As I said, we were already there, already on the threshold of the first dungeon in Northrend, already inside the tower that dominates the head of Howling Fjord.
And, as I also noted, we had the group together, had the quests, and were all level 70.
It seemed like it might be time for a test run, time to try out some real mobs in an instance, or at least do something that wasn’t going to run Potshot ragged running two characters. The dual boxing mantra had been “it will be easier in an instance” up to this point. So in we went.
There were two elite mobs up at the top of those steps, so we were going to have to actually work as a group and cover our specific roles… like I was going to have to actually be a tank.
I had read the section on tanking as a protection pally over at Icy Veins, had use the talent spec they recommended, and was ready to use the rotation they recommended, which largely seemed to mean AOE’ing everything and hope that my mana stayed topped up via spiritual attunement and the fact that Fergorin was going to be dropping a lot of heals on me.
We were not especially geared up. We just had the first round of green quest gear from the starting zones and a couple of glyphs on people. Otherwise, we were pretty raw on the preparation front.
But, we managed to kill those first two guys, and the guys behind them and so on until we got out to the furnace of hate where, rather than groups of one or two mobs, we had to take on three.
We tried to sheep one guy, but he somehow broke that very quickly, I ended up with three mobs on me, took lots of damage, ran Fergorin out of mana, then died, leading to a scramble for the nearby exit. Not a full wipe, but a bad fight.
That led to some re-tooling as we realized that we did not have all our buffs up and I had left one Holy Shield out of my rotation. We got ourselves back together and were successful on the next try, and subsequent groups as we made our way around the furnace to the dragon pens.
It was also about them I realized that Wrath dungeons come with maps.
The dragons in the pens are double size elites, but we managed to take on the first couple without issue.
There was a bit of a hiccup mid-way through, but we pressed on and managed to clear that room.
After that we pressed on, clearing the hallway and heading up the stairs until we made to the Reaver’s Hall, the location of the first boss.
On the far side of the room is Prince Keleseth, the first boss of Utgarde Keep and something of our nemesis back in the day.
A funny thing is that my memory of the situation does not match up with the reality of the old posts of our original runs in Wrath. In the version my memory tells, we failed at Prince Keleseth over and over until we finally had a “git gud” moment and went and read whatever the elite raiding forum was back in the day… the name escapes me now… elitist jerks maybe?
Anyway, we read up, figured things out, came back and wiped the floor with Keleseth and carried on before us.
In reality, we actually managed to bring down Keleseth before we got ourselves straightened out, despite putting up some pretty low DPS numbers.
It was, in fact, Ingvar the Plunderer that was our nemesis. We couldn’t get through both rounds of his fight until we had gotten ourselves better. We even, at one point when Bung was away, did Keleseth as a group of four.
I got in some heat with the group for posting our damage meter output, but that got us feedback that we were very low in our damage output. That was what got us to look up how to be better.
Anyway, all of that is in the depths of the blog under the Utgarde Keep tag if you click it and scroll down.
Which, of course, doesn’t mean that we were at all ready to face Keleseth with our group of 4+1. But we were willing to give it a try.
First we had to clear the four mobs that stand before Keleseth, which took us two tries. We wiped on the first run because we picked the casters as the first targets. However, they put up damage shields and hang on for a long time, letting the other mobs beat us into a pulp.
The second time around it was casters first and we finished them off. Then it was time for Keleseth… and trying to remember how the fight goes. We remembered the ice block thing, where a random member of the group gets hit by an ice block that puts 400 DPS on the victim until it wears out or until the party burns it down.
But the adds were kind of up in the air. I knew we got some group that would show up, maybe more than once. As for where to fight Keleseth, I got it in my head that we should pull him back to the stairs at the head of the room. I don’t know why. In hindsight that wasn’t a great idea, just giving him some free shots on me until I line of sighted him to us.
So the first round was a wipe. Things went badly. Mistakes were made,
We adjusted the plan, wiped again. At that point, Beanpole went paper doll on his equipment, which I guess he hadn’t repaired recently. However, it turned out that I had a field repair bot in my inventory. So I deployed that and got us all repaired as well as selling some excess items in our bags.
Going through my bag I realized that I had potions and things, stuff that might actually help in a fight.
However, that did not guarantee success. We gave Keleseth a couple more tries, but could not quite pull it off.
I fumbled my own healing a couple of times. When you die and haven’t used a health potion or your health stone, you have screwed up as a tank. We got close however.
It feels like we have all the pieces for a successful run. We… and especially me… need to get on top of our execution. But unlike the old days, we have plenty of DPS to hand. Tanking I was putting out close to 700 DPS, while Beanpole was past 1,100 and Ula past 1,300.
One minor hiccup is Ula being a frost mage, so her DPS won’t hurt Keleseth’s ice block routine.
Our hunter DPS, Fergorin’s second account, which just stands back and shoots, did add to our damage… and seemed to have much higher survivability than some of us. You can see his pet on Keleseth while there I am, dead on the ground again.
I had to call it for dinner or we might have tried a few more times. But it was just a test run for the group.
Next time around we’ll position ourselves better. Fergorin found a nice video on the instance and I read some further items that suggest taking the fight to Keleseth and keeping the group tight so that the skeletons that he summons… and which he revives throughout the fight… don’t get out of control and so that AOE can be used to help with the ice block problem.