After a bit of time off around the holidays the instance group was able to form back up for another run this past Sunday. Various holiday distractions meant that not much progress was made by anybody during the off time, which meant that we were still mostly in the level range for the library in the Scarlet Monastery, which we had previously run through.
Also, we were a group of four again, our lineup looking like this:
- Viniki – level 34 gnome warrior
- Skronk – level 33 dwarf priest
- Moronae – level 33 night elf druid
- Ula – level 32 gnome mage
I fear that Obama may have lost interest… or has other, more pressing interests… as he hasn’t logged in for quite a stretch. Meanwhile, things have not settled down enough to get Earl on with us regularly, leaving us with the gang of four.
As the Scarlet Monastery library was still in the level range for us… maybe a level or two above our range really… we decided to take another run at that. There was a quest in Ironforge that we had neglected to pick up previously that required us to pick up a book in the library, so at least we had a task.
We all grabbed the quest and headed for Southshore where we commenced another trot across the landscape to the Scarlet Monastery. This time we managed to neither go completely wide of the mark nor run through the camp with the guards that wiped us out last time. We kept to the road, swinging wide once we got past the Undercity.
I did veer us a little bit more northward than I might have needed, but we arrived outside the Scarlet Monastery complex intact. And we got the map update for Brill, so our Tirisfal Glades map isn’t quite so blank as before.
While it was Sunday afternoon, which can be something of a quiet time, we did have a couple other groups around, so we didn’t have to clear the whole way to the library door, though we did get in over our heads a little bit at one point before another group wandered in to help.
And once inside we nearly got a wipe on the second engagement.
The first area is corridor with four groups and a walker that comes and goes. We cleared off the first group right away. Then I shot the target in the second group to pull him, only to find he just wanted to sit there and cast, so I ran up to him and engaged. Moronae followed me in cat form and got behind him, which put him just in range to proximity pull the next group. Now we had four mobs to deal with. As that was going on, the walked came up as well and joined in just as Skronk was dropping a heal on me. An archer, she began pelting Skronk at range while her hound pet went chasing after him. We were spread out down the corridor so losing aggro on somebody meant scrambling about, and I got there too late to save Skronk at one point and he went down.
Things were looking bad, but then somebody remembered that Moronae, a druid, had a combat ress, so he was able to get Skronk back up as we carried on. I thought things were getting worse when I saw another hound engaged in the fight, but that was Ula using the dog whistle she got as a drop from Houndmaster Loksey last time.
In the end, we made it, but it was something of a mess. At least we had cleared out most of the room.
That done, we took it a little more carefully going forward, clearing the courtyard and taking down Houndmaster Loksey without much in the way of drama. Having been through the instance once already, we were somewhat aware of places we where we needed to take care, though being a few levels below some of the mobs, which range 33-37, we still managed the accidental proximity pull now and then. But that generally happened when we were setting up for a fight anyway, so we carried on, stopping for a rest now and then.
We picked up the book we were looking for along the way. That took a couple minutes as the book disappears once somebody picks it up. But it respawns eventually.
We worked our way around to the final corridor with only a few more accidental proximity pulls along the way.
That left us with the main boss, Arcanist Doan. The fight with him went about as well as we could have hoped. He still sheeps the healer now and then, but we burned him down quickly enough that there wasn’t much of an issue.
As with our last run, he dropped the robe and the illusionary rod, the two big caster items.
There was a bit of confusion over who should get the illusionary rod. I was sure it had dropped the last time but nobody remembered who got it. Then Ula found it in her bag. The problem was that it requires level 34 to use and neither she nor Skronk were there yet.
At that point we were done with the instance, but we still had some time. Both casters had the boss drops they wanted, so there wasn’t much point in doing the library again, so we decided to poke our noses into the armory wing of the Scarlet Monastery. We were well below level for that, but we wanted to see how far we could get, so we started to run back to the entrance of the library… and ran unwittingly into a bunch of mobs and promptly wiped.
Now, I remembered that instances in vanilla WoW respawned. There was always that hanging over a group’s head back in the day if the run was going too slowly. But in my mind respawns were something like a 2 hour thing. We ran into respawned mobs at the location where we had taken them down about 30 minutes previously. These instances are small, so maybe that accounts for the quicker timer, but it came as a surprise.
Still, we were out and nobody was keen to fight our way through the library in both directions. So we ran back as ghosts, revived in the library, then exited to go next door to the armory.
Like most of the complex, the armory isn’t a big instance. You work your way through the courtyard and then the open plan office area where most of the mobs hang out, to the the long corridor, finally ending up with Herod and the Scarlet Monastery floor show at the end.
We were definitely a little paranoid going in. For some reason I had a bad feeling lurking in the back of my head about the open archery range, like there was some event or such that gets triggered there.
However, that might be something from the post-Cataclysm revamp in my head. It proved to require just a careful clear to get through it, and only careful due to the rising level of the mobs and the possibility of more proximity pulls. Mob levels were running 36-38 and, while Ula and Moronae had both leveled up, we were still punching up with a short group.
Once inside the armory we managed to keep things mostly under control. The open space plan means that fleeing mobs can run straight to the next group if you are unlucky. But we seemed to do okay.
Our first problem came at the top of the stairs in the room with the cannons, where we managed to get a patrol and proximity adds due to the closeness of the groups. Things again looked like they might fall apart as mobs took down Skronk while I was trying to taunt them off. Mobs resisting taunts and spells and polymorph were becoming much more common.
But Moronae’s combat ress was off cool down and Skronk was alive again and we managed to get through the fight. We carefully moved forward, arriving at the fireworks stockpile after a few careful fights.
There we were facing a pair of level 38 mobs off to the right down the corridor. There was also another pair of level 38 mobs on the left side of the corridor, which I thought everybody saw, but when I pulled the right pair somebody stepped into proximity range of the left pair and we suddenly had four mobs that were very resistant to our efforts to deal with. It did not end well.
And, when we ran back we found that the instance had begun to respawn as the library had. Also, we got too close to the first two mobs and pulled them by proximity… again… and had to flee the instance for the dark anteroom outside. That happened to have another group hanging out in it. We decided that we had gone about as far as we were likely to get… there was no way we were going to be able to take on the boss encounter with most of the group six levels below him. So we recalled.
Three of us had our stones set in Ironforge, where we landed comfortably back at the bar.
Along the way Skronk made it to 34, so was able to wield the illusionary rod. Ula still has a ways to go for hers.
From the bar we ran first to repair, then across Ironforge to turn in the one quest we had. The reward for that was a +6 stamina +6 spirit item for the neck slot. Given that was empty for all of us, we were happy to have it. Now we only have empty trinket slots, and it might be a while for that. You don’t get the carrot on a stick until ZF.
We might have to spend a bit of time leveling up between instance runs. We’re clearly shy of being able to do the armory wing, and nowhere close to the cathedral. Also, we might have to work on a plan to fill out that lingering empty spot in our group.
Addendum: Ula did a video of our run through the library where you can see, among other things, our near wipe at the start of the instance.
As always, amazing work by Ula with a fun sound track. If you watch it on her channel you can see it in full 1440p.