A hop, skip and a swim from Orgrimmar, Illirica arrives at her destination. Welcome to the Northern Barrens!
Huh. Less barren than I remember. Anyway, down to business: stabbing things for money. Most of the issues people need dealt with in the Northern Barrens revolve around three main issues: 1, Quillboars Are Hitting Me, 2, The Cataclysm Ruined Everything and 3, Goddamn, All These Animals Are Annoying. As such, the zone has you exterminating anything with fur or feathers, starting with the ever-dangerous Plainstrider, and working up through Lions and Raptors, with the occasional diversion to kill some Quillboars.
Most of these quests are fairly standard and very straightforward – nothing out of place for a low level zone. Most interesting are the quests Crossroads Caravan Pickup and it’s follow up, Crossroads Caravan Delivery. There’s something very satisfying about sitting on the back of a Kodo, blasting away at Quillboars (and, later, cultists). Those deposited me at the Crossroads, where the opportunities to slaughter the local fauna continue apace. The lines out of Crossroads also have you branching out a little, with several quests taking you to various spots of the zone in search of Centaurs to kill.
The overarching story of the zone is the encroaching corruption from the Wailing Caverns – several quests involve helping Druids in their attempts to investigate or combat the issues that plague the area in the aftermath of the Cataclysm. Tonga Runetotem makes a reference to it being worse in the south; I might end up investigating that later on. When you aren’t fighting fauna or investigating suspicious flora, there are opportunities to fight an Alliance incursion to the south of Ratchet, including scuttling one of their warships. Naturally, I obliged.
In the end, though, one of my main lasting memories of Northern Barrens will be the realisation that Orcs get all of the best insults:
Horsefaced maggot farms? Really? Zing.
I took a break from questing to indulge in some Battlegrounds (with mixed results), and, once the Dungeon Finder feature opened up, a run through Deadmines and another through Ragefire Chasm. It was quick and efficient, but low on any real engagement – mostly the tank gathered a whole bunch of mobs and and we stabbed them a lot. Nothing much to it at this level. Still, it was worth the time. I got a nice belt from the reward bag, which is always welcome.
At the end of the day, Illirica is now level 20. A very nice level for Assassination, as I now have Envenom instead of Eviscerate. Particularly useful as my daggers are terrible, so most of my damage is being done by Deadly Poison for the time being. I also now have Crippling Poison, which will be useful for any creatures that enjoy running away, like all of those Quillboars.
Hitting 20 also mandated a trip to the Eastern Kingdoms for riding training and a hawkstrider mount. I also stopped over to work on my professions a little, and now have a stack of bombs to throw at people.
As I’m in the area already, I think I’ll head in to the Forsaken areas next – Hillsbrad Foothills, to be precise.