Saturday, October 24, 2020



When I read Dara's comment on yesterday's post, it occured to me that some of the assumptions I'd been making about unlocking the Vulpera race for my World of Warcraft probably didn't make a whole lot of sense. I've been following the story of the addition of the foxlike "allied race" to WoW since I first heard about it back in June of last year but only by way of sporadic mentions on Massively OP and the occasional blog.

I knew the Vulpera came as part of Battle for Azeroth, albeit as a late addition, arriving with Patch 8.3 at the start of this year. At the time, that meant you'd need to own BfA, which I didn't, and to have a near-max level character capable of killing stuff there, which I hadn't. You would also, of course, have to be subscribed, which I wasn't.

In addition, as I thought I understood it, there was a hefty reputation requirement and a quest chain to complete. That was about as much as I knew, and since I had no intention of buying the expansion at the time, that was where I left things, until more information began to filter out in the run-up to the launch of this year's expansion, Shadowlands.

Again I was picking up the pieces as I happened upon them in articles about the level squish and the upcoming pre-patch. By a few weeks ago I'd gathered that the reputation requirement was going to go away and access to all Battle for Azeroth content was going to be rolled into the regular subscription. Better yet, with the squish and the new leveling regime, a good portion of BfA would drop into the laps of players using the endless free trial.

Until this morning that was about as far as I'd taken it. In my mind I'd already decided I would subscribe, sooner rather than later, probably just for one month, so I could level up high enough to complete the questline and unlock the fox. I knew the Vulpera were a Horde-only race so I also assumed I'd need to level a Horde character, although if you'd asked me why an Alliance character wouldn't be able to do it I wouldn't have been able to give you much of an answer.

With Dara's comment the penny finally dropped. My idea that you needed to be the equivalent of a pre-squish 110 to start anything in Battle for Azeroth zones had to be pure tosh, didn't it? You can level in any expansion, including BfA, from ten to fifty now, can't you? 

The fearsome werewolf hunter with her narcoleptic pony and trained attack sheep.

I ought to know. I've been writing post after post about it for a week or more. You'd have thought it might have dawned on me sooner.  I even leveled my worgen hunter to the free cap of twenty last night in BfA zone Tirargarde Sound and still never made the connection.

Slapping myself for being so stupidly slow on the uptake I decided it was past time to go read up on the actual process of unlocking the allied races rather than working on hearsay and supposition. Dara mentioned that what I'd been thinking of as a questline was in fact an achievement (albeit one consisting of having completed a string of quests) so I started by reading up on "Secrets in the Sands".

From there I went via Reddit and the offical WoW Forums bfore ending up on Icy Veins. As usual, none of them was wholly to be trusted. Most sources still claim you need to be Exalted with the Voldunai, for example, and I didn't see any mention of the actual new level requirement for adventuring in the zone, Vol'dun

As Dara explains in a follow-up comment,  during most of the BfA era it was possible to address the zones in the expansion in any order because the content was designed to scale apropriately. It still does, to a degree, but as Wilhem makes clear in his post about leveling in the squished Wrath of the Lich King, "while the expansion now scales from 10 to 50, the individual zones are not all equally accessible.  There are different ranges for the zones."

As you can see from his list, though, some of those ranges are pretty generous. Two-thirds of them stretch from twenty to fifty. I was still hopeful that Vol'Dun might fall within the range of my new goblin shaman, at least by the time she caught the worgen hunter up and dinged twenty.

Can't help feeling there's a bit of "give with one hand, take with the other" going on here.


Not really trusting much that I read about WoW right now, I figured the best way to find out would be to log in and see for myself. Fortunately Blizzard have seen fit to include the new level ranges on the in-game map, so I was quickly able to confirm that Vol'dun is intended for characters between thirty-five and fifty.

Clearly my goblin wasn't going to be helping any foxfolk without doing a good deal more busy work for the trolls. Since I had her there anyway I knocked out a couple more levels, taking her to fifteen, but it didn't seem nearly as much fun as what the worgen had been doing. 

That was when I began to wonder whether, with the faction requirement gone, it might be possible for an Alliance character to swoop in, grab the necessary quests and knock out the achievement, which would presumably be account-wide, thereby unlocking the option to create a Vulpera character on the other side of the barricades.

I did a bit of checking on that. I found someone who said they'd done it. There's always one, isn't there?

You can't, in fact. As Dara clarifies in the second comment, the Secrets in the Sands achievement is Horde-only. Each of the two factions get separate zone storylines in BfA (probably in all expansions, I imagine) and this one is exclusively the property of the Horde.

Didn't stop me checking for myself, even so. The way things are in Azeroth at the moment it would be a brave player who took anything for granted without checking for themselves. I re-subbed my account and dusted off my highest character, a now-thirty-seven dwarf hunter. Perfect for the zone's required level range.

I think you mean "stay out of the way and don't touch anything" don't you?


After re-taking all his talents and sorting out his bags I watched a You Tube video to show me how to get him to Vol'dun. First he needed to get to Kul Tiras so I ran him through the meeting with the King in Stormwind. When he met Jaina on the docks he got the option to skip the Kul Tiras opening quests altogether but I figured he could use the xp so I took them anyway.

With that done, the trip to Vol'dun was simple enough. Just a boat trip from Kul Tiras. I was interested to see that the Admiral still offered him the choice of all four zones. At thirty-seven my hunter would be above the lower limit for all of them so it makes sense but I wonder if the game filters the options for lower-level characters? I ought to test that with my level twenty-five warlock, sometime.

In Vol'dun there was some business with a landing craft and a flare gun and then we were free to explore. I tried to google the exact location of the questgiver I wanted but I couldn't find anything much more specific than that it was in the North East of the zone near somewhere called the Abandoned Burrows.

As it happens, the Alliance foothold is also in the North East. I set out to look for fox prints. It wasn't long before I found a clutch of Vulperas being held captive by the indigenous snake people. They wouldn't speak to me even after I killed their captors. Neither would some freed foxes I ran into, nor the Vulpera flight master. At least they didn't attack me on sight like the snakes.

Don't give me the silent treatment. I know you can hear me!


A short while later I came across a couple of named Vulpera with a caravan. I thought I recognized their names as the ones who began the questline although now I think back on it I'm not sure. They were clearly supposed to be there to offer some kind of quest to someone. Just not to me.

Satisfied that there'd be no Alliance shortcut I decided to return to a modified version of the original plan. I'll need a Horde character of around level thirty-five, which is considerably better than having to get one to fifty or even forty-five. I don't think I can face another twenty levels with the trolls so I'll probably shift to another expansion then come back.

Given that the worgen hunter did five levels in an evening yesterday and the dwarf hunter went from thirty-seven to thirty-nine in a couple of hours, it shouldn't take too long. Shintar timed her journey from nought to fifty at around twenty-six hours and I imagine it slows up at least a little towards the end.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it. It's strange how, after lionizing Classic this time last year for being in almost every respect the antithesis, I find myself having a fine time leveling in Retail. I guess I just like levelling, period.

Still a lot of hoops to jump through just to be able to play a cute fox, though, isn't it?


  1. Just be glad that Blizz dropped the "exalted reputation" part of the unlock. Doing the quest lines for the achievement will get you less than half way there, even with the 100% boost to reputation increases currently in play.

    1. Yeah, I almost certainly wouldn't have considered it if they hadn't dropped the rep part. I am not one for lengthy rep grinds. Faction, where you just kill millions of something someone doesn't like to get them to think better of you, that I'm happy to do, but questing or dailies just to get brownie points is not for me. I almost certainly will never fly in BfA until they remove the Pathfinder requirement. It's nice that they've taken it out of Legion and WoD though.

    2. I had no idea they'd dropped the rep part either. That actually makes this something I might pursue after all. I unlocked both the Lightforged Draenai and the Void Elves back when you had to do everything, but didn't have it in me to come back and do the Dark Iron Dwarves or any of the Horde side ones. Hehe.

      Maybe that's something can work on now then in the interim!


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