With Bung away on vacation, the four of us had to find something to do on Saturday night. There are still a variety of Outlands heroic instances left for us to try in addition to re-running instances that we had done already but for which we have not been given achievement credit.
But buoyed by the experiences of our last 4-person evening, we decided to head back to old Azeroth to see some sights from days gone by. The four of us were:
79 Mage – Ula
79 Priest – Skronk
80 Paladin – Vikund
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
As you can see, after being let off the leash at allowed to hit level cap, both Earl and I raced ahead.
Our target for the evening was to do no less than conquer Blackrock Spire. Or at least pick up the achievements for Blackrock Spire that we did not already have.
We had, after all, earned our access to Upper Blackrock Spire the old fashioned way, before Blizzard nailed the door open for all and sundry.
We were suffering from some “Onyxification” of our expectations after our battle with the brood mother, which went off pretty much without a hitch. (And it is a good thing we got her when we did, as they are going to redo her lair it seems.) We felt invulnerable in old Azeroth, simply irresistable.
The first item on our list was to get to Upper Blackrock Spire, which is a bit of a challenge in itself. I fell off one of the chains and into the lava.
The good news is that, at level 80, the fire resist aura and the occasional heal will keep you alive enough to get back out of the lava.
Once we were all assembled, we headed to the Rookery to get the “Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!” achievement. I thought this was actually going to be the tough part of the evening. Killing 50 of anything in 15 seconds seemed like an iffy proposition to me.
We got into the Rookery, picked a concentration point, then all ran in different directions to get the eggs to hatch and bring back whelps. Obviously woke up way too many as we got the achievement long before we dispatched all the whelps that followed us back. And even then there were groups of a dozen or so that didn’t follow. It happened so fast that I almost didn’t get the screenshot.
First achievement down.
Then it was time to crawl through Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS) and defeat the main boss. This was something of a toddle, as we gathered groups of trash mobs to dispatch them. We went through the event with Gyth and Rend Blackhand, which let us into the route to the main boss.
After that it did not take us long to make our way to General Drakkisath.
As we made our way to him, a couple of things struck me.
First, there are a lot of places where you can fall or go over a ledge and find yourself genuinely screwed. All the more so if you were doing this at level. I compare this do some of the instance we have done in Northrend where any drop-off is usually guarded by an invisible barrier to keep you from falling into so difficult/impossible ress location.
Second, for a raid boss, General Drakkisath’s place is kind of a dump. He’s just there with a couple of minions in this bare niche in the wall. No throne, no altar, no piles of loot, no bones of victims. This isn’t where a raid boss lives. This is where a raid boss parks his car. It looks like he just got the keys to the place.
Well, we didn’t have to stare at his bare walls for long. Soon he was the late General Drakkisath and his landlord didn’t have to clean up much for the next tenent. Well, there was some blood. And since the theme of the night up to this point seemed to be not quite getting the achievement screenshot, a mis-click by one of us brought up the loot on top of the achievement. You can still see it, plus now I have put in the gratuitous loot shot.
That done, we dropped off Drak’s balcony and considered our next target. We had passed the entrance to Blackwing Lair (which would have made the reference in my title more clear if I had used that instead of Blackrock Spire) so decided to recon that as an option.
We made out way up the stairs and into the instance and ended up in a room with a couple of bosses, a beam of energy, and a bunch of eggs. As usual, we went into this without any research. We had a choice between Razorgore the Untamed and Grethok the Controller.
We chose Grethok and got them both.
And from a “kill them all and let Blizzard sort them out” point of view, the fight went pretty well for the first 99%. Then Razorgore went from Untamed to Unleased or something and blew us all up.
There was obviously something else we needed to do or understand to finish that fight. I mean, technically, we won I suppose. Everybody was dead, the status quo was upset. But this seemed a little more complicated than we wanted. After a little research, we put Blackwing Lair on hold and headed to Molten Core.
We had actually done the quest Attunement to the Core so go to jump straight in… once we could get an instance. We had hit some peak time or some instance land rush or something, because we spend the next few minutes trying to get into Molten Core. It probably wasn’t that long of a wait, but the fact that you have to talk to Lothos Riftwalker each and every time you try to get into the instance, which means cycling through his four or five stock phrases over and over.
And then the trouble began.
The first thing we noticed was that yard trash designed to keep 40 people busy has a lot of hit points. Grinding down each mob in the instance was like going through a series of mini-boss fights in terms of duration.
We decided to play the level 80 aggro radius card. We stopped clearing and started threading our way around the yard trash, slaying only when necessary. This came back to haunt us at the first boss, Gehennas.
We didn’t clear the stuff wandering around him, which eventually lead to adds which tipped the balance against us, and down we went.
Then were faced with another old-school issue, the long run back from Thorium Point to the instance. Dying was much less convenient in old Azeroth.
Back to Gehennas, we managed to take him down on the second go, but it wasn’t a cake walk. He has a nasty curse that reduces all healing amount on you by 75%. Vikund used lay hands at the end of the first battle and I went, “Huh?” when the health bar barely went up.
Gehennas down we slipped between the wandering mobs and made our way to the next boss, Garr.
Garr was probably the highlight of the evening. By this point we had begun reading up on bosses before fights, since it was clear this wasn’t going to be a series of push-overs. With Garr we read, “The more warlocks in a group, the easier this battle will be…”
A quick count showed no warlocks in our group. We opted for the “hang the tank out and hope you can keep him healed” approach, with which we are so familiar. And with Skronk keeping the healing rolling while Vikund chucked out the divine storms and judging to boost mana, Earl’s health was never in doubt.
Garr dropped a load of stuff when he went down.
Bung missed out, since the tier 1 headpiece he dropped was the Felheart Horns. That is headgear I would wear around town if I could.
After that though, the evening began to fade for us.
If we had been determined we could have gotten past him. Each time we went down it was due to a mistake on our part, something that could have been averted. However it was getting late, we were getting tired, and there was frankly no immediate end in sight for Molten Core, so we called it a night.
If Bung is back next week, we’re still lined up for the Halls of Lightning. Otherwise we’ll end up with another evening of achievement hunting. Maybe some Outlands heroics instead.