Caverns of Time and the Botanica

Another foursie group on Saturday night sent us back to the Outlands for a bit more instance backfilling while Earl got some rest.  It is tough to blame him for missing once in a while since we start playing at midnight his time every Saturday.  He’s the young guy in the group, but nobody stays young forever.

So that left the Left Coast Quartet to carry on:

76 Priest – Skronk
76 Warlock – Bungholio
77 Mage – Ula
77 Paladin – Vikund

A check of the Instances by Level list showed that Shattered Halls was the next instance in our queue.  But it also requires a key which has a quest chain behind it which we have not yet run down.  Wanting to get straight to the action, we moved on to the next instance, The Caverns of Time: Opening the Dark Portal, also know by its location, the Black Morass.

I suppose this wasn’t exactly going back to the Outlands since the Caverns of Time are in Tanaris.  But it is Burning Crusade content.

We had been to the Caverns of Time on more than a couple of occasions, so we knew how to get there.  We did not, however, do any reading up front so were not sure how things were going to play out.

We grabbed a quest for the instance on the way in, found the right instance swirl, and then spent 10 minutes trying to get in.  We were back to the old “Additional instances cannot be launched, please try again later” routine, only it seemed to be worse than usual.  A busy night for instances I guess. Eventually though Blizzard relented and let us in.

Once in, we spoke to the quest mob at the door… he must have been the butler… and then headed towards a likely looking portal thing we could see in the middle distance.

There we spoke to a guy named Medivh who said something that essentially seemed to mean, “Cover me!”  We stood around for a minute or so, waiting for something to happen. Then some dragonkin began wandering in from one of the flanks.  We killed them while looking for the source.  There was a swirl in the air and a mob called a “Rift Keeper” standing next to it, so we figured that must be the target.

Upon killing him, a counter at the top of our screens incremented.  It seemed that we would be doing this at least 17 more times since we had just advanced to 2 of 18.

It turned out that at every sixth rift came with a boss.  We did well enough against the first one but had a rough go with the second, with Bung and Vikund getting killed.  Fortunately there is a fairly long delay after each of the bosses, so Skronk was able to bring us back before the next rift came along.

Rift Count and Shield Status

Rift Count and Shield Status

Back up we got through the next six battles including the last boss and… well… we were done.  Achievement.


There we were, standing before the portal.  A host of orcs came wandering through, but they turned around and left.  I would have too, the place was a dump.  But when we tried to follow them, we just ended up at the backside of the portal.

Defective Portal

Defective Portal

Out of that the only look worth mentioning is the Mask of Inner Fire, which dropped off of the first boss.  And the only reason it is worth a mention is because it just looks cool.  Vikund won the roll for it and I am keeping it as part of his ever growing hat collection.

The Mask of Inner Fire!

The Mask of Inner Fire!

That done, it was still early for us, so we decided to go for two.  Ula opened a portal to Shattrath for us, and while we were there, it was decided that those who did not have the Going Down? achievement should pick it up.

I showed everybody where I had done it, jumping of the Scryers area and landing on an awning below.  It turned out though that only Ula was missing that achievement, so it was gnome free fall time.  Unfortunately she missed the awning.  Twice.

Ballistic Gnome

Ballistic Gnome

And then when she did hit the awning, she didn’t get the achievement.  So, once we stopped laughing (you should have seen her bounce off of that structure in the picture above) we decided to shelve that achievement for the time being and move on to the Botanica wing of Tempest Keep.

The Botanica did not turn out to be that hard for our group of four.  We hand’t picked up any of the quests for the instance, so we just burned our way through to Warp Splinter, the final boss, without slowing down.  There were four bosses in before him, but none were that tough.  We’ll have to go back and do this one in Heroic mode at some point.

Warp Splint and his minions in the last fight faded before our damage and soon another achievement was ours.

The loot, just for Coppertopper, was:


And that brought us to the end of the evening.  We just had to take our traditional victory shot.

Warp Splinter Down

Warp Splinter Down

This coming weekend, if we’re all available, it will be time for Violet Hold.

7 thoughts on “Caverns of Time and the Botanica

  1. Jacob

    I think you’ll find Violet Hold very similar to Black Morass. It’s fun, but hectic the first time through.

    For the Going Down achievement, let me suggest jumping off the other Scryer balcony, on the opposite side of the elevator.

    If you get on your ground horse (not the flyer), and jump as you go over the edge (you’re not quite high enough without the jump), you will be at the perfect height. Also, landing is easy – you’re jumping down onto a large flat area, and you can’t miss.


  2. Sören

    Many people dont like Black Morass ‘coz of the hectic. But it’s great for a warlock: a long lasting fight. As long as someone cares about the adds. In our groups this was usualy a mages duty (“They will be dead before reaching me”) while the rest put down the elites.

    Every sixth portal is a boss and afterward some more time to regenerate.

    I remember one CoT II run, where we had a tree druid as healer and a bear druid as tank. On the last boss, all DPS where dead and waiting at the graveyard for the others to die too. But nothing, they called us back in, we rezzed quickly, ran in, regenerated the necessary buffes and saw: a very bored tree now and then healing a very bored bear and a very upset boss running around between them. We then finished it before tank and healer would die for boredom :-)


  3. rulez

    Black Morass and Culling of Stratholme are the instances I enjoyed the most. The music and being on the clock (optional in CoS) plays a big part in that.
    Good luck in Violet Hold. I hope your tank knows how to stay in line of sight of the healer on steep ramps and stuff ;)


  4. *vlad*

    “There we spoke to a guy named Medivh ”
    “There we were, standing before the portal. A host of orcs came wandering through, but they turned around and left”

    Haha your comments make me laugh. It’s a bit like saying,

    “Some wizard called Gandalf asked us to destroy this ring, then a load of baddies turned up and tried to stop us, but we destroyed it anyway, and some guy called Sauron was pissed at the whole thing”.


  5. syncaine

    Considering it might be THE moment in Warcraft lore, Black Morass is a rather weak instance. The Thrall escort, while at times frustrating, is at least a bit more epic in feel.


  6. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Vlad: Yeah, I’ve said before that I never liked the Warcraft RTS games and was pretty biased against WoW when it came out, and I guess I still carry that a bit in my subconscious refusal to learn the lore.

    So my phrasing is probably pretty accurate relative to my own immersion in the lore. The equivalent in LOTRO of saying, “Gandalf you say? Do you have a last name?” I suppose.


  7. Chris

    If ula wishes to get the falling achievement as a mage it is easy, jump off of something hit ice block (the one that traps you in a block of ice)


    can be used on huge falls and as I can note for falling out that flying ship thingy in ice crown which i seem to do more often than seem probable


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