So the other major activity I’ve been focusing on since Tuesday is the new Netherwing faction quests. This quest hub is a notable departure from other faction grinds. First of all, they’ve introduced the concept of a “Daily” quest. This is a repeatable quest, but can only be done once a day. This is meant to cut down on the abusive farming that some players (and farmers) will do while effectively monopolizing a given area. I also noticed that most of the quest drops are soulbound, which should also help.
The other change that’s really just cosmetic, is that you and your mount get a makeover while you are in the Netherwing area. You will be disguised as an orc to blend in with the mobs from Dragonmaw camp. But my favorite part is that my mount looks like a Netherdrake when I’m flying, an excuse to hang around the area all by itself.
The prerequisite for the Netherwing faction quests is that you need to have completed the original quest chain given by Mordenai, who wanders the fields east of the Scryer camp in Shadowmoon Valley. The final step of that chain involves killing Zuluhed the Whacked, so if you’ve done that you’re good to go. You’ll also need 300 riding skill to start this chain, I tested that on the PTR and Mordenai will not talk to you if you don’t have the upgraded flying skill. Once you track down Mordenai again he will give you a disguise and send you to the Dragonmaw camp on Netherwing Ledge.
From there you speak with the Overlord and that opens up a couple of quests from two different NPCs in the camp (four quests total). One is a gathering quest appropriate to your gathering profession (skinning/mining/herbs). The other is to collect Netherwing Crystals that drop from various mobs in the area. You need 40 of each item type for one turn-in. The second NPC tasks you with poisoning 15 peon camps using a drop from the nether rays. His other quest involves killing the flying transport mobs that travel from the Dragonmaw Fortress to the Netherwing Ledge.
I managed to complete all of these quests several times, with the exception of the transporter quest. These are flying mobs that you have to target and pull down to kill. They primarily fly over the gap between the mainland and the large island that is the quest hub. As a rogue, I have no good way to target and pull these mobs. They are only in range for 2-3 seconds. It takes about that long to find and target one, click on my bow and wait for the arrow to fly. Usually by the time my arrow is halfway there, they are out of range and the arrow fails. So if you don’t have some sort of ranged, insta-pull ability you probably won’t be able to do that quest. To further complicate the issue, there are only about three locations you can pull from and naturally they are super-camped. I have yet to find one of them unoccupied since the patch went live.
The crystal collection quest is also a bit challenging as the drop rate on crystals appears to be about 25%. Since you need 40 of them for one turn-in, that’s around 150+ mobs you’ll be killing. I completed the poisoning and gathering quest two times before I had enough crystals for one turn-in. The final quest is one that can be done an unlimited number of times. There is a random chance to find a Netherwing egg while gathering, looting or just spawned locations in the area. They also give 250 rep (350 for the first one) and you can turn in as many as you like. They are fairly rare, so consider that more of a bonus to your farming if you get one.
Once you hit Friendly a new set of daily and one-time quests opens up to you. I hit that this morning and was very happy about that, because the first-wave mobs on my server are getting mega-camped. The second set of quests are actually easier in my view, one involves collecting boxes inside the mines (only 15 thank goodness) and the other requires you to kill 25 mobs in the mine. I like that situation much better than the previous round. Given the low drop rates for quest items, having to compete for every mob just gets frustrating after awhile. One the plus side, I also got a nifty trinket that allows me to summon a combat pet. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m hoping it will be useful for some of those vanish-worthy situations when my vanish isn’t up.
To sum up, getting from Neutral to Friendly took about 9 quest completions (2 of each quest, roughly). I got lucky and found 4 netherwing eggs, which helped me a lot. Once you hit Friendly the new repeatable quests give you 350 rep instead of 250, which should enable progress to move more quickly. That plus the additional quest options I think will really help me buzz through Friendly and hit Honored in a few more days.