So there we were again in Tanaris on a Saturday night. With no cage match scheduled in Gadgetzan, we headed off to the Caverns of Time to fulfill the destiny of some orc named Thrall. (No, I’m not big on the Warcraft lore when it comes right down to it, at least not the Horde side.)
Assembled for the evening’s fun were:
69 Warrior – Earlthecat
69 Mage – Ula
69 Paladin – Vikund
70 Priest – Skronk
70 Warlock – Bungholio
Our last trip to Hillsbrad Foothills of seven years ago was something of a fiasco. We were not working well as a team and our tactics, relative to our specs, were questionable.
The first thing we did was reverse the great respec we did a few weeks back, with Skronk changing from shadow back to holy and Vikund giving up retribution for protection again.
While those changes worked well against Exarch Maladaar, it did go against the group dynamic we had built up since I substituted Vikund the paladin in for Blintz the rogue way back in January 2007 when we were doing Razorfen Downs.
Then Bung followed one of the suggestions given after our last run at Durnholde Keep, which was to drop the voidwalker and use his succubus pet. That gave us additional do crowd control using succubus seduction skill, plus provided and an endless stream of humorous quips from the succubus.
And, finally, there was the thing that I am sure made the real difference in our attempt this time. Vikund went out and got himself a big piece of wood with a nail through it.
Look at that thing. Buford Pusser would be proud!
Anyway, we headed back in time and were soon standing before the keep.
The first group of four we went after was a little bit rough. Skronk bought the farm. But after that we seemed to hit our stride pretty quickly. We plowed through the barracks area and took down Lt. Drake in no time.
Then, the barracks ablaze as a distraction, we headed into the keep itself, clearing a path to Thrall.
Now the challenge would come. It is one thing to fight groups of four at your leisure, but to get them one after another proved a tough task last time.
With Thrall in the lead, we started out.
There was a little bit of confusion at first. Since the encounters keep coming, there is no time to stop and pick who Ula is going to take out of play and who Bung is going to tackle, so the first group of four spent a bit of extra time beating on us before things got straightened out. Vikund helped this process along by running ahead with Thrall while the casters were taking a quick drink to call out the potential targets. With that, things went well.
We made it to the Captain Skarloc fight and, despite a bit of running about and getting focused on the right target, we took him down as well. No deaths. So there we were with Thrall at the gates to the keep again, this time victorious on our first try.
Skarloc was nice enough to drop a shiny new axe for Earl, the Amani Venom-Axe.
Not as good as a board with a nail through it, but it will do.
We rested up, got on our mounts, then sent Thrall along to the next stage, with us in tow.
A few easy fights and soon we were ready for the last set of encounters. Again, more prepared than last week, we sliced through all three of them without issue.
Which left us with the Epoch Hunter.
A tough fight it was too. Bouncing back from his minions, Earl grabbed aggro and we went to work. The Epoch Hunter has a nasty damage over time attack that he spreads around, which is what killed Skronk.
Vikund fell back to heal and Bung went down as well.
By that point though, the fight was very close to victory. Skronk used our soul stone, revived, and took up healing again just in time, as Vikund went down.
Finally, the Epoch Hunter was slain, but not before hitting Skronk with that DoT again, which slew Skronk.
There we were, Bung, Skronk and Vikund dead, Earl and Ula still standing. With nobody left to ress, we had to release. Of course, we had learned the hard way at some point past not to release before the boss has been looted.
The loot was the usual ironic finish, the Mantle of Perenolde, a leather item for a group with no leather wearers.
That settled, we sat for a bit longer, then Bung, Skronk and Vikund released.
(Somebody reading this must know what is going to happen next… somebody is going, “Noooooo!”)
The quest did not update for Bung, Skronk, or Vikund.
We released about five seconds too soon. The quest was incomplete. We have to do it all again.
AAAGH! (note the lack of “w” in there.)
We stopped and did some research, but found that other people had run into the same situation. We were borked.
It was too late to start over again, but as you can see from the above screen shot, Vikund was very close to level 70 and Earl was not far behind. So we reset the instance and went back to get a level for the two of us.
This time around we managed to wipe a couple of times on the very same mobs we had so very recently rolled over like cement truck.
Somebody on the team was tired. Actually, more than one person. So somebody did a Leeroy Jenkins on us once. Somebody bumped into a group early another time. All in all we were dragging by this point of the night.
Eventually though, Earl and Vikund hit level 70.
Next week will be our third and, I dearly hope, our final run at Durnholde Keep.