Halls of Stone

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get into Azeroth on Saturday night.  My Dalaran problem, my machine locking up whenever I spend any time in Dalaran, was getting worse.  The same issue had started happening in other areas of Northrend and by last weekend had spread to old Azeroth.  Crashes in Stormwind were cause for real concern in my opinion.

Since I have never found a post on the Blizzard forums from anybody who seemed to be having the same problem I have been facing, I have always assumed that there was something wrong with my system.  This lead to me taking the machine apart on Saturday, swapping video cards out, checking drivers, and uninstalling unnecessary items.

I went a little bit too far on that last one and uninstalled ALL of the nVidia drivers on my machine, forgetting that the ASUS P5N-E SLI motherboard uses an nVidia nForce chipset for some essential things like driving the network interface.  Whoops.  Fortunately I had those drivers on hand and by the end of the afternoon I was able to get things back to where WoW was mostly just dying around Dalaran again.

With that experience, I got myself out to the summoning stone by the Halls of Stone well in advance of the group and camped there so as to limit the amount of texture loading, the common theme in all these crashes.  So I was in place when we logged in.  Our group was:

78 Warrior – Earlthecat
78 Paladin – Vikund
79 Priest – Skronk
79 Mage – Ula
79 Warlock – Bungholio

And we stood again outside the Halls of Stone.

Original Target - Halls or Stone

I've used this picture before

Once in we found ourselves faced with an array of humanoids and giants with the occasional mechanical thrown in to keep things interesting.  Both Earl and Vikund are engineers, but found that while they could repair mechanicals, they didn’t have a lot on hand to do crowd control when it came to them.  We endured.

There were runs on a the inhabitants of the Halls of Stone that I initially thought were the lambda symbol, similar to that from Half-Life and Half-Life 2.

This way to Nova Prospekt?

This way to Nova Prospekt?

This lead me to try to make a couple of Gordon Freeman jokes, which fell flat.  It’s been done.

After the initial few groups, we came to a big locked door.  The map of the instance showed something behind it, so we figured we would get back to that at some point.  Further on we came to a three-way intersection.  We decided to go clockwise from the left.

However, a few fights into that and we saw a quest mob up ahead.  Fearing an escort quest that might be hindered by the other two passages being left full of bad guys, we opted to skip that passage for now and move to the next one on the list.

That lead us to a very big girl indeed.

Any relation to Sister of Pain?

Any relation to Sister of Pain?

The Maiden of Grief, and a tough cookie she was.  Just not tough enough.  As always, we were in the instance without having done any research, so we went with the usual Plan A routine:

In with the tank
on heals he relies
DPS like hell
and hope she dies

Fortunately, it worked for us yet again.

So slept the fair maiden

So slept the fair maiden

There was even the Ring of Repose, a decent caster ring as a reward.

Which lead us to the next passage around the clock and another big boss, Kyrstallus.

Folger's Krystallus

Folger's Krystallus

The fight with him was about on par with the Maiden of Grief, only he had an area attack that left the group stunned for several seconds at a time throughout the fight.  That lead to a couple close health bar moments, but in the end he was down and we were all standing.

Which left us with the original passage and the expected escort quest.  Brann Bronzebeard, youngest brother of the king of the dwarves and an active member of The Explorer’s League, was the escortee.

He lead us to the Tribunal of Ages, a big circular room with a gnomish device called the Archivum Console at the far side.  And once he began to fiddle with it, things began to happen.

We quickly figured out that it was a “Defend Brann” event.  We managed to keep Brann safe, but as soon as the event was done, he was off to the next encounter, which was behind the locked door we passed on the way in.

This turned out to be another “Defend Brann” event, but this time there was a boss involved along with a host of oozes and some other friends.  The boss was Sjonnir The Ironshaper, and I don’t know if we’re just getting good or if the instances are getting easier, but Brann did his thing, we slew the bad guys, and we were done.

HoSachi

We got out picture with Brann.

Posing with the Archivum Console

Posing with the Archivum Console

Then took one last look at Sjonnir before we headed for the exit.

Our time together was brief

Our time together was brief

All of which left us with time to go off and try something else.  We decided to take a look into the next instance on our list, the Halls of Lightning, but after we stepped in we found out that we had not done the lead-in quests for this instance.  So we went to go roll that up so we would get the maximum benefit from doing the instance.

Once we looked it up though, it turned out to be at the end of a chain of 35 quests and 10 side quests.  Once we got to the right location and all got to the same point on the quest chain (some people had started already) we ended up getting about 17 quests in before we called it a night.  So we did not get to do anything in the Halls of Lightning, though there were enough comic moments to keep us amused.

Transformed Earl on his copter

Transformed Earl on his copter

So next time around, we should be able to start in on the Halls of Lightning.

We did decide that since we are all at least well into level 78, the leash is off and we can go to level cap.  We should have some level 80s by next post.  We shall see what that does to our enthusiasm for the game.

5 thoughts on “Halls of Stone

  1. Darraxus

    Grats on the new instance defeated. HoL has pretty much a bunch of gimmick fights. I wont spoil Loken for you, but hold onto your pants (although they really arent too bad not on heroic).

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  2. smakendahed

    Halls of Stone is pretty simple really or maybe intuitive might be a better word. It’s a little tougher on Heroic, but not really all that much.

    I ran HoL on Heroic last night – first time as a tank in a few months so I forgot a lot of things. Not too bad though. The folks that were new to the instance died a few times. It’s not too bad really.

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  3. Justin

    About your WoW crashes:
    RAM. I had the same problem for MONTHS. Eventually, I took out my ram and swapped it with some extra cards I have lying around the house.

    Haven’t had the same problem since that.

    If you don’t have extra RAM lying around, create a Windows Memory Diagnostic Boot CD (or Floppy) and boot your computer with that. Let it sit for MORE THAN 30 minutes to do sufficient testing. The longer you test, the more likely you are to find a problem if it exists. Overnight is ideal.

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  4. oakstout

    Smaken is right, its pretty hard on Heroic, but it’s all the same fights. I’m having a blast tanking as a prot paladin. Make sure when you start doing heroics to do Heroic UK, it drops a pretty nice tanking sword, unless your into axes, then I would suggest the one from the Argent Tournament when you start doing those.

    Most of the Northrend instances are tons of fun, except Oculus which I pretty much hate, but now that I have better gear, I might give it a try again. The rest are cake if you have good heals and DPS. Tanking is always pretty simple if you can keep people under control, which, if your in a friends only situation, should be pretty easy.

    Gratz again on getting another instance downed.

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