Daily Archives: February 18, 2020

The Instance Group in the Scarlet Monastery

With WoW Classic so far it has been my practice, at the end of a dungeon run post, to link to past runs of the same instance in various eras of WoW.  With Scarlet Monastery though, that was a little different.  To start with, it has four wings, so I felt I had to wait until I knew we were through there in order to inject those links.

Also, in looking back, I found that some of the posts had issues.  Early on in the history of the blog I hit a point where I was using up my image upload space more rapidly that I expected, so for a brief bit I went looking for alternatives to direct uploads to WordPress.com.

For whatever reason, I chose ImageShack.

I don’t know why.  It was sort of the Imgur of its time I guess.  I am sure it seemed like a reasonable choice when I made.

Back in 2007 they allowed free upload accounts.  Since then they have gone paid subscription only and it seems that they purged all the free accounts, so a range of old posts just have broken image icons where screen shots should have been.  Given how parsimonious I was with images at that point in the life of the blog, I felt I had better fix that.  Fortunately, I throw nothing away and had the screen shots from that era archived, so you can experience those posts in full color.

Also, we didn’t do an instance this past weekend, so at least I have something to post.

Vanilla Era

Basically, real “back in the day” stuff.

While not as primitive as some of my earlier instance run posts, I had clearly yet to establish a regular pattern of posting after every run.  Also, I think over the holidays we were running a couple times a week… I seem to recall a series of Thursday and Saturday runs.  It was a different time.

What is interesting is how parallel the experiences were to more recent posts.  We hit things at about the same level.  We were doing it as groups of five most of the time, though there were some short groups in there.  We did the the “In the Name of the Light” quest.  Arcanist Doan was just as generous with the Illusionary Rod back then as he was recently.

I even distinctly mention how easy it was to avoid Herod’s spin attack in the armory, making me wonder if SynCaine’s theory about modern performance levels making things easier is as straightforward as I might have seemed at first glance. (Ula took a poke at that idea on her blog as well.)  Maybe this stuff was never really that hard and we were not as bad as I recall.

Celebrating in the Cathedral back in 2007

Pre-Cataclysm

After we wrapped the initial instances in Wrath of the Lich King we decided to re-roll the group in as different a way as possible, so we went Horde and did so on an RP-PvP server.  We did go back to our old characters now and again, but we were focused on the new group a lot.

The first post is the original characters going back to the monastery to get Santa hats.  It is the second post that gives a sense about how things had changed.  We showed up with a level 32 group and pressed through to do the graveyard, library, and the armory in one evening.

Granted, this was after the instance levels had been re-factored.  Herod, for example, was level 37 there, as opposed to being the level 40 boss we fought recently.  But still, we managed it, though we passed on the cathedral I guess.

Victory in the Armory

Interestingly, while I do not mention respawn rates in the vanilla era, the fast respawn of the armory comes up in that post.  We wiped on the way out then as well.

Post-Cataclysm

With the coming of the Cataclysm expansion we re-rolled again, this time going with four worgen and a gnome.  Ula only plays gnomes.

With a group of four level 30s we decide to eschew the Dungeon Finder and run to Scarlet Monastery.   We finish the library, slaying Doan successfully.  Sure, we wiped a few times, but we were a group of four level 30s FFS.

At the end of the library

You can see that the Illusionary Rod dropped again.  I think it must always drop.

We were not too far from disillusionment with Cataclysm at that point, though for us re-rolling was the wrong play.  If we had gone back to WotLK and finished off the instances they added after the group took a break (though Earl and I kept playing the whole expansion) and had then gone into the Cataclysm instances, we would have been better disposed to the expansion.

The Neverwinter Heresy

Adrift after growing tired of Cataclysm, we tried other MMOs.  There was the horrible EverQuest II experiment, some time spent in LOTRO after it went free to play, and a diversion into Neverwinter.  There we found that somebody had used the dungeon creation tools to create approximations of several World of Warcraft instances, including the Scarlet Monastery.

I might have forgotten about that, except for the fact that I tagged the post “Scarlet Monastery,” so it is on the canon list.

We went through two Scarlet Monastery recreations, one of the library and the other of the cathedral.

It does have that Scarlet Monastery vibe to it I guess

They were pretty impressive, given the tools.  There was also an attempt at the Deadmines, which was less convincing.

Hallow’s End

We ran out and did the graveyard quite a few times as part of the Hallow’s End celebration, so one could technically count that as a visit to the Scarlet Monastery.  Way back in the day you actually had to run there.  However, I didn’t tag these with “Scarlet Monastery,” but I did find a couple pre-Dungeon Finder run to include just for flavor.

The 2008 post was just a week before Wrath of the Lich King hit, while the 2009 post was just about a month before patch 3.3.0 hit, bringing with it the Dungeon Finder interface, which made running the Headless Horseman a lot more routine.

Headless Horseman Down in Flames

WoW Classic

That brings us to the more recent adventures.

There is a gap between the graveyard and the other wings largely because we went back and did Gnomer again.  Twice.  Go figure.

At the upper fountain last week

There was also a substantial change in the group. Obama has officially dropped out, so he won’t be playing with us any more, and Earl hasn’t been able to get on to play, leaving us with the current group of four.  Still, we persist.