Four seems to be the magic number for our group, as we again could only assemble 80% of the group on a Saturday night. It is like we’re adults with outside interests or something.
- Jollyreaper level 51 mage
- Zahihawass level 51 cleric
- Hillmar level 52 cleric
- Gizalia level 53 mage
Anyway, a short group meant another practice night.
The Carnival of the Ascended was over, so there was no balloon raid to occupy us, so it was straight to the dungeon hunt.
We looked around on the map for another instance would could go after in Expert mode. Foul Cascade, which would be next on the list, was rejected because it is a pain to get to. That put us at King’s Breach, which is close to a portal. So we headed there and jumped in to see what we could see.
As is the norm for these posts, more after the cut so the front page isn’t loading so many screen shots.
King’s Breach actually has a minor history with us. We went after it last year, also during the Carnival of the Ascended, but were very low level for the instance. The lead to us pretty much getting destroyed by the early trash mobs and giving up.
A few levels later we were able to attack the instance successfully, but that initial round left a mark. And so we were a bit tentative going into the expert version. But this time around we really did not have much to be concerned about. With some Storm Legion gear, the four us us were in and triggering the first boss before we knew it.
As with previous weeks, the four person expert mode facing us had problems slowing us down with the upgraded gear and revamped skills. We were able to power through most of the tricks that caused us problems in the past.
Not that everything was a breeze. We did have a fight of it with Ravalos, the big lizard boss.
The problem was that we did not remember his tricks and ended up arraying ourselves in perhaps the worst way possible. Zahi pulled him around to face away from us while the rest of the party stood around his tail. And, of course, he has a pretty vicious tail attack which we discovered/remembered a little too late. That lead to a wipe.
The second try correct that and we even got the achievement for avoiding his tail.
And then it was our of the cave and on to the last of the regular bosses.
Which, honestly, went by so fast that I totally failed to take a single screen shot of any of the normal zone bosses. But once they were dispatched, we found an entry into an underground chamber.
Inside, we found a hall that lead to the final boss, Konstantin.
Like most of the other boss fights in the instance, we were able to power through based on gear and DPS alone. The one aspect of the fight that was obvious in advance was the spikes. The whole room looks like it was made out of a series of old brass and copper colanders that had been pounded flat to decorate the room. So, lots of holes throughout the room through which spikes occasionally jut. You can see them in our post fight group shot.
That meant a dance to stay off the active spikes, which announced there ambition to skewer the party with puffs of steam. I actually fell afoul of that once, but Zahi brought me back with a quick combat ress. After the fact, I was reading a write up on running the instance in expert mode (I always forget the boss names) and saw that there was an AOE attack we needed to avoid as well, but which I think we got through by my just healing like crazy. So we were done.
It took us about an hour, which meant that we had quite a bit of our three hour play budget left unused. Zahi suggested that perhaps we should peek in on the Exodus of the Storm Queen instance, just to refresh ourselves on how it went.
Of course, the last time we went there… and we were a full group of five… it was the instance of one hundred deaths. So peeking in had the potential of being a comically short venture. But with not much else on the plan, and the hope that at some point we might actually make some progress on the Storm Legion instance, we headed up to Iron Pine Peaks and found the entrance in the Chancel of Labors.
The hope here was that we might remember what happened last time and avoid the huge number of deaths. Time to see if that learning experience stuck.
On the first boss, Dominax, which is really an event, we managed to stumble through. We remembered bits and pieces, but were totally off on the timing and were frequently looking for things to happen at the wrong time. Still, we got the key bits correct, like breaking line of sight with Dominax, trapping him in the projector, and most importantly, depositing his soul crystal into the furnace.
Mistakes were made, but nothing that we couldn’t recover from with some extra damage, a little healing, and a combat ress. That, at least, bodes well for our next real attempt.
Then it was on to General Grim. That one we remembered as having almost a quick time event in the middle of it, after which the balance of the fight is determined by one person in the group.
However, what happens at that point was lost on us because Earl did it last time. We elected Zahi in by the time honored method of pointing out that the tank is supposed to die in any case and kicked off the fight.
We had forgotten about the whole flying axes aspect of the event, but managed to stay whole when suddenly General Grim’s challenge came up. All Zahi had to do was click on the annoyingly small hot spot on Grim’s banner before time ran out… and he missed. We died.
We revived and got ourselves assembled again. This time Zahi knew exactly where to click. So we wore down the General to the point of his challenge, Zahi hit the banner, and then it was all on his shoulders while we dodged and slew the flying axes.
And Zahi won. So now two people in the group have learned the secret of defeating General Grim.
The General dropped exactly the same item as last time we fought him.
So now both Zahi and Hillmar have those gloves equipped.
At that point there was a question about whether or not we should move on. The next boss, Valthundr, has a serious DPS check as part of his routine, and with just the four of us, it seemed doubtful that we could manage it. We took an early end-of-night picture while we discussed it.
We decided that, even though we were very likely facing a wipe, we ought to give it the old junior college try just to see if we remembered the fight. So we stood right up and let Valthundr come at us.
I like the feigned nonchalance that Hillmar has in that picture. He is standing there, Valthundr in the doorway, and examining his staff for imperfections.
Well, in the end it was probably a good thing that we gave Valthundr a try, as we forgot part of our hard earned lessons. While we recalled the whole “hide behind the pillars” routine, we completely forgot about his other attacks or where to position him and how to avoid getting frosted over in ice and left out to die.
And so we wiped, and a lot more quickly than I thought we would. I figured we would just run out of pillars before we brought him down. Instead, two of us were frosted and dead before the first pillar fell. But we are better prepared for next time… whenever all five of us get online together again.