A Shanker’s Tale: Tink, Tink, Tink


Once, all this was trees. Well, no. It was mostly dust and bickering Goblins and Gnomes. Now it’s water, pirates, and bickering Goblins and Gnomes. Welcome to Thousand Needles!

The zone begins with everything being overrun by the Grimtotem tribe of Tauren. Fleeing from the area you arrived in, you’re taken to Fizzle and Pozzik’s Speedbarge. Which is awesome. Goblin hijinks ensue, including putting out fires, sinking attacking pirate boats, and bribery. Notably, as the zone is almost entirely underwater, an awful lot of quests involve fighting beneath the waves. This is made bearable with a simple buff, the Speedbarge Diving Helm, removing the need to breathe underwater, and allowing you to move at 160% speed while moving along the seabed. This is perfect, and essentially the only way to make protracted underwater zones workable without driving you totally insane.


Technically this is Truesilver.

Also notable in Thousand Needles are the ore veins. Mithril. Lots and lots of lots of Mithril. I took the opportunity to mine enough of it to complete the Mithril stage of Engineering, leaving me only needing Thorium before heading to Outland. It didn’t take at all long, in the end, even with some competition from level 90s farming there. Underwater speed boosts are a great leveler, against higher level competition.

Having worked through the Speedbarge’s many, many issues with pirates, you’re dispatched back towards the middle of the zone, to clear out the Grimtotem from Freewind Post and it’s environs. These quests have an NPC ally attached to you, who issues and completes quests. Theoretically, he’s supposed to help fighting as well, but mostly he stands and watches you stab things, until something actively attacks him. Luckily, nearly all of the Grimtotem have an AoE stun, which causes your helper to aggro. Being stunned so regularly does become irritating however – I’m sure there could’ve been a better way to do it.

Once you’re done with the Grimtotem, you’re sent to save their leader, Magatha, from the Twilight’s Hammer. These are the first quests I’ve found that have you outright opposing Deathwing’s forces, and they are quite spectacular, from assassinating their leaders, through to finally defeating the elemental they’re attempting to empower.

In all, Thousand Needles was… mixed. I loved the Speedbarge, but could really have done without the Grimtotem quests – there’s only so many times you can be War Stomped before it gets really old, and the NPC not doing his job capped it off. The Mithril helped, though. So much Mithril.


Done with Thousand Needles, I headed south to Tanaris. And was greeted with a whole questline of this. Amazingly, about the only thing you aren’t told to mechanically reclaim is Zhevra. It wouldn’t be so bad, if not for the Butcherbot’s colourful emotes, which range from mechanical grinding sounds to the downright psychopathic. All in all, not one to do while you’re eating.

After all that (and some Random Battlegrounds), Illirica reached the heady heights of level 50. At 45, I selected my third talent – Cheat Death for now, though I can certainly see the use of Elusiveness for the constant damage reduction. One that’ll depend on the situation, I think. Level 50 also brings another spec-specific mechanic, Venomous Wounds for Assassination. Importantly, it’s also the level Subtlety gets Honor Among Thieves, one of the main mechanics that was missing from it last time I tried, so it may be time for another swing at it.

The final stretch before Outland, now, starting in Winterspring.


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