Did I say we were done with Gnomeregan? Clearly I was in error.
Sunday saw us online again. The weather outside was foul, with heavy rain and high winds, so my plan to go out and hang the holiday lights on the house was postponed. Time for games. (It was a bountiful Thanksgiving week for that.) We got together to decide what instance we ought to do, since we had five of us on. (It was Monday morning for Earl in Japan, so he was off the list.)
The discussion went around, but Moronae still wanted that staff, the Manual Crowd Pummeler, from the Crowd Pummeler 9-60 boss in Gnomer. And I can’t blame him, it is a great item. I’d love one for my pally. So we figured we would just run in through the back door, get to the Crowd Pummeler, and take him down. Easy days.
But then we needed a group. Skronk and Ula wanted to go with their alts, Fergorin and Scscla, so I rolled out Alioto, who managed to survive our Scarlet Monastery graveyard run, giving us a group that looked like this.
- Alioto – level 26 night elf driud
- Scscla – level 28 gnome warrior
- Fergorin – level 28 dwarf paladin
- Obama – level 29 human warlock
- Moronae – level 31 night elf druid
And with this group we had some fresh faces for Gnomer. Alioto had collected up some of the Gnomer quests the day before when there was a question as to where we might head and what the group composition would look like. Scscla and Fergorin had some as well, so we shared them out amongst outselves. After all, going in the back door meant going past Techbot, and that would be a quest done. And you have to fight your way in there, so you’ll probably get the white punch card, so you might as well start that quest off. And, who knows, you might get enough “coke machines” along the way to finish that quest off.
So off we went. Alioto, still not quite 27, made some early decisions for us, along the lines of, “should we kill this mob?” just as Alioto managed to proximity pull the mob with his aggro radius of doom.
As expected, we managed to pick up the white punchcard and upgrade that at the first set of machines. Then it was off to wait for Techbot to spawn. Despite those who rushed to level cap in the first month, there are still a substantial number of people running lower level instances. Techbot has been dead whenever we have run by. And he was yet again.
We were crowded around the spawn point, but a group having just left and another lurking around nearby. Not content to wait quietly, Obama started calling the other group “Republicans.” He is young, and in youth you find many things funny. But he has also gotten a fair share of grief for his name choice. At least my druid’s name, also political, was just that of an SF mayor.
Anyway, that didn’t turn ugly and we took down Techbot, finishing that quest, and headed over to the back door.
At this point I do not recall the first time that Alioto died. Nor do I recall the situation of most of his deaths during the run. I just know that Recount says he died 6 times. Two of those were wipes, and one was a special case, but the other three were all pretty much the same scenario, one that occurs often in Gnomer.
A lot of the trash in Gnomer consists of groups of non-elite mobs, often centered on one elite main mob. What happened those five times was that Scscla would go in and get everybody on her. Then the rest of the group would join in, focused on the elite mob, which was the main threat. At some point I would need to heal Scscla, often a big heal as the mobs would be beating her down pretty aggressively. A rejuvenation just wasn’t going to cut it.
So I would toss our a regrowth or, if things went south fast, a healing touch. And as soon as I did I would end up topping the aggro chart for some of the non-elite mobs who would rush me or start throwing wrenches at me. Gnomes, right? With the mage plus warlock group this gets handled with fire and ice, but with no Ula we just have fire and a bunch of loose gnomes running around.
Even at level 26 I could probably handle one of these level 28-30 non-elites, but when two or three started in on me, I was in trouble. It was time to run to the tank, say “save the healer!” on voice coms, and try to heal myself. That I only died to this three times was probably a good sign. An additional heal from Fergorin or Moronae was often the margin needed to keep me alive.
So I died a lot. fortunately Fergorin could also ress me. I’ll bypass the trash mob deaths and stick to the more memorable ones.
We made our way to the Crowd Pummeler which, relative to the trash mob fights, was easy to heal through. Aggro isn’t an issue with just one mob, though Moronae’s DPS was enough to pull aggro from the tank now and then. We even pulled him back into the tunnel to keep the tossing about to a minimum.
However, the Pummeler disappointed yet again, dropping the boots rather than the 2H mace. Moronae already got the boots on a past run, so they defaulted to Alioto as the other leather wearer. They were a big upgrade, though he needs to get to level 28 to wear them.
Having hit our primary objective, there was the question of what to do next. Electrocutioner 6000 wasn’t that far away, so we decided to press on to get him. When we got to the ring area around his platform we decided to clear clockwise. He was 180 degrees off from us in the circle, and the first group to the left looked a bit easier that the one to the right.
More clearing then up the ramp to the Electrocutioner, where we brought him down in short order. Again, a single mob fight, no problems for me. He dropped the Lagnut ring yet again, going 4 for 4 on that now. It went to Scscla, who had an empty ring slot and who could use it. There we realized that we had cleared to the third punch card machine, but were missing a previous one back by the dormitory. Obama had also finished up with “coke machines” and Alioto had picked up collecting those and was nearly done.
So to finish out those quests we thought we would fight our way back to the second punch card machine, picking up the “coke machines” on the way. It was then that we realized that clockwise was the wrong choice previously. It left the path to the tunnel we needed to get to still occupied. So we started to clear our way there.
That was when we had our first wipe. We managed to get two groups of non-elite gnomes plus two elites. That led to me dying in the usual, happened five other times, way. But it also left too much heat on the group to survive. We all went down.
Complicating things, Fergorin, who had the soul stone, was in the thick of the remaining mobs, so his survival seemed unlikely. But the soul stone is a “use it or lose it” proposition, so he used it hoping for some luck.
There was no luck. The wipe was complete and we had to release.
Back at the graveyard we began to run back, at which point I suggested that we might as well go in through the front door this time to revive, after which we could jump of the ledge, take on the Viscious Fallout, get the dormitory punchcard machine, and then work our way back to where we died, over by the Electrocutioner 6000, which had the third punchcard machine. After that we would just need to go back to where the Crowd Pummeler was, use the lift to get down to the bottom floor, and get the final punchcard machine. Piece of cake.
People agreed, so we went in through the front door, got ourselves together, cleared a few pesky troggs, and jumped off the ledge to the boss fight. It was a close run thing, and I died there too. I suppose it was slightly different that the rest of the five deaths I’ve lumped together because my aggro radius drew elite adds, but my healing still drew aggro and I went down again.
However, the Viscous Fallout nicely dropped the Acidic Walkers again, so Obama got a new pair of shoes.
After that we made it to the punchcard machine, then to the gauntlet to fight our way back to the Electrocutioner 6000 area. By that time Alioto was done with “coke machines” and Fergorin had picked up grabbing them. We figured it was better for somebody to complete the quest rather than have a few of us mostly done.
We managed to get up the gauntlet fine and cleared our way to the Electrocutioner platform for another punchcard update. Then it was back to where the Pummeler resided. At some point Skronk finished up his “coke machines” and Scscla started in on getting her dozen. Taking the lift down to the floor below the Pummeler, we got into the death I am declaring an exception.
We once again got into the situation of an elite mod with a group of non-elites on the tank who, when I healed Scscla, started to focus on me. I ran to the tank and went to heal myself when there was an incident.
For healing I use an addon called Healium. It is a simple addon that keeps me from having to make Skronk’s mouse-over macros for healing. It just gives me the group list with their health status and some spells next to each name that I can click on to apply to that person. It doesn’t prompt me, I still decide who and when to heal, it just gives me some simple buttons to mash to make sure I drop a heal on the right person.
I still screw up, but less so than if I were manually targeting and healing.
Anyway, the array of buttons sits low on my screen, right above the hotkeys. I’ve move the cast bar up to keep it from getting in the way. But as it turns out, when somebody loots and there is need/greed dialog up, it blocks the healing buttons for the top two people on the list, which in this case were Fergorin and myself.
And, having set all that up, you can probably guess that somebody looted mid-fight, there was a green level item that popped the dialog, and that this happened just as I was going to cast a heal on myself.
I died. But what is one more death at this point. I was already getting the yellow paper doll warning after the last death and we were almost done. Fergorin ressed me yet again, I got healed up, buffed up, and we carried on.
The final punchcard machine was right there, so three of us finished off that quest. We cleared a bit more to get to another of the “coke machines” and Alioto hit level 27 at last. At that point Scscla just needed three more “coke machines” and she would be done. But where to go and find them?
We did not want to go in the direction of the Dark Iron Agents. That way lay madness and more wipes. We also didn’t want to wander all the way back to the dormitory area. We had enough back tracking for one day. But looking at a map of the instance, it looked like we could take a tunnel to the floor area below the platform where the Electrocutioner 6000 lived. Surely there would be a couple quest objects there. So off we went.
And, there were even a couple on the way, so by the time we got to the big open area below the Electrocutioner 6000, Scscla needed just one more of the “coke machines.” As we came to the opening to the area, we saw spread before us a multitude of “coke machines.” It was the promised land for those looking to complete the quest. Scscla just needed to run in there and grab one.
And therein lay the rub. The open floor had a variety of mobs and groups of mobs criss-crossing it in overlapping areas of patrol.
Scscla spotted and opening and made a dash for one of the “coke machines” around the center pillar of the room. However, she strayed to close to a mob and was in combat. Taking damage we ran out to support her and managed to get a few more mobs on us. We were quickly in over our head and a wipe seemed imminent.
At that point Fergorin had the foresite to flee back up the tunnel and die there, leaving him safe to use the soul stone to revive. He could then ress us, though that was easier said than done.
He was able to get Moronae, Obama, and Alioto easily enough, but Scscla had died by the center pillar near one of the quest objectives, and was out of ress range from the tunnel. We would have to go out onto the main floor to get her.
We picked off a couple of the wandering mobs to thin things out a bit. Moronae played with stealthing out to get close enough to pop his combat ress, which only takes two seconds to cast, but got himself herded away. Eventually a big gap opened and Fergorin ran out to do a ress. I kept just in range to be able to heal should it come to it. He got Scscla and we retreated to the tunnel.
They were looking longingly at all those “coke machines” out in the center of the room still, but I had noticed, while laying dead out on the floor, that there was one just on the other side of a huge pillar that was next to the tunnel entrance. You can see it at the far right of the screen shot above, in the dark, but still visible. Further poking around showed that you could squeeze behind the pillar, well away from the wandering mobs. We all shimmied past the pillar to get her final quest update, and we were done.
After that it was back into the tunnel where we recalled back home.
When I landed in Stormwind I went straight to somebody who could mend because I was red paper doll on a couple of my slots. Then it was back to Ironforge to turn in the quests.
And so it goes. Are we done with Gnomeregan now? Moronae doesn’t have his 2H mace yet, so I won’t commit to an affirmative on that.
We’ve certainly been into Gnomer more times now in WoW Classic than we ever went as a group in retail. Also, I guess our path wasn’t really “backwards” so much as multi-directional, or at least somewhat out of the usual order.
Now my task though is to get Alioto and Wilhelm leveled up a bit more so they are not such liabilities on these ventures.