Thousand Needles, Tarren Mill: Level 30-32
At the end of the Horde Quest Guide, Book 5, we had leveled to 30 and finished Ashenvale. This chapter sends us to Thousand Needles.
With this book we will feel the full effects of Blizzard's leveling improvements. Levels require about 20% less experience to complete, many elite quests have been re-designed for the solo player, and at level 30 the quests themselves give more xp as a reward. On top of all of that, you now have access to a mount. Things are definitely going to begin moving much more quickly.
This means we're going to have some flexibility about which quests we choose, and even which zones we need to visit. We should begin this chapter well into level 30. Mackenzie is level 30 + 15 bars.
Begin by flying into Freewind Post. Immediately beside the flight master, speak to Elu and pick up Wind Rider (29). On the other side of the bluff, talk to Magistrix Elosai for A Different Approach (28). Set your hearthstone at the inn here, and behind the innkeeper, turn in your message to Rau Cliffrunner, to get the next quest The Sacred Flame (29). Beside the door to the inn, find a wanted poster and accept Wanted - Arnak Grimtotem (29). You should already have Grimtotem Spying from Cliffwatcher Longhorn.
Ride the elevators to ground level and we'll head north to find the centaurs again. Take the western route around the bluff in front of you, heading for 44, 37. There you will find the entrance to the cave system where the Galak centaurs keep the sacred flame. Stay to the left as you enter and follow this left-most path and it will lead you directly to the flame in a bowl on the ground. Up to that point, everything will be single pulls, but the flame itself is guarded by two level 30 flame guardians, who pull together. They hit hard, but go down quickly. Then right click on the flame to loot the Cloven Hoof for Cliffrunner.
Respawn is not rapid, so you should be able to retrace your steps most of the way to the exit. Fight your way north through the centaur camp until you reach the spikes of the northern gate. The Galak Messenger spawns here and runs north out of camp, takes the first left until he hits the main road, then follows it west past Whitereach Post. Trace his route until you reach Whitereach Post, and engage the Messenger if you find him. Be sure to loot his Assassination note. Remember that we want to kill Gravelsnout diggers and surveyors for the Unrefined ore sample, and any rock elementals.
End of first trip
From Whitereach Post, our objective is along the southern wall. You're heading for a totem pole at 14, 32 that marks a ramp up to a valley called Highperch, filled with wild Wyverns. The task here is to clear the Highperch Consorts and gather the eggs that spawn on the ground. Make your way counterclockwise through the area, following the wall and searching for eggs. By the time I had made a complete circuit of the valley, I had collected most of the 10 eggs for Wind Rider.
When you reach 14, 30 - the eastern lobe of this valley, you'll find a totem pole and a path rising steeply to another area further to the east. This smaller area may have an elite rare name Heartrazor. He is very difficult to solo. If he is not there, however, there are more wyverns and eggs for your quest, as well as a chest and an escort quest from Pao'ka Swiftmountain, Homeward Bound (29).
Be sure you have all 10 eggs, and clear the area before accepting the quest. Then walk back with Pao'ka to the entrance of Highperch. In a welcome change, your escort is a decent level 30 tank and can hold up well through most fights. Clearing the normal wyverns should be no problem, but there is one event in the very center of the valley where three wyverns spawn. Don't panic, however, and don't pull any of them to you. He sets off walking and will only aggro one of the three. The rest may just stay where they spawn. This is much easier than the Lakota escort coming up.
Descend from Highperch Valley and travel to the northwest to the next clearing. Be cautious because this is the patrol path for Steelsnap (30) and his two cronies (28). You should find two Thundering Boulderkins, rock elementals that drop the Purifying Earth for A Different Approach. More boulderkins are found further to the northwest. This next area is a spawn point for Rok'alim, an elite boss we will need to kill later.
When you have all your purifying earth, return to Whitereach Post and turn in A Different Approach to the goblin, Wizlo Bearingshiner. If you completed Homeward Bound, turn that in here as well.
Mackenzie leveled to 31 and was level 31 + 4 bars.
End of second trip.
The next quest from Wizlo, A Dip in the Moonwell (29), is kind of an odd assignment. Begin by running north west from Whitereach Post along the main road until you can see the Night Elf camp called Thalanaar on your left. You need to find the closest rock column and find a way up onto the ledge at the base. Access to the ledge is at (12, 18) and the Concealed Control Panel is at the opposite side, at (9, 18). If you are a hunter or warlock, it will help to dismiss your pet to complete this quest, because it gives you a robot for a pet.
Find the Robotron control unit in your inventory. Right click on it, and you will begin channeling. Now move forward, and you will see that the robot moves as you control it. Walk him over to the moonwell and jump into the water. Now look at your lower left action bar. It now has a button: "Gather Water." Left click it and you will take a sample of Thalanaar Moonwell Water.
At this point, the quest is complete. You can move your robot back to the base of the bluff, or wander around. I deliberately drove the robot through the night elves and couldn't get them to agro, so there really isn't any danger. When the channeling ends, you will return to your character.
Take a minute to look around for Gravelsnout Diggers and Surveyors in this area. They are found in the north west around 11, 21. Make your way back to Whitereach Post, keeping an eye open for Steelsnap along the way. Give your water sample to Wizlo and he'll give you Testing the Tonic (28), which is turned in back at Freewind Post. At this point, however, let's look at Test of Endurance. The Roguefeather den is found in the southern wall of the canyon at 27, 51 and is probably already visible on your map. The actual den is elevated above the canyon floor, and a totem pole marks the steep path leading up to it.
The interesting thing about roguefeathers is that they cast silence, affecting spellcasters and warriors alike. Fight your way to the back of the den and look for a handful of crates. Right click on one of these to spawn Grenka Bloodscreech (30), the boss that you need to kill to complete the quest. Loot Grenka's Claw and fight your way out of the cave.
End of third trip.
Travel to the north. On this trip we're going up to Darkcloud Pinnacle, where the evil Grimtotem Clan lives. The key to Darkcloud is being able to handle 2 mobs at once. Also, kill everything as you go and don't try to sneak past a few bandits, only to have them agro when a runner gets away from you.
There are two halves to this mission. The first half is to complete Grimtotem Spying in the more populated bluffs. You are looking for three Secret Notes found in gray metal boxes on the ground. To reach this area, stay to the right, whenever possible. From the sentry bluff, cross the bridge leading to the main camp, full of tents. Clear the mobs thoroughly as you go. Stay to the right and you'll find another bridge almost immediately. Take it to find the Secret Note #1 (32, 32). Return across the bridge and look again to the right for the longhouse, where you will find Secret Note #2 (33, 39).
Leaving the longhouse, turn again to the right, and find another bridge beyond the low windmill. Cross it and in a tent on that bluff, find Secret Note #3 (39, 41). Return to the main bluff. Be cautious because you are about to walk into a trap. Stay right again and work your way toward the exit bridge, but be aware that there are two sets of linked mobs in your way, and more singles at a slightly higher level and agro radius. Clear the mobs and cross the bridge back to the sentries.
For the second half of the mission, take the bridge heading east to a second bluff with 4 more sentries. If you wish to complete the escort quest, you need to be able to clear all sentries from the bluff, including the two that are linked. The bridge that runs south leads to the graveyard and the spot from which to summon Arikara. Clear all four mobs from the burial grounds, then right-click the Incendia powder in your inventory and the red serpent (elite, level 28-30) will appear. Be prepared for an elite fight, but one that's certainly possible solo. Loot the Arikara Serpent Skin and cross back over to the sentry bluff.
The last area is not on a bluff, but the bridge actually crosses over to the wall of The Barrens. Avoid the quillboars on your right and go left to find Arnak Grimtotem. He will be accompanied by 3 other mobs, (and one back in the tent) so clear the front two attendants first. He will walk away from the third mob briefly; pull him then and you should be able to beat him solo. Loot his hoof.
Also in this area is Lakota Windsong, a captive with an escort quest, Free at Last (29). Like all escorts, this one is challenging but we are at a good level to finish it. When Lakota reaches each of the bluffs, 1-3 new mobs will spawn in addition to the 4 that are already there. The key to the quest is to run ahead of Lakota as she slowly walks along, and clear each bluff before she gets there. Then you and she together can handle the new spawns. Lakota walks over the three sentry bluffs and then down the ramp to the main road. When she disappears, the quest is complete and can be turned in at Freewind Post. Before going to Freewind, we have a few things to clear up at Whitereach Post, so travel there first.
End of fourth trip.
At Whitereach, turn in your Arikara serpent skin to Motega Firemane. On this trip to Whitereach, keep an eye out for the Galak Messenger, a running centaur. He may run by while you are standing there, so watch the road. Agro him, kill him and loot the Assassination Note. This starts a quest, Assassination Plot (28). Take the note to Kanati Greycloud at Whitereach, and he'll offer you the second quest, Protect Kanati Greycloud (28). If you accept the second quest, three centaur mobs (27-28) will immediately spawn. You and Kanati fighting together should be able to handle the spawns. Talk to him again to get your reward. Now run back to Freewind Post
Back at Freewind Post, Cliffwatcher Longhorn completes both Wanted: Arnak Grimtotem, and Grimtotem Spying. If you are level 32, he will offer a quest in return, Family Tree (35), a messenger quest to Desolace. Inside the inn, Thalia Amberhide wants Free at Last and Rau Cliffrunner completes The Sacred Flame. Testing the Tonic goes to Magistrix Elosai and Wind Rider is completed over by the flight master.
We have one more quick thing to do. Run down to the Weathered Nook and turn in Test of Endurance. Dorn Plainstalker will offer you the next quest Test of Strength (30), a quest to kill Rok'alim (30) a rock elemental. We also have Steelsnap, a quest to kill a big hyena in the same area, if you haven't done that already. Return to the main road, and travel back to Whitereach Post.
End of fifth trip
Rok'alim the Pounder is found at one of three locations: 11, 23 or 15, 35 back against the canyon wall, or 27, 40. There are two things to keep in mind about this fight. The first is that there can be up to 6 other mobs in these areas that need to be cleared very patiently before engaging the elemental. Rok is a straightforward fight if you can take him solo. Adds can complicate things.
The second item of note is that this is the same path that Steelsnap and his 2 sidekicks patrol. It is possible that they will come wandering by some time during the encounter. For this reason, you may want to pull Rok away from the center of the area, and out of Steelsnap's path. After the battle, loot the Fragments of Rok'alim.
If you haven't defeated Steelsnap up to this point, just wait at the bottom of the Highperch Canyon and his group will come wandering by. You may want to clear the area first, in preparation for the tangle with the hyena. This is a more complicated fight, with three mobs at once. The guards cast a fear-like spell as well, but not on the main aggro. One useful strategy is to concentrate on Steelsnap and kill him, then run away from the two guards. At our level, we should be able to handle all three. Afterwards, loot Steelsnap's Rib.
Now return to Dorn Plainstalker in the Weathered Nook and turn in Test of Strength. If you haven't found your Unrefined ore sample, now is the time. Follow the north wall to the east and you'll find a ruined shack. A gravelsnout digger or surveyor should spawn in this area. A similar spawn will happen on the south wall just outside the Orc war camp. Farm these two areas until you get your drop.
End of sixth trip
This visit to Thousand Needles is complete. Take a flight to Camp Taurajo and turn in your Unrefined ore sample to the blacksmith. Travel to Thunder Bluff if you need to complete Steelsnap and pick up the next quest, Frostmaw (37). Then continue on to Orgrimmar and make the journey to Undercity on the Eastern Continent.
After completing these quests, Mackenzie was level 32 +5 bars
Complete any business you have in Undercity, and visit the Auction House to find Strong Troll's Blood Potion. As we begin this chapter, we should already have two Hillsbrad quests: Dangerous!, where we are killing notable citizens, and Souvenirs of Death collecting human skulls, of which we have already gathered several. Be sure to bring any skulls that you have already gathered. Then fly down to Tarren Mill.
Begin by talking to Apothecary Lyndon inside the first house on the left for the beginning of a series, Elixir of Agony (28). This will send you to Nethandar Stead, south east of Tarren Mill. Inside the Inn, to the left, a vender named Christoph Jeffcoat has a quest for turtle meat, Soothing Turtle Bisque (31).
Run straight east to the river, then turn south, killing turtles as you go. Turtle meat is now a 100% drop. Below the bridge, head south east again to Nethander's Stead. Kill the blue gnolls and gather their mushrooms. When ready, return to Lyndon in Tarren Mill, going back by the river again for a quick look for more turtles, if you need them.
Lyndon has a messenger quest for Undercity, Elixir of Agony (28). Fly there now and find Master Apothecary Faranell in the interior Apothecarium. He gives a return quest Elixir of Agony(30). Check for Troll's Blood again at the Auction House, because you will need it immediately for this quest. Return to Tarren Mill and follow the river south to the sea. There you will find the Daggerspine Naga. Hunt them to gather 5 Daggerspines. Then cross the harbor at Southshore and kill the murlocs for their Torn fin eyes. Bring the whole works back to Apothecary Lyndon in Tarren Mill to complete Elixir of Agony. Don't take the follow up quest right now.
End of First Trip.
Instead, we will go back to the town of Hillsbrad and work on Dangerous! and Battle of Hillsbrad. Run down the road this time, instead of crossing over the fields, and approach the town from the south. As you take the road into town, you will find the blacksmith on the left, with his several apprentices and a few footmen as well.
Try to pull the outside mobs one at a time, but the apprentices inside the smithy will come together, 2 or 3 at once. If there are too many, kill one and then run away to the south until you lose agro, then return. You need to clear out the inside of the building in order to find the Shipment of iron. You will gather a few more skulls, so keep track of them. With the blacksmith, his apprentices, and his iron, return to Tarren Mill and turn in the quest.
End of second trip
Darthalia will give you the next Battle of Hillsbrad (26) to kill the Magistrate and some councilmen. This is a tricky quest because you have to clear out the town hall. This is the counterpart to the quest we completed in Ambermill, so take what you learned from the previous quest and apply it here. Refrain from looting, to buy yourself a little extra time before respawns.
Run back to the town of Hillsbrad and clear out the road in front of the town hall. There is a footman in the grassy area across from it, so remove him too. Now pull the two footmen on either side of the door, and then any peasants very close to the paved path. You will be retreating to this area and doing some of your fighting out here.
There is one mob in the entranceway. One in the side chamber next to it. Now look into the main room of the Town Hall. In the center of the room, you'll find Horace Whitesteed. Pull him and run just outside the building to break line of sight; Horace will follow you and you can easily put him down.
There is one mob along the back wall; pull him outside as well. Finally, attack the magistrate himself (a caster) on the raised step. When the room is empty, don't forget to loot the Town Registry up the steps on your left, and the Hillsbrad Proclamation is on the podium. Right click on each of these items to complete the quest. You may have to fight your way outside again, due to respawns. Now return to Tarren Mill and turn this in to Darthalia.
End of third trip
Darthalia's next mission for the Battle of Hillsbrad (28) is to the Azurelode mine. The mine is located to the south of the town of Hillsbrad at (27, 59) and it will be marked on your map, when you get near it. The quickest way to get to Foreman Bonds is to enter the mine using the lower entrance. Approach the mine from the west side and you will be on a small cliff, overlooking the mining area. Jump down at (25, 57) and you'll be right outside the entrance. Inside the mine, follow the tunnel, ignoring stubs, and take the first left. You will see a larger room in front of you with a wooden platform and steps.
Foreman Bonds (30) will be on that platform. When he reaches 40% health, he will summon two dwarves (29), non-elite but as tough for a regular mob, so be ready for a stiff fight at the end. Killing him and 10 miners will complete Darthalia's quest. But you still need to find Miner Hackett(29) to complete the assassination list for Dangerous!.
Hackett often spawns on the ledge overlooking Bonds' platform, but he could spawn throughout the mine so be ready to look for him. If you need any more human skulls, these will drop while you're in the mine doing other things but be certain that you have enough before you leave the area. With these three quests complete, return to Tarren Mill and turn them in to Darthalia in the center of town and Deathguard Samsa, near the inn.
End of Fourth Trip
Dun Garok, Optional
We now have a few optional quests to consider. These are a set of quests for Dun Garok, the Dwarven stronghold to the south east. Previously, the dwarves were all elite and these were group-only quests, but now the dwarves are simply regular mobs and they can be soloed. If you are already level 33, then there is no need to complete them, but if you feel like you need some more xp, this is a good opportunity to catch up. The quests are available from Darthalia and Apothecary Lyndon.
End of Optional trip.
We're finished in Tarren Mill for the moment. Go back to Krusk, inside the school building and accept Regthar Deathgate (32), a messenger quest to our old pal near Crossroads.
There are a few things that we left unfinished back in Thousand Needles. My hearthstone is set there so I'm going to stone back. If you don't have that option, you'll need to fly back to Undercity for the Zeppelin ride.
Mackenzie was level 33 + 4 bars.
Begin this chapter by flying to Freewind Post in Thousand Needles. We have completed all the quests of interest in this area, but there are many more in the area to the east, known as the Shimmering Flats.
Take the road to the east running through the Needles and suddenly you will come upon a seemingly trackless wasteland of cracked white ground. Actually, if you look you can see that the fires that mark the road continue into the Flats, where the road turns south. As you run south, look to your left to find the buildings of the Mirage Raceway. Go over to them and begin collecting your quests.
There are 5 quests to begin with. Three in the gnome camp: Hardened Shells (30), Salt Flat Venom (30), Rocket Car Parts (31). There's another in the goblin camp: Load Lightening (30), and one more from a Tauren on the far track: A Bump in the Road (32). Make sure that you have located and collected all five quests before progressing further.
End of First Trip
The many items for the quests are gathered out on the salt flats and the target mobs are arranged in a clock pattern. Head out in any direction, say the 12 o'clock position, and begin harvesting everything you find, moving in a counter-clockwise direction. As you move, each of the needed mobs will be encountered. In the south western corner of the Flats, there is an area called the Rustmaul Digsite that is overrun with Silithid. The digsite is completely unrelated to your 5 quests, so it's probably best just to skip over it and continue hunting on the other side.
When you get to the southern section of the racetrack, find a path that leads up into the hills to the south at 74, 92 . Break off the hunt and follow that road up and over the hill into another zone called Tanaris. Immediately on the other side of the range of hills is Gadgetzan, a goblin town.
A flight path is on the near side of the town, outside the walls. Be sure to pick that up first, then run inside the walls to complete any other business you may have in town - Mailbox, Bank, Inn, etc. Then you can run north, back to the Racetrack and continue your counter-clockwise killing path until all your gathering quests are satisfied.
There are a few areas of interest for hunting. To the south is the Tahonda Ruins where you find Saltstone Gazers, to the north east are bones where vultures gather and to the north is a crater where you can find Saltstone Basilisks. Scorpids are everwhere but there is a concentration of them to the west.
When your hunting is finished, return to the racetrack pits to turn these quests in and complete this trip. Accept any and all follow up quests that are offered.
At the end of this trip Mackenzie was level 33 + 17 bars.
End of second trip.
Now with the first round of Shimmering Flats quests out of the way, let's look at the second group. Check back through the pits and be sure you have the following 5 quests: Wharfmaster Dizzywig(36), Hemet Nesingwary Jr.(31), Encrusted Tail Fins(35+), Goblin Sponsorship(37), Martek the Exiled(35). All of these quests are completed in some other zone and many of these are messenger quests that involve travel but are not difficult.
Our work in Thousand Needles is complete, for now. Run south to Gadgetzan and fly to Crossroads. Head toward the western gate and talk to Korran, who has the quest The Swarm Grows (33). Now continue down the road to our old friend, Regthar Deathgate in his bunker. He accepts his eponymous quest and gives you The Kolkar of Desolace (32). Return to Crossroads and fly to Ratchet.
Dizzywig is out on the dock. He completes your quest and then gives you another to return to Thousand Needles, Parts for Kravel (36). It's a bit of a trip but the flight path is right here. Set your hearthstone to Ratchet and then fly down to Gadgetzan and visit Kravel in Shimmering Flats. He accepts Kravel's Parts and after a few seconds gives the quest, Delivery to the Gnomes (36). Turn around and give it to Fizzle Brassbolts near the racetrack. When that is finished, go back to Kravel and he has another quest, The Rumormonger(36). There's nothing else to do at the Raceway right now, so travel to Ratchet – using your hearthstone if it will get you there quicker.
Back in Ratchet, run up to Gazlow's house – the one with the big horn sticking out of the top – and Gazlowe accepts the quest Goblin Sponsorship I, and gives us another in the series: Goblin Sponsorship II (36) which sends us to Booty Bay. Instead of doing the obvious thing and taking the boat from the dock here in Ratchet, fly to Orgrimmar and take the Zeppelin to Grom'gol Basecamp instead. We need to do this, to avoid the long run through high level mobs in southern Stranglethorn.
We know where the zeppelin tower is, from our many trips to Undercity. A second zeppelin docks on the north side of the tower and makes a run down to Stranglethorn Vale. When you get off the zep you'll be at Grom'gol. Find the flight master, on the east side of the camp and then fly down to Booty Bay.
Find Wharfmaster Lozgil at the end of the pier where the boat docks. He gives us another step in the series: Goblin Sponsorship III (36), and tells us to find Baron Revilgaz, who is on the top of the inn. The Baron will complete your quest and offer the next in the series, but refuse that for now and we'll get it later. Back inside the inn, on the same level, find Krazek to complete The Rumormonger. Decline Dream Dust but accept Investigate the Camp (30). Return to the flight master and fly back to Grom'gol.
End of Third Trip
Now, take the trail out of Grom'gol at the east gate. Follow it to the main road, but be aware that this path is a little dangerous. Avoid the raptors to the north and the Ogres to the south of this trail. Run north on the main road until you cross a bridge. Just before the next one, look to your left to see the white tents of a camp by the river. You are heading for Nessingwary's camp at (35,10).
By entering the camp, you will complete Investigate the Camp. Talk to Nessingwary to complete Hemet Nesingwary Jr. Talk to Barnil Stonepot and accept Welcome to the Jungle (30). Then go back to Nessingwary to complete it. When you do, the other people standing around the camp will offer you quests.
We've now done all the preparatory work for Stranglethorn Vale: we've located the flightpaths and unlocked the beginning quests. Don't take these quests now; we'll pick them all up on our return when we really begin this zone. Run back to Grom'gol and fly into Booty Bay. Talk to Krazek to turn in Investigate.
Level 34 + 1 bar
End of Fourth Trip
This concludes our visit to Stranglethorn Vale. There will be much more to do when we return, but for now we will turn our attention to Desolace. Travel to Orgrimmar by flying to Grom'gol and boarding the zeppelin for Orgrimmar.