It had been almost a month since we had our last outing in Zul’Farrak. There was just too much going on for a few weeks for us to find the time.
But this past Sunday we finally got online together with the time to return to the instance.
The line up for the day was:
- Moronae – level 49 night elf druid
- Viniki – level 48 gnome warrior
- Skronk – level 48 dwarf priest
- Ula – level 47 gnome mage
We did a quick check on quest status for everybody and found that Moronae, Skronk, and Ula all still had Screecher Spirits. However, Moronae still had to go to Feralas to get the drops while Ula and Skronk just needed to turn the quest in for the next stage. We ran over to Steamwheedle to do the update for them. It seemed likely that Moronae would have another shot at finishing the quest down the road.
From there it was back past Gadget and on to ZF, dodging past the elite mobs that guard the outside of the instance.
Once into the instance we buffed up and started clearing mobs, which was nice as it gave us a to warm up a bit on some easy stuff after the time off.
There is, however, a lot of trash to take out, but we managed it, even clearing around the fountain without too many accidental pulls.
From the fountain we turned left again, both to pick up the quest objectives for Ula and Skronk for the Screecher Spirits follow on quest and because we totally missed a boss that lives off the path that direction. As we approached his lair, none of us could recall having ever done this fight. But we spotted his cave easy enough.
Since none of us could remember the fight, all of the details and surprises seemed to get us, like the fact… which I read up on later… that you don’t have to attack Antu-sul, or even get within casting range of him, you just have to get within a reasonable distance of his cave and he comes running out to get you. Surprise!
Oh, and he quickly summons some elite helpers for the fight as well. Surprise!
And he doesn’t just do that once… he keeps doing it as you kill his helpers off… and he keeps rooting everybody as well as dropping totems and healing himself every so often. We were quickly in over our heads and I was scrambling to remember some warrior skills to help keep me alive.
Somehow we managed to keep going… nobody died… and we got Antu’sul down, which stopped new adds from showing up, and we made it through.
For all that he dropped the Lifeblood Amulet, which was a bit of an upgrade for me, adding +3 stamina over what I had.
From there we moved on, picking off Theka the Martyr for the quest update for Ula and Skronk, avoiding any scarab entanglements, and then heading to the graveyard.
This is, of course, where we got surprised last time.
We did this again, the right way, digging up all the graves first, then going after Witch Doctor Zum’rah. All I can say is that there are way more graves in that area than there needs to be to make whatever point some Blizz dev was trying to make. But we could use the xp and the undead trolls dropped the troll temper for one of the Gadgetzen quests, so there was some upside.
The witch doctor himself wasn’t so tough without the zombies, though he does still summon some help on his own.
He dropped Zum’rah’s Vexing Cane, a staff that I thought might be up for contention between Ula and Skronk. However, it didn’t seem like much of an upgrade to the Illusionary Rod from Arcanist Doan back in Scarlet Monastery, something we picked up in our low 30s in December, though there was some uncertainty whether the bonus to healing/damage casting was worth the sacrifice of 10 spirit and 5 intellect. Ula decided to try it out, though the fact that it looks like somebody glued a door knob to the end or a broom stick did not endear it to anybody.
From there it was time to decided whether or not to attempt the stairs.
We cleared our way to them and decided to give it a shot. As with other fights, our memories were vague at best and we didn’t stop to look up a strategy, preferring to have at least one go in as raw a state as we could manage.
Up at the top we met the Sandfury Executioner who attempted to live up to his name.
He dropped the key to the cages where Sergeant Bly and his companions are. Opening those up starts off the big event on the stairs.
Down below the trolls formed up.
The trolls then start coming up the stairs. Most of them are not elite, but there are a few elites mixed in every so often. We tried to focus on the elites to burn them down. Bly and his crew seemed pretty able to care for themselves otherwise. It was chaotic and nearly got out of hand a few times when healing pulled aggro onto Skronk and there were shouts of “Get the combat ress ready!” but we seemed to get through each crisis. The Bly wanted to start moving.
It was at the bottom of the stairs that things got out of hand. There are two named mobs that spawn, and we ended up pulling them early, while we were still mixed up with the greater trash at the bottom of the stairs. We lost control, people started dying, and the last I saw of Sergeant Bly he was in a mass of trolls holding his own until he was polymorphed into a frog and beaten down.
Once that was settled out, we released and ran back to the instance. Since Bly and his crew were dead the event could not be run again and the remaining trolls were too many and packed too close together to try and finish them off. So we decided to save the stairs for another time… after some research… and finished off the quest Ula and Skronk had.
That meant clearing out some of the area around Gahz’rilla, and since we started on that, we finished clearing around and then used to Mallet of Zul’Farrak to summon Gahz’rilla again. This time we fought him from the water so when we got tossed in the air we had a soft landing.
That worked out well and Gahz ended up being a pretty easy fight. He doesn’t drop anything we need, but it all sells for coin and we all need more of that.
From there we mounted up and tried to ride on out of the instance, out running the various patrols and respawns between us and the exit. We almost made it too, but Ula took a big hit right at the zone line. We went back in and Skronk ressed her.
We got Ula back up on her mount and we road out and back to Gadgetzan for quest turn ins and such.
For next time we need to get Moronae to Feralas for his quest update as well as looking up some tips for the fight on the stairs. I think I know some of what we did wrong, and we know better what to expect, but after one run winging it I’d like a little more info. And we can managed that we can get to the final fight and finish off ZF.