Category Archives: Instance Group

Tales of the Twilight Cadre instance group in Azeroth

Our Last Quest in Blackrock Depths

When the weekend came around again and we got together in WoW Classic, I already had a plan for what we ought to do.  We had one remaining quest in Blackrock Depths.  We had to go retrieve the Heart of the Mountain from the vault in Shadowforge City.  That was the one thing left undone for us in the instance.

We had been to the vault twice in our many trips to the dungeon, but managed to wipe both times.  Now, with all of us at level 59, we seemed formidable enough, even as a group of four, to wrap this up.

Blackrock Depths map

We had a short quest to wrap up in Searing Gorge first.  Moronae, taking on the enchanting role in our group, was going to try and get himself up to honored with the Thorium Brotherhood, which would give him access to a couple of enchanting recipes.  But to get on that path you need to finish the quest What the Flux?, which requires taking down three elites.  And there was an Wanted poster quest for the named elite to do along the way.

I swapped out Viniki for my paladin, Wilhelm, because the former had already done the quests and the latter still needed them.  Even if Wilhelm wasn’t going for Thorium Brotherhood rep, it was still a tidy bit of xp for turning them in.

However, somebody got there just ahead of us, so while we could just grab the plans for the first quest, we had to wait around for a respawn… which takes a while for these mobs… before we could finish the second.

Waiting Around

Once they spawned it was a quick fight and then back to Thorium Point to turn in the quests.  Then I swapped back to Viniki and we headed off to the instance.  Our group was:

  • Viniki – level 59 gnome warrior
  • Moronae – level 59 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 59 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 59 dwarf priest

We all have less than a level to hit the cap now.

We were into the instance and up around to the Ring of Law where we found one of the Lunar Festival elders.

Greetings Elder Morndeep

This time around we got the worms again for the starter course… the poison is annoying but we were good… followed by Gorosh the Dervish as the boss.

Gorosh the Dervish attacks

By this point a level 56 boss without any tricks is a quick fight.  But at least it was a change up from the Eviscerator, who I think we have drawn all but once on our previous ventures into the Ring of Law.

Then it was up through the audience and down the path to Shadowforge City and the location of the vault.

Gonna go down to Shadowforge City…

There, we put our learning from past mistakes to use.  We cleared out everybody out in front of the vault area, then grabbed the group inside, then Warder Stigliss and his dog Verek.  Then it was into the vault where only I opened up the first eleven vaults with my pile of relic coffer keys.  On reaching the last one, everybody got setup in the next room, then I opened it and ran back.  The constructs in the vault came to life and came to us in the other room for the fight.

The fight in the vault

After getting stomped by them when they surprised us the last time we were in the vault, this time we defeated them handily.

Then it was back into the vault to claim the Heart of the Mountain, the item for the final quest we had left for the instance.

Everybody got to grab their own heart

After that we were done with what we needed to do.  But there was still the dark coffer left unopened.  For that we needed to the key from one of the dark keepers.  WoW Head says there are six of them, and they can spawn all over the instance.  To spawn them you have to do the thing we regretted back in the day, you have to examine the portrait.  So we got ourselves buffed up and ready, and I went and looked at it.

Viewing the Portrait

And, nothing happened.  Last time we spawned the guy who walks right into the room.  This time, not so much.  So we set about looking for whoever spawned.

One of them was supposed to spawn down by Fineous Darkvire, down in the hall of crafting.  So we made our way down there.  We found old Fineous again.

We’ve killed you a few times now

Since we were there we went on and took low Lord Incendious, who was just up the way.

We were in the neighborhood, so why not?

After that we made our way the other direction.  The domicile, through which we had come to get to the vault, was a possible spawn point.  However, nothing was there.  So we continued on back to the Ring of Law, where the stands above the ring are another possible location.  And there, in the audience, we found Dark Keeper Zimrel.

The others keep clear of Dark Keeper Zimrel

The fight was short, and soon we were on our way back to the vault with the Dark Keeper Key.  In the Dark Coffer was was a green item that went to Moronae to disenchant and the Eye of Kajal, part of a quest for a helmet enchant.

We had now finished the vault and had done about all you can do in Blackrock Depths.

The vault fully open

Instance complete.  And nobody died on the run too, which I think might be a first.

Skronk suggested we go grab one more boss on the way out, Pyromance Loregrain, who was just off the path we took to get to the vault.  It was a quick fight, but the drop was the fiery enchant recipe for Moronae, our group enchanter.  Well worth the side trip.

A useful drop for once!

From there Ula opened a portal back to Ironforge and we took a flight to Morgan’s Vigil in the Burning Steppes, then rode on out to the encampment in the middle of the north end of the zone to turn in the final quest.

That done, it was time to recall back to Ironforge and call it a day.

Everybody hearthstone

That wraps up Blackrock Depths for us as an instance to run.  We might have to go back again for recipes at the Grim Guzzler, but we can put a check next to it on our list.

As before, on finishing an instance, here is a rerun of all the posts about the instance group doing Blackrock Depths over the years.

Another Plan for Blackrock Depths

After the last couple of weeks of doing crafting focused runs with the group, I had a related request of my own.  Having collected six stacks of Dark Iron ore, I was ready to learn how to smelt it down into bars for crafting.  The NPC that teaches you that skill lives in Blackrock Depths.  Seems logical enough.  So I wanted to take a run into the instance to learn that, then maybe loop back around and smelt what I had.  That would take us pretty deep into the instance, but no further than we had managed on past runs.

Blackrock Depths map

The NPC who teaches the skill is in the Summoner’s Tomb, location 18 on the map above.  That would also put us next to the Lyceum, location 19, which had thwarted us in the past.  Given that we had no other plan for the day, everybody agreed.  Skronk even suggested that we might take another stab at the Lyceum since we would be there.  Based on past experience, I was feeling dubious about the idea, but we’d be there, so why not?

Our group for the run was:

  • Viniki – level 59 gnome warrior
  • Moronae – level 59 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 59 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 58 dwarf priest

We met up outside of Blackrock Mountain because I was impatient and was already there.  I was also hunting around for a bit more Dark Iron ore, which does spawn occasionally in Searing Gorge.

Meeting up, cats out

Then it was the usual run in.  You can see that I have a “BRD11” as the prefix for the names of the images in this post.  Once of my habits is to try and do that to keep images from a post together and identifiable as such.  It also points to my native pessimism in that I zero padded the prefixes for Blackrock Depths just in case we went past nine runs.  Here we are at run eleven.

We have learned something of the efficient ways into the place, and which mobs we can bypass with some care.  We don’t need to take that last group in the room that has the bridge/gate control, though we did get a nice bit of loot from one of the groups we did have to take.

Purple Loot!

That looks to be a druid bear tanking staff if I were to guess.  We’ll see what Ula gets for it at the auction house, as she won the roll for it.

Also along the way, in between General Angerforge (13) and Golem Lord Arglemach (14) we can slip past most of the mobs in the room by carefully jumping up on the ramp bannister and running down that into the manufactory.

Just an easy jump to avoid that fire elemental group

Through the manufactory you have to take one big group or another, as well as the wanderers, but once you get one group down you can skirt along the wall and avoid the other.  Then it is a couple more fire elemental groups and you’re into the Grim Guzzler (15).

We had done the quest to get the back door open already, so we now just speak to an NPC and they open it up and go off to do whatever it is they get up to when we’ve passed.

We took a good deal of care with the groups outside the Grim Guzzler.  We had wiped in the past due to line of sight issues and aggro mistakes.  But we managed to take them down.

From there it is on to Ambassador Flamelash, which is always a bit of a chore, mostly because we never remember how the fight goes until it is too late.  Skronk got killed by the adds, but got a combat ress from Moronae and we finished off the fight successfully.

From there we actually got the rare roll, Panzor the Invincible in the golem factory.  We pulled him safely out of the room and took him down.

Panzor is actually vincible

He didn’t have anything anybody needed… what use is a rare like that… but Moronae was along to disenchant after last week, so there it all went.

We made it through the golem room successfully, which put us in the Summoner’s Tomb.  Time for me to do my quest.  You speak to Gloom’rel, the first dwarf on the right, who summons a chalice.

Gloom’rel and his chalice

Then you put the quest items into the chalice; 2 star rubies, 10 bars of truesilver, and 20 bars of gold.

The quest requires it

And then you speak to Gloom’rel again… don’t forget this part… and you learn how to smelt Dark Iron ore.

I just wasn’t ready for the ratio of ore to bars.  It is eight Dark Iron ore per bar.  I was going to need more ore to make anything, since I only had seven bars worth of ore.

That done, we kicked off the even in the room and slaughtered the seven dwarves, one by one.  That went pretty smoothly.

The dwarven remains

At that point my goal was accomplished.  But now the door to the Lyceum was open, so it was time to go examine our options once more.

Once again Skronk was able to  use mind vision to scout out the location of the NPCs carrying the torches we would need.  They were both along the line of one row of columns, so we decided to try and push down that row as quickly as we could, picking up the torches as we went, and then make our way to the platforms.

It did not end as we hoped.  We caught one of the big wandering groups along the way.  While I had managed to kill and loot one of the torch bearers, we were in over our heads and wiped.

Getting mobbed in the Lyceum

We decided to give it another try, though that almost did not happen.  After we got back into the instance we started running to the Lyceum directly, saving our re-buff cycle until we got close so as not to simply have to re-buff once we got there.

And then things went awry.  I mentioned the ramp and jumping up onto the bannister carefully.  Well, in one of those control misfires, like that time I jumped out the window of the bridge, he jumped way over and into aggro range of the fire elemental group, pulling them onto us for a wipe.

So we ran back again… and managed to wipe at the elemental group again… same thing, bad jump put somebody in aggro range.

So we ran back a third time, buffed up, got to the elemental group, pulled them, and took them down.

And then, as we were running through the manufactory, Mornoae ran too close to the one group we bypassed and we had another surprise fight on our hands.

Another accidental proximity pull

We managed to survive, but it was a bit of a near run thing.

Eventually we made it back to the Lyceum.  Skronk scouted out our targets once more, and we gave it another try.

This time, for whatever reason, luck seemed to be on our side.  We got into the central area, killed the two torch bearers, and managed to keep going forward to the first platform where we got in the safe corner, defeated the elemental, and lit the first brazier.  Half way done.

Luck stayed with us and we managed to fight our way over to the second platform, defeat the elemental there, and light the second brazier.

The second brazier lit

That was it, we had succeeded.

We did have to stop and figure out what to do next.  There were mobs all over the Lyceum still.  They do not vanish, though I understand that the respawns are turned off.

Surveying the scene, it appeared that there was a clear path to the door, past which we faced Magmus (20).

Magmus awaits

The room with Magmus has golems all up and down the side in alcoves.  The worry was that we were going to have to fight them all.  But when we started the fight with Magmus, we found that the golems were really just a flame sprinkle system.  Waves of flame from them go up and down the hallway.  It was enough to earn Skronk another death, but we survived and got to a safe spot at the far end of the room.

That left the final room ahead of us, the throne room.

The final fight awaits

There is a lot of stuff to clear out in the throne room, groups of mobs all over, upstairs and down, so we were a while taking care of that.

Taking a rest between groups

Eventually though we weeded out every mob, leaving only Emperor Dagran Thaurissan and Princess Moira Bronzebeard.

Facing the emperor and his captive

For our purposes, we wanted to finish the relevant quest for King Mangi Bronzebeard, we needed to kill the emperor and rescue the princess.  But Moira is mind controlled by the emperor and assists him, healing and such, so we needed to keep her busy but alive while taking down the emperor.

We decided that Viniki and Moronae would pull the pair off the throne to one of the side alcoves… the one to the left as you face the throne… and fight them in there.  Skronk and Ula would stand up on one of the galleries overlooking that alcove and cast.  We were about ready to go, but decided to wait until the 30 minute cool down on Monornae’s combat ress to run down, just in case.

When it was done, everybody got in position and off we went.  I pulled the pair back successfully, putting some aggro on Moira when I could.  Skronk and Ula were good from the gallery.  Eventually Skronk’s healing grabbed Moira away from me, but she had to run the long way around and up a ramp to get to him, at which point Skronk and Ula both jumped down to where we were and the fight carried on, with Moira hoofing it all the way back around to us again.  Moira got off a couple of final heals, but we managed to burn down the emperor, and which point she was released from her spell and was no longer aggro.

We spoke to her, updated the quest, and took pictures around the throne.

At the emperor’s seat

We had done it at last, we had made it to the final boss in BRD.  Then it was back to Ironforge to turn in the quest.

Time to hearthstone back to Ironforge

Of course, I still have to get to the black anvil to smelt my Dark Iron ore and we still haven’t finished up the vault.  But we don’t have to go all the way in, all the way to the back of the instance again.  We made it through the Lyceum as a group of four.

Some Enchanted Evening

Once again the group was off on a side task.

During a past run when we were talking about trade skill coverage it was pointed out that we have nobody on the team who does enchanting.  We have a number of trade skills covered, but nobody had really picked up enchanting.  Obama had said he was going to try it, but then stopped playing with us, leaving us without an enchanter.

I don’t think enchanting is necessarily critical, but it can be a nice to have addition to the group.  Also, some part of me wants a glowing weapon.

I had initially asked if Ula was interested in going with enchanting.  She has been doing tailoring and I brought this up while we were out looking for the mooncloth bag recipe. (Since obtained for 20g at the auction house.)  Tailoring is something of a natural to go with enchanting as it does not require a dedicated harvesting skill the way many of the professions do.  I have the tailor/enchanter mix on a character in retail WoW.  We could just run her through some lower level dungeons to collect gear to disenchant to kick start her progress.

So we picked up the discussion the past weekend.  The first proposal was to have somebody’s alt pick it up, but I argued that we ought to have somebody in the dungeon group itself pick up the profession, as having them around to disenchant the inevitable bind on pickup drops that we get every run.  Those could turn into materials for useful enchants.

Eventually Moronae volunteered for the position.  He had been running with just gathering professions, herbalism and skinning, in order to make some money.  But skinning is pretty common and not a huge money maker.  So he said he would drop that and pick up enchanting.

With that decided we went of to do a few low level dungeon runs just to get him started.  For whatever reason… I can’t really recall now… the rest of us opted to bring out some slightly lower level alts for this run.  They were not low enough level to get xp or find any good drop, so I suspect we would have been fine with our mains, but at least we got them out for some exercise.  So our group was:

  • Moronae – 59 feral druid
  • Scsla – 43 gnome warrior
  • Fergorin – 40 dwarf paladin
  • Alioto – 36 resto druid

We decided that the Deadmines would be a good start, so flew out to Westfall and ran off to that.

Into the Deadmines

I will admit that it is actually kind of fun to go into a lower level instance and slay with near impunity.  This is my major gripe about level scaling all content, you never get a chance to do this sort of thing.  My druid, being level 36 and dressed to heal, did manage to get in a little bit over his head now and then… enough elite gray mobs can still be a hazard… but we kept on plowing through.

The drops were good and Moronae was able to start disenchanting stuff pretty quickly.  He kind of had to as we were letting him loot most of the corpses and his inventory was filling up fast.  I ended up taking some of the wool from him as I still needed to make heavy wool bandages to advance my first aid.

We arrive at the boat

Up on the ship we roamed around the back and got Cookie and the siamese cat drop.  Then we were back around front and up the ramps to knock out Captain Greenskin and then Van Cleef.

Skonk was quick to point out that one of the ramps had a corner cut off and that this no doubt explained why he fell off the ramp and into the water back when we were doing the Deadmines at level.

You can see if at the lower left

We went up and faced VanCleef, who gave us his usual routine.

Yes, yes, tell us some more

That did not take us much time at all and was distracting enough that we decided to do another instance.  This time we flew on up to run through Shadowfang Keep.  Another quick tour through a dungeon.

Hate to break up the dinner party…

Again we were on a rampage and Archmage Arugal didn’t stand much of a chance against us.

Arugal is down

That was a sight bit quicker than our run through the first time in classic.

After that it seemed like we might take a break, but I was in Stormwind and the Stockades were close by and a quick run, so we ran in and did that just to pile on some more gear to disenchant.

The slaughter of the Defias

After that Moronae was able to get himself up to 90 enchanting.  Viniki made him his silver and golden enchanting rods to cover his ongoing requirements and he was able to do a few practice enchants on us.  I think we all got +5 health on our bracers.

Anyway, we got him off to a good start I think and hopefully we can get him up to where he can disenchant the inevitable mail bind on pick up drops that inevitable are our reward when doing runs.  And maybe someday I will have a glowing enchanted weapon.

Recipe Hunt in the Burning Steppes

Ula has been working on her tailoring in WoW Classic and has been able to make us 14 slot runecloth bags for a while now.  But we have recently started getting a felcloth drop now and then, which she can convert to mooncloth, which can be used to make 16 slot mooncloth bags.

It takes some time, as there is a cool down on the conversion, but she also needs the mooncloth bag recipe.  There was one available at the auction house for 48 gold, but that is a lot of cash for us.  It is also a drop from various mob around Azeroth.  So, when we got online on Sunday and didn’t have a plan, we decided to go see if we could farm some mobs for a while to see if we might get lucky.

The nearest likely mobs were over in the Burning Steppes.

The Burning Steppes, squeezed in between

According to WoW Head, there were a few different mobs that might drop the recipe.  We decided to concentrate on three groups that were fairly close together.

The usual suspects

While at Morgan’s Vigil we also made sure everybody has the quest for drops off of the Blackrock orcs, since we would be slaying them in great numbers.  Once that was in hand we mounted up and headed across the zone.

Mounting up at Morgan’s Vigil

There were, of course, no Blackrock Battlemasters in sight when we arrived at the first location.  But we needed drops and it seemed likely that they shared spawn points with the other Blackrock orcs, so we slew them all, out and about and inside the fort they were around.

Clearing the halls

We had a bit of a problem with Grark Lorkrub, a named orc inside the fort with the Blackrock orcs.  He would de-aggress and run away when we fought him.  Later research showed he was a quest mob for a Horde quest that requires players to beat him into submission and then escort him to Searing Gorge.  Still, we found if we sat right on his spawn point and kept beating on him without letup, we could kill him.  It wasn’t worth the effort in the end, but we managed it once.

We never did run across and Blackrock Raiders.

But the Flamescale Wyrmkin were out in force, and were elites, so we were able to dig into them for a while.

Flamescale Wyrmkin

Naturally, the recipe did not drop, though that did not stop me from thinking it would every time it was my chance to loot.  Go optimism.

While we did not get that, we did rack up a bit of xp as we ran around and slew mobs.  Moronae and I both hit level 59 while we were out there and Skronk and Ula got close to the mark.  Level 60 is in sight now.

After about 90 minutes the mob grinding started to wear a bit thin and Skronk asked aloud what I was thinking, “Don’t we have a quest to finish up for Moronae in Blackrock Depths?”

I mean, it was right there.  And we did still have to get the shadowforge key for Moronae.  So we headed off up the ramp and into Blackrock Mountain for another visit to our most visited instance.

Blackrock Depths map

All we had to do was get through the main floor, through the Ring of Law (6), and around to the monument to Franclorn Forgewright.  Moronae already had the drop from Fineous Darkvire from a past run. It would be easy.  We zip in, we pick up the key, we zip right out again.  It’s BRD.  It’s like going into Wisconsin.

Getting through the main open area was easy enough, and the Ring of Law… well, we drew the Eviscerator yet again.  He was easy enough.  Then it was through the back gate, up the ramp, past the crowd upstairs watching the Ring of Law events, and to that first set of five mobs that gave us such heartburn in one of our early runs.

We had gained a few levels by then, something proven when, in an effort to get a closer look at them, Ula wandered into aggro radius of the group and started the fight.  In we went.  And we got the wandering fire elemental that passes up and down the hall as well.  Still, we held it together and by virtue of experience and being nearly level 60 we knocked them all down and nobody died.

All six down as we recover

From there we could see our target.  There was another group to deal with, then the boss who guards the monument, but neither group was a big risk so long as we were ready before the fight started.

Just a boss to remove before the monument

Once they were down there was a little bit of figuring out how to turn in the quest.  There isn’t a big yellow question mark or anything.  Vanilla WoW had conventions, but wasn’t 100% locked into them.  Once that was accomplished, we took a group shot.

On the invisible ledge before the monument

Then Ula opened a portal to Ironforge for us.  From there we flew out to Morgan’s Vigil to turn in the Blackrock orc quest.  It was there that Skronk noticed that he still had an ogre head in his bag from one of the other quests.  However, when we went out to where the quest is supposed to send you, Skronk found that he did not have the quest and we couldn’t get it from the quest giver, so he probably got credit when somebody else did it.  Vanilla WoW was also pretty bad about clearing up quest items from your bag.

While we were out we ran across Volchan, the wandering level 60 boss in Burning Steppes, and managed to drop him fairly easily.  The loot was yet another mail item.

After some mucking about at Morgan’s Vigil to figure out Skronk’s quest issue, we called it a day and recalled back to Ironforge.

Everybody stoning home

While we didn’t do much in the instance, that is our tenth run in and about Blackrock Depths, and we’re still not done yet.

Thwarted in Dire Maul North

We hadn’t really made a plan after the previous week’s diversion into Dire Maul East.  However, we had made it through successfully, had the key to get into the rest of the complex, and were looking for something to do, so we decided to carry on in Feralas.

Feralas in WoW Classic

Skronk said that Dire Maul North was the next destination, and I honestly couldn’t recall.  The high end of the level range is packed with dungeons and they are something of a blur in my brain all these years down the road.  Our group for the afternoon was:

  • Viniki – level 58 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 58 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 58 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 58 gnome mage

But before we went to Feralas we had a bit of leftover business to which to attend.  In Dire Maul East we picked up those gems after the final boss and brought them to Moonglade to jump start a quest.

Two gems left to collect

On our way to the instance we decided to wrap that up, which required a trip to Silithus.  Since we had not been there before, we flew into Un’Goro Crater and took the path into Silithus.

Actually, I had gone ahead over the course of the week and completed the quest as it had a shield upgrade for me.  That meant I knew the way to where we needed to go.

The wrecked town in Silithus

Alone it was a bit of a pain to get myself into the building where the chest you need to collect is.  As a group we rolled through pretty quickly.

Chest found… also, my new shield is visible

From there we ran back to the alliance camp in the zone, picked up the flight point, and flew back up to Feathermoon in Feralas.  The boat was, once again, just in time for us and we were soon within the Dire Maul compound.  This time we headed to the back of the main open area, the north end, to the door.  It was locked, but we had the key.

The door to Dire Maul North

Once in and setup, we got off to a pretty strong start.  We managed to work our way around the open main area and get to the steps to pull Guard Mol’Dar without aggroing any of the packs of hounds that are down there with him.

The Guard commeth

He was an straightforward fight, as was Stomper Kreeg after him, though the drunk effect from fighting Kreeg stuck with me for a good long while after the icon for it went away.  I was weaving about as I ran, which wasn’t an opportune thing to have happen as things started to get a bit thick on the ground for us.

We were attempting to make our way to Guard Fengus and his chest, which has another key, but the groups of mobs on the way were very close together, with wanderers moving in between.  This was made more difficult by the fact that the mobs in Dire Maul North were a couple levels higher than those in the east, ranging from 58 to 60, which made their aggro radius tricky to watch.  Honestly, the aggro radius for the mobs there seemed to be extra wide, though maybe the size of ogres distorted my perception.  But at times I would edge into range to shoot one for a pull and find that I had already had them with proximity aggro.

Still, we managed to thread our way through, knocking out groups we needed to as we moved and bypassing the rest, until we were able to pull Guard Fengus off to a safe corner.  Well, it seemed safe until that add wandered up.  Still, we won, though Moronae went down in the fight.  Time for the first ress.

Bringing Moronae back

But we got him and got the key and were headed into the deeps of the instance, which was when things started to get a bit hairy.

We were fighting the first group on the way in when an Eye of Kilrog floated up on the group.  I said something like, “I think we need to kill that… fast” but we were already engaged in a fight and did not get it in time.  The Eye of Kilrog opened up a portal and two Netherwalkers hopped out and joined the fight against us.  They were both level 60 and basically kicked the crap out of us before we could get our act together.

We’re all dead, save Skronk, who is banished and about to die

That meant a release and run back.  We got back in the instance and threaded our way back to the Netherwalkers who, conveniently, stayed where we left them, far enough from the remains of the group we had been fighting that we could take them on their own.

We were able to take them and move on down into the main room, avoiding further mishap with fights.  We managed to pull Guard Slip’kik away from the other mobs on his patrol path and take him down.

Slip’Kik pulled back

Up to this point I haven’t mentioned drops from the bosses mostly because we were getting rooked on the RNG.  Mail every single time, despite the fact that the loot table had some nice items in there.  There were some upgraded shoulders I would have like had as a possibility.  But we were denied every time.

We spoke with Knot Thimblejack about his quest, but didn’t have the materials… no planning here… so decided to skip on past that.

Knot prepared for him

And after that the road got pretty rough for us.  There were a series of groups around the ramp that led up to the next level.  Something about that ramp tickled some memory in the back of my brain, something negative, but we carried on.  On pulling one group we got them around the corner only to have an Eye of Kilrog come up behind us and go unnoticed until it was too late.  Another wipe.

Dead again as the Netherwalkers beat us down

On the way back a patrolling Ogre managed to get the better of Moronae and I, though Ula and Skronk managed to finish him off, so Skronk was able to ress the two of us so we could carry on.

Embarrassing

The patrol had banish Skronk and I was a millisecond late on my health potion.  It was not a good look.

We came back and managed to clear the bottom of the ramp, but in attempting to clear the area at the top of the ramp we ended up with another Eye of Kilrog attack that wiped us again.

Wipe on the ramp

Honestly, we were killing about half of the Eye of Kilrog patrols as soon as they showed up, but you just have to get one mid-fight when you’re busy and things can get quickly out of control.

We were also starting to notice some really odd draw distance issues.  The mobs on the platform at the top of the ramp were fading in and out of visibility even though we seemed to be plenty close to them.  I know there have been some other draw distance issues in WoW Classic before, but here we were dealing with things on the edge of aggro range popping in and out our sight.  We managed, but it was odd.

We pushed on and cleared the platform and made it up the next ramp, thwarting an Eye of Kilrog along the way.  We found we could bypass most of the mobs on the next platform and were able to get in and up the hall to within sight of Captain Kromcrush, the next to last boss.

The captain is up ahead, the final boss back beyond that

We had to deal with one more group.  Unfortunately that got out of hand… that banish is a killer at the wrong moment… and we ended up wiping in the hallway.

Down in the hallway

You can see behind us some of the groups we were able to bypass.

Still, we got one guy down and were so close to the captain, so we ran back to the instance again.  But when we got there, we found we had been long enough that the instance had started to respawn.  We got a patrol right in front of us, but past him groups were appearing again.

That first guy

We were looking at the need to fight our way through at least half of what we had cleared on the first pass through.  That wasn’t going to happen, so we called it.  Ula opened a portal to Darnassus for us to put us near a flight point.  Those that had not turned in the quest we started out with were able to fly off and turn it in, reaping the reward.  We’re all starting to get close to 59, so it might be a little easier once we cross that number.

Diversion to Dire Maul East

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.

Feralas in WoW Classic

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.

Here come the boat

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.

Arriving at Dire Maul

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.

Okay, so it is going to be like this

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.

Pusillin comes alive

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.

Down to the last few hit points

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.

This way to the next target

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.

Leathandris and minion walking around the fire

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.

Fight over

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.

Hydrospawn is here

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.

Ironbark

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.

There he is

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.

Moronae on the altar

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.

Alzzin steps into view

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.

Time to burn them down

After that we were about done.  We paused to take the usual group shot after the final fight.

Done in Dire Maul East

Then we went over and each collected one of the gems that were on the ground behind where Alzzin was pacing about.

Two gems left to collect

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.

Feathermoon across the way

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.

 

Blackrock Depths and Love Potion Run Number Nine

We got together on New Years Day with a simple plan.  We were going to go collect what we needed for the Love Potion quest in Blackrock Depths, then maybe run on into the instance, to the Grim Guzzler, in order to turn that in.  Then we would see how we felt at that point.

Blackrock Depths map

That sounded like an easy enough run and we would get a little xp along the way.  We still hadn’t firmed up plans for getting past the Lyceum save for maybe another level or two would help.  My mechanical greench idea didn’t seem to stir much hope.  Our group was:

  • Viniki – level 57 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 57 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 57 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 56 gnome mage

For the Love Potion quest we needed items from around Azeroth.  The first was 4 gromsblood, something Moronae was able to go out and harvest for us before hand.

Next up was 10 giant silver veins each.  These come from giants out in Azshara.  If you look at the map of the zone, it looks something like a crab claw.  The giants are towards the east end of the bottom half of the claw.  They are all named Cliff.

Hunting giants

We though we were going to need a lot of giants, but it turned out that the silver veins drop 100% of the time and they drop in groups of one, two, or three.  We finished up there in not too long.

From there it was to Un’goro Crater to fill a vial from the Golakka Springs Crater.  The hot springs themselves are easy enough to find on the map, but the point where you need to fill the vial is actually up on top of a steep hill next to the pond on the map.

Here is where you fill the vial

From there Ula was able to portal us back to Ironforge.  Then it was off to Thorium Point and the run into the instance yet again.  New Years Day was a busy time on the server and the way was clear all the way to the instance portal.

We needed to get to the Grim Guzzler, location 15 on the map, which mean going off to the left, through the side door, and into the room where the bridge controls are.  We were able to slip in and take care of that.

Skronk slipping up to the control

From there it was now down the well worn path to the bar.  Up the ramp, down the hall, across the bridge, and around to the Manufactory.  We had the usual problem with one of the groups that has two of the large fire elementals.  Their burst damage killed Viniki before I knew what hit him and the group ended up wiping.

This corner is our curse

We bounced back from that, ran through the instance once more, finished off that group, got through the Manufactory, and into the Grimm Guzzler where Mistress Nagmara was waiting for us.

Time to turn in the quest

Once we all turned it in, we tested our new ability.  She and Rocknot get together and run out the back door, leaving it open for us.

At that point we had accomplished out primary goal.  I took a moment to go over at speak to Lokhtos Darkbargainer, the Thorium Brotherhood vendor I mentioned in my blacksmithing post.

Vending for the Thorium Brotherhood

I had some recipes available to me, though I cannot make any until I get my blacksmithing skill up some more.  Have to go work on that later.

Since we were there already, I suggested we take down Ribbly Screwspigot.  He is just downstairs in the bar.  So we set up in the keg room like we did when we last fought him, then I spoke to him and pulled him and his three companions back there.  That wasn’t a tough fight for us… his group is around level 50… and he dropped something nice for us.

Everybody loves a 16 slot bag

Ula won the roll for the big bag.

After that, I noticed that the kegs were set up for the keg room quest, so I clicked on those and in came Hurley Blackbreath and his crew.  This time Ula was clear of the doorway.  Defeating that group got us another fine drop.

An eyepatch!

This is a nice item if you want to play with what we now call transmog.  I wish it was a plate armor item, as I think it would look good on me.

Argh!

But, as a leather item, and an upgrade, it went to Moronae.  Unfortunately, when you have fiercely glowing eyes, the eyepatch effect is somewhat ruined.

Moronae shining through

After that we started looking for something else to do while we were there.  Moronae mentioned that he had missed looting Fineous Darkvire (9 on the map).

That was an awkward target as we had chosen to go across the bridge and not through the Ring of Law, since the latter leads to him.  But we had time, so we figured we would give it a shot.

We ran back to the bridge, which has several open windows.  The plan was to jump out onto the Dark Iron Highway and take on one of the groups below, then clear our way through Lord Indendius (location 10) to our target.

At the bridge we were looking out of the windows trying to decided which way to go when I tried to jump up on the window sill and managed to jump through the window and down onto the highway.

I went through this window

Fortunately for me, the group below had just marched off, so everybody else jumped down to join me.  We setup and took out the group, then noticed that things were not as we had expected.  We always call it “the bridge,” when in reality, it is the gate that forms the bridge we cross.  And to get across you have to close it.  So it was closed and we were on the wrong side.

It is a gate

So we started trying to figure out how to get to where we needed to go.  Moronae offered to try and stealth back down the Dark Iron Highway to the room where you close the gate in order to open it back up again.  We waited while he went… but he got spotted and ended up dying.  So we waited for him to run back to the instance and go to the room.  But, once there, he reported he did not get the option to move the wheel.

“Of course!” I thought, “You need the Shadowforge Key to do that!”  And what we were trying to do was finish the quest for Moronae that gets you that key.  So we decided to yolo our way down the Dark Iron Highway since we were pretty much stuck there against the gate.  I led the way, while Skronk put a bubble up on me.

Down the Dark Iron Highway

I was the only one who made it.  So we got everybody back together and went to the room where you close the gate only to find that none of us got the cog wheel.  It seems that you can only close the gate form there, not re-open it.

Still, our initial plan did not seem bad.  We ran back to the bridge/gate and, this time, jumped out the window on the correct side and fought the group just below.  There is actually a ledge below the window and Ula and Skronk were able to stay up there and cast, out of range of the mobs.

Fighting on the right side of the gate this time

That led to some problems with the mobs going into “evade” mode, since they were being shot from an unassailable location, but I was able to taunt them back into combat to finish them off.

From there we were able to work our way to Lord Indendius.

Lord Incendius awaits

He was no problem, though we did take the fight back in the hallway this time, having learned about his knock-back last time we fought him and not wanting to end up in the lava by mistake.

We were there at the Black Anvil, which is where you need to go to forge Dark Iron Bars from Dark Iron Ore… however, I did not yet have the recipe for that.  That comes from the seven dwarves room, down the other path.

On the far side of that was the area where Fineous Darkvire roams.  We cleared one of the golem groups when he wandered into range.  In a rash moment I popped him with my gun to pull him, but got another golem and his three helpers together.  That was more of a fight than we were expecting.  We focused on Fineous, but things got out of hand as the non-elites have ranged attacks at started going after Skronk.

We killed Fineous, but Skronk went down as well.  We started shouting at Moronae to loot the corpse to get the quest item in case we wiped, but then his inventory was full and there were a few awkward moments while I pulled out every ability I had that wasn’t on cool down to keep going.

We ended up surviving.  Moronae ressed up Skronk and we saw what else Fineous had.  He dropped the Chief Architect’s Monocle, which was definitely mage gear.  That went to Ula, who got to show off our second single-eye piece of gear of the run.

Ula with her new Monocle

We got ourselves back together and buffed up again and I took a screen shot of the group, having survived another fight.

Healing up down by the Black Anvil

To finish the quest for Moronae we had to keep going back up the path towards the monument to Franklorn Forgewright, where you turn in the quest.  But part of the way there we found ourselves once again outside the vault.

We’re here once more

We did not finish up the vault the last time we passed by, so we figured we could pause for a bit to try it again.  Everybody swore not to open up or look at the portrait, which got us in so much trouble last time.  Instead we cleared the group inside, then took down the boss and his pet, allowing us access to the vault area.

All I could recall was that you needed to have a dozen relic coffer keys to open up the twelve normal vaults in order to gain access to the final vault.  By this time, our ninth run in the instance, we all had a stack of those keys, so we started opening up vaults haphazardly, ignoring the four frozen golems in the center of the room.

Let’s open up some vaults

I had forgotten the bit about the golems coming to life and attacking once you open the twelfth vault, which naturally took us by surprise.  Things did not go well.

Golems attack… and knock me out momentarily

We managed to wipe without killing a single golem.  By that point we had been going for quite a  while and respawns behind us were clearly going to be an issue.  We decided to call it a night at that point.

We still have things to finish in Blackrock Depths, but we are considering taking a break and maybe going after Dire Maul East as a diversion next time.  BRD will still be there waiting for us.  We might even want to finish the vault successfully just once.

Bad Day at Blackrock Depths

In the grand scheme of things in Blackrock Depths, we are nearing completion.  We have been to most of the spots on the map.

Blackrock Depths map

We really only have two locations to hit to be able to declare ourselves done.  We have to face Magmus (20 on the map) and then Emperor Dagran Thaurissan to rescue Moira Bronzebeard (21).

And we have been doing pretty well.  Much more so than I might have credited us as a group of four.  So when we got together last week we were set to get in there and get it done.  Our group was:

  • Viniki – level 57 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 56 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 56 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 56 gnome mage

We met up at Thorium Point and ran down the chains and to the instance one more time.

From there it was off to the left and through the gate with the Shadowforged Key, slipping past the wandering fire elemental easily enough.  Then we were in through the side door to the room that controls the bridge.  We found we did not even have to clear the full room.  Skronk slipped up to the control and was still out of aggro range of the final group.

The Skronk sneak

From there it was up the ramp and some clearing to get ourselves along to the manufactory and into the Grim Guzzler, the same path we took the week before.  However, we were hurrying along a bit too quickly and were, at times, a bit optimistic about aggro radius.  And accidental proximity pull of a group left Viniki down, though we won the fight.

Viniki waiting for a ress

We managed to stumble through the manufactory without losing anybody, though we managed to get ourselves a couple more surprise pulls.  Then we cleared the bridge and were into the Grim Guzzler once again.

This time we were just passing through, so I bought the beers for Private Rocknot and set him up for his event.  He got rambunctious and set of Phalanx who knocked open the back door… there must be some sort of emergency fire exit clearing routine in his programming… before we knock him down ourselves.

The back door open we headed out to keep clearing the way to our goal.  But them Skronk went down the steps and we got another proximity pull with me at the top of the steps and out of line of sight for heals.  That quickly led to our first wipe.

Viniki dead as Skronk releases

Accidents happen.  So we released, ran back to the instance, ran through the dungeon and back through the Grim Guzzler to get ourselves setup on the steps again.  This time I ran on in to start the engagement… and it turned out there were more guys than we had planned for… and, well, things went down hill from there and we managed to wipe again.

Dead together at the bottom of the ramp

We at least took one of them out before we wiped, so once we released and ran all the way back once again we were able to take them down without any further drama.

Around the corner, once it was clear, we came upon Ambassador Flamelash once again, a fight that seemed a lot tougher this time around.  Skronk died part way through the fight but Moronae was able to get a combat ress on him so we could finish things up, though it was a close run thing.  I think everybody ended up dying on their own during a fight at least once… twice for me… along with the various wipes.

We managed to wipe once more due to me running out of Skronk’s healing range as we fought the last group in that room.

Ula was the last hold out

Another run back.  We cleared that out and then did well on the Summoner’s Tomb event, slaying the seven dwarves without too much trouble.

All of that was just precursor to our first objective, which was to get through the Lyceum.  That was where we had stopped last time, though we had done a lot before then.  This time around it was our first main goal.  There are two mobs you need to slay in order to loot torches from them so you can light the braziers which opens the way to Magmus.

The trick, as noted last week, is that the non-elite mobs in the room are on a very quick respawn timer and come in groups of six to a dozen.  Also, unlike mobs early in the instance, that are around level 50, these are level 55, so have a much larger aggro radius relative to us.

Our plan, at the end of last week, was to look up some info about the Lyceum to see if there was a strategy we could make work.  Unfortunately, the info we found tended to be along the lines of “stay tight, AOE the crap out of things, use the columns to break line of sight with ranged mobs, get the torches, there is a safe spot near each brazier.”

We decided to head towards one of the braziers, get to the safe spot there, and see if we could spot one of the mobs with a torch.

One of the braziers is just at the end of this row

And, we actually made it to the platform with the brazier.  From there one of the torch carrying mobs, which Skronk had spent some time scouting out with mind vision and marking, was visible walking back and forth.  I tried to slip over in range of the torch mob, and managed to tag it, but I brought back a whole raft of non-elites with it.  We ended up in an epic fight on the brazier platform.

Moronae in bear form holding out at the end

However, it ended up as a wipe for us, though we did kill the torch mob.  The hope was that Moronae could stealth in and loot it when we got back.  However, by the time we ran to the instance and then took the path all the way through to the Lyceum again, the corpse had faded.

More research ensued and it came up that the torches persist and can actually be sold at the auction house.  The thought then was that we could perhaps blitz our way to a torch bearer and, even if we wiped, if we could just loot the torch we would be a step closer to getting through.  So I led a run straight for one of the torch mobs, and we got him down too.  I even clicked to loot him.

But I had turned off auto loot back when I went to grab an item from the chest you get at the end of the seven dwarves fight.  If I had had the option set we would have had a torch.  Instead, Skronk and I lay dead next to the corpse, still sparkling and ready to be looted.

Our corpses are practically on top of him

But at least we had a plan.  So we released for another run back, only to get to the room with the bridge control and find that it had respawned.  We killed a mob in our way and ran up the steps in the hope that we might beat the spawn there, but we were too late.  Groups at the top of the ramp were there and even as we watched groups down the hall began to re-appear.  We were stuck on the landing below the mobs.

As far as we could get back with many fights

We had spent too much time getting to the Lyceum and then too much time idle there trying to figure out a strategy.  We were not up for another clear, so we called it a day.  We will have to work our way back to the Lyceum another time.

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.

A Two Boss Day in Blackrock Depths

Our plan for the Thanksgiving holiday was to try and get in a couple runs at Blackrock Depths in WoW Classic since we all had most of the week off.  And then, of course, the week slipped on by so we fell back to what we all learned in college, which was to cram things in at the last minute.

Who said you don’t learn life skills at school.

So on Saturday afternoon we did our tour with Marshal Windsor, which was yesterday’s post, and late Sunday afternoon we went back in to see if we could knock out another dungeon quest or two. Our group was:

  • Viniki – level 56 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 56 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 56 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 55 gnome mage

Looking at the map and the quests, we picked a couple of likely targets.

Blackrock Depths map

The first on the list was Bael’Gar.  He is number 11 on the map and sits alone at one end of the Dark Iron Highway, so we were not going to catch him on the way to anything else.  So it seemed like an easy plan to go after him.

After that we figured we would see if we could run back up to the other end of the Dark Iron Highway and catch Lord Incendius, number 10 on the map.  I am not sure why these two bosses need a highway running between them.  It was probably part of some pork barrel appropriations bill in the Dark Iron legislature or some such.

We formed up out at Thorium Point once more and ran to the instance.  Inside, the Dark Iron Highway is easy to get to as it is just through the gate off to the left and straight down the tunnel.

The Shadowforge Key lets us through again

The highway is close and you can even see Bael’Gar standing in his spot up the way.  The tricky bit is that the highway is home to a number of groups of Dark Iron dwarves who roam about in packs of five.  The key to getting through this was mastering those groups.

Their composition followed a standard pattern:

  • 1 – Officer
  • 1-2 – Medics
  • 1-2 – 2h axe wielders
  • 1-2 – guards

The officer ended up being the most annoying member of these teams as they can cast heal, they have a stun attack, and they prefer to sit back out of melee range and shoot the healer.

Medics are healers.  Having two in a group made them extra annoying, but most groups only had one.

The 2h axe dwarves seemed normal at first, but they have an AOE attack.  There were usually two in each group and their combined AOE meant that Moronae took a bunch of damage at times and had to step out and heal up.

Finally there were the guards, which were just normal melee NPCs.  Easy enough.

Adding to that, there are about a dozen of these groups of five along the highway, including one group off to either side of Bael’Gar, and several of them march about or change positions, so you have to keep an eye on your surroundings.

And then there was getting ourselves up to speed.  Several of us had been playing retail WoW a lot over the course of the week, and the play style is very different.  We had a bit of warm up time to get through.  So there were issues… and one wipe… as we ramped ourselves up and tried out some variations on who to sheep and who to kill first.

Dead on the highway shoulder

In the end, the best plan seemed to be to sheep the officer who, as noted above, was the most annoying in those groups, and kill the medic or medics first, then the guys with the AOE axe attacks, then then guards, and then finally the officer.  Not sheeping the officer had a nasty tendency to get Skronk dead, causing Moronae to use his combat ress, so we stuck with the plan that kept Skronk alive.

Aggro management was the tricky bit.  With four mobs on me and not a lot of AOE options… I have an AOE debuff that gives me a tiny bit of aggro and an AOE attack that doesn’t do much more and which will pop the sheep if he’s too close… there was some running back and forth between Skronk and I as his heals would put him over the aggro line now and again.  If his fade skill was up, that was good enough to send mobs back to me.  But if it was on cool down, then he had to run to me or I to him… the latter being slow because, among their other tricks, somebody in these groups kept hitting me with hamstring… so I could use my single target taunt or whack on whoever was giving him problems.

Anyway, we eventually got into the swing of things and cleared the way to Bael’Gar.

Bael’Gar waiting for us

His fight went pretty smoothly.  He hits hard, but not that hard.  He summons a non-elite red blob every so often, and we just turned to kill them whenever they showed up.  And every so often he shouts then lets go with a fire damage AOE attack.  Skronk and Ula just stayed out of range, while Moronae ran for it when the shout came.  I sat and took the hit.  Skronk had given me a fire resist potion before hand, which helped.  The one time I was a little low on health after a shout I put up my shield wall ability and it seemed to absorb the hit for me.  Then Bael’Gar was down.

He dropped the Rubidium Hammer, which nobody wanted, so it was a roll-off to see who got to vendor it for the 4 gold.

Well all used the black dragonflight molt from the quest on his corpse, which got us the Encased Fiery Essence, which is what we needed to turn in to finish the quest.

Then we turned around and headed to the other end of the highway, where several more groups waited for us.

Down at the other end

We were able to bypass one group handily, but ended up clearing out the rest just to be safe.  There is one group that actually walks through the giant doors at the end of the highway, so once again you have to be aware.

Through the doors there is an open area and a gate guarded by a pair of fire elementals, with three more pairs down the hall beyond them.

The Fire Elementals Await

The elementals are linked, so you get them both no matter what, and they have a ranged attack, so you have to go get them.  That just makes crowd control a little annoying, since we don’t have a warlock to banish them.  The first pair is the toughest as they are far apart, but the hallway beyond them narrows so each subsequent pair is closer together, with the last two in easy melee range.

And beyond them is Lord Incendius.

There he waits with the black anvil

Skronk had given me another fire resist potion before we got to the elementals, but I held onto it until we got to this fight.

The fight itself wasn’t too bad.  We had a bit of luck with it.  Skronk read after the fight that he has a knock back, so the suggestion is that you pull him back in the hall so the tank won’t get punted into the lava surrounding the platform.  I happened to align myself so that when the knock back came, I landed safely on the ramp to the platform.  I chose that alignment just so I wouldn’t accidentally back up into the lava, so it was a happy moment when I found it was a good choice.  And so we won.

It is an MMORPG, everybody respawns man

We got our update for slaying him, some loot that was also going to get vendored, and stood on the black anvil to take our victory shot, there not being much left of the boss after he passed.

We survived

Then it was time to turn in the two quests we had completed.  Ula was going to portal us to Stormwind so we could fly to Morgan’s Vigil, but she was out of the reagents required.  So we stoned back to Ironforge instead.  The inn happens to be right next to the reagent shop, so people stocked up and then we took the bird out to Burning Steppes.

One turn in was there in the camp.  More stuff to vendor plus some exp.  The other was back in the cave where we had to fight the dragon four times, once for each of us for a drop, with a 10 minute timer between fights back when we were doing prep for the instance.

Back with Cyrus Therepentous

That was a bit more exp and another item to vendor.  It also got us down to just four quests left for the instance.

The remaining quests

The hope is that we can knock those out in the next run and be done with Blackrock Depths.