Warcraft Classic: Muscle memory

Following on from my Alliance woes in ‘retail’ Warcraft, I was interested to find a similar (but different) problem in Classic.

In Classic my original characters were all Horde, one Undead Rogue and a cluster of Tauren. The Rogue is still parked in Brill, but the Tauren all finished Mulgore and moved on to Crossroads and the Barrens.

I had no trouble levelling a Hunter and Warrior, knowing Mulgore intimately even in this original incarnation. My retail muscle memory served me well despite the small variations in quests and locations compared to the post-Cataclysm zone. Plainstriders -> Cougars -> Quillboar -> Palemane -> Swoops -> Windfury -> Cougars -> Wolves -> Venture Co -> Thunder Bluff.

More care was required, but it was the same peaceful journey through rolling Mulgore plains. As a consequence it didn’t take too long to have multiple teen-level characters. I vacillated between two PVP servers and a PVE, which meant ending up with about 5 level 15ish Tauren. Clearly I like the low level levelling best.


Meanwhile my few friends that were interested in Classic dropped out pretty quickly. Only one has stuck it through, being determined to experience Molten Core having missed when playing during the original Warcraft launch fifteen years ago. And he’s made it all the way, getting to 60 and joining MC raids just this week.

I realised a while back that he was my only hope for playing with someone I know, but there was one problem: he’s Alliance.

So I gritted my teeth and rolled up a Dwarven Hunter and a Human Rogue, and set about the levelling journey. And it was so … much … slower. Not being familiar with how the zones work, where the mobs are, what to be careful about, and how to navigate gigantic places like Stormwind and Ironforge, made a huge difference.

You look familiar

I struggled to complete some of the early Human quests – killing Defias in a pumpkin patch was almost too much for my Rogue before a higher level player happened to run past and pull all the mobs. And while I was more comfortable with Dun Morogh, I still found it a trial to find quests and not die.

I can’t believe that the Alliance zones are actually harder than the Horde variations, it’s much more likely that simple familiarity makes all the difference. Even though you’re basically doing the exact same thing – a cave of fast-spawning Wendigo vs a cave of fast-spawning Venture Co – without the ingrained history it’s all that much harder. And in Classic, a small amount of hard adds up to a large amount of time.

So, like retail, I think my Alliance plans may have to be abandoned. If I struggled to get to level 10, I hate to think what the journey to 60 would be like. And given that’s a journey I’m only likely to make once, Horde seems to make more sense – in both my head and my heart. As usual!

Warcraft: Broken Alliance

The dual storylines and factional zones of BfA have made me want to run an Alliance character through the journey, something several friends have done and commented on favourably. Unlocking Dark Iron Dwarves was also a temptation. As a dedicated Horde player this was somewhat challenging, but the experience of levelling through dungeons with our Alliance group softened my resolve.

Not wanting to face a full levelling experience, I rolled up a Night Elf Demon Hunter and played through the intro quests. The Demon Hunter is good OP fun (basically a Rogue with wings) – so much so that I started to think I shouldn’t be playing this as Alliance (you can only have one Demon Hunter per realm, so it’s one or the other). But I pushed on to get to Dalaran.

At that point I thought the best plan would be to power level through to 110 using the 15th Anniversary Korrak’s Revenge Battleground. I used this to level my languishing level 100 Warrior – it’s even more efficient than the whirlwind levelling of BfA-with-flying. In Korrak’s I was gaining a level every 15-30 minutes, helped a lot by a 10-1 win ratio for Horde side.

The queue popped pretty quickly, and I followed the snake of characters riding to the first tower. Which is where it all went wrong.

As we approached the tower, a group of stalwart Tauren NPC defenders rushed out to meet us. I stopped in my tracks. Tauren are my people. I can’t kill these guys. Or those Orcs.

I had to immediately quit the BG. And promptly deleted the character (though not before sending the ~1000g she had somehow accumulated to my Dwarven tank – he will have to earn Dark Iron all on his own).

Lesson learnt I guess. Though the new that 8.3 (next week) will allow you to PVP your own faction makes it slightly more appealing – the dream of a Horde spy is alive!