Tag Archives: Deadmines

Deadmines – Round 4

While we have been keeping up pretty well with the Saturday night instance runs, we have been talking about doing something on another night as well. It turned out that last Thursday, November 2nd, was a good time for four of us. We got together and decided to do one more run at Deadmines, a victory lap if you will.

The lineup for the night was:

24 Druid – Sphagnum
25 Rogue – Blintz (me)
25 Mage – Ula
27 Warrior – Earlthecat

Our usual priest and party leader, Skronk, traded out for his druid alt, Sphagnum.

This is my fourth post about the Deadmines, so I am going to stick to the highlights.

We rolled into the instance itself without much trouble. It seems that even at 9:30pm on a Thursday night there is enough traffic in the Deadmines, at least on the Eldre’Thalas server, to keep the path relatively clear. Earl killed one or two miners on the way, then we zoned in.

Earl actually got in a bit ahead of us and started a big fight which had us a bit worried. His health bar was pretty low by the time Sphagnum , Ula, and I got into the zone and into the fight. He lived though, and we pretty much barrelled down the tunnels, killing grey miners and the occasional patrol.

Miner Johnson eluded us again. No blue shield for Earl yet.

Rhahk’Zor and Sneed fell to us without drama.

Then we got to the forge. We were sloppy here. Well, we were sloppy up to the forge as well, but we were exceedingly so here.

We started off careful, pulling singles, sheeping one mob if they were paired. But then we started pressing into the room more aggressively.

At one point, on the platform in the middle of the room, we had three engineers on us, plus the little harvest bots they summon. There was no real danger at that point. We were tearing up the engineers when I saw an offensive spell (a frost bolt maybe?) go past me to a target somewhere behind me. Of course, the only targets behind me were Gilnid and one of his goblin buddies.

Well, now we had ourselves a fight. Earl and I put Gilnid down as fast as we could then spread out to help with the remaining mobs. We almost had the whole fight covered as a group, but a couple of mobs had glommed onto Sphagnum, no doubt due to his healing, and he went down before we could get the last one off of him. (They were right on top of each other, so I did not even know that there were two on him.)

Our death for the night.

Unfortunately, Sphagnum released too soon. The bid for the Lavishly Jeweled Ring came up and I hit greed and he was effectively locked out of the bidding. Ula ended up with the ring.

Sphagnum ran back to us and we continued through the tunnels killing miners and patrols as we went. I unlocked the door to the harbor and we started in on the pirates.

Somewhere between the door and Smite, Sphagnum’s headset mic went out. He kept talking and indicating targets with the raid icons and we just kept moving along in silence. We did the battle for Smite without a plan, just doing the same thing we did last time. Then we worked our way around the ship, knocking off the pirates and Cookie. Then we hit the ramp and slew all the way up to the main deck with only minor comments by Earl, Ula, and myself and not a word from Sphagnum.

Finally, after the fight with Captain Greenskin, when the Emberstone Staff was up for bid and we were hinting that this might be a nice druid item was it noticed that something was wrong with the audio.

After some work at his end, Sphagnum got his voice back and asked if he could go need on the staff, to which we all agreed.

And that left us with VanCleef. Again, it was no contest. He and his four rogues went down without drama. He dropped the Blackened Defias Armor, which I skipped on, being happier with the Tunic of Westfall and its agility.

And that was that. We started at 9:30pm and VanCleef was dead by 10:45pm.

Thoughts

Weeks of using the targeting icons paid off. Even in silence we went about our tasks in battle. Kill the mob with the skull, sheep the mob with the moon, sap the mob with the star, no confusion, just business. I still think if we go very far without hearing from somebody in the future, we’ll probably check on it rather than going through a quarter of the instance in silence.

This was the first run we have done where nobody levelled. Of course, many of the mobs were grey to us and even VanCleef was only green, so that is to be expected.

We are hoping to get to Shadowfang Keep this Saturday still.

The Deadmines – Round 3

This time we were loaded for bear. This time failure was not an option. This time the portents were favorable, the omens good, and the magic 8-ball said “Definitely Yes!” The cliches were all lined up in our favor.

And our own line up for the night was:

19 Warlock – Bungholio
20 Priest – Skronk
20 Warrior – Earlthecat
21 Mage – Ula
21 Rogue – Blintz (me)

We agreed that names could be used. We will not, however, sign autographs during the designated instance play time.

Our start time is set for 10pm. We were all on early, but a little bit of last minute blacksmithing pushed us past the hour. Still, by 10 after we were all in Moonbrook and ready to enter the Deadmines. As usual on a Saturday night the Defias Messenger was spending the evening dead for quest reasons, the Defias Traitor mystery tour was departing Sentinal Hill for Moonbrook every ten minutes, and a procession of level 60s were leading low level players through the instance.

The level 60s had cleared the outer zone so we just hugged the right wall and followed our usual path to the instance, jumping the guardrail and dashing past the crowd gathered outside.

Compared to our previous two runs, we were very sloppy this time. We did things that would have caused a wipe the first time around and caused us at least some worry the second time. This time we were out in force though. We slew all who stood before us.

Rhahk’Zor – Dead
Sneed – Dead
Gilnid – Dead
Miner Johnson – Missing Again

Our group rolled through without much thought to strategy until we got to Smite. Then we got serious. We had been stopped on or near the ramp to VanCleef’s ship the last two weeks.

For Smite we used last weeks tactic of having the tank hold smite while we worked over the rogues. The rogues went down rapidly, and we all turned on Smite. Despite the theatrics that happen at Smite’s 66% and 33% hitpoint thresholds, we were never in any danger. Earlthecat even disarmed Smite when he picked up his last weapon.

We started up the ramp and cleared around to the left. This time we caught Cookie between fights and he went down fast, Skronk winning the roll for Cookie’s Stirring Rod. (Bung picked up the roll on a Starcaller wand that dropped by a Defias Pirate earlier, leaving Ula the odd mage out in the wand bonanza. Her response was, “I hate this game.”)

After clearing left, we came back around and fought our way up the second set of ramps until we were on the main deck. All who stood between us and the main deck fell before our blades.

And there we were. Two fights away from the end. No deaths yet and very little drama.

We pulled Captain Greenskin and his two minions back from VanCleef’s room and took them down in a fight that went faster than Smite.

Now it was just VanCleef.

We spelled up, I checked my poisons, and then Earl pulled him.

We went with out past formula of sheeping one rogues, off tanking the other with Bung’s voidwalker, and concentrating on VanCleef. It started off well. We even kept VanCleef from summoning his second two rogues until he was almost dead. But then he did, just before he died.

Now there was some confusion. Rogues went after Skronk, Ula, and Bung as we tried to coordinate. Earl held a rogue while I pulled another one off, but then Skronk went down. No more healing spells for us! Bung went down next as a rogue went after him. Then Ula was down before we could dispatch even one of the four rogues.

Earl finished off one rogue before another came at him. He had two rogues on him while I was working on mine.

Earl took down one of his rogues but then went down fairly quickly to the second. I finished off my rogue just as Earl went down leaving just me and the one remaining rogue.

Fortunately, I was not hurt too badly from the first rogue and I had not yet used a healing potion or my health stone. The battle went on, two rogues fighting to the death. I had to use my potion, then my health stone, and I was getting ready to gouge and run so I could bandage myself when I scored a big critical hit (duly announce to the whole group on Skype in true rogue fashion) and the last mob was dead.

We won!

Skronk used his soul stone to revive, then ress’d up all of the fallen. We stood over VanCleef’s corpse in our triumph.

Van Cleef Down

The screenshot was taken at 11:55pm, so we were done in under two hours. (That includes a five minute interruption when my daughter woke up after the Smite fight and I had to get her some water.)

Earl got the Cruel Barb off of VanCleef, we all collected his head and the note from the corpse (Bring me the heads of Edwin VanCleef?) and, uh, “headed” back to Gryan Stoutmantle to finish the quest.

Gryan shouted all of our names in Westfall, with some snickering as he got to Bungholio, and we all had the option of getting to bed before 2am.

Next week’s target is the Wailing Caverns.

The Deadmines – Round 2

We made our second run at the Deadmines on Saturday. We had a group of four again, just not the same four. Our warrior from last week had more pressing things to deal with that night, but another friend had his warlock up to the right level to join us. To accommodate this change, our priest switched over to his paladin alt (I am not the only alt-monger) so we had a tank. Our group looked like this as we started out:

Level 15 Warlock
Level 18 Paladin
Level 20 Mage
Level 20 Rogue (me)

Our mage and I had hit 20 over the intervening time, so we had a few new abilities. My best add at 20 was poison. I had a stack of crippling poison and a stack of deadly poison on hand when we started.

The new group structure changed the dynamic of the group. Paladins can tank, but unless you are facing undead, they can only really pull by proximity, so I got to do the ranged pulls. I also got to do a bit more stealth work, going ahead to scout the mobs to pull.

Having along the warlock gave us a pet. The warlock’s voidwalker, even at level 15, came in quite handy as it was able to tank and hold an extra mob in a fight.

We did have to start off taking care of the Defias messenger and Defias traitor steps of the quest “The Defias Brotherhood” for our pally and warlock, but that did not take up much time. The messenger seemed relatively available for a Saturday night and the queue for the traitor was short.

We also benefited from it being a Saturday night in getting to the instance. We started fighting our way in when first one, then a second, level 60 with a low level in tow passed us and cleared our path.

Once in, we proceeded steadily toward the first boss fight while getting used to the dynamics of the group. Rhahk’Zor was no problem. I pulled him without his two friends easily enough. Sneed and his shredder, a fight which spanked us twice last week, went down fairly easily as well. I was a little worried at the end as our Pally was low on health after the shredder, so I laid on the aggro while he healed up, but then could not get Sneed off of me for much of the fight. He had turned back to me at the end of the fight, my healing potions were still on the cool down timer, and my toon icon had just gone red when he finally died. A bit close, but we made it.

And we remembered to loot the Gnoam Sprecklesprocket from the shredder for the quest “The Underground Assault” this time. Last time around we were a bit preoccupied with being dead to loot it.

We worked our way into the forge and after a couple of fights managed to get ourselves creamed. We were on a craftsman when we moved a little too far forward and got a proximity pull on two engineers. They were over the lip of the ramp, so our first notification was two of their mechanical buddies running into the fray, followed by the engineers mounting the ramp and opening up on us with ranged fire.

That went badly.

We all died, ran back, and vowed to be a little more careful on the whole proximity issue.

I got to do the rogue sneak stuff, stealthing around to check on mobs and pulling the singles with my throwing axes. We cleared the area pretty easily after the wipe, knocking of Gilnid then the last remainders individually. We let the triple patrol pass us, though in hindsight, we should of just knocked them off right away. We ended up having to kill them anyway and we were easily up to the job. We were just being a bit careful.

We had little issue with the patrols and stationary mobs heading down to the docks. We skipped the powder keg for the cannon, opting to have me just pick the lock instead.

By the time we got out and through the dock area and lined up for Smite, our warlock, our mage, and myself had all levelled up, so we were in good position for the fight.

The first round with Smite fell through. Mage, warlock, and rogue held back while the paladin pulled Smite, but it took us too long to target and pull/sheep his rogues. The paladin went down. With no healing and no real tank, the first try ended pretty fast.

Back to the instance, back down the path to the docks, killing a couple of respawned patrols on the way, and ready to try again.

This time, we all went up together. Smite came down and our pally took him. We sheeped one rogue and went after the other. Both rogues went down fairly quickly and we started in on Smite. The pally held aggro by keeping himself healed up. We made it through Smite’s thunder stomps at 2/3 and 1/3 health. However, at about 5% health, our paladin had used his potion and health stone and was out of mana and out of luck.

Still, we managed to bring him down that last bit. We finished off Smite!

But with no ress available, our paladin had to ghost back to the instance where he found that the first section had respawned. So the remaining three of us had to run back to that section and then fight our way through to the entrance. There was no big danger involved, but it ate up a chunk of time.

We made it back to the ramp of the Defias ship and started up. We took out the pair at the top of the ramp easily enough, but once up there, mob proximity became our bane. First we pulled a pair off to the right. After bringing them down, we started off to the left and very quickly ended up in a running fight with an add for each kill we managed. Then Cookie wandered around the corner and our number was up.

We ghosted our way back to the instance, but it was getting late. We started in at about 10pm and it was now after 1am, so we decided to call it a night. The paladin and I tried to run back to where out last fight ended to see if we could loot the mobs we did kill, but the rest of the tunnel mobs had respawned. That cut off any back-of-the-brain thought of “oh, just one more try!” No VanCleef for us.

Things I Learned

The crippling poison, with its ability to slow mobs down, is quite handy. The only time a mob ever got far enough away from us to call for help was after I let the poison drop. The deadly poison added a bit of damage, I applied it to my off-hand dagger, but did not make a huge difference in the damage totals.

I did not do as good a job at deflecting aggro this time. Granted, I was 2-3 levels ahead of the tank, and I did it on purposed a number of times, but it is still a bad habit to acquire.

Investing in subtlety seems to be paying off. No mob saw me, and I only recall one stopping and looking my way before moving on. It also means that if the tank goes down, I haven’t a hope of filling in unless the fight is almost done.

Voidwalkers make decent holding tanks if you have already used up your sheep spell on another. Even at level 15 or 16, the voidwalker held its own when asked.

Aggro radius management! The importance of it cannot be overlooked. I managed to pull in a couple of mobs by proximity and I was tied for highest level in the group.

Not reaching VanCleef means that there will be a round three. I hope we can manage it this coming Saturday.

The Deadmines – Round 1

We had our first round of instance play on Saturday. We decided to give the Deadmines a try as we all had the quest “The Defias Brotherhood” in our logs. We did have to run around, knock off the Defias Messenger, follow the traitor, and get the last step, but that went pretty quickly considering how many people were running around the zone on a Saturday night.

A busy night on the server also explains why we did not face a single fight getting to the instance. The Deadmines were busy.

When we zoned in, our group consisted of:

Level 15 Warrior
Level 16 Priest
Level 17 Rogue (me)
Level 18 Mage

I understand that this is a fairly low level group for Deadmines, and we were not outfitted with particularly formidable equipment. (Not a blue item amongst us.) Still, we were there and ready to go, so we thought we would give it a try just to see how we did.

Myself aside, the party was knowledgeable when it came to the zone, which certainly saved us any excessive grief. We got into the zone and lost our warrior to a death a few fights in when we had one more elite patrol than we expected. That is what you bring a priest along for though, so he was quickly ressed up and off we went.

We cleared out everything up to the first boss, the goblin Sneed in his shredder.

Our first run at the shredder went poorly and we got wiped out in short order. We reassembled and took another shot at it and the shredder went down much more smoothly. However, once the shredder is down, Sneed jumps out and attacks. At that point people were low on mana and had used heal potions recently, so Sneed wiped us out after a moderate fight. But, in WoW, death is relatively painless. We regrouped and took down Sneed in the return bout without much drama.

We proceeded along to the forge where we were able to effectively take out pairs of elites. We did get wiped on the ramp once when we ended up with three elites, including two engineers who each summoned up one of their little robots. Still, we sucked that up and came back.

The forge was also the scene of our best battle. We got done with a single elite battle when a three member patrol group walked in on us. We started that fight and were doing okay when we got a proximity pull on one of the gnomes. So we have four elites on us, but everybody just did their job and we brought them all down. It was a beautiful moment.

We moved on, killed our way through to the cannon, lit the fuse, stood back, and blew the door open. Van Cleef’s ship was in sight now.

And then the mage had computer problems and had to log off and reboot. As we waited, another three elite patrol wandered up and caught us with out pants down and we were spanked again.

The mage logged back in and was outside the instance. We ran our ghosts back in got ourselves situated in the instance all together again and found that not only had a good portion of the place respawned, but the warrior and the rogue had our paper dolls up indicated dangerously worn equipment. My rogue had both weapons in the warning zone.

Still, we decided to press on as we had not yet been decisively defeated.

We fought our way through the miners and patrols until we were back at the dock. We started pulling the mobs on the dock, but after the second fight there, my main weapon went red. I was a one dagger rogue. Fortunately somebody had picked up a grey dagger that I could use in stead of having to equip my skinning knife.

Then our warrior’s pants went red after the next fight, which made a big difference in the amount of healing he needed. Some spare pants were found and on we went. We made it all the way up to the ship’s gangway. At the top stood Mr. Smite the first mate, his rogues hidden from site. This would be our biggest fight so far!

I was also, quite possibly, our shortest fight. Mr. Smite and his two rogues were beyond our capabilities. Our warrior went down quickly and, as Mr. Smite turned on me, my last words were, “We got his hit points down 5%!” And then I died.

When I got back to the instance, my other dagger was red and a lot of my equipment was yellow on my paper doll. It was time to call it a night.

Still, it was a lot of fun. We all ended up gaining a level during our time. We all worked together pretty well. And, frankly, we got further than we had any right to given our levels and equipment.

Things I Learned

The rogue things has its ups and downs. I managed to do a lot of damage without pulling too much aggro. I was surprised to see how effective feint was when I did pull aggro. It never failed to turn the mob back on our warrior. On the other hand I had to do a lot of running around to get into position to use my best attacks. Since hunter has been my favored class up to this point, I am more used to standing still and shooting, so this was a bit of a keyboard workout.

Do not panic. Stand, fight, do what you are supposed to do, the situation might not be as bad as it seems. Our big fight in the forge bore this out.

Bring along an extra dagger or two.

Doing an instance with people who know what they are doing makes a huge difference.

When you have a mage along, you end up hearing the word “sheep” a lot more than you would ever expect to in any context.

Next Time

We plan to give this another try this coming weekend. We will all be a level or two higher and we might have a warlock along as well.