball on this, when the rest of the Fire Festival has been done so well.

One (More) Good Reason to Play the Fire Festival

In the spirit of my motivational post about the Lunar Festival back in February: here’s why you should do the Fire Festival content:


The XP rewards are astounding! As part of the content, you can run around Honoring the fires of your faction, and Desecrating the fires of the enemy faction, and there are 30+ fires for each side.

The XP scales based on level; for instance, Desecrating a fire at level 55 will net you 8150 xp; at level 58, it’s over 9k xp. I can’t speak for all leves, but for my level 55 alt, doing all the fires is going to be worth over 380,000 xp. Given that an entire level only takes about 150k xp for me right now, I’m hoping to be able to ride this event nearly all the way to Outlands!

And that’s not including the XP rewards for the other, associated content like the fire-tossing and fire-catching dailies, or Stealing the Flame from all the enemy faction capital cities.

So – get out there and burn things!