When I summarized our romp through the Halls of Stone previously, a couple of people expressed an interest in how we would do in the Halls of Lightning. It was described as “a bunch of gimmick fights.”
While the temptation was there to do some research on the instance, we stuck to our policy of doing an instance fresh.
But the foreknowledge that things would be different did get us in the state of mind of having to do each boss fight at least twice, once to figure out what was going on and then at least one more time to get it right.
And so we assembled in Ulduar.
Our team for the evening was:
79 Priest – Skronk
79 Mage – Ula
79 Warlock – Bungholio
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund
My initial reaction after our first fight in the instance was, “Cool! Faction!”
Halls of Lightning, which I am just going to call “HOL” going forward, is a level 80 instance, the first we’ve been in, so you get a faction boost for each kill. And you can choose which faction gets boosted by wearing the tabard of that faction. Since I was wearing my Argent Crusade tabard, I got some help getting to exalted status with them.
Those with just the guild tabard got faction with the Alliance Vanguard or Valiance Expedition or some such.
The odd one out was Skronk, who was wearing his explorer’s tabard, which I felt should have given him faction with the Explorer’s League, doubly so since the tabard comes from Brann Bronzebeard, but no such luck. It was the same as the guild tabard when it came to faction boost.
Anyway, as happy as I was about the faction thing, we were looking at the first boss, General Bjarngrim (wasn’t that a Goldie Hawn movie?), wandering up and down the ramps that made up the big first room of the instance. He was moving through several groups of his soldiers, with a couple attendants in tow, so we picked the troop of four closest to us, cleared them out, and waited for him to walk over.
And walk over us he did. We had noted the electrical buff on him but had not divined how it came and went. When he reached us the buff was up, which boosts his damage by 30%, and which turned out to be enough to get Earl killed part way into the fight, which led to our first wipe.
Returning, we followed him around his path, knocking off groups behind him, watching his buff come and go. When he was unbuffed we jumped him. That, plus having had a good warm up fight, seemed to be enough to tip the balance in our favor and we were able to knock down the general and his two helpers without much of a fuss.
From where we stood we could see the next boss, Vulcan… erm… I mean Volkhan… at his forge on a balcony above us. I am sure that the similarity of the names of these two metalworkers was completely accidental. (I’m pretty sure the name Volkhan was totally ripped off from the Volgans.)
But to get to him we had to get upstairs, which meant going through a room full of lava elementals called Slags. While they were quite a few of them, they were not elite, so we waded into them and started clearing out there room.
And we cleared and cleared and cleared from the middle of the room. These slags were respawning at quite an annoying rate. Eventually mana ran low and we backed out the way we came in. Along the way though, we lost Ula.
We then spent quite a span of time trying to figure out how to ress Ula. We made several attempts to get in, clear a corner, and ress Ula before the slags respawed. However, the respawn rate was such that we could never manage it. Ula had to release and walk back to us.
Through all of this we did figure out how to approach the room. Once the group was restored and ready, we ran through the slag room to the stairs at the far side of the room. At that point we killed off any followers and then set about our business of getting to Volkhan.
As predicted, our first run at Volkhan went badly and ended up in a wipe. The funny thing is that while we prevailed in the second fight, we hadn’t actually figured out the fight. We were worried about dealing with the molten golem adds but didn’t take into account that Volkhan would make their corpses explode every so often. Those explosions thinned down the group to just Skronk and Vikund, thanks mostly to lucky spacing, but we were able to finish him off.
Still, we are set now should we face Volkhan again. Stay away from the molten golem corpses.
Revived again and ready to move on, we faced the hall of watchers.
The hall is lined on either side by statues of warriors. We weren’t sure how this was going to play out. We figured somebody was going to come to life and attack us, but would we have to kill them all, would it become an event? We ended up running around in the hall for way too long, getting a few people killed along the way, before we decided it was like the slags and that we should just run to the other end of the hall, kill whoever follows, and move on.
We cleared all we could around the next boss, Ionar, then managed to wipe for no good reason. We should have made it. It was just in the cards I guess. The second attempt went off well though, and we were able to take him down.
Which left us clearing trash to get to the final boss, Loken.
People were starting tire though. We had spent a lot longer than a usual instance run figuring things out and recovering from wipes. The repair bot had to be brought out at one point. We skirted whatever yard trash we could until we stood in front of Loken.
The fight with Loken went pretty fast. He is all about lightning it seems and we, as a group, have absolutely no resistance to nature spells, so he fried us in a depressingly quick time frame.
Still, we thought we had one more attempt in us. Maybe we could take him down. We did not have a soul stone after that last wipe however, so we had to run back, which brought us to what we feared. Respawns.
The instance between the front door and Volkhan had refilled. We were not up for clearing that out again. And so we called it a night. The final death score was:
A tough evening for the cloth wearers.
On the bright side, I think we’re all up to speed on everything up to Loken. We should be able to get to him much more quickly the next time around.
We do need to figure out the Loken fight though. He seemed to work us quite quickly and thoroughly. This may call for some research.
And it looks like our next run will be a return to the Halls of Lightning.