Four just seems to be our number. Again, last Saturday night we could only summon four out of our group of five. Of course, the same thing happened the week before, only I was the missing person that time. Still, we had four people and two more dungeons in the old, pre-expansion world of Telara, Mathosia. So we got our group together for a shot at it. We were:
- Zahihawass level 50 cleric
- Hillmar level 50 cleric
- Earlthecat level 51 warrior
- Gizalia level 52 mage
And as you can see, the new expansion is leaking into our group. By this point Earl and Gizalia were fully outfitted in Storm Legion gear, which we thought might be enough for balance out the lack of a group member. So we headed out to Charmer’s Caldera the last of the original dungeons in the game.
More after the cut… the usual load of pictures and such.
This was actually a make-up run for me. The four the previous week had gone for it and managed to complete the instance, though there were a number of wipes. Four per boss seemed to be the score. So it seemed like we might be up for a challenge again, even if some of us knew all of the tricks.
Trash was not so bad. Earl had been practicing with his own defense and healing skills and was pretty confident in his ability to keep himself alive for an extended period. He put that to the test and nearly went down at one point when he managed to get more adds than he expected. Still, I managed to pour on the healing to support him and we muscled through that to the first boss, Smouldaron.
Smouldaron’s trick was to spawn minions that would run out and damage the casters standing back, which was everybody but Earl. That meant some running around and I had to spread the healing love across the group, but Earl was able to hang tough while I did that and we picked off the first boss.
Then it was on through the instance. There was also a quest in the instance that involved clicking on ever more glowing orbs until something happened. It started with just two orbs at the first checkpoint, and ended with six at the last.
When there was only a single orb per person, it seemed pretty easy… just click on the orb when it lit up to keep it lit, and when they were all lit, mission accomplished. At six orbs it took a few tries, though I am still not sure I fully grasped the mechanism in action. Anyway, I finished up that quest and then we headed over to the next boss Cyclorax.
As we faced Cyclorax, the instance crashed and we were all deposited outside the entrance.
And the game would not let us back in.
Visions of the WoW “additional instances cannot be launched” issue came into my head as we kept getting the same error.
Then Zahi had one of us leave the group and try to enter the instance. A fresh version spawned for them and they were able to enter that successfully. It wasn’t the game over all, it was our group and the version of the instance associated with it. Se we disbanded our group, formed up again, and started back in with a fresh version of the instance.
Fortunately we had hit our stride pretty well and getting back to where we had left off and beyond was not a big deal. We tore through to the last boss, Caelia the Stormtouched without a hiccup, and slew her on the first go as well.
That also got me the achievement for the instance, which I had to screen shot quickly to get in ahead of Earl’s hardwired need to loot the boss right away.
I also received the achievement for finishing off the normal mode versions of all of the original dungeons in the game.
All of which did not take nearly as long as we thought it would. No wipes, an over equipped tank, and the seemingly over-powered healing spec I use and we were in and out in about an hour, even with the reset part way in.
So we decided to explore the last pre-Storm Legion, Caduceus Rise, which was put in as part of Ember Island. We expected it to be like most of Ember Island, significantly more difficult than the original dungeons. We took the portal to Ember Island and rode out to the dungeon.
What we did not expect was the instance to be as small as it was. We got in, took down the first couple of trash mobs, and were faced with the first boss.
We got stuck into him and, despite some panic and a death (made right by a combat ress) we managed to take him down in the first go. And then we turned to see the next boss, Faultwalker Alraj, who was standing not too far away.
Alraj likewise did not put up that big of a fight, and soon we were turning a corner, clearing out a bit of trash, and facing the next boss, Hookmaster Palos.
This was going very fast. The Hookmaster was not much of a barrier and the final boss, Caduceus, awaited through the doorway at the top of the stairs behind Palos. The whole instance just isn’t that big.
And it seems to have been designed to minimize time spent clearing and to maximize time spent fighting bosses… and rerunning the instance to fight bosses again… and again. At least in normal mode. It has a two expert and a master mode as well, so there were a pile of options. But for us, in what seemed like a very short period of time, we were facing the big boss.
Here we ended up with a bit of a fight. Caduceus moves around and spreads the pain, so there was a lot of healing and removing of ailments and keeping within casting distance of everybody, all of which caused us to wipe on the first go. We managed it on the second attempt, though it was a near run thing that time as well. That gave us one more dungeon achievement.
And one last defeated boss to pose with before Storm Legion.
And that wrapped up the original set of Rift dungeons. It has taken us a little more than a year, with quite a few weeks off during the summer, to get through them all. We started with our first peek into the Realm of the Fae on November 23, 2011, and we finished off Caduceus Rise on December 16, 2012.
Now it is time to get geared up and ready for the Storm Legion instances, though that will likely have to wait for the new year.
But the instance group will return in Storm Legion.