As I mentioned last time around, after nine runs in and around Blackrock Depths since late October, we decided we could do with a change of scenery. We’re not done yet. We still have to get through the Lyceum and not screw up the vault at least once, but a little pallet cleanser seemed to be in order.
The plan was to head to Dire Maul out in Feralas.
Unlike some past instances, there wasn’t a lot of pre-work to do. We just flew out to Feathermoon Stronghold, picked up one quest from there, then headed towards Dire Maul. Fortunately the boat to the mainland was right on time for us.
This is one boat ride where if you just missed it you might as well just swim as it takes its time getting back, swinging all the way around the island. Our group for the run was:
- Viniki – level 58 gnome warrior
- Skronk – level 57 dwarf priest
- Moronae – level 57 night elf druid
- Ula – level 57 gnome mage
We headed right up the ramp and around the ogres… many of whom outside the instances were a few levels below us… and towards Dire Maul East.
Dire Maul has three wings, east, west, and north, but you have to do the east wing first as it gets you the key that lets you into the other two. And you get the come on about the key almost immediately upon zoning into the instance as Pusillin taunts you.
Pusillin is an imp, small in stature, and he runs off ahead as you clear your way through groups of mobs to catch up to him.
Fortunately, we seemed to be up to the task, with a bit of care. Again, doing this with a group of four reminds me how bad we must have been back in the day when our group of five sometimes struggled with these things.
We did have a little problem with the packs of non-elites that are scattered about. I had actually been reading an Icy Veins thread about how you can tank the five person instances as an arms warrior in battle stance using a 2H weapon, which has the advantage giving the warrior some strong AOE attacks with which to grab aggro. However, the discussion broke down, as these things tend to on the internet, into a series of absolute statements about the pros and cons of the idea, that I wasn’t left feeling warm and fuzzy on the idea, at least not enough to respec right before a run. Also, since I have gone very heavy on defense up until now, I was a bit worried about over taxing the healer. Maybe I’ll read up more on that later.
Pusillin leads you around and down a tunnel and through some satyrs, and the whole way is littered with seed pods that spawn poison or groups of non-elite mobs, so that when we followed Pusillin up a ramp onto a platform and saw yet another one of those pods, I walked over to just trigger it and get it out of the way. I didn’t know that was going to trigger the first boss fight, which is when Pusillin rises up to attack you for following him into his lair.
We went from causal follow and trash killing into boss fight mode against Pusillin and the non-elites that spawned from the pod. It was a near run thing. Ula ended up going down during the fight and I was punching all the back pocket abilities to stay alive as Skronk hit low mana.
But, in the end, I held out just long enough for us to kill him. Boss down, Skronk ressed Ula, then we looted the Crescent Key, which was the key we were looking for. Pusillin also dropped the Runn Tum Tuber Surprise recipe, which Viniki won in a roll-off. Now he just needs some tubers to cook with it. It is supposed to be good food for mages.
That done, we traced our way back up the path we had come to head into one of the doors we passed, that being where the next boss lay.
Another area with groups and wandering mobs awaited us. We did find here, as we did elsewhere in the instance, that with some planning we could skip by a lot of the fights. We felt no need to take the Pengail approach and run after every mob in sight, so threaded our way to the end of the room and up a ramp to find ourselves facing Lethendris, the target of our one quest from Feathermoon.
It was a toss up between her or her minion as to whom we should go after first. I called her and nobody objected, so off we went. The fight was short and sharp and soon both mobs were done.
Looting her yielded a quest item and a wand that went to Ula.
From there it was down a spiraling path to a lower level where, after clearing a few groups we were able to pull the next boss, Hydrospawn, back and take him down.
We had a little bit of trouble with him as he was immune to cold, which is inconvenient when half your DPS is a frost mage. He spawns a helper, but we opted to ignore that and just focus on him, which seemed to be the best plan in the end. The helper washed away when Hyrdrospawn went down. The boots he dropped were leather and went to Moronae for his alt healer gear set.
After that we found that we could slip across the pool where Hydrospawn was and bypass all the mobs in the room and head out into the conservatory, a wooded area. We went there, cleared out much of the place, and spoke with Ironbark, who just said something about Zevrim.
We let that pass and kept clearing the area until we arrived at a door at the other end which seemed to be the next place we needed to go, but which was closed without any way to open it up. We went back to Ironbark and he was on about Zevrim. It seemed like the plan was to find Zevrim.
The thing we missed was up in that screen shot with Hrydrospawn. There is a passage visible in the far wall of that picture, that was where we needed to go. We threaded our way past the mobs we could avoid, slew the few we could not, and headed up the passage. At the top, around a corner, was Zevrim.
Standing there looking at him and his altar sparked a few old memories. He is the one that, mid-fight, grabs somebody and puts them on his altar to sacrifice them. Good times. Otherwise his platform is clear, so we made sure we were spelled up and then I went and grabbed him.
I was the first thrown on the altar, which burns you for 300 hit points every second, so Skronk had to be on his toes and ready. I made it through, as did Ula and Skronk when it was their turn on the altar. Moronae was the last chosen, at which point Zevrim was about done and Skronk was about dry of mana. Moronae was sacrificed on the altar as Zevrim went down.
We got Moronae ressed and healed up and headed back to Ironbark, who obliged us by breaking down the closed door, after which he fell over and died.
Though the door we had to work our way down to the final boss, Alzzin the Wildshaper, who was only intermittently visible to us.
One of the oddities of WoW Classic resulting from the old content being grafted on to the modern WoW framework is that the view distance is often much closer than you might imagine. As with the elevators at the great lift, Alzzin wasn’t all that far away, but would walk out of our draw distance as he paced back and forth. It wasn’t like that back in the day.
Alzzin’s gimmick is to change forms throughout the fight and, as we read, on each change he dumps all aggro, so the tank has to be ready on the taunt to keep him off the rest of the group. And then, when he is about down, a wall breaks open and, instead of the Kool-Aid man, a bunch of non-elite helpers come join him in the fight. Not soon enough to save him though.
After that we were about done. We paused to take the usual group shot after the final fight.
Then we went over and each collected one of the gems that were on the ground behind where Alzzin was pacing about.
These are for a quest up in Moonglade which, among other things, has a shield upgrade for me as a reward.
Then it was out the back door of the instance, through the ogres wandering the grounds of Dire Maul, and back down to the dock for the boat to Feathermoon.
However, the boat had just pulled up at Feathermoon and the trip around the far side of the island seemed likely to take longer than swimming, so we jumped in the water and started pulling for the island. Moronae was able to get into aquatic form to get ahead, but then Skronk cast levitate and was able to run over the surface while Ula and I just kept on swimming.
Even for the two gnomes the swim was faster than waiting for the boat.
There we turned in the one quest we all had and called it a night. We now have to decide what to do next.