Clues pointing us to Mechagon have been here all along — here’s how to find them
One of the more interesting developments to come out of BlizzCon 2018 was the announcement of a new zone with a new megadungeon: Mechagon. Set to debut in patch 8.2, the new zone and associated megadungeon features the introduction of a secret branch of the Gnomish race. This Gnome society runs counter to the Gnomes we’re used to — social status is marked by how many fleshy parts these Gnomes have replaced with mechanical substitutes.
Not only does this sound — let’s face it — just a wee bit creepy, it was also an entirely unexpected plot development. It’s rare that we get Gnome quest chains in most expansions, rarer still that they’re a featured part of any patch. The last time we saw anything with heavy Gnome involvement was the operation to retake Gnomeregan prior to Cataclysm’s launch.
But as out of place as this development may seem, the clues for its introduction have been in place since Battle for Azeroth’s launch…if you’ve been paying attention, that is. For Alliance players that might have missed it, you’ll want to head to Tiragarde Sound, where a Gnome named Parin Tinklocket is waiting in a small cave just outside the former tinker’s paradise known as The Rusted Vault.
Have you ever noticed the complete lack of Gnomes in Boralus? Parin certainly has. In his initial quest, he mentions a friend that had a tinker shop in the capital city. At some point, the Gnome stopped all correspondence with Parin. When Parin finally made it to Boralus to investigate, his friend was simply gone — and so was every other Gnome in the city. Following a hunch, Parin decided to start his search at The Rusted Vault, a set of ruins beset by mechanical sentries.
The sentry bots are obviously of Gnomish design, but much like Parin’s friend from Boralus, any Gnomes that might’ve been present in The Rusted Vault have also disappeared. There is one small clue to be found, however — in the back of The Rusted Vault rests a gigantic, gear-shaped door leading into the mountain. There’s no way to open it, and speaking to Parin results in some flavor text in which he states “Before you ask, yes, I tried knocking on the door. No, nothing happened.”
Obviously there’s something beyond that door — screenshots from BlizzCon show Parin standing at the entrance. For now, players can finish both of Parin’s quests, but little else. After turning both quests in, Parin says he doesn’t see anything that would suggest the whereabouts of his missing friends, but he’s going to look into the information you gathered. He’ll contact you again if he finds “something interesting.”
Here’s why this might have escaped the notice of players — you’ll get a piece of mail shortly after completing the quests. It’s from Dana Pull over at Ruff Waters in Boralus, and it states they found something scurrying out of The Rusted Vault that they thought we’d like. All this does is unlock the ability to purchase the Strange Looking Mechanical Squirrel from the vendor, which will teach you how to summon a Mechanical Prairie Dog. It includes the description “This adorable mass of whirlers, cogs, and sprockets wasn’t assembled in Gnomeregan. Where then?” Well, now we have a pretty good clue where, don’t we?
But this isn’t the first quest that’s unlocked an unusual pet on a pet vendor — they’re all over both continents this expansion. On first glance, nothing about this small little quest chain appeared too out of the ordinary, other than the “I’ll get in touch with you later” dialogue. For many players, this seemed like just another little Battle Pet unlock quest, with nothing further to be gained from it, intriguing dialogue aside. After all, it’s not the first time we would have gotten dialogue that didn’t have some kind of immediate follow-through.
For now, Parin’s still settled in his cave, and he has no further quests or dialogue to offer. Presumably, that will change in 8.2, and we’ll journey with or at the behest of Parin to find our way to Mechagon. Hopefully we’ll find his lost friends as well. But while the story takes a break here, it does lead one to wonder — there’s all those other quest chains to unlock pets in Battle for Azeroth to consider. Are they just simple chains to unlock a pet on a vendor…or are there other future stories hiding out there as well?
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