We’re back in our Farahlon Game Design Exercise! After taking a foray into designing dungeons, which is probably closer to actual hard design, we’re returning into a more lore-like environment. I have alluded previously to the larger Alliance and Horde storylines taking place in Farahlon, but other than small glimpses of it, we didn’t know exactly who and how acts in this new environment. Well, as we’re drawing closer to the end of this particular exercise, we’re going to finally finish those storylines – though we mostly know the very end (Uraga’s demise in the Bladewind Fort instance). But this will be like watching Revenge of the Sith – we know how it ends, but it’s the journey that matters!
Before we get to the Alliance storyline, main focus of this post, let’s listen to another side storyline I added since the sidequest post. I noticed that with the current shape of Gorgrond and the original plans for Farahlon, the Mok’nathal were completely gone (barring Rexxar). I decided to fix that and incorporate a new Mok’nathal storyline, which also resolved my problem with not knowing what one of the areas was for. So here it is, a Mok’nathal side storyline, which could be a Garrison Campaign chapter.
In your Farahlon outpost you find a note from Rexxar, who you previously helped in Gorgrond and Shadowmoon Valley. He asks you to urgently arrive at the Mok’nathal Village in Northwestern Farahlon because his father’s life is in danger. When you arrive, you find Rexxar in front of a large hut with his pets standing to the side. Rexxar wants you to go into the hut and when you do, you find Leoroxx lying in bed unconscious and shamans tending to him. Rexxar asks what happened and a shaman responds – they were out in the Overgrown Ruins of Mrk’arak when they were attacked by a large party of Primals. Some of their best hunters were slain that day or worse – captured by the Primals and turned into monsters (one of which is the first boss Mrk’arak dungeon). Leoroxx escaped alive but he collapses the next evening, and a green malady is now creeping through his veins – a Primal infection that will undoubtedly turn him into a monster soon.
The shaman says they tried everything, including extracts from the local Primals. Nothing they did was able to counteract or slow the progress of the disease, but he has an idea. In the ancient times, when a mok’nathal got sick, they’d venture to a sacred place called Nathmar, in east Farahlon. There they would be healed of almost all sicknesses but if you didn’t truly need it, it’d ignore you so it remained a rite only for those that are at their weakest. The issue is, they cannot take Leoroxx to Nathmar in his state. You and Rexxar have to venture there and bring the holy waters of Nathmar back – it’s Leoroxx’s last hope.
Naturally, you quickly go to the place you were told about, east of Ultris Tower, only to find Nathmar occupied by mushrooms and mushroom creatures. Very little remains of the former sacred place, which turns out to be an ancient ogre fort. As you can’t simply take the mushroom-infected waters (because they would be of little help), you and Rexxar venture deeper into the area, in order to find the healing waters. As you go through it, you fight the nascent podlings and the fungal giants, and burn the corpses you find to prevent from rising back up. With the help of Rexxar’s various pets, you then penetrate the remains of the ogre fort and kill the elite fungal giants located in its towers. You finally find devices of Apexis design which appear to point towards different points in the ruins. Rexxar looks at a map and triangulates what they’re pointing to.
You go to the location and find an ancient temple, with a large ogre statues holding a bowl. Rexxar is sure the bowl is what dispenses the healing waters, but… it’s empty now. Although it seems like the well has run dry, Rexxar’s boar sniffs out a hole leading to a collapsed section of the fort. Underground, you find more spores, infected orcs and draenei, and podlings, as well as Apexis ruins over which Nathmar must have been built. You fight through them and pick up various artifacts for your own purposes, and get to an ancient machinery under Nathmar. Unfortunately, some kind of big fungus has taken over the pipes which pump the water up. You and Rexxar kill the creature and proceed to restart the machine. Happy you got what you came for, you gather the water… and realize it’s filled with spores. Before you’re about to give up, Rexxar comes up with an idea – the fungus and the Primals fight each other normally, so if the spores go into Leoroxx’s system, they will engage the plant spores, and then the healing properties of the water will heal the damage and finish the winner.
You return with a vial of spore-filled Nathmar waters to the Village and tell your plan to the shaman. He’s skeptical, but as he ran out of options, he allows you to give the water to Leoroxx. Once you do that, a fungal aura appears over Leoroxx, adding to his previous, green aura. Then a yellow aura appears similar to purifying spells. Leoroxx shakes in his bed and two creatures spawn out of him – one fungal (resembling a shadowfiend) and one Primal (probably a podling). You have to kill both of them, and then Leoroxx’s blood is purified and he wakes up, thanking you for your efforts. As a reward for this questline, the mok’nathal shaman enters your service as a follower, along with a battle pet resembling the fungal essence.
Saving the draenei towns
And we finally get back to the Alliance storyline. Last we’ve seen it, we have recently established our outpost in Kirin’var and defended it from the local saberons, and proceeded to find out about the Apexis towers and how to fight for them. After you return from that task, you are offered a new one, more closely related to what you originally came here for – saving the three draenei towns in Farahlon. You learn that while you were out there in the field, the draenei fleet has arrived near Arklon and you are to join them on the coast, just across a river from Coruu.
When you get there, you find the draenei ships near the burning docks, along with Exarch Yrel, awaiting you on the coast. It turns out you were too late – Arklon is already taken over by the Iron Horde and moreover, most of their army appears to have departed from it. Yrel speculates they went for Enkaat. You must hurry to rescue the second town, but not before you avenge the deaths of the Arkloni draenei – you kill the Bladewind warriors you find in the town’s ruins, take back the goods left after the pillage and finally head on to fight a small commander of the Bladewind clan. It is here that someone first mentions the Bladewind by name, and you learn of Warlord Uraga.
After proceeding out of Arklon, you and Yrel come across an Iron Horde camp that replaced the Laughing Skull settlement that was previously there. Because the Iron Horde has fortified themselves there and you can see their forces marching out against Enkaat, Yrel commands you to leave them for another day (and a bonus objective) leading you towards the battlefield between Enkaat and the Iron Horde camp. Here you fight more Iron Horde warriors, destroy their siege weapons and break their own fortifications. Yrel then notices the Bladewind warlord approaching the gates of Enkaat herself, prompting you to attack her. You meet Warlord Uraga for the first time and engage her in a fight resembling her encounter in the dungeon, but mid-fight as you’re weakening, Chief Artificer Doraanda comes out of Enkaat and assist you. You drive Uraga and her forces out of Enkaat, saving the town in the last moment, but Uraga promises to return.
You go into Enkaat and learn that Doraanda comes from Farahlon and replaced Hataaru as Chief Artificer. She was supposed to be nominated as an exarch, but the Iron Horde invasion distracted the draenei and prevented her nomination. Yrel promises that when this is all done, she will summon the Exarch Council to Farahlon City in order to make Doraanda an exarch, but now, they have to fight. Doraanda is convinced the immediate threat from the nearby base is now over, but she knows of two more places where the Iron Horde is preparing assaults. The Bladewind Fort to the north is very strong and will have to wait. For now, you will go into the Rek’tak Excavation, where the Iron Horde is trying to dig up Apexis technology to use against the draenei.
While Yrel departs to Farahlon directly, you and Doraanda leave for Rek’tak Excavation. Once there, you’re joined by the forces from Kirin’var. First, you have to find out what the Bladewinds are planning and fight through the highest level of the digsite, including killing their leaders here and destroying their traditionally IH-style equipment. You then proceed deeper into the excavation, to find the orcs already unearthed a number of Apexis constructs. Your main objective is now either destroying or taking over the constructs they already have, as well as stealing their supplies. Finally, you go into the tunnels the orcs excavated and find an Apexis ruin underneath. This time, most of the orcs are dead, and the area is crawling with ghosts of the high arakkoa that lived here. After you fight through those ghosts and pick up the artifacts for the Kirin Tor, you go deep into a large chamber with a huge Apexis construct labeled “Apex” – the same mob you met in Netherstorm in tBC, but in his uncorrupted form this time. The local Bladewind leader is also there and activates Apex before you can react. Unfortunately for him, Apex kills him first and then attacks you, forcing you and Doraanda to destroy it.
Battle of Farahlon Fields
When you emerge from the excavation, Doraanda knows they have to go to Farahlon City now and see how it fares against the Iron Horde. Soon, you join her and fly out. When you land in Farahlon City, you find Yrel leading the city’s defenses, as the Iron Horde attack has already begun, headed by Warlord Uraga once again. At your command, your Kirin Tor allies land in Farahlon and together, you prepare for the Battle of Farahlon Fields. It’s meant to be a large, cinematic event similar to the Battle of Thunder Pass. You protect the city from multiple waves of invaders, including dangerous warmachines, as well as some Apexis constructs the Iron Horde has already taken over (and re-painted). One of the objectives has you venture into the monastery above the fields and protect it from Waverider looters, attempting to take the relics there when you’re occupied with the Iron Horde. Finally, the last wave sees Uraga emerge again and challenge you together with a large Apexis centurion. While you distract Uraga, Doraanda climbs onto the centurion and slowly reprograms it. In the end, it’s used against Uraga who flees again into the Bladewind Fort. Once this battle is finished, you get your quest to kill her inside the dungeon, finishing the main questline.
Some artificers within Farahlon City also have side-quests for you. Turns out that since the Sky City’s arrival nearby, various creatures have fallen off the city and landed in the swamps separating Farahlon from Ultris Tower. Those constructs are killing the local fauna, but more importantly, they’re of great interest to the artificers. You go to the swamps to save the animals, destroy those constructs that prove too ornery, and harvest whatever useful remains of them. In the end, you deal with a powerful ghost, a messenger of the High Architect from the Sky City.
After everything is completed, you meet with Yrel and Doraanda for the one, final quest where Doraanda is initiated as an Exarch, and her battles in Farahlon are counted as her Exarch Trials. Now that the Council is full again, with all five members, Yrel is sure they will swiftly defeat the Iron Horde and the threat posed by the Sky City.
And this is it for the main Alliance storyline here. Of importance is the introduction of Exarch Doraanda and Warlord Uraga, two major characters. Although Uraga has to die in the local dungeon, Doraanda has a potential to remain a major player in the remaining story. That is, if this was a real patch. Which it isn’t, unfortunately. Next week we return for our last post, which details the Horde storyline in the zone. See you soon.