The week before we could not get together, but this past Sunday… Mother’s Day… we managed to find the time to take our first step into Zul’Farrak. Our lineup was:
- Moronae – level 48 night elf druid
- Viniki – level 47 gnome warrior
- Ula – level 47 gnome mage
- Skronk – level 46 dwarf priest
As we met up at the flight point outside of Gadgetzan it was time for a quest check to make sure everybody was on the same path.
It quickly became clear that not everybody have wrapped up and turned in the Screecher Spirits quest that was the focus of last post. What can I say? People were busy. And, frankly, I was in a hurry. I was feeling like I might be on the highway to the danger zone taking some time out to play WoW Classic on mother’s day, so I wanted to get going right away. So rather than sorting out who needed to just go to Steamwheedle and get the right quest and who still needed and expedition to Feralas, I went with the fact that we were likely going to be making multiple visits and we’d get everybody caught up next time.
So we headed away from Steamwheedle and towards the instance. Somebody was outside clearing things up for us, no doubt trying for the 20 troll temper drops you need for one of the quests, so we didn’t have to fight all the way to the front door.
Once inside we started to try to call upon our various faded and mixed memories of the instance. I think we came up with “it’s big” and “it’s outdoors so we can ride our mounts” and “it really is big” and “I think we messed up this pull and wiped.”
It had been a while.
Still, we didn’t have much of a problem taking down mobs as we moved forward. The groups of three and the occasionally singletons and wanderers were not much of a problem, save for those troll hunters who kept polymorphing me into a frog. But Skronk could cure that, so we made pretty good progress forward.
We did get a couple of extra adds as we moved into the main junction with the fountain in the middle, but we didn’t mind slaying a few extra trolls as we each needed 20 drops, and the drop rate wasn’t very good, so we were clearly going to have to kill all the trolls more than once.
From the junction we decided to turn north. I knew that south was the way straight to Gahz’rilla, who was our goal for the expedition. But we had the a quest for scarab shells, which something in the back of my brain told me was up the northern route. So we went that way.
And, sure enough, that memory was reliable. There were tons of scarabs up that way.
Also that way was Theka the Martyr who, true to his name, died.
Rather to my embarrassment, Theka had one of the drops for the Screecher Spirits follow on quest which I hadn’t let anybody grab, so I was the only one who got the update. But we will be making another trip here, I am certain of that.
Like the troll temper drops, the scarabs seemed rather reluctant to cough out, and we may have gotten a little bit greed in taking them on as they were non-elites, trying to do the freeze and burn with only four players. We killed lots of scarabs, but Ula got mobbed at one point and died mid-air trying to mage hop her way out of the mess.
Having cleared most of the scarabs away, we moved on to the next area which had a bunch of graves. Clicking on the graves sometimes gave us some random gray loot and sometimes spawned a zombie or two, which we took out quite easily.
That routine got boring quickly though, and we spotted a big chest in a building close by, and the troll in there was green to us, so it seemed totally safe, so we ran over to get it. Nobody felt even the mildest twitch of memory about this place, so we were all pretty surprised when the troll, Witch Doctor Zum’rah, turned aggro and started summoning zombies from the graves, a couple at a time.
You can see above that Skronk was already down, and when Ula fell, the last to go, we got the warning about the place.
I suppose it wouldn’t be the complete Zul’Farrak experience if we didn’t wipe at least once per trip. So it was back to the instance as ghosts.
Back in we mounted up and, aside from a patrol now and then, we able to get back to where we died. From there we had to carefully pull the zombies, who were all hanging around where we had fallen. Then it was time to get to work on the remaining graves.
At first we thought this was going to be a problem. Once you get stuck in with Witch Doctor Zum’rah, any further zombies run straight over to the steps in front of his building, which felt like it could go very badly for us.
But the witch doctor didn’t aggro, and once arriving at the steps, the zombies then turned to come after us, all of which just gave the casters an opportunity to soften them up a bit with ranged attacks before they came back at us. We cleared then and then Witch Doctor Zum’rah, but he didn’t have anything much in his chest. Kind of a bummer after all of that.
Somewhere in the mix I ended up with an ancient tablet in my inventory, which turned out to be the instructions for summoning Gahz’rilla. But we had done all that groundwork already.
From there we moved on into the open area below the steps where the big event happens. But we were not up to the big event. That was more that we had signed up for that day. Instead we cleared along the left edge, past the gates that lead to the final fight, and down the back route to Gahz’rilla’s pool.
We nearly stumbled into a pile of trolls too. Just off to the right as you go in there is a group of five mobs, which would have been a bit of a surprise. Instead, we went to the left and cleared clockwise around the pool, finishing up with the group of five, which we though might be a group of three and a group of two… but which turned out to be a full group of five. But we were up to it. And that group dropped the other piece for the Screecher Spirits follow up as well as the drop for the quest from Tabetha out by Theramore.
The area cleared, we set our plan. We would fight him in the big open area at the end of the pool opposite the gong. I would go ring the gong and bring him back. I had remembered the Mallet of Zul’Farrak, which is something we forgot back in the day, so was ready to go.
Of course, he shows up at the far end of the pool, away from the gong, so I had to run back to grab aggro. And then the fight was on. It went pretty well, too, though I had forgotten about how much damage can hit you when you land after he throws everybody in the air.
I think the solution to that is to fight him in the pool where you can land in the water and not get hurt, but we managed it. We brought him down without loss and were able to loot the scale for the quest that bears his name. We then posed for the victory shot.
The mission of the night completed, we mounted up to ride back out the route we came in.
We stopped only to slay some more scarabs to finish off that quest for Skronk and myself.
Then we skirted past a few patrols and exited the instance. We found the outside still fairly clear, so road off to turn in the most important quest.
That turn in wasn’t at Gadgetzan or Steamwheedle, but out at the Mirage Raceway.
There we turned in Gahz’rilla’s scale for the coveted Carrot on a Stick trinket.
We then rode back to Gadgetzan, feeling very good that we were moving a full three percent faster on our way back.
That seems like a trivial speed boost, but back in the day WoW didn’t exactly rain trinkets down on you and I recall wearing that item well into The Burning Crusade. Of course, I think I was also wearing that Argent Commission trinket into that expansion as well, so I might have just been bad at upgrading my gear.
That complete, we were done for the day. I camped and quit and found my wife, who had been busy with something while I had been playing, so didn’t seem upset.
Now we just have to get back for the return trip. We missed a boss completely and still need to do the event on the stairs and the final boss. Everybody gained a level this round, so we’re better prepared. But first we have to get everybody done with that Screecher Spririts quest.