Monday, September 27, 2010

When themes go bad: Magister Hawkhelm

I often speak of "themes" in my evaluation of various rare mobs. This is because there is so little about most of them that I look deeper, analyzing them in a way I never would otherwise. Oftentimes I note that they have an evocative, fitting name for what they are. This happens a lot, but not always. Some raremobs have oddly chosen or just weird names, which may refer to something I don't know about, or possibly just be chosen because it "sounds cool". Sometimes though, you get a weird incongruence between what a mob does and what it's named. And today's rarespawn is a good example of that.

This post is about Magister Hawkhelm.

Where to find the Magister

Magister Hawkhelm is a rare mob blood elf found in Azshara, on Kalimdor.

Magister Hawkhelm spawns in the small blood elf-controlled area near some ancient ruins called the "Thalassian base camp". She can be located in two places that I know of, and does not stray from her spawn point. Take note that one of her spawn points, located at the tallest cliff of the camp underneath some ruins, sometimes obscures her quite a bit from casual study, and makes her harder to spot visually.

Defying the sin'dorei

Magister Hawkhelm is (perhaps surprisingly) a hostile mob to both Alliance and Horde players. There are fewer rarespawns which are hostile to the Alliance only, for some reason, and Hawkhelm is not one of them. This has a good lore reason, which we'll get to in the next section. Suffice to say for now that anyone straying near (perhaps for one of the quests in the camp) will invoke Hawkhelm's wrath.

Now, here's the surprising part. Magister Hawkhelm has no magical abilities of any sort. I know that is a bit of a stereotype for a blood elf, but come on. She's named "Magister", a title usually only seen on spellcasters within blood elf society (it is related to the word "mage" after all). However, Magister Hawkhelm only attacks with a normal melee, a ranged bow attack and a multi-shot that hits all her enemies.

Because of these simplistic abilities, Hawkhelm is an easy kill for any class. She has no unique loot, providing only the generic reward in the form of a drop.

Sin'dorei stories

Actually, we can infer quite a bit about this woman from her location. She is clearly party of Magus Rimtori's expedition in search of long-lost Highborne artifacts, and works for the Magus in some capacity. Rimtori's thirst for arcane power drove her to betray the Horde, and she murdered the orcs accompanying the team. Rimtori's search for demonic magic and betrayal makes her a dangerous and hated individual, and Hawkhelm seems to be one of her loyal followers.

Of course, as I mentioned, with that name I fully expected Hawkhelm to be a mage herself, as are many of the traitor blood elves in the camp. However, with her purely mundane abilities it seems she may be a magister by some other means, perhaps by some form of knowledge or academic expertise? She would appear to have ranger training, though she still dresses in the simple robes of a spellcaster.

It's always great to see blood elves outside of the areas introduced in the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. They're somewhat unexpected, and almost always have a specific story or purpose. Of course, it should be noted that prior to the release of Burning Crusade, Hawkhelm, Rimtori and the other elves here had quite different models (and much uglier ones) made from retooled night elf models. If you want to see what these look like firsthand, look into the Scholomance, where some students still bear this quite freakish model.

All in all, Magister Hawkhelm is amusing because of how her name and abilities don't match up. She has a nice little spot in lore, and is a quite cool rare in my book. With the enormous changes to Azshara coming in Cataclysm, this rare is quite likely to vanish forever, and thus now is the time to seek her out if you so wish.

Until next time, don't betray your allies over objects of power.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

March of the silithid: Haarka the Ravenous

I think it's interesting to note that some creature types are a lot more frequently used for rarespawns than others. I'm not sure what motivates this, if it's related to the quality and look of the model itself, or if it's little more than the whim of the developers. At any rate, each zone on Kalimdor which has a silithid hive has at least one rare silithid, be it a tank or a wasp. I think it's really cool that almost every silithid hive has its own rare named silithid, it really adds some character to these creatures. Today we take a look at another of these rares!

This post is about Haarka the Ravenous.

What is Haarka, and where can I find it?

Haarka the Ravenous is a rare mob silithid found in Tanaris, on Kalimdor.

Haarka can be found in the Gaping Chasm in the south-eastern corner of Tanaris. This is the larger of the two silithid hives in the zone, and somewhat expansive with several tunnels. I found Haarka underground in the eastern-most underground area (the entrance being close to the cliff walls of the zone), but I have seen reports that it can spawn in other spots as well. A good hint for hunters seeking this mob who are not using a rarespawn tracking addon is that you can track creatures through the ground. Standing on the ground in a silithid hive lets you see any beast-type silithid beneath you on the minimap as well, which saved me a lot of time ins searching.

Hunting the silithid

Haarka is a straightforward melee mob, like other silithid tank mobs. Haarka attacks with a warrior-like sunder armor and Thrash, a very common mob ability which grants extra melee swings. However, despite these abilities, Haarka is an easy foe to defeat and little more than a normal silithid.

Since the revamp the Beastmastery, Haarka is a tameable creature. Classified as a Beast, it can be tracked down by hunters and tamed by those with the Exotic Pet talent. As Cunning pets, silithid tanks are very flexible pets which can be adapted to many situations. Their racial ability, Venom Web Spray, both immobilizes and causes damage, which makes them well-suited for PvP combat. Silithids are thus fairly popular pets.

Haarka uses the "green" silithid model (actually kind of a blue-green mix) which is not rare, but very nice-looking. If you are not a Beastmastery hunter you may choose to slay Haarka for its loot, which is the standard magic item. No unique loot or other drops to be had.

The lore of Haarka

Since Haarka is found in the Gaping Chasm, home to the Hazzali hive of silithids, it seems safe to assume it is part of that hive. Indeed, Haarka shares an appearance with some common silithids in the area. It is hard to kno whether silithids have enough sentience and sense of individuality to give themselves names, or if names are bestowed in them by others. "The Ravenous" epithet would indicate hunger, possibly why the creature has become notorious enough that its name is well known.

I would guess that Haarka is one of the more powerful silithid warriors of the Hazzali hive, and known and feared by the people of Tanaris for its hunger. Since there are quests which confirm that people have vanished into the silithid hives, never to return, such fears are probably well-founded.

All in all, Haarka is a nice little rare. Anything that you can tame is special in my book, and this particular look and coloration works great for this mob. It also has a cool name, which manages to be both alien and threatening at once. If you want to see Haarka yourself, do so before Cataclysm, as this rare will almost certainly no longer exist once the massive changes to Tanaris take effect!

Until next time, stay out of the hive.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

A pirate's life for me! Kregg Keelhaul

Happy international Talk Like a Pirate Day, everyone! In honor of this most momentous of holidays, I'm presenting a bonafide pirate rarespawn. And no, I'm not going to type out this entry in pirate-speak. There's limits to what I think people will put up with from me. Anyway, on to the entry!

This post is about Kregg Keelhaul. Arrr me hearties! Sorry!

Who is Kregg Keelhaul, and where can I find him?

Kregg Keelhaul is a rare mob goblin found in Tanaris, on Kalimdor.

Kregg is a pirate, and in Tanaris the best place for a pirate to be is Lost Rigger Cove, a small secluded area on the coastline, south of Steamwheedle Port. Kregg can appear in several locations in this area, including on the two ships (one finished and one being built) and inside the larger building. He does not patrol to any extent, so it is fairly easy to locate him if he is alive. He is a goblin, and thus not hard to spot among the many pirates of other races.

Fighting Kreeg

The main problem with any mob in Lost Rigger Cove is the many potential adds. Since they will flee when low on health, it's important to control each fight so as to minimize extra adds joining in. This is of course only applicable for those of the proper level. This goes for Kregg as well. He wields a really big two-handed sword, which marks him as a melee mob right away.

Kregg is a fairly typical "warrior" type mob, with a cleave and a heroic strike-type ability. He's not a danger in and of himself. As is common with mid-range rare mobs from the vanilla WoW period, he has no unique drop. It should be noted, however, that he can drop a Southsea Pirate Hat for that quest, which amuses me greatly because Kregg wears no hat on his model.

The lore of Kregg

Actually, when it comes to this scurvy dog we have a tiny snippet of lore to go on. In and of himself, Kregg is just your average melee-focused mob. One would think that he is an enforcer for the Southsea Pirates (though curiously he does not seem to grant Gadgetzan reputation when slain).

However, the fun thing is that he's not the only goblin pirate named Keelhaul. Captain Keelhaul is a goblin captain with the Bloodsail Buccaneers, situated in his ship off the coast of Stranglethorn Vale. One questline leads you to slay him, along with the other leaders of the Bloodsail in order to stop their plans to raze Booty Bay to the ground. Since the Bloodsail and the Southsea pirates are similar in organization and purpose, it's not a far stretch to assume the two are related.

I think these two are definently related. I believe Captain Keelhaul to be the brother of Kregg, and the brighter and more driven of the two. He may even have put in a good word to get his brother a position with the Southsea pirates. Kregg, being more the type to bash someone with a sharp implement, would likely have jumped at such a chance. I love these little mini-scenarios, myself.

Unfortunately for those of you who want to see this rare, Lost Rigger Cove is a very well-frequented area, and he has a rather long respawn timer, so you may have to be lucky or visit during off hours to catch him alive.

In closing, Kregg isn't that interesting by himself, but his little snippet of lore and the fact that he's a pirate elevate him to a cool little rare!

Until next time, don't keep that cursed indian gold.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I WILL BREAK HIM! - Carnivous the breaker

You know, considering how hard the furbolgs of Kalimdor were hit by the Third War, there's still an awful lot of them around. Sure, most of them are corrupted by the demonic presence, but still, their numbers are fairly large in the adjoining zones of Winterspring, Felwood, Ashenvale and Darkshore. It is in that last area where we find the subject of this post.

Proudly presenting Carnivous the Breaker!

Who is Carnivous, and where can I find him?

Carnivous the Breaker is a rare mob furbolg found in Darkshore on Kalimdor.

Carnivous can be found in the furbolg encampments south of the Wildbend river in the southern part of the zone. He is completely stationary as far as I can tell, spawning in one spot and then just standing around unless aggroed. As the furbolg encampment here is not very large, looking for him is a quick affair, even if he doesn't have a very distinctive appearance. He's just your average dark-furred furbolg.

Combat and possessions

Carnivous is just as corrupted as his fellow furbolgs, and will attack anyone. He has a rather mean armor debuff (halving your armor value) and the common thrash ability which grants him extra melee attacks. However, given his low health he is only a threat to a very low-level character. No class should have an especially hard time taking him down if they so wish.

As is standard, Carnivous has no special drops, providing a generic magic item. However, if you can take him down around the appropriate level, a green item can prove either useful or give a little money when sold. Really, for any rarespawn entry, just keep in mind that even the generic loot is a way to make money.

The lore of Carnivous

Like most furbolgs in Darkshore, I would assume Carnivous comes from one of the larger tribes further inland. It's possible he is a Deadwood furbolg (suggested by WoWwiki), though there is no exact confirmation. None of the furbolgs in Darkshore help in the Timbermaw reputation grind, unfortunately, even if they are Deadwood furbolgs lore-wise.

As a corrupted furbolg with melee-based abilities, I would guess Carnivous is a champion or subchief of his tribe. He just gives me the impression of a creature adept at fighting, but maybe not a leader. And come on, I can't be the only one who thinks of Ivan Drago when seeing that name...

All in all, Carnivous is a rather average mob. The main thing he has going for him is his awesome name. With a rather low respawn timer, you should be able to find him fairly easily with a bit of searching, which may be fun considering the upheavals Darkshore will soon see...

Until next time, don't let the corruption blind you.


Rare felguard: Kaskk

Desolace is a zone about to get a heavy retooling with the release of Cataclysm. The now-shattered landscape seems to finally be getting some semblance of life back, which will be a very interesting change to watch. As it is currently (and has been ever since the original release of World of Warcraft), Desolace is one of those zones that is in the backwater of the world. There's not much happening here, nor does the zone have any particularily exciting lore or events. The best thing in Desolace is the utterly amazing dungeon instance Maraudon, one of my favorite old world dungeons. However, I must save a post about that particular place for a future post, and instead focus on the zone itself, outside Maraudon's gates.

This post concerns Kaskk.

What is Kaskk, and where can I find him?

Kaskk is a rare mob felguard found in Desolace, on Kalimdor.

Kaskk is located in the Mannoroc coven, a demon-controlled area in the lower half of the Desolace zone. Heading east from Shadowprey village or south from Nijel's Point will get you there, though the Horde flightpoint is much closer. Kaskk is a fairly stationary rare, and will not stray far from his spawn point. He can appear in a few spots across the coven, but is easy to spot due to his distinctive look. Kaskk carries an unusual blade for a felguard, one that always reminded me of the design for orc weapons in the Lord of the Rings movies. It's a brutal weapon, little more than a sharpened slab of metal.

The tactics of Kaskk

There's not much to say here. Kaskk has no special abilities of any sort. He will simply wade into combat, swinging that nasty-looking sword. As such, unless you are very weakened, he will not pose any form of danger, especially to a class with good ranged capability.

Kaskk drops the standard magic item. He will also allegedly drop the felguard blood required for the Desolace reagents quest, which is only appropriate I suppose.

The lore of Kaskk

Very little to say about Kaskk specifically. Felguards are mo'arg, just like the many Legion inventors and engineers seen in other places. However, felguards seem to be mo'arg who are utterly focused on combat, having no interest in contraptions or sophisticated strategy.

As felguards seem to have little initiative of their own, they're usually subservient to a master. I would suspect that Kaskk serves Lord Azretoch, the Doomguard leader of the mannoroc coven directly.

As a final point to this rather sparse entry, I should add that Kaskk seems to have a very long respawn timer, probably several days. As such, he is a very very rare mob to encounter due to the Mannoroc Coven getting some traffic of adventurers doing quests. While he may not have much in the form of personality, drops or abilities, Kaskk is notable for his scarcity alone.

If you stop by the Desolace, why not see if he's there? He's a sight most people won't have seen!

Until next time;


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gilmorian: Another bonus rare

If you're wondering why I'm doing back-to-back posts lately, there are a few reason. For one, due to several circumstances (and sometimes to writer's block), I have seriously fallen behind my planned schedule for the blog. Another thing is that once I have started writing, it's much easier to write a second entry right away than it is to wait a day or two and then try beginning to write again. Getting started is always the hardest part for me! Finally, there are a lot of rares left to cover which in all honesty are not that exciting, comparatively. Backing these guys up with another entry makes them stick out less, I think.

What do you think? I treasure the opinions of those of you who follow this blog, and would like to hear from you. Just leave a note here, or at my email adress at and tell me your views.

With that being said, on to another rather average rare, Gilmorian.

Where can I find Gilmorian?

Gilmorian is a rare mob murloc found in the Swamp of Sorrows in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Gilmorian can be found wandering up and down the Misty Reed strand on the eastern edge of the Swamp of Sorrows. He looks rather like most murlocs, with no particular feature or unusual color to distinguish him. He wanders quite far up and down the coast, I've noted, so you may want to cover the entirety of the coastline just to make sure. I'm not sure if the wowhead notes about finding him off the coast out in the water are actual spawn points or just cases of people pulling him out there. I'd guess the latter, if I had to make a choice.

Incidentally, this is the first rare from Swamp of Sorrows to be featured in the blog. Enjoy the new tag!

Combat and loot

Gilmorian, like almost all murlocs, is a threat to anything that comes close. He's honestly not much of a threat, but he does try. He has a couple of rogue ability, both able to gouge and use sinister strike. I should not that he never goes into stealth despite his rogue-like abilities, and is thus much easier to find for it. He doesn't have much health or hit very hard, though, and should be easy to defeat.

Gilmorian has no special drops, but at least (Unlike Ruul Onestone) he drops better loot than average mobs, thus adhering to the rarespawn common standard.

Special notes

There's not much to say about Gilmorian. His name (actually I don't know the gender of any murloc, and I'd rather not find out either. But "Gilmorian" sounds like a male name to me) is of course a pun about gills.

Apart from that, the only thing I can really think of is that his rogue abilities remind me that a lot of murlocs in the game fight with dirty tactics. Quite fitting for these little terrors!

With a rather slow respawn time and being easily killed, Gilmorian is another very average but rarely encountered rarespawn. There's not much to distinguish him except for his name.

Until next time;


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.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Zul'arek Hatefowler - Trolls have awesome names

Greetings, readers. As I have been seriously lacking in posting morale over the last few months, I figured I'd squeeze in a second post now that I have the creativity flowing. Thus, for your consideration (and to cleanse the palate of the dullness of the last post), I present to you a troll with an awesome hairdo and one of the best names ever in World of Warcraft.

I present to you... Zul'arek Hatefowler.

Trolls... trolls everywhere

Zul'arek Hatefowler is a rare mob troll found in the Hinterlands in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Zul'arek can be found in either of two locations. These are the two small areas filled with troll ruins called Zun'watha and Hiriwatha. These are close to the Alliance flight point at Aerie Peak, just a short bit to the east. Hiri'watha is a bit further east, being situated directly south of the Quel'danil Lodge. For Horde players, the trip is much longer, from the opposite side of the zone. Zul'arek is another rare that doesn't move too much, just pacing around a little. He does not look terribly different than the other trolls around him, so careful searching is required if you do not have a means to track him.

Zul'arek took me quite some time to find, probably due to the fact that these areas are so close to the Alliance flight point and since there are quests in this area as well.

Combat and possessions

Zul'arek is a hostile mob to both Horde and Alliance and will thus always be a hostile encounter. Zul'arek is surrounded on all sides by other trolls, and this may thus become a messy fight if you're not careful. Zul'arek is not a very tough mob, but he does have a special ability in the form of a shadow bolt volley which hits every enemy in range. Just make sure nobody is on low health when engaging him and he should be easy to defeat.

When defeated, Zul'arek does not have any unique drops. He will provide the typical universal magic items when defeated. However, in a nice touch, he also drops the troll tribal necklaces required for a quest for the Wildhammer dwarves for the Alliance. Interestingly, this quest was once a repeatable quest which provided reputation with a unique Wildhammer faction. Whatever plans Blizzard may have had for this faction did not pan out and it was eventually completely removed from the game. Today, the quest is a simple one-time thing which provides no unique reputation.

The lore of the forest troll

First off, I just want to repeat how much I love this guy's name. I mean "Zul'arek" is a brilliant troll name to begin with, but "Hatefowler"? That just pushes it over the edge. It always conjures up images of trolls worshipping enraged fowl spirits, trying to channel the power of the savage grouse, the ferocious hen and the bloodthirsty turkey. Either Zul'arek feels a special connection with his fowl totem, or he has successfully slain some kind of vicious poultry of unusual size...

Given where he spawns and that he carries a tribal troll necklace, it would seem rather clear that Zul'arek is part of the Witherbark forest trolls, a tribe who spread over both the Hinterlands and the Arathi Highlands. As usual, Zul'arek is probably a notable troll among them, possibly a subchief under another rare troll, Zalas Witherbark. Interesting that he also possesses shadow magic, something many forest trolls use... (I always see rare mobs as creatures which have distinguished themselves enough that their name is well known to other races, or that those other races create a name for the creature.)

Finally, I have to comment that I really like the design of this guy as well. I really like the looks of World of Warcraft trolls, and the "bulky" forest troll model looks good with all those tattoos, crazy hair and other things trolls have going.

In closing, I really like this guy. His name just makes him a character in his own right, and he fits in neatly with the surrounding area and lore. Zul'arek is a really cool rare.

Until next time, don't get ganked by Wildhammer dwarves!


Another ogre, another pun: Hahk'Zor

Remember some time ago when I mentioned that ogres in World of Warcraft have their share of pun names? Well, that's by no means limited to ogres alone, but today's rarespawn also happens to be another "in-joke" ogre rare. And like the previous one, this one also has an internet slang name...

This post is about Hahk'Zor.

Who is Hakh'Zor and where can I find him?

Hakh'Zor is a rare mob ogre found in the Burning Steppes in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Hakh'Zor can be located in and around Dreadmaul Rock in the eastern part of the Burning Steppes. He just paces around his spawn point, but can appear either outside the ogre caves or inside on the lower level. Amusingly, some have reported him walking into a small pond just outside the Rock, almost vanishing in the water. "I can't swim" joke goes here.

How to fight Hahk'Zor

Hahk'Zor is a totally uncomplicated mob. He has no special abilities at all, just a basic melee attack. He's not very tough, and doesn't have any dangerous special attacks. In effect, he's just another ogre, just with a name.

To compound this, poor Hahk'Zor has no special drops either. Unique drops are rather scarce among the vanilla rarespawns, and mostly clustered around the lower and upper levels. Hahk'Zor just drops a random green for your disenchanting or selling pleasure.

The lore of Hahk'Zor

And even in this regard, this guy doesn't have much going for him. Let's get the most blatant fact out of the way first: His name is a pun on "haxx0r", which is internet slang for hacker. When they were making these ogre rarespawns back in the day, someone evidently really liked the idea of having several named this way...

Hahk'Zor uses the ogre "leader" model which normally pops up for stronger, more capable ogres. Their heavier armor and the big spiked fist signify their status, and many vanilla WoW ogre bosses have this model. For that reason, Hahk'Zor is quite possibly a leader of the Dreadmaul ogres.

There's just not much to say about Hahk'Zor. He's an ogre with a name, nothing more. There are a few rares like this in the game, and in my mission to cover every rarespawn, these also have to be covered. Fortunately most rares have a few more interesting facts about them.

Until next time;