Date With a Lady

We last left our four adventurers looking for… well… adventure.  The cast for the evening was:

76 Warrior – Earlthecat
78 Priest – Skronk
78 Mage – Ula
78 Paladin – Vikund

And while we had managed to knock off the heroic version of Opening the Dark Portal, that really wasn’t enough adventure for the evening.  We were looking for some place new to visit.

A plan was hatched.

A mage portal was opened to Theramore… did you know that mages can open portals to Theramore?  It was a surprise to me, as the place seemed something of a backwater location… all the more so since it is located on the edge of a swamp.

It seemed akin, to me, to a major airline advertising that they offer direct, daily flights to Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Emporia, Kansas.

Of course, if Emporia had a large dragon living on the outskirts of town, that might explain things.

Yes, we were headed to Theramore en route to Onyxia’s lair, the one-time 40 person raid instance that we were going to try to do as a short-handed instance group.  We had, after all, met Onyxia before.

And yes, I know that leet dudes solo Onyxia for kicks these days, but we felt that by going in there as a group of four we could help do our part to trivialize other people’s fond memories.

We had done a quick check to make sure we could get in to see Onyxia, especially after we were just thwarted at Zul’Aman and Karazhan.  It looked like we were clear to go.

So we rode across the Dustwallow Marsh to see the lady.

Getting in was a snap, and the four guards on the way to her lair were easily dispatched.

One of Onyxia's Guardians

One of Onyxia's Guardians

Those out of the way, we turned the corner and beheld the dragon in her lair.

Onyxia Revealed!

Onyxia Revealed!

We had not read anything about the fight itself, so at least we can say we were going in blind, if over-powered.

Well, we thought we were over-powered.  A look at her hit points made us think twice… that and the fact that her level does not show.  Seeing her level displayed as “??” gave us pause.

Hrmm… big dragon indeed.

Still, there we were.  We fell back on Plan A; there she is, get her!

So in we rushed.

Dragon fights are special, yet they do have their similarities all the way back to Tiamat in AD&D.  You have breath, you have claws, you have a honking big tail that will sweep you off your feet.  All that was in play as the fight started.

Onyxia breath weapon engaged!

Onyxia breath weapon activated!

The first part of the fight went well enough.  We kept to our allotted positions for a dragon fight, we did a lot of damage, Earl kept her focus, and healing was never an issue.

Then we hit a point in the battle where Onyxia flew up and a host of her whelps began to attack us from either side of the room.  We took that in stride, killing the whelps, then waiting, then killing some more, then waiting.

We seemed to be at an impasse.  We expected that, once we had killed enough whelps, Onyxia would come down and play some more, but she seemed to feel that we were beneath he dignity, both literally and figuratively, so she flew around and we killed whelps.

After a while of this, we started taking potshots at her with whatever we had to hand; spells, guns, wands, anything with some range.  She started spitting fire now and again as she meandered aloft in her lair.  Chipping away, we made some progress in bringing her down.

Onyxia half way done, but still flying

Onyxia half way done, but still flying

As we did that, we noticed that when we got close enough to her, out melee skills would work despite the fact that she was flying around some meters over our heads.  Any port in a storm.  We took to chasing her around and beating on her.

It was a good thing too, as the casters were doing the brunt of the damage so were starting to attract a respectable amount of attention from Onyxia.

Eventually she settled down to our level and added some stomping and bellowing to her repertoire, cute tricks that sent us off into the whelps again for more fun.

Onyxia back on the ground with us

Onyxia back on the ground with us

Still, with her on the ground we were all over her.  Her time was at hand, though it had taken quite a while to get there.  We started the fight at about 5 minutes after the hour and she wasn’t dead until half past.  A 25 minute long fight is a rare thing for us.  There were a lot of abilities we can generally use once per battle that got repeated use this time around.

Once on the ground, the fight reached its per-ordained conclusion.

Onyxia was laid low and we stood in triumph.

This would have been really impressive a few years back!

This would have been really impressive a few years back!

Then came the loot.

And boy was there a lot of loot.  I realized, intellectually, that for a 40-person raid there had to be more goodies to hand out at the end than you would get in a five person instance.  Never having actually been on a raid in WoW however, I was surprised and awed at the pile of stuff Onyxia dropped.

Probably the most useful items were the 18-slot Onyxia Hide Backpacks.  There were two of those in the haul.  Other things were interesting, even good looking, but nothing worth using.  Except, of course, Onyxia’s head.

We had to get back to Stormwind to turn that in.  Skronk won the roll for the head, so he got to present it.

Sire, we have this head you see...

Sire, we have this head you see...

The king has better things to deal with, so he sent us off to Major Don Mattingly who serves as the dragon head repository in Stormwind.  It is king of like being a casino greeter, one of those things you can get after a successful career in professional sports.

Waiting for Major Mattingly

Waiting for Major Mattingly

Major Mattingly has his role.  With the head handed over and he shouted out to all of Stormwind,

Citizens and allies of Stormwind, on this day, history has been made.  Skronk has laid waste to that which had attempted to usurp the rule of the kingdom.  Gather round and join me in honoring our heroes.

Behold the might of the Alliance!  The dread lady, Onyxia, hangs from the arches!  Let the rallying cry of the dragon slayer lift your spirits!

At which point everybody in Stormwind got that buff.  See, we were doing a public service in slaying Onyxia!

We got the souvenir photo with the head of course.  Everybody does.

How to get a head!

How to get a head!

After which, we called it a night.

Now, about Molten Core

18 thoughts on “Date With a Lady

  1. syncaine

    Funny how her flying breath attack was not noticeable to you guys, how things change :)

    You should be fine for MC. Gar might be interesting, and Domo might not be possible. Rag himself should be easy if you can get to him.


  2. smakendahed

    RE: Theramore port – imagine you want to get to the south end of Kalimdor quickly. What were (before having access to Dalaran) your options?

    Get to Darnassus and… take a 12 minute flight to the southern flight points. Hop on a boat to Ratchet and take a 6-8 minute flight to those areas? Or fly to Menethil Harbor, wait on a boat to get taken to Theramore then fly?

    I guess they added it in at some point. I don’t recall when, but it was definitely useful at the lower levels.

    Now you can hit southern Kalimdor via the portal in Dalaran (in the Kirin Tor tower area) if you have access to Dalaran. ;)


  3. Bhagpuss

    These long distances and slow travel times are one of the things I’m enjoying most about WoW (although it’s a long list). When I think back to all those evenng in Vanguard with people complaining bitterly about the portals and griffins and dockmaster portals dumbing down travel to WoW level, it all takes on a deeply ironic tinge.

    Travel in WoW is as long-winded as I’ve seen in any game. It took my level 10 warrior nearly 15 minutes to run from the Stormwind bank to Lakeshire yesterday. That’s about the same as Qeynos to the South Karana bridge and that used to be a benchmark for long runs.

    And no mount ’til 30th. And no targettable speed buff like SoW to buy or beg. And griffins not available until you first reach them on foot. Fantastic!

    Maybe if I’d been playing for years like everyone else I’d be champing at the bit for shortcuts, but as a newbie I am just loving the slowness.


  4. Saylah

    OMG how cool! I remember being so excited the first time I did Onyxia. Fear of fuking it up with the welps or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    When I first stared playing WOW I was playing on a laptop that wasn’t intended for gaming. The Illidan server was laggy as hell from over population and you could tell if more than one guild was in an instance since it lagged to hell and back.

    Awesome 4-manning Onyxia. What fun. The Theramore port is new for sure. Don’t know when it went in but I was surprised when my Mage got it but grateful.


  5. Gaff

    I think we are missing the real point of this post. Emporia is the Athens of the Plains and the only town west of the Mississippi with two Carnegie libraries. Of course, the scholarly nexus, if you will, is Emporia State University, where I discovered diku MUDS through the ESUVM–I always wondered what “virtual machine” meant.


  6. Tamarind

    Mages can port to Theramore? I had no idea. I’m a total noob.

    Anyway, congratulations on taking down the lady … I think it’s still an impressive achievement because, even though you were over-powered, at least you did it and you treated her with the respect she deserves (apart from the whole, err, killing her and taking her head thing, of course).

    M’Pocket Tank and I tried to 2-man her a while back … and she pwned us. *shame*


  7. syncaine

    The Theramore portal was added when Bliz revamped the zone, which was one of the patches during BC pre-sunwell.


  8. *vlad*

    Deep Breath! Nooooooooo, Shiiiiiiiiiiiii….
    Half the raid dies.

    Those were the days. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.


  9. Kanthalos

    One thing to remember about molten core is that if you want to do Majordomo and Rag, you will need someone in the group to have revered or higher rep with Hydraxian Waterlords so that you can get the water to put out the flames at each of the bosses. Otherwise, you can kill all of them up to the final two bosses. I did that a couple weeks before I quit playing WoW back in April and it was a lot of fun, even without domo and Rag. Oddly enough, we did it just after killing Onyxia :)

    P.S. I hope someone was shouting MORE DOTS/STOP DOTS during your onyxia fight :P

    P.P.S. If you don’t know what I mean, google “Onyxia Wipe Animation” (NSFW)


  10. Saylah

    @Kanth – That Onyxia Wipe Animation is so how it used to be raiding in vanilla WOW. I’d heard it before but listened again just now and laughed my ass off. Our early attempts at Ony sounded like that minus the profanity. Classic. Hysterical. New players don’t know what fun drama they missed from the old days.


  11. Keystone

    Is there still an attunement for Onyxia and Molten Core?

    If not, then I’ll try this out this weekend, but if so, then yeah, I did that stupid Onyxia quest chain twice already back in the day- no way I could stomach it again.

    I slayed her about 50-60 times looking for my tier 2 mage helm, but it never dropped- I bet anything if I do Onyxia this weekend the helm drops!

    Also, to elaborate further from Syncaine’s explanation of the implementation of the Theramore port- they added a ton of quest for the zone, and in tow, gave mages portal to Theramore @ 35.

    I always left my hearthstone bound to Gadgetzan so I could get to Southern Kalimdor in a jiffy on my mage, but even with that, the cooldown was an hour!! ><


  12. Armagon

    Even when reading something about a fight I’ve done quite often, I always enjoy your reports very much, definitely a much sharper first-time analysis than most would be able to give :)


  13. inktomi2

    Hey grats on Ony!
    Serious, I played back in vanilla wow days when Ony was actually a challenge. There was a strict strategy we use to kill her, the best comical rendition could be found on youtube.

    I never get tired of it.

    And yes, I once got kicked into the whelps…not fun.


  14. syncaine

    If you don’t need the Aqual, you should be fine in MC. Even back in vanilla, Domo’s adds don’t hit that hard, and if you can keep the healers in check (not sure how you would do that without sheep, maybe pali AoE?) the fight itself should be easy. Rag would be easy because you would still resist a ton of his fire attacks, and with the massive HP of 80s, even his pure attacks won’t do much.


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