For the Alliance!

11th March 2009 – 10.44 am

Even though I am enjoying my Wintergrasp escapades and other occasional PvP battles in World of Warcraft they don't offer any XP, and I am not likely to get from 75th to 80th level on the Dalaran cooking daily quests alone. Being 80th level would make me more effective in PvP, grant me access to the PvP rewards I can already buy, and mean that if I hear someone complain about a 75th level character in the Wintergrasp raid group they probably won't be referring to me. I need to do something other than PvP to gain the last remaining levels so I join the LFG channel, hoping to get my death knight in to The Old Kingdom or Voilet Hold instances, either as tank or DPS.

It is not too long before I get an invitation to a group without warning. The last time I was invited to a group without even an introduction it didn't end well, waiting for half-an-hour before watching the group disintegrate without even getting to the instance entrance, but I give the benefit of the doubt and accept the invitation. I get quizzed about whether I can tank and I say that I can, being frosty and capable, at which point someone mentions that I don't have enough health to be a tank. That person then leaves the group.

I wonder aloud in group chat if there really are still players who don't understand that many characters carry at least two sets of equipment in their bags, ready to change as circumstance dictates. As it happens, I am questing in Dragonblight as I get invited to the group so I am wearing my DPS gear, full of +str and +crit. Within a couple of seconds I can switch to my +sta and +def gear, boosting my health by a few thousand points. The anti-social invitation again looks to be heading nowhere as the leader asks us to find another group member as he goes AFK. But that's okay because I notice a call come up about raiding the Horde cities to assassinate their leaders, so I quit the group with no further explanation and join the raid group instead.

The raid slowly fills up to thirty five members and we all get summoned by friendly warlocks to a mountain in The Barrens, near Orgrimmar. The first target is Thrall, chief of the Orcs. Once everyone is accounted for and ready we ride north, heading for the side entrance to Orgrimmar. We are to ride directly to Thrall's chamber, taking care not to engage the guards or opposition players on the way. Thrall's guards are to be taken care of first, then his advisor, then all focus will fall on Thrall. Being only 75th level my attacks miss the boss-level mobs more often than is efficient but I still apply a good amount of damage to the targets and spend some time picking off the occasional Horde player who thinks he can throw a spanner in the works. It takes some time but Thrall is defeated!

A portal is summoned to whisk everyone back to the safety of Ironforge, but it is a short reprieve as we all catch gryphons up to Chillwind Point. Our second destination is Undercity. Like Orgrimmar there is a second entrance to Undercity, one that is probably even more underutilised, and that is through the sewers, which also leads us wonderfully close to the chamber of Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, Banshee Queen of the Forsaken. Again, we clear the royal chamber of extraneous guards before concentrating on the boss and thwart any attempt by players to intercede. It is only a matter of time before we prevail over Lady Windrunner to claim our second victory of the day.

Returning to the safety of Stormwind is only an intermediate stop, with a fresh portal to Theramore opened quickly. From Theramore we ride through Dustwallow Marsh, cross the Barrens briefly and head north through Mulgore to gather near Thunderbluff, where Cairne Bloodhoof awaits. Or, at least, that's where he should be, but on riding up the rear lift in to Thunder Bluff we find that a second Alliance group has already visited and defeated the leader of the Tauren. With the understanding that this second group has also recently gone to Silvermoon City, and a two-hour respawn time, the raid group disbands until another day.

It is a shame that only two of the four Horde leaders were battled but the two fights were suitably epic and thoroughly satisfying. With any luck I will be able to find a group to continue the conquest of the Horde soon. In the mean time, I can continue questing and trying to get in to instances to get some XP and increase my levels, something still not accomplished with the excellent time raiding Horde cities.

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