Tobold's Blog
Friday, December 21, 2007
 
Dustwallow Marsh much improved

In April 2005 I wrote
One quite interesting detective quest has to do with a burned down inn, at the border between the swamp and the Barrens. There are three "clues" hidden in the inn, a shield, a tiny badge, and some hoofprints. I had found the shield, but the other clues I only found after reading about them on Thottbot. Each clue leads to a quest, leading to the perpetrators of that crime. Unfortunately the series ends with a dud. After you did everything, you are told to bring the black shield to somebody in Thunders Bluff, for the final revelation of the mystery. And there you hand in the shield, get a tiny xp reward, and the quest abruptly ends without explanation. Seems a bit unfinished. Maybe you would get more information if you did the Alliance side quests from the same three clues, but my druid only found the black shield at the time, and now his account has expired.

Maybe the reason why the Dustwallow Marsh are a bit underpopulated is that this is not the only bad quest in there. There is a guy in a hut in the swamp, "Swamp Eye" Jarl, who gives three quests which don't make much sense. First he wants three soothing spices, which you have to buy from a vendor, and the reward is only some food without stats. Then he wants 40 spider eyes, but he is talking crazy, and you don't really know what for. And then he wants an expensive smithed sword for the third quest. I declined that third quest, because I knew how valuable the sword was, and the reward he offered was worth a lot less. But I checked on Thottbot if there was another quest behind that, which would explain and reward a bit more, but there apparently isn't. Simply a badly written series of quests. It actually speaks for the otherwise high quality of the World of Warcraft quests if the bad ones are jarring so much.
Well, I'm happy to report that the detective quest continues after handing in the shield now. And Swamp Eye Jarl, while still being crazy, also much improved his quests. He doesn't want spices and a smithed sword any more, he now takes frog legs and a sword that drops from a named murloc. His quest texts have been rewritten as well, so that he comes over more believable as the mad guy living in the swamp. Going there is now definitely worth it, because he also gained a less crazy room mate with even more quests. And then there is the grave I also previously mentioned.
One very nice, hidden, level 40 quest is in the Dustwallow Marsh. There is a hut with a guy named "Swamp Eye" Jarl, who gives very bad quests (best avoid doing those), but in his garden is a freshly dug grave. When you click on it first, you find a hand. Bring the hand to Brackenwall Village gives you a reward, but no clue that the quest isn't finished. You need to go back to the same grave, and by further digging find a head. From that starts a quest where you boil the head in a troll voodoo cauldron in Grom'Gol to make him speak, which then gives you a quest to find a necklace from crab men in Dustwallow Marsh. After handing the quest in at Brackenwall, you are sent to Orgrimmar, where you get the choice between two very nice blue rings. Well worth it, and I guess not many people did that quest.
Only now the grave has a yellow exclamation mark floating over it, which makes it much more obvious that there is a quest to get there. Of course Dustwallow Marsh also gained a new town, Mudsprocket, and many more new quests. What appeared "unfinished" to me in 2005 is now a complete zone. Makes me wonder if Blizzard is planning to rework other unfinished zones, Azshara comes to mind. Anyway, good job on Dustwallow Marsh.
Comments:
I remember doing those quests, and I had the feeling at the time that I was missing clues somewhere. I never even knew about the grave at the back of the shack.
Another thing they did in Dustwallow was to downgrade the elite Dragonkin to just normal mobs, which has helped a lot.

On the Alliance side, I was pretty disappointed with the long quest chain that ended abrupty in Theramore (you know the one - the kidnapping one). It was a real anticlimax after you spoke to Miss Proudmore. Wonder if that is still the same?

One thing I still don't like, is doing quests that don't give any reputation (Ungoro quests for example). When I kill stuff and have been told I'm a great hero, I want it to be acknowledged by someone!
Yes, I would like my Blood Elf to get Exalted with as many Horde factions as possible before I go into Outlands, but I'm struggling to get the Darkspear Troll rep up, and I am running out of Horde questgivers, it seems, so questgivers that give no rep are a nuisance.
 
I've done both the Inn and Missing Diplomat chains in the process of leveling up, and at the time found them engaging and well-done. The abrupt break in the narrative however led me to search for information regarding their loose threads--whether or not there existed hidden or obscure links in their chains. Alas, it turned out that there were no further quests in both series, but there was still hope that Blizzard may still revisit them.

Fast forward to 2.3, and the loose threads have been neatly tied up, plus some more content to boot. Unfortunately it all comes too late. For quite some time now WoW no longer has the same lustre as it once did to me.

I still hope that Blizzard would produce in Wrath of the Lich King, an expansion pack that reignites my interest in the world they created, that they do have more of these zone improvements in store, but most of all, that they would achieve the perfect balance between releasing when it's done and getting product out before people get disenchanted.
-Svartalve
 
I played the zone with may shaman some days ago. As much criticism as WoW probably earns, there are still rock solid things like the revamped Dustwallow. It shows how much they have learned in the last 3 years. Pacing, rewards after the revamp are very flawless. Playing the new Dustwallow still makes me wanna play new expansions just for the sake of experiencing the leveling content.
 
Go check Taretha's place to, she has a couple guidos hanging around to give you a lot more quests too. I love the new Dustwallow, levelled my pally from 37-42 in there. Good money, good quests. Awesome having that second flight path.
 
Another nice bonus for Alliance is a free teleport from Stormwind to Jaina if you don't turn in the final quest of the Missing Diplomat line.
 
Tobold, I like your revisiting of old posts. It feels like, "When Blizzard revamps their zones, Tobold revamps his zone reviews!"

I also enjoyed the new Dustwallow tremendously. Afterwards I fell into a leveling slump and had to go into STV to finish off the early-mid 40's.
 
Have to agree here, leveled my Hunter alt here around 35 and 40 a few days ago and had a lot of fun. Also the rewards are very nice. I certainly hope they will update more older regions ;).
 
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