I played WoW Classic on launch day, and it was full of lag and nostalgia. While I didn’t have very much time to play, I was able to get Vaca, my Tauren Warrior, to Level 3.
The lag was gone the next time I played, and it became much easier to work my way through some low-level quests.
A quest sent me to Red Cloud Mesa, where I found another quest giver. Antur Fallow had a new quest for me called A Task Unfinished.
Antur Fallow: Vaca, please, I beg of you, can you help me? I have not finished my tasks here in the Mesa – I’m in the middle of my Rite of Strength — and my father asked me to deliver these furs to the inn in Bloodhoof.
I’m far from rested enough to complete both my rite and this task for my father. Would you mind going on for me?
The inn is pleasant and a perfect place to rest during your long travels. I’m sure you’ll agree once you see it.
The quest requires players to bring a bundle of furs to Innkeeper Kauth in Bloodhoof Village. It sounds like a simple task. But, it is made more difficult by requiring the player to travel into an area that has enemies that (potentially) are higher level than they are.
Here is my Warrior, at Level 3, fighting a Level 6 Prarie Wolf that ran onto the path to attack her. For a while, I was certain that this would cause my first WoW Classic death. Fortunately, I survived!
Bloodhoof Village is pretty when the sun shines on it this way.
I found Baine Bloodhoof! He is Level 10.
Here’s a better look at Baine Bloodhoof. He has some quests for the player.
I left a (poorly edited) chat in this screenshot just to show that people in Classic WoW were having actual conversations. At the time, there was a joke related to the name of the server we are on. Other players were talking about how populated some of the other servers were.
Sharing the Land: Vaca, there are many conflicts that would this land. It is my hope that you will not bear witness to as many of them as I have. Yet, there is one that I would ask you to seek out. It will give you some sense of how terrible, if left unchecked, even a small threat can be to the land.
Palemane gnolls have settled to the south of Bloodhoof and in a cave to the west. They disrespect our attempts to communicate with them, and they slay the wildlife of Mulgore unbridled.
Words are no longer the answer.
This quest requires the player to kill 10 Palemane Tanners, 8 Palemane Skinners, and 5 Palemane Poachers, and then return to Baine Bloodhoof. I didn’t immediately start on this quest because Baine had another one for me that looked interesting.
Baine Bloodhoof: The Rite of Vision, one of the Rites of the Earthmother, will help guide you toward earning the respect of the elders of Thunder Bluff.
Our people have learned that the land is our most holy provider. In order to take part in the ritualistic vision, you must speak with the spiritual leader of the village, Zarlman Two-Moons.
On the one hand, I really like that Bane Bloodhoof is so concerned about the Palemane Gnolls, who are slaughtering the wildlife “unbridled” that he wants the player to solve that problem. It shows that Bane, and perhaps all the Tauren, have an interest in protecting the environment.
The solution involves killing the Palemane Gnolls, because “words are no longer the answer”. This is more reasoning than some video games give for asking the player to go kill a certain number of a neighboring people.
On the other hand, I’m not quite sure if the aesthetic used in the Tauren villages is cultural appropriation. There are teepees and totem poles, and references to rites the player needs to perform. Some of the NPC names sound like they could be names of real people who have First Nation heritage. (Zarlman Two-Moons, for example.)
Is this okay? That wasn’t a question I asked myself when I was playing “Vanilla” (probably because I was playing Alliance back then instead of Horde). Perhaps, the best way to find the answer to my question is to go online and search for comments about the Tauren made by people who have First Nations heritage.
Before starting the Rite of Vision quest, I decided to turn in the A Task Unfinished quest to Inkeeper Kauth.
A Task Unfinished: Ah, the furs I was expecting. Thank you.
These came faster than I had expected. They will make good blankets for anyone who wishes to stay here.
Please feel free to stay as long as you like. My inn is always open and all of our people are welcome here. And don’t underestimate a good night’s rest, it can make a great difference while you’re out traveling.
There are two rewards to choose from. I took the Tough Hunk of Bread, because I know that eating food gives back hit points.
Zarlman Two-Moons: I sensed you would be coming to me, warrior. I can always recognize one who is trying to pass the Rites of the Earthmother.
Zarlman Two-Moons: In order to pass through the Rite of Vision, you must gather the reagents needed to make the Water of the Seers.
I will need well stones, which can be found around the water wells in Mulgore. With those I will combine Ambercorn, which fall beneath the mighty trees in our land.
These reagents contain magical elements and when brewed and consumed before the tribal fire, it will cause you to encounter a vision. Follow it, and it will lead you to the next step of this holy quest.
This quest requires players to collect 2 Well Stone and 2 Ambercorn and bring them back to Zarlman Two-Moons.
But first, I decided to work on The BattleBoars quest that I picked up last time I played. It requires players to kill Battleboars and bring back 8 Battleboar Snouts and 8 Battleboar Flanks. The quest goes nicely with the Break Sharptusk! quest, which is in the same area.
Vaca was now at Level 4. She gained 19 hit points.
I became a proud member of the House Kraken Guild, which is led by Belghast. To make this work, I had to re-learn how to connect with someone in Classic WoW, and how to send them a whisper. I’m guessing the system for this isn’t much different than in what people are now calling “retail WoW”. I had completely forgotten how it worked because I spend way more time in Diablo III than in any form of Warcraft.
The first World of Warcraft Guild I joined was back in The Burning Crusade. It was with a group of complete strangers, one of whom I met when we were both hopelessly lost inside an underground cave. When we finally found the way out, we both hit /dance.
This Guild was fun, for a while. We had enough people to do some dungeons with. I can’t remember if our Guild did any raiding, because I wasn’t ready for that yet. Long story short, the Guild fell apart after the Guild leader, who wasn’t the player /danced with, disappeared. Eventually, he contacted someone who passed along what happened to the rest of us. Our Guild Leader was a teenager whose grades were going down, and his mother stopped paying for his WoW subscription.
I am confident that House Kraken will not suffer this fate. There are several people in it whom I have communicated with online for a long time. Many of us are adults. Some of the people in the House Kraken are those whom I just met through #Blaugust2019.
It’s nice to have a bunch of people to chat with while, say, killing Battleboars. If I need help with a quest, chances are someone in the Guild will be able to help me. I’ll pay that favor forward whenever my character is big enough to do so.
Vaca is wearing the newly acquired Nomadic Vest. It is a reward for turning in the Battleboars quest. This mix of gear doesn’t match together very well. The “dressed yourself for the first time” look was something I remember from “Vanilla” WoW.
I’ve been spending my money mostly on two things: buying new skills, and getting my armor repaired. WoW Classic, like “Vanilla” does not give players tons of opportunity to make in-game money. It takes a bit to get used to that after playing “Retail WoW”. I like that the limited funding makes players have to make strategic decisions about what they want to buy.
I was able to collect Chief Sharptusk Thornmantle’s Head, thanks to an amazingly quick respawn rate. This item is required in order to turn in the Break Sharptusk! quest. It is the first head a Tauren player was asked to collect.
I am curious to see if there are more quests of this type. When my husband and I were playing low-level Alliance characters, we had several quests that required bringing back some NPC’s (non-player character’s) head.
Vaca hit Level 5 on the way out of the cave that leads to Chief Sharptusk Thornmantle. Vaca gained 19 more hit points, more Strength, Agility, and Stamina, and increased her skill in Arms and Fury. “Retail WoW” dropped the “increase skill” thing a while back. I’m going to enjoy seeing how high I can increase Vaca’s skills.
The Painted Chain Leggings are one of the reward choices for turning in the Break Sharptusk! quest. I think these pants go much better with the chest piece Vaca is wearing than the other ones did.
Seer Greytongue gives Vaca the Rite of Strength quest.
Seer Greytongue: The Rites of the Earthmother are the steps a young Tauren needs to take to gain respect in Thunder Bluff.
First you must pass the Rite of Strength. In this test you must prove your bravery by slaying enemies of the tribe.
Bristlebacks of Brambleblade Ravine to the east are encroaching on our tribal lands. They ambush our hunting parties and steal from the village by dark.
Show your valor by slaying these villains and return to the Chief in Camp Narache with their belts as proof of your deeds.
Players must bring back 12 Bristleback Belts. This quest, like some of the previous ones, give a reasonable explanation why the player must go kill a bunch of the neighboring people. In this case, the Bristlebacks are actively causing harm to the Tauren people.
The Sharing the Land quest, and Rite of Strength quest, were going to have wait because I figured I should to the Rite of Vision one first.
I randomly ran into Belghast, which was nice. We’ve talked to each other through social media, and I’ve watched a few of his Twitch streams and chatted with him there. This is the first time we had the opportunity to meet “face to face”, so to speak.
He was kind enough to give me a cloak that he had outgrown, and that I would grow into. Hand-me-downs from Guildies are always nice! It makes the Guild feel like a family, where the “bigger” kids pass along stuff they can’t wear anymore to the “smaller” kids. I suspect I’ll be one of the “smaller” kids for a long time, because my health issues keep me from playing video games as often as healthier people can.
This screenshot made me realize just how big Tauren really are! It’s not easy to tell when surrounded by other Tauren, but is super obvious when standing next to a Forsaken.
Here is Vaca, fighting a teeny, tiny, goblin, who is trying to stop her from walking away with that Well Stone.
Turn in two Well Stones, and Two Ambercorns to Zarlman Two-Moons, and he prepares the Water of the Seers for you.
Zarlman Two-Moons: The Water of the Seers is ready for your consumption, Vaca.
The Water of The Seers induces a vision.
A ghost wolf, called The Plains Vision, appears. The player must follow it across the plains. This is not an escort quest, where the player’s goal is to save the NPC from certain death as he or she meanders into mobs. Instead, this is a peaceful experience that gives the player time to enjoy the lovely view.
The Plains Vision howls when you reach your destination. Seer Wiserunner tells the player: “I have been expecting you.”
Seer Wiserunner: Be not afraid, Vaca. You have successfully passed the Rite of Vision.
Players can either choose the Rainwalker Boots of the Sun-beaten Cloak as a reward. I went with the cloak, because the boots Vaca was wearing were better than the Rainwalker Boots.
After making her selection, Vaca very dramatically hit Level 6! Seer Wiserunner gave her the Rite of Wisdom quest.
Seer Wiserunner: To gain acceptance amongst the elders of Thunder Bluff you must next complete the Rite of Wisdom.
Now that you have passed the Rite of Vision, the ancestral spirits of Red Rocks will give you the blessing of our ancestors. Only those who have drunk from the Water of Seers can gain the blessing.
Travel east of Thunder Bluff, to Red Rocks and seek out the Ancestral Spirit, Vaca.
Here is a look at the Sun-beaten Cloak, which was a bit fancier than I was expecting. This screenshot also includes a nice view of the landscape. I like to take the time to enjoy the beauty in this game.
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