We finally reached the point where there were no more holiday events to go after and no more fresh instances to run for the group. It looked like we might spend a Saturday evening playing our new characters, the ones we rolled up on Lightninghoof, one of the RP-PvP servers.
But what should we do?
With five of us, running around the Barrens seems like a bit of a waste. We had all progressed into the teens with characters though, so Ragefire Chasm seemed like a good plan. It is a nice, low level instance. Yes, we did it before, though not exactly as it was intended.
So an objective was set. Now which characters should we play? Each of us had at least two or three characters in the right level range.
We shuffled through the deck of possibilities and ended up with the following roster:
14 Troll Rogue – Azucar (Bungholio)
15 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
16 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
17 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
19 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
This gave all of us somewhat different roles than we had in the old group.
Azawak became the tank, leaving the healing role behind. Azucar and Enaldie left behind ranged DPS for… melee DPS. Earlthebat got to stand back and take the ranged DPS route. And Hurmoo was no longer in close doing melee DPS, but got to stand back and heal.
Fortunately, to support the learning curve for our new roles, we were, on average, a bit over level for the instance.
The first order of business was to get all the quests for the instance lined up. A few were easy and could be shared, but there was one quest line that starts at Thrall that we had to all run through. And run is the operative word, since it meant running back and forth around Orgrimmar for a bit.
Finally though we had all the quests and were ready to go. We had all the quests. We had a laundry list of things to kill. We were at the instance door.
Somehow I, as Hurmoo, was nominated to be the group leader. Usually that is a mistake on the order of going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line, but things did not go too badly. I need to go off and find some macros for putting up raid icons, but otherwise the floaty crownie thing on my portrait was not the mark of death.
Considering how new we were to our roles, the run went smoothly. None of us died despite some teething problems.
Azucar got some on-the-job training about stealth and sap, which was required because he was our only crowd control option. Being the lowest level in the group meant that his stealth was not as effective as it might otherwise have, but that just reinforced the lessons.
We do have to get used to having somebody stealthed and leading the way in the group. At least one group member kept following our stealthed rogue as he was trying to sap, triggering the expected proximity pull. Again, we made it through despite the that.
Having a druid bear tank worked well enough. At this level he also put out the most damage, thanks largely to the retribution aura Enaldie had up.
Ragefire Chasm itself is somewhat odd in its design philosophy. There is a whole side path of mobs that leads to nowhere and the main boss, Taragaman the Hungerer, is the second of four bosses you kill, so the achievement comes up when you’ve still got work left to do.
He was not an epic fight for us. We cleared some of the surrounding groups and then went after him. Soon we stood over his corpse.
That left us the clean up of the two passages behind Taragaman’s area, which we worked our way through slowly as we tried to fit into the new dynamic of our group.
In the end we stood looking out over the dungeon having made it to the far end.
And then we had to walk all the way back to where we came in because there is no back door to Ragefire Chasm.
The ironic twist of the night was the loot. Formerly we were a group that wore only plate or cloth and we seemed to get a huge amount of leather or mail armor drops.
Now we were a group that wore only leather and mail. So what dropped all night? Cloth.
So cloth much dropped that I later trained Hurmoo as an enchanter so that we could at least disenchant items we cannot use if we get a repeat performance.
Ragefire Chasm is nice, and served as a good place for us to start working on our grouping skills. In fact, we were wondering why there wasn’t an Alliance instance at the same level before you got to the Deadmines.
Of course, Ragefire Chasm is something of a single use dungeon, so investing in an Alliance version might not be worthwhile, though who knows what Cataclysm will bring.
Once we were through the dungeon and had turned in all the quests, our group had all leveled at least once and three of us leveled twice. So our group looked like this at the end:
16 Rogue – Azucar
17 Druid – Hurmoo
18 Druid – Azawak
18 Shaman – Earlthebat
20 Paladin – Enaldie
At those levels, there is little point to heading back into Ragefire Chasm.
But now where to go next? Do we face the PvP aspect of the server and try to get to the Deadmines? Or should we try the long and winding road that is Wailing Caverns?