Firstly, if you are a rogue with maxxed lockpicking, you can smirk and move along *grin*
Secondly, while only one person in your party will have to have some of these keys we will be going over, I personally do not want to be that player, you know…the one you had to run all the way back to the instance entrance to let in because they don’t have their own key? Healers may get a free pass here, but the rest of us are more disposable *smile*
While Blizzard seems to be making things simple for “the rest of us” by removing attunements and allowing even the lowliest and most unraiderish young 70’s into the lobby of such vaunted locales as the Black Temple and Mount Hyjal, the fact remains that if you are able to do it, there remain reasons to key up. So here for your perusal is a guide to notable Outlands keys and attunements, some of which most casual players may never complete before they hit level 80 in Wrath of the Lich King! For this first installment, I will go over the keys you’ll need in order to let yourself into five man instances.
The first key you come across (if you are doing dungeons more or less in the proper order) will be the Shadow Labyrinth Key, which can be found in the upper 60’s 5 man instance, Sethekk Halls. Please note…it does not drop off a mob or the final boss! It is found in The Talon King’s Coffer, a chest which is in located the back of Talon King Ikiss’ room. You do not need to have a quest or have completed anything else to pick this key up…just open the chest and loot. Everyone in the party who doesn’t have it already will be able to loot it.
Unfortunately, it gets worse from there.
You won’t really need to worry about keys again until you hit level 70, and at that point, the fun begins. Of the level 70 5 man instances, three require keys. You’ve now hopefully already picked up the key to Shadow Labs, you just have to get the ones for Shattered Halls and The Arcatraz. You will do well on some of these quests to be the owner of a flying mount. Highly recommended!
Shattered Halls: Head out to Shadowmoon Valley, and once there fly over to the Black Temple. Reconnoiter the area until you find Smith Gorlunk. You should be able to land your flying mount near him without aggroing anything else, and he should be fairly easy to solo. (Author’s note, I have not done this on my hunter and there were six of us in need of the mold when I did it on my druid, so if you die trying this, all I can say is…”Maybe my sources were wrong.”) Once his body hits the ground, retrieve from it the Primed Key Mold, an item that will start your quest. After accepting the quest, you will get to do a little running around in your factional Hellfire home city. You will eventually be asked to turn in some reagents, namely 4 Fel Iron Bars, 2 Arcane Dusts, and 4 Motes of Fire – it might even be a good idea to ask your crafter friends if they can make/sell you the Fel Iron Bars (miners can make these) and the Dusts (These are the common result of disenchanting a green outlands item). The motes of fire should be easily farmed off the AH or any Outlands fire elemental skinned creatures. Once you hand those in, the smith will send you off on a Fel Reaver hunt. Yes, those three story tall mechanical versions of the Devilsaurs. It’s supposed to be possible to kite it to your factional city and let the guards kill it, again, I haven’t tried this so YMMV. Once the Reaver is down, stand inside it’s shell and use the mold. Then take it back for your final turn in. Voila, you can now be the one running back to the front of the instance to let in that replacement DPSer.
The Arcatraz: I’ve read several things about where this quest and its’ prerequisites actually pick up, but having *done* this line just this week for my hunter, I can at least speak with some authority. I went to Area 52 and spoke directly to Nether-Stalker Khay’ji, who hangs out to the right of the inn’s entrance. He sent me off on a series of fedex type quests, culminating in the first turn-in of a repeatable reputation quest, “A Heap of Ethereals“. That ends the line of prerequisite quests and he will now start off on the main lead-up quests. All are easily soloable until you get to the one entitled “Full Triangle,” in which you are sent off to kill an elite demon. This seems like it would be easily doable with two players. I “soloed” him with the help of a Blood Elf Paladin who dropped out of the sky and nearly gave me heart failure until I realized he was attacking the demon and not my pet! Once that portion is turned in, a scripted event will occur, after which you will be shipped off to Shattrath to speak with A’Dal. A’Dal will give you the final part of the quest, which consists of retrieving the two key halves off their respective current holders, Pathaleon the Calculator, final boss of Mechanar, and Warp Splinter, the final boss of Botanica. Once the two key halves are in your possession, turn them in to A’Dal for your Arcatraz key and the final step of this quest line, defeating the last boss of Arcatraz. That step is of course optional since we now have our key!
As a followup to keys related to 5 mans, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention your heroic keys. You now only have to get to Honored with the following factions to pick up the keys: Honor Hold/Thrallmar, Cenarion Expedition, Lower City, Sha’tar, and Keepers of Time. This is both good and bad, but that’s a whole different post! Just doing quests in the appropriate areas should be enough to get you to honored with most of these by the time you hit 70. The exceptions are Keepers and Sha’Tar – you’ll have to run Old Hillsbrad a LOT to get honored, and why would you do that when completing the main Black Morass quest gives you 8000 KoT rep? (Yes, eight THOUSAND) Sha’Tar comes pretty much from two places: Running TK instances (Mechanar, Botanica, Arcatraz) and as a side benefit of doing the repeatable Scryer/Aldor faction turnins. This was the one it took me the longest to get. And while it’s not rep based, the last heroic key to attain is the one for Magister’s Terrace, which isn’t really a key. You simply pick up the questline from Exarch Larethor at the Shattered Sun Staging area. He sends you into Magister’s Terrace, where you follow the quest line and should pick up a nice epic gem and the ability to enter Magister’s Terrace Heroic mode upon completion of the quest “Hard to Kill,” which, as you might guess, refers to Kael’Thas.
So now you should be good to get into all the instances in both normal and heroic modes. The next installment will pick up with raid keys and more exotic attunements.