Maraudon, like Gaul, is divided into three parts, and we did about one and a half of those parts on Saturday night.
Maraudon was new territory for us. Being content added after the release of World of Warcraft, most of the group was already past the levels for it when it was added in. Only I, the guy who is seeing most of this instance content for the first time, had been in Maraudon before.
Back in June or July of 2006, Gaff and a couple of other guild mates dragged along Nomu, my level 38 priest at the time, for a run through the Princess section of Maraudon. But for that trip, the group already had the Scepter of Celebras, so we skipped all of the lead in part, the purple and orange sections of the instance.
So we were ready for something new with our line up for the night:
49 Mage – Ula
49 Warrior – Earlthecat
49 Warlock – Bungholio
50 Priest – Skronk
50 Paladin – Vikund
Maraudon is located off at the western edge of Desolace, just north of the Horde outpost of Shadowprey Village. Skronk and I pre-positioned ourselves on Friday night at Nijel’s Point in Desolace, so we would be in place to run over and use the Maraudon summoning stone on Saturday. Desolace is a long trip to reach when you do have the flight point (I recall it taking nearly an hour to reach the first time when I had to go on foot) so we thought we would speed things up a bit by being ready in advance.
Maraudon is similar to instances like the Deadmines and Wailing Caverns because there is something of a dungeon crawl just to get to the instance itself. The instance itself is rated for levels 46 to 55, but the entrance area is somewhat lower, with the mobs in the 39-42 range. This made most of them grey to us, so we had to plow through a lot of yard trash (tunnel trash?) before we got to the instance.
There are two paths into the instance, marked with purple or orange crystals. We chose the orange path because it seemed to be closer to where we were when we had gone a ways into the outer area. Then we took a wrong turn and looped around the wrong way, but the delay was short, the mobs were easy enough, and we ended up at the orange entrance.
We had some confusion with the maps available of Maraudon. I was using AlphaMap, part of the Cosmos package, which is very nice, but the map is projects on screen is small and I had trouble picking out where we were because somehow the feature that spins the minimap as you turn was on (I later found the check box and turned this off) so my minimap geography rarely matched the map.
Still, like most instances, there are only so many ways you can go, so we pressed on and ended up at the orange entrance.
We scored early on when a Barbed Lasher was nice enough to drop the Robes of Insight, which Skronk won in a caster roll-off.
That might be the only purple drop we have seen thus far in our instance adventure. I happened to have Auctioneer up, so you can see what the market price for the robes are.
The main problems we had in the instance were pretty ooze related.
The first ooze we ran into were creeping sludge.
We had an issue early on with these guys because every time you hit them, they let out an AOE attack for 200 or so points. That was pretty rough on the melee members of our party. Fighting the first pair of them, we almost lost Earl and Vik and we did lose Bung’s pet, Mezzmon.
This called for a change of tactics.
The one things that the creeping sludges did not do was move fast. They are aptly names, as they come at you at a snail’s pace. So we switch from frontal assault to kiting. DOTs, AOEs, and ranged attacks took them out fairly quickly, and without loss, once we had the tempo down. Vik’s consecrate AOE did quite a number on them.
Getting past them let us work our way around to Razorlash, the first of the named mobs of the night. We had him down pretty quickly. He dropped Phytoskin Spaulders, leather shoulders that did no good in a group of 2 plate and 3 cloth wearers.
The we tackled our next troublesome scenario. Between Razorlash and the next named there is an area with a large number of non-elite larvae and some small groups of elites. But there is also a tube that disgorges an elite larvae every minute or so.
The freshly disgorged larve does a circle around the open area where the larvae start and then moves along, rapidly, to the area of the next named mob, Noxxium. This meant that there was no safe rest between fights as we moved along to Noxxium because every minute or so an elite larvae would come chugging up from behind us and attack.
Fortunately, once you get close to Noxxium, you can find a safe spot out of the way of the larvae express.
Which lead us to the fight with Noxxium, which was a little different. A several points during the battle, Noxxium disappears and some minions of his take over the fight. We were not ready for this, so it came as a surprise, but we powered through it okay.
Noxxium dropped the Heart of Noxxium, which was dismissed by some of our group as a meager drop. However, I think we all had empty trinket slots, and the resist bonuses on it versus nature comes in handy in Maraudon, where just about everything is a nature based attack.
Noxxium also gave us the Celebrian Rod, an item we would need for a quest.
After that we faced some more straight up fights with lashers as we headed around for our next boss encounter. Along the way we got to see some beautiful… green… waterfalls.
We had our second problem is ooze along the way. There are some groups of Noxiums Slime which have their own surprise. When you take on a group of them, as they die they let loose a toxic cloud which, if you hang around, hits you as a DOT. Our only two deaths during this run, Vikund and Ula, both died to these toxic clouds at the end of fights.
We headed around for Celebras the Cursed. Another stand-up fight. He has a few non-elite minions around him, but AOEs (consecrate again for Vik) kept them busy and helped finish them off.
Keeping with the leather theme, Celebras dropped the Soothsayer’s Headdress, a leather head item which none of us wanted. If we had a druid in the party, I suppose he would have been happy, but not us.
Once slain, a ghostly Celebras came back to tell us about the Scepter of Celebras. We had the first part already, the Celebrian Rod from Noxxium. now we just needed the Celebrin Diamond, which comes from Lord Vyletongue, who is over on the purple side of Maraudon.
Fortunately, by the time you get to Celebras, you are pretty close to Vyletongue, so we pressed on to him.
He sits at the end of the purple side of Maraudon, the only boss on that side, and has four stealthed elite minions around him, so he can be something of a chore to take on if your group is at the lower end of the level range. By this point in the night, everybody but Earl was level 50, so it was a fight, but we won.
Vyletongue dropped the Celebrin Diamond and the Saytermane sash, a nice cloth waist item that Bung ended up getting.
We took the diamond and the rod back to Celebras, went through a bit of story telling and leading about with him, until we finally completed the his quest and received the Scepter of Cerebras. The scepter lets us skip past the orange and purple sections and start in the third part of the instance.
By that time it was a little past midnight and we were tired out and ready to call it a night.
We said farewell to Celebras, and hit the hearthstones for home. Here we are, a group picture of us teleporting away from Celebras.
Four bosses down in Maraudon, four to go. The next time around we have a date with a princess.