WoW! Thoughts! — On Defending Thunder Bluff

Thoughts on the fun, futility, and purpose of fighting (and dying) for our faction leaders.


One of the great things about World of Warcraft is that sometimes the game doesn’t go exactly as you were expecting.  I’ve been focusing my playtime on getting my undead rogue out of Uldum and into the Jade Forest.  I finally dinged 85 and before logging out, sent some excess gear to my warlock for disenchanting.

 Since the Darkmoon Faire was last week, my warlock was parked in Thunder Bluff.  I had just finished my disenchantments when I noticed the yellow text in the corner: “Thunder Bluff is under attack!”  After a moment, I logically concluded, “They’re coming for Baine.”  And then I realized, “THEY’RE COMING FOR BAINE!!!”

I don’t normally PvP, but if there’s any leader worth defending, it’s Baine.  Lorewise, he’s a sympathetic figure after rising to power with his father’s death.  He’s been critical of Garrosh to the point of joining Vol’jin’s rebellion after the victory at Razor Hill.  And his friendship with Anduin establishes him as one of the more peaceful Horde leaders.  Additionally, the Tauren have always been my favorite race, and my first experiences in World of Warcraft were exploring the plains of Mulgore.  I’d aided in Garrosh’s defense before, but he’s fortified in the Valley of Strength with half the Horde population of Orgrimmar sitting right on his doorstep between the bank and the auction house.  Baine is nestled in the back of Thunder Bluff, and Thunder Bluff is so under-populated that it’s a cross-realm zone.  I knew I’d be needed in this defense.

I flew up to the third tier of the mesa and only a level 90 Blood Elf hunter was there.  Stationed on a cloud serpent, he was sitting in the center of Baine’s court near Zangen Stonehoof facing the Tauren Chieftan.  The hunter wasn’t moving, and I couldn’t tell if he was there to protect Baine or if that’s where he happened to be when he went afk.

After a moment, I saw some of the bluffwatchers rush into Thunder Bluff’s central staircase.  I ran up to the doorway, and an alliance raid emerged, repelling the Tauren braves.  The yellow nameplates were too numerous to count.  I stepped back in surprise.

I haven’t played my warlock much since hitting 90.  My gear is all what you would expect to find in the middle of the Dread Wastes. (ilvl 444).  I’m also not as adept with my warlock as I am with my hunter.  I know I don’t use the proper rotation.  I was vastly outnumbered and undergeared.

I also didn’t care.

I cast Dark Intent and Soulstoned myself.  Then I picked the first enemy I clicked on and started casting Corruption as my Terrorguard charged into the fray.  I fell in front of Kodo Steak & Ribs.  I immediately resurrected myself and before I could fully heal began slinging Shadow Bolts at whoever was nearby.  I didn’t last long.

As a ghost, I trekked from the graveyard just beneath the elevator, up to the second tier of Thunder Bluff, through the central tower, and into Baine’s courtyard.  Along the way, the corpses established this was the same route the intruders had taken.  I resurrected again and by now the alliance was at Baine’s hut.  I summoned my Terrorguard and rushed over.  I couldn’t tell if the hunter had decided to join the fight.  There were some low level priests and monks standing amidst the chaos, wise enough not to engage.  I was not.  I knew I wasn’t more than a distraction for one or two of the attackers, but at least I was going to give Baine that much longer.  I got off one cast of Corruption before a death knight Death Gripped me and it was over quickly after that.

I didn’t accept resurrection immediately.  I laid dead at the head of the courtyard.  Baine had been drawn from his quarters, and the raiders had him down to 75% health already.  I knew this was hopeless, but I had to fight.  As a member of the Horde, if we couldn’t achieve victory, then I had to choose death (over and over).

Again, I journeyed up as a ghost, and arose just behind Baine’s hut, where I took the time to properly heal and buff myself.  I saw a priest standing near the edge of the battle, and I targeted him, trying to lure him back away from the scrum where I might stand a chance.  A death knight saw me and attempted to intervene.  Suddenly, the HK: Private text appeared on my screen, as the priest had fallen.  Then the death knight fell.  A horde hunter (the blood elf from earlier?) ran out towards me, and then doubled back.  I raced to the battle, only to hear Baine cheering that the attackers were fleeing.  About a dozen level 90’s of all races and classes had arrived to stave off the invasion.  A few of the alliance stragglers were slaughtered near the tower.

Baine had survived!  The Horde was victorious!!!  Cheers of “For the Horde!” broke out amongst the victors.

 For the next twenty minutes we patrolled Thunder Bluff.  An abandoned Pandaren banquet was found on the roof of the tower, where the attackers gathered earlier.  A dragon-riding gnome mage tested our perimeter but was deterred.

It’s easy for a game like World of Warcraft to become rote.  Log in, do the same fetch and kill quests over and over, maybe kill a boss or two, and log out.  It’s easy to forget just how involving the world can be.  I’m glad the alliance decided to try to kill Baine, as it gave me the opportunity to appreciate the game in a way I hadn’t in a while.  I’m not going to become a hardcore PvP’er now, but I enjoyed that fight.  It was only appropriate it was on my warlock, who earned the “of Thunder Bluff” title in the Argent Tournament.  Now when I wear that, I won’t think of jousting in the frozen north.  Instead, I’ll think of protecting Baine with my life.

On this night, we were all of Thunder Bluff.

Ancestors watch over you.

WoW! Blurbs!

Blizzard trademarks “The Dark Below.”  The next expansion is about Thrall’s kid being scared of what’s under the bed.

Patch 5.4 will hit when the PVP season ends, which should be around 8/27.  Garrosh better get his PVP fix in now…

Dev Watercooler on the changes in 5.4.  GHOSTCRAWLER IS COMING FOR YOUR CLASS!

The last part of The Burdens of Shaohao is available.  Where’s The Burdens of Nick, where I battle despair,  doubt, and anger on daily basis?—Part_5_The_Sundering-8_8_2013

Garrosh’s weapons are going to be level 90-100 heirlooms.  It makes sense that the guy who uses his father’s axe would drop heirloom items.

Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz

Senior Producer

Host of WoW! Talk! and The Tauren & The Goblin. Sometimes known as the Video Games Public Defender. Wants to play more Destiny and Marvel Heroes but WoW is all-consuming. Decent F2P Hearthstone player. Sad that he lost the Wii that had Wrecking Crew on it. Would be happy if the only game ever made was M.U.L.E. Gragtharr on Skywall-US. Garresque on Ravencrest-US.

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