Saturday night and the LAST instance group before the Wrath of the Lich King release assembled in Azeroth looking for adventure. The lineup included the usual suspects:
70 Warlock – Bungholio
70 Warrior – Earlthecat
70 Priest – Skronk
70 Mage – Ula
70 Paladin – Vikund
We decided, in absence of any other plans or events, to just move on to the next five person instance on the list, which turned out to be Sethekk Halls. Located in Auchindoun along with previously run instances, the Mana Tombs and the Auchenai Crytps, along with Shadow Labyrinth, it was a location we were familiar with, a short flight out from Shattrath.
We got started a little bit late because Earl was still fixing dinner… at midnight… and needed to get that set before we moved out. The lives they live in glamorous New York! Then we served up our own little banquet in game.
Health Stone and Mana Biscuit Buffet
Once started we did note that at least every kill in the instance gave us a boost to our Lower City reputation. While not quite as good as seeing an advancing experience bar, that was some salve on the ache.
The mobs in the instance turned out to be a mix of humanoids and undead, which meant that crowd control was not a big issue (good, because they came in groups of five towards the end of the instance) and that Vikund could actually inflict some damage. The 3.0.2 changes that messed with seals and judgments meant that Vikund the protection paladin was somewhat down on his damage. I still have to figure out his role in the group after these changes or maybe swap him out (what, again?) for my hunter, who would offer more DPS and still have the off tank option with his pet. We’ll see.
The trash mobs did not cause us too much trouble. Some of them cast fear, which cause one wipe not too far into the instance, but otherwise was manageable. (I have to remember to try that EQ2 “walk” strategy next time we face mobs that fear. We progressed to the first boss, Darkweaver Syth.
His big special feature is summoning four elemental helpers at various points during the fight. However, they are just normal mobs, not heroic, and they spawn close to Syth and rush straight in, so a consecrate from Vikund and a little AOE from Bung and Ula disposed of them quickly each time.
His special trick not being so very tricky, it ended up being a tank and spank and we put him down without any losses at our end.
On we trekked, working our way through groups of four and five mobs. One thing about the mobs in this instance, all of which are Arakkoa, is that when they are polymorphed, they become disturbingly large pigs. They shrink down in a moment, but having a giant pig appear in your battle can give you pause.
You Can Be A Big Pig Too!
Eventually though, we reached the last guy, the big boss, the reason we were all in Talon King Ikiss (but do not tell).
Talon King Ikiss
Our first run at him ended up in a wipe. We had read he had a vicious AOE attack and tried to deploy accordingly. We fought him where he stood and got knocked flat pretty fast. He blinks to a party member, in this case one of the casters, does a wind up, then casts his AOE.
We then did a little more reading and found that his AOE attack requires Ikiss to have line of sight to you for it to hit you. Hiding behind the four giant pillars in the room was recommended. So we tried it again in the middle of the floor. No joy. We couldn’t get to the pillars fast enough. Wipe.
Then we moved the fight to one of the corners near a pillar, but still on the main floor. That almost worked.
For the fourth fight, Earl pulled him back behind one of the pillars. We fought him there and were able to dodge around the pillar quickly enough to avoid his AOE attack… most of the time. It was a near run thing, the casters going down one by one, Vikund taking over healing then going down, and then Earl alone, his own health bar slipping down as Ikiss’s own health went down to 3%… 2%… 1%… DEAD!
I had to consciously avoid one of those family-waking shouts, last uttered at our over Archeadas in Uldaman.
Still, the battle was a near run thing. Skronk, provided this picture of the final state of affairs.
But in the end, victory was ours as was the key to the last Auchindoun instance, the Shadow Labyrinth.
Ikiss of Death
And so ended our last pre-Lich King instance run.
Today we will all run out and grab a copy of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and come Saturday night we will all have experience bars again and a new place to explore. I imagine we will skip the instance plan and just run around in a new zone running quests and upgrading our equipment a bit.
Let us ride to Northrend!