Category Archives: Instance Group

Tales of the Twilight Cadre instance group in Azeroth

In Search of a Guild Tabard

I feel like guild tabards fell by the wayside a long time back in Azeroth.  First they started giving players game faction tabards as rewards, then tabards helped you earn faction if you wore them, then we got transmog and once that settled down it was all fashion all the time.

But back in vanilla a guild tabard seemed like kind of a big deal.  I know we got one put together pretty quickly back in the day.  When it came to WoW Classic though we never quite got there.  Nobody wanted to spend the 10g to design one.  We were poor or cheap, or both in my case, and had better things on which to spend out limited gold.

Then came Burning Crusade Classic and suddenly a guild tabard became necessary because of the Outland gear models.  We were out with alts on Saturday night and Ula got her first chest piece upgrade for Scscla, he warrior alt, and it turned out to be a skimpy halter top.

We did get through the exciting exorcism scene

I can’t say I’ve forgotten how bad some of the gear looked back in Burning Crusade, but as a male paladin it was mostly due to the clownish and colorfully mis-matched style of much of the gear.  I had forgotten how much worse it could be for female characters.

So it was decided, with that quest reward, that it was time to get a guild tabard.  Gold is much more freely available… again, the market is still pretty hot if you have stuff to sell… so we were good to go.  We just had to pick a suitable design for our guild, Crag Boar Rebellion, and we would be set.

So we got to the guild master in the visitors center in Ironforge and quickly found that there was no boar option for a tabard graphic.  In fact, if we’re going to list out things I have forgotten over the years, we can add the bizarre and disappointing set of graphics available for tabards.

You call this selection?

To some extent I get why the options are limited.  For whatever reason… probably simplicity… a tabard isn’t one texture but two, being left and right hand versions that are mirror images of each other.  That means that every logo must display bilateral symmetry, so visions of anything like a boar rampant on a tabard is unrealistic.  We would have settled for something that looked like a boars head, but were disappointed on that front as well.  The closest we got to a boar was something that was either a boar’s tail or a whisk broom.  So we started going through the other options.

A lobster has bilateral symmetry

I have to say that even with the symmetry requirement, the options for logos is pretty bad.  Well, some are not bad.  A few are pretty good.  But I am not sure what they represent, and they certainly did not fit with our guild name.

We began to favor the old Twilight Cadre tabard style, which was a red field with gold trim and the crossed hammers logo in gold.  Very proletarian.  However that felt like a re-do.  So we considered the angry gingerbread man and the flattened roadkill squirrel, but nothing was really clicking.

Eventually we decided… more out of making a choice than any real love for the design… and went with the concentric circles.  The target.  Which is now painted on all of our backs… if we chose to hide cloak at least.

Alioto wearing the tabard

Having made that choice… we then had to swap guild leaders.  On the guild leader can set the tabard and Ula was driving the design, so I had log Tistann in and set Ula as the leader, which took a bit to figure out.  You don’t do it in the UI, it is a command line option, /gleader.

So she pressed the button and we had a guild tabard.  Then we got back to actually playing after about an hour or so of tabard talk.  You can see the tabard on Alioto, the big target on his back, in the screen shot up at the top of the post.

I at least comforted myself in a sense of surety that this was really an old WoW problem, that Blizzard must have made this better or given people more options over all these years.

But no.  I logged into retail WoW to check and it is the exact same interface with the exact same logo options.  Not an important feature I guess.

If you want to see the tabard creation options, somebody built an page that let’s you design one offline.

On the Edge in Hellfire Ramparts

After last week’s run the group spent a bit of time going out and running quests out of Honor Hold in order to gear up a bit.

The place is a bit of a mess

That did, of course, get us some experience as well, and by the time we formed up again for another run this past Sunday, the group looked like this:

  • Ula – level 61 gnome mage
  • Beanpole – level 61 gnome warlock
  • Wilhelm – level 60 human paladin (protection)
  • Fergorin – level 60 human paladin (holy)

Potshot had also been busy with Skronk, the guild alchemist, who was out gathering herbs and creating potions for us, including a fire resist potion for that last boss fight.

We managed to get right into the instance… we ran back enough last time to not get lost… and into the first few mobs.

Starting off strong

We did have a couple of minor mishaps on our way to the first boss, as we mis-timed a patrol and forgot that when you hear the announcement about hounds, you had best be prepared for even more adds.

Whoops

Fergorin also accidentally lit off a consecrate in the midst of some adds, which brought him down as well.  But we successfully made it to the first boss, Watchkeeper Gargolmar.  After clearing all the groups from where he wanders, we followed our previous successful strategy and killed off his helpers first, leaving him vainly calling for healing as the fight went against him.

But no healing came as his healers were dead

After Watchkeeper Gargolmar we cleared the rest of the opening area and went up the ramp in the tower to face our biggest non-boss nemesis, that group of five at the top of the tower.

Those guys again

We made sure the soul stone was up and went at them.  This time they resisted Ula’s polymorph and seemed to deflect all of her frost damage.  We thought we were going to wipe and then we wiped.  But at least we brought three of the five down in the attempt.  Once we revived we gave it to the other two.

Not so tough without all your buddies, are you?

We managed to get through the open area at the top of the tower and to Omor the Unscarred.  Last time around it took us four tries to bring him down and I wasn’t sure if we really learned much about the fight after the first two tries.  But we tried to harness what we knew, spreading out and getting ready to go all in.

And it was a near run thing.  Ula got popped trying to remove Omor’s curse and Skronk fell to that as well.  Beanpole and I held him for a bit before the curse got him as well, but Skronk had a soul stone up again… we had waited until it was ready again before we started the fight… and got in some heals on me and some damage before going down again.  That left me alone with Omor, who was down to the hairy edge of hit points, but so was I.  I had used everything besides lay hands up to that point, so hit that as I got low, which gave me just enough to bring him down.

It is for you

I had just a bit of health left.

Just 21% left in the tank

Unfortunately his last words were prophetic as he had left behind three fiendish hounds that were still on me.  With no mana and everything else on cool down I went down before I could finish them off.

Omor lost and defeated us in the end

So we beat him on the first try AND we wiped.  We had to run back to the instance, but his corpse was still there to be looted when we returned.  That was good, as he had the Tenacious Defender, a nice belt upgrade for me.

That just left us with Vazruden and his dragon mount Nazan.

Vazruden and Nazan waiting for us

This fight we felt we had learned something from.  We had some fire resist potions and had read up that the tank, if careful, can nestle up to Nazan when he is down on the ground, getting under his head, which will cause him to miss with his big fire breath weapon.  So we kicked off the event by killing the guards, then tackled Vazruden, and finally I went in and grabbed Nazan.

And the plan of keeping under his chin seemed to work.  Nazan steps back every so often when you get that close, but I kept pressing up to him with each retreat until I had him up against the edge of the platform where the battle takes place.

Nazan breathing fire over my head

It went well right up until it didn’t.  While I was avoiding his breath attack, he was still hitting me and dropping fire bombs on me, which added up to a lot of damage.  I used my health stone, but didn’t have a health potion up because my fire resist potion was on the same cool down.

I died.

But we were so close and, while Fergorin was clearly next to go, both Ula and Beanpole were still in the fight and if seemed like we would get there.

Nazan must die, he is almost there

But once Fergorin went down Nazan turned on Ula and his breath did her in, which left Beanpole alone to whittle down the last 2% of Nazan’s health.

Beanpole alone

He didn’t make it.  We wiped.  And, furthermore, while we had the soul stone up again, Fergorin couldn’t ress me, way out in the open area, before the event reset and the guards reloaded.  He just got off the spell before being attacked.  I ran past him, hitting myself with Divine Protection, which somehow kept me out of combat, so when Fergoin went down I was at least able to ress the party.

Still, we were feeling good about how close we had been to victory.  It felt within our grasp.

And then we did the fight two more times and came nowhere close.  On the next fight I forgot to take the fire resist potion and got caught in the open between Vazruden and Nazan as I was trying to go grab the dragon’s aggro and took the fire breath weapon full on and died instantly.

The next time I took the fire resist potion and managed to grab Nazan successfully, but on his first hop back he launched his breath weapon at me before I could step forward and I was down again.

Dead again

After that Beanpole had to go as RL was calling, so that was the end of our second attempt at Hellfire Ramparts.  We will have to look into what else we can do to mitigate Nazan next time around.

Stumbling Into Hellfire Ramparts

When we got together this past weekend for our first run after the opening of the Dark Portal the question came up as to where we ought to go.  There had been some talk of staying pure and not going to Outland until we had finished up the remaining Azeroth instances.  That was our idealism speaking.

But with shiny new content just on the other side of the portal we ended up deciding to go through to give the first instance a try.

On the way to Honor Hold

We had all done at least a couple of quests in Hellfire Peninsula and had upgraded a piece of gear here and there… I had a new shield and new pants, both of which were basic first quest green gear that were markedly better than the dungeon blue gear they replaced… but were mostly going in with Azeroth gear and our new group composition, with which we still had some learning to do.

But we didn’t really talk about all of that, we just wanted to try the first five person instance, Hellfire Ramparts.

The first thing we had to do was find the place.  I did what I expect we did last time, which was go out to the wall where the instance is, ride up the wrong set of stairs, and then wander around for about 20 minutes until I finally thought I had found the right place.  There was a crowd there, so I just asked.

This looked like the right crowd

I got an affirmative.  It turned out that I had ridden past the ramp that goes here to go up onto the wall.  I’m pretty sure I’ve made that mistake before.

Once we had assembled at Honor Hold we rode on out to the instance.

Crag Boars Assemble!

Our group for the run was:

  • Ula – level 60 gnome mage
  • Wilhelm – level 60 human paladin (protection)
  • Fergorin – level 60 human paladin (holy)
  • Beanpole – level 60 gnome warlock

We managed to navigate successfully navigate to the right spot and, once inside, found ourselves facing the first encounter.  Two mobs.

There they are

We managed those two without issue, and then managed to nearly wipe on the next pair.  To be fair, a patrolling group came around the corner and the wheels came off… and we only “nearly” wiped because the exit was a short distance from the fight so once I went down people were able to run for safety.

Down already

We were still getting used to the new group composition and learning things about our classes.  Beanpole’s Felguard took some getting used to.  The Felguard is a big part of his damage output, but it has some quirks.  He has to be careful about when the Felguard gets sent in, as its first attack is always a charge with a stun, which can be awkward when I am trying to pull a mob back to a safe place to fight.  The Felguard also has an AOE attack that goes off every so often that will break polymorph if the mob is too close.

So we used that run up to the first boss to hone our play.  We tried to work it so that I would pull the main group away from whichever mob got sheeped so it wouldn’t get whacked by the Felguard… and so I could use consecrate to help build up aggro when I needed it across multiple mobs.

There were a couple more deaths before we made it to Watchkeeper Gargolmar, the first boss, but we made it.

Watchkeeper Gargolmar wanders

That fight wasn’t so bad.  He doesn’t hit too hard and you just have to kill his two companions first, as they heal him otherwise, and then it is on to him.  He called out for heals, but none were coming for him.  He also dropped a very nice item, the Light-Touched Breastplate, which arguably should have gone to Fergorin, but which was such an upgrade over my chest piece that I got it.

Past Gargolmar is the tower up to the next level, where we had more problems than we did with the boss fight.  There is a group of four casters and a melee mob at the top of the ramp which brought back bad memories from runs long ago.  We ended up wiping on that group, but not before we had taken down three of them, so the clean up afterwards was easy.

At the top of the tower a doorway leads out into an open area with patrols and groups standing around.  A bad pull on my part got a patrol and a group, which led to another wipe.

Down again

During the fight Ula was knocked back and landed behind some barrels, where she was stuck until she died.  We were able to spot her skeleton once we were all back.

A gnome sized skeleton

After that though, we were able to clear around the open area and make our way to the next boss, Omor the Unscarred.

There he is

This fight was a challenge.  I expect if we had either spent time gearing up in Hellfire Peninsula or if we had brought a fifth person for some additional DPS, this wouldn’t have been as much of a challenge.  But we were on the hairy edge of being able to handle this with only two DPS, our gear, and our skill set.  We wiped a few times.

Dead on the ground

Three times we came back and were still willing to give it another go.  We were close on the second and third tries.  On the fourth we were very close as well, but this time on the right side of victory.  Fergorin and I were left standing after the fight, but we had done it.

We took a victory shot with the fallen foe, thinking this might be the pinnacle of our run.

Victory over Omor

And that was a pretty accurate estimate.

The final boss pairing, Nazan & Vazruden, turned out to be a bit too much for us.

The pair of them are an event where you start off with two guards, then Vazruden jumps down off of Nazan, his dragon mount, and you fight him.  Nazan shoots fireballs while you’re fighting him, and you have to move away from them.  Then Nazan lands and joins the fight.  That was the point where things went bad for us each time.  Nazan pretty much one-shotted me with his breath attack three times running.

Nazan burninating again

After the third run at him I was red paper doll on about half of my gear, so we were about done.  Later on we read up a bit on how to fight Nazan, but that was going to have to wait until next time.

While we didn’t finish the final boss, we learned quite a bit about how our group works now and we got a few nice drops along the way.  Still, we need to upgrade some of our Azeroth gear for Outland gear before we go back.

Stratholme with The Replacements

The Dark Portal might be open, but we still have some work to do back in Azeroth before the instance group travels to Honor Hold.  One of the things on our list is get used to the new composition of the group.

The joke on Monday when we were playing is that Ula had fired the old group and hired some replacements for dungeon runs.  Last time around I had substituted in my paladin, Wilhelm, for Viniki, my warrior.  But, with the level 58 boosts available, we ended up getting two more substitutions.

First in was Skonk our priest, who dropped out in favor of a boosted paladin spec’d to heal named Fergorin.   That was the group’s first experiment with the WoW Classic character boost, which gives you gear and skills and a basic mount and a bit of gold. (30 gold seemed to be the amount.)  The gear didn’t seem bad… Fergorin got something for every slot, which might make a solo leveling player jealous, as trinkets are kind of rare outside of instance content… though the look of the gear might have left something to be desired.

When a Dwarf cosplays as an Ogre

With two paladins in the mix we could double up on auras and blessings and not lose a resser.

The Moronae, dissatisfied with the changes to the feral spec on his druid, went for a boost as well, choosing a gnome warlock whom he named Beanpole.  That lost us a combat ress, but got us soul stones and health stones along with warlock DPS.

The weekend was busy, but Monday was a holiday in the US, so we met up that afternoon to give the new team a try out.  The group was:

  • Ula – level 60 gnome mage
  • Wilhelm – level 60 human paladin (protection)
  • Fergorin – level 60 human paladin (holy)
  • Beanpole – level 59 gnome warlock

The new group met up for the first time out in the Eastern Plaguelands at Light’s Hope Chapel.

Welcoming everybody onto the new team

We were out there because we had decided on Stratholme as our next target and warm up run.  It had the advantage of possible gear upgrades, several quests that had decent rewards both in gold and gear, and both paladins needed drops from the instance to get going on the charger mount quest.

From Light’s Hope Chapel Stratholme is just a modest ride to the northwest of the zone, where we found the meeting stone and went in.  Going in we were reminded how much we had likely forgotten since we last visited.  Going through the main entrance leaves you locked inside the instance.  The only way out… discounting portals or hearthstones… is through the instance.

Looking into Stratholme

We got into the instance and cleared the first couple of groups, but it quickly became clear that it had been a long time since we last did Stratholme.  Going back through the blog I have one run from January 2008 and another after the Dungeon Finder was put in when we were doing Horde alts in mid 2010.  We eventually had to go dig out an old map online to figure out where we were and where we ought to go.

Stratholme of old

On that map we came in where the blue “A” is and worked our way around to the courier and the first mailbox, managing not to wipe even when we did things like open the mailbox immediately after the first fight, before we had healed up, something that triggered another fight.

The mobs were in groups of elites and non-elites, so for me tanking was getting in there, casting consecrate and holy shield and then keeping them up.  That was mostly enough to keep everything on me.  Fergorin quickly got in a cycle of healing that seemed pretty active.

Beanpole had gone the demonology spec route, so his Felguard was in there doing melee damage.  We tinkered around with having its taunt on or off and seemed to do better with it off in most circumstances.  And then there was Ula, still the mage queen of burst DPS.

We made our way north, through the gate that traps you and releases mobs, only opening when you kill them… we remembered that much about the place, until we got to the Y intersection at point 2 on the map, where it was a left or right choice between the living and undead portions of the instance.  We decided to go right, into the undead.

We seemed to do pretty well and made it to The Unforgiven, who is 3 on the map, and defeated him.  There was a nice upgrade for me at the end of that fight.

New Shoulders

That was an upgrade for me on all stats.

We made our way around to the open area around the fountain, which is where the 2s are on the map.  That is where our first mishap came.  We pulled one group from around the fountain and, during that fight, Beanpole’s felguard went running past me through another group, and into a third, pulling everybody back on to us, causing our first wipe.

Down by the fountain

We did manage to kill a lot of the mobs, so some progress was made.  And Fergorin had the soul stone, so was able to revive and ress us.  But more importantly, as we sat there getting ready to return to the fight, we spotted a shadowy figure somewhat hidden off to the side of the road.  You can just barely see him by a barrel off to the left of the screen shot above.  That was Hearthsinger Forresten, a rare spawn.  He is not aggro and just hangs out off to the side, so you can miss him.  Our pause there made sure we saw him, and we slew him in turn.

Forreseten finished

He coughed up another big upgrade, this time for Ula, the Magister’s Boots.

From there we cleared the rest of the fountain and moved into the next area, where we found Magistrate Barthilas, who drops the key to the side door of the instance.  But only one key, so Fergorin got that.  From there we pressed on into the mini-boss section, marked 10, 11, and 12 on the map.  There we started having some problems.

Into that section of town

There are a lot of mobs, often in groups very close together, along with some flying mobs that move around the area and who can fear you into other groups.  So we got in over our heads at least once before we had made it very far.

A bad pull will do you in

We cleared as carefully as we could, and did okay, but our first run at the first of the mini-bosses, Baroness Anastari, ended in a wipe due to a proximity pull of nearby mobs we had sought to bypass.

Baroness Anastari survived

We had been lucky with the soul stone previously, but with a 30 minute timer we were eventually going to end up in the gap between casts, so we had to run back from the graveyard this time around.  Fortunately, the run from there to the side door is very short and we had obtained the key to it already.  Magistrate Barthilas sometimes spawns further in the instance, so we were happy to have found him early, if only to avoid a longer run.

From there we did okay.  Another wipe on trash getting out of hand caught us, but we had the soul stone up by then, and were able to carry on and slay the other two bosses.  So we went towards the final area, 14 and 15 on the map, only to find the gate locked.  Something sparked a distant memory about the three bosses we had just killed, so we ran back and checked the areas behind them, slaying the mobs there.  Clearing those areas opened the gate and left us facing the final challenges.

Facing the patchwork undead

This is an event, though it starts off slowly.  Once you start pulling the mobs around the courtyard some start wandering your way, so if you aren’t killing them fast enough you can end up overwhelmed.  We figured that out the hard way, wiping once more.

Our second try got out of hand as well, though this time Fergorin had set up a Divine Intervention macro as we were once again on the soul stone cool down.  As we got too many mobs and started losing people, he hit the macro and put DI on me, as the soul stone was on cool down still, which takes you out of combat for three minutes, sacrificing the caster.  I waited until all the mobs reset back in the courtyard and ressed Fergorin and then we ressed the other two.

Getting everybody back

I had also managed to go red on my shield during that fight, so part of the reason I started losing aggro is that you cannot cast Holy Shield if you don’t have a shield equipped.  Ula had picked up a green loot shield and traded that to me for another try.

We got ourselves set up for another run, and this time managed to slay all the patchwork horrors, drawing out Ramstein the Gorger.  We finished him as well.  Success.

We then sat down to drink and heal as another group came out of the central building.  We had not even looted Ramstein when they were walking towards us and in aggro range and suddenly we had to fight again.  We fell apart and wiped again.

Another wipe

We didn’t have a soul stone again, so it was another run back from the graveyard and in through the side door.  But once at the gate we found that mobs we had passed a while ago had begun to respawn.  The loot on Ramstein was lost as we decided to call it a night there.

That room and beyond looks full again

So we did not get to the final boss on the undead side of the instance, so we still have that left to do.  Fergorin and I also did not come up with the Strathome holy water vials we needed for the paladin charger mount quest, getting only two each.  So we’ll have to come back for that as well.

On the upside, we did get some nice drops, Beanpole made it to level 60, we did complete at least one of the quests, and I made it to honored with the Argent Crusade, largely because Wilhelm was still wearing the Argent Commission in his trinket slot.  I was eyeing the trinket that Ramstein dropped, but that was not to be.

And, most of all, it wasn’t a bad warm up run for a group of four, three of which are playing new classes in the group.  At least it seemed like we did okay to me.  We’ll see if Ula keeps us or fires us and looks for more replacements.

Dire Maul Warm Up before Burning Crusade Classic

With the Burning Crusade Classic pre-patch on us, it was time to go figure out how to play our characters with the changes to our specs.  That seems to suggest an easier dungeon, something we had run before, so we wouldn’t be getting used to a new rotation while learning new fights.

My suggestion was Dire Maul East.  We had done it before, even doing a three person exploration the week before the patch.  We could get in, get the update for Ula’s spell, get a couple of quest updates for my pally, including one with a serious shield upgrade, all while getting into the swing of things.

I got on first last weekend and got myself out to Feathermoon to pick up an additional quests that might be laying about, noticing the elven ship model had replaced the old standard model ship on the run off the Feralas coast.

Skronk got on next and headed out the same way, followed by Moronae.  We all moved on over to Dire Maul to meet up at the summoning stone.  On the long list of things that changed with the pre-patch, the summoning stones are now that rather than being just meeting stones.  Ula was running late, but once she was online we would be able to bring her to us as you can summon party members so long as you can get three people to summon.

Doing a practice summon, just to remember how to even do that

Coincidentally, with the release of the patch a post I wrote back in 2011 that included mention of the Dire Maul summoning stone has suddenly become popular again.  Now that it can summon, people want to use it I guess.  So, just as a reminder:

Dire Maul Summoning Stone Pictured

Approximate location on the map

When Ula did get on and I told her the plan, we found out that with the pre-patch her final conjured water recipe no longer needed a quest, she was able to just get the skill from her class trainer.

Still, since we were already set up and because the run would net the tank a nice new shield, we opted to go forward with the plan.  Our group was:

  • Wilhelm – level 60 human paladin
  • Moronae – level 60 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 60 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 60 dwarf priest

And once we got ourselves together outside of Dire Maul we pushed on to the eastern entrance.

Everybody is here

Another change with the pre-patch is that most, if not all, of the formerly elite open world mobs appear to have been downgraded to normal mobs, so getting into the instance was pretty easy.

As we started up I will say that I was pretty happy with the changes the pre-patch brought to the protection paladin lineup.  I probably wasted some gold re-speccing before the patch, but at least I got a feel for the before/after.

Righteous Defense, a direct taunt that grabs up to three mobs was a good start, and then Avenger’s Shield, a ranged attack for pulling, made me pretty happy as well.  The shield does hit three mobs, so it isn’t as precise as Viniki’s gun, but it is still better than having to run up and shake hands with every mob in order to pull.

Once inside I was able to get going, with consecrate, holy shield, and retribution aura able to hold groups of non-elite mobs on me even as Ula and Moronae did their AOE attacks to burn them down, a noticeable improvement over my experience with Viniki.

We did get into a bit of trouble early on when, being a bit complacent about aggro radius, we managed to get two single mobs, a threesome, and a pack of non-elites all on us at once.  Even being a bit over level, that came apart… sort of.  I went down, then Skronk did when he inherited the aggro from healing.

Our group in the corner of the first area getting beat down

You can see Ula running for the exit on the right.  Once dead I actually remembered that Moronae had a combat ress, and called for him to use it.  The first thought was to put it on Skronk, but then I called for it to hit the pally as I still had lay hands and a few other tricks that I had forgotten about in the flash of action.  And, of course, I could also ress once we were done.

Once I was back up, Moronae and I finished off the remaining mobs… we had actually killed most of them as the group before the wheels came off… then I ressed Skronk then found Ula, who hadn’t quite made it to he zone line and ressed her.

That was the big dramatic event of the run, and it wasn’t even a wipe.  Moronae lived and his combat ress got us back on track.

After that we were a little more careful about aggro radius and, thus, had few issues.  We managed to do Pusillin in one round, a fight we managed to wipe on both times we did it previously.  Paladin fire resist aura helped out there.

We made it back and around through the satyrs, collecting a few felcloth along the way, past the next few bosses, and into Ironbark’s room in the conservatory.

Just within our draw distance

Thanks to our last run here, we had gotten a feel for getting through the room without having to take on every single group.  You just have to time your advance between the roaming groups.

Ironbark broke down the door for us and cleared the way to the final boss.  There we had another fight where consecrate, holy shield, and retribution aura kept the adds on me.

Lighting up the group with damage

That got us through the instance.  We posed for a victory shot, then I collected my quest item and Ula opened a portal to Darnassus so I could fly from there to Moonglade to turn in the quest.

Done with Dire Maul East again

That got done quickly enough that we decided to go do one of the pre-patch events.  You can see Ula and I are wearing tabards.  Those come from a quest out at the Blasted Lands at the Dark Portal.  All you have to do is kill six invading fel reavers and that is the reward.  So we went out and did that and got one more screen shot with us all in matching tabards, like we are in a guild or something.

Before the Dark Portal

Overall, three of us seemed good with our classes post-patch.  Moronae though, he was feeling like feral druids had taken a hit.  He may revert to form and boost a warlock to swap out into the group for next time.  We’ll lose a combat ress but gain soul stones along with some other options.

Reconsidering My Paladin in Dire Maul

At some point last night we got the Burning Crusade Classic patch on WoW Classic… I think.  The downtime was supposed to be done at 3pm, then 7pm, and then 10pm and… well… some of us have to get up and go to work in the morning.

I suspect that database operations took much longer than expected, which is frequently a thing in my experience.

Anyway, when it it does go live it will be the day of the dividing of worlds and new specs and events and what not.  I’m sure I will have a post about that tomorrow.  This post was actually supposed to go yesterday, but then EVE Online blew up in three directions and that was the focus of Tuesday.  So maybe it is better that the patch is delayed as I can slip this post in now.

As we have run up to the last days of the pure WoW Classic, I have been reflecting on the last 20 months or so of this experiment in nostalgia.  Don’t worry, I’ll have a post about that too.  But one item I was considering this past weekend was my paladin.

He has made it to level 59, so I can move him on to Outland whenever I choose… once it becomes available.

Wilhelm the Paladin in Silithus

But getting him there has been a grind at times, both due to the nature of the class, the nature of leveling in the old system past level 40, and due to my reading too much into various bits of advice.

For example, I spent a stretch trying to level up based on a retribution spec from Icy Veins that was really for raiding.  I eventually found a spec better suited for leveling, which did make things more manageable.

Another bit of information I took to heart was the stated fact that paladins cannot tank in classic.  I read that a number of places and, based on that, I went with Viniki, my gnome warrior, to be the group tank when the group settled down to the four of us.

That was a good decision and it has worked out.  We have been able to manage most instances as a foursome without having to out-level them.  But every time we run into a multi-mob scrum and Viniki is trying to keep aggro on half a dozen non-elites I always think about how that wouldn’t be an issue if I had consecrate.  The pally comes with a lot of beneficial skills, though does lack that single target taunt.  And the tanking thing, like my first spec, was really meant for end game raiding.

So, this past weekend I decided to tinker with my paladin and the protection spec.  I went to the pally trainer and paid to reset my talent points… which was 10 gold because I’ve done that a few times now… and spec’d up the recommended protection talents, which were fairly obvious.  I probably would have gotten them right just doing them myself, starting with the need to spec into consecrate on the holy tree first.

That done, I went to the auction house to buy a sword and maybe a better shield.  The spec pretty much requires a one hander and shield.

As I wandered into the empty auction house… odd and prime time on a Saturday… I realized that this was the weekend when the auction house had been shut down to clear it our for the WoW Classic / Burning Crusade split.

Of course, I had already done the spec change, so I was kind of stuck.  I had a shield in the bank, but not a 1h weapon to call my own.  I had been sending green drops and such to Moronae to use for enchanting.

Trade chat, being trade chat, wasn’t helpful on this front.  At least not with my budget.  So I ended up with the best vendor sword that WoW Head could find me, the Falchion.

A common sword will have to do

With that in hand I went to go train up the sword skill.  I figured I could do at least that much as I was starting out with a skill of 22.  I hit some lower level mobs for a bit, but then went over to Felwood to pick on some mobs in the low 50s, just to see how I would do.

Of course, with a low weapon skill, even when I was hitting I wasn’t doing much damage.  But as the skill built up past 200 I started killing mobs.  Meanwhile, I wasn’t taking much damage.  Skill ups slowed down around 230, but I kept on killing.  I moved over to Winterspring to get some higher level mobs and seemed to be doing okay.

A lot of the pally’s damage is in his holy seals and judgements and I had beefed him up with plenty of +str gear to boost damage as well.  I was doing well enough with that common level sword that I wondered if maybe I shouldn’t have just gone with protection for leveling up anyway.  The kills came a little slower, but I took so little damage that downtime shrank to more than make up for the lower damage.  I wasn’t setting any records, but I was doing pretty well considering the weapon.

When Sunday rolled around we tried to get something going, but Moronae was not available.  Skronk and Ula were on, so I asked if they could help my pally finish up a quest in the Eastern Plaguelands.  Hameya’s Plea was probably something I could manage solo.  I did it with my hunter.  But it can get out of hand if you’re not careful.  So they flew out and we grouped up.  The quest was even shareable, so we could all get the reward.

As it turned out we did get a little sloppy and ended up with a mass of undead trolls around us, but a pally tank loves some undead to slay.

Hameya is on the left there

We were able to get in and out without me managing to mess up too much as tank.  Running back to turn the quest in, it got them an item to vendor for some gold and me a sword upgrade.

An improvement

Confusingly, they both have the same inventory icon, but I got the right one equipped.

That done, the next item on the list was the mooncloth robe recipe, which comes from a vendor in the library of Dire Maul.  So we headed to Feralas and into Dire Maul North.

We had issues doing Dire Maul North as a group of four previously, so going in hard with just the three of us, and with me trying to tank a with a new spec, seemed like a bad idea.  But you can get to the library with minimal mobs to kill.  We took down one ogre guard and then got onto the stairway that goes down to the center pit of the first big area.  Going down far enough that we could jump up on the banister (and waiting until the wandering pack of dogs passed) we were able to avoid the group of ogres in the center.

The stairs behind us

From where we are in the screen shot it is a straight run into the very long tunnel, which fortunately lacks and mobs, that eventually gets you to the library.

Welcome to the Dire Maul library

There Ula was able to able to buy the recipe.  She also picked up the Arcane Refreshment quest, which gets her the final drink spell for mages.  In order to complete it you need to slay Hydrospawn in Dire Maul East.  Since we were already in the neighborhood we thought we might give it a try.  We’ve done DME a couple of times already, right?

Getting out of DMN meant running back up the tunnel to the center area again, waiting for the dog pack to pass, then running up the stairs, which meant getting within aggro radius of the ogres in the center.  Ula and I made it, running for the door.  Skronk got caught and smacked down.  But we just met him over in DME since, as a ghost, you get revived in any of the Dire Maul instances.

There we cleared a couple of mobs then considered our options.  The plan was to avoid fighting our way all the way in to Hydrospawn, being a tough job for a group of three.  Instead, we wanted to drop into the middle area in the main room, the conservatory, which is where Ironbark stands.  From there it is possible to track back to Hydrospawn pretty easily… or so we hoped.

Considering the drop

It took us a few tries to get it right.  There are a couple groups of non-elites down there, but also some solo elites and the usual groups of treants that run back and forth across the area.  By the fourth drop we managed to get in and have a clear LZ from which to work.

There were issues on the first three tries

We then very carefully grabbed any stationary mobs that were in our way, timing our progress to avoid the mobile mobs.

Taking some refreshment while mobs run past

From where I am sitting in the shot above were were able to time it to run past the treants to the fallen column, then to the wall, and then through the archway towards the next area.

Safely through the conservatory

I will say that the draw distance issue, about which I have complained in the past, did not make that run any easier.  The treant groups would appear and disappear and what felt like very close ranges to us.

From there we had to slay a couple of Satyrs, but otherwise were setup with our eyes on Hydrospawn.  There we were able to pull him… and we almost managed it.  We had forgotten that Hydrospawn resists frost attacks, which is a really bad bit of news to recall mid fight when your DPS is a frost mage.  You’d think a water elemental would resist fire and be frozen by frost, but what are you going to do.

We made it through the part where he summons two helpers, but I ran out of heals, pots, and any other pally tricks very shortly thereafter and was down.  There wasn’t enough oomph left to finish him off.

Dead on the rock and Hydrospawn back in his pool

Still, it was a fun run.  We decided that was enough for the day, but we’ll be back again to get Ula her quest reward.  I wouldn’t mind another run into DME.  My pally has the quest the gets him a serious shield upgrade from the last boss and there are some decent drops.

But by the time we try that the Burning Crusade Classic pre-patch should be in place and I will have to roll with the new spec.  Having tinkered with it in beta, I know that at least I won’t have to go up the holy tree to get consecrate.  I can give him a trial run next time to see if I stick with my warrior, Viniki, or swap to my paladin, Wilhelm.

A Return to Dire Maul East

The instance group returned to WoW Classic this past weekend.  Our last run, when we finally wrapped up Blackrock Depths, was back in February.  We have spent most of our time since then in the Viking afterlife that is Valheim.  But the coming of Burning Crusade Classic… Blizz seems set to drop the pre-expansion patch some time this month… stirred us from our resource collection and biome explorations to return to Azeroth.

All of us together again

We had a few goals for this return run, the first of which was to get back into the swing  of playing WoW.  While getting used to how to move passed pretty quickly, I think everybody was pressing the space bar to try and sprint or the Tab key for inventory more often than they would like to admit.  Fortunately, nobody can see you do that and it doesn’t have any real in-game impact.

We also wanted to get to level 60.  That was a low bar goal, as we were all well on our way towards that after the last run.

And we also wanted some felcloth.  Felcloth drops from satyrs in Felwood and is the primary ingredient to make mooncloth bags, which are the 16 slot bags that tailors can make.  To be in WoW Classic is to be in a time when 16 slot bags were a big deal.  Ula, our group tailor, has us mostly covered with 14 slot runecloth bags, but those extra two slots add up.

The coveted mooncloth bag

We spent some time trying for the mooncloth bag recipe drop at one point and eventually snagged it for an acceptable price at the auction house so Ula could start making them.

But to feed the production we need felcloth, and the one place where it drops besides Felwood is in Dire Maul East.  So that set our destination.  It offered xp, we had done it before so it was a probably a good warm up, and there was felcloth to be had.

We got ourselves online on Sunday afternoon and headed towards Feathermoon in Feralas from where ever we last left our characters.  Viniki was out in Gadgetzan for some reason… thorium recipes I think… so was the closest to our destination.

Flying out over the Mirage Raceway

Our group, in the guild window, was all level 59 and looking to level up.

All close to level cap

We managed to find the right instance on the first try… Dire Maul East is on the east side of the Dire Maul complex as advertised… and got ourselves setup.  This is the instance with Pusillin, the little demon that you have to chase down as he has the key to unlock the other wings of the complex.

What if we already have the key?

We started in on clearing our way through, the familiar rhythm of fights coming back to us after not too many rounds.

Viniki was the first to level up.  I had been out mining ore in high level zones, which means killing mobs now and then, so had crept up pretty close to the level cap already.

Hitting level 60 in the first area

We followed Pusillin, not so much because we needed his key or a drop from him, but because he runs off into an area populated by satyrs, and satyrs mean felcloth.

Attack all satyrs!

This was in contrast to our last visit, where we bypassed a lot of the satyrs.  The layout of the instance is such that you don’t need to grab every group.  But if you want felcloth you grab them all.

We made it to Pusillin and managed to wipe on his fight on the first try, the same as we did the last time we came to visit.

Wiped again

Pusillin summons a group of non-elite helpers who hit hard with fire based attacks, which overwhelmed Skronk’s ability to heal.  I heard him say, “Viniki pot!” even as I was going to hit a health pot, but even in motion already I was too late.

We had to run back, but once we got there, the fight was fairly simple.  If you wipe Pusillin wanders back to the far end of the room, but his summoned demons all crowd in at the near end, so you can fight them separately.

From there it was back up through the halls, sweeping up satyrs that we had missed or which spawned after we passed… which is a thing in DME, because I am pretty sure we didn’t miss that one guy in the narrow hallway on our way in… and off into the side rooms with the other bosses and more satyrs.

Lethtendris down

While gear upgrades seemed unlikely, we somehow still managed to find a couple, along with the Frost Ward V tome for Ula, which dropped just after she hit level 60.  And items that were not upgrades went to Moronae, who had taken up the enchanter profession for us, to be disenchanted for materials.

We pushed on, and managed not to wipe again, though we did have a couple of deaths.  Moronae’s combat ress came in handy when Skronk went down in a fight that got away from us for a bit.

Nobody died on Zevrim’s altar this time

Time, however, started to press.  We had been slow to get started and had stopped to slay all the satyrs for a stretch.  As we got towards the end we needed to speed things up a bit as dinner was about ready at my end.

In the conservatory we skipped as many groups as we dared to clear the way for Ironbark to open the last door for us.

Lets get moving there Ironbark

It was in the conservatory that Skronk hit level 60, the last of us to do so.  We were all at the level cap.

Ready for Outland now

We made it through and got down to the final boss, Azzin the Wildshaper, another fight where we forgot that a bunch minions show up to help the boss mid-fight.  It was a bit touch and go for a while, but I managed to keep them mostly on me.

Sudden mid-fight pile on!

We made it through and defeated Azzin.  We had finished the instance.

Victory over Azzin

We had managed to get up to speed, all hit level 60, and even grabbed a few pieces of felcloth.  I think there were five drops, which doesn’t feel like a lot, though the drops per mobs ratio was much better than trying to farm them in Felwood.  And Ula only needs one piece per bag.  Now she just has to turn them into mooncloth at the local moonwell, something that is on a timer, so it will take a bit to process even five.

There are still some instances left that we have not done in WoW Classic.  But even if we do not get to them all, we are set for Outland.  The gear we have will be replaced by the first round of green quest drops once we get to Hellfire Peninsula.

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.