Tag Archives: Drak’Tharon Keep

First Peek into the Violet Hold

I’m doing a bit of catch up here, but that is fine.  The last time we left off with the instance group, we had done a run at Drak’Tharon Keep, finishing it off with just four of us… which meant we had to go back and do it again with the whole group.

The group lineup for the afternoon was as follows.

Today’s lineup

Amazingly, we somehow managed to forget almost everything we learned on the first run through Drak’Tharon Keep, so got to relearn a few things, like not standing in the summoned pool of black gunk or you’ll die.

I will contend that the first group of mobs after King Dredd is bugged.  The troll death knight doesn’t patrol like he is supposed to, so you get him and the four other mobs and the death knight heals them up and… we wiped.

Fergorin with the soul stone and the ress

But then after that he starts his patrol path and you can pull the group you started on, finish it off, then pull groups in reasonable numbers until you’ve made your way around to the final boss.

We managed to get through that fight without any major issues… I think it is just an easy fight despite the special mechanics… and were done and jumping down the platforms on the back side of the instance in about an hour.

Drak’Tharon done again

Which gave us some time to do something else.

Next on the list for dungeons was Violet Hold, which is back in Dalaran, so Ula spun up a portal and got us there.

This way to Dalaran

If we couldn’t remember our foibles in Drak’Tharon Keep even a week down the line, what were we going to remember about Violet Hold, an instance we hadn’t run since the summer of 2009?  That was a while ago.  (Also, looking back at that now,  I had forgotten that whole period of time when my client would crash whenever I was in Dalaran.)

The map of the city

Well, I did remember where to get the key, though I suspect that has come up more recently for some reason.  Anyway, the guy in the Violet Citadel across town will help you out.

You speak to him, get the quest, run over to the Violet Hold, talk to a guy outside there and you have the key.  Easy peasy.

After that though, we were a bit at sea… I felt like it was some sort of event, maybe a random boss order… but we weren’t going to look it up or anything.  We plunged right in.

And it was event, with waves… there was a counter at the top of the screen tracking them… and what seemed like a random boss every six ways.  We can do that.

We ran after the different portals that spawned one at a time, hitting the Portal Guardian and anything that came our way, keeping it together.  We made it through six waves and got a boss.  Moragg was coming for us.

Moragg unleashed

Moragg wasn’t a tough fight and when we brought him down he coughed up a nice set of shoulders for me, a pretty big upgrade compared to what I was wearing.

Shoulderplates of the Beholder

After that we carried on with the next wave… and then somebody was shouting something and everything despawned and the even was over.  We were kind of at a loss as to what happened, but Beanpole asked if those guys with the lasers attacking the door we came in through might have had something to do with it.

Oh yeah… up at the top of the screen, near the wave counter there was something about portal seal integrity, which was now at 0%.  A few more memories of the instance came into blurry focus.   I had seen a couple of mobs walk past us rather than attacking us.  Clearly that was bad.

So we stood there for a bit until we figured out how to start the whole thing over again.

Everybody escaped I guess… our bad

Once we got that sorted… the first NPC respawned eventually… we were back in business, this time with an eye out to keep any strays from getting to the door.

We got through the first six waves again and this time around… we got Moragg again.  Well, at least we knew him.  And he obliged by dropping the same set of plate shoulders.  Fergorin could have used them, but passed by mistake.  They went to Ula to disenchant.

We kept up with the next set of waves without too much effort, always on the look out for a sneak.  We managed to get ourselves to the next boss encounter, which was Ichoron.

Ichoron arrives… Moragg’s corpse is still hanging around…

Ichoron turned out to be a bit of a chore.  He has a mechanic where he disappears and a bunch of water elementals spawn, then he shows back up and if the elementals get to him they seemed to be healing him.  We were making headway, but it was slow going.  And that was when we found out that the waves were on a timer.

The next portal opened and some more mobs joined the fight while we were still struggling to burn Ichoron down.  Things were getting out of hand.

We managed to finally get Ichoron down, and I did a quick loot, which yielded yet another pair of plate shoulders, but these much better for Fergorin, our holy healing pally.

Those are some healing shoulders

There wasn’t any time to celebrate that drop however, as another wave had showed up and we started losing people as we got blindsided by more mobs.

We wiped, but then there was the question of whether or not to jump back in, which you could do, or wait for things to end and start over.

We managed to pick wrong, but the afternoon had worn on by that point.  Once things had reset once more, we picked up our stuff and went back out to repair.  It was time for me to go, leaving the Violet Hold as yet unconquered.  But at least we ended up with some sense of how the instance runs.  We’ll see if we remember it when we get back there again!

Drak’Tharon Keep on the Run

I am a little behind in posting, but it has been the holidays and all of that.  So this is from the week before Xmas when we got together to take a look at the next dungeon on our Northrend list, Drak’Tharon Keep.

Drak’Tharon Keep is out in Zul’Drak, one of the zones I have pretty much avoided so far in Wrath Classic.  However, there was one quest in Dragonblight that I did that sends you off to the first flight point in the zone at Light’s Breach, so I had that already.  And, as it turns out, that is also where Drak’Tharon Keep is.

Just into Zul’Drak

However, only I had the flight point, so when Beanpole showed up I met him over in Dragonblight and we rode over from there to Zul’Drak together.  He got the flight point and, together we would be able to summon the rest of the group from the meeting stone.

We were a bit early though, so we ran around doing this and that while we waited.  I was fishing a bit while he was off collecting soul stones.  He burned down enough mobs that there was a Heavy Frostweave Bandage tome in the loot for me.  One of the quirks of Wrath is you can’t just train that, you have to get it as a drop and only in certain zones and only when you’re first aid skill is high enough.

The rest of the crew logged on as we were doing our thing, so we headed down to the summoning stone to bring us all together.

It is just down stairs

We got ourselves together and sorted and walked on in to the instance.

Drak’Tharon is one of those middle-game instances that I didn’t really have much of a memory of doing.  We obviously didn’t have Prince Keleseth levels of issues with it.

Into the instance

Going inside didn’t really shake loose any more memories, though the map of the instance did at least bring something up.

Drak’Tharon Map

The raptor pens sounded like a place I had been, but we had a bit to get there.

We rolled on up to the first boss, Trollgore, and having no memories of the fight, I went to take a look at what WoW Head had to say  There I found a series of dire warnings about Trollgore, his abilities, and how the fight might go wrong.  And then we fought him and won without an issues as all.

Trollgore down

I just kept him on the steps and backed up a bit when he was in an ability wind up, and that seemed to do the trick.

From there it was around to the Temple of the Forgotten and Novos the Summoner.

Arriving at Novos

Novos was another boss I read up on who had a whole bunch of stuff going and who, in the end, went down without a lot of effort.  I don’t think we’re over leveled at this point, hitting the instance at level 75… I forgot to take a pic of the group and levels this time… and all the more so when the hunter DPS is mostly on auto attack.  But there we were.

Novos did, however, drop something nice for us.  Or for the casters at least.

Robes of Novos

Those robes went into a need off between Ula and Beanpole, with Ula getting a new set of threads.  They were nice enough though that Beanpole suggested he might want to re-run this far into the instance for another shot at them.

After Novos we made our way into the raptor part of the instance.

Welcome to Raptorville

And the raptor in chief is King Dred, the next boss, who set us to our first wipe of the day.

That did not go well

That wipe was my fault.  The notes on him suggest clearing out ALL of the raptors in the area as they will come join King Dred during his fight if left alive and two of the raptors are behind where King Dred wanders.  Seeing a gap, I thought I could successfully pull them without getting King Dred… and I was very wrong.

We ended up, on the second try, sneaking past King Dred to get the two hidden raptors, but then had to take the boss when he came back.  But this time around we managed to take him down.  It wasn’t as easy as the previous fights… we weren’t really ready and I ended up laying hands at one point, but that is what it is there for… and he went down.

King Dred, now King Dead

And, like Novos, he has a nice upgrade for the casters.  This time it came in the form of a staff.

Staff of the Great Reptile

That went to Beanpole, and there was an opinion expressed that we might have to come back.

At that point, however, Beanpole was called away and we were left without our Warlock.  No more health stones to heal us or soul stones to revive us.

But the four of us decided to carry on… and got in over our heads almost immediately.  The trash mobs on the way to the final boss mix together in uncomfortable combos if you don’t pull correctly, and I ended up pulling a group that got us to wipe.  We were wondering if we would make it to the final boss.

With some care we managed to move forward, keeping the pulls simple and separate, until we found ourselves at the base of the steps look up to the platform where the final boss lay.

Behold The Prophet Tharon’ja… up the steps

This was another fight with a lot of details, including a whole mid-fight event where your group is transformed into skeletons with a special set of skeleton attacks.  The whole thing seemed like it might be a bit sketch… but then we started the fight and rolled on through with just the four characters.  The skeleton phase of the fight went by very quickly.  I guess we all pressed the right buttons.

And with the death of The Prophet Tharon’ja the achievement popped.  We had finished the instance.

Drak’Tharon Keep Complete

We were a bit surprised to be done, but went and took that final victory shot.

Victory over The Prophet Tharon’ja

Then we took the way out, which involves jumping down the back of Tharon’ja’s tower into a stair step of drops with water landings until we were back in the aptly named Hall of Return.

We may have to go back because Beanpole didn’t get to finish the instance with us… and because of the drop.  We also didn’t do any pre-work to pick up any of the quests for the instance, so that might take some looking into as well.

Our run was about on par with our original run at the instance back in 2009.  We wiped on King Dred then as well.

That was also likely our last Wrath Classic instance run of the year.

We will return once we’re past the holidays.

Drak’Tharon for Keeps

After another side trip to the Outlands last week, we were ready again to assail another instance in Northrend.  Our target for the night was Drak’Tharon Keep, and out line up was:

75 Warrior – Earlthecat
76 Priest – Skronk
76 Warlock – Bungholio
76 Mage – Ula
76 Paladin – Vikund

Drak’Tharon was a troll keep at one time, but now the scourge appear to have taken it over.  Reminiscent of Gnomeregan, as you approach the instance, an endless stream of Drakkari trolls can be seen fleeing the area.  They materialize just shy of the summoning stone outside of the instance and run down the steps and into the woods, where they disappear.  While their names are in red, they do not appear to be aggro and will just run past alliance players.

We spent a little bit of time with the now familiar “too many instances” issue, but were able to get our own version of the keep after about a minute of jumping in and out of the entrance swirl.  Once in we got our first look at the decor.

Vikund has been eating those pirate treats again

Vikund has been eating those pirate treats again

There being undead and the like running around meant that Skronk and Vikund were on crowd control patrol for some parts of the instance.

We did not have to go far to get to the first boss, Trollgore.  He appears to be locked in his own little battle when you show up.  But you don’t have to wait, you can step to the front of the line.  The fight with him was not very dramatic.  In fact, it was rather straight forward, barring the other NPCs running around during the fight, and we did him in pretty quickly.

Trollgore down

Trollgore down

He dropped a very nice weapon for Vikund, the Troll Butcherer, a 2 handed sword that was considerably better than the mace Vik was carrying.  Vikund’s 2 handed sword skill was only about 100, so he had some work to do before he could use if effectively, but that would come in time.

From Trollgore we moved into an area of spiders.  They were easy enough.  We decided to go after the struggling forms bound in spider webs in the room and were rewarded with a quest update.  Some of us had done a few of the lead-in quests for the instance, but had not really been paying attention.  Our usual formula of leaving no potential witnesses stood us in good stead.  The quest update sent us off to kill the next boss, Novos the Sommoner, who was conveniently just in the next room.

Novos, not yet summoning

Novos, not yet summoning

We suspected that, with the suffix, Novos might have some special tricks up his sleeve.  But we’re always game to just go after a boss on the first run just to see what he does.  What Novos does is put up a shield that makes him immune to damage and call in the cavalry.  Before we could adjust, we were down.

Novos, shielded, summoning, and kililng us dead

Novos, shielded, summoning, and kililng us dead

We had seen a similar routine with Elder Nadox back in Ahn’kahet, so we figured it was time to concentrate on the adds and see what developed.  Sure enough, once in a while an add would come along that would, upon dying, turn off one of the four crystals around Novos.  These seemed to be the power behind his shield.  Soon enough Novos was without his shield and we stepped in and finished him off.

That let us move along and outside to possibly the largest raptor model I have ever seen in the game, a brute by the name of King Dred.  KD has his own herd of smaller, but still elite, raptors hanging around.  A raptor posse, if you will.  We cleared out some of the nearer small raptors then took on KD.  And at that point we found out that he calls on his little friends during the fight, which tipped things in his favor.

We came back after the wipe and finished clearing things out and went after him again.  Things went much more smoothly without additional raptors howing up mid-fight.

King Dred now King Dead

King Dred now King Dead

King Dred dropped another good item for the group, the Stable Master’s Breeches, a caster item coveted by all of our cloth wearers.  A roll off sent this new piece Skronk’s way.

After King Dred we were climbing stairs, headed towards the top of the instance where the last boss lives.  After clearing out the way, we ended up withing reach of The Prophet Tharon’ja, the last fight in the instance.

Up the stairs awaits The Prophet

Up the stairs awaits The Prophet

We got ourselves squared away and Skronk did a ready check to see if we were a go.

The ready check generally startles Ula and puts her in a fighting mood.  We all said yes, so in we went.

The fight was fun, maybe one of the most enjoyable fights we’ve had in a while.  Every so often during the fight, Tharon’ja calls out and turns the whole party into undead.  Everybody so affected gets a new, limited set of attacks on their quick bar while the effect lasts.

This did not seem to degrade our ability to fight by much, nor did it make us much more vulnerable, so we just ran with it and chased him around looking like a bunch of skeletons.

We're undead while Tharon'ja is mortal

We're undead while Tharon'ja is mortal

Fun is fun, but eventually the fight came to a close with all of us standing and Tharon’ja down.  And when the main boss goes down, the achievement comes up.

So there we stood again at the end of another instance with main boss down and some loot nobody really wanted.  Muradin’s Lost Greaves were not bad, but neither were they an upgrade for Earl or Vik.

The Prophet Defeated

The Prophet Defeated

And so we wrapped it up.  The way out of the instance was around the back of Tharon’ja’s high seat, the now somewhat common jump down in to a conveniently placed body of water.  Not a bad night all told.  There were a couple of decent equipment drops for once, plus Ula and Vikund hit level 77 along the way.  Vik just has to get out and practice with that new blade.

The next instance on the list is Violet Hold in Dalaran.  We’ll see if my “crash in Dalaran” issue will allow us to actually get into the instance.