The holidays seem to have made it more difficult to get a group together. A plan for this past Saturday fell through due to a need to install a new clothes dryer. I am not sure if that counts as a holiday event. Is a dryer like a Peloton? But Sunday we were able to get together most of a group. We met up in Ironforge, where I was able to sit around and watch the guild Sharp and Shiny do their latest performance art routine.
There were only four of us, the line up being:
- Viniki – level 33 gnome warrior
- Skronk – level 32 dwarf priest
- Moronae – level 32 night elf druid
- Ula – level 32 gnome mage
Obama was out and it was Monday morning for Earl in Japan, so we were going to have to make do with what we had.
There was a bit of a discussion about our options. Doing a bit of the holiday event was a possibility. But we decided just to press on and head to the Scarlet Monastery to attempt the library wing. As a short handed group mostly at level 32, it seemed like a stretch for us. The backup plan, should we prove not up to the task, was to fall back and do the graveyard again or, as we were in the area, go look for missing Winter Veil treats. We got on the bird in Ironforge and flew on out to Southshore, still our nearest flight point.
At Southshore Skonk led the group off. Having suffered previously with my meandering run through Silverpine Forest and around the lake in Tirisfal Glades, he had a short cut in mind. We were going to take a more direct path, past Dalaran, across the lake, and past the Undercity.
Which wasn’t a bad idea. We certainly spotted the place where you should go for the Soothing Turtle Bisque quest in Southshore.
We swam the lake and came around the Undercity, skirting its front door but failing to get a map update.
From there Skronk set a course up the road to Scarlet Monastery. It was only when we got past there and spotted an innocuous camp on the right side of the road that past memories flooded into my brain and I said, “Bear left!” on coms. But it was too late.
There is a small camp alongside the road which has a number of high level guards mixed in. They have slain many an unwary Alliance traveler attempting to reach the Scarlet Monastery, and they were quickly on the road chasing us. They chopped us down, one by one.
So there we were, all dead, quite a ways from our corpse, and all now flagged PvP just a stone’s throw from the one Horde city in the Eastern Kingdoms. This seemed like foreshadowing to a bloody run.
We ran back as ghosts, revived, then hid off the road short of Scarlet Monastery, waiting for our PvP flags to time out, lest we run into an eager Horde group of five willing to come get us.
Once safe from the PvP menace, we sat down and got ourselves set to get to the instance.
Scarlet Monastery has four wings and you have to fight your way in through elite yard trash to get to the one you want. We were definitely suffering from the previously mentioned “Sunday night problem” where nobody else was around so we had to clear all the trash ourselves. That nearly led to disaster as we ended up with five elites on as at one point after we peeked around a corner a bit too quickly.
Somehow we got through that without loss and were able to pick off the remaining mobs between us and the library wing. Once we were in, we were looking at groups of mobs to clear.
We managed to keep ourselves together and not pull many extra adds as we worked our way out to the courtyard. There was that one walker, but other than that it was nice little groups of two or three to mop up until we got to the first boss, Houndmaster Loksey.
He was a bit of a chaotic fight, mostly because I think we may have approached it wrong. Loksey has three elite hounds as companions, and we set Ula to sheep one, Moronae to use soothe animal on another, then concentrate on the third, taking them down before we turned on Loksey.
However, that kept Moronae out of cat form a lot of the time, and he is our top DPS when he is in cat form, so killing slowed down, which meant we needed more healing, plus who was crowd controlling which dog got mixed up mid fight. It was a bit of a muddle. But we still managed to pull it off all the same.
Loksey dropped the dog whistle, which went to Ula in a roll-off.
She says she setup a button to do rolls, but she seemed to have learned from Obama on that front and her button made her a winner more often than not. And now, between her hat and that whistle, she looked to be ready to go solo.
From there it was into the building which houses the library. I had a twitch here, remembering that something bad had come to pass in this section before. And sure enough, after clearing a couple of guys we managed to accidentally proximity pull the next three groups. However, we were lucky enough to do it one by one, avoiding a wipe but leaving us moving from one unexpected fight to the next. And we pressed on further into the instance.
As we moved, the mob levels began to ratchet up. When we entered the mobs were level 32-33. As we got further in, the cap on levels moved to 34, then 35, and then 36. While Moronae popped up to level 33, Skonk and, more importantly, Ula were still 32. With a four level gap spell resists start to become a regular thing. We had to make sure to target the lowest level mob for polymorph, lest the sheep not hit.
And as we got to the last groups before the final boss, there were level 37 mobs in the mix. With that, four levels above Vinki, they were resisting taunts and other high aggro attacks, making it hard to keep mobs off of Moronae at times.
But those were only the last few groups where this became an issue, and once we cleared them we faced the main boss, Arcanist Doan.
The group memory of Doan could only recall that he does a big AOE attack every so often. The plan we chose to deal with that was for me to pull him to the far side of the room, up against the bookshelves, and hold him there so Ula and Skronk would be out of range of that. That was pretty much the plan, so in we went to get him.
What we didn’t remember was Doan putting a polymorph on the healer after ever big heal, and 20 seconds is a long time to go without a heal in a boss fight. Moronae got out of cat form at one point to heal me and got the sheeped as well for his effort. I had to use a health potion at one point, but things held together and we finished him off.
Doan was kind enough to drop the covered Illusionary Rod, the staff that all the casters want. That went to Ula and her roll button.
Doan also dropped the Mantle of Doan, the cloth shoulders, which went to Skronk.
And there we stood, done with the instance, and somewhat surprised. There was a feeling in the group that we would probably be able to get through Loksey, but that once we got into the higher level mobs deeper in the wheels were likely to come off and we would hit a wall. Instead we made it through without a death.
There were some tense moments, there were times when runners got away from us and adds showed up and it seemed like we might lose control. But we never did. We held it together and finished off the last boss. Op success.
We also picked up the Scarlet Key from Doan’s strong box, which unlocks the last two wings of Scarlet Monastery as well as being involved with a later instance if I recall correctly. But we all now have it safely tucked away in our key rings.
We are probably not ready to move on to the armory wing, but we seem able to take on the library at this point. We will likely return there for another run at Doan to see if we can conjure another staff.