Tag Archives: Altar of Zul

The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor

After Uldaman, the next instance on the list for us was Zul’Farrak.  But before we could wander down to Tanaris and start in on that there was some prep work to be done.  ZF is an instance with a group of lead-in quests so we got together to get those done first.  Our group for the venture was:

  • Moronae – level 46 night elf druid
  • Viniki – level 45 gnome warrior
  • Ula – level 44 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 44 dwarf priest

Moronae had been out working on gold to get his mount, which got him a couple of levels along the way.  The rest of us were about where we left off after Uldaman.

Our destination was the Hinterlands.

Map of the Hinterlands

In the Hinterlands is the hammer that one must transform into the Mallet of Zul’Farrak, which is needed to summon Gahz’rilla, one of the bosses in the instance.  We all still recall the time we went in and forgot to bring the mallet with us.

Otherwise though memories of the Hinterlands aspect of this were vague.  But we would just follow the quests and see where we ended up.

The line starts with the quest Withbark Cages, available in the cave just behind the flight point… the flight point which we all had after I got lost that one time… which was a quick out and back as a group.

Back to get the next quest already

That leads into the quest that sends you out to investigate Altar of Zul.  At the top of the structure, at the Altar of Zul itself, is Qiaga the Keeper, who drops the sacred mallet that becomes the Mallet of Zul’Farrak.  So we headed out to the Altar of Zul to see what we could see.

The steps up to the Altar of Zul

The mobs on the way up, were starting to creep up in levels compared to our group.  They were also a bit close to each other, so we ended up with our share of proximity aggro and pulls.  But they were all non-elite.  However, at the top, Qiaga and Morta’gya were both elites and level 50.

Red level is a warning

However, we met up with Discostuart, a level 47 priest, who was also there for the Altar of Zul.  We joined up with him and went after the elites.  It was a bit of a muddle… Discostuart decided to mind control Qiaga but didn’t mention that up front, which led to some confusion, and we managed to get all the non-elites in the area on us as well… but we managed in the end.  We all got the quest update for investigating the altar and we all got the sacred mallet.

Mallet in hand, it was time to move on to Jintha’alor to find the altar in order to create the Mallet of Zul’Farrak.

Behold Jintha’alor

Jintha’alor is something of an open air dungeon.  Most of the mobs are elite and you have a path to follow up the various walled tiers of the complex.  The altar, from my readings, was somewhere between the two ponds at the back of the complex.

Blue X, Us – Red X, Destination

It started off fairly manageable, with elite mobs being around levels 46-47 and spaced out enough that we were not getting too many accidental adds.  There were even some gaps that allowed us to slip on by some mobs now and then.

Running up the sideline

But that soon started ramping up a bit, and as mobs got to be 48 and 49, our abilities became much less reliable.  That was to be expected, and we have run into that before, but it seemed to get a bit more critical this time around.  Moronae, who has been able to just unleash his DPS so far in our group ended up dying because my taunt, on an 8 second cool down, was hitting maybe 1 in 4 times.

Reviving Moronae after a fight

At our level things are getting a little more serious.  He started using cower, a skill that dumps a bit of aggro, more frequently.  This helped me as I had been blowing all of my aggression on offense that built up aggro.  Now I had a bit more room for damage mitigation.  Things were still close to going off the rails now and then, but we had a bit of luck go our way.

A level 60 player rode past us at one point and on up towards the altar.  I gather they were looking to gain faction with the Wildhammer Clan.  But they cleared a lot of the stuff ahead of us.

Skronk attempting to Mind Vision ahead to check the path

We were able to get pretty far along in the wake of the level 60, though once up at the top we were in among level 50-52 elites.  Those were mobs we could handle one at a time, but there wasn’t a lot of room for error.  A lot of resists meant mobs might go after anybody.  We took out a few of the level 50 wolves up there, but the way in to where ever we needed to be… we were not quite sure beyond the “between the ponds” landmark… was guarded by level 51 mobs that were clearly going to be coming at us in pairs.

About then the level 60, Bootsncats, showed up and asked what we were up to.  I told him we were up here for the altar.

I am for simple explanations

Since I wasn’t sure where it was, and it seemed like we might need to go into the cave just over the way, I added that.

You can see the cave and some targeted mobs

Bootsncats ran ahead and killed a couple mobs, though we chased after and almost managed to get in over our head with a couple of adds.

A level 51 resisting away

But as they went into the cave with us in tow, I started to feel that maybe the cave was too far past our mark.  The altar seemed to be out in the open, there just wasn’t anything to indicate what we had to do.

While Bootsncats was clearing the cave, we went back to the altar and sat around for a bit.

At the altar

One of us clicked on the sacred mallet they had collected and found that would upgrade it to the Mallet of Zul’Farrak.  Objective complete.

We left Bootsncats to his slaying.  As I noted, I think they were up there for the rep grind anyway.  We turned around to play our escape.  The ride out of Jintha’alor is traditionally done by just trying to blow past and out run all the mobs, jumping off terraces and running down wall tops to avoid fall damage.  So we all mounted up and rode off.

There was some confusion as to where we ought to turn.  I just rode down stairs then straight over the next ledge and so on.  Ula fell off the wrong side of a wall at one point and ended up going the wrong way.  Skronk and I were riding all out when we got to the base of the complex.

Nearly there!

However, both Skronk and I got swarmed by mobs at the bottom, dismounted, and killed.  Only Moronae made it out safely.  Skronk and I were close enough to safety that Moronae went to use his combat ress, the one with the 30 minute cool down, to revive Skronk so he could then revive me.  But Moronae mis-clicked and revived me instead.

Oh no, wrong corpse! Skronk was just behind me

There was a quick discussion as to whether or not if I declined it the cool down would go away, but it already seemed to be running.  So I took the ress, Skronk released and came back, and Ula somehow got herself back to us, though I am not sure where she ended up.

We were out and done.  We took a side trip to Skulk Rock to slay some oozes for a quest we picked up.  If Jintha’alor was any guide, we were probably going to need some more levels before we could expect to successfully assault Zul’Farrak.  I figure we probably need be 47 minimum across the board to finish it all.  So something to work on.  But the groundwork has been laid.

The Mallet of Zul’Farrak

One week back into WoW and already we were short of players for a Saturday night. Bung was out of town while Earl said something about a “wedding anniversary.” A likely excuse.

That left three of us:

47 Mage – Ula
48 Priest – Skronk
49 Paladin – Vikund

We thought we might go looking for that Mallet of Zul’Farrak that came up missing last week in ZF.

gongmessage.png

This meant heading up to the Hinterlands and facing the Altar of Zul.

I was more than a bit dubious about our chances. The last time we went up to the altar we were a group of five and we got plastered all over the scenery. Now there were just three of us, though we were at least a few levels higher now.

Being higher level helped us almost immediately. The last time around our level meant our aggro radius was big enough that even getting to the altar was a pain. This time we managed to get pretty much to the base of the pyramid on which the altar rests before we had to start fighting.

We killed the mobs on the steps and soon faced Qiaga the Keeper and Morta’gya the Keeper, both level 50 elites, as well as a normal level 48 mob. We buffed up, took a deep breath, and went after them.

And won.

We won handily in fact. It was not even a close fight.

We all looted the mallet off of Qiaga. Of course, the mallet is not ready for ZF yet. You have to enchant it first.

enchanting it means a visit to another part of the Hinterlands, Jintha’Alor. More elite trolls in the level 46-50 range.

We took this carefully. You have to get to another altar at the top of Jintha’Alor to transform the mallet, so we battled our way up the stairs and along the paths, taking one or two mobs at a time. I believe we only ended up with more than two a couple of times, and only once was there enough drama in a fight to make anybody nervous enough to get Skronk to start his “remain calm” mantra.

We made it to the top, to the amphitheater where the altar is. There is an elite troll bound to the altar, Elder Torntusk, but he leaves you alone if you don’t bother him.

Around the altar patrols an elite as well as Vile Priestess Hexx. We took out the elite, let Hexx wander away on her rounds, and ran up to the altar to transform the mallet. You just have to get close to the altar and right click on the mallet in your inventory and it becomes the Mallet of Zul’Farrak.

Only one of us needed to get the mallet, but now we have three copies, just in case.

We were pretty much done for the night at that point. We had only one more thing to do, the Valkyrie ride back down and away from Jintha’Alor. While we could have used our hearth stones to head home, there is something of a tradition of mounting up and riding wildly down the stairs and over parapets to get out. It is something of a celebration. So off we went.

downja.png

Of course, here is where we had our only death of the night. Ula took a couple of big hits from passing mobs as well as a couple of rough landings and ended up dead at the bottom of Jintha’Alor. Skronk and I rode on while she just revived at the angel and ported back to Ironforge.

So now we prepared for our next trip into ZF. We have the mallet, we can sound the gong and get on with the instance.