It’s Saturday night and it is time to instance! We had four out of five of our team on so we decided to give Blackfathom Deeps a try. We got started a little late, but by 10:30pm we were rolling.
This week I was one of the people who did not complete the homework. I had the flight points, but none of the quests. Fortunately, Skronk had all the quests and they could all be shared, so we were all on the same page.
The lineup for the night was:
26 Priest – Skronk
26 Warlock – Bungholio
26 Rogue – Blintz (me)
27 Mage – Ula
And, of course, we had Bung’s voidwalker, Mezzmon, to tank for us.
Blackfathom Deeps is remote, so unlike all of our past runs, we had to slog through a whole series of elites to get into the instance. Fortunately, one of the quests, “Researching the Corruption,” requires drops that come from both mobs in the instance as well as those outside. The early birds started clearing the way in and completed the quest, while the last one in got a clear run right to the entrance but had to collect the corrupted brain stems later.
As a group we seemed to be about optimum level for the dungeon. The mobs at the beginning were all green. There were no greyed out mobs or yellow con mobs early on.
There is something of a march before into the instance, but at our level we were able to skirt a few of the groups off to the side. Most of the fights were just one or two mobs and were very safe. We were able to swim over The Drowned Sacellum, and underwater area full of mobs, pulling only a single mob with our passage.
Then we arrived at the the Pool of Ask’ar, the first major junction in the instance. The first thing you see is an island in the middle of the pool inhabited by turtles. The turtles are all neutral to you except Ghamoo-ra, a level 25 named elite. Ghamoo-ra was a straightforward fight. The neighboring turtles mind their own business and he doesn’t have any surprised beyond high armor and a lot of hit points. For us he dropped the Tortoise Armor. Since we had not mail wearing party members, it go disenchanted into a large glimmering shard.
After the turtle fight, we headed to the southwest cove in the pool where Argent Guard Thaelrid lies to finish up the quest “In Search of Thaelrid” and to pick up the Alliance version of “Blackfathom Villainy.”
After we cleared the area and spoke to Thaelrid, we move to the northwest cove in search of Lady Sarevess. She has a series of naga guards that we cleared out. We were able to isolate Lady Sarevess before we took her on, so she was not a dramatic fight. She ran around a bit and she casts a lot, but in the end it was a straightforward fight. She was nice enough to drop the Naga Battle Gloves which I ended up with.
The last item we needed from the pool area (no running!) was the Lorgalis Manuscript for the quest “Knowledge in the Deeps.” This is at the bottom of the northernmost cove off of the pool and is only guarded by standard elite mobs. They can be pulled in ones or twos easily until the chest is clear.
After wrapping that up, we headed for the south exit from the pool area which wraps around into a series of cross tunnels. At the end of the main tunnel is an open pool area with murlocs. At one side is Gelihast, the head murloc.
As before, it was easy enough to pull his fellow murlocs away into piecemeal fights until Gelihast was alone. Gelihast is level 26 and represents something of a busy fight. You know those murlocs, they run all over the place. However, it appears that one of the reasons he was so fleet of foot was that he was not encumbered by any decent loot. At least his alter gives you the Blessing of Blackfathom, a nice buff for our mage.
We cleared out the other tunnels in search of Lorgus Jett, a boss who can spawn in a number of different locations. Not finding him, we headed down the main tunnel south to the Moonshine Ruins.
It was here that we found Lorgus Jett who, like Gelihast, dropped squat. This is where we also started getting drops of twilight pendants for the “Twilight Falls” quest. While the pendants drop from each of the members of the Twilight faction in this area, each person needs 10 to complete the quest, so we had to make sure we killed at least 40 of these guys to cover everybody. Fortunately, there are enough of them around to cover even a group of 5.
These fights were a little more challenging. You have a series of wandering groups as well as some stationary mobs, so if you are patient, you can chop the fights up into manageable bits. Be warned that these mobs also heal themselves periodically, so it pays to hit them hard and fast or you will find their hit points jumping up again. You can also avoid a number of the stationary mobs off to the side as you work your way to the Moonshrine Sanctum and Twilight Lord Kelris.
Lord Kelris is the boss mob that guards the entrance to the final big fight. He in turn is surrounded by his twilight cadre. (No, wait, we’re The Twilight Cadre! That is our guild name.) Like the Twilight minions outside, inside the sanctum there are stationary and wandering mobs. Care and patience will let you draw all of the mobs around Lord Kelris in singles or pairs. We only mis-timed one pull and got more than what we expected.
That was our last fight before Lord Kelris. Unfortunately, Bung’s machine chose that moment to lock up. His Skype connection stayed active and he remained connected throughout the fight, so Mezzmon continued to help out in the battle. But afterwards he had to drop and reboot, so we loitered in the sanctum.
Here are Ula and Skronk patiently waiting for Bung’s return.
Once we were all back, buffed, soul stoned, and otherwise prepared, we went after Lord Kelris. He is a named level 27 elite and was a challenge, but not a huge one, at least not for our group. He does run around a lot however, so you have to clear the room around him, otherwise you will end up with adds.
Lord Kelris was nice enough to drop the Rod of the Sleepwalker which Ula rolled for and won. Here she is with her new staff equipped.
After you slay Lord Kelris, you need to open the big doors at the far end of the sanctum. You do this by lighting the four braziers that are arrayed at the four corners of the alter at which you found Lord Kelris. You should light them ONE AT A TIME. After you light one, a short time will pass and then two groups of mobs will be summoned and will appear at both the northern and southern ends of the chamber. Each of these groups is a reasonable challenge and lighting two of the braziers at once will quickly turn the room into a very tough fight.
For us, the four groups were turtles, elementals, non-elite crustaceans, and then a final group of elite crustaceans. As proof that these groups are a challenge, Skronk went down on the last fight because, due to some faulty intel, we were expecting another group of non-elites and were not fully prepared for the fight. You live and learn… or die and learn.
After this, the doors opened and we were able to head into Aku’mai’s lair. This is a long chamber with a series of elite turtles spaced left and right along the first two 75% of the room. Aku’mai himself roams back and forth at the far end of the chamber, so there is some overlap between himself and the last turtles.
We successfully pulled all of the turtles one by one, timing the last ones with Aku’mai’s movements. It was now time for the big fight. We went for the straightforward approach. In went Mezzmon with myself stealth and behind Auk’mai.
This was a tough fight, a real challenge for our group. After some initial rounds of melee with Mezzmon, Aku’mai’s aggro got pulled by the casters and he began to chase after them, starting with Skronk. Skronk held him off with his invulnerability bubble, but went down pretty quickly after it faded. Mezzmon and I kept damaging him as he went after Bung.
Mezzmon then Bung went down under Aku’mai’s attacks, then he turned on me. Meanwhile, Skronk used his soul stone and entered the battle again. I used a potion, my health stone, and got some heals from Skronk, but then I was down and Aku’mai turned on Ula.
At this point Aku’mai was getting low in hit points, with around a thousand left. Bung and I watched as Skronk and Ula unloaded on the huge hydra. There was an agonizing few seconds when his hit points stayed pegged around 775, then they started unwinding quickly. Still, Aku’mai was in there and Ula went down when he hit 362 hit points.
Skronk had it in him though, and after a short fight, Aku’mai went down and we had won the battle.
Here we are in our victory shot over the corpse of Aku’mai.
Aku’mai dropped the Leech Pants.
After slaying Aku’mai the part got ress’d and we trotted down to the end of the chamber where an NPC had appeared. If you spoke to him, he offered to transport you to Darnassus, which is where two of our quests were to be handed in. Clicking on the altar behind him transports you to the outside of the instance. We were about to make our exit when we discovered two things.
First, Ula still needed two more twilight pendants. So we had to go back and pick off some of the guys we had bypassed.
Second, we missed a boss mob, Old Serra’kis.
The twilight pendants were no problem. We found a few isolated mobs and knocked them off.
Then there was Serra’kis.
We had to swim around to find him, killing a number of underwater mobs along the way. Unfortunately, one of the mob types, the barbed crustaceans, appear to be a bit buggy. We would engage them, fight them for a short bit, then suddenly they would go into evade mode where they would stop attacking and stop taking damage. But once you thought you were rid of them that way, they would suddenly start attacking again.
During our fight with Serra’kis, one of the bugged crustaceans remembered Skronk and jumped him mid battle, killing him. We finished off Serra’kis and Skronk revived with his soul stone. However, we had been unable to kill the crustacean because it went into evade mode again. But when Skronk revived and was looting Serra’kis, it went on the attack again and killed Skronk one more time, with no soul stone handy.
We managed to kill the crustacean this time, but had to wait while Skronk’s ghost ran back to the instance, then we summoned him back to the party.
For all of that, Serra’kis only dropped the Glowing Thresher Cape, which went to Ula because it was a small upgrade for her.
After that we ran back and teleported to Darnassus, turned in two of our quests there, then called it a night at nearly 2am local time. The last two tasks took a 40 minute bite out of our instance time.
Blackfathom Deeps seems to be a lesser run instance, despite the fact that both horde and alliance have quests in it. This is probably because it is pretty far out of the way from traveled areas. It’s lack of use probably also explains the bugginess. Heavily used areas get fixed a lot more rapidly I am sure.
While this instance wasn’t a huge challenge to us, it was good to be doing an instance where we could not afford to be sloppy, where we had to pay attention and be patient.
It is also nice to learn from the mistakes of others. Skronk, Ula, and Bung had done Blackfathom Deeps in the past and had lit all four of the braziers at Lord Kelris’ altar and had been wiped very quickly.