The Lunar Festival arrived in WoW on January 20th and the group decided to divert from its current trajectory to do some work on getting the meta achievement for the event, which includes getting the Elder title.
That meant moving from doing dungeons to… doing some different dungeons.
The core mechanic of the Lunar Festival is an Azeroth-wide game of “Find the Elders.” There are some other tasks for the meta achievement, including just being lucky and walking through the corpse of a boss in Moonglade.
But most of the work goes into running down each of the elders.
Some are out in the open world, so there is little risk in getting to them. They are just scattered, so travel will be required… and flight is needed for some of the ones in Northrend. But that is mostly a time sink and not so difficult… at least if you know where they are.
My main gripe is that, once again, the draw distance limitation for character models is so short in WoW Classic that you cannot depend on seeing that light of Elune on them from any range. You have to be able to see their quest marker to find them.
Six are in the major capitol cities, three alliance and three horde. So three are easy and three have a bit of risk. The Undercity was quick. Orgrimmar was pretty the same run we did to Ragefire Chasm back in vanilla Classic, though much easier at level 77.
Thunder Bluff was the most annoying, but I managed to escape thanks to engineer skills.
And then there are the elders of the dungeons. They are 13 elders who have been dropped into various dungeon settings, so you have to work your way to them. Six of those are in vanilla instances, so fairly soloable for anybody geared up in Northrend. Seven of them, however, are in Northrend.
That meant running seven mostly at level instances. Fortunately, we had done four of them already and getting to the elder in them doesn’t require a dungeon clear. You generally have to get past at least the first boss in an instance, but not even that in some.
So we set out and did the four we knew, The Nexus, Azjol-Nerub, Drak’Tharon Keep, and Utgarde Keep.
The Nexus didn’t require us to even fight a boss, just some trash, to get to the elder. Azjol-Nerub had us fight two bosses, including Hadronox, the boss event that was so problematic to us on our first run. He was bugged… pun intended… this time as well, to the point that he died without any intervention on our part. We just sat and watched, then jumped down the hole and found the elder. Drak’Tharon meant two bosses as well and just staying clear of King Dredd when we found the elder.
Having worked from west to east, we ended up at Utgarde Keep, where we just had to dispatch Prince Keleseth.
That left the three dungeons hadn’t done before, and the closest, and hardest, Utgarde Pinnacle, was right there, so we thought we should give that a try.
UP is a level 80 instance and our group was all level 77, which meant we couldn’t even get the quests for the instance. Oh well, we’ll save that for later. It is also an instance I think we did exactly once and never looked back, so my memories are pretty vague.
So not only were we a bit under level… all the mobs are 79 or 80… but the elder is deep in the instance. We would have to get past three of the four bosses to get to the elder.
This was going to be some effort. And it was, though it wasn’t as bad as we might have feared.
We managed to get through the trash without too much drama, and took down the first boss, Svala Sorrowgrave, who is downstairs on that map, on the first try. Go us. We then worked our way around to the trophy hall and the second boss, Gortok Palehoof.
We managed to defeat that event… just barely… though found out after the fact that we didn’t have to. You can just walk past it. But it did drop a nice chest upgrade for me… I just needed to get to level 78 to put it on.
The last boss however, Skadi the Ruthless, which is that blue streak on the east side of the map… that stopped us.
Skadi is an event and you have to fight your way up that ally against a constant stream of oncoming mobs while collecting harpoons and… it just wasn’t happening. We took a few runs at it, even trying a work around that somebody suggest but which turned out to not be valid. (If you collect harpoons, then restart the event, your harpoons go away.)
One of the critical items in the event was mana. WoW Classic has another… bug, feature, change… where you can only use one potion per combat cycle. No 2 minute timer, just one potion and you’re done. This was easily a 5+ minute even for us the way it was working and we were hoping to be able to use multiple potions, but no luck on that front.
So we fell back to fight another day. Utgarde Pinnacle is the barrier between us and getting that last achievement for the holiday.
We’re looking for a better plan because we have to get it done before the evening of February 9th, because the lunar festival shuts down on the morning of the 10th.