Filesystem Checkwits subdue Stormwind Stockades

3rd November 2009 – 5.43 pm

Aggro is a curious mechanic. Many are the times you can fight within sight and sound of nearby mobs without drawing any attention to yourself. Fireballs can sunder the air, roaring a scorched path to their targets; mighty weapons will clang off armour, or draw howls of agony when slicing through flesh; pets and demons howl and growl, magically imbued missiles swishing swiftly to thud at their destination; all this, yet no reaction from other mobs nearby, happy to keep patrolling their ten feet of grass. A new insight in to this behaviour may be forthcoming from the Filesystem Checkwits' visit to the Stormwind Stockades, where riots have displaced the gaolers with inmates.

Despite breaking from their confinements, the prisoners are content to remain within the Stockades itself, probably because of their lack of strength to take on the might of the entire Stormwind army. And as long as the prisoners remain within the Stockades it seems that the army is quite happy not to interfere. The warden, however, is understandably concerned, although 'concerned' is probably the wrong word. A better word for a grown man blubbering like a pusillanimous kobold is 'panicked'. I don't know what he's worrying about. For a group of highly co-ordinated and well-equipped adventurers, heading in to a gaol to quell an uprising is like shooting fish in a barrel. It should be okay for the Filesystem Checkwits too.

The prisoners look confident enough when we enter, some patrolling the corridors, others lounging in the cells, all the doors open and bars broken apart. Their confidence is shaken when they start attacking us, hoping to force us out of their little slice of criminal paradise, when we cut through the first few prisoners and they try to flee. But there is nowhere to go, only out to the city and the Stormwind army, or deeper in to the gaol. Although we attract a little attention from the other inmates early in our quest, some other prisoners joining in the excitement of a fray, extra resistance soon diminishes as we are seen to prevail even against overwhelming odds.

It dawns on us that the prisoners can, in fact, see and hear us, they simply choose not to act. For what choice do they have? If they are seen to notice us they are expected to fight, and then they have little hope of surviving another day. So instead they feign ignorance, standing in their own little world, rocking nervously on their feet whilst quietly saying 'La la la, don't mind me, I'm not with these other ones' to no one in particular. But if we get too close they can no longer pretend to look the other way, and it is impossible not to get too close in the confinements of a gaol.

As for running away in fear, this too can be explained. Some of them put up a good fight, but they are just putting on a show, taking a few hits to make it look like they are serious before running back in to their cells and promising to be good from now on. Unfortunately, they broke all the doors and bars, and the only way out is in to the city, so they run around in circles until resigning to their fate and returning to face our justice. Not even the prisoners' leaders can help. Kam Deepfury, being a dwarf, doesn't care much for the gaol's almost entirely human population, and although Dextren Ward puts up some resistance he relies on ineffective normal prisoners for aid.

By the time we reach the Defias Brotherhood's highest ranking member in the Stockades, Bazil Thredd, we have struck fear in to anyone left alive in the gaol. We achieve this partly by taking token body parts from previous bosses, to prove to various NPCs scattered around the Eastern Kingdoms that we have slain the foes, and lopping limbs off cadavers is a little unsettling for the onlookers. It is also an interesting progression from our earlier trip to Blackfathom Deeps in Ashenvale, where we were tasked to gather brain stems from naga.

We're not entirely sure, but after we chop off what we need from Thredd to prove his death at our hands, we think we may be able to create a Frankenstein boss of our own with the various hands, heads and brains we are accumulating on our adventures. But if the romp through Stormwind Stockades shows us anything, it is that staffing a dungeon with dedicated footsoldiers to hold at bay any unwelcome adventuring threats is more difficult than gathering a bunch of criminals with weapons to provide a defence-in-depth strategy. Maybe we'll stick to being the assaulters.

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