It was Saturday night and time for the group thing. Earl, hard core member of the team that he is, spent the week moving but still had enough set up to make it on for instance night. While our live audio feed from Hell’s Kitchen/Times Square is now just a memory, Earl is pretty happy at having upgraded his living area by about 15x.
However, because he spent the week moving, he did not get to advance much further towards level 70, so the evening lineup looked like this:
66 Warlock – Bungholio
67 Priest – Skronk
67 Mage – Ula
67 Paladin – Vikund
68 Warrior – Earlthecat
Our first goal was to roll up the quest line that leads in to Auchenai Crypts, as the loot promised at the end seemed worth having.
We started off in Shattrath with What Book? I Don’t See Any Book, which required us to beat a few guys into submission over a book. Hell’s own librarians we were. And it turns out that they didn’t even have it.
They sent us off on another quest, The Master’s Grand Design, which had us traveling to meet a guy who lives in an abandoned armory in Nagrand. That of course brought up the question, is it really abandoned if he lives there? The place certainly seemed quite lively when we arrived.
This guy, Nitrin or Nitwit or something, sent us off in the standard MMO fashion to collect the innards of some of the local fauna over by the camp of Hemet Nesignwary. Now there is a name that brings a chill to my gaming soul and about whom I will rant at a later date.
Innards successfully extracted, we were sent along to bump off Lavoris the Soul Train Conductor in the never ending “murder for hire” scheme that is World of Warcraft. He had the Book of the Dead and nobody in Azeroth ever thinks to say “please,” so we killed him and took it.
Not that that the book was much use to us, being in some foreign language, but there was no requirement to read it, just to haul it off to Ramdor the Mad for the promised rewards.
We all figured having access to somebody who could repair armor just outside the instance would be a good thing after last weeks performance.
And so, with some trepidation, we headed back into the crypts.
But when we got it, things went well. We blew through to Shirrak the Dead Watcher without a single death. I attribute this primarily to the fact that the NPCs chose to charm Vikund for the most part, and my changing sides did not seemed to hinder the bad guys more than us.
The there was Shirrak. It took us four tries to take him down, mostly because the paladin kept dying really early in the fight. Well, that, and Shirrak’s habit of suddenly jerking all of the casters off the ground and sending them flying straight at him. It interrupts spells… especially healing spells being cast by or on certain paladins. (You might have to click on this picture and view it full size to see the casters in flight.)
But compared to the previous weeks effort, three wipes at Shirrak still put us on the good side of the death count.
Shirrak dropped the Hope Bearer Helm which was immediately declared a pally item. Not a bad reward for spending most of the fight dead. It does hang down in front of the eyes a bit, but it goes with Vikund’s giant gauntlets.
Then it was skeleton time and even our inflated sense of ability could not defeat us. We cleared all before us until we stood again before Exarch Maladaar.
And that was about the end of our progress for the evening. Maladaar would not be defeated.
We took, I would guess, eight runs at him. Maybe more. We got to know Horvon pretty well, that is for sure.
On at least four fights he was down below 10% before we succumbed, but we just couldn’t get past that point.
Last week’s victory over him was something of a fluke I know, but I thought that we would be able manage it again, especially after the instance started off so well. But after the clock passed 1 am Pacific time, we called it a night. Spending all that time with the lead-in quests meant running late.
Earl said that he would have some time to play before our next instance night, so I rather suspect we will have a level 69 warrior to tank for us when we attempt the crypts once more.