I’ve been asked a lot about how I got “that cool head thing” aka Visage of the First Wakener in game while running around (or in DMs), and while I wrote an article about this for something else, I’d like something I can link people now!
Thal’kiel has to be one of my favorite additions to the Warlock class. Not just because he’s a skull, but also because he chatters away, offering notes on lore, history of races, and how magical abilities of spells like Xavius’ disguise in Darkheart Thicket works, or the binding spells in Eye of Azshara is an utter disaster.
Common things that Warlocks speculated between the ever helpful resources of MMO Champ, WoWhead, and the Warlock Discord was that you needed to be Exalted with Highmountain, Kill Xavious, be Exalted with several reputations that were not the Nightfallen, talk to Velen….All of these were incorrect.
However it’s important to note that the three combined got me going in the correct direction once we Warlocks started to figure common things that could get a head to drop! I really wanted the appearance, so I compared notes and scanned various places the whole way until I could hit on something that would give me a head.
What you really need to do:
Heads begin to drop for Warlocks as soon as they hit Artifact Knowledge 4 with no other requirements. To find the heads the trigger the questlines, Warlocks need to kill Eredar around the Broken Isles. There are a multitude of spots in the game, including the ever popular Highmountain Burial Ground and Felbane Camp.
The most efficient spot however, is actually in Azsuna and can be reached by flying to Illidari Perch.
You’ll load into one of the ships that has both a top floor and a lower one. Instead of mucking around upstairs, simply follow the ramp downstairs.
In the downstairs area, you’ll find a control room with several Eredar “manning” the ship. The Eredar have very little health compared to most mobs in the area and any other mobs that pat are much easier to solo kill compared to the Highmountain ones. They can be easily pulled a few at a time if the player is comfortable, or if you feel like a bad ass, you can pull every single one.
Four to five Eredar can spawn in the main room and there are two rooms off to the side. In the two rooms off to the side, one Eredar can spawn in one, and two in another. One Elite mob can spawn in one of the side rooms, but a warlock using a Felguard with taunt turned on, or a void walker should be fine. In addition, a Wrathguard with slightly more health than the Eredar patrols into the room.
To note, Paladins working on their Holy hidden appearance will also need to kill Eredar of the same type, so if you have a guild member who is working on this item, it’s a good way to group up and work together to get the most amount of tags for loot. I believe outside of Affliction Warlocks, one other class besides Demo Warlocks and Holy Paladins needs to camp here, so even if you’re by yourself, you’re likely to find people to group up with.
Many warlocks also join group finder, and team up. Many warlocks have noticed that they have had better luck working together and seemingly more spawns, even though they don’t all get the same heads. I managed to get 4 heads in under 30 minutes while in a group.
As an added bonus, the item that starts the Affliction Hidden appearance can drop as well while you’re working on this, though the quest line for that item takes you elsewhere later.
To note: After some amount of farming in Highmountain, I switched to this location and quickly. got the Affliction item first, and cry-laughed hysterically, because I thought I was doomed. Don’t worry, I got the first head on my next drop! So, don’t worry if you get the “wrong” hidden appearance quest first.
When you receive your first head, A “Damaged Eredar Head” Thl’kiel trigger a line of chatter about how he’s been wanting to be more than just a skull, which isn’t creepy at all. The more you pick up heads of his people, the more he finds things wrong with the heads, from having the wrong eye color, to looking a bit too much like his former apprentice, (he doesn’t directly say it, but said apprentice was responsible for his headless state, and is actually Archimonde).
All of the heads will be grey items in your bags, but when you pick up the 6th and final one, it will appear as an artifact. Clicking on it will apply the artifact appearance. Interestingly, the 6th head is trade-able to a party member, but no one I’ve met has been willing to tempt fate that way.
Of particular note is the fact that head shape was really really important to Draenei culture, and he rejected a skull based upon shape because it was “lower caste”.
And that’s it! Good luck on getting your on creepy head! If you have any questions or need help, don’t hesitate to ask! Keep in mind that getting the first head did take me 6 or 7 hours, and then the gap between head 2 and 3 took me several hours as well.
The head seems to be a lot more animated than any other skins as far as movement, and you can unlock other colors just by getting honor kills, doing world quests, and dungeons. Basically you’re rewarded for doing the stuff you would normally do! 🙂
Huge shout outs to everyone who commented on the aforementioned sites. Without them I’d still be stumbling around attempting to get my creepy head friend. For the sake of comparison and notes:I had Artifact Knowledge Rank 6 by the time my head dropped, I had never killed Xavious, I only had Nightfallen as my exalted reputation, but I had taken Thal’kiel to Velen in the Exodar. I had no heads drop off the mobs in Suramar, nor in Highmountain. I completed the hidden appearance in under 18 hours counting time for sleep and real life once I started farming in Azsuna.