Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Worst Quest In World of Warcraft

Are you the kind of person who looks up quests on Wowhead or Thottbot before attempting to complete them? I am not. If I had been, however, I might have saved myself ten dollars worth of quarters in the swear jar attempting to complete the Shadowmoon Valley quest called I Was A Lot Of Things... Seriously, you should really reconsider pursuing a quest if you see comments like this at the fansites:

  • Here's how to complete this quest: 1) Press L to open your quest log. 2) Select the quest named "I Was A Lot Of Things..." 3) Click Abandon Quest. You are welcome.
  • I am about to commit crimes against Man and Nature because I'd rather spend a lifetime in prison than spend another hour working on this quest.
  • I was given a choice between rubbing poison ivy on my genitals and completing this quest. My testicles now itch so much I have to sit on a belt sander for any semblance of comfort. I made the right decision.
The premise of the quest is simple enough: A yam-farming orc named Oronok is afraid to leave his farm because of the roving flayers that are decimating his felboar herd. He wants you to harvest some Shadowmoon tubers for him with the aid of his surviving felboars, who dig the tubers out of the ground when summoned. He hands you a whistle that the boars are trained to acknowledge and sends you off into the wild. Sounds fun, right? This is what I thought too, at first.

"No amount of gold or XP could compensate you for the suffering you're about to endure."

For one thing, the quest giver, Oronok, is damn difficult to locate; it is very likely that most players would never even find him if they weren't sent looking for him as part of a quest chain. Even with QuestHelper installed it is easy to waste 10-15 minutes trying to find a rideable path up to Oronok's farm. He's on top of a mountain in the top-middle area of Shadowmoon Valley. Your only hint that you're getting close will be a trail of half-eaten felboar carcases along the mountain side. (Seriously, Blizzard, breadcrumbs would have sufficed.)

Be prepared to get very familiar with this sight.

The problems with this quest become apparent pretty quickly. For one thing, the tubers are scattered across very hilly, uneven terrain. You will rarely see more than one on-screen at a time, and they do not sparkle like most quest nodes do. This wouldn't be so much of an issue of the quest were to gather a single tuber, but you need to collect 10 to satisfy Oronok, which means that you will be traversing the same bumpy, steep terrain over and over for quite some time. Oh and if you happen to be an herbalist, the tubers do NOT show up as nodes on your minimap.

I swear, Oronok has got to be the worst goddamned farmer in all of Outland.

Another issue is that flayers appear to get it on like rabbits, because the area is just lousy with them. It is not uncommon to see three or four flayers tearing the guts out of a felboar at a time (and then to have them chase after you once they're finished with the boar).

This is just so not fucking worth it.

Not only are they plentiful, but they respawn like crazy which is a significant issue for the following reason: Unlike most summoning quests in World of Warcraft, when you blow Oronok's whistle, the game does not create a new felboar especially to respond to your call. Instead, an existing felboar has to be within the (very-short) listening range of the whistle, and cannot be in combat at the time the whistle blows. Another little bit of awesomeness Blizzard threw in is that if you blow the whistle when no available felboars are within listening distance, THE TUBER FUCKING DISAPPEARS. That's right, you get one chance to summon boars to your tuber, and if the boar is out of listening range (and there are no visual indicators to help you judge this), or is in combat, you forever lose your chance to harvest that node.

Also, dead boars don't count.

So why even bother? Well, unfortunately, this quest is part six of the single-largest quest chain in Shadowmoon Valley. The end-of-chain quest rewards are rather good, and you'll be missing out if you skip this quest. On second thought, I have a better idea:

Seriously, it's not like anyone will ever find the body.