After a two week hiatus due to sickness and travel we were all back in the game last Saturday night. It was time to let the dungeon finder take us away. The lineup was:
62 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
62Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
62 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
62 Undead Deathknight – Maliverney (Skronk)
63Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)
And since we were all at least level 62, a new instance opened up to us. We were now facing a range of possibilities.
So, it was time to roll the dice again and see where the dungeon finder would send us.
First pick: Blood Furnace.
This pass through ran almost exactly as it did in our last outing, including an almost exact replay of our fight with Broggok, which included Earl and Bigbutt dying on the last round of trash before the Broggok actually comes out to fight. As with last time, Earl had his shaman revive handy and Hurmoo was able to use his combat ress on Bigbutt, so Broggok was defeated.
And that was about it for drama in the Blood Furnace. Broggok is the tough fight, being something of a multi-round event. After that we sailed through to finish up and collect our goody bag.
With that out of the way, and with plenty of time left to play, we let the dungeon finder pick again.
Second Pick: Slave Pens.
Hurmoo, in anticipation of perhaps getting into the Coilfang dungeons, picked up the only quest (Lost in Action) he could find that did not require a chain of lead-in quests, so we at least could boost our experience a little bit. The quest actually required us to hit both the Slave Pens and the Underbog, but best to have it handy just in case.
For example, a minute or so into the fight with Mennu the Betrayer, we remembered that we had to put somebody on duty to take care of his healing totem. Otherwise the fight just goes on and on as his totem heals at a prodigious rate. And, after Mennu, you get to see some of the more spectacular scenery in the instance.
Then there was Rockmar the Crackler, a tough fight for us back in the day. Now, however, he was just so much lobster to be harvested. Still, delicious when dipped in melted butter.
Of course, feeling cocky after knocking down Rockmar without breaking a sweat, we managed to get in trouble with two groups of mobs who were, in turn, helped out by a wandering patrol. Slew the boss, wiped on the trash.
We almost made it. In the screen shot, you can see the patrol that broke up the party walking… slithering… whatever naga do… heading away from us pretty much unscathed. It pays to be fashionably late.
Once we recovered from that, it was a smooth trip to the last boss, Dame Helen Quagmirran.
As before, the last fight went by pretty quickly and Quagmirran was defeated.
There was some worry as to whether or not everybody was in the screen shot. I don’t think I’ve ever left anybody out.
And so the achievement and goody bag was ours.
While the Slave Pens took a while, we felt we still had another run left in us… maybe two if we drew Hellfire Ramparts… so we let the dungeon finder roll the dice for us again.
Third Pick: Underbog.
Two new… well, new to these characters in any case… instances in one night.
Again, it had been a while since we visited the Underbog as a group, though I have actually been there more recently in a dungeon finder group with another character. This meant we at least knew which direction to head. Underbog has a few points where you can end up going the wrong way.
The fight really isn’t that tough, but it does have a danger to it. It takes place on a platform and if you get caught in the wrong spot, Ghaz’an has a knock-back attack that will send you over the side into a pool full of hungry fish… elite, aggro, hungry fish.
Hurmoo was standing in the wrong spot and got knocked into the pool and died before he could get to the ramp.
Fortunately, as I said, the fight isn’t all that tough and we were far enough along that even with the healer down the fight was ours.
Once done there, we remembered to go through the big crack at one end of the pool below the platform. All of the hungry healer-killing fish die when Ghaz’an goes down, so the swim was safe. On a previous venture into the Underbog, we spent a long time trying to figure out where to head next. Even after noticing the crack, you have to jump down to a path well below it and with no way back up, so we were hesitant to commit.
This time we knew to just jump.
Then it was down the path to Swamplord Musel’ek and a surprisingly tough fight.
You face two bosses, Musel’ek and Claw (who also happened to be the last NPC we needed to find for our one quest) who have a habit of freezing the whole group and then setting in on the DPS. At least that was what happened to us, which lead to a wipe.
In an attempt to save the fight, Earl used his revive right away when he got killed, but it was not enough, and so we had to do the long run from the graveyard to the instance. It was a good thing that Hurmoo had gone to visit the instance earlier, so he knew the way.
Once back, we consulted a couple of sites about the fight to get an idea of what we were doing wrong. The fight seems to rely heavily on the tank being able to get and keep aggro, which seems to get reset when the freeze trick happens. With that bit of knowledge, our second run through was a success, though we did lose Bigbutt. Being the only cloth wearing player in the group seems to make him a priority target… well, that and all the damage he put out.
Winning let us finish the quest and sent us on our way to the last boss, the Black Stalker, who I recalled giving us an interesting fight before, but who went down so fast this time that he only got to do his mid-air suspension trick just before he died.
That gave us the achievement and our goody bag.
And while we all started the evening around level 62, we ended up at, or very close to, 64 as a group.
Hurmoo, whom I had not played for two weeks, and who thus had a full load of rested experience to go through, exhausted his blue bar and got the dreaded “you feel normal” message part way into the Underbog. Experience-wise, that was a pretty good evening’s work.
The quest turn-in put those of us who were close to 64 over the top, so next time around we may get to hit another new instance or two.
This also puts us four levels away from the big dungeon finder switch over. At level 68, the random dungeon option will send us to Northrend. Then it will be farewell to the Burning Crusade.
The Outland instance count so far is:
Hellfire Ramparts: 4
Blood Furnace: 2
Slave Pens: 1
We’ll see what we end up getting the next time around.