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The Hardest Quests in World of Warcraft History




  • World of Warcraft has quests that are notoriously difficult and require weeks of effort or the help of friends to complete.
  • Many of these difficult quests originate from the early days of the game when online resources were scarce and quest design was less player-friendly.
  • Some examples of challenging quests include searching for an NPC’s wife without any indicators, completing attunement quests for raids, and acquiring class abilities that require a significant time investment. The quest for the Scepter of the Shifting Sands is considered the hardest quest in the game.

World of Warcraft, as with any other RPG, is filled with quests that players must complete to fully experience the game. These usually involve epic journeys, battling dangerous foes, and rescuing other heroes, but some quests have gone down in history as the most difficult in nearly 20 years.

Some of these objectives in World of Warcraft can take weeks of effort to finish or require the help of multiple friends. They might entail confusing riddles or secret encounters that players have to figure out for themselves, all of which can make for a frustrating, but hopefully rewarding experience.

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World of Warcraft’s Questing Experience Used to Be Much More Difficult

As one might imagine, the vast majority of World of Warcraft’s most tedious quests come from the first few years of its existence. Back then, online resources were scarce and solutions were mostly passed on by word of mouth. MMORPGs as a whole were also in their infancy, so quest design didn’t prioritize a smooth and simple player experience.

One of WoW’s most infamous quests is given by the orc Mankrik in the Barrens. Mankrik beseeches the player to locate his wife, as he fears she has fallen in battle to the quilboar. In the game’s early days, there were no quest markers or indicators to help players. Players would search high and low throughout the Barrens, one of the largest zones on Azeroth, until they recognized Olgra’s body and returned the tragic news to Mankrik.

Some of the most painstaking questlines in World of Warcraft history are Attunement quests, those required for players to enter raids early in its history. For example, the attunement required for Onyxia’s Lair would take players across the whole of Azeroth, at a time when travel could be slow, expensive, and dangerous. The Molten Core, Karazhan, and especially the Naxxramas attunements are also fabled for the time and effort required.

Other tedious endeavors include escort quests, the design of which meant players had to keep pace with an NPC while being attacked, with no way to pace themselves or avoid danger. The most awful escort quest involved the robot chicken called OOX-17/TN. Helping this chicken took players on a trip that would constantly result in death and having to restart the entire journey.

Some class quests also merit a mention. For example, the Warlock’s Dreadsteed mount, the Druid’s Aquatic Form, and the Shaman’s Water Totem are all class abilities that required a pretty big time sink to acquire, making their rewards all the juicier when players finally achieved them.

With the aforementioned quests in mind, perhaps the most famous of all World of Warcraft’s player sagas is the quest for the Scepter of the Shifting Sands. With the coming release of its biggest and toughest raid yet, Ahn’Qiraj was going to get a whole legendary questline dedicated to its release. For one player to get this title and legendary Black Qiraji Battle Tank mount, they needed upwards of an entire raid group backing only them.

This search for the Scepter would take players through pretty much all the raids that had been released so far, including Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. On top of entire raids, this questline requires expensive materials, an intensive reputation grind, and the killing of countless open-world enemies that can potentially be poached by other players.

One of the most decorated and hailed achievements in World of Warcraft involves not just completing this hellish questline of 32 individual quests, but doing it within a time limit. Players who finished the Scepter within 10 hours of the first player on that server to do so were gifted with the legendary mount, and later on, the title of Scarab Lord. Because of its length, difficulty, teamwork, expense, and mind-numbing grind, the Scepter of the Shifting Sands has to take the cake for WoW‘s hardest quest ever.

World of Warcraft is available now for PC.

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