Tag Archives: Blackrock Depths

Heading to the Detention Block in Blackrock Depths

After our previous prep run we were all about ready to take our first steps into Blackrock Depths.  We met up in Ironforge and flew out to the Burning Steppes together.  Our group lineup was:

  • Viniki – level 54 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 54 dwarf priest
  • Ula – level 54 gnome mage
  • Moronae – level 53 night elf druid

Normally we would just fly to Thorium point, which is both a shorter flight from Ironforge and a shorter run to the instance, but we had a few things to wrap up on the way in.

First, we had a quest to finish up from Morgan’s Vigil that involved sticking an ogre’s head on a stick as a warning to the others.  Easy to do and it cleared out a space in our nearly full quest logs.

Ogre head in place

We quickly rode back and turned that in before setting out again across the zone.  We stopped along the way again as Moronae was behind on one quest.  He did not have the Kharan Mighthammer quest from King Mangi Bronzebeard yet.

The list so far

I figured he could grab the bits for the quest along the way and then turn them in later.  After all, the quest in question was RED in out log, so it was probably something at the back of the instance that we wouldn’t get to this run.

Doing that also gave us some warm up time with our characters, which at least I needed.  After playing a Demon Hunter in retail for a couple of days, I was very set on a constant key rotation, which is not at all how you play a warrior tank in WoW Classic.  I also had to get used to manually dismounting for a bunch of things.

We got Moronae his update and rode on to Blackrock Mountain.

Destination in sight

In one of those very vanilla WoW mechanics, the ramp up top the doors is flagged as “no mounts,” so we were dismounted automatically for once and had to go on foot up to the doors.

Going in the front doors

Through the doors we got to see the inside of the mountain.  It has been a while since I was in there.

The view inside the mountain

Fortunately, not everything was forgotten.  I knew we had to go across one of those chains to the rock suspended in the middle, then down another chain to a chamber that would lead us into the instance itself.

The second chain… also, it feels like the nether in here

We ran around and up the ramp, found the chain we could get to, and made our way to the big rock which hold the tomb of Franclorn Forgewright.

The tomb

The ghost of Franclorn Forgewright had a quest for us, but you can only get that quest when you, yourself, are a ghost as well.  So we ran on down the next chain and into the open area before the instance and found some orcs to kill us.

Slowly getting ourselves dead

In hindsight, this was an act of some hubris, assuming that we would need to deliberately get ourselves killed, as though the instance wouldn’t take care of that for us at some point.  But we did it.

That put us at the graveyard by Thorium Point and we ran in ghost form back to the Franclorn Forgewright, where he had a quest for us.

Franclorn Forgewright revealed

You speak to him, get a quest, and… well, you’re supposed to speak to him again and finish that quest and get the next step.  But since you’re dead and everything is grayscale, three of us just assumed that was a gray question mark above his and didn’t do the next step.  Only Ula got that one right and by the time Skronk noticed, we were well inside the instance.  But we had time.

That done… or half done for some of us… it was back down in the chain again and time to revive.  We healed up, spelled up, and went looking for the instance.  There is a long hallway that will get you there.

The way in

There was supposed to be a boss mob, Overmaster Pyron somewhere along here, but there was a group of level 60s hanging around the instance line and apparently farming him for some drops.  We made our way into the instance.

Once inside we cleared out some of the big open area that has paths off in several directions.

The big open area in the instance

I went and dug out a map from the internet to help us along.  There are a few available.  I wish I could just find a blank version of the map that is used to populate the mini-map, but I was out of luck there.  We went with an annotated map.

Blackrock Depths map – A is where you start

While we want the experience of WoW Classic, we’re also not as patient as we might have been 15 years ago.  At least I am not.  I can learn boss dynamics on the fly, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time lost, and this instance is sprawling enough that you could spend a lot of time lost.

We decided to go off the right to the prison cells as our first destination, the little oval area at the bottom with numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5 indicated.

A cheerfully decorated area

We were doing okay clearing groups of mobs along the way.  Pairs of elite mobs were no problem, nor were triples really.  The elite mobs in there did seem to hit for noticeably more damage and Skronk was kept busy healing.

Pairs and triples with some non-elite mobs in tow, and the groups of non-elite hounds that rove in packs, were more problematic.  Groups like that always cause me anxiety as the tank because, being down one DPS, we don’t always have quite enough AOE damage to do an effective “freeze and burn” to kill the group before they break loose.  And once they break loose and start running after Ula it is always a struggle for me to get aggro back.  I have one skill that will pull all aggro in the area to me, but it has a 10 minute cool down, so I hate to burn it unless we really need it in the moment.

Still, we managed to push our way around the loop, one group at a time, until we had sight of High Interrogator Gerstahn, the first boss on our list, and number 5 on the map above.

High Interrogator Gerstahn

She is up a hallway and has a couple of mobs off to either side.  Still, we figured it wouldn’t be a huge issue.  Just pull her via line of sight, sheep her friend, tank her and the adds, and kill them one by one.

And that might of worked expect the High Interrogator casts fear, and hit Moronae with it, who then ran off down the half of the loop that we had not cleared, bringing back an additional pair of elites and another group of hounds.  This did not end well.

The chaos that followed

You can see me dead on the floor… I think Ula was done by that point as well, Morone in the middle of things, and Skonk trying to get clear off to the left.  It was a wipe.  But the corpse at the lower left is High Interrogator Gerstahn.  We at least knocked her out before we began our run back.

Through the back doors as a ghost

We got ourselves back in the instance and together again, buffed up, and ran back to where we had wiped.  Skronk, the master looter, got the prison cell door key from Gerstahn.  Then we finished off the rest of her group up the hallway.

However, once we did that and went into the area where she had been standing, we decided that there wasn’t really any value in clearing out all of the rooms behind her position.

We did take a moment to sit down in the four dwarven barcalounger that were set up in the room for whatever reason.

Getting comfy

With the key in hand, there were several cell doors to open up, some of which clearly had somebody inside keen to speak with us.

Somebody wants out… and how did they know I was a gnome through the door?

We decided to take some care here.  This smelled a bit like it might end up as an escort or something, so we carefully cleared all of the rest of the way around the cell block loop… and, for good measure, cleared all the mobs wandering around the big open area so we had a clear shot to the instance door.  I mean, there was a freaking store room with the cells, so we could just image the whole “follow me, I need my gear, now I need to walk slowly out of the instance, directly through any mobs I can find” routine.

But we need not have been quite so careful.  There was no escort quest looming.  Behind one of the doors was Marshal Windsor.

Okay, okay, stop yelling at me

He had a quest update that required us to head back to Morgan’s Vigil.

And in one of the other cells was Kharan Mighthammer.

Kharan Mighthammer

He is, of course, the quest mob for the quest in red that I thought we wouldn’t get to on this first run… because the quest is red and the instance is a huge sprawling dungeon… but there we were.

On the bright side, we had the key now and the path to his cell isn’t that big of a side trip… and the next step of the quest is Princess Moira, mob 21 on that map, who is way the hell in the back of the instance, so it seems likely that we won’t be getting there on the next run… but it is still another item on the list.

That done, we looked around for something we could knock out before we called the run for dinner.

Not too far around the corner was the Ring of Law.  We had some vague memories of it being a boss fight challenge… as Skronk succinctly put it, we didn’t exactly have this instance set to farm back in the day… but that seemed like something we could tackle, so off we went.

We had the good sense to all enter the ring together, at which point a Dark Iron dwarf came out and pronounced our doom.

Also, heresy by word, heresy by deed….

After that, out came the spiders.  Lots of spiders.  Non-elite spiders, yes, but a bunch of them, in two waves, and we had our usual freeze and burn problem, I blew my AOE taunt on the first wave, and Ula died during the second wave as we tried to get stuff off of her… also, the spiders kept webbing everybody, keeping us immobile, and hitting everybody with a poison DOT which blew a lot of Skronk’s mana as we struggled.  But we made it and killed all the wee spiders and had a bit of a breather before the big boss came in.

Skronk got a ress off on Ula, we healed up a bit, and then the main boss came in, another spider, Hedrum the Creeper.  Things did not go well.  We wiped.

So it was another run back from Thorium Point and back into the instance.  By this point Skronk had noticed our Franclorn Forgewright problem, so the three of us who needed to updated the quest.  We jumped into the instance and back out again to grab Overmaster Pyron, who was up outside the instance.

Burn, baby, burn

We then went back into the instance and back to the Ring of Law to find Hedrum the Creeper waiting for us.  So we gave him another try.  Again, it did not go well for us.

Hedrum done with us

The fight was summarized well by one of the comments on his page on WoWHead, which said:

Problem wasnt heals or tanking or DPS, problem was the mob’s would root the tank, drop aggro and go crazy on the rest of the group. The web root lasted like 12 secs and the mob would stun for 10 secs. Overall, this mob is a pain the booty.

That is the way it went for us.  A single mob seemed ideal for us, but when he roots the tank… and my escape artists skill, which is on my hot bar, has a cool down so you really only get one use per fight… and runs off to kill the healer or the DPS, things are not going to end well.

So we decided to call it a day.  We took the gear damage hit and revived at the graveyard by Thorium Point, then flew over to Morgan’s Vigil to turn in some quests.  Then Ula put up a portal to Stormwind because I thought we had a turn in there, but we didn’t.  So we stoned back to Ironforge and updated our quests there, the repaired.  My bill was 2 gold 38 silver, which is pricey in classic terms.

So went our first venture into Blackrock Depths.  We have quite a ways to go before we’re done.

Preparations in The Burning Steppes

I haven’t had much about the group in WoW Classic recently.  In part that was due to some interest in the Shadowlands pre-patch… and Skronk and Ula moving… but most recently it was because Moronae’s computer died and he had to put together a new one.  And some of us like to take their time researching before they throw together a new rig.  But his new Ryzen 5 powered system was up and running this past weekend, so we were able to get back to it.

We last left off in September when we finished our final Sunken Temple run.  From there the path headed to Blackrock Depths.  But one does not just walk into Blackrock Depths, as they say.  BRD is another one of those multi-week events, and the first step is preparation.  There are many quests to grab and lead-ins to find.  The fist on the list was in Ironforge, where we spoke with the royal historian who stands off to the side of King Mangi Bronzebeard.

Listening to the historian

She has a quest, the first step of which is to listen to her tale.  Then she wants you to head out to Searing Gorge.  But for us the next stop was Kharanos, down the road from Ironforge, to update another lead-in quest for the instance.

That was a quick round trip, after which we headed to the flight point to fly off to Loch Modan.  There were no quests for us in Loch Modan, but it is the nearest flight point to Searing Gorge and the flight path at Thorium Point.  That is the closest flight point to the instance, so we rode around into the Badlands and through the gap into Searing Gorge.

Path from the Badlands is here

We rode to Thorium Point and picked up the flight path and then took the bird to our next destination, Lakeshire in the Redridge Mountains.  That is the nearest flight destination to Morgan’s Vigil, the Alliance encampment in the Burning Steppes, which is also where Blackrock Mountain is, home to several instances including Blackrock Depths.

The Burning Steppes, squeezed in between Searing Gorge and Elwynn Forest

We arrived in Morgan’s Vigil, a sleepy little Alliance outpost.

A flight point, a barricade, and a few tents

There we picked up basically all the quests and headed out to work on them.  Some were going to end up in BRD.  There was a vital quest up in a cave in the northeast corner of the map with

Cyrus has a quest for us

The problem with the quest from Cyrus Therepentous is that completion is not shared with the group… it is a drop from an elite mob he summons… and the quest mob can only be triggered every 10 minutes.  Once again, we were probably better off with a party of four, as it would only take us 30 minutes to run through each of us.  In the mean time we went along the north side of the zone.

There is another quest hub along the north wall, up a ramp over some lava.  More quests to grab, and one to update.

The other quest hub

There I had to drop some quests as my quest log was filling up.

Those quests had us running around a bit in the ruins just south of the cave.

Out in the ruins

Then it was back to one quest hub, then the other.  We made our way around the eastern half of the zone pretty thoroughly.

Oh the places we’ve been

Strictly speaking we didn’t have to go do the quest with the ogres in Deadmaul Rock and over past the Pillar of Ash, but screw the ogres.

 

And then there was a series of trips to be made as one quest chain sent us back to Redridge then to Stormwind where we had an encounter with Lady Kartana Prestor.  I’m sure we won’t run into her again.

Katrana, young Anduin, and Bolvar Fordragon

Prince Anduin looks so… badly rendered.  His feet are huge.  And then there is Bolvar, most recently seen in the Shadowlands cinematic.  He looks better here… though maybe not as good as he did out in Northrend.

Bolvar and Dranosh and their smoldering look

Then it was back to Redridge and back to Morgan’s Vigil to finally cement that quest line.

We also had to go back to Ironforge to update the royal historian.  Doing that got us a quest from King Mangi Bronzebeard himself… well, all of us save Moronae, who forgot to do the “listen to the historian” part of the quest, so we may have to catch him up a bit on that.  There is no “party sync” in WoW Classic.

But after our running around, we now have a list of quests ready to go for the instance.

The list so far

And those are just the ones from outside of Blackrock Mountain.  There are a couple more to pick up there, including the one from Franclorn Forgewright, which you need to be dead in order to obtain.  I might need to delete a few more quests.

But next time we should be able to head in and at least get started.

Passing the Time in Blackrock Depths

They don’t make instances… at least not 5 person instances… like Blackrock Depths any more.  It is a sprawling, complex instance, and there seems to be more bosses and mini-bosses running around than some instances have mobs over all.

Whether the fact that instances are no longer so wide and wild is a good thing is up for debate.  Not everybody is up for 6 hours of dungeon run fun at a single sitting.  Certainly, Blizzard’s opinion on the subject is clear.  When going into BRD as a random dungeon finder instance, you get one boss as your target and you’re done in 30 minutes or less.

I know because I did such a run in order to get Hurmoo caught up with the rest of the team.  It was the always ironic luck of the draw that my Saturday afternoon catch-up instance was also our target for Saturday night.

For our initial assault on BRD, our lineup was:

52 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
53 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
53 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)
53 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
54 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)

And one of the first things we had to do was die.

When we hit an instance, we like to knock off as many quests as possible, and for one of the BRD quests, Dark Iron Legacy, you need to be dead.  The quest giver, Franclorn Forgewright, is a ghost, and you need to be a ghost to interact with him.

We couldn’t find any alliance players to kill us.  We chased a high level alliance warlock around for a bit, but he didn’t want anything to do with us.  So we had to just jump in the lava then run back as ghosts.

Ghosting to Blackrock Depths

Franclorn’s quest is one of those “accept quest, read some text, turn in quest, get the real quest” setups.  One of us revived before getting the second step, so had to throw themselves in the lava again, die, run back, and finish up.

The things we do for quests.

Meanwhile, Enaldie wandered down towards the instance and killed our first boss solo.

Okay, Overmaster Pyron really isn’t a boss.  He isn’t even in the instance.  But he is a named elite just outside of the instance, and I didn’t think he was really soloable at our level.  Retribution paladins are OP!

Eventually we got ourselves together and into the instance and the prison area, the starting area of the instance.

Battle in the Detention Block

From that point, there was the usual wandering around.  BRD isn’t a one-way box canyon.  You can go the long way, or the wrong way in BRD.  We managed both at times.  Yet we slew all we came across, eventually getting to the Ring of Law to pass the BRD bar exam.

Not here to discuss torts

That got us through to some familiar places, like the Manufactory, where we found out Earl was too low level to pick up the engineering plans, and to the Grim Guzzler, a location featured as part of Brewfest, where we’re careful not to pick up somebody else’s drink by mistake, lest the whole place become aggro.

We've spent more time here than any place else in BRD

Then there was more running around.

roll stock BRD running clip

Eventually we ran down most of the quests we had on hand.  That left us far from completing the zone of course.  BRD is a multi-course meal.  We’ll have to come back for the next layer of quests.  Maybe.

But we did find we were in possession of enough reclic coffer keys to open up everything in the Black Vault, thus getting us access to the Heart of the Mountain.  That finished off one more quest and was the signal to call it a night.  So we took one last group shot out in front of the vault and then headed out to turn in some quests.

The Instance Group in BRD

As is usually the case, the experience was good and new levels were reached by everybody except Enaldie, who had experience turned off for this run.

While we have the next set of BRD quests lined up now, we will probably take a detour and go after Dire Maul instead.  It is one of the few instances we have not done at level at this point.

And after that… well, after that we’ll be getting close enough to 58 that we probably won’t spend much more time in classic Azeroth.  Our tour will be complete and we’ll start thinking about exactly how much of the Outland we want to go after.

Drunken Pirates at Brewfest

Saturday night on International Talk Like a Pirate day and I thought for sure that we would be headed to the Caverns of Time for the Culling of Startholme.  I had run out to Booty Bay to see the festivities and get myself attired in pirate apparel.

The Dread Pirate Vikund

The Dread Pirate Vikund

After that I recalled back to Dalaran and took the portal to the Caverns of Time to get myself in position by the summoning stone to help get everybody assembled.

Caverns Transit System

Caverns Transit System

Then it turned out Bung was taking the night off.  So it was just the four of us:

80 Priest – Skronk
80 Mage – Ula
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund

So we were all there in the Caverns of Time without a plan.

But one of Earl’s friends who had just rolled a character on our server and joined the guild mentioned on guild chat that Brewfest had kicked off.  The joy of being on a server in the East Coast time zone.

Well, that sounded like the best idea we available, so it was off to Ironforge to celebrate Brewfest… dressed as pirates!

The Twilight Cadre Pirate Crew

The Twilight Cadre Pirate Crew

Brewfest was crazy.

It seems that just about everybody on the server decided Brewfest sounded like the best plan for a Saturday night.  The event was packed!

Brewfest Crowds

Brewfest Crowds

It was crowded enough to have that air of a day one MMO event.  NPC quest givers took seconds to respond, vendors were mobbed to the point that you were mostly likely getting “That Object Is Busy” as a response to your attempts to purchase things.  And when the Dark Iron dwarves showed up it was like a huge battle in Wintergrasp.  Only we threw beer.

And yet it was a lot of fun, very much in the way day one of an MMO or an expansion can be, a shoulder to shoulder crazy, hectic, spammy event.

We were there in our pirate garb working our way through the quests.  We did the Ram riding, caught our Worpletingers, and helped defeat the Dark Iron.  As one person said after the Dark Iron were gone and we were all piled on the NPC to turn in the quest so that there was a continuous stream of achievements spamming in chat, “Oh no! We’re going to crash the achievement server!”

We then took advantage of having a mage on hand and went off to hunt pink elekks outside Darnassus, Exodar, and Stormwind.

That taken care of, we looked to see if we could wrap up the big Brewfest event that takes place in Blackrock Depths.

We got the quest that sent us out there to talk to a spy in the bar area of BRD and headed out.  As expected, the path to the instance itself was cleared by a stream of people headed there.

A clear path to BRD

A clear path to BRD

There was, however, no problem creating additional instances.  The appears to be fixed for our server group.

Once in we ended up removing our weapons as we cleared out any trash that was in our way.  That was partly to work on our unarmed skills, there being an achievement and all that.  But we also did it because we were still in pirate garb and there is something very satisfying about the animation of pirates punching people.  It isn’t hugely special or dramatic, but it just looked right.  I did not tire of seeing it as we pounded dark iron dwarves as we made our way to the bar.

And then we got to the bar and couldn’t find the spy.

We looked around, tried to talk to just about everybody, and eventually started a fight by drinking the beer on the table which let us punch a lot more dwarves.  But no spy.

We headed out, reset the instance, went back in, still no luck.  We checked the web for tips, but still couldn’t find anything that helped.

Eventually we gave up.  Later we learned that while Brewfest spawned for the game server at midnight Eastern time, it did not spawn for the instance server until the next day Pacific time.  Or so I was told.

We had run around enough and Ula decided to call it a night.  Earl ran off to work on a daily while Skronk and Vikund headed to Shattrath to get the achievement for falling 65 yards and living while completely smashed.  Drunken stupor is the achievement.  Be smashed yet not smashed I guess.

But something had changed since I got the Going Down achievement a while back.  I was able to walk off the Scryers platform and land on an awning for the achievement.  However, that seemed to no longer count as 65 yards.

So we spent some time trying to figure out where else we could fall and get the achievement, which lead to us dying a couple times each.  It also meant buying more alcohol in the lower city then flying up to some high point to try again.  Of course, I suppose we could have just used the Synthebrew Goggles, but I guess we were trying to keep things authentic.

Discovery:  Travel first, then drink.

Running or riding in WoW while completely smashed is annoying (yet oddly familiar), but flying while completely smashed is a challenge.

Eventually we figured out that if we just went to that spot on the Scyer’s Terrace where I first got the achievement, got on a flying mount, and hovered a just a few feet above the platform, we could dismiss the flying mount, fall, and get the achievement.

BF1DrunkenStupor
Drunken pirates at their worst.

And since Brewfest will be on next weekend as well, I am going to bet that we’ll be finishing up the BRD quest to kill Coren Direbrew together the next time we get together.

Marshal Windsor and Lady Prestor

With the holidays and the accompanying travel, the instance group was not up for much in the way of big operations last week.

We did find some time to get together and move the Marshal Windsor quest from Blackrock Depths along another step. We did the procession from the gates, through the city, to Stormwind Keep.

Actually, we had to do it twice, as somebody was quick on the trigger accepting the quest and only two out of the five of us got it the first time around.

If you have been in Stormwind very much, you have certainly heard this quest segment, the Great Masquerade being played out, as it involves a bunch of NPC shouting… er, yelling.

Essentially, you follow Marshal Windsor through town to a confrontation with Lady Katrana Prestor who, it turns out, is the human form of Onyxia the dragon.

So we got a glimpse of Onyxia:

Onyxia Appears

Onyxia Appears

Then she disappeared while a set of elite minions (which you can see in the picture) started to hammer Marshal Windsor and Highlord Bolvar Fordragon. The script demands that Windsor die, but if Fordragon dies as well, you have do the procession over again.

Of course, there are usually a bunch of people standing around in the Keep, so once the fight begins, people tend to jump right in, so Fordragon is as safe as can be. On the second trip we actually took down a couple of these level 60 elite mobs ourselves.

And thus it played out, twice, and we are all now a step closer to access to Onyxia’s Lair, which we are unlikely to ever do, at least not as a five some. The quest experience was huge, and when we were done, everybody in the group was at least level 58.

Blackrock Depths – Round 3

Once more into the heart of Blackrock Depths, this time for sure. Our goal was to clear up the remaining quests, see the sites, get attuned to the core, and generally be able to move on to something else. So, after a free ride and then a death fest, we went in for the third plunge as follows:

56 Warlock – Bungholio
56 Mage – Ula
56 Paladin – Vikund
57 Priest – Skronk
57 Warrior – Earlthecat

Our first goal was to get into the bar. That sounds like my goal every Friday night for some points in my youth.

Anyway, we had been to the bar last time around, so it meant re-tracing our steps though the center circle to the side door up and across the draw bridge, around the corner and through into the manufactory and at last to the bar.

We managed to do this without dying much. Actually, I think we only lost Ula once before we were at last in the bar and ready to commence.

brd3thebarpng.png

With that, we had to pick a fight with Ribbly Screwspigot, since last time around inventory issues kept Skronk from collecting his head to finish a quest. Skronk also managed to get killed during the fight, but with a paladin along, there is always backup ressing to be had.

Still, Ribbly was nice enough to leave behind the Wayfarer’s Knapsack, which Skronk won on the roll.

We then went the route of the of the Love Potion quest with Mistress Nagmara to get out the back door of the bar and into the rest of the instance. We picked this quest up the previous week and, fortunately, some of us put in the effort to collect the items for the quest. This worked out much better than our beer brawl last time.

I was not one of those people, so no quest reward for me, but as a group we were able to progress. Here we are, out the door. You can see the legs of Mistress Nagmara and Private Rocknot below the stairs. They were down there making out. Or so their emotes seemed to indicate. They seem to be awfully far apart for anything intimate.

brd3bardoor.png

Out the back door and through more… well… yard trash… until we got to the Mold Foundry, which is occupied with golems, each with two or three non-elite casters in support.

brd3moldfoundry.png

Unfortunately, even a non-elite caster can lay down some heat, and in our first run it was almost a wipe as we went in with the usual “Plan A” approach.

After cleaning from that first fight, we used a bit more caution and had Earl tank the golems while the rest of us cut up the casters then went to his assistance and eventually we took down the local boss, Panzor the (not quite) Invincible.

That lead us to the Summoner’s Tomb and the seven ghostly dwarves, a series of battles, one after the other, with seven named dwarves, the result of which gave us access to the next stage of the instance, The Lyceum, and The Chest of the Seven, which yielded up the Legplates of the Eternal Guardian, a nice set of legs for Earl.

The Lyceum was a new experience. The place is crawling with groups of non-elite, low hit point mobs that respawn very quickly. You have to plow through them, find two specific NPCs, slay them, loot torches from them, and light two braziers to get to the next stage.

The non-elite mobs were, well, about as threatening as soap bubbles, but were fun to nuke. Consecrate for the win!

brd3soapbubbles.png

It took us a while to find the right NPCs, but we got through eventually, and to the next stage, the Iron Hall, home of Magmus, who looks remarkably similar to Bal’Gaer from the end of the Dark Iron Highway and who gave us some trouble on our last visit.

brd3magmus01.png

The fight there was a bit easier. Magmus does not get any helpers during the fight. However, the Iron Hall has a series of niches along the sides, each of which has, essentially, an immobile golem with a flame thrower. So if the fight starts in the wrong location, or if you stray the wrong direction, you take some serious fire damage.

Magmus went down, we ran through the flames like kids running through the sprinklers, only our screams were a lot less joyous, and finally got to the last room, The Imperial Seat, home of Emperor Dagran Thaurissian and his kidnapped and mesmerized companion, Princess Moira Bronzebeard.

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This room proved a bit of a challenge, once we cleared out all the yard trash. We were there to rescue the princess (how noble!), but in her mental state, under control of the Emperor, she was helping him out. And since she is a priest, she heals while he fights.

Our first round ended up in a wipe. We tried to kill off the Emperor quickly, while ignoring her, and ended up dead.

For the second round, we off tanked the Princess to keep her occupied, while again trying to melt down the Emperor as quickly as possible. The Emperor has a habit of going magic resistant every so often, but we had enough firepower to bring him down.

We ended up in the throne for our group shot, and were done with the instance.

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Except we still had some business with Marshal Windsor.

So we went all the way back to the Ring of Law area, killed of everything in a three mile radius, and then released Windsor and followed him all over the place while he settled some scores, helped out a friend, then, at last, told us it was time to go.

Now we were done with the instance. Oh, and somewhere in there we killed some mob that finished a quest that gave us access to Molten Core as well.
Tired after a long run, we decided to put off the final stage of the quest with Marshal Windsor, the part that involves all sorts of NPCs shouting in Stormwind, until next time.

And once we do that, we have to decide what instance we should hit next time. We have a few choices now, as we rapidly approach our debut in the Outlands.

Blackrock Depths – Round 2

It is a good thing that I do not really believe in luck, curses, and other such superstitions, as I would surely say that last week’s post about Blackrock Depths jinxed us, and good.

Of course, it might have just been the easy time we had last time that made us cocky and careless. We went in as follows:

55 Warlock – Bungholio
55 Mage – Ula
55 Paladin – Vikund
56 Priest – Skronk
56 Warrior – Earlthecat

This time we had no trouble getting into the instance. In fact, things started off rather smoothly. We had to get to Marshall Windsor in the detention block to update a quest. We blazed a trail through to him without issue.

We then headed back to use the our shadowforge keys to take the side entrance into some of the content, our goal being to get to the bar and finish up the night with Lord Incentius.

As we moved within sight of the Dark Iron Highway, I was able to spot a big mob named Bael’Gar. Nobody in the party had bothered with him in the past, but since we were there, could see him, and there only appeared to be a couple of groups between us and him, we decided to pay him a visit.

Thus our trial began.

The few groups, that ended up being eight or nine groups, were all made up of five elite dark iron mobs, always consisting of at least one ranged guy and one medic. The medics were very big on healing and the ranged guys were very big on damage.

Having been to so lightly opposed up to this point, we jumped right in with “plan A,” which is generally stated as, “There they are, get them!”

We actually managed to muddle through the first battle, only losing Ula. Thinking that as only bad luck, we kept on our rather reckless course. The second time around, our crowd control, we always sheeped at least one mob, was left wandering in the middle of the Highway, and another patrol of five elite dark iron dwarves spotted it and headed in to assist.

Five of us on five elites… maybe. Five of us on ten elites can only spell wipe. So down we went.

Soul stone used for the first time of the night, we tried a little more care with our dark iron opponents. That kept us from another wipe, but we still lost a few casters on our trip down the dark iron highway.

The reason that the “few” groups ended up being eight or nine is that you can see Bael’Gar from quite a distance, but the dark iron patrols only come into focus as you get much closer.

Still, we eventually got to the point where it was us an Bael’Gar and just two more groups of dark iron heavies. Bael’Gar was in the middle, with a group, at some distance, to either side of him. By this point we had had it with dark iron dwarves and decided to risk it and see if we could just pull him and not get his friends.

Luck was with us for that moment, he came and the dwarves stayed put, oblivious to the slaughter going on only yards away.

Luck however, was fleeting.

Our battle with Bael’Gar went well. Here we are early in the battle, sticking it to him:

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The sticking point came up with his minions. At various points throughout the fight, some… I will call them “satanic scrubbing bubbles,” a reference some of you will get and which will create almost the exact right mental image… show up to assist the big Bael’Gar.

But we did not really notice them until people started dying.

Then it became a race to kill off Bael’Gar before we all bought the farm. Bung, in a last shot managed to knock him off. The bubbles chased Skronk around, gave up, then went away.

So Skronk got back and revived us all. We looted Bael’Gar, skinned him for one of our many quests, took our victory shot, hard earned as it was, and then headed back the way we came.

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That slog behind us, we headed towards the manufactory to find Golem Lord Argelmach.

Who, of course, also kicked out butts.

Well, he had help. Being the types that like to learn by doing, we worked our way through to him, cleared out some of the mobs in his area, then started in on him.

We needed to kill ALL of the mobs in his area. Otherwise, they all come and assist him.

Wiped again, Skronk used the fresh soul stone and then brought us all back to life, where we attempted to do this the right way. We cleared out the room thoroughly and then went after the Golem Lord, who obliged us by dying without killing too many of us. (I think Ula died again… but then we died so often, it is hard to recall.)

Vikund, who is an engineer, tried to grab the plans for Field Repair Bot 74A that sit on the floor near Argelmach. However, it appears that you need to have an engineering skill of 300 to even pick them up. Vikund was at 286. Thwarted again.

Then we looped back to pick off General Angerforge, who was the second half of the quest given to us by Marshall Windsor. Like Argelmach, he summons those close by during the fight, but this time we cleared the room first, then went after him and his four non-elite helpers.

After that, we made our way to the bar to clear out a couple more quests that included the head of Ribbly Screwsproket, which Skronk missed looting as his bags were full. But that is okay, as we have to go back there again.

There is a quest in the bar that opens the back door of the bar for you. To do this, you have to give some beer to one of the NPCs in the bar. We found the NPC, saw mugs of beer sitting on the counter, and took them.

Which turns the whole bar aggro.

You should buy the beer, not just take any beer you see, or so it seems.

So the five of us versus the whole bar… not a fair fight at all. Vikund actually avoided the initial battle by hiding in a corner, but that did not do much good. Even though he can revive the dead, he has to be able to get within range of them first, and his hiding place was at the opposite end of the bar, all of which was, as mentioned, aggro.

In the end, he had to die as well and we all ran back as ghosts and revived at the beginning of the instance.

By now it was getting late and the deaths were beginning to wear on us. Yes, the death penalty in WoW is primarily of inconvenience, but even that becomes a pain when it happens too often. We thought about getting back to Marshall Windsor to turn in our quest with him, but his part of the instance had already respawned. We put that off for another night.

Instead, we decided to knock off one more named, Lord Incendius.

There is, or rather was, a sneaky way to get to him. There is a passage over the bridge that leads to him. Apparently at some point in the past, you could avoid a lot of hassle by just jumping out of a window in the passage onto the bridge and heading directly to Incendius.

Now, however, there is a group of five elites standing about where you land. More dark iron dwarves.

I blame the lateness of the hour, but for no good reason, we decided that Bung should plink one of the guys below us, let them start running towards us, then we would jump down, be able to shake ourselves out into battle array, and be ready for the onslaught.

Not even good in theory, in practice the five dark iron dwarves came roaring back at us with about 40 of their closest friends. It seems that the closed gate between us and them was no obstacle at all.

So they kicked the snot out of us in about twelve seconds. Here is how it went. First, incoming:

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Then, seconds later, heading back home:

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I got off a consecrate with Vikund out of spite, which literally filled the air with little yellow damage numbers. Then we were all dead and the party went back to their places.

The upside was that Skronk had the presence of mind to move to the center of the bridge, safely away from all hostile mobs. (You can see his corpse is in a different position from his position in the first picture, unlike the rest of us.) So Skronk, reviving with yet another soul stone, brought us all back to life just out of range of the five dwarves (Grumpy, Angry, Fussy, Stabby, and Downright Hostile), where we buffed up yet again and began the last short trek to Incendius.

There was no more deaths on our part from that point forward. We knocked off his guardians, slew him, and were done for the night.

All of the quests we turned in gave big experience rewards, so that added in with the mob experience meant that we all gained a level for the second week in a row in Blackrock Depths.

We still have a bit left to do in Blackrock Depths. Another expedition should do it.

If luck is with us. If I have not jinxed us. If we don’t get too cocky.

Blackrock Depths – Round 1

We started rounding up quests lines and such for Blackrock Depths almost immediately after we finished up Sunken Temple a couple of weeks back. Thanks to World of Warcraft patch 2.3, the process of running down some of these quest chains gave us a pretty decent boost to our levels. So we started out Saturday night with the following group:

54 Warlock – Bungholio
54 Priest – Skronk
54 Mage – Ula
54 Paladin – Vikund
55 Warrior – Earlthecat

Of course, once we all got there, the first thing Skronk told us we had to do was die.

In order to get the Shadowforge Key, which I am told is an extremely handy thing to have as we progress through the instance, you have to run a specific quest. But to get that quest, you have to be dead.

The quest giver, Franclorn Forgewright (*groan*), who is a ghost. You can only speak to him and get his quest, Dark Iron Legacy, if you are also a ghost, which means dying.

In past instances, the need for us to wipe in order to get a quest might not have been much of a challenge. But now that we were all at the high end of the level range for BRD, there was a distinct possibility that we might not die at all.

But we needed the key.

So Skronk said we should just get it over with, jump in the magma, die, run back, and get the quest. While Ula was bringing up relevant questions about dying, coming back, corpse collection, and what not, I jumped off the center and into the magma and died. Ula, without getting much in the way of answers to her very pertinent questions, jumped in after me, proving once and for all, I guess, that if your friends jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, you probably would too.

Earl and Bung were still travelling, so they did not join us in our deathfest just then.

Ula and I came back as ghosts at Thorium Point in and ran back to BRD and found Forgewright to get the quest. It is a little difficult to tell if somebody really has a quest for you as a ghost. Everything is in shades of grey.

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Once Ula and I had the quest, we needed to revive. Therein lay the trick.

Ula was smart to be asking questions. As it turned out, where we landed in the magma was a rather awkward location. We could not get close enough to our corpses to revive without actually being in the lava and Skronk could not get close enough to them to resurrect them himself. We jumped into the magma as ghosts and tried reviving then getting to some safe, high point from which Bung could summon us. We failed. Nor did we get ourselves any more accessible.

So we released, used the angel at the graveyard by Thorium Point, and took the 10 minute penalty and durability hit.

Fortunately, there is a guy who does repairs right there at the point, so we were able to start with a clean slate on durability. And, as it turned out, it took about 10 minutes more for Bung, Earl, and Skronk to get the quest, so we were all ready to enter the instance at the same time.

The instance.

I won’t say is was a boring run, because it wasn’t. BRD is a huge and unique location and we all had a good time.

It would just be somewhat tedious to read about in detail, as we did not really make any mistakes. We were more than powerful enough to take on any group we came across. We had only one death, and it was one of those, “Oh crap, I wasn’t watching my health” sort of events.

We managed to go through the Detention Block, the Circle of Law, and a few other locations and the only place we came up short was the vault, as we did not have enough key drops (you need 12) to get that event going.

The quest count was quite high. We went into BRD with at least 10 quests, completed some, received more, and all made a level in the process. We all made at least a full level worth of experience, so the update to quest experience and the reduction in experience required for level 60 are both starting to show. At this rate we will all be past level 60 before we finish the pre-Outland instances.

Of course, we were presented with the usual array of mail and leather drops, all perfect for a party that is all cloth or plate. I did get a nice item from Fineous Darkvire though, the Foreman’s Head Protector.

I had been watching Troy earlier in the evening and coveted a helm with a plume. And now I have one.

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Not quite a Greek helm, but it will do.

And we still have more to do in BRD next time around.