At last! We made it to the Deadmines in WoW Classic. It took us long enough.
The problem with getting the band back together is that the lives of all of its members have changed over the years. As I have noted previously, we’re still waiting for Earl to get settled in Japan, so there may be a B group of alts on standby to run instances with until he catches up.
But, with the addition of a member of the younger generation in the form of Bung’s son, we were able to fill out the group. And so our lineup for the night was:
- Ula – level 21 gnome mage
- Viniki – level 20 gnome warrior
- Skronk – level 18 dwarf priest
- Obama – level 18 human warlock
- Moronae – level 18 night elf druid
That is not far off the group we first finished the Deadmines with just about 13 years back. Some names/classes are even the same.
We were not certain exactly when things would kick off, but when Bung and his son, appearing as Moronae and Obama in the group, made it online we set about getting started. Of course, there is always something to do first. Obama and Moronae had to go over to Moonbrook to find the Defias Messenger. On a Sunday afternoon his dance card was pretty full and he wasn’t wandering far from his spawn point before being slain for his drop. Our guys joined another group waiting for the messenger and, having slaughtered him, were able to meet us back at Sentinel Hill for the next stage.
The Defias traitor.
In a fit of paranoia I had done the Defias Traitor quest already. I have bad memories of that quest in Razorfen Kraul where you speak to that one quest give and unless you’re all right on the button he runs off without the whole group being on the quest. Skronk wasn’t worried, but I got it out of the way all the same.
We got everybody around the traitor and Skronk explained how one person was going to get the quest and that then the game should prompt everybody else in the group to accept the quest as well (except Viniki of who had it out of the way) right away so we could do this all in one run. Ula was the designated quest person and everybody else would accept off of her action.
And then, as we stood there, just about ready to start, somebody else ran up, got the quest from the Defias Traitor, and took off with him. We would have to wait for them to finish, which takes about five minutes by my calculation. During that time there was chiding to keep people from wandering too far afield, as the range of quest sharing is pretty small.
He popped back up in about five minutes, Ula grabbed the quest, everybody was in range and accepted, and off we went. And I will say this about the Defias Traitor, he doesn’t let any grass grow under his feet. Unlike Sarah Oakheart of LOTRO infamy, he moves off at a run headed for Moonbrook. Once he gets there he slows to walk through town, and goes a bit Pengail on you, running after any Defias that gets within line of sight, but the final stretch is short and soon the Defias Hideout was revealed to us.
Of course, then everybody besides Viniki had to run back to Sentinel Hill to turn that quest in and get the dungeon quest from Gryan Stoutmantle. We met up again in Moonbrook and settled our potions and food and whatnot.
Everybody was handing things out except Obama, who was back to his hobby of extreme planking.
Getting into the Deadmines isn’t as easy as all that. The actual entry to the instance is at the far end of some caves populated by hostile elites, so just getting there can be a fight and the potential for getting lost exists. We followed the time honored lore of following the right wall. Also, another group went in ahead of us, so we figured they would clear for us. Skronk put a big orange target marker on Viniki and I led the way in.
Of course, the group ahead of us was careless and we caught up to them not too far from the instance to find them dragging a train of hostile elite miners, more than enough to ruin our fun. Shouting our usual battle cry of “Don’t make eye contact!” then “Follow me!” I raced ahead for the instance, the group in tow.
Everybody made it in okay. We took a moment for a bio break and to get buffs set, then we were ready to go.
Of course, “ready” is a relative term. I was ready to start, but how things would work were largely theoretical on my part. I have rarely played a warrior in WoW, and I have only played them as DPS really. My only experience as a tank has been as a druid in bear form, and that was only in the post-Cataclysm level 1-40 dungeons, which were all dumbed down so much that you could run a couple an hour to level up with much effort.
Actually tanking in WoW Classic with old school warrior skills, this was a whole new thing for me. Not helping things was that defensive stance doesn’t allow some of the skills I am used to, like charge and hamstring. Still, I had something of a plan. I had practice a bit with defensive stand and I had trained up the gun skill, bought a gun, and stuck some ammo in my bag for long distance pulls. Otherwise I would be trotting up to things to engage. My plan was to use bloodrage to build up some of that all important rage, then hit the first target with sunder armor, which the tool tip says generates a lot of aggro, using taunt if something started to get away from me.
The start was not entirely encouraging. There are groups of nomal miners mobs around, and I was getting those in twos and threes and wasn’t holding them all. But normal mobs were easy enough and Obama had his voidwalker out to off tank while Moronae was dropping into bear mode now and then, trying to decide his best method for DPS in the group.
Elite mobs came as singles and I was able to hold them. We moved on down the line until we got the first boss, Rhahk’Zor, in sight.
He has two mobs with him, and something in the back of my head said that we could get him alone if we did things right. But, to be safe, we decided to follow the time tested tactic of taking down the adds then focusing on the main boss.
That seemed to work, and we were soon standing over Rhahk’Zor’s corpse. However, we had forgotten to set the group for master looter to allow Skronk to dole out boss bind on pick up items, and Obama looted the corpse. Fortunately, he only had his crappy common hammer on him, but looting was changed up at that point. The patrol that shows up once you’ve killed him was a bit of a surprise. I had forgotten that part of the tunnels. Once you kill one of the early bosses a three or four mob elite group wanders up behind you. We survived, but it we were caught unawares.
Then it was a door through which more caves and miners and wandering elite Defias waited. We worked our way through that, only veering off to see if the elusive Miner Johnson was there. He was not. He is never there for us.
We worked our way to the next door, through which we knew Sneed awaited.
Sneed is one of those fights that can go wrong if you don’t clear thoroughly first. So I set out to get every single goblin helper of his. That took a bit of patience, as you have to pull around his wandering. The only problem was the tendency for people waiting for you to pull to follow you into the room to see what you are up to. With lower level player who have a larger aggro radius, this can lead to surprises, but we managed to avoid that. Once I had Sneed’s room picked clean, we went in to get him.
The fight at that point wasn’t a problem. There was nobody around to run into if you got hit by his fear. The only thing was, despite the fact that I know it is a two part fight, that once you defeat the shredder you have to fight Sneed, I am always surprised when he jumps out and the battle carries on. Still, he was down quickly enough.
His big drop was a blue axe. But it was a 2H axe, which nobody could use. We rolled on who got to vendor it.
After that is was back to mixing it up in the tunnels until we reached the foundry.
Here is where things got a little shaky.
We were able to pull and deal with groups on the ramp down. The goblin engineers release their own mechanical helpers which are full blow adds, but they were manageable. But once down the ramp we had some problems around the platform.
First, we got a pull with an unexpected add. A goblin engineer, who created an additional add as part of the mix. Then, we were fighting down at the bottom of the ramp, but at one point a goblin went to flee when it his low health… how I missed hamsting at that moment… and hopped up onto the platform and broke line of sight. Nobody could hit him unless they ran after him. He, of course, brought back another add. Obama went down and things were starting to come off the rails. But I just kept taunting mobs off of Skronk so he could keep healing while Ula and Moronae kept burning things down.
Eventually all the hostiles were down, and by virtue of this chaos we had almost finished clearing before the boss, but it felt like a near run thing. We took down the final stragglers, then went after Gilnid, who was not a tough fight. We looted the Smelting Pants from him, which went to Moronae.
After that I was all keyed up for the follow on patrol, remembering us getting the worst from a similar situation back in the day. Oddly, that patrol was very slow in coming. I was wandering up and down the ramp waiting for them for a few minutes before they showed up. There were four this time, but we had no problem dealing with them.
Once that was down, it was down deeper into the tunnels, clearing miners and getting to the cannon, which Ula fired for us once the gunpowder was collect from the side tunnel.
We had to warn Obama, they new kid… almost literally… not to run through the door once it came down. As usual, the pirates were waiting on the other side.
And then we were out on the boardwalk. where we cleared the pirates as well as some goblins who were lurking off to either side. That last would turn out to have been a boon. Then we sat a minute to take stock.
Nothing lay between us and the next boss, sitting up at the top of the ship’s gangplank. There he stood, the aptly named Mr. Smite.
And that is where this chapter will close. I’m already past the two thousand word mark… also I’m home sick, so need a break… and I have a lot more to go as this is where things get interesting, for we had to face not only Mr. Smite and the remaining bosses, but a danger from an unexpected angle. Tune in for part two tomorrow.