It was just Potshot and I again on Saturday night. We were both on early and, as the appointed hour approached, it became clear that it would just be the two of us.
As it happened, we were both tooling about in Northrend doing the ground work for a couple of guild achievements.
He was on as Skronk and working on Tushui Pandaren faction, as nobody in the guild had managed to get to exalted as yet. Mobs in heroic instances in Wrath of the Lich are still green, giving experience and faction when killed, so that looked like an easy way to advance his standing; just put on the Tushui tabard and go nuts.
Meanwhile I was trying to shore up another guild achievement related to crafting. We were short a max level tailor and archaeologist. I knocked out the archaeology earlier in the day with Vikund.
I had long ignored archaeology as a profession, but decided to run with it a bit over the summer. Leveling up isn’t too hard, there are some decent rewards, and a long list of related achievements. However, the basic mechanic of the profession, exploring dig sites, becomes so tedious after a while that I could only hold out until my skill level hit 600. I am just not that desperate for something to do.
The guild was also missing a tailor at max level, so I had started working on that with my summer project alt, Trianis the rogue. He is now sitting just shy of level 80, having sprinted through Northrend fairly quickly. However, in that sprint he did not pick up nearly enough frostweave cloth to get into the Cataclysm skill range. A guide I read said that you needed 12 pieces of cloth, which reduce down to bolts of frostweave at a rate of 5 to 1, in order to get to the next tier.
So I had Vikund out in Northrend to gather frostweave and bind on equip gear, the latter because Trianis is also an enchanter. Tailoring and enchanting seem to go together. Neither requires resource harvesting and you can disenchant all the useless tailoring items you have to make in order to skill up and use those to help skill up enchanting.
In pursuit of these twin goals I was headed towards Naxxramas.
I had read… at the very same crafting site that said I needed 1200 frostweave… that Naxx was the place for frostweave. However, there was a trick that involved setting it for 25 player, going into the Plague Quarter, killing up to but not including the second boss, the running back out to reset the instance and then set it for 10 players and you would be in frostweave farming heaven or something. Just kill the mobs in the bat section, reset, repeat. Only I seemed to have messed it up as no bats were available on the reset.
At that point Skonk was in the neighborhood and decided to join me. We got on Skype and wandered through Naxx together, slaying all who opposed us and collecting frostweave and equipment drops. We were on the lookout for interesting items for transmog, though I am pretty picky on that front. I have my troll shoulders and my sword (Claymore of the Prophet, which I have held onto since Argent Tournament was a thing), both of which I love, but other equipment tends to be less interesting. I tend to hide my helm and I am seriously considering hiding my cloak if I don’t find a nice one, and everything else sort of fades into the background if you’re wearing a tabard.
Anyway, much frostweave was collected, though not as much as I needed. It is a long ride to 1200. I also picked up some BOE gear to send to Trianis. This wasn’t helping Skronk with his faction quest… raid mobs don’t seem to give faction, though I am not sure why… but we were having fun. We stumbled through and survived, managing to figure out each of the fights pretty much by patience and dumb luck. And we picked up a pile of achievements. (Note to Skronk: Go back and kill that first boss you missed at 10 player level and you’ll get three or four more achievements.)
A good enough time was had that we decided to do it again. We decided on Ulduar, never having been there. We flew up to Storm Peaks and then had a bit of trouble actually finding the way in. There are a couple of instances in the neighborhood, the Halls of Stone and Lightning, but the big raid swirly seemed to be eluding us. Then I looked at the map and decided that maybe we needed to check out the great big building.
That wasn’t so subtle and soon we were in what looked to be a vehicle park. There were gnomes all over and siege engines and other vehicles in various states of repair and whatnot. However, since we couldn’t immediately get into any of the vehicles, we walked on past them and looked out on the sea of foes opposing us.
And, in seeing the might of our enemy said, “Meh, whatever” and advanced to face them on foot.
It was an epic battle. They came on in seemingly endless numbers… which was in fact the case, since you have to destroy those towers to keep them from pouring out at you… and at various point we stood and slaughter them by the dozens and then ran ahead.
And here’s the thing; it worked.
We actually made it through the morass of hostiles to the first boss, the Flame Leviathan. And that is where our effort fell apart. He was hitting us for big numbers, big enough that eventually we succumbed.
We came back into the instance to find all the vehicles had been moved up to a start line just before the first boss, but we still couldn’t figure out how to use them or what to do. Something was amiss.
I saw my friend Pia online and asked her what we needed to do to use the vehicles, and she said it was the same old big green arrow interface to mount up and drive as always. While this didn’t tell us how, it was a clear indication that we had missed something. So we went back out of the instance, reset it… which was successful this time since we hadn’t killed a boss yet… and went back in to more closely examine the starting area. There we found noted adventurer and general troublemaker Brann Bronzebeard.
Since he was the party of interest in the local 5 player dungeons, we decided to speak with him. And, sure enough, that conversation unlocked the vehicles. So we took a siege engine, with me driving and Skronk in the turret, and headed on out. I didn’t take a screen shot of it… I seemed to take very few over the course of the evening, but it was the one like I used to drive in Wintergrasp back in the day.
And from that point forward things went swimmingly. We knocked down all the towers one by one, slaughtered the hostiles in huge numbers without much effort, and went and taught the Flame Leviathan a thing or two about driving. We were The Stig in a field of Captain Slow clones.
And then we were done with the vehicles. They only seem to be for the first stage of the raid, and after that it is back on foot and tracking down bosses the old fashioned way. So off we went, slaying all that we could find. I am not sure we found everybody. We went up and down every side path, but there were several towers with portals that we could not enter. After we ran out of stuff there it was about time to call it a night.
All in all, an enjoyable time. I collected a pile of frostweave and went on to get even more the next day. Skronk went on to finish up the Tushui Pandaren faction the next day, as did I. He also finished up all of the Northrend heroic dungeon achievements, which inspired me to do the same. The Occulus was a bit of a pain, but I managed.
And, as everything in Northrend raids and heroics was green to us, I also managed to finish up the test of strength quest for Darkmoon Faire, the first time I had done that in ages on Vikund. I also noticed, when I went to turn that quest in, that Goldshire appeared to still be on fire even though Hallow’s End had been done for a week.
Anyway, it was a weekend of many Northrend achievements. I think I piled up more than 30 if Raptr is to be believed, though it has been known to double count. And I still some more frostweave for Trianis in order for him to get to the next tier. I guess I will just put on a new tabard… maybe Wildhammer Clan this time… and start in on that.