WoW Classic went live today, and I was able to get in and play for a little while. It went exactly as I remembered “Vanilla” being, right down to the server already being full when I got there. I got lucky and the queue wasn’t too bad.
Approximately 10 hours before WoW Classic went live, I connected with Belghast on Twitter to ask what realm he was on. I remembered him mentioning that he, and a group of people, were going to get on the same server, but forgot which one it was.
After a brief confusion (which I blame on pollen season and lack of sleep) I was able to find the correct server and roll a Tauren Warrior. My goal for WoW Classic, other than to have fun, is to see if maybe I can learn to tank.
Originally, I was going to name my WoW Classic Tauren Bessy, because my WoW Tauren (which has been sadly neglected) is named Bessimoo. But, the name Bessy was already taken. So, my Tauren is named Vaca. It means “cow” in Spanish. This was a creative as I could be under the circumstances.
Approximately 10 hours later, I was looking at a loading screen.
The first cinematic faded into the town below, and I was happy to see that there were plenty of players in-game.
When “Vanilla” was live, I was playing an Alliance Night Elf. For the beta, I decided to roll a Tauren to see what the Horde side of “Vanilla” was like. I decided to stick with Horde for WoW Classic because doing so would give me new places to explore.
An extra bonus was that Belghast’s group planned to roll Horde. I will have people to play with, eventually, when we are on at the same time. I forgot what level a character has to be to start a guild, or to join one.
If you play a Tauren, your character is dropped in front of Grull Hawkwind, who greets you. I remember there being a lot of players gathered around the first quest giver in “Vanilla” – and the same was true for WoW Classic.
The chat, overall, was entertaining. There were the old jokes I remembered about Chuck Norris, and “Where is Mankrik’s wife?” There were players asking for directions to a location they needed to get to in order to complete a quest and several helpful players providing that information.
As in the beta, there were comments about the size of Tauren body parts, and mentions of Goldshire and Moonguard (which each have the same, bad, reputation). It was easy enough to ignore.
What surprised me was the number of comments from players about wanting to do an all-nighter in WoW Classic. Not because of that desire, which is perfectly reasonable. I was not expecting the responses from players who were much older now than when “Vanilla” was live. Those comments can be summarized as “we have work tomorrow”. Or, “I’m old, and can’t stay up that late anymore.”
Someone mentioned coffee. Someone else responded that they can’t drink coffee after 2 p.m. because it makes them unable to sleep at night.
The most amusing thing I saw in chat was started with a question. A player asked, “Ok, whose cow pie did I just step in?”
Someone responded that she, a Tauren, was making pies “to feed the mini-moos”, and perhaps it was one of her pies that had fallen to the ground. This led to a discussion about what kind of meat was in those pies, and whether or not Taurens are vegan.
The Hunt Begins: You have a promising air about you, and will prove yourself to the tribe. Perhaps someday soon you will be welcomed into the great city of Thunder Bluff. But before that can happen you must prove yourself to my father, Chief Hawkwind.
Up here on Red Cloud Mesa, we pride ourselves on keen hunting skills. Tauren hunt out of necessity and for sport. Our supply of meats has run low and we require feathers for clothing. Hunt the nearby plainstriders and prove yourself by resupplying the village.
Your first quest as a Tauren is a “bring me body pieces” one. You must kill Plainstriders and gather up 7 Plainstrider Feathers and 7 pieces of Plainstrider Meat.
Killing Plainstriders is easy, as it should be, considering this is the first beast the player is asked to go out and kill. But, I had some difficulty with it. The first problem was the lag. There was a noticeable gap between when I swung my weapon and when the game caught up to it.
I figured I would be fine, because I was playing a Warrior. I didn’t think I could be easily killed by just one Plainstrider. So, I swung, and waited… and eventually the lag lessened and I could make some progress.
There was so much lag happening that I could see, across the plains, entire groups of players who appeared to be running in place. Eventually, they would disappear, and reappear somewhere else, moving at the speed they should be.
The other problem I was having with killing Plainstriders was due to other players. I’d hit a Plainstrider, and watch as a giant ball of magic floated over and hit the Plainstrider I’d attacked. The bird would immediately turn and run directly over to the Druid who sent the giant ball of magic.
I don’t know if some of the Druid players were doing this to intentionally “steal” someone else’s Plainstrider. It is possible that the amount of lag meant that they honestly didn’t see me there, swinging my weapon at that particular Plainstrider.
Despite these difficulties, I was able to level my Tauren Warrior to Level 2 just by killing Plainstriders.
The rewards for completing The Hunt Begins quest is either a Nomadic Belt or Painted Chain Gloves. I took the gloves, because I didn’t have any and they looked good. One of the things I like about WoW Classic is that the gear you get from quests is very useful!
Simple Note: Just a moment ago a messenger was looking for you, Vaca. I believe she was sent by the warrior trainer Harutt. If this note is from Harutt, I wouldn’t take long in readings it’s contents.
This is how players find their Class Trainer in Classic WoW. They get a note that was conveniently sent to the first quest giver from a messenger.
Simple Note: Many tribes claim that it is a gift to be blessed with the aptitude to use magic or to talk to our ancestors, but you should know this as well, Warrior. You are just as gifted. Some do not have the strength in their arms to wield mighty weapons. Some do not have the skill to parry a blow from an assassin, or to even suffer the physical punishments from an arcane spellcaster. But you do. You are strong. And I will help you become stronger. Find me in Camp Narache.
Harutt Thunderhorn, Warrior Trainer
Simple Note: Ah, at last you’ve arrived, warrior. I did not lie in my note, Vaca. We are a special breed also, not unlike the druids or shamans of our tribe. You are just as important. We are the ones called upon to defend our borders, to hunt the centaur, and to go to war.
In the cinematic intro, the game tells the player that the area the Tauren are living in was once overrun with Centaur, and the two sides warred against each other. Later, the Tauren teamed up with the Orcs (who had newly arrived), and wiped out the Centaur.
Harutt Thunderhorn: Each of us plays a role in our tribe. Each of us must also go through all the same rites. Do not ever let your pride tell you otherwise.
I remain here to train new warriors that seek the glory of battle and who follow the ways of our oldest ancestors. When you feel ready, come back to me and I will do what I can to train you further. Go with the tribe’s blessing, Vaca.
When Harutt Thunderhorn said “When you feel ready, come back to me and I will do what I can to train you further”, he meant when you have enough money to pay him to train you. Players in “Vanilla”, and now in WoW Classic, need to purchase skills.
I didn’t have any money at all when I turned in the Simple Note quest. There were some things in my bag that I could sell, but it would be a while before I’d be able to buy my first skill.
I did have some luck, however. One of the Plainstriders dropped a small, green, bag. I started using it to separate the items I needed to collect for quests from my other items.
My plan is to keep returning to Harutt Thunderhorn every time I get enough money to buy a new skill. I’m guessing it’s probably best for a Warrior to get those skills as soon as possible. The first one I purchased was Battle Shout.
Back to Grull Hawkwind, the first quest giver the player encounters.
The Hunt Continues: A Tauren skilled in the ways of the hunt knows that his prey is not for mere trophy. The beasts of the plains provide us with a means of survival. You will make quite an impression on the elders if you can bring back some highly valued Mountain Cougar Pelts. You can find the beasts lurking in the hills to the south.
Our children need clothing and our tents need mending.
Players need bring back 10 Mountain Cougar Pelts.
Chief Hawkwind is the Chief of Camp Narache. He has a quest.
A Humble Task: All members of the tribe share in the harmony of life. We live together and work together.
Our commitment to one another carries with it a high degree of responsibility. I ask of you now a humble task.
My mother set out this morning to fetch water from the well to the southeast of Narache. It has been quite some time now. Perhaps you could check on her for me while I attend to tribal matters here?
I love the idea of being part of a community that shares in the harmony of life and works together. That it something I feel is missing from the real world right now. Playing a Tauren is comforting.
Greatmother Hawkwind: You traveled all this way to help an old woman? My, my, aren’t you a keeper?
Vaca is wondering whether Greatmother Hawkwind really needed help, or if she is secretly searching for the right Tauren girl to marry her son.
A Humble Task: I have traveled many paths through life and these old legs lack the vigor they once had. I can still perform my duties to the tribe. Sometimes it just takes an old woman a little longer to do the task.
But you look like an eager warrior. Let’s put some of that youthful vitality to the test. Take a water pitcher from the well and bring it to my son, the Chief, in Camp Narache.
Remember that even the most humble task can gain the recognition of elders.
When you return to Chief Hawkwind, he says: You look as though you have returned from the plains. Do you have any word from Greatmother Hawkwind?
Chief Hawkwind: You carried this pitcher back at the Greatmother’s bidding, I see.
Your willingness to help others and provide for the Tauren of Camp Narache leads me to believe you would make the tribe proud in Thunder Bluff someday.
Rites of the Earthmother: Your willingness to perform a humble task for the Tauren of Narache and your eagerness to learn are noble traits, Vaca. I believe one day you will be heralded in Thunder Bluff as a warrior of greatness.
Before that you must embark on the Rites of the Earthmother, of which there are three.
The first test is the Rite of Strength. Travel to Seer Greytounge and tell him Chief Hawkwind has sent you.
You will find the seer’s abode directly to the south of Camp Narache, tucked away in the hills.
I didn’t have the time to start on this quest when I was playing, so I’ll work on that one next time.
I found a skeleton of a huge animal as I was running around. What is it? I have no idea. There must be a story behind it.
Vaca hit Level 3 while killing Mountain Cougars for their pelts. Her skill in Arms increased to 15, and so did her skill in Fury. Classic WoW, like “Vanilla”, has players leveling up skills in a whole bunch of things. This was later taken out of the game.
Grull Hawkwind: The tauren of Narache thank you for these provisions, Vaca. With your skill in the ways of the hunt you will surely be revered in Thunder Bluff someday.
Players who complete The Hunt Continues quest choose between Nomadic Bracers or Painted Chain Belt as a reward. I chose the Painted Chain Belt, because the one I randomly picked up wasn’t very good.
Grull Hawkwind: The Battleboars of Brambleblade Ravine to the east are encroaching on our tribal hunting grounds. They are trained to be malicious by the Bristleback Quillboars with whom we are at war.
Go and slay the vile creatures and bring back some snouts and flanks so that we can make stew for our young.
My interpretation of this quest is that Grull Hawkwind obviously wants you to kill the Battleboars. He’s asking for snouts and flanks that can be used to feed the young Tauren of Camp Narache.
The very first quest states that Tauren hunt out of necessity and for sport. Hunting the Battleboars, which are encroaching on Camp Narache, makes sense, as doing so would limit the ability of the Bristleback Quillboars to attack. It also makes sense for the Tauren to take the useful parts of the slain Battleboars, to use as food.
Someone in chat implied that this quest was asking the player to bring back the snouts and flanks of the Bristleback Quillboars – which would then be used as food for young Tauren. I disagree with that player’s interpretation.
I didn’t have time to begin this quest, or the next one I picked up this time. They will be among the quests I start working on the next time I play.
Brave Windfeather has a quest that goes along with the previous quest. Both require the player to go to the same area. It’s best to pick these both up at once, and work on them simultaneously.
Brave Windfeather: Vaca – I have heard of you, new comer. Perhaps it is you that will help us, where others have failed.
We Tauren have carved a home out of this land, but not without a cost. The Bristleback quilboars of Brambleblade Ravine, led by Chief Sharptusk Thornmantle, have made our lives very difficult with their continued war against us. I charge you to bring me the chief’s head!
He will be found in the ravine to the east in their makeshift village.
Here is Vaca the Tauren Warrior when I needed to stop playing. She has reached Level 3, completed some quests, and picked up some gear that almost goes together.
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