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Warlords of Draenor: An evening as a treessassin

Anne Stickney

I really wasn't planning on doing anything in particular when I logged on the beta the other night -- just some exploring and some garrison work as well as hunting down fishing gear for a needy troll death knight. But while wandering around Nagrand, I happened upon an unfortunate scene -- a Petrified Ancient standing on top of what appeared to be a handful of orc peon and human lumberjack corpses. Upon further investigation, this wasn't a mob I could just attack and kill. It was, however, a mob I could ask my Lumber Mill crew to cut down.

Maybe this was a bad decision. But hey, I'm the commander of this Alliance force on Draenor and they have to do what I say, so why not? I found out why immediately after the poor sap I asked to chop the tree tried to complete my order and was promptly confronted by a very angry and not-quite-as-petrified-as-you'd-think Ancient. It wasn't until I'd killed the incredibly angry tree that I discovered not only was this Ancient more than he appeared to be, but I was about to embark on what just might be the weirdest quest I've ever done in WoW.

Apparently I just murdered a tree assassin. Not only that, but he dropped a book of targets that I guess he was supposed to hit before he became petrified -- or maybe the petrification was just a disguise. Regardless, it was up to me to travel to four different zones and hunt down this wayward assassin's targets. Why? Look, I'm not saying that I know a lot about trees, but I do know that trees usually stick to the ground, and if these trees warrant the attention of other trees to the point where said trees are trying to murder these other trees, then said trees should probably be taken out.

Confused? So was I for the majority of this quest. But fulfilling the requirements was pretty simple. You have to be level 100, because the trees you are looking for will completely smush you otherwise. And you have to travel to four different zones -- Nagrand, Talador, Shadowmoon Valley and the Spires of Arak. In each zone, you have to attract the attention of your targets by ... cutting down trees. Luckily for you, you have a bunch of disposable lumber mill employees that can do this task for you. Small timber won't really grab their attention, it's the medium timber that you want.

At this point the hour was late and I wasn't quite sure how to explain to my friends exactly what I was doing beyond killing trees as a favor for another tree I killed, which made about as much sense to them as it did to me -- that is to say, none at all. But once the task was done, I set out for my garrison to turn in the quest and claim my reward. It's a reward you're going to want.
See that tree inconveniently placed in the middle of the road? That's not a tree, that's my character -- thanks to the handy new toy I got as a reward for finishing that Petrified Ancient's dirty work. But that quest reward isn't just for laughs. The Tressassin's Guise will also drop you from combat in any wild Draenor area by disguising you as one of the trees in the zone so you can blend with your surroundings and get away from whatever is threatening you. Although the toy has a 10 minute cooldown, I can see it being wildly useful in sticky situations. Completing this quest, Legacy of the Ancients, is just one part of the achievement Upgrading the Mill, which will reward patient players with the level 3 blueprint for the Lumber Mill.

Although the Warlords beta isn't complete, this is just one example of how garrisons and quests work together to give you something pretty cool. Leveling, questing and garrisons have been blended together into an organic experience where one thing just magically leads to another, without Cataclysm's sensation of being on rails. This is only one example of the kinds of things that are waiting to be found out and around Draenor, and yet another reason why in Warlords, it's going to be a good idea to keep your eyes peeled -- you never know what's going to surprise you next.

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