Daily Archives: February 24, 2023

Through Violet Hold and Gundrak

When we got together this past weekend it felt like we had a lot of choices.  Having done sections of several dungeons as part of the Lunar Festival achievement run to get our titles we could have carried on at any one of several instances.

We didn’t have to stick to the strict order levels, we could go where we wanted!  We could have gone back and faced Skadi again just to show him who was boss.

Here’s Skadi!

However, we also happened to be standing in Dalaran practically in sight of Violet Hold and it was next on our list, our past attempt having gone badly, and nobody had a strong opinion in favor of going elsewhere… so we went to Violet Hold.

Our group for the afternoon was as follows.

Waiting for Beanpole to find the instance

We have worked on a level to get through Utgarde Pinnacle for Lunar Festival… and I had been doing Argent Tournament dailies… so we found ourselves a bit more beefed up than our last run at the instance.  We were all literally two levels up on that last run.  That, and the knowledge we had gained on the last run, made things a little easier.

You do six portal waves, keeping an eye to make sure nobody is attacking the door, then you get a boss.

Lavanthor shows up to disturb our pre-fight picnic

Then you do six more portal waves and get another boss… and I didn’t take a screen shot beyond the next boss appearing.

Zuramat the Obliterator announces his arrival

Zuramat the Obliterator announces his arrival

And then you do six more waves and end up with Cyanigosa, the final boss, who is a dragon and a slightly tougher fight… you have to get positioned to avoid the breath cone and tail cone… but ended up being doable without too much effort at our levels.

Prison riot put down

That got us the achievement and, according to the clock readings in my screen shots took us all of 20 minutes to accomplish.  I spoke to Lieutenant Sinclari at 16:26 and took the achievement screen shot at 16:45.

Violet Hold Achievement Done

That was so quick that it felt like a warm-up, so we decided to head to the next dungeon on the list, which was Gundrak.  That meant some flight time, during which cats were fed, and then we met up at the stone for the next run.

As noted, we had been here for the Lunar Festival, but we were not required to fight any bosses, the elder in Gundrak being in an area where you could sneak around the boss if careful.

At the elder behind the boss

We ended up fighting that boss… and winning… once… but this time around we were there to fight all the bosses that were available rather than just bypassing them.

You run Gundrak by slaying the bosses around the periphery, after which you work your way back to the center to make your way to the boss.  There are two ways in, so you can go clockwise or counter clockwise, but the clockwise entrance is close to the summoning stone, so we went that way.

Gundrak Map

Ignore where my marker is on the map, that is the side we did not come in through.

There is also another boss, down in the lower left of the map, who is only there when it is run in heroic mode.  We’re not there yet.

The first boss, down in the Den of Sseratus at 3 o’clock, is Slad’ran.  He has a bunch of snakes around him and, is a snake himself.  We cleared out his area and then had at him.

Doing the pull with my wrist mounted rocket launcher… an engineering item I made

His big thing is that he… summons snakes.  But we were already killing snakes, so it didn’t make for much of a change.  We managed to finish him without much effort.

Then we moved around clockwise to the 6 o’clock position to the Drakkari Colossus.  We had fought him before and had learned, along the way, not to stand in the purple goop that his elementals leave behind.  His routine is you fight him, then an elemental he summons, then him again, then an elemental, and then you finish him off.

With that knowledge… and the additional levels… the fight was much less dramatic.  We took him on the first go.  It was then I noticed that behind him there was an altar with a cog wheel if you moused over it.  Clicking that unlocked a beam that dropped a peg into a hole in the center of the instance.

The altar does its thing

Looking at that it was obvious that there were holes to be filled at 3 and 9 o’clock, which meant we must have missed the altar behind Slad’ran.  So we ran back and got that.  Then we moved back around to get to the boss at 9 o’clock, Moorabi.

Moorabi awaits

His thing is that he turns into a mammoth mid fight, which is visually interesting I suppose, but a bit awkward if you have pulled him back onto the steps so he ends up standing at an angle.

Mammoth with two short legs I guess

Like the previous two bosses, there was an altar behind him, which I activated, which was the final one to unlock the way to the final boss.

It was at that point I recalled something about not going back around to the Drakkari Colossus or where ever the ramp to the center was, but just bypassing some mobs by jumping off of Moorabi’s altar and swimming to the center of the instance.

Looking at where we needed to be

So I moved closer to the edge to see where we might land and took a step too far and fell off.  We were now committed to my half remembered strategy.

There are, of course, mobs in the water and they attack and some of almost died (me) because getting ashore on the other side means getting up a very steep incline that I picked the wrong spot to try and ascend.  But we ended up making it without loss despite my efforts.

Then there were just a few guys on rhinos between us and the final boss.  That seems to be the end boss motif, as even the final boss, Gal’darah, summons a spirit rhino to smack people in the party at random.

Facing the gauntlet of rhinos

Fortunately all the rhino riders were content to let their fellows die solo and were not all that tough.  And then it was time for Gal’darah, who like his henchmen, was not too tough.  It was a boss fight, but we powered through on our levels and that was that.  Soon he was down and we had the achievement.

And that is where he fell

He did drop a nice ring for me.

Gal’darah’s Signet

In fact, while there were a couple of items for the casters, the run seemed very much like an “upgrade the tank” event.

We took out final group picture… Gal’darah’s area seemed a much more epic background than his little corpse sprawled out on the floor… though you can still see him there.

Victory in Gundrak

And so we were done with Rhinos and the instance.  That took us about an hour to run, so neither it nor Violet Hold were exactly Sunken Temple or Wailing Caverns level commitments.  Still, they made for a decent afternoon’s fun.

Looking back at how we ran it in 2009, for some reason we went in the other side and did Moorabi first then moved around from there.  Something about snakes.  We also wiped once, but did run it a level below this run.

Next on the list is the Halls of Stone and then Utgarde Pinnacle again.  We’ll soon all be high enough to use the summoning stone there.