Daily Archives: February 25, 2010

Return to Zul’Farrak

It was time for a return to an instance that was a challenge the last time we were there, Zul’Farrak.

ZF is interesting in that it is an outdoor instance, which means you can mount up and ride.  But the spaces are not that open, and they can be quite crowded.  Plus the trolls who live there have a penchant for fleeing at low hit points.  So a group, especially a lower level group with a large aggro radius, has to take care, lest it find itself overrun.

And we were such a lower level group.  We had actually popped up, for the most part, into the ZF level range, but only just.

41 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
42 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
42 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
42 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
43 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)

In advance of the night’s adventures, Azawak and Hurmoo made their way down to Tanaris and then to the entrance to ZF, forgetting once again about the implications, or even existence, of dungeon finder.

The implication is that the only people who run to instance doors these days are high level players who need something from that dungeon or who are running through some lower level friends.

Azawak and Hurmoo sat there at the meeting stone in stealth discussing how we would summon people in and have them run for the door since there was a ?? death knight hanging around in the area when another group, lead by a level ?? popped out of the instance, saw us, and killed us in about as much time as it took to read this sentence.

As we were headed back to our corpses, we realized that we could have avoided all of this by just using the dungeon finder.  So we headed back to Gadgetzen after reviving and sneaking away from the scene of our demise.

Once everybody was on and grouped, we fired up dungeon finder and took the easy way in.

It never seems like 8 bosses in ZF, but who am I to argue with the dungeon finder?

Once in ZF we settled down to the routine of clearing trash.  We took the counter-clockwise path to try and pick up the scarab shells early.  It turned out that all of the quests we had for ZF, including the red level 50 quest for Gahz’rilla, were all sharable.  And, as was pointed out in a comment previously, we didn’t even need the mallet of ZF to summon.  But we’ll get to that, first we had some trash in our way.

Who is clearing who?

We got a little over zealous once we got in and let fleeing trolls get out of hand, leaving us all dead in the sand.

Re-entering Zul'Farrak

Wow, a wipe!  On trash mobs! This might be… a challenge! We had best take care!

That was the only problem we really had. We worked out way through the trash, taking care not to let the trolls get out of hand again.  At one point, Bigbutt had to jump out of the instance, and when he came back he was placed at the entry point.  He mounted up and rode past some respawns without thinking that stuff in instances do not lose interest and let you just run away.  We were semi-AFK at that point so had a bit of a chaotic fight as Bigbutt and his new found friends arrived amongst us.

And then there was the site with all the graves, which we diligently began digging up one-by-one, fighting each undead troll that appeared, until we were about 75% through them when somebody asked, “Do we even have this quest?”

No, we did not.

Still, the experience was good.  There were level ups all around as we cut our way through.

We then made our way to the big event at the top of the stairs.

Everybody loves an event!

That actually came off about as well as I have ever seen it.  Okay, I’ve only seen it three times now, but it worked, we won, and nobody went away grumbling about bugs or having to reset the instance to try again.

The event cleared the way for the… um… final boss, Chief Ukorz Sandscalp.  His fight is not all that exciting, but you have to go kill him because his death now triggers the achievement for the instance.

Achievement in hand, we still had the best fight left, Gahz’rilla.

We cleared out all around Gahz’rilla’s pool, bumping into Elder Wildmane who was there for the Lunar Festival.

Once clear, the fight began.  Of course, no Gahz’rilla fight is complete without some air time.

Cast interrupted!

You’ll note that Azawak is flying through the air encased in a block of ice.

Gahz’rilla’s fight was exciting but short.  The end was a foregone conclusion.  We stood in victory.

Gahz'rilla defeated

Or sat, in some cases.  Enaldie likes to be seated for these shots.

That left us done with the bosses, but short on troll temper and scarab shells for various quests.  We kept clearing out the instance, but had to leave and reset the instance before everybody was covered for quest drops.  I seem to recall some of the ZF quests requiring multiple visits previously.

That done, we left the instance to turn in our quests and found ourselves scattered throughout Azeroth.

Returning to where we started, Azawak and Hurmoo rode out again from Gadgetzen to the summoning stone and pulled everybody through so we could ride together to finish our tasks for the night.

Riding to Gadgetzen!

Between Gadgetzen and the Mirage Raceway we managed to close out four of the five quests we had.  This included turning in Ghaz’rilla’s scale for the the Carrot on a Stick, an alien trinket of unimaginable cultural significance.  There is another reward for that quest, but I think everybody goes for the carrot.

That put us well past midnight, so at least ZF delivered a full evening of adventure.  The next up on the list is Maraudon which features, as I recall, a disappointing number of Gahz’rilla clones.  Life in the re-usable content lane.

How Do You Hide an “Elefant” in a Tree?

More news from World of Tanks.

While I have obstinately refused to learn anything about the game not obvious from the front page of their site, I did sign up for their newsletter since my first post about the game and have already received two updates, both of which were short and to the point.  (Take note Funcom.)

First, they gave an interview at the site MMOGRPITALIA (not as amusing as POWERGENITALIA, but oh well), which is available in an English translation here. (The forum post I linked seems okay to read, but DO NOT visit their main site, it is spyware/trojan central.)

Then, in the second newsletter, they announced the advancement tree through which you will have to work to be able to drive the German panzer of your choice.  From the page indicated in the newsletter:

German Tank Tree Available in Gallery

Our Art gallery now contains the German tank tree that will guide you through all the development branches you’ll have to follow to reach for your desired steel giant.

Bear in mind, the tree represents all the armored vehicles that will be available by the release date. It does not contain such machines as Jagdtiger, Panther II, or the famous E Series prototypes, all of which will be added to the German fleet of tanks soon after the final version of World of Tanks goes online.

To see the German tree, go to the Art gallery.

The actual tree is available as a graphic.

you can spec for "Panther" or "Tiger" but not both

The Elefant in question is in fact hidden in the tree under its other name, Ferdinand.

So it looks like we’ll have to start out in a Panzer I and work our way up.  That should be a joy, playing against armored vehicles in a tank with only 2 machine guns, for players who start after day one.

Still, I can’t wait to see the British and Soviet trees.