For neither the first time nor the last I am going to go on a bit about the design philosophy that one my infer from the mechanics of The Burning Crusade.
To sum it up, it felt very much like, “OMG how are we going to keep people playing for two years if we only have ten levels of content? We have to slow them down!” which I am sure is an opinion that would not surprise anybody who was there back in the day, or more recently in WoW Classic. Though, admittedly, the WoW Classic version went faster all the same because, as with all retro servers, the solved problem aspect makes it so.
So there was stuff left for us to do there. While the Wrath pre-patch reduced some barriers and we got an xp boost to help us along, that did not really apply to crafting. Ula was still stuck in the middle of the curve for enchanting for Outland and on her list of things to acquire were 8 large pristine shards, necessary for advancement.
The best way to obtain them was to disenchant blue drops from Outland dungeon bosses, so we got a group of four of us together, Ula, Wilhelm, Fergorin, and Bjorid to try and do a few dungeons. It was a short group, but we were geared up for Northrend, and had even managed to do some bosses out there with a short group. How hard could it be?
Landing in Shattrath, we headed over to Auchidoun, where there are a couple of dungeons. We went into the Mana Tombs to give that a run.
We got in a little bit over our heads at the first boss, Pandamonius because we were in a hurry and didn’t clear the room around him and, of course, every mob in the room comes to assist.
Okay, I was in a hurry and perhaps a bit over confident. I mean, we beat him and all the mobs that came with him, but we did lose Fergorin and I did have to lay hands to keep it going at the end.
However, his drop, when disenchanted only yielded a small pristine shard. And so did the drop from Tavarok, the next boss.
And so on through the instance. Our intel was wrong, or we misread it. Perhaps only blue drops from bosses for the heroic version would get us the right shards. But we finished up the instance, got the achievement, turned in the quests (the reward for one of which did give us the right shard) and went looking for the right target.
I figured the dungeons up in Netherstorm might be the right place to go.
Out there at Tempest Keep there are the three floating instances. We decided to give those a try to see how we did. We had to fly up there, then summon Ula, who did not have the flight point, but the meeting stone only takes two to summon. You do, however, need a flying mount to get into the instances. I chose one at random.
It turned out to be the Mechanar, and so we fought a lot of mechanicals.
As before, we ran in headlong and occasionally got ourselves into a bit of trouble. I managed to buy the farm as we fought with Mechano-Lord Capacitus, the first boss.
However, we were far enough along in the fight to prevail in the end.
This instance was a little more challenging for us to navigate. The Mana Tombs was very linear, but the Mechanar is not… and we were already used to dungeons having maps, something that came with Wrath, but which was not added retroactively to Outland until some later date I guess.
But, once we were all back up we lurched forward and I ran about, going this way and that, until we found our way to Nethermancer Sepethrea, where we once again had some issues.
She was a bit tougher than we figured, so read up on her while we ran back from the wipe. The guide suggested tapping and kiting the fire elementals, who are slow but dangerous. In order to do that we set out to clear some space, going up the hallway on the far side of the room, which triggered the event for the final boss, Pathaleon the Calculator.
We managed to survive that onslaught, defeated him, and got the achievement for the instance with Nethermancer Sepethrea still hanging out waiting for us.
We went back to her, tried to get the kiting thing going with Bjorid, but ended up just getting the fire elementals to run around after the rest of us until Sepethrea went down. Instance done, and all the blue loot disenchanted into large pristine shards.
At that point I think we had five of the eight required, so it was time for another run. This time we chose one of the other floating instances, ending up in the Botanica.
This actually went very smoothly. We were OP enough to take care of multiple groups of trash… the Wrath paladin “AOE all the things!” tanking method working out very well for me… and we managed to make our way around the instance… still could have used a map… until we arrived at War Splinter, the final boss.
That fight, like all the others in the instance, went our way without much drama and we were soon done and in possession of enough large pristine shards for Ula to… start working on the next set of ingredients to get enchanting up into the Wrath range.
I am just glad I managed to get myself through engineering in Outland and into the Wrath era without as much effort being required.