The chain of quests around the Operation: Gnomeregan event. Any alliance character can complete all the quests except for the last two. You must be level 75 or higher to be able to complete the last two.
While these quests have prerequisites, it is less a narrative than a series of nearly independent tasks.
On September 7, 2010 (September 8 for EU servers), alliance characters logging in received a message from Gelbin Mekkatorque:
As a proud member of the Alliance, duty compels you to journey to Ironforge with haste and submit yourself to the will of High Tinker Mekkatorque, King of Gnomes.*
The end of our exile draws nigh - Operation: Gnomeregan is about to begin!**
* Lawyerbot 2000 informs me that I actually possess no legal authority whatsoever - over gnomes or otherwise - but still, you have to admit that sounded impressive!
** Seriously, please come help out if you can. Many thanks!
The new recruits
When you visit High Tinker Mekkatorque in the Tinker Town part of Ironforge, he asks you to help with the recruiting of gnomes to bolster the forces preparing to assault Gnomeregan. He provides you with a , which will give the gnomes the courage to enlist.
Seems awfully close to mind control to you, but you do motivate a fair number of citizens to help the war effort. You - and they - mount up and head out of Ironforge into Dun Morogh to Steelgrill's Depot, to enlist with Captain Tread Sparknozzle.
The captain is not terribly impressed with the recruits, but he has confidence in his (and his drill sergeant's) ability to turn even the most unpromising of recruits into seasoned pilots, engineers, and infantry.
The captain sees that you are still interested in giving a hand, and directs you to Drill Sergeant Steamcrank for basic training.
You wander over, and after a few minutes you realize that "learning how to follow orders" is the lesson of the day. Probably a good lesson, given that he's working with the rawest of recruits, but with a lot fewer fangs and swords involved than those lessons you learned in Northrend. You realize that, for you, the challenge here is not in following the Drill Sergeant's orders, but rather not sniggering while you do so. And that, too, is a valuable lesson.
You show the captain that you've passed the Drill Sergeant's requirements.
Preparing for the assault
- At this point, both the captain, and have tasks they want you to do for them. You will need to complete both sets of tasks before moving on.
Testing the Mechs
The captain is in charge of a unit of Gnomish Mechano-tanks that have yet to see full scale war. The mechanics have been tinkering with them, adding useful new features, and they all need to be tested. First off is the ejection seat. Too many gnomes have lost their lives trying to get out at the very last minute. This should help.
You go over to the mechano-tank in question and seat yourself. Knowing gnomish engineering, you realize that if something does go wrong, it is much less likely to simply explode, like goblin engineering efforts have. No, it might well be much, much more embarassing. So with some trepidation, you push the eject button.
Waahoo-hooey! Much to your suprise, the ejection seat actually works! You are thrown some good distance in the air, and land a good bit behind the tank. You make a note that the ejection seat should perhaps not be used during retreats...
The captain is pleased with the ejection seat peformance, and has yet another round of testing for you to do.
This time, it's checking the leg servo functions. You work the right fore-leg several times. No problems. You work the left fore-leg ... and the right fore-leg moves instead. You repeat this several times. You walk the tank around a little, and the left legs seem to be working correctly. You even test the auto-evasion maneuvering system, which jumps the tank backwards a surprising distance for something that large.
You report back to the Captain about the results, and he makes a note of the left leg servo's behavior for later.
There's one more tank subsystem the Captain would like you to test out: the weapons system. For the test, the tank has been loaded with harmless pellets. It wouldn't do, after all, for the gun to blow up and scatter live rounds everywhere. Your task is to simply maneuver the tank to aim the gun at a target set up for the purpose, and fire several rounds.
You discover that the gun is fixed in position, and you have to turn the whole tank in order to aim the gun. As well, while you hit the target, pellets spray pretty much everywhere around the target as well. Not so good for concentrating fire, that.
The Captain is pleased, though. The spread pattern will make it easier to aim, and perhaps even catch more than single targets in burst.
Checking the radiation levels
Pilot Muzzlesprock has something entirely different for you to do. The forces have been waiting for radiation levels to go down around Gnomeregan, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Still, before the army can really commit to entering Gnomeregan, they need to know if they'll be able to live through the radiation down there.
Your task, is to take 'Thunderflash', Muzzlesprock's flying machine, and toss a set of into the ventilation shafts outside of Gnomeregan. These devices combine a radiation detector, with a transmitter, in an easy-to-throw hover-case. The hover-case deploys helicopter blades to increase the glide time of the radiageigatron, so you can throw it from a safe distance, without risking the flying machine's own support propellers.
The vents you are to throw the devices in are readily apparent ... by the plume of radioactive steam pouring from them. Easy targets. One, two, three, you're done and heading back to the barn.
Muzzlesprock has been monitoring the output from the radiageigatrons while you were still on your way back, and it's good news! The radiation levels are within the safety range of the infantry suits. The war can go on!
Motivation for the men
While Pilot Muzzlesprock and Captain Sparknozzle are busy putting the final touches to the assault forces, Toby Zeigear has been working on a speech for Mekkatorque. He's got several drafts, but he needs an audience to tell him which ones work, and which ones are full of fail. You're not doing anything at the moment, so you volunteer to take his around and conduct a focus group.
You interview a few of the local Gnomish residents, and get various results. One script seemed entirely too weak, while a second was plain confusing. A third was ... tolerable, but could still use some last minute polishing.
With those reactions, Toby does pretty much what you expected he would do... pulls out yet a fourth speech. Maybe it has everything good from the others. Well, you hope it does. Toby asks you to deliver it to Captain Sparknozzle for him.
Under 75: Welcome to the Reserves!
Captain Sparknozzle thanks you for delivering this fantastic speech to him, and tells you about the strike team that he's got headed for Gnomeregan. You, though... you've done all he could possibly ask of you. He asks you to join the Gnomeregan Reserves. It doesn't pay well, but you get a snazzy helmet. Hang onto it, you might need it some day!
75 and over: Time to get to the battle!
The captain looks over the speech and is amazed. Time, he says, to get YOU out to the battle. (You still get the snazzy helmet, but in this case, you will get a chance to use it in combat!)
Cleaning up the town
Captain Sparknozzle directs you to take the speech to High Tinker Mekkatorque by the fastest means possible - it's the only thing he's waiting on before starting Operation: Gnomeregan. In this case the fastest means is 'Thunderflash', Pilot Muzzlesprock's air machine.
You hop aboard, and are whisked off to the southern end of the Gnomeregan surface area. There, you find High Tinker Mekkatorque waiting with the entire gnomish army.
- Note: This area is phased. Before having completed Operation: Gnomeregan, the gnomish forces and their foes will be here. After completing Operation: Gnomeregan, the area will return to normal, with leper gnomes and troggs infesting the area.
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