World of Progressioncraft

7th October 2008 – 8.17 am

After gaining a couple of levels last week I knew I wouldn't be entering the Outlands quite as soon as the quick progression would suggest, if only because my prepaid time had run out on the account. My new time card was going to take a few days to be delivered, but that was okay because I had plenty to keep myself entertained in the meantime, including EVE Online and the MST3K all-nighter I attended. Luckily, the new time card turned up by the weekend, so that I could continue to play with my US friends, as the weekends are pretty much the only times when time zones allow us to get together in-game.

Sapphire reached 57th level before my time had expired, which meant I needed only one more level before I could go to the Outlands. I started with some quick questing in Winterspring before a later guild run in to Blackrock Depths, where most of the party got to the stage of springing Marshal Windsor out of his cell with the Jail Break! quest, having retrieved the two pieces of lost information, but without returning to help Windsor escape. With about three-quarters of a level of rested XP and a whole lot of adventuring Sapphire reached 58th level.

The next morning saw me pick up an Outlands shield from the auction house for only ten gold that was almost twice as good as my own before heading down to the Blasted Lands to jump gaily through the Dark Portal in to Hellfire Peninsula, the starting area for the Outlands. I ran around picking up the initial quests and started to work out in which order I would complete them. I have been through Hellfire Peninsula with three other characters, and the rest of the Outlands with two, so I have a good idea of where to go and what to do. In this case, I based my decision on the quest rewards, trying to optimise my equipment for easier completion of subsequent quests, and opted to kill some demons to get a sword with an extra ten DPS over my current weapon. Better DPS would have me finishing quests more quickly than improved armour.

My adventuring continued apace, with quest rewards steadily replacing around half of my equipment. The new gear was not just better than what I was wearing but it was better for DPS and tanking than anything I could equip, so I could effectively replace two items with each single quest reward. There was only one quest I completed that didn't have a reward suitable for my class, and even then the platemail trousers intended for a paladin were a good improvement to my current pair, even when ignoring the spell damage and healing boost they gave. The several quests I rushed through also boosted my XP gains significantly and I was now 59th level.

Just as I was about to take a break I got invited to a pick-up group for Hellfire Citadel Ramparts, the first Outlands instance. I had joined the looking-for-group channel earlier but it was a few seconds after I left it that the request came. I thought it would be good to run through the Ramparts so agreed to be the tank. It was a little tricky, not so much because I was still a level or two below the ideal but because only half of my equipment was from the Outlands. All the inferior Azerothian gear affected my survivability to some extent and made me realise how difficult it would be to try to get through the Ramparts without some shiny new Outlands armour. Despite a wipe here and there, a couple because of a bad pull by me, we ploughed through the instance and defeated all three bosses.

A guild member popped on and noticed that I had got up to 59th level, asking how long before I reach 60th. He suggested that perhaps by dinner time I would make it, judging by my rate of progression, but he said this moments before I handed in the two Ramparts quests. The quests gained me 20,000 XP each, which may a nice gain for an Outlands quest but it's about a quarter of a level for a 59th level character. I ran out of Honour Hold to kill a couple of unfortunate nearby pigs quickly and dinged 60th level.

I made the ride to Shattrath City, with the plan of setting my hearthstone there and gain excellent access to all the capital cities, and instead got caught up as Sapphire decides between joining the Aldor or Scryer factions. With that eventually resolved I popped through the portal to Darnassus, visited the riding trainer and sabre seller, and emptied a total 560 gold out of my dainty purse. I am now the owner of a swift frostsabre. To end the day's adventures the guild went back to Blackrock Depths to rescue Marshal Windsor, after which we accompanied him through Stormwind City to the keep where he unmasked the drake Onyxia. It was quite a day!

I have made a great deal of progress with Sapphire recently, from reaching 50th level and tanking in the Sunken Temple two weeks ago to entering the Outlands and tanking in Hellfire Citadel Ramparts, ending up at 60th level. The advancement will slow down considerably now, with no more help from the 2.4 patch, but I have both Knifey and Sapphire adventuring in the Outlands with plenty to explore again.

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