Razorfen Kraul in the Rain

For some reason, it always seems to be raining when we do Razorfen Kraul.  At least that is my recollection.  We’ve been there twice before, both times during the Northern California rainy season, once in November and once in December.  Last Saturday was our third visit, and it was pouring down rain for those of us on the West Coast.

Razorfen Kraul, or RFK, is a one pass dungeon for us.  We have never had to, or wanted to, go back to it for a second run.  Yet it is a memorable dungeon, for two reasons; that final escort quest and those damn blue leaf tubers.

Now however the blue leaf tubers, and the snufflenose gophers used to spot them, are gone.

At least I think they are gone.  You had to get that quest from Ratchet before you did the instance.  With the Dungeon Finder I am going to guess that not many people make it over to Ratchet as once did, and since Blizzard did not move the blue leaf tubers quest to the start of the instance with the rest of the quests, the status of the snufflenose gophers is unknown to me.

We formed up together in Stormwind, our line up for the night being:

  • Xula – level 30 Gnome warrior
  • Ethelred – level 31 Worgen druid
  • Maloney – level 31 Worgen mage
  • Nancyboy – level 31 Worgen priest
  • Earlthedog – level 32 Worgen warrior

The Dungeon Finder was launched and we were queued up and sent on our way.

I do not know what I can add that was not mentioned in past runs.  Yes, we were absent the gophers this time.  The quest giver is up front, inside the instance.  There is now a map for the instance, which makes deciding which way to go at that first T intersection easier.  The first quest objective on the map was to the right.

Oh, and the instance got bumped a few levels.  Previously it was for levels 24-29.  Now it is available for levels 30-40, but the highest level boss we ran into was level 35, so it would be a pretty easy run at level 40.

Actually, it wasn’t that difficult for us at the low end of the bracket.

In the two past runs we took wrong turns, memories of which stayed with us.  This time we went we avoided those mistakes and the squeals of dying quillboars marked our progress through their lair.

Little lost sheep in the hut

We made our way through each boss along the way.  Earl had a bit of help this time.  The item from Houndmaster Locksey that summons a combat pet (10 minute pet with a 10 minute cool down) gave us a bit more DPS.

Getting the dog out for a boss fight

Not that we really needed it.  As before, almost all of the fights went our way without much in the way of drama.  We tried to play things by the book at times, using crowd control and the like, but for the most part if the sheep didn’t stick (resists were high on level 34 mobs) it didn’t seem to matter much.

We did wipe once, which was totally my fault.  We had stopped before one of the bosses and I moved closer to get a screen shot, forgetting that with us at the low end of the level spectrum for the instance that our aggro radius was pretty big.

And so I pulled the boss, two minions, and a couple of quillboars who wandered by when we were still getting ourselves sorted out.  Xula pulled all the mobs off of me.  She seemed to hit new heights of aggro management in RFK as she kept stuff off of us all night.  However she also got smaked down and died rather quickly.  Then it was the slow slide as we died one by one.

All Dead

The graveyard for RFK is just outside the door now.  No more running from Camp Taurajo.  And we did managed to kill off everybody except the boss, so the return bout was very easy.

Although just as we were about to start our second run at the boss, the power went out at my house for about a minute.  I was back online and into the game in a few minutes, but the timing was almost bad.

After that, it was more of a sight seeing tour through the instance.

Remeber when we let a gopher go on this bridge?

We made our way around to Charlga for what is essentially the final boss fight of the instance.

Charlga the Crone, we meet again!

The fight was a foregone conclusion.  Even the main boss of the instance, several levels above us, did not require that much effort.  Charlga went down and the achievement was ours.

Then it was just a turn into the giant spirit boar for one of the quests for the instance.

Do you have something for me Mr. Spirit Pig?

I do wonder if you can really count the instance as done once you have the achievement.  We chose to see if the old escort quest was still available, which meant jumping down into the trench behind Charlga’s hut.

Sure enough, Willix was still down there waiting for an escort back to the instance entrance.

We kept him safe on the way back, though there was a brief moment of anxiety when we remembered that, in the old version of the instance, Willix used to run outside the instance and you had to finish the quest there.  Having entered via the Dungeon Finder, exiting would deposit us all back in Stormwind and not outside of RFK.

However, Blizzard had us covered.  Willix now stops short of the exit and you can finish the quest.  You also wrap up the remaining quest there as well, which is the end of the line for RFK.

Instance Complete Shot

(You can just see Willix in background on the right in the full size picture.)

Finishing up also brought most of us two levels further along, which opened up a few more dungeon options for next week.  At level 33, I was shown this list as being available via the Dungeon Finder:

I imagine that we will go after the Armory in Scarlet Monastery next week, but we shall see.  We might knock off the two Maraudon segments instead.

One thing about RFK is that it does take a bit of time, even when it is not very challenging.  So that, along with starting a bit late, and me getting knocked off by a power outage, left us at around 11pm when we were done.  We probably could have squeezed in another instance, but I personally was feeling tired and about done for the evening.

Instead we stopped and talked about what the damage meter addon, recount, was telling us.

The three DPS players in the group this time around are Earlthedog, Ethelred, and Maloney who play warrior, druid, and mage.

Recount shows that Earl is doing almost exactly as much damage as Ethelred and Maloney are doing combined, while Ethelred and Maloney are almost in a dead heat for total damage done.

So we are trying to figure out why Earl is doing that much more damage.

Is he just the supreme warrior player?  He almost always plays a warrior, so he is well in tune with all of the warrior skills.  While I won’t speak for Ethelred, I know I, playing Maloney, am still trying to figure the right spell combos that are most effective with my first ever real mage in WoW.  Should I be using Ice Lance so much?

But Recount shows that the vast majority of Earl’s damage is simple melee.  He has a big, bad, high DPS blue polearm for his weapon.  Is it just that which is tilting the balance?

Or do warriors in the DPS role come on strong early on while casters develop later?

Anyway, we will be watching the damage meter to try and figure that out.

Meanwhile, I am going to see if I have the right spec so far for a frost mage.

4 thoughts on “Razorfen Kraul in the Rain

  1. PeterD

    While I am admittedly out of touch with current WoW, back in the day Frost mages were the lowest dps of the three mage specs, and Ice lance was not a good use of a global cooldown unless your target was frozen. It was a situational spell, rather than a normal part of a rotation.


  2. Dirk

    As I remember, which is probably wrong, you only use Ice Lance when you had the Frozen Fingers buff or when the target was frozen.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Yeah, the mage stuff changed a lot with Cataclysm I hear. The group keeps asking me for the int buff or food and water, for example, and mages do not get that stuff until much later now.

    I went off of the elitist jerks forum wrap up about mages when I first chose frost. This is their summary:

    “Arcane is the lame duck spec this time around, with Fire reigning as the undisputed king of mobility and multi-target damage. Frost can match or exceed Fire’s single target damage and bring superior burst and survivability. It’s recommended to dual spec Fire/Frost and switch as needed.”

    Since I am level 30 now, I will probably get that second spec and experiment.

    But the big problem is that I am not far enough into levels to have the spec or skills to play it the way the recommend. Spamming ice lance is on their list of things to do with frost when other things are cooling down, since it is insta cast, uses little mana, and only has the limit of the global cool down between casts, but without some other skills, I am not getting all the benefit.


  4. whorhay

    The problem with mage dps for me was that you have less time to do DPS than other players in most cases. Trash mobs can frequently die before you can get off a second fire or frost bolt, sometimes I didn’t even get one in at all. Where Mages shined was on AoE pulls and longer boss fights.

    I quit a few years ago but my frost rotation in general was very boring. Frost bolt until I got a clear casting or the mob was too low on health for me to be able to get another bolt off. If it was a clear casting and mob had plenty of health I’d do an Arcane missles. If the mob was low on health such that I didn’t have time to get in another bolt I’d cast Fireblast if there was one mob or Cone of cold if there were more.

    Ice lance pretty much got used only if I was trying to do dps while on the run or if a mob was frozen. But in a group a mob usually won’t be frozen long enough for you to actually get the spell off in time even though it’s instant cast.


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