Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Not worth killing: Ruul Onestone

There are a lot of ogre rarespawns in World of Warcraft. That alone is not very surprising, given how ogres tend to pop up everywhere. What is surprising is that there are also a lot of people named "Ruul". There's a tauren questmaster in Mulgore, another tauren quest NPC in Ashenvale, and a nasty elite blood elf in Shadowmoon Valley who is part of the Cipher of Damnation questline. And then... there's this guy.

This post is about Ruul Onestone, or as I'd like to call him "More trouble than he's worth"

Who is Ruul Onestone, and where do I find him?

This particular Ruul is a rare elite ogre located inside the ruined city of Stromgarde in the Arathi Highlands, in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Ruul is an odd rarespawn in that he only ever spawns in one spot. He will always spawn on the top floor of the tower in the south-west part of Stormgarde, the same tower where Alliance players do the quests involving the archgame Trelane. As a result, if you are doing this quest and Ruul is alive, you -will- have to fight him to complete it. And that can be a headache.

Ogre terror

To put it mildly, Ruul is a nuisance.

He is a level 39 elite in an area of only normal mobs. He is also an elite standing right on top of a quest objective. He attacks using a lightning bolt, and can also cast a bloodlust ability on any ally, which means that adds that join the fight can become very dangerous. Also, he has a lot of health compared to the normal ogres.

Some classes have an easier time dealing with elite mobs like this than others. And if you are of sufficient level, he will probably not be a problem. The issue is that you pretty much -have- to kill him, and may not even be aware that he's there (or that he's an elite!) before running into him. Blizzard do this on occasion, depositing a nasty rarespawn in a zone where many people go. I suppose even game developers need to indulge their Gygaxian tendencies sometimes.

The real kick-in-the-pants only occurs when you manage to kill Ruul. Yes, this is also a rarespawn who drops poor loot. In fact, very poor loot. His chances of dropping even an uncommon ("green") magic item is about the same as a regular mob. So after all that trouble, you don't even get anything for your efforts, except getting to possibly complete a quest. I have no idea what possesses a designer to situate an elite in such a spot and then also give it a really crappy loot table, but that's just how it is.

Ruul's lore

I'm not even sure what I can say that can top the sheer sadism of the above section. Ruul is a two-headed ogre mage, but does not have the blue skintone which is often claimed to signify arcane corruption. I suppose he is more of a normal shaman type, which is well supplemented by him using shaman spells. I should probably say that ogres with two heads seem to have some form of generic aptitude for spellcasting, be it mage or shaman magic.

Ruul is interestingly only one of several rare mobs in Stromgarde (there's actually another rare ogre here too, whom we will get to in some time). In his role as the one elite ogre in the area, I will have to assume that he is the most powerful of them, and thus the defacto leader. We can guess that he is of the Boulderfist clan, and is probably a servant of the local ogre warlord, Kor'gresh Coldrage (who is incidentally also involved in the Trelane questline). Interestingly, since Kor'gresh is also an ogre mage, it's possible Ruul is an apprentice, pupil of colleague of him.

In closing, Ruul is an interesting rarespawn. He's a huge bother for the unprepared, and can be an annoyance. But that kind of makes him notable as well, although I think giving him such a poor loot table is just rude. All in all, he's certainly made his mark in the annals of rarespawns!

Until next time, just wait until a high-level character kills him. Then get the quest object.


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