The weekend before last, while I was sitting in the warm Ka’anapali sunshine, drinking lava flows, and advising on Pokemon, the instance group went back to Stratholme for episode 97 of “The Baron’s Revenge – No Pants for You!” They were rewarded with the now familiar ironic drops of mail and leather items for a group that wears cloth and plate armor.
Last weekend, returned and refreshed, I rejoined the group as we decided to head someplace new.
We decided to step through the portal as a group and begin the Burning Crusade instances.
As a group we were all heading into the back stretch of level 62 and were starting to worry that we might be out levelling the new content while we mucked about in the old world. So, as a group, we moved on. We went in as:
62 Warrior – Earlthecat
62 Warlock – Bungholio
62 Mage – Ula
62 Priest – Skronk
62 Paladin – Vikund
We got on Saturday night and, once to Honor Hold, the first thing we had to do was actually find the instance.
Not noticing exactly how close it was to Honor Hold, we ran right past it and to the Southern Rampart.
We climbed up on that and ran around for a bit until we spotted a dungeon meeting stone far below us.
Looking for a short cut to get to it, Skronk hit Bung with power word shield and Bung jumped over the edge of the rampart… and went splat.
Undeterred, and seeing a ledge part way down that I thought might save me from a similar fate, Skronk hit Vikund with power word shield (even though we were pretty sure it wasn’t going to help by that point) and over the edge I went.
And splat I went as well.
Ula floated down past our corpses using slow fall and looking like a gnome in a glass elevator while Skronk found a safe way down for himself.
And once they got to the meeting stone, they found out it wasn’t the one we were looking for. We were too low level to even use it.
Eventually, after more running around, but no more dying, we found the right location.
Once in, things went reasonably smoothly. The instance is very linear. There are only three boss fights. They were:
We just happened to need to slay all three of these for the quest Weaken the Ramparts.
Getting to these fights was work, but not a huge challenge. There are lots of closely arrayed groups in the instance, with patrols wandering through, so we were kept on our toes. It wasn’t as hairy as Stratholme was for us, but we had to be careful. Here we are, a few fights in, sizing up the next set of groups:
And our care paid off, as we knocked off one group after another without much in the way of drama or sudden intakes of breath.
First we made our way to Gargolmar, who walks a patrol with two minions not far inside the instance. We cleared out all the groups along his beat, then pulled his little group over. Earl tanked Gargolmar while the Ula sheeped… pigged… polymorphed one of the minions, then we all piled the other minion. He went down fast, then we cleared up the other one, then went in with Earl and finished of Gargolmar.
There was more clearing of mobs until we got to a choice of directions. One way lead to Omor, the other to Vazruden. For no particular reason, we chose to go with Omor first. I guess he seemed a bit closer. We could certainly see him from where we were standing.
Like Gargolmar, he has two minions, so we did the exact same routine. We were not quite as successful this time around. Here we are in the fight. You can see some additional minions in with us, Omor summons those throughout the fight.
A bad hit killed Earl late in the fight and Ula went down as well, but we won in the end.
That just left us with Vazruden. Here was the challenge.
There is a bridge to him, with a pair of guards at either end. The pair at the near end went down easy. The pair at the far end though trigger the battle event with Vazruden and him mount.
His mount proved to be the trick.
We went straight in and killed the two guards. That gets Vazruden, who is just flying around in a lazy circle on his dragon, to come in low, dismount, and attack. Here he is coming for us:
Earl and I went in and things were going well until we got him down to about 30% of his health. At that point, his dragon mount joins in the fight, and he has a killer breath weapon.
We managed to kill Vazruden, but Nazan did in Earl and Vikund almost immediately, then rounded up the rest of the team.
We felt we were close. Skronk used the soul stone and ressed us up. Fortunately, the encounter resets itself if you fail, so we got another run at it.
The second time around we did not even kill Vazruden. And we did not have a soul stone.
Fortunately, as I wrote above, the instance is very close to Honor Hold and the graveyard therein. Also going our way was the fact that nothing in the instance had respawned yet, so we had a clear run back to the encounter.
The third try also went awry. We had learned to stay clear of Nazan’s breath weapon, but the transition between Vazruden and Nazan was putting so much damage on Earl that he died again, and the battle with Nazan needed all five of us.
After running back for a fourth try, we started in again. As we approached the point when Nazan joins in, I decided to pull Vikund back and use up his mana helping Skronk heal while Earl was enduring the high damage phase of the battle.
This turned out to be just enough. Vazruden went down and Earl was still well stocked with hit points. After running down my mana, I ran in to melee with Earl and Nazan went down at last. Here we are in our hard earned victory shot.
You can see skeletons from our previous attempts in the picture.
We nearly missed the chest that sits on the far side of the area that Vazruden and Nazan patrol, which had a couple of very nice items, the Ironsole Clompers, which Vikund won on the roll, and the Mok’Nathal Clan Ring, which Earl won.
After that, all we had to do was run back and turn in the quest. Now, from the instance, it looks like you can just hop off the rampart and run to Honor Hold.
It is, however, an illusion. You have to run back through the instance, which still had not respawned for us, exit, then run to Honor Hold.
After the quest turn in, we were all closing in on level 63.
I had read at some point that the five person instances in the Outlands were going to move away from the giant monstrosities, like Wailing Caverns and become doable in a more reasonable time frame. We started in on Hellfire Ramparts at 9pm and were done by midnight Pacific time, which is pretty reasonable indeed.
Next week we should be looking into Blood Furnace.