As last weekend approached we started looking for a common time when we could meet up. Common times seemed to be difficult and we ended up aiming for 4pm on Sunday afternoon. That is a bit of a late start for us, or at least for me on a Sunday. but I had glanced at the Icy Veins guide for our next destination, Razorfen Downs, and it said the instance should take about an hour, so it seemed like we would be fine.
That we all got online at close to the appointed hour seemed like a good sign. Our lineup for the afternoon was:
- Viniki – level 40 gnome warrior
- Moronae – level 40 night elf druid
- Ula – level 39 gnome mage
- Skronk – level 38 dwarf priest
I had gone out and bumped Viniki up to 40, which means he is again broke as skills ran close to 2g per, but he can now wear plate armor. I even had some stored away for him. But now all of the mail armor I picked up in Scarlet Monastery is effectively obsolete.
Moronae has also been busy the previous weekend and had popped up to level 40.
In looking at the Icy Veins info, I had also noticed that one of the quests started in Stormwind and had picked it up in advance and mentioned it in our Discord. However, nobody else had and when we logged in everybody was in Ironforge, so there was some travel time as people flew off to Stormwind to pick up the quest. The quest is not sharable. And during that diversion we also found out that you need to be level 39 in order to get the quest, so Skronk flew to Stormwind and came back with nothing.
Meanwhile I was hanging about in Menethil Harbor watching the ships come and go.
We decided that getting to Razorfen Downs, which is at the south end of The Barrens, was probably best done via Theremore. Feralas was considered, but it wasn’t clear if we all had the flight point and there was the complication of getting up the Great Lift and getting flagged by the NPCs there. So that was discounted. Instead we ran through the Dustwallow Marsh, emerging into The Barrens at the Shady Rest Inn.
From there it was a run down to the south end of The Barrens. On the east side of the Gold Road is Razorfen Kraul and on the west Razorfen Downs. We found the entrance pretty easily.
Well, when I say “entrance,” I am being a little less than accurate. That is the way into the area around Razorfen Downs, and like a lot of vanilla instances, it has a bunch of elites outside on the way to the actual instance.
As for the instance… it has been a long time since we’ve done RFD and I could not remember where the actual entrance was. So we wandered for a while before finally finding the correct path and were able to get into the instance proper. At this point we were well past an hour of elapsed time.
As for where to go… I think we went down the correct path. Again, the Icy Veins article hand waves the whole thing as linear and yadda yadda yadda, but there were clearly some choices. We bore left at the first two branches, fighting our way past an enormous gong. The gong hand a cog wheel when you moused over it, so clearly you could click on it to ring it, but I was hesitant to start banging on gongs just yet.
We carried on for a bit past that until we made it to the murder pens around the corner. Murder pens has such a safe ring to it. We stopped for a bit and Ula, who had tabbed out to read something about the instance, said we ought to go back and ring the gong, as that would summon the first boss. Or it would summon the boss after a couple of tries.
Back in the room we were spread out when the gong was rung and the first round was a series of non-elites. Ula went to ice and AOE them, which did not work out quite as well as hoped, with Ula getting swamped and dying. But the rest of us were able to clean up the mess.
Ula restored, we rang the gong again, this time faced with four elite mobs, which we were better prepared to face. It was a bit chaotic… getting everybody on the same target and getting random targets off the casters and such… but we managed.
Then, with a third sounding of the gong, Tuten’kash arrived, the boss we had all been waiting for.
He was actually easier than the first two waves, a single big target being easier to manage if nothing else. We finished up the fight and Tuten’kash was kind enough to drop a nice armor upgrade for me.
I actually had a plate chest piece already, the Jouster’s Chestplate, but this was a significant upgrade. Also, it wasn’t a bare midriff item. The Jouster’s Chestplate made me look like Viniki the plumber.
That done, we moved on into the murder pens and cleared out the hostiles, then began looking for that quest mob. There are a few in the pens, but we found the right guy, Belnistrasz. This guy I remembered as being the quest give that everybody has to stay on sync with. If one person blitzes through his quest/complete/quest cycle, only they will get the quest and the rest of us will be stuck. So we did it carefully… and actually managed to do it right on the first try. Then it was off to follow him.
While following him back the way we came we were waylaid by a pair of rampaging boars, the random patrol mechanic of RFD. They ignored him and we had to stop and slay them before following on. Belnistrasz had disappeared around a corner and, as we caught up we found that the event had already begun.
You have to defend Belnistrasz through a series of waves in order to get to the big boss. The waves… pairs of elites… keep coming as time counts down. We got stuck into the task, but for the first time in a while I think we were suffering from that missing DPS position. If you burn down the quillboars quickly you are only dealing with pairs, which isn’t an issue. But if you’re slow because you’re been using your healer’s wand skill as a crutch and now he doesn’t have time because he has to heal, then things may not work out well.
We kept it going for quite a while. Belnistrasz called out the final minute. But we had fallen behind the killing curve and we never caught up.
Skronk ran out of mana, I used my health potion, Moronae went down, then I, then Skronk, leaving only Ula in her ice block at the end. We wiped.
The run back… well, the graveyard isn’t as far away as the one in Uldaman is, but it is a long ways up The Barrens. And we got lost… I got lost… again trying to find the instance once more. But we got back and started warming up again.
We rested there a bit while Ula went off to feed their cats. We were now past the two hour mark and my wife had been poking her head into my office to ask when we would be done. It was dinner time and all.
So when we set out again I suggested that we find the next boss and call it. I was going to have to log off pretty soon. So we went down the path we had blazed previously, past where we had wiped, past the gong, through the murder pens, and over the bridge, to find the boss I had been expecting.
This is probably my only solid memory from past runs, Mordresh Fire Eye and his skeleton mosh pit… and his pile of bones. I wonder if the skeletons pull from their for replacement parts?
The goal was just to finish him off, but first we wanted to clear the dance floor of the mass of non-elite skeletons. My first pull was good, and we got a couple. The next one was bad and we got everybody, including Mordresh Fire Eye. Ula AOE’d the skellies and I ran up and grabbed Mordresh.
It ended up being another pretty straightforward fight and Mordresh was down soon enough. He dropped a nice caster necklace, the Glowing Eye of Mordresh. In the roll-off it went to Skronk. And so we were done for the evening.
That bone pile is pretty elaborate for what is a hill prop for a secondary boss in a mid-level instance. There are bones and bits sticking out all over it and it took some of us a bit of effort in order to get to the top. It is also sizable.
Screen shots taken, we recalled back to Ironforge and called it a wrap.
Our first run at RFD was less than a success. Two of the bosses we hit were easy enough, but we failed pretty hard on the idol event with Belnistrasz. We’ll need to be a bit better prepared for that next time around. Also, Skronk hit 39 along the way so he will be able to grab the quest from Stormwind this time.
Once again, Ula has posted a great video of our run which illustrates some of the situations mentioned above.
Next time will see our return to RFD… which is probably okay, as we should probably all be at least 40 before we wander into Uldaman.
Past runs at Razorfen Downs