A long time ago I was expressing my wish to acquire a Battered Hilt for a Quel'delar for my hunter. It proved to be a pipe dream because I stopped playing the hunter and instead found new love in my retribution paladin.
After running a ton of heroics and realizing that my dps sucked in comparison to raid-equipped players, I endeavored to improve my gear.
One day, a couple of weeks ago, I spotted a Battered Hilt in the auction house for only 6500 gold. I only hesitated 2 seconds before I bought it. On my server the hilt goes for at least 7000 gold. In fact I've only seen it once for about 7500 but most often these days it hovers around 8-9K. It follows that 6500 is a good price. After spending 20K for my tanking gear I figured 6500 was chump change.
And so I embarked upon a quest of epic proportions which culminated in Quel'Delar, Might of the Faithful. I won't describe the chain itself because you can follow it starting here. It's a fairly long quest and the initial chain is followed by about 2-3 more chains. There's a lot of running around involved but the hardest part is running the 3 Icecrown instances which are the hardest 5-mans in Wrath of the Lich King.
What I find a bit weird about this chain is that it requires you to run the instances in this order: Pit of Saron > Forge of Souls > Halls of Reflection. This means that if you've never completed Forge of Souls before, you'll have to run that one first, in order to unlock Pit of Saron.
You don't have to finish Pit of Saron (unless you've never finished it before) because you can complete the required part of the quest after the first boss. Just use his hammer to smelt the saronite. Oh but wait, you'll probably still need to kill Ick and Krick because likely you won't have enough saronite and there's more of it around these two guys. In the end you should stick around and finish the dungeon with the rest of the group because that's the nice thing to do. If you're dps, I guess you can get away with dropping group. I went as tank and would have felt like a dick to abandon the group.
By the way, the whole chain can be completed on normal and I recommend it because it's easier.
In Forge of Souls you have to get to the end and kill the final boss and then use the forge behind him.
In Halls of Reflection you just need to get inside the instance whereupon the quest item (the unfinished weapon) jumps from your inventory and attacks. You'll have to defeat the blade and then loot it. The ghost of Uther the Lightbringer will be present and you can trick the blade to attack him instead, and he will kill it for you. The only problem is that likely you won't be doing enough damage to get credit for the quest. I attempted this about 5 times on my own before I gave up and found a group. A group is the easiest way to complete this quest because the blade hits very hard when it does a whirlwind attack.
Now that the hard part is over you'll have to run around some more, including a trip inside a phased version of the Sunwell.
After all this I found myself with Quel'Delar, Might of the Faithful. At ilvl 251 it's simply the most powerful weapon I could have obtained outside of raids. I enchanted it with Berserking, of course.
Shortly thereafter I also upgraded my craptastic trinkets to a Darkmoon Card: Death and a Darkmoon Card: Greatness. The new weapon + enchant + 2 new trinkets gave me over 1000 dps extra.
Along with a few other upgrades, I'm now frequently top dps in most random instances. According to the dps meter I do in excess of 4K dps. I really love seeing those big numbers roll. A couple of nights ago, however, I was shamed by a particular random run in Culling of Stratholme. I ended up as the 5th member in a guild run. The other 4 were guildies and it was obvious they were uber-geared by the way they devastated that instance. Up until then I had no idea Culling of Stratholme could be run in less than 10 minutes. Not one of these guys did less than twice my dps. I could barely hit 2 spells in my rotation and the mobs would be dead.
All this effort and gold spent for a cool weapon and two levels later, at 82, it will all be for naught. One of the quests in Cataclysm awards a blue weapon that's leagues better than even today's legendary Shadowmourne. BTW, the DK tank in the Stratholme run I mentioned previously was rocking a Shadowmourne. This new Cataclysm weapon is ilvl 305 and it's called the Axe of Earthly Sundering. The stats on it are amazing and I can't help but ask myself what stats will epic weapons have.
Here's a shot of my paladin sporting his new weapon.
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
4 years ago