Tag Archives: Badlands

The Badlands Crypt

When we were out in the Badlands for turned out to be our final run at Uldaman, Skonk and I were hanging around one of the NPCs camps waiting for everybody to collect up.  Bouncing around, as people do when they’re ready to go, I started running up and down the peak where the camp was located, only to spot something I couldn’t recall seeing before.

Up the hill above the camp, Skronk down below on his mount

I’ve probably been here before, but it has been almost a decade since Cataclysm changed the old world, so I am not sure it is there anymore.  And, in any case, it has been many more years since I was actively leveling up in the Badlands.  So I went in to check it out.

The crypt invites

There are no mobs or anything in the crypt.  It is all static and very quiet.  But there is a tableau set up at the bottom.

Down in the heart of the crypt

I am sure somebody spent some time setting up and arranging everything just so.  The whole thing implies that there is a tale to be told about this, if only there was somebody around who witnessed the events.

All in all, there was nothing in the crypt that gained me even a single experience point, but it was a bit of an experience all the same.  Another of the little details strewn about old Azeroth.

Archaedas in the Foyer

The past weekend found us all at home.  Since we all live in locales that were under community lockdown guidelines… “shelter in place” they call it… thanks to COVID-19, we seemed to have ample opportunity to play.  Nobody had any reservations for dinner, a show to see, or a sporting event to attend certainly.

So we got together on Saturday afternoon to take another run at Uldaman and met up again in the Badlands.  If nothing else, we still had quests to finish up.  Uldaman is good at keeping your quest log supplied.  Our party for the afternoon was:

  • Viniki – level 44 gnome warrior
  • Ula – level 43 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 43 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 42 night elf druid

The still seemed shy of what we might need for Archaedas… but, quests!

Before we went in though, we had to get out quests aligned.  Viniki had gotten ahead with one in the Badlands, so we spent a little bit of time getting everybody back on the same page.  That meant finding a dead dwarf then slaying some troggs.

The troggs are over there

The annoying bit was having to run back to Loch Modan to get the quest update, but three out of four of us have mounts now while the hold out, Moronae, is a druid, which means he has a travel form, so it didn’t take as long as it might of to get the quests set.

Another week in Uldaman

The missing one was Agmond’s Fate, and it was another “collect a few things” quests, in this case it was four urns.  But like the power stone drops and the fungus, there didn’t seem to be many urns about.

It didn’t help that, once again, things were a bit busy outside of Uldaman.  We were not the only ones sheltering at home.  We did find out way to one quest objective outside the instance, a large stone chest.

Well, we got this at least

But otherwise we were in competition with other groups for mobs and drops and harvestables and whatever.  The place was stripped clean, like the paper goods aisle at the store.  So the instance seemed to be our best bet.

So dramatically lit too

Inside we followed what has become the usual path.  We cleared through the troggs, met up with the lost vikings, got the bits for the Staff of Prehistoria, slew Revelosh, and set up to fight Ironaya again, just because.  Seriously, we could just bypass her, but calling her out doesn’t take much extra time and we all live in hope of a nice blue drop.

Fighting Ironaya again

I like that screen shot because Ula’s spell is in flight and because I got off a disarm on Ironaya, which always pleases me for some reason.  Ironaya’s revenge was to drop some mail bracers, and nobody in our group needs that.  Her chamber was, as usual, empty.

Again, the paper goods aisle at the store…

I like that they went so far as to put cobwebs on the shelf to emphasize their emptiness.  I was hoping they might at least have an urn.  But we were denied.

We carried on, following the left wall mostly, taking down Galgann and Grimlok in their turns.  We bypassed the Ancient Stone Keeper and went from Grimlok straight to the Hall of Crafters.  It was time to get things cleared for the big fight.

All those groups in there again

Here is where a couple weeks of practice began to pay off.  After all of the fights… and a few deaths… last week, we had finally settled on a routine that worked for us.  The rhythm for these groups was for Viniki to engage and get aggro and Moronae to call the target marker color the the current DPS focus.  Previously we had tried targeting off of Viniki or having me call the target, both of which have problems.  I use push to talk on coms, and mid-fight my fingers are sometimes too busy to get that extra key, while targeting off of Viniki can fall apart because he has to change targets to hold aggro on whole bunch.  But Moronae taking the lead on that made everything much smoother.

So we plowed through the three groups in the first room, did the golem event easily enough, then did the next set of groups, all without any major issues.  That brought us to Archaedas again.

There he is

On last week’s post Rebeard left a comment suggesting a different strategy for fighting Archaedas.  This involved starting the fight and then running back up to the room with the golem event and fighting Archaedas there.  That was supposed to slow down the arrival of the adds so that, towards the end, when he summons the his final minions you can kill him before they show up and ruin the party.  So we set up to give it a try.

Ready to start Archaedas

The whole thing nearly fell apart seconds into the event.  We started the event and then paused to make sure Archaedas would follow.  As it turns out, the doors to the chamber close and we just barely managed to squeeze out through them.  I believe you can open them up again, but I didn’t stick around to check and even if you can, doing so with Archaedas beating on your seemed like a bad plan.

And then, with Archaedas hot on our heels up the stairs to the golem room, he began beating on Skronk.  Skronk was losing a lot of health and Archaedas seemed to be able to shrug off my taunts.  Somehow we managed to get up to the top of the stairs and into the golem room and get things sorted.  The fight began.

On the plus side Ula, Skonk, and Moronae all leveled up along the way before we started this fight, so we were better equipped.  But being away from Archaedas’ room only slowed down the arrival of the first add.  After that it was the same routine, hitting Archaedas, swapping to burn down the latest add, then on to Archaedas again.  There was a question as to if we would know when we should go all out on him, but his shout of “To my side, brothers! For the Makers!” seemed to be the hint we were looking for.  We focused on Archaedas and were so very close as the big golems arrived and started pounding on me.

Getting so very close

And then he collapsed and the fight was over.

Almost over, one non-elite arrived late

Strewn about us were the corpses of many adds… though they seemed to fade quickly even as the fight was going on.  During the fight we pulled out all the stops.  Moronae hit Skronk with innervate part way through the fight and I managed to consume three superior health potions along the way.  Not a short fight.  So we lined up to take our screen shot by the fallen Archaedas.

Victory in Uldaman

That accomplished, it was time to run back down stairs to the treasure room.

The treasure room has opened

I have to say, the treasure room in Uldaman is one of the biggest teases in the game.  You run into that room and see a giant chest and piles of gold and gems and what not, but what you walk out of there with is… not much.  You go through the final quest bit, get a bit of lore

Ding! Your discs are ready!

The chest contained a couple of leather items, and Moronae only wanted one of them.  Our loot drops for the run were not great.  But we finished the instance, killed the boss, and got into his vault.  One last screen shot there, then it was back to Ironforge.

The treasure is so bright we have a backlighting problem

Back in Ironforge, after a bit of run around, we got the real prize for the whole venture… a 14 slot bag! (Plus some potions to replace the ones from that last fight.)

The best quest reward

And so we were done.  Viniki still has two unfinished Uldaman quests in his log.

Urns and fungus

But I am not sure either is worth finishing up.  After three weeks there it might be time to move on.  Next on the list is Zul’Farrak, home of the famed Carrot on a Stick trinket.  I think I still had that and the Argent Commission in my trinket slots well into The Burning Crusade.

And, as I have done with past instances, here is a replay of the group’s experiences from both the distant and the recent past:

Oddly, February and March seem to be when we visit Uldaman.  No other months will do I guess.

Blizzard in the Badlands

I saw this ogre shout while out in the Badlands and had to laugh.

Tell us how you really feel…

At this moment there is almost an aura of nostalgia about this being the top gaming news item a few months back now that we have Covid-19 and uncertain future ahead of us.

(I named my hunter pet “Blitzchung” back then and saw no need to change it.)

An Uldaman of Vague Memories

One does not just walk into Uldaman… at least you don’t if you want to complete all the quests.

Uldaman seems to be to be clearly designed for multiple visits.  It has a noticeable step in mob level/difficulty part way in, it has a side door like Gnomeregan, and, the clincher, you cannot actually wrap up the quests for the instance in one go.  There is one that sends you there and, upon turning it in, sends you back again.

But first you have to get all the quests, and that too is not just a matter of “grab and go.”  The project leading up to the weekend was to find and collect the quests we could.  The wiki helps, of course.  You can get a list of quests.  But you still have to go out and do things as several of the quests have precursors.

So you start in Ironforge by picking up a couple.  Then you fly off to Loch Modan to pick up and advance a couple.  Then it is off to the Badlands, where there is no Alliance flight point, so you walk all the way.

Now entering the Badlands

The color palette changes from greens to oranges as you cross over into the zone.  Even the map is in the right colors to depict the place.

Welcome to the Badlands

I didn’t have to go very far out of my way while doing some of the lead-in quests in order to fill out most of the map.

Probably the most burdensome quest on the list was Badlands Reagent Run.  This starts in Thelsamar in Loch Modan and sends you off to the Badlands to procure a few items.  The ten coyote teeth are easy.  The drop rate isn’t high, but coyotes are practically the signature mob of the zone, so they are everywhere.  Rock elemental shards are not too bad either.  There are not a huge number of rock elementals, but the drop rate is very high, so you only need a few.

And then there are the buzzard gizzards.  The drop rate is low and buzzards are few and far between in most of the zone.  I was struggling on this stage until Ula mentioned that there was a place where they seemed to congregate.  There was a bunch of them around what looked to be an abandoned orc structure.

Where the buzzard collect…

That done, it was time to trot back to Loch Modan again in order to turn that in and get the quest for the instance.  So much running.  Of course, some people had been saving their coppers for a mount.

Ula on her mechanochicken

Viniki is still about 20g shy of a mount as I write this.

Mechanostriders are not cheap

But after all that running about I had the six quests.

Ready for Uldaman

When I was done with that Moronae showed up and we shepherded him through that as well, guiding him to the buzzard spot and such before finally getting everybody together at the meeting stone.  The lineup for the evening was:

  • Ula – level 42 gnome mage
  • Viniki – level 42 gnome warrior
  • Moronae – level 41 night elf druid
  • Skronk – level 41 dwarf priest

From there we headed to the front door where, as the title suggests, the whole adventure stirred up a lot of vague or half forgotten memories.  Fortunately there was just enough of a tickle in the back of our collective brains to steer us in mostly the right direction without getting too lost.

As with a lot of the classic instances, there is a whole outer area with elite mobs and a couple of the quests get updated there, as well as mobs dropping items for another.  We wandered around the outer area for a bit, then headed in where we faced Revelosh.

He went down pretty easily.  After that there was a side are… we knew there was something significant about a side area… where we fought our way to Erik, Baleog, and Olaf, the lost vikings.

Not the last appearance these guys will make in WoW

There was a quest turn in there and we read a book and then I picked up an item from a chest, which seemed to be important.

From there we wandered further into the instance to the wide open area with the model city.  Clearing that out we were left with an item that wanted the Staff of Prehistoria.  None of us had that, but Skronk remembered that we had to assemble some pieces, and I had the pieces, so we were able to summon Ironaya.

Ironaya approaches

Ironaya is one of the more memorable bosses in the instance for me.  Probably the only one I can recall clearly, but women wearing tall boots often have that effect on me.  Memorable or not, she went down.

Ironaya done

From there it was a bit of a tour of the mini map as we ran along the edges of the instance to find the bosses.  There was the Obsidian Sentinel, which we needed for a mage quest for Ula.

There he is

That was a fight we only remembered once it started.  The sentinel starts spawning adds, getting smaller as he does.  So we killed the adds then him, collecting Ula’s update.

Further along was Galgann Firehammer and his helpers.

Getting ready for Galgann

While there were three of them, we were able to knock them down with much drama.

Then we worked our way around to Grimlok. He has quite the array of wandering troggs before him and is in the end of the instance where the trash mobs start to scale up in levels a bit. We were a bit more careful with our pulls there, and manag

I sued to do pretty well with that. Grimlok himself is part of a foursome. The plan was to kill the caster, lest we find out that he was also a healer, then move on toe Grimlok. Ula would sheep the warrior and Moronae would pacify the pet basilisk. And, in the end, that worked out. We slew the caster quickly and moved on to Grimlok.

However, there came a point when the sheep popped and the basilisk broke out of his spell and the rest of the crew was trying to get that under control that I started feeling a little lonely out in front with Grimlok pounding on me.

Hanging on with Grimlok

I survived, though I had to use a potion, long enough for the DPS to get back on the big guy and burn him down.  Then the warrior and the basilisk got their turns.

At that point, with some of the pre-instance quest work, we were starting to get to the end of our time.  We started about midway into Sunday afternoon, but dinner time was approaching.  We decided to go check out at least one more boss.  We didn’t think we were up for Archaedas, but there were a couple other named mobs in the instance.

The first one we ended up at was Annora, who is the enchanting trainer in the instance.  You cannot fight her.  So we started working our way towards the Ancient Stone Keeper.  And it is along the way that we had our one and only death.

While bosses did not seem to cause us much problem, there are a number of points in the instance where you end up fighting a sizable group of non-elite mobs, like pits full of scorpions.

Scorpion trap unleashed

We were able to handle most of them, but they were often harder work than some of the boss fights.  Again, I think it is the missing DPS player slot in our group that makes these a bit of a challenge.  Viniki’s taunt has a cool down and his one AOE in defense stance needs a lot of rage to use, so the mobs always get away from me. (I might just be a bad tank in this.)  So the burden tends to fall on Ula to AOE these mobs, but she can quickly pull aggro on the lot of them and it becomes a race to save her.

One group of mobs around the Ancient Stone Keeper managed to win the race and Ula went down.  But it was just that one fight.

She died up here, above the Ancient Stone Keeper

The Ancient Stone Keeper himself… well, he has a gimmick at least.  We learned quickly to get out of the whirlwinds that appear around him.  But with that bit of knowledge we were able to knock him down as well.

He ended up dropping a pair of gloves for me.

Stone Keeper Gloves

I am not sure that +10 spirit was the stat for which I would have wished.  However, I was still wearing mail gloves, so the armor was a boost, and the defense and stamina stats were to my liking, so I took them.

And then it was time for a screen shot of the group.

Done with the Ancient Stone Keeper

Before we recalled, Skronk wanted to go track down a paladin’s corpse that was earlier in the dungeon, around the first troggs.  It was something related to a quest.  However, when we found him there wasn’t anything we could “do” with the paladin, so opted to recall back to Ironforge.

There, in turning in some of the quests, we got the update from one that sends us back for that paladin.  So just one trip to Uldaman won’t do.  Also, we have a lot of drops to get still.  But at least we know where that pally is for next time.

Ula has put together another great video of our first Uldaman run.

She captured all of our boss fights very well.  I especially like the sound effect when Ironaya runs up to Viniki at the start of the fight and punts him.  Also, apparently there was a problem with Viniki’s animation for a while, so instead of the running animation, he was just walking very fast.  I could not see this on my client, but it is visible at some points in the video.  I caused great hilarity as I ran around.

There are also a couple of post-credit scenes, including one with the scorpions and another capturing Ula’s death at the Ancient Stone Keeper.  She also captured a lot of the drops we got from bosses.

We will be making a return trip of course.  We need to level up, if nothing else, before thinking beyond Uldaman.

Right now Viniki is close to 43, as is Ula I imagine.  Skronk made it to 42 and Moronae is probably close there.  Looking back on our group composition from our first victory over Archaedas, we were a group of five that were levels 43 and 44.  We might still give Archaedas a try next time.  That will further test the “bad then, better now” theory of our abilities I suppose.

Wrapping Up the Eastern Kingdoms

With the Cape of Stranglethorn out of the way, I had just four more zones left for the Eastern Kingdoms Loremaster achievement.  They were:

  • Eastern Plaguelands    40-45 – 70 quests
  • Badlands    44-48 – 35 quests
  • Searing Gorge    47-51 – 35 quests
  • Burning Steppes    49-52 – 40 quests

And given that my shaman, who had just finished up the Cape of Stranglethorn, had just turned level 40, I was a bit tempted to just keep running with him.

The Eastern Kingdoms

The Eastern Kingdoms

However, I decided to switch characters once again.  So far I have used a rogue who ended up at level 61, a monk who now sits at level 57, and my shaman.  Now I brought out my warrior, Makarov, who sat at level 46.  That seemed to be a bit high level to launch into the Eastern Plaguelands, but I had a reason to fall back on him.

For starters, he laid the groundwork for this Loremaster achievement bid back before I had actually decided to make a go of it.  As I leveled him up, he managed to knock out a few of the zones I would have otherwise had to go back and complete, the most immediate of which was the Western Plaguelands.  That meant he had a flight point up there.  Plus he had a fair start already on the Eastern Plaguelands, having completed about half of the required 70 quests for the zone achievement.  That was enough of a head start to seal the deal.  It was off to the Eastern Plaguelands with Makarov.

More after the cut, as there are four zones worth of words and pictures.

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