Daily Archives: April 3, 2008

The Slave Pens – Round 1

Saturday night and we were came up a gnome short. Something else came up and Bungholio, our warlock and #1 damage generator, was out for the night.

Our plan had been to hit the Slave Pens in Zangarmarsh, the next on our list of 5 person instances.

With no other plan, we thought we might as well scout it out for the following week. Skronk swam down the drain (literally) in the Coilfang Reservoir first.

Then Vikund showed up and tried to figure out where to go. Since we were grouped up, Vikund swam to the point on the surface of the lake that showed Skronk’s dot on the map. Vikund was attacked by a mass of swarmfish while there and, while Skronk was far below him, still he managed to get experience for each swarmfish Vik slew.

Eventually Vik got some directions on where to head and swam down the drain as well and met up with Skronk at the meeting stone. From there we summoned Ula and Earl.

As we were sitting there, grabbing snacks and otherwise getting ready, Gaff logged in with his druid, Nerral. We asked if he wanted to come along and, despite the late hour for him, he agreed. So our party this week ended up being:

64 Mage – Ula
64 Priest – Skronk
64 Paladin – Vikund
64 Warrior – Earlthecat
70 Druid – Nerral

I think we were all a bit interested to see if a level 70 character would unbalance the group or make the instance a walk-over, while Nerral seemed happy to be along for the ride.

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We headed in and began to tuck into the usual array of instance mobs.

We did run into a little bit of a hang up early on.

Some of the mobs, most notably the Coilfang Champions, cast fear during fights.

This lead to one “I could see it coming” wipe, when we tried to bypass one group, then in the next fight Vikund was feared and ran right into the bypassed group. Fortunately, Vik got off a divine intervention on Skronk with literally his dying breath, so we did not have to run all the way back to the instance from the grave yard.

From that point forward, we gave up the idea of bypassing anything and just cleared all before us.

The first boss on the menu was Mennu the Betrayer. This started off as a bit of a challenging fight. Mennu is a shaman and drops totems constantly, healing being the most common flavor. Because of this, and because nobody was on totem patrol, the fight didn’t get anywhere for a bit. Then Skronk and Vik took over alternating totem smiting and we were finally able to overcome Mennu.

And, as is our usual luck, he dropped a bind on pickup mail item. Even with a leather wearing druid in the group, we still get the stuff nobody can use.

We made our way through some fine scenery.

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And we lived through a “Butch Cassidy” jump off of a broken bridge into a body of water far below to finally arrive at the next big boss, Rokmar the Crackler.

Rokmar is trouble… and probably the biggest crawdad that ever threatened a son of New Orleans. (Or a great grand–nephew of New Orleans in my own case.) Behold his majesty. There he is behind some mobs that are about dwarf height in stature:

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He is big, and he has some nasty surprises.

Specifically, he has a bleed debuff called Grievous Wound that keeps on hitting like no other and a frost AOE that makes things tough as well.

You can see how well we fared.

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So our first run at him lead to a rather quick wipe. You just don’t expect that kind of fight from an overgrown crustacean. I’d hate to see him in the heroic version of the instance.

After a run back, we tried to plan and at least got Vik to put up his frost resistance aura. But the second fight was a near run thing as well. We had three of us down before Nerral, who took over tanking, finally finish Rokmar off. So we stood over him in victory.

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It was getting late at that point for those not on the west coast. Nerral stealthed and scouted ahead to see how much more we had to do to finish the instance. After Rokmar there are only a few mobs in the way before you get to the last boss, Quagmirran.

Quagmirran appears to live at the bottom of somebody’s swimming pool.

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I’d hate to find him caught in the filter.

As far as fights go, this one was not nearly as tough as Rokmar. There was no doubt we were going to win shortly after the fight began. Not that it was going quickly, but it went steady.

And so we stood before Quagmirran, the instance complete and our quests updated.

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Of course, we will have to go back and do this again when Bung is available again, but now we know some of the ins and outs of the place.

The biggest surprise of the evening was that having a level 70 in the party did not make the instance a walk over. It helped, especially at the Rokmar fight (hopefully when Bung is back, the damage output will go up enough for us to take down Rokmar the first time around) but it wasn’t unbalancing. The instance was still a challenge.

I am just bummed that one of my old, favorite addons, Damage Meters, has not made the jump to patch 2.4, so I could not get a nice parse summary of how we did. Hopefully somebody will pick up the Damage Meters code that is part of Cosmos UI package and get it working with 2.4.

Next week it will probably be the Slave Pens again.