What to do after Exile’s Reach and how to activate Chromie Time
Exile’s Reach was designed for the beginning player to get them accustomed to World of Warcraft and ready for the Battle for Azeroth-into-Shadowlands questing experience. That hasn’t prevented many veteran players from experiencing it for the sake of completeness or because they can finally level a Goblin without suffering through their starting zones, though. The addition of Chromie Time has added complexity to leveling and there’s been some confusion as to how to best handle the choice veterans are given when they arrive in their capital city. That’s what we’re here for!
After the “escape from Exile’s Reach” cinematic has played, you’ll arrive in the main capital city of your faction and you’ll be given a choice by Warlord Breka Grimaxe for Horde or Captain Garrick for Alliance. The choice is either:
- Complete the quest “Finding Your Way” (Alliance version) that provides a tour of the capital city and helps you unlock important features.
- Skip the tour.
As a veteran player, you’ll be tempted to take the tour just to see it, but be forewarned: Once you start the tour, there will be very few opportunities to leave the tour before you arrive in Kul Tiras or Zandalar, especially if you’re Alliance.
If you choose to skip the tour, you can pick up Adventurer’s Wanted: Chromie’s Call (Horde version) from the Adventurer’s Guide or from the Hero’s Call Board. You can also just find the hourglass on your map and talk to Chromie directly without the quest. If you want to level in BFA, you can pick up the introductory quest from the Hero’s Herald standing next to the Hero’s Call Board. Note that with this method, the Alliance experience starts with joining Jaina to sail to Boralus Harbor, and the Horde experience starts with the extraction of Zul and Princess Talanji from Stormwind.
Roll up for the Magical Capital Tour
Choosing to accept the quest Finding Your Way starts you on a 10-to-15 minute quest chain that gets you set up with trained riding, a mount (which you likely already own, but hey, free 25 silver), a specialization, and your hearth set to an inn you likely never used before because it’s inconveniently located. The second-most frustrating part of the tour is the five-minute escort that requires you to stay close to a walking NPC. The most frustrating part is that you can’t renege — once you’ve told Warlord Grimaxe or Captain Garrick you want the tour, you can’t escape until the end, and even that can be tricky.
Horde-side, when you get back to Warlord Grimaxe in Grommash Hold at the end of the tour, she’ll actually still have the option to “skip” it. After you’ve come this far, there’s not much point in skipping it unless you don’t plan to ever visit Zandalar, or you want to partake in the Zul & Talanji Stormwind extraction scenario as you don’t get the option to do so via the tour — you get ported to Talanji’s ship after the escape. After the requisite cinematic you find yourself on the dock and ready to start opening Zuldazar City for the Horde. If you don’t feel like going through the motions right now, you can hearth back to Orgrimmar and come back later (using the boat or portal will take you to the dock where you left off).
The Magical Capital Tour is coming to take you away
The experience after the Alliance Tour is quite different. When you arrive in the Throne Room, Captain Garrick doesn’t have the option to “skip” like Warlord Grimaxe did; your course is still set. The main difference from the Horde experience is that the Escape from Tol Dagor scenario is still required — you can’t tell Jaina you’ve experienced it before. So there’s still more that must be done before you are free to pursue your leveling choice.
“No problem!” you think. “I’ll just leave Jaina behind and hearth back to Stormwind!” And you can, but whenever you return to BFA content via portal or ship you will have to pick up where you left off. You also find yourself in a really tricky situation: you can’t abandon any quests, or to put it differently, if you abandon any quests you’ll be instantly whisked back to where you accepted it. You could be level 35 in Highmountain cleaning up your quest log and if you accidentally abandon Out Like Flynn you’ll be whisked right back to Tol Dagor. It is not until you meet up with Taelia and Get Your Bearings that you can “safely” return to Stormwind and visit Chromie, although at that point you might as well finish opening up Boralus Harbor and save yourself the hearthstone cooldown.
My goal isn’t to dissuade veteran players from taking the capital tour, but to point out that it is a time commitment, especially as Alliance. The other major caveat is that as a Horde player you will not be able to join Nathanos and company for a visit to Stormwind to rescue Princess Talanji if you do the complete tour. If your desire is for your character to go right into Chromie Time, skip the tour, and wait until you plan on running a character through the BFA leveling experience before choosing the tour.
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