WoW: My lucid nightmare

After hearing that a Twitter friend was pursuing an odd goal of unlocking a rather difficult-to-acquire World of Warcraft mount that was part of a long series of secret puzzle-based quests, I decided to kill some time this week by seeing if I could do it too. I kind of really dig these hidden quests in this and other games, particularly because (1) they put some real thought into them, (2) they take me to places I don’t normally go to in the game, and (3) they give me a sense of achievement when I finish them.

Before all that, of course, I had to put together a sleek black outfit as part of my BFA prep. And off we go!

So this whole series — which is known as the “Lucid Nightmare” chain — is kicked off by a really cryptic note in Dalaran that has fortunately been figured out by the community (as well as subsequent notes). I’m sure this was great community bonding fun as everyone got together to try to suss these out, but as it is, I’m glad to benefit from their detective work. There’s no way I know enough about this game to find a whole bunch of places based on vague clues.

Mostly, the clues led me into different raids and zones, where I’d find puzzles to solve. Some of these were minigames, like this Bejeweled thing above (which was admittedly cool)…

…and this “untangle this mess” puzzle (even cooler). I spent about one night getting through most of the quests, at least until the penultimate mission.

Which turned out to be pure hell.

So we have to talk Endless Halls here and why this quest line is a badge of honor for some people. Maybe more of a rite of passage, I don’t know. I just understand now why people commiserate over this quest line, all because of this one step.

Right before you finish up the series, you have to navigate the Endless Halls to find five orbs and put them on their respective colored platforms. It’s a maze, basically, of rooms with NSEW entrances, although some are blocked by rubble. And it’s almost, almost impossible.

The problem is that you can’t easily map it. The maze is kind of three dimensional, with different levels, rooms that skip past other rooms, and even a teleporting trap that’ll throw you into a random part of the maze. It’s very disorienting and doesn’t lend itself at all to mapping out on graph paper. There are a couple of techniques to try to run in a consistent pattern as to cover most of the maze, but even then, you have to change things up every now and then to find all 64 rooms.

To make matters even worse, the maze is randomized for you — AND it resets when you log out for a while. I found that out after three hours of running and finding four out of five of the orbs. Thought I could finish it up the next day, but nope, it reset.

My second attempt took place one night where I cleared my gaming schedule, put on a movie, and went to town on the maze. That run took two hours and 15 minutes before all was said and done.

And let me tell you, when you see this room at last, it’s the most glorious sight in the world.

From there it was a quick trip to the Forgotten Crypt behind Kara. Never been there, and after mousing over clickables and getting weird file names for them, I suspect that this was a half-finished building. But sure enough, my mount was waiting for me on the top of the biggest pile of bones in the universe.

So I got my dark unicorn mount. Probably was a lot more work than it was worth, to be honest, especially since it can’t fly. But you can bet I’ll be riding it around BFA like crazy! It does a really nifty rear-and-spin move if you’re not jumping, but other than that, I suppose it’s just a way to show other people that you had too much time on your hands and a lot of patience in your back pocket.

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3 thoughts on “WoW: My lucid nightmare

  1. ScytheNoire (@ScytheNoire) August 10, 2018 / 2:44 pm

    I completed this a couple weeks ago and it was such a pain in the ass. The Endless Halls really are a true torture test, especially when you start hitting those secret teleport rooms. Old school mapping skills came in handy.

  2. CheapBossAttack August 10, 2018 / 11:50 pm

    Congrats on the new mount! I made it up to the maze and it drove me insane after about 5 hours, so I gave up entirely. Maybe one day I’ll make it back, but after logging out and discovering the maze resets I lost all motivation (which, by that point was basically near zero).

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