Part of being able to blog regularly is having a routine. There is a time I sit down and write and another when I review screen shots and so on.
For the Saturday night instance group, I usually sit down Sunday, start the post, sketch out what I will write, noting down some key events or interactions. Later I go through the screen shots, which will usually stir up more memories. (Most of my screen shots are crap, but are often taken simply to capture some small detail that relates to the evenings events.) Eventually I sit down and write the narrative out, insert the screen shots, and schedule the post. (Anything that posts exactly on the hour here was likely scheduled in advance.) Then Thursday morning rolls around, the post goes up, I look at it, gasp in horror at the typos, frantically try to correct them, and eventually let go and return to a stable state.
However, for the last instance group run, I totally forgot to do any of that. Things came up at home, there were other games I wanted to play, other things I wanted to write about (I think I have had two posts a day running all week here, and I have a couple of fresh drafts I still need to finish… next week I guess) and suddenly it was a week and a half later and I found myself thinking, “Didn’t we to Zul’gurub just recently?”
Yes we did.
Now to try and actually blog about it well after the fact.
I do remember the line up… well, I remembered to take a screen shot of it. We were:
- Earlthecat – Level 86 Human Warrior Tank
- Skronk – Level 86 Dwarf Priest Healing
- Bungholio – Level 85 Gnome Warlock DPS
- Alioto – Level 85 Night Elf Druid DPS
- Ula – Level 85 Gnome Mage DPS
And the destination for the evening was the level 85++ instance, Zul’Gurub.
The previous week we did the raid-turned-instance Zul’Aman, which turned out to be a just-about-perfect difficulty run in a sprawling open troll themed environment. Its companion instance, Zul’Gurub, proved to be a worthy follow on.
What I actually remember from the run after the cut.
There were strange mobs that could have been part of the scenery.
That guy… the one who died in the saddle. Yeah, we did that.
Oh, there was the big red guy that we needed archaeology to summon. Good thing one of us actually leveled up that profession.
And, of course, the wall of Tiki fire.
That managed to kill a couple of the unwary at various times during the night.
But nearly two weeks down the line, what really stands out are just three boss fights out of the bunch.
The first was High Priestess Kilnara, who is in the basement of a structure with a whole bunch of cats. This was the fight where we did not exactly shine.
The fight starts off simple enough. You attack her and just start beating her down. And then at some point late in the fight, she summons a whole mess of large cats to assist her. Each time, those cats pretty much instantly ate us one by one causing a wipe.
We tried standing close together and wiped. We tried standing spread out and wiped.
We tried various positions around the room thinking that, just maybe, fighting her in that little area at the back of the room might help. But all that did was get some of us stuck at the far end of the room when it came time to run back. Skronk had to get out his leap of faith spell to yank Ula across the room to the rest of the group.
Finally, after a round of bloody deaths, we decided to look up the fight on the web.
The recommendation was to start the fight, kill the cats, then kill the High Priestess, which sort of got a blank look from some of us. Then we actually examined the room and noticed that the cats from the fight were all sleeping in pens around the edge of the room. We had totally failed to notice that or consider in any way where all these cats might have been coming from.
So the next time, we started the fight, pulled too many cats, and wiped again.
But after THAT we successfully pulled cats during the fight and then killed the high priestess.
That was the first memorable fight, and not one of our finest moments.
We moved on to the next boss, Zanzil, where we fared much better.
As you advance counter-clockwise through the instance, you run across various cauldrons of stuff. You find green ones that protect you from poison gas for a short bit, blue ones that will let you freeze the next mob you hit, allowing you to beat them down without having to take damage, and red ones that turn you into a temporary AOE damage machine, perfect for wiping out a swarm of non-elites.
So when we arrived at Zanzil’s area and saw one of each of those cauldrons, we had a pretty good idea how things were going to play out. Yes, we wiped a couple of times.
But our wiped improved our knowledge of the fight, so after a couple of time running back we were able to take down Zanzil.
Then it was time to face the last boss, the guy in the middle, Jin’do the Godbreaker.
This is the main event, and it is an event and a half. There is a whole battle with Jin’do, during which he brings up a damage dampening bubble which you then have to taunt him out of while your party remains inside. We took a couple of rounds to master that one. And then there is Hakkar’s chains.
There is a whole routine you have to do to break the chains… or, rather, the bits securing the end of the chains. Somebody has to pull a big guy, bring him over to the chain point where everybody else should be standing, fight him… but don’t kill him just yet… until he does a special attack focused on one of the group. That person has to be standing on the chain point when it hits, which will break the shield protecting the chain connection. You can then kill the big guy and break the chain.
You just have to do that three times and you’re done.
Oh, and there is incoming fire that gets telegraphed on the ground before it hits that you want to move out of the way of. And then there are slow moving, easy to kill trash mobs that you need to prune down now and again lest they build up numbers sufficient to kill you.
So there were complications and learning that had to happened. And a lot of this.
Slowly… so slowly that we found that the instance started to respawn, so had to clear a path back to the boss at one point… we got into the swing of the event. People stood in the right places. We stopped killing the big guy too quickly. One combat ress became enough. And eventually we got through that third chain.
And then the whole thing is kind of done. I was so focused on being ready for whatever would come at us next that I totally missed the achievement screen shot. But we did line up for the traditional group shot at the end of thing.
Now we have to figure out what to do next.
Do we finish out the heroic versions of all of the Cataclysm instances? Or is it time to move into Pandaria?