One does not just walk into Uldaman… at least you don’t if you want to complete all the quests.
Uldaman seems to be to be clearly designed for multiple visits. It has a noticeable step in mob level/difficulty part way in, it has a side door like Gnomeregan, and, the clincher, you cannot actually wrap up the quests for the instance in one go. There is one that sends you there and, upon turning it in, sends you back again.
But first you have to get all the quests, and that too is not just a matter of “grab and go.” The project leading up to the weekend was to find and collect the quests we could. The wiki helps, of course. You can get a list of quests. But you still have to go out and do things as several of the quests have precursors.
So you start in Ironforge by picking up a couple. Then you fly off to Loch Modan to pick up and advance a couple. Then it is off to the Badlands, where there is no Alliance flight point, so you walk all the way.
The color palette changes from greens to oranges as you cross over into the zone. Even the map is in the right colors to depict the place.
I didn’t have to go very far out of my way while doing some of the lead-in quests in order to fill out most of the map.
Probably the most burdensome quest on the list was Badlands Reagent Run. This starts in Thelsamar in Loch Modan and sends you off to the Badlands to procure a few items. The ten coyote teeth are easy. The drop rate isn’t high, but coyotes are practically the signature mob of the zone, so they are everywhere. Rock elemental shards are not too bad either. There are not a huge number of rock elementals, but the drop rate is very high, so you only need a few.
And then there are the buzzard gizzards. The drop rate is low and buzzards are few and far between in most of the zone. I was struggling on this stage until Ula mentioned that there was a place where they seemed to congregate. There was a bunch of them around what looked to be an abandoned orc structure.
That done, it was time to trot back to Loch Modan again in order to turn that in and get the quest for the instance. So much running. Of course, some people had been saving their coppers for a mount.
Viniki is still about 20g shy of a mount as I write this.
But after all that running about I had the six quests.
When I was done with that Moronae showed up and we shepherded him through that as well, guiding him to the buzzard spot and such before finally getting everybody together at the meeting stone. The lineup for the evening was:
- Ula – level 42 gnome mage
- Viniki – level 42 gnome warrior
- Moronae – level 41 night elf druid
- Skronk – level 41 dwarf priest
From there we headed to the front door where, as the title suggests, the whole adventure stirred up a lot of vague or half forgotten memories. Fortunately there was just enough of a tickle in the back of our collective brains to steer us in mostly the right direction without getting too lost.
As with a lot of the classic instances, there is a whole outer area with elite mobs and a couple of the quests get updated there, as well as mobs dropping items for another. We wandered around the outer area for a bit, then headed in where we faced Revelosh.
He went down pretty easily. After that there was a side are… we knew there was something significant about a side area… where we fought our way to Erik, Baleog, and Olaf, the lost vikings.
There was a quest turn in there and we read a book and then I picked up an item from a chest, which seemed to be important.
From there we wandered further into the instance to the wide open area with the model city. Clearing that out we were left with an item that wanted the Staff of Prehistoria. None of us had that, but Skronk remembered that we had to assemble some pieces, and I had the pieces, so we were able to summon Ironaya.
Ironaya is one of the more memorable bosses in the instance for me. Probably the only one I can recall clearly, but women wearing tall boots often have that effect on me. Memorable or not, she went down.
From there it was a bit of a tour of the mini map as we ran along the edges of the instance to find the bosses. There was the Obsidian Sentinel, which we needed for a mage quest for Ula.
That was a fight we only remembered once it started. The sentinel starts spawning adds, getting smaller as he does. So we killed the adds then him, collecting Ula’s update.
Further along was Galgann Firehammer and his helpers.
While there were three of them, we were able to knock them down with much drama.
Then we worked our way around to Grimlok. He has quite the array of wandering troggs before him and is in the end of the instance where the trash mobs start to scale up in levels a bit. We were a bit more careful with our pulls there, and manag
I sued to do pretty well with that. Grimlok himself is part of a foursome. The plan was to kill the caster, lest we find out that he was also a healer, then move on toe Grimlok. Ula would sheep the warrior and Moronae would pacify the pet basilisk. And, in the end, that worked out. We slew the caster quickly and moved on to Grimlok.
However, there came a point when the sheep popped and the basilisk broke out of his spell and the rest of the crew was trying to get that under control that I started feeling a little lonely out in front with Grimlok pounding on me.
I survived, though I had to use a potion, long enough for the DPS to get back on the big guy and burn him down. Then the warrior and the basilisk got their turns.
At that point, with some of the pre-instance quest work, we were starting to get to the end of our time. We started about midway into Sunday afternoon, but dinner time was approaching. We decided to go check out at least one more boss. We didn’t think we were up for Archaedas, but there were a couple other named mobs in the instance.
The first one we ended up at was Annora, who is the enchanting trainer in the instance. You cannot fight her. So we started working our way towards the Ancient Stone Keeper. And it is along the way that we had our one and only death.
While bosses did not seem to cause us much problem, there are a number of points in the instance where you end up fighting a sizable group of non-elite mobs, like pits full of scorpions.
We were able to handle most of them, but they were often harder work than some of the boss fights. Again, I think it is the missing DPS player slot in our group that makes these a bit of a challenge. Viniki’s taunt has a cool down and his one AOE in defense stance needs a lot of rage to use, so the mobs always get away from me. (I might just be a bad tank in this.) So the burden tends to fall on Ula to AOE these mobs, but she can quickly pull aggro on the lot of them and it becomes a race to save her.
One group of mobs around the Ancient Stone Keeper managed to win the race and Ula went down. But it was just that one fight.
The Ancient Stone Keeper himself… well, he has a gimmick at least. We learned quickly to get out of the whirlwinds that appear around him. But with that bit of knowledge we were able to knock him down as well.
He ended up dropping a pair of gloves for me.
I am not sure that +10 spirit was the stat for which I would have wished. However, I was still wearing mail gloves, so the armor was a boost, and the defense and stamina stats were to my liking, so I took them.
And then it was time for a screen shot of the group.
Before we recalled, Skronk wanted to go track down a paladin’s corpse that was earlier in the dungeon, around the first troggs. It was something related to a quest. However, when we found him there wasn’t anything we could “do” with the paladin, so opted to recall back to Ironforge.
There, in turning in some of the quests, we got the update from one that sends us back for that paladin. So just one trip to Uldaman won’t do. Also, we have a lot of drops to get still. But at least we know where that pally is for next time.
Ula has put together another great video of our first Uldaman run.
She captured all of our boss fights very well. I especially like the sound effect when Ironaya runs up to Viniki at the start of the fight and punts him. Also, apparently there was a problem with Viniki’s animation for a while, so instead of the running animation, he was just walking very fast. I could not see this on my client, but it is visible at some points in the video. I caused great hilarity as I ran around.
There are also a couple of post-credit scenes, including one with the scorpions and another capturing Ula’s death at the Ancient Stone Keeper. She also captured a lot of the drops we got from bosses.
We will be making a return trip of course. We need to level up, if nothing else, before thinking beyond Uldaman.
Right now Viniki is close to 43, as is Ula I imagine. Skronk made it to 42 and Moronae is probably close there. Looking back on our group composition from our first victory over Archaedas, we were a group of five that were levels 43 and 44. We might still give Archaedas a try next time. That will further test the “bad then, better now” theory of our abilities I suppose.