Death in the Mana Tombs

I joked as we were looking for the instance that the name of the instance meant it was a tomb for mana users who entered it.

Little did I know how spot on that observation would be.

Looking for the instance. Yes.

What with time spent by some of us in LOTRO of late and my efforts in EVE Online, we did not do a whole lot of groundwork in advance of this run. I cannot speak for the others, but Vikund was still parked where I left him the previous Saturday night.

So when the time rolled around, we were a little vague on the whole location of the instance. Somewhere in the Terokkar Forest, right?

A couple of us got in the general vicinity of the Mana Tombs but then had to run around for a while, first to find the meeting stone to summon the other party member, and then to find the actual entrance to the instance.

After a Three Stooges level of effort, we finally got everybody together, picked up the two quests outside the instance, then went in. The group was:

64 Warlock – Bungholio
65 Mage – Ula
65 Priest – Skronk
65 Paladin – Vikund
65 Warrior – Earlthecat

We started off lost, then stepped into the instance, only to end up dead.

The first pull in the instance was nearly a wipe. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the fact that we were all of three steps from the entrance, it would have been a wipe. Skronk and Bung went down quickly, then we decided to get out. However, Earl and Vikund were both hit with DOTs and managed to die outside of the instance. Ula was the only survivor.

We\'re just good friends

That set the tone for the night.

We nearly wiped again a few yards further into the instance, Ula being the sole survivor again.

After that, we really buckled down and took care. We even managed to make it to the first boss, Pandemonious, the biggest voidwalker we ever did see.

We even defeated him on the first go! We seemed to be getting back in the groove.

Of course, he dropped a mail item, the Boots of the Outlander. Our luck in that department holds.

Then we moved onward, and managed to wipe on trash mobs again. There is Vikund, dead again.

He looks so peaceful, he could be sleeping.

More care went into getting to the next boss, Tavarok.

Oh, the pain. Here is a shot of us, all dead, with Tavarok in the background.

We were eager to go again though. (You can see the bones left from the last effort.)

And we wiped again.

It was declared “time for research” and WoWWiki came out.

It turns out that Tavarok has a 30 yard AOE attack that stuns and does quite a bit of damage to casters.

So we positioned the casters outside of a 30 yard radius of Tavarok and had at him again.

This time we won. It wasn’t easy. Tavarok’s crystal prison attack has a much greater range and knocks off half of your hitpoints as well as stunning you. This is why we lost Skronk and Ula in the fight.

And, as our streak dictates, Tavarok dropped a leather item, the Nethershade Boots. Bleh.

Still, onward we went, dying again on the way to the next event, which got some of the team, who were already showing paper doll to the red, durability to zero stage where equipment is simply no longer usable.

For the first time in a long time, we had to send somebody out for repairs. Ula put up a portal for Skronk, who went off and found a repairbot at the auction house and brought it back. Earl has his engineer skills high enough to deploy the bot, so we all stopped for a repair break.

Repaired and rested, we moved on. We managed to clear all the way to the last boss, Nexus-Prince Shaffar.

He actually has some witty dialog.

He also creamed us three times running. He didn’t just beat us, he beat us into the ground. We were not even close to winning.

He beat us so rapidly I did not even get a screen shot of it.

And after the first defeat, even advice from WoWWiki wasn’t any help to us. We were fighting way out of our weight.

Having run back to the instance after the third route, we decided to give up on Shaffar and just do the escort quest we passed up before calling it a night. The NPC made it sound easy!

All we had to do is follow him around while he emptied out his Ionic Breezes nether collectors.

And, in the first fight, we wiped.

That was it for the night. More than three hours in and many deaths later, we called it.

Two bosses down.

Two quests left hanging.

Too many deaths.

Now we have to regroup and figure out what went wrong.

While we were at the lower end of the level range (64-66) for the instance, we were not totally off base attempting it.

And while we were not, perhaps, in our finest form that night, we were still working together pretty well.

I am starting to wonder if the curse of the boss drops, the fact that we seem to get mostly leather and mail items that none of us can use, is beginning to work against us. Maybe our equipment just isn’t up to par. After all, we have been doing mostly instances and very few quests. We might be behind in the department.

So next time around, we will have to decide what to do. Should we go back and farm an instance for blues, or go run some quests for levels and green upgrades?

5 thoughts on “Death in the Mana Tombs

  1. Rohan

    You are a touch low in the level department. I’d suggest doing the quests in Terrokar first. There’s some good upgrades available, especially from the group quests.

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  2. Aurorallew

    Mana-tombs is a significant step up in difficulty from the previous instances in Outland. Some suggestions:

    1) Crowd control and focus fire on trash are crucial here, even more than they have been in previous instances.

    2) Kill those damned shadowcasters (forget the precise name, but they have a murderous mana burn) first.

    3) On shaffar — need to have one ranged DPS murdering the adds as fast as they pop, before they mutate into the little Shiffars. If one does mutate, they are fearable.

    I happen to think Shaffar is one of the most difficult at-level 5-man bosses in the game, right up there with doing Achaedas in Uldaman at 40.

    Good luck!

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  3. *vlad*

    You shouldn’t expect to stroll into every instance and down the end-boss in one go.
    I don’t think there was a lot wrong with your approach; it’s a lerning exercise.
    Perhaps you have got a bit complacent after your victiories in Coilfang and Hellfire.
    As for upgrades, I doubt you will find anything decent for awhile. Stick to the instances; the loot is much better than most quest rewards.
    Oh, and try the escort quest on Heroic, now that IS hard!

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  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Well, I knew the difficulty would ratchet up at some point, the question was “When?” I guess we have that answer!

    We’ve just been on a roll so far in finishing off the last boss that we’ve grown used to it.

    I will say that I ended up using Righteous Defense a lot more with the trash mobs during this run than I have had to previously.

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