It was Saturday night and time to stand tall. And how can you feel anything but tall in Gnomeragan? It is full of gnomes! There are a distressing number of gnomes fleeing the place when you walk in though. They aren’t aggro, at least if you play Alliance, but when you’re in a fight and you see two or three more mobs running your way, it can cause a bit of panic.
We started up a little late and, once we got through a discussion the Discovery Channel’s show “Born with Two Heads,” we “headed” from Ironforge out to Gnomeregan, stopping in Khanos to pick up one last quest on the way.
Quests! Gnomeregan has more quests associated with it than any instance I have seen so far. We went in with six and there were more inside. Speaking of going in, this was our group on entering the zone:
30 Warlock – Bungholio
31 Rogue – Blintz
31 Priest – Skronk
32 Warrior – Earlthecat
32 Mage – Ula
Actually, two of the quests, “Save Techbot’s Brain!” and “The Day After” can be done without entering the instance. Techbot is outside of the instance while “The Day After” requires you to get a sample from any green, glowing mob in or around Gnomeregan.
The instance itself takes a while. It is on the order of Wailing Caverns in duration and a lot of mobs, the Troggs most notably, seem to respawn very quickly. Since we were a good four hours doing this instance I am going to save myself typing all of the “then we fought our way over here” conjunctives and just cover the highlights.
He is outside the instance. He isn’t even elite. Kill him on your way in for the quest.
This does not appear to be an actual quest as much as an event. You help her blow up a couple of tunnel and you get to kill a lot of non-elite troggs, ending up with the named trogg Grubbis and his pet, Chomper.
A Fine Mess
An escort quest. You have to help Kernobee back to the instance entrance. He has a little alarmbot with him that apparently timed out and killed him. We failed the quest and, once you fail it, you cannot get it back in the same instance. Another night for this one.
For the quest “Essential Artificials” you have to pick up 12 artificial extrapolators. These come from big box-like contraptions that I began referring to as “Coke Machines” because they were about the right size and shape and because I seemed to be completely incapable of saying “artificial extrapolators” after about 11pm. The machines are single use, so with five of us we needed 60 of them. Earl and I, the melee crowd, got ourselves covered, always being out and front, but Bung, Ula, and Skronk fell short. We plan to head back some time soon, so we will get them then.
This is an in-instance “quest.” Basically everything in the zone has a chance to drop grime-encrusted objects. When you get to the gnomish holdouts, they have several of these Sparklematic machines. You give the machine an object and 3 silver and you get back something. Most of the time it is malachite or copper ore. Sometimes you get uncommon equipment. And, the first time you do this, you also get 2450 experience, which is worth the 3 silver right there. Bung asked if you got the experience every time at which point I told him if we did, I was never leaving.
You need a prismatic punch card for the quest “Data Rescue.” You get to that by picking up a series of punch cards, each one giving you access to the next. The first one is from a machine, a Matrix Punchograph, outside the zone by Techbot. After that the punch card dispensing machines are near the instance bosses.
These are annoying. Given enough time they will summon a pack of helpers who can make your life rough. They do not have too many hit points, so you can usually kill them quickly, but they have a nasty tendency to wander up when you are already engaged in a fight. Watch for their yells or you could be sorry.
Fire and Ice
Ula took the crown for most damage inflicted during the instance. I run the combat stats addon and usually Blintz, Mr. Damage, is listed on top. But in Gnomer there are quite a few fights with groups of non-elite gnomes. In these fights we use the “Fire and Ice” technique where we pull the group then, as they bunch up, Ula freezes them in place then Bung rains down fire upon them. The freezing plus her follow up spells put her into first place in damage by 2,338.
The Electrucutioner is a mini boss. You kill a lot of non-elite gnomes to get to him, which we did through the fire and ice method mentioned above. He guards some of the punch card dispensers. He did not drop anything exciting for us except the keys to the back door of the instance. And with a rogue around, we really did not need that, but we all have something on our key chains now!
Crowd Pummeler 9-60
A short fight on our way down to the main boss, he dropped the Manual Crowd Pummeler which was just right for Earl.
Dark Iron Agents
Near the end of the zone, before the last boss, you run into Dark Iron Agents. This was the scene of our wipe. The Dark Iron Agents drop back in combat and lay down mines. Like the alarmbots, the mines do not have many hitpoints, so they can be disposed of quickly, but you have to keep your eyes open during a fight. If you miss one, they do a lot of damage when they explode.
We had a fight with one mechanical patrol and three agents. After a wild fight where we dropped the ball on mine patrol, all of us were down while the three Dark Iron Agents were still alive. Not a good showing for us.
So we ran back to the instance and recovered a bit. Here we are getting ready for the return bout. You can see Skronk’s new shoes.
We used our back door keys, ran back to the agents and, this time, put them all down in fairly short order.
The Grand Betrayal
“The Grand Betrayal” is the quest that brings you to the big boss, Mekgineer Thermaplugg. This was the last fight, and it was a blast… quite literally at times. When you take down his door guard, Thermaplugg is alone in his chamber. Around the edge of the chamber are what appear to be six big, bronze faces. When you start the fight, the mouths on these faces open and walking bombs drop out, which can ruin your whole day. At the base of each face is a big red button which turns off the bomb dispensing feature.
Our plan for the fight was Earl and Mezzmon attack, Skronk heal, Ula, Bung, and I on button duty until we had each closed the mouths of our assigned faces, then into the fight.
The fight itself was not particularly difficult. Only a couple of bombs got loose. Thermaplugg runs all over the room, so it is an active fight, and he tosses people about for good measure, so it was a wild ride. In the end though, he was dead and we were all still alive. We got out quest update and I got the Charged Gear of Eluding, a nice rogue ring.
Here we are at 2:30am standing over Thermaplugg and ready for bed. This shot is called “The Gnome Elevating Moment.”
You can see one of the big red, candy-like buttons we had to push in the background.
A fun zone even if it takes a long time to do it. It also requires some planning as you face a number of mechanical mobs, so no sheeping.
The experience was huge from quests and kills. I started the zone half way into level 31 and ended up, after turning in the quests much later that morning, about 5% shy of level 33. Everybody came out of the zone a level higher.
The more I look at him, the more Bungholio looks like the Jerry Lewis character in the movie “Which Way to the Front? ”
Skronk took the damage meter output that I send out to the group after each instance and formatted it nicely. I could not make it fit as nicely into the blog format, so I have a screen shot of it here.
If look at it you will see “detonation” as the second or third biggest inflictor of damage on the whole party. That damage was only from Dark Iron Agent mines and the walking bomb at Thermaplugg as far as I can tell, so I was not kidding when I said that they could ruin your whole day.
We are eyeing Scarlet Monastery for our next venture.