Light as in, “we came up light in numbers.”
It was Saturday night and there were only four of us available. We decided to give the main section of Maraudon a try anyway. We had all passed to level 50 and gotten upgrades to our major spells and skills. Plus a lot of what we had run into Maraudon up to this point was levels below us. So in the four of us went.
50 Warrior – Earlthecat
50 Priest – Skronk
51 Mage – Ula
51 Paladin – Vikund
The first thing we had to do was figure out where to use The Scepter of Celebras we each got on the last run. We thought that we could zip into the middle of Maraudon and then roll back to some of the bosses we had already done as a bit of a farming exercise.
After some running around in the foyer of Maraudon, we found the altar when the scepter is used. We opened up a portal with the secpter and stepped into the instance.
And we were ankle deep in water. The portal drops you in a pool in the middle of the instance.
Well, pool might be the wrong word. The shallow end of a small lake might perhaps be more accurate. You can look up and see the open sky from where you come in. It made me wonder if there was a place in the outside world where you could look down into the lake.
We looked around and tried to head back into the earlier parts of the instance, but we were at the bottom of a set of waterfalls and where we wanted to go was at the top. No route up was obvious, so we decided to head further in.
The first mobs were some three-headed hydras that wander around the southern end of the lake. I was disappointed to see them as they look just like Gahz’rilla, though somewhat smaller. I like a boss mob to be somewhat unique, so seeing little clones of Gahz running around was a minor let down.
We killed a couple of the hydras and bypassed the rest as we made our way to a cave opening. Inside was a group of three Diemetradons, a common resident of the caves. We pulled the three of them to the entrance of the cave, but as we fought, one of the hydras walked up behind us.
So suddenly we had four mobs.
And then the hydra knock-back hit Vikund and threw him into the cave just as a wandering rock elemental patrol arrived, aggroing yet another elite mob with several minions along for the ride.
Less than ten minutes into the zone, within sight of our entry point into the instance, we wiped.
Not a good start to the evening.
Then we had to figure out how to get our corpses back.
You cannot go back to the altar to get into the instance and collect your corpses. You have to go to one of the other entrances. So we ran up to the purple entrance (though everything is greyscale when you are a ghost, so it was a bit hard to tell what color is what) and jumped into the instance there. We collected our corpses that way, then exited, ran back to the altar (with only a fight or three along the way), opened up a portal, and stepped back to where we started, in the water.
This time around we were more careful. We killed all the hydras. We pulled the Diemetradons well out into the water. We slew the patrol by itself. We began to advance into the instance.
We did not know how far we would get, but we shot for the first boss on the map, which was Landslide. To reach him we had to fight through a series of mobs, including our favorite, the Primordial Behemoths. Those were our favorite because they are huge and when you slay them, their death animation has them fall forward, apparently squashing your tank. Everybody loves that… except the tank. See this picture for a size comparison:
We made it to Landslide and took him down without much fuss. He was nice enough to drop the Fist of Stone, a good paladin mace, which Vikund got to claim.
This mace probably caused a death or two. Vikund immediately wielded the mace. While he had improved his 1h mace skill some in the past, it was not exactly up to the level of his 1h sword skill. In fact, his 1h mace skill was only about 140, so for the next dozen fights or so, his DPS took a huge hit while he skilled up.
But in an undersized group, a DPS hit like that is pretty severe. So in the next series of fights Vikund died once, Ula died twice, and Skronk fell once. The groups of four Diemetradons seemed to be our worst threat.
Part of it may have also been the fact that Ula was very sleepy. After a couple more fights, she decided to call it a night, which left just Earl, Skronk, and Vikund.
We were within sight of the main boss, Princess Theradras, but decided instead to go looking for Tinkerer Gizlock to see if we could separate him from his Hypertech buckler.
This involved a bit of back tracking to find our way to him.
We eventually found the path, but came up against more groups of four Diemetradons on a series of ramps down to Gizlock. Fortunately, they seemed to be regularly clumped at one side of the ramps, so we were able to jump off the other ends, fight some much smaller mobs, and end up right above the cave with Gizlock.
We dropped down between Gizlock and a group of four Diemetradons and got ready to fight. I took a step forward, to put a little more room between me and the Diemetradons and managed to get right inside Gizlock’s aggro radius. The fight was on, but it went fairly smoothly.
Without a lot of DPS on hand, I was using seal of light and judgement of light to help heal as well as backing up Skronk’s healing while dropping a consecrate now and again to get in some additional damage. The new hammer and its random mana regen helped out a lot there.
So Gizlock went down, but he did not drop his shield. Another mana regeneration item, I would really like to get that… though the stats on it are good enough for Earl to want it as well. Instead we got Megashot Rifle as a drop instead, and Earl took that by default, being the only one in our group who can handle a gun.
After Gizlock, we followed his tunnel back through to another path that looped around and came down to the edge of another lake. We thought this might lead back to Princess Theradras, and we were feeling pretty good about ourselves at this point, so we were game to give her a try.
We were clearing some hydras out of the water when Rotgrip, a giant crocodile, showed up. Being mid-battle with a hydra already, this was something of a stretch for the three of us. We came close. After Earl and I were dead, there was just a sliver of health left on Rotgrip, but he chewed up Skronk too quickly and we all ended up back at the graveyard.
We were so close though, that we had to run back for another try. We skirted the couple of hydras at the entry point, ran through the still empty areas we had cleared, only being stopped by a quick-respawning patrol now and again. We did our trick of jumping off the ramps to get past the big groups of mobs and finally made our way back to Rotgrip, who went down pretty quickly this time around.
All he had for us was the Albino Crocscale Boots, a leather item that nobody could use. Vikund got it on the roll.
The we decided to head over to see if we would take one last shot and hit Princess Theradras. However, we figured out that the water we were in would not lead us back up to the princess. We had to track back again.
This lead to a problem. It was easy to jump down past the groups of four Diemetradons. Getting past them on the upward trip was another story.
We managed to sneak by the first group. But at the second group we aggrod them as we ran past and managed to get a third group involved as well.
So we all went back to the graveyard.
Still, keen for one last shot, we got back to the instance only to find that by then everything in the beginning area had respawned. It was late enough that a fight all the way through again was not an option, so we tried to sneak again. Again, we got past the first group in the cave, but Earl tripped on the second group, then ran on and told us to use our hearthstones to head home.
Not being in the mood for another death, I hit mine immediately. Skronk was a little slow though, and had not quite finished when the Diemetradons were back for him and he died again.
So we picked up some loot and had a good time. It was a bit tense with just three of us at the end, but we did pretty well considering.
We still have a date with Princess Theradras though, and I wouldn’t mind another shot or two at Gizlock’s buckler.