It was Saturday night and time for a return venture.
The previous weekend was the wipe-fest in Foul Cascade, where we just could not bring down Matron Verosa in eight attempts. Our goal after that was to get as much of the group up to level 30 as we could, find a bit of new equipment, train up skills, and basically try to give ourselves a bit more leverage in the situation.
We did not quite get the whole group up to 30. Earl got there and I got Hillmar out mid-week to get him to level 30… and to then use all those glass beads from the Carnival of the Ascended to buy him some good level 30 gear from the World Event Merchant. Glass beads can be traded in, at a rate of 1 to 1, for any of the past even currencies, and I had been playing that limited time mobile app to earn glass beads since the Carnival started.
That got me some upgrades.
So, when the time came around, the lineup for the evening was:
- Earlthecat level 30 warrior
- Hillmar level 30 cleric
- Jollyreaper level 29 mage
- Gizalia level 29 mage
- Zahihawass level 29 cleric
Not all level 30, but close. And at least the healer was loaded down with shiny new gear.
Remembering how many retries went by last week, we decided to save time and use the Looking For Group tool to teleport us into the dungeon. No time to waste walking.
I am always quietly disappointed that I never get to see ALL the icons filled in with that dialog. Once the last person is ready, it goes away too quickly to get a screen shot.
And into the instance we went.
(Cut for the usual reasons, a spam of pictures and some spoilers.
We were now familiar with the zone and were able to rather quickly clear the initial cross roads, after which we had to decide which direction to go. We decided to save the best/worst for last and head across the river and clear areas where we had already been successful.
That worked for us as it did the previous week. The groups across the river and the bosses there were all still well within our abilities.
Not that things went without issue. We did managed to get in over our head at least once, pulling multiple groups by mistake. Even a mass of non-elite mobs can get you down if they hit you in sufficient quantities. And take down the healer. I managed to die myself during another fight, though without a wipe.
Still, we manged to work our way around the instance road until it brought us to Matron Verosa.
And which point we cut across the landscape back to the crossroads to clear the road that lead to the Matron. We were going to take care of everything else we could before starting in on that.
While we did that, Jolly took the opportunity to jump out of the instance and train up his skills because hit had hit level 30 along the way.
Then we were there, out of alternatives, force to face the dreaded foe.
We started discussing what seemed to work last week, what clearly went wrong, and what we had picked up on the web in the mean time. One tactic Potshot had found involved dragging the whole fight off to some distant corner of the zone, which seemed a bit excessive, and was discarded.
In the end, we decided to see if we could just keep all three mobs as far apart as possible. That meant kiting whichever mob was not invulnerable away from the others two, as they seemed to beat on anybody with in melee range even when not their turn. We sketched out a patch of ground on which to dance with the mobs, the casters spread our a bit along the perimeter, and we gave it a go.
And, much to our surprise, it worked.
The battle was not without flaws. I thought sure we were done for when Gizalia went down before we had finished off Leshe. And if you look at my mana bar in the picture above, I was clearly doing a lot of healing. Normally mana is not much of a worry, but for this fight I had to get off more group heals than usual.
And so we were over the hill, having cleared the last of the altars.
There was just the last bit, the final detail, the actual main boss in the zone to take care of, Queen Vallnara.
We headed to the rift in the middle of the instance.
Inside of it was what could only be described as the biggest flea I had ever seen. But how tough could that be?
Clearly, that did not go as planned. But we had to do that first fight just to figure out what was going on.
Queen Vallnara’s special attack impregnates one of the party… the person with the second highest threat I would guess, a recurring theme in Rift instances so far… which causes them a pile of damage and spawns an add right next to them. During the first fight I think we were too busy going, “Impregnates… eeew!” to really get a grip on things, and a wipe happened.
And then there was the cleanup after the fight. The adds do not go away. They are not linked to the Queen, but they hang around where ever they got spawned, so if you were fighting close to the Queen, you have to be careful or you’ll pull her as well.
Which is, of course, what happened and we wiped again.
Though that wipe turned out okay. We had managed to kill the adds that were on top of where the Queen roams while fighting her pretty far from that point. There were more adds, but they were located well away from her and we were able to chop them down piecemeal without the Queen getting involved.
There was also the matter of the slime the Queen was dropping, which was clearly causing damage when we looked at the combat log. Again, we were able to hearken back to earlier instance runs for an answer. Since this fight seemed much like the Broggok fight in the Blood Furnace, we though we would try the same thing. (Hey, blog archives for the win!)
So Earl was set to kite Queen Vallnara around while the rest of us stayed together so I could heal anybody who got impregnated (still eeeew!) and the DPS could burn down the adds quickly. We got outselves ready, picked a likely spot (a pad in the middle of the area we were going to fight in) and started off.
That did the trick. This time around, knowing what to expect, things went well. Except for the fact that I seemed to be the main impregnation target. But I was able to keep people healed, the ads were taken care of quickly, and Earl was able to dance with the Queen around and around the pad until we finally brought her down.
And so we had finished the instance.
Things wrapped up sooner than we though they would, give the previous week’s experience. But that left us a bit of time to do rifts.
We needed to do rifts because we were all out of planar charges across the board, which meant nobody could put up the group resistance buff we had gotten as a guild reward. And we also needed some experience. The next instance, King’s Breach, is listed in the LFG tool as requiring level 34 to enter, and as a group we were not even level 30 across the board yet.
We first headed back to Meridian, the to Scarlet Gorge from where we planned to travel to the next zone on the list, one more appropriate for us at level 30, Scarwood Reach. We started out riding to Perspice and the portal so we could grab that for quick travel later. Then we started looking for rifts.
And found only one.
There seemed to be a serious dearth of rifts there. But one seemed better than none, so we headed out to close it up. That was no problem and when we were done looking at the map showed us that we were practically on top of the next instance, Kings’ Breach.
And being right there, we had to go in for a peek.
And, of course, while we could get the quests for the instance, we were left looking at a pile of level 35 elite mobs roaming across our path. We clearly need more levels.
So our next instance night may be another joint quest and rift hunting adventure. At least we seem to be seeing some of the world along the way.