Friday, December 19, 2008

Some Catching Up: DEHTA

Connectivity failures keep me from playing tonight; I might as well work through some of the picture archive. You'll notice from Tivara's look and gear that this was some weeks back. This stuff really has been piling up.


Back in original WoW, characters at about level 30 could venture into the jungles of Stranglethorn Vale. They would encounter warring tribes of trolls (some with undead minions), pirates, and various other challenges, and also dwarvish big game hunter Hemet Nesingwary. He and his hunting party have the character kill 10 of this and 10 of that, working their way up to the named elite individuals who dominate various animal packs—the tiger Sin'dall, the raptor Tethis, and so on. Most folks I know did them most of the time because it was good experience, and handy rewards for some classes.

Come the Burning Crusade he turned up in Nagrand, leaving his son in charge of the camp back in Azeroth. Same setup, but this time 30 of this and 30 of that, and accompanying jokes among players about how this was going to rival Draenor's shattering for population catastrophe.

Yes, he's in Northrend now. But before travelers like Tivara have a chance to cross his path in the Sholazar Basin, they spend some time in the Borean Tundra, and they run into these folks:

Arch Druid Lathorius

Lathorius is here leading Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals. They have a statue of Nesingwary in the habitat nature intended for him, burning in the Twisted Nether.

Quests for DEHTA are fun and varied. You put down deranged assistant hunters, destroy their traps, and also rescue trapped baby mammoths:

Baby Mammoth Trapped

When freed, each one rears up and trumpets some appreciation, which feels remarkably good:

Baby Mammoth, Freed

Finally you get to hunt down and dispose of Nesingwary's crazy agents in the Borean Tundra, complete with mammoth riding to trample some of them. There's humor in this, of course, but not a lot of mockery—the victims of the hunt are shown as genuinely suffering, the druids trying to help them seriously focused on doing what good they can and keeping others from doing more harm.

When I first read about these quests, I dread yet another oh-so-clever fannish bashing of anyone so stupid as to actually care about the well-being of animals. I got something a lot better than that, and am happy.