Tag Archives: Halls of Lightning

Lightning Round in Ulduar

Saturday night and time for round two in the Halls of Lightning.

Last time we went in to the instance cold to learn the fights.  We made it through to Loken, died, found ourselves faced with respawns and a late hour, and decided to call it a night.

But we came back confident that we could finish off the instance.  For starters, we were finally all at level 80.

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

If nothing else, level 80 gave us the multiple Ula option.

And we felt that our first run gave us what we needed to know to take on the bosses.  So there we were again, standing in the doorway.

Enter the Halls

Enter the Halls

We also all grabbed tabards for factions with which we wanted to raise our standing.  Skronk and Vikund went with the Wyrmrest tabard, having found the Wyrmrest daily quests to be annoying and few in number, while Earl, Ula, and Bung picked the Knights of the Ebon Blade.

Once in, we did our dance with General Bjrangrim, shadowing him around his circuit to kill off all his allies until it was just him and his two minions wandering the room.

General B getting charged up

General B getting charged up

We then waited until he hit a point where his electrical charge buff faded and went after him.  Earl danced with the General while the rest of us took out the minions.  We then assisted Earl, bringing down the General on our first try.

That lead us to the slags, but we learned the hard was last time around how to deal with them.

Slags for the memories

Slags for the memories

We ran through, bearing to the right (something decided when we were already in motion and one of us realize that we’d all better go the same route) to lead all the slags up to the steps where it was area affect spell time to eliminate them.  After the slags and a some yard trash, it was our turn with Volkhan.

I was pretty sure we could handle Volkhan.  Four of us happened to be on the night before.  We went in to scout the Halls of Lightning and to do a quick bit of faction for Earl as he was very close to hitting honored with the Ebon Blade, but had already done the daily quests.  On a whim, the four of us took on and defeated Volkhan.  And if the four of us could do it, then adding in Warlock DPS should make it easy.

Having figured out that the minions he summons explode, we tried a new tactic.  We decided to keep close to him, keep the minions in one concentrated area, and either burn Volkhan down before he could set them off or have them all in one spot from which we could flee.

It mostly worked.  We won.  The minions were not as cooperative as we would have liked.  Earl had trouble holding aggro on them as they seem to reset their target now and again.  Volkhan also made a last minute lunge at Ula, who opted to ice block.  That at least answered the question about whether the multiple Ulas would all ice block or not: They don’t.

The real Ula on ice

The real Ula on ice

So far so good.

Then we hit our first snag.

We couldn’t really remember how the next section, the Hall of Watchers, behaved.  We messed around a bit with it last time, but hadn’t really figured out the pattern.  So we decided to treat it like the slags and see if we could just run through as a group and take whoever followed at the far end.

That didn’t work out.  We ended up with six guys whacking us as we ran to the far end.  We wiped.  And we wiped with the watchers wandering all over our corpses, so we had to release rather than use the soul stone we had up.

After our return, we came back and pulled the groups still wandering in the hall one at a time, bringing them all the way back to the entrance, until we had cleared them all away.  Then we seemed to be able to walk safely to the far end.  I think we have the hall figured out now.

That left some rounding up of trash before we faced Ionar.

Ionar awaits

Ionar awaits

We did okay against Ionar last week.  He is a pretty standard fight, with a couple rounds of him disappearing and leaving electrical sparks wandering around for a short duration.  All you have to do is stay clear of those sparks until the draws them back and reforms and everything is fine.

The first time Ionar did his routine though, Earl ran really far away.  Far enough that when he reformed, Vikund had to do a few rounds with Ionar.  But that is what they make health pots and health stones for… and priests… and lay hands.  It didn’t help that Vikund had gotten caught by the sparks right before he reformed.

Still, he lived and Ionar went down.

Which meant that the way was clear… minus lesser mobs… between us and Loken.

So we cleared the way.  A little bit of proximity aggro surprise Vikund and he went down, but was quickly ressed.  And soon we were preparing to face the main boss yet again.

We looked up his attacks and decided that we really had two options.

The first, the ping-pong approach, was to try to avoid his lightning nova attacks by running away when the emote for them came up.  This had the advantage of avoiding damage, but meant that we would have to run around, reform.  And it would also leave us exposed to his pulsing shock wave attacks which hit harder the further away you are from him.

The second approach was to pull everybody into melee range, ride out the lightning novas, and just burn him down as quickly as possible.

We chose to second approach.  Skronk, our alchemist, provided us each with some potions to help us get through at least the initial lightning nova.

HOL2Nature
We each drank one before the fight, then got right in there with Loken.

The fight at Loken's feet

The fight at Loken's feet

Skronk seems a little too far out in that screen shot, but it worked.  We did not take that much damage and Loken went down surprisingly quickly with all of us unloading on him.  Once he fell, we got the achievement.

HOL2achi

There was even some decent loot this time around.  Our recent motto for drops has been, “You’ve got mail!”

HOL2LokenLoot
Vikund ended up with the Fists of Loken, a decent upgrade for him, while Ula won the roll for the Ancient Measuring Rod.

Loken defeated

Loken defeated

All of this finished up a bit sooner than we expected.  We rounded off the night by doing a couple of rounds in the Isle of Conquest battleground.  Lots of turret and vehicle fun to be had there, though you feel a bit naked when you’re on the ground alone.

A couple of us die hards waited until after midnight and did the Argent Tournament daily quests again.  It was a hot August weekend in California at least, so there wasn’t much point in going to bed until it got a little cooler.  At least that was my excuse.

Eventually though we called it a night.

We should now be lined up for the Oculus next time.

Being the Lightning Rod in the Halls of Lightning

When I summarized our romp through the Halls of Stone previously, a couple of people expressed an interest in how we would do in the Halls of Lightning.  It was described as “a bunch of gimmick fights.”

While the temptation was there to do some research on the instance, we stuck to our policy of doing an instance fresh.

But the foreknowledge that things would be different did get us in the state of mind of having to do each boss fight at least twice, once to figure out what was going on and then at least one more time to get it right.

And so we assembled in Ulduar.

Original Target - Halls or Stone

Not the Halls of Lightning, but close

Our team for the evening was:

79 Priest – Skronk
79 Mage – Ula
79 Warlock – Bungholio
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund

My initial reaction after our first fight in the instance was, “Cool!  Faction!”

Halls of Lightning, which I am just going to call “HOL” going forward, is a level 80 instance, the first we’ve been in, so you get a faction boost for each kill.  And you can choose which faction gets boosted by wearing the tabard of that faction.  Since I was wearing my Argent Crusade tabard, I got some help getting to exalted status with them.

Those with just the guild tabard got faction with the Alliance Vanguard or Valiance Expedition or some such.

The odd one out was Skronk, who was wearing his explorer’s tabard, which I felt should have given him faction with the Explorer’s League, doubly so since the tabard comes from Brann Bronzebeard, but no such luck.  It was the same as the guild tabard when it came to faction boost.

Anyway, as happy as I was about the faction thing, we were looking at the first boss, General Bjarngrim (wasn’t that a Goldie Hawn movie?), wandering up and down the ramps that made up the big first room of the instance.  He was moving through several groups of his soldiers, with a couple attendants in tow, so we picked the troop of four closest to us, cleared them out, and waited for him to walk over.

And walk over us he did.  We had noted the electrical buff on him but had not divined how it came and went.  When he reached us the buff was up, which boosts his damage by 30%, and which turned out to be enough to get Earl killed part way into the fight, which led to our first wipe.

Returning, we followed him around his path, knocking off groups behind him, watching his buff come and go.  When he was unbuffed we jumped him.  That, plus having had a good warm up fight, seemed to be enough to tip the balance in our favor and we were able to knock down the general and his two helpers without much of a fuss.

The General derailed

The General derailed

From where we stood we could see the next boss, Vulcan… erm… I mean Volkhan… at his forge on a balcony above us.  I am sure that the similarity of the names of these two metalworkers was completely accidental. (I’m pretty sure the name Volkhan was totally ripped off from the Volgans.)

But to get to him we had to get upstairs, which meant going through a room full of lava elementals called Slags.  While they were quite a few of them, they were not elite, so we waded into them and started clearing out there room.

And we cleared and cleared and cleared from the middle of the room.  These slags were respawning at quite an annoying rate.  Eventually mana ran low and we backed out the way we came in.  Along the way though, we lost Ula.

The Hall of Slags

The Hall of Slags

We then spent quite a span of time trying to figure out how to ress Ula.  We made several attempts to get in, clear a corner, and ress Ula before the slags respawed.  However, the respawn rate was such that we could never manage it.  Ula had to release and walk back to us.

Through all of this we did figure out how to approach the room.  Once the group was restored and ready, we ran through the slag room to the stairs at the far side of the room.  At that point we killed off any followers and then set about our business of getting to Volkhan.

As predicted, our first run at Volkhan went badly and ended up in a wipe.  The funny thing is that while we prevailed in the second fight, we hadn’t actually figured out the fight.  We were worried about dealing with the molten golem adds but didn’t take into account that Volkhan would make their corpses explode every so often.  Those explosions thinned down the group to just Skronk and Vikund, thanks mostly to lucky spacing, but we were able to finish him off.

Volkhan shall forge no more

Volkhan shall forge no more

Still, we are set now should we face Volkhan again.  Stay away from the molten golem corpses.

Revived again and ready to move on, we faced the hall of watchers.

Looks quiet enough

Looks quiet enough

The hall is lined on either side by statues of warriors.  We weren’t sure how this was going to play out.  We figured somebody was going to come to life and attack us, but would we have to kill them all, would it become an event?  We ended up running around in the hall for way too long, getting a few people killed along the way, before we decided it was like the slags and that we should just run to the other end of the hall, kill whoever follows, and move on.

We cleared all we could around the next boss, Ionar, then managed to wipe for no good reason.  We should have made it.  It was just in the cards I guess.  The second attempt went off well though, and we were able to take him down.

Which left us clearing trash to get to the final boss, Loken.

People were starting tire though.  We had spent a lot longer than a usual instance run figuring things out and recovering from wipes.  The repair bot had to be brought out at one point.  We skirted whatever yard trash we could until we stood in front of Loken.

Loken looks bored

Loken looks bored

The fight with Loken went pretty fast.  He is all about lightning it seems and we, as a group, have absolutely no resistance to nature spells, so he fried us in a depressingly quick time frame.

Still, we thought we had one more attempt in us.  Maybe we could take him down.  We did not have a soul stone after that last wipe however, so we had to run back, which brought us to what we feared.  Respawns.

Hey, didn't we kill them already?

Hey, didn't we kill them already?

The instance between the front door and Volkhan had refilled.  We were not up for clearing that out again.  And so we called it a night.  The final death score was:

HOL1deaths
A tough evening for the cloth wearers.

On the bright side, I think we’re all up to speed on everything up to Loken.  We should be able to get to him much more quickly the next time around.

We do need to figure out the Loken fight though.  He seemed to work us quite quickly and thoroughly.  This may call for some research.

And it looks like our next run will be a return to the Halls of Lightning.