Game Design Exercise: Introduction to Farahlon

Last time, I presented to you all a general overview of what my design of Farahlon would look like, including a handy map presenting most major points of interest. I promised to go into details about the specific points later, and here I am. In this part, I’m going to present the storyline that introduces you to Farahlon. There isn’t much in terms of very unique gameplay in this specific part, so that will have to wait for the next parts.



When the patch releases, you will notice either in your garrison or in Stormshield the Command Board having a new quest – you are required to visit Archmage Modera at a dock in Stormshield and depart with her for the new village Kirin Tor has established in Farahlon, this time at Jaina’s command only for Alliance. Players who have completed their previous part of the legendary questline will also notice Khadgar now directs them to Jaina in Farahlon, noting she wants to take personal control over what you’re doing. Turns out the Iron Horde has arrived in Farahlon, led by Warlord Uraga of the Bladewind Clan and is assaulting the draenei cities there and you are sent to relieve them.

When you arrive in the new Kirin’var Village, you’ll find it under attack by saberons. Image of Archmage Vargoth is present on the site (he’s afraid to appear in person) and laments his choice of place for the settlement. Turns out that when the original expedition to Draenor arrived and established Kirin’var, the saberons were already dead. In this version of Draenor, they are very alive and not happy about you encroaching on their hunting grounds. Your first quests direct you to clear the village from the invaders.

Upon completing that, the saberons phase out and the Kirin’var Village is now a fully functional quest hub. Your next task is to attack the saberon village on a peak that the Sunfury occupy in Netherstorm and to take back all the resources they have stolen, as well as freeing some apprentices they kidnapped for food. Finally, Vargoth wants you to bring back some saberon cubs – he wants to get someone to raise them so that the pack doesn’t go extinct as in our reality. With that done, you get a Kirin Tor escort to kill the saberon matriarch, the Elekkslayer.

With those done, you are told to establish your new outpost, in the shape of the Chapel or the Grain Depot, both corresponding to new garrison buildings. In Farahlon, the Chapel gives you a Divine Protection-like spell to protect yourself from lethal attacks. Its garrison counterpart, the Temple, lets you get buffs you may be missing at first level. The Grain Depot in Farahlon regularly produces buff food that you can conjure using your zone ability. Its garrison counterpart is a Farm, very similar to the one from Pandaria.

Your next quest after establishing the garrison is to check out the Apexis tower draenei call “Coruu”. The Kirin Tor doesn’t know what are those towers for, but they know they must hold some ancient magic and could be useful to take control of. You are sent to assist the Kirin Tor sent to capture it, but when you arrive, you find the Alliance troops slaughtered and the Iron Horde occupying the tower. You kill the Iron Horde troops and their leader and capture the tower, only to be attacked by the Primals. After successfully defending the tower, you phase into its real version, where one or another faction is constantly trying to capture it.

Your next quests take you out of this area, but this will be the subject of another post.


When the patch releases, you will notice either in your garrison or in Stormshield the Command Board having a new quest – you are to report to Marrow in Warspear, who proclaimed herself Warlord of the Laughing Skull Clan. With her and Durotan you depart on a ship to Farahlon. The Iron Horde’s new offensive took them to Farahlon where they’re searching for a new weapon to use against the offworlders and Durotan wants to stop them at all costs. Players on the legendary quest will also notice Khadgar now tells them to report to Rommath in Farahlon, after Jaina wanted Horde players to not cooperate so closely with the Kirin Tor.

As your fleet approaches, you notice a number of vessels, some of orcish construction and some ogre juggernauts. Upon closer inspection they’re all Shadow Council ships! Marrow orders to attack the fleet. Your first quests in Farahlon include jumping from ship to ship to kill the Shadow Council troops, including orcs, Sargerei draenei, ogres and cursed arakkoa, as well as stealing their supplies and finally pinning up the dead commanders in a traditional Laughing Skull fashion.

However, during the battle, another faction joins in and start fighting both sides. Turns out it’s the savage Waverider Clan who makes few settlements on dry land and lives most of their lives on ships and lives by plundering the goods of others, be they other orcish clans or draenei. Finally, their warlord, Rongar Lod-breaker, appears before you and challenges you to single combat to determine who gets the spoils of battle. You beat Rongar and Durotan convinces him to make an alliance instead.

Together you swim to Waverider Village, where under Durotan’s coercion the Waveriders allow you to establish an outpost. The horde outposts function much the same as Alliance ones, except the Horde gets an Altar of Storms instead of a Chapel. Also similarly to Alliance, you are sent to help conquer the Apexis tower Ara. You find your Laughing Skull troops dead, have to kill the Primals occupying the tower, only to have to defend it from the Iron Horde.


In the next part, we’ll take a look at the “bonus storylines” – side quests peppered through Farahlon, giving you some short storylines in the bonus areas that introduce some interesting characters, including Warlord Kolar of the Flowerpicker Clan, Gulag the Unbreaker and Fel-Sage Rhaze.

About Arakkoa

Verroak Krasha, an Arakkoa druid with over 50 years of experience. Formerly from Farahlon, during the Orcish expansion relocated to Skettis, then to Sethekk Halls, then to rebuilt Shattrath, following the heresies in each of those places. Finally, he founded his own succesfull alchemy business and set out into the wide cosmos to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and boldly go where no bird has flown before. View all posts by Arakkoa

2 responses to “Game Design Exercise: Introduction to Farahlon

  • Ailuro Fogsight

    Interresting concept so far. There are a few things I would like to point out. Either as food for thought or personal opinion.

    The Bladewind Clan does not seem to have much lore connected to it, according to my find on wowpedia. Perhaps it would be an idea to create a post to go into some details.
    One image I have in my mind would be a rite of passage where an Orc has to stand atop a narrow spire and subject themselves to the fury of the wind. You survive for a day, you’re a Bladewind Orc. If not, you died with honour.

    Mogor, whom is listed as the leader of the Laughing Skull clan, can be found in Nagrand. According to Wowpedia, he is allied with the Horde and alive. The information may be wrong as this is still in beta. If Mogor is still alive, Marrow could be his favorite champion.

    I like the idea of a shrine-like plot for the garrison. What I would love to see is some player-choice to the building. As such that a player is able to select one of the mayor faiths for their faction and the shrine will reflect that choice. A level 2 shrine could offer a defensive adventage during garrison invasion, based upon the chosen faith.
    I am quite curious as to how you envision the farm-plot to work. Atleast from a gameplay point of view. In my mind, several plots like the barn and herb garden, already have similair gameplay function to the farm.

    As you said in the previous post regarding Farahlon, three factions are fighting for the Apexis tower.
    The quest could be a good way to introduce this, perhaps in different manners.
    For the Horde, your character is send out with the intent of joining up with a group of Windblade warriors. As you arrive, you spot the corpses of the warriors on a battlefield between Saberon and Primals. When both sides are weakened from fighting, you charge in take vengeance. After your victory, the Iron Horde shows up. When things start to look grim, Rommath comes in and teleports your forces to safety.

    For the Alliance, the scenario might be that you arrive in full force, defeat the Saberon. However at that point, the Primals and Iron Horde show up. After some time and losses, Jaina decides to let the Primals and Iron Horde fight over the tower. The Alliance shall claim it when both sides have weakened themselves.

    Looking forward to the other parts.

    • Arakkoa

      I’ll reply point by point.

      1) I used them precisely because they’re such an enigma, hoping to create more lore to them. Your idea is certainly interesting.

      2) Mogor in WoD appears to be still aligned with the Gorian Empire. The Laughing Skull thus “chose” their own Warlord.

      3) The garrison buildings were an afterthought and not the main point of this exercise. Maybe I will elaborate on them in the future, maybe I will not.

      4) The quest introducing the Apexis towers I wanted to end on a positive note. So you arrive and find your allied troops (Kirin Tor, or Laughing Skull) dead, and the tower occupied by Iron Horde/Primals. You defeat them and take the tower, and then defend it from Primals/Iron Horde. That introduces the player to all the “phases” of the Apexis tower gameplay and lets them feel triumphant in the end.
      (Also, there are four factions competing for the towers – both player factions, spearheaded by players assaulting the NPCs, as well as the Primals and Iron Horde, making it a mixed PvP/PvE objective)

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