Lightning Round in Ulduar

Saturday night and time for round two in the Halls of Lightning.

Last time we went in to the instance cold to learn the fights.  We made it through to Loken, died, found ourselves faced with respawns and a late hour, and decided to call it a night.

But we came back confident that we could finish off the instance.  For starters, we were finally all at level 80.

80 Priest – Skronk
80 Mage – Ula
80 Warlock – Bungholio
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund

If nothing else, level 80 gave us the multiple Ula option.

And we felt that our first run gave us what we needed to know to take on the bosses.  So there we were again, standing in the doorway.

Enter the Halls

Enter the Halls

We also all grabbed tabards for factions with which we wanted to raise our standing.  Skronk and Vikund went with the Wyrmrest tabard, having found the Wyrmrest daily quests to be annoying and few in number, while Earl, Ula, and Bung picked the Knights of the Ebon Blade.

Once in, we did our dance with General Bjrangrim, shadowing him around his circuit to kill off all his allies until it was just him and his two minions wandering the room.

General B getting charged up

General B getting charged up

We then waited until he hit a point where his electrical charge buff faded and went after him.  Earl danced with the General while the rest of us took out the minions.  We then assisted Earl, bringing down the General on our first try.

That lead us to the slags, but we learned the hard was last time around how to deal with them.

Slags for the memories

Slags for the memories

We ran through, bearing to the right (something decided when we were already in motion and one of us realize that we’d all better go the same route) to lead all the slags up to the steps where it was area affect spell time to eliminate them.  After the slags and a some yard trash, it was our turn with Volkhan.

I was pretty sure we could handle Volkhan.  Four of us happened to be on the night before.  We went in to scout the Halls of Lightning and to do a quick bit of faction for Earl as he was very close to hitting honored with the Ebon Blade, but had already done the daily quests.  On a whim, the four of us took on and defeated Volkhan.  And if the four of us could do it, then adding in Warlock DPS should make it easy.

Having figured out that the minions he summons explode, we tried a new tactic.  We decided to keep close to him, keep the minions in one concentrated area, and either burn Volkhan down before he could set them off or have them all in one spot from which we could flee.

It mostly worked.  We won.  The minions were not as cooperative as we would have liked.  Earl had trouble holding aggro on them as they seem to reset their target now and again.  Volkhan also made a last minute lunge at Ula, who opted to ice block.  That at least answered the question about whether the multiple Ulas would all ice block or not: They don’t.

The real Ula on ice

The real Ula on ice

So far so good.

Then we hit our first snag.

We couldn’t really remember how the next section, the Hall of Watchers, behaved.  We messed around a bit with it last time, but hadn’t really figured out the pattern.  So we decided to treat it like the slags and see if we could just run through as a group and take whoever followed at the far end.

That didn’t work out.  We ended up with six guys whacking us as we ran to the far end.  We wiped.  And we wiped with the watchers wandering all over our corpses, so we had to release rather than use the soul stone we had up.

After our return, we came back and pulled the groups still wandering in the hall one at a time, bringing them all the way back to the entrance, until we had cleared them all away.  Then we seemed to be able to walk safely to the far end.  I think we have the hall figured out now.

That left some rounding up of trash before we faced Ionar.

Ionar awaits

Ionar awaits

We did okay against Ionar last week.  He is a pretty standard fight, with a couple rounds of him disappearing and leaving electrical sparks wandering around for a short duration.  All you have to do is stay clear of those sparks until the draws them back and reforms and everything is fine.

The first time Ionar did his routine though, Earl ran really far away.  Far enough that when he reformed, Vikund had to do a few rounds with Ionar.  But that is what they make health pots and health stones for… and priests… and lay hands.  It didn’t help that Vikund had gotten caught by the sparks right before he reformed.

Still, he lived and Ionar went down.

Which meant that the way was clear… minus lesser mobs… between us and Loken.

So we cleared the way.  A little bit of proximity aggro surprise Vikund and he went down, but was quickly ressed.  And soon we were preparing to face the main boss yet again.

We looked up his attacks and decided that we really had two options.

The first, the ping-pong approach, was to try to avoid his lightning nova attacks by running away when the emote for them came up.  This had the advantage of avoiding damage, but meant that we would have to run around, reform.  And it would also leave us exposed to his pulsing shock wave attacks which hit harder the further away you are from him.

The second approach was to pull everybody into melee range, ride out the lightning novas, and just burn him down as quickly as possible.

We chose to second approach.  Skronk, our alchemist, provided us each with some potions to help us get through at least the initial lightning nova.

We each drank one before the fight, then got right in there with Loken.

The fight at Loken's feet

The fight at Loken's feet

Skronk seems a little too far out in that screen shot, but it worked.  We did not take that much damage and Loken went down surprisingly quickly with all of us unloading on him.  Once he fell, we got the achievement.


There was even some decent loot this time around.  Our recent motto for drops has been, “You’ve got mail!”

Vikund ended up with the Fists of Loken, a decent upgrade for him, while Ula won the roll for the Ancient Measuring Rod.

Loken defeated

Loken defeated

All of this finished up a bit sooner than we expected.  We rounded off the night by doing a couple of rounds in the Isle of Conquest battleground.  Lots of turret and vehicle fun to be had there, though you feel a bit naked when you’re on the ground alone.

A couple of us die hards waited until after midnight and did the Argent Tournament daily quests again.  It was a hot August weekend in California at least, so there wasn’t much point in going to bed until it got a little cooler.  At least that was my excuse.

Eventually though we called it a night.

We should now be lined up for the Oculus next time.

13 thoughts on “Lightning Round in Ulduar

  1. Greg

    Congrats on clearing HoL, it was a total pain in the ass for me the first time I did it.

    Goodluck with Oculus, but be warned, that place can be REALLY annoying.


  2. Suzanne

    Grats! Great job on Loken there, too.

    My guild is a fan of the burn-him-down method, though it can get a little dicey at times, even with a well-geared healer. That’s one of the few encounters in heroics that still gets my pulse racing a bit if I’m healing. It’s intense. We still always seem to have more deaths with the ping-pong approach though.


  3. Jacob

    Congratulations on HoL. It’s a fun place.

    Oculus can be annoying. Not exactly hard, but very different from the rest of the game. The boss fight involves riding on vehicle-drakes; you should take the time to describe your drake’s buttons to the rest of the team and listen to their description of their own buttons; proper teamwork of using the drakes is key to the final fight, and it does take teamwork.


  4. Azy

    I’ll be interested to hear how Oculus goes for you guys; Jem is right, many people loathe it, myself included. It is a fairly unique instance though, and quite pretty, so there are a few pluses =P


  5. Dorgol

    The hatred for Oculus is unwarrented, in my opinion. If people were willing I’d run it at least once or twice a week.


  6. dave

    I am one of the many that hate Oculus, If I wanted to be a dragon, I’d play a game where I could be a dragon, in WoW I want to play a Shaman.

    I don’t like the move Blizzard has been doing to forced vehicle combat. Fun for transportation, not fun in instances for me. I do like the siege vehicle concept in PVP where it is optional.

    Gratz on HoL. Once you finish off Oculus, you should start doing heroic modes :) Personally I find, UP, AN and VH the 3 easiest heroic modes.


  7. Bhagpuss

    I’d like to second Dave there, on a general point. I take the trouble to choose my character’s race, class, gender and so on; I’d like to stick with it, thanks. I don’t want to play as a dragon, or an orc, or a spirit, or a legendary hero from a thousand years ago, I want to play the character I rolled.

    Monster Missions in EQ were the catalyst that resulted in Mrs Bhagpuss and I leaving EQ for a couple of years, and I hate the thought of any repetition of that nonsense.


  8. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Personally I like the vehicle thing they have put in as it makes for a bit of a change now and again. I’ve only run into a couple of such quests per zone (more in Icecrown, but there are a ton of quests there), so the vast majority of my time playing my paladin has been as a paladin.

    Now there are some vehicle quests I am not fond of. I’ll probably never get exalted with Wyrmrest Accord because two of their three daily quests are “dragon as vehicle” runs that aren’t all that much fun. (And the faction payout is low to boot.) But there are other vehicle daily quests out there that I am glad are dailies because I wanted to go back and do them again.

    Now, I haven’t been in the Oculus, or even looked it up beyond getting the link from WoW Wiki to put in the post, so I might hate it. Or I might not. We’ll get to that post though.


  9. *vlad*

    The main problem with the Occulus is mainly knowing where to go once you have the dragon mounts.Be prepared for some aimless wandering around as you try and figure out what you are supposed to do next.

    Each of the dragons has unique abilities, and it is not very clear how you are supposed to use them. They also have a special ability that you can only use on the last boss, and that means learning as you fight him.
    As your gear is of no use while riding the dragons, you can save yourelves a repair bill by changing out of your gear into grays once you get to Malygos (or go naked!), as I can guarantee you , you will die a lot.
    Patience = success.


  10. smakendahed

    Gratz man :)

    Here’s the trick, when he’s firing up the lightning, step down to the platform below. It seems to only hit people on the same ‘level’ has him.

    RE: Occulus – Vlad is incorrect, gear now matters so I wouldn’t go naked. The dragons all have a base level of HPs and this grows based on your item level (I believe they added this in around the same time they added Ulduar). Tabards do not count (AFAIK, they don’t with the tanks in Ulduar FL encounter).

    We actually checked this out a couple of weeks ago. The best geared player had the dragon with the most HPs. I swapped some of my gear around and, yup, my dragon had more HPs.

    Knowing where to go is pretty easy, it’s just staying with everyone else that is a little confusing. The boss fights are also sort of annoying – at least, I hate the wizard one. I won’t spoil it though.


  11. Darraxus

    Congrats on HoL. Heroic was always the big Pain. Loken on Heroics was THE boss before everyone outgeared it.

    Occulus is the most annoying instance by far. Good luck next week.


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