Daily Archives: December 11, 2020

Bar Brawl in Blackrock Depths

I hope you are not tired of reading about Blackrock Depths because we’re not done yet.  Last Sunday saw us once again head back into the sprawl that is this dungeon.

Blackrock Depths map

Our group this week was:

  • Viniki – level 56 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 56 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 56 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 56 gnome mage

Our primary goal was to knock out the two quests associated with The Grim Guzzler, the bar that is located in the midst of the instance, marked on the map above as location 15.  So we headed out of Ironforge for Thorium point, passing by one of the hallmarks indicating that Naxxramas had arrived.

It hangs in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t

So it was over to Thorium Point and across into the mountain, down the chains, through the excavation, and into the instance.  We’re starting to wear a path in the textures at this point.

Once inside, it was off to the left again, using the Shadowforged Key and into one of the side doors.

That key comes in handy

From there we retraced the same path we took in episode 4 of Blackrock Depths (Punching Sheep with Marshal Windsor), turning the big cog, crossing the bridge, going past General Angerforge (13), and into the manufactory where Golem Lord Arglemach resides (14).

We did not have to engage either of them, though we had to clear our way through one side of the manufactory to get to the opening on the other side.  From there we could see the entrance to The Grim Guzzler.

That way, past the fire elementals

After clearing the way and enjoying a little pause on the threshold we went inside.  The bar is full of non-aggro NPCs drinking, laughing, dancing on tables, and generally having a good time.  Still, it is best to keep your hands to yourself and not make eye contact.  You can set them all aggro by lifting a drink that isn’t yours as I recall.

Looking out at the crowd

Our first quest sent us to the storeroom… another storeroom… to break up some kegs of stolen Thunderbrew beer.  Those were easy enough to spot on one side of the room with a cog wheel when you moused over them.  We spread out and I commenced breaking open the kegs.

We could have just drank them, Skronk could have finished one keg himself

Breaking the last keg starts and event and some Dark Iron dwarves rush in to stop your keg smashing shenanigans.

Here they come!

Unfortunately, in spreading out, Ula placed herself closest to the way into the storeroom, so when the bads ran in the first thing they did was turn on her and beat her down.  She died before we could react.

We managed to recover from that rather unfortunate turn of events, though it was a near run thing at times.  That got us our quest update and, once we ressed Ula and got everybody buffed up again, it was time for the second quest, which involved obtaining the head of Ribbly Screwsproket.  Conveniently, he hangs out just a stone’s throw from the storeroom.

Ribbly out in the main area

I pulled him and his three friends back into the storeroom and we set about them.  That went better, and we were able to loot his head, marking the second quest complete.  Our goals for the run had been accomplished, but we had barely been at it for an hour, so we set ourselves to head further on into the instance.

To get past we had to go to the upper tier of the bar and start another even that involved Private Rocknot.

There he is

You buy him some drinks from the bar… again, don’t pick up anybody else’s drink… and feed them to him via a quest interaction until he has had too much and starts demanding even more beer.  When he cannot find any he gets violent which activates Phalanx, the peace keeping golem in the corner.  Phalanx is aggro to everybody, so that was the fight.  He went down easily enough and, as part of the whole event, he busts down the back door of the Grim Guzzler, letting us pass further into the instance.

The bent back door visible behind us

We picked up the Love Potion quest from Mistress Nagmara on the way out, which simplifies getting the door open, and pressed on, clearing as we went.  We next ran up against Ambassador Flamelash (16) and we managed to beat him down fairly quickly.

The only hitch was that Ula died.

Not during the fight, but afterwards.  She went looking around and fell off the edge of the platform and into the lava.

Ula’s corpse, surprisingly intact given the pool of lava

Unfortunately there is no way down to the level of the lava and from the platform her corpse was out of ress range.  She had to release and run back to the instance.  We met her at the door and ran back to where we left off.

From there we ran into a room with Flame Golems (17 on the map), one of which walked up behind us as we engaged another group, causing enough confusion to make us wipe.  Oh well.

Down Again

Back we ran and, once we got ourselves set and kept an eye on the wandering golem, we were able to make our way through the room without breaking a sweat.  The surprise of the wanderer upset out balance.

That got us into the Summoners Tomb (18) to face The Seven dwarves.  And yes, they do have names to match the theme.

  • Hate’rel
  • Anger’rel
  • Vile’rel
  • Gloom’rel
  • Seeth’rel
  • Doom’rel
  • Dope’rel

This is another event.  You speak to to Hate’rel at the top of the platform in the room, which sets things in motion.

Are you threatening me?

You then have to fight the dwarves, each of whom represents a different vanilla WoW class.  They come at you one at a time, but go on a timer, so you need to work fast if you don’t want to have multiple bosses on you.

We actually did pretty well on this, even though it was very much a DPS check and as a group of four we are always short on DPS.  We were finishing up one as the next would show up, allowing me to grab the new one and get aggro while everybody burned down the previous one.  Timing was a little tight, but we were good throughout and finished the fight, slaying all seven.  We took a group shot there, just in case that was the pinnacle of our efforts.

After The Seven

Winning that fight opened the door the the Lyceum (19).

The door opens before us

At that point you can see from the map that we were getting very close to the final bosses in the instance.  But the Lyceum would prove our undoing.  It is an event of its own, a room full of non-elite groups.  You have to get two drops, Shadowforge Torches, from the Shadowforge Flame Keepers who wander the Lyceum, and use them to light the two braziers.  That will open the far door and allow access to the final bosses.

But to do that you must contend with the non-elite groups which, in this area of the instance, are on a two minute respawn timer.  To deal with that constant respawn rate, you need a plan, and we did not have one.  We got into the room a ways, near one of the braziers, but the pace of fighting wore us down quickly.  Skronk and Ula went down at one point, but Moronae had a combat ress for Skronk, who then could ress Ula.  But by the time that got sorted we were in deep with the respawns again and soon we were going down in a desperate fight.

Fighting over Skonk and Ula’s corpses

We wiped as the numbers tore us down.

Corpses as Ula releases

We decided at that point that we had probably reached our limit for the run.  Time had moved along, we were now in the respawn zone for the instance, and it was time for dinner at my end.  We revived at the graveyard angel and flew on back to Ironforge to call it.

So we have at least one more run if we want to complete the instance.  But we need to come up with a plan for the Lyceum first.

CCP Reverts EVE Online Drone Aggression Nerf and Other Items

CCP Paradox announced in the forums yesterday that CCP would be rolling back the change to drone behavior that was introduced with Tuesday’s game update based on feedback they received… and because the change totally broke drone assist.

The statement says drone assist breaks in “certain scenarios,” but so far as I can tell, having  experimented with it a bit, the main scenario is “player is logged in and trying to assist drones to another player.”  You can make the call as to whether you believe feedback or dysfunction was the prime motivator for the roll back.

The statement in the forums said CCP would update us today with timing for the change, but the patch notes update for December 11th say:

  • The change to drone behavior made on 8 December has been reverted. This means that drone functionality will be exactly the same as before the patch with ‘Aggressive’ setting once again automatically attacking NPCs. More information can be found on EVE Online forums.

So you may once again let your drones fly free to attack any aggressive NPCs that come your way as you mine or rat or whatever while AFK.

Drones will once again sort out this mess on their own

Also in the patch notes was a change to the Winter Nexus Wightstorm event sites which were inadvertently dropping Nightmare Blueprint Originals rather than single use Blueprint Copies.  The former would be game breaking and extremely valuable.  That has been corrected.

  • The Wightstorm data sites from the Winter Nexus event are now properly dropping single-use Nightmare BPCs.

CCP asked players not to copy or try to sell the Nightmare BPOs, which should have all been reverted to BPCs with the update as well.

And, since we’re on the topic of things CCP has been fixing, yesterday they fixed the issue that was preventing people from setting stations without clone services as their home station (or death clone location in game parlance, the place where you come back when you have been podded) .  When this broke it was noticed almost immediately because Jita 4-4, the main trade hub and most popular NPC station in the game does not have clone services, so suddenly nobody could set their death clone there.  This led me to ask on Twitter:

Now that CCP has reverted the medical clone issue, my question is why didn’t Jita 4-4 get clone services with the big renovation? They had budget for a space elevator but not some clone bays?

Seriously, why doesn’t this station have clone services?  The mysteries of New Eden.