Three Years of the Instance Group – An Overview

Last weekend both Earl and myself were off doing other things, so the instance group just fooled around with their new horde characters on Lightninghoof and waited for Hallow’s End to start up on the server.  (Eldre’Thalas is an East Coast server, so we get our holiday start times early out here on the left coast.  Lightninghoof is Central time though, so things arrived an hour later.)

So, rather than bore people with tales of wee hordelings and Barren’s chat or speculate further on what we might do next, I thought I would post something of an overview of where we have been.  If you want the play-by-play detail, you can look at the Instance Group tag here at

First, when it happened.


  • Instance group forms: September 2006
  • We defeat Edwin VanCleef, first instance done: October 2006
  • The Burning Crusade released: January 2007
  • Defeat Archaedas in Uldaman: March 2007
  • Extended Hiatus (Exile in Middle Earth) : March to September 2007
  • Lord of the Rings Online released: April 2007
  • Return to Azeroth: September 2007
  • Finish Zul’Farrak: October 2007
  • Whole group has epic ground mounts: January 2008
  • First Burning Crusade instance run: February 2008
  • Warhammer Online released: September 2008
  • Tour of Warhammer Online: September to November 2008
  • Wrath of the Lich King released: November 2008
  • First Northrend instance run: November 2008
  • Hiatus Two (author under deadline pressure): January to March 2009
  • We finally defeat Ingvar the Plunderer: April 2009
  • We twink Onyxia: July 2009
  • We try Molten Core, decide sleep is better: August 2009
  • We defeat King Ymiron, declare victory: October 2009

And during that  time line, we visited the following places.

Instances Done At Level: 36

  • Deadmines
  • Wailing Caverns
  • Shadowfang Keep
  • Stormwind Stockades
  • Razorfen Kraul
  • Gnomeregan
  • Scarlet Monastery
  • Razorfen Downs
  • Uldaman
  • Zul’Farrak
  • Maraudon
  • Sunken Temple
  • Blackrock Depths
  • Scholomance
  • Stratholmes
  • Dire Maul West
  • Lower Blackrock Spire
  • Hellfire Ramparts
  • Blood Furnace
  • Slave Pens
  • Underbog
  • Mana Tombs
  • Auchenai Crypts
  • Escape from Durnhold Keep
  • Sethekk Halls
  • Utgarde Keep
  • The Nexus
  • Azjol Nerub
  • Ahn’kahet
  • Violet Hold
  • Gundrak
  • Halls of Stone
  • Halls of Lightning
  • The Oculus
  • Culling of Stratholme
  • Utgarde Pinnacle

Instances Done Close to Level: 2

  • Steamvault
  • Shadow Labyrinth

Instances Done Over Level: 6

  • Ragefire Chasm
  • Mechanar
  • Opening the Dark Portal
  • Botanica
  • Upper Blackrock Spire
  • Onyxia’s Lair

Instances We Failed to Complete: 2

  • Molten Core
  • The Trial of the Champion

Instances Left Undone: 5

  • Dire Maul East
  • Dire Maul North
  • Shattered Halls
  • The Arcatraz
  • Magister’s Terrace

Other Notable Bosses Slain: 2

  • Headless Horseman – Hallow’s End
  • Coren Direbrew – Brewfest

And while we were doing all of that, our personal lives went on.  A few details here.

Personal Statistics:

  • Births: 0  (just missed Bung becoming a dad)
  • Marriages: 0 (just missed Ula and Skronk by 3 months)
  • Moves: 3 (1 across town, 1 across two states, 1 coast to coast)
  • Homes purchased: 3
  • Homes sold: 3 (and we’re all damn glad those numbers match)
  • Mortgage indebtedness incurred: ~2 million US dollars
  • Job Changes: 2
  • Mergers and acquisitions of employers: 3
  • Books published: 4
  • Colonoscopies: 2

Group Hardware:

  • New computers systems: 3
  • New Video Cards: 8
  • New motherboards: 2
  • New processors: 4
  • New monitors: 4
  • New keyboards: 2
  • iPhones purchased: 2

And, as a lark, some things we seem to quote regularly during our instance group runs.

Media Often Referenced During Instance Group Runs:

  • Ghostbusters
  • Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  • Bored of the Rings
  • Dave Allen at Large
  • Kelly’s Heroes
  • The Big Bus
  • The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
  • The Simpsons
  • Generic badly dubbed martial arts films

At some point I will compile a list of the quotes we reuse frequently and put it up as a quiz and let people guess the sources.   This is the cheat sheet for that quiz.

Much thanks to Potshot for his additions to this post.

So what else happened during the last three years?

13 thoughts on “Three Years of the Instance Group – An Overview

  1. dave

    I had the insanely great pleasure of seeing Dave Allen live in Toronto. No one I hang around with knows who the hell he is, but I grew up watching Dave Allen at Large, I’m not sure whether it was on PBS, the CBC or at some point of my life I inexplicably had access to BBC.


  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Saw him live? Awesome!

    Yeah, Dave Allen does hit a little high on the obscure-o-meter here in the US. His show was on PBS out here in the mid-to-late 70s along with a bunch of other odd imports. (Like Paul Hogan’s show before he became Crocodile Dundee.)

    Potshot and I are the only two in the group who saw it, but by now I think everybody knows how to respond to the statement, “Piston broke.”

    Reginald Perrin is reasonably obscure as well, though I know at least one other person besides Potshot who has seen it and can quote CJ-isms. Cigar Reggie?


  3. cyanbane

    So true. I got three more behind the magic curtain that haven’t been seen yet ;)

    The podcast kinda faded because we faded from playing EQ2. We got the itch to podcast again about our 2 favorite things (Beer and Videogames) so we jumped back into the fray a few months ago with Bombleshoot. It is slowly growing and catching on, should have podcast #4 up this weekend. We have a really fun crew doing the podcasts also so it makes for a lively recording and I can’t count the number of tangents we go on about the most inane stuff so it feels like an podcast. We will def have to get you in on one of them soon ;) I was surprised you didn’t list all the podcasts you guys have been on since the instance group had started.


  4. Morane

    “Colonoscopies: 2”

    TMI! TMI!

    “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.”

    I didn’t get where I am today by blogging about my instance groups history!


  5. Xyd

    “Colonoscopies: 2”

    I almost passed a Snickers with Almonds through my nose.

    I assume the count of new video cards is in addition to the number of new computer systems and I assume those video cards aren’t the $49 variety. You guys are droppin’ some serious coin on hardware!


  6. P@tsh@t

    A blessing and a curse of gaming with your spouse. Everything is x2 which means that I try to stay on the max value portion of the hardware curve which is good politics and good economics. If I want a new shiny, I have to decide if it is still worth it if I have to get two.

    Building your own boxes like I do too means I do more incremental upgrades more frequently as good stuff comes down in price. I haven’t bought a case or powersupply in years so it tends to keep the cost very manageable over the long haul.


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