Faience's adventures in Outland: Through the Dark Portal
Ah, Faience. A pink-haired Gnome warlock, Faience was my very first level 60 character. (And in full Nemesis, even a pink-haired Gnome can look a little intimidating.) I raided with her through Ahn'Qiraj before deciding I was exhausted of the raiding grind and re-rolled a Horde priest on another realm with the intent of playing more casually. Of course, with all of the recent warlock changes, I've got to wonder what I was thinking... Fortunately, in the Burning Crusade beta, where soling matters more to me than group utility, I've been able to dust off Faience -- renamed, uncreatively, Faiences on the beta realm -- and travel through the Outland. And, if you read on, you get to come along for the ride!
As daunting as the Dark Portal appears on the Azeroth side, it's more so on the Outland side. The portal itself is immense in the Outlands and rests atop a massive set of stairs. At the bottom of the stairs were all manner of nasty beasts. Elites and a raid boss of unknown level, reinforced regularly by Infernals falling from the sky. Alliance and Horde NPCs at the portal were constantly battling them off -- but at level 60, I was in way over my head. Fortunately, however, there were Alliance and Horde encampments flanking the portal -- both providing safe air passage to the nearest faction base further inside Hellfire Peninsula.
I hopped on a Gryphon and headed to Honor Hold, the main Alliance base in the area. The hold itself is relatively uninteresting -- if you've seen one Alliance hold (Menethil Harbor, Blasted Lands, etc), you've really seen them all. This one has, however, seen better days. Its outer walls have been breached in places and the towers around the exterior are a crumbling ruin. But despite these difficulties, the hold is full of activity as Alliance forces rally and attempt to fight off the Burning Legion.
I won't bore you with the details of the quests. If you've played World of Warcraft long enough to be playing in Hellfire Peninsula, you've got an idea of the sort of quests that await you. Kill this many of this monster, that many of that one, and could you find some scraps of metal for me? There's plenty to keep you busy, though the grinding quests are a bit frustrating when the zone is crowded with players -- a situation that I don't expect to improve until well after the expansion release. But if the Honor Hold quests are making you want to tear your hair out after the fifty-seventh time (not that I've been counting...) someone else tagged a mob before you did? There's hope! On the road to the west of Honor Hold there's a second Alliance encampment held by the Draenei called Temple of Telhamat (for the Horde, there's a second base called Falcon Watch that's held by the Blood Elves) -- and here, too, you will find plenty of adventuring suitable for a green level 60.
And if Telhamat doesn't hold your interest, you can continue on into the next zone -- Zangarmarsh -- where you will find a number of doable quests at Cenarion Refuge (a neutral base held by the Cenarion Expedition) and at the Alliance outpost of Telredor. This may be what I enjoy most about the Outlands so far -- that I'm not restricted to only one good zone or leveling spot. And with the crowds I expect to see after the Burning Crusade goes live, I'm sure you'll be pretty happy about it, too.
Can't wait to hear more about what's in store with the coming expansion release? Read more about Faience's adventures in Outland.
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