Tag Archives: Hellfire Ramparts

Advancing One Instance

It was time for our second round of random Burning Crusade instance shuffle in our attempt to getting tied up too much in the turmoil of the Naaru.

And so the group lined up for action.

60 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
61Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)
61Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
61 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
61 Undead Deathknight – Maliverney (Skronk)

Last week the dungeon finder sent us to Hellfire Ramparts three times running, so we decided to check the list and see if that was all we were likely to get for this round.

According to the dungeon finder, we were eligible for Hellfire Ramparts, the Blood Furnace, and the Steamvault.  We hit the random button and waited to see where the dungeon finder would send us.

And the winner was… Hellfire Ramparts.

What, you guys again?

Ah well, at least we’re good at it by this point.  And killing orcs… that was the staple of my RPG life for a long time.

Earl had been doing some warm-ups, so he was very close to level 61.  In fact, he was so close he got there before we hit the first boss in Ramparts.

Maliverney had also changed his spec to something recommended for tanking, so this run was also a good warm-up for that change.  This being our fourth time through the instance, orcs were dispatched in record time and we were soon looking to the dungeon finder to send us out again.

And the dungeon find obliged us and sent us to the Blood Furnace.

Into the Blood Furnace

I last did the Blood Furnace with a random dungeon finder group when I respec’d a level 68 druid on another server to be a healer then did a test run on an “easier” instance.  The level 61 paladin tank took my level to mean that he could pull every mob in sight and I should be able to keep him healed.  I was kicked from that group when my healing would keep up with 10 mobs pounding on him.

Fortunately, our tank was previously our healer in the old group, so there is empathy for my plight.  Plus he isn’t an insane, “Go, go, go!” instance-happy, munchkin.  That helps too.

So we took it carefully… for the most part.  We certainly got to the first boss, the Maker, without any drama.

Behold the Maker!

After that we got a little shaky.  We lost the mage a couple of times, the problem with the highest DPS player wearing nothing but a bathrobe for protection.  And then came the Broggok fight.

Broggok isn’t just a fight, but an event.  You have to get through four waves of helpers before he comes to get you, all without a breather, so if something goes wrong with the helpers, life gets pretty tough.

And so it went for us.

We managed to lose Bigbutt and Earl on the third and fourth groups of helpers and Broggok was about to emerge and we were still flagged as in combat.

Fortunately Hurmoo had his in-combat ress handy, and brought Bigbutt back to life while Earl had is shaman self-revive available.  A couple of quick heals and a innervate on Bigbutt and we were able to take down Broggok pretty quickly.

Broggok Down

After that it was pretty smooth sailing.  The last fight with Keli’dan and his minions was a walk-over and we were soon rewarded with the achievement and our dungeon finder goody bag.

With the Blood Furnace down, we still had enough time for one more run, so we went back to the dungeon finder.  What would it give us this time around.

Hellfire Ramparts again!

Ah, well, at least it is quick and the experience is good.  And we’ll soon have all the possible drops.  Enladie got a pretty decent random drop early on.

Bloodscale Helm of Power

That hat is high on style points in my opinion.

Otherwise, our second run through the ramparts was very like our first of the evening, and we were soon at the end of our adventures for the night.

Victory (again) in Hellfire Ramparts

The instance count so far is:

Hellfire Ramparts: 4
Blood Furnace: 1

Most of us are level 62, so only 6 more levels to go until the dungeon finder switches over to Northrend instances for random choices.

We will see if we can add another instance to the list this week.

Hellfire Random Remix

It was a long Saturday for some of us and it looked to be a long Sunday for others, but we all still logged on at 9pm Pacific time for instance night.

A couple of us admitted that we would not be heartbroken if we skipped a week and that a long dungeon crawl might not be our fondest desire at that moment.  So after a run through the options, we decided to just let the dungeon finder pick our destination for the night.

We also had a character change this time around, the first change out in our horde group and only the second since I traded out Blintz, my rogue, for Vikund the paladin way back in the day.

This time around Potshot decided to put in his death knight, Maliverney, in place of his druid, Azawak.  So a tank change in the lineup.  That gave us the following group for the night:

59 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
60Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)
60Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
60 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
60 Undead Deathknight – Maliverney (Skronk)

It was just a little after 9pm when we were all grouped and selected the random option.  Take us away dungeon finder!

And we ended up in Hellfire Ramparts.

Enter the Ramparts

Looking at the dungeon finder interface, once you hit 60 you are apparently too high of a level to get a classic dungeon a random pick.  You are limited to the Outlands.

Well, what the hell… so to speak.

A couple of us had already wandered into the Burning Crusade expansion in order to pick up our flying skills and mounts and, while there, ran just a couple of the initial quests for a gear upgrade or two.  I think Enaldie, Hurmoo, and Bigbutt all had a new had and pants.  But the rest of our kit was strictly classic Azeroth.  Hurmoo, for example, was still swinging the Scepter of Celebras.

Because of this, there was one school of thought that felt an Outlands instance might be a challenge.  We hadn’t ramped up on the gear, we were working with a new class tanking, and we hadn’t actually been there at level for more than two years, at which point we had problems finishing up, all of which seemed to add up to a non-faceroll experience, to use the SynCaine term.

The reality though…

Okay, Hurmoo died two fights in when we pulled a group and got a patrol in addition, though the reason Hurmoo got jumped on was that he was playing with Wild Growth before Maliverney had a solid aggro lock on everybody.  And even then, the fight went down okay with some healing from Earl and Enaldie.

No, we were in for a quick kill AOE fest with no crowd control required.  Once we settled down a bit and Maliverney got into the tanking groove, we were splashing through the trash pretty quickly.  The first boss, Watchkeeper Gargolmar, gave up the ghost pretty fast.

Soon we were past him, up the ramp, and clearing out the courtyard with the two remaining bosses within sight.  We went left first and took on Omor the Unscarred.

Omor Awaits

There were some vague recollections of this being a tough fight, with Omor summoning some sort of helpers part way through the fight, but we didn’t spend too much time dwelling on that.  We asked Enaldie to keep her consecrate going in order to pick up any random adds and went straight and Omor.

I think Omor only got to summon a single felhound.  I couldn’t recall if he had any other special attacks, everything went by so quickly.  And when he died, we got the instance achievement.


That seems kind of flimsy, handing out the achievement for the second of three bosses.  Then again, the last boss has all of the cool stuff, so they probably figure you are going to go after him no matter what.

Then it was on to the last fight, the event with Vazuden and his dragon mount Nazan.

This fight left a couple of lasting impressions with us.  For example, we all remembered that the battle event starts when you kill the last pair of guards.  Those guards look just like any number of guards in the instance, so it is easy to think you’re just clearing some trash rather than kicking off the event.

Also, it was well recalled that we need to step out of the blobs of fire that Nazan shoots at people during the fight.

After those two facts, things were a little blurry.  But those two facts turned out to be enough as we went into the fight.

Fight Finale

The fight was exciting, if only because people had to keep on the move.  That can be tough on the casters.

You can see the end of the fight above, with Hurmoo casting tranquility while standing in one of those blobs of fire.  That was enough to keep us all going and finish off Nazan.  That finished the instance and got us our bag of goodies.


We looted the chest at the far end of the platform, took our victory shot, and looked at the clock.

Nazan Defeated

The time was 9:50pm.

So we decided to do it again.

And when we finished that round it was 10:40pm.

So we decided to do it one more time.

We did get sloppy on the third round, when early on, in the exact same fight where Hurmoo died the first time, we ended up pulling two groups plus a patrol leading to more damage hitting the tank than the healer could keep up with.  But we didn’t, technically, wipe, since we were close to the door.  So Hurmoo ran out when everybody else was dead, then came back to ress people.

But after that we pressed on and wrapped up the third run at around 11:30pm.

Weapon upgrades

Three runs through yielded some good drops, getting upgrades for all of us.  You can see Earl’s new Crystalfire Staff (which looks like he took it off of one of General Grievous’ bodyguards) and Enaldie’s Hellreaver in the picture above.

The evenings run left us with another idea for how to go forward.  We might just see if we can run through the Outlands, and how quickly we can manage it, doing nothing but random dungeon finder instances.  How much of the expansion can we avoid this time through?

A Time for Heroes

We only had four of us online again on Saturday night, too few to attempt a Northrend instance.  So it was back to the Outlands for our little group.

75 Priest – Skronk
75 Warlock – Bungholio
75 Mage – Ula
75 Paladin – Vikund

We thought we might try out one of the heroic instances this time around, since we discovered that whole flamewrought key thing.  Vikund, the only holder of such a key, was made leader of the group (danger!) and we went off to the first Heroic instance on the list, Hellfire Ramparts.

We remembered we could fly there much sooner than last week and made our way to the entrance.  There I switched the intsance setting to “Heroic” and was rewarded with a visible change:  The normal instance swirl has a skull in the middle of it when set to heroic.  Cool.

Then people tried to enter the instance and failed.  It seems that everybody has to have a flamewrought key to get in.

Ula Jumps Through The Skull

Ula Jumps Through The Skull

So back to Honor Hold to buy more keys.

Once properly equipped we headed in.  The first fight went well, but after that we got into some trouble.  Being equipped with Northrend gear, our damage output seemed to be well suited to the instance, but the damage output of the NPCs was surprisingly high for creatures in the low 70s.  It took us a wipe and a few deaths before we got ourselves in a good pulling/healing/killing routine.  We took great care to avoid adds.

I would like to note, at this point, how grateful I am that the paladin spell exorcism works on all mobs and not just undead and demons (as of the 3.1 patch).  Being able to pull mobs without walking up to them for a proximity pull is life changing for a pally.  Shame about the PvP nerf.  Of course, I don’t PvP with my pally.

Anyway, we hit our stride about the time we were clearing the area for the first boss, Watchkeeper Gargolmar.  The fight with him was not much worse than some of the groups we had faced previously and he went down without much drama.

Is that all you've got?

Is that all you've got?

Go us!

After Gargolmar there is the slog through to the other two bosses.  We managed that without too much drama.  One bad pull made for some excitement and a dead gnome, but we soon sat on the platform that leads to Omor the Unscarred and Vazruden and his dragon mount Nazan.

The last time we we through Hellfire Ramparts,  Omor we managed in one pass while Vazruden took four tries to slay, so we thought we would try Omor first.

In a parallel of our last dance with Omor, the tank went down late in the fight, but our DPS output was enough to power through and win the day on the first try.  Which left us with Vazruden.

Vazruden is an event that is kicked off by attacking his guards.  He is flying around on the back of Nazan when you start.  Once his guards are down, he comes down and attacks.  And, after you chop him down a bit, his dragon pal Nazan, who has been fire bombing you throughout the fight with Nazan, lands and joins in as well.

The guards were no problem.  Vazruden himself wasn’t that big of a deal.  Nazan and his fire bombs however caused some problems.  He drops them and you have to make sure you step out of where they land as they continue to burn there for a while.  We failed to step lively on our first run and put too much strain on the healer and down we went.  Only Ula was saved when she ran out the instance exit that is close by.

Fire, fire everywhere...

Nazan's flaming droppings

So we got ourselves back together and tried it again, this time avoiding the flaming blobs on the ground and we did much better.

The Moment of Victory

The Moment of Victory

With that came the all important achievement.

Heroic Hellfire Ramparts
And the traditional last boss victory shot.

Nazan Defeated

Nazan Defeated

After which Ula skinned him and we ran over to the chest that contains the loot from the encounter.

The loot is in the mail
All of the items in the chest were mail.  This is the grand tradition of our group, which consists of two plate wearers and three cloth wearers:  Leather and mail drops.

One of us needs to do enchanting so we can disenchant all these drops.

I bid “need” on the kilt, thinking that it might actually look like a kilt when worn.  I thought perhaps I might get a look like an EverQuest barbarian, but it turned out to be an ankle length skirt.  Bleh.

Still, as a diversion, something to do on a night when we were down a player, it was all pretty fun.  And even if the drops had been all plate and cloth I am not sure they would be worth wearing compared to our green Northrend gear.

Heroic Instance?  Done It!

Heroic Instance? Done It!

Earl should be back this weekend so it will probably be time for a shot at Ahn’kahet.

Alting About The Outlands

Various real life events has kept the instance group out of instances for the past two Saturday nights. So our next instance target, The Blood Furnace, has remained free of our wrath for the time being.

We have managed to do a few things though.

We actually got together as a full group last Thursday and ran through Hellfire Ramparts for a second time with this group:

63 Warlock – Bungholio
63 Mage – Ula
63 Priest – Skronk
63 Paladin – Vikund
64 Warrior – Earlthecat

Thursday is our non-mandatory “off night” where we try to prep for upcoming instances and such, but since East Coast Earl was up for it, we did an instance farming run. We even managed to only wipe once at the big fight with Vazruden and Nazan, which happened primarily because Vikund switched from healing to melee too soon after Nazan joined the fray.

We won in the end though, and at a pretty fast clip. Earl got his second Mok’Nathal Clan Ring which, both taken together, add 28 to his resilience, something that, according to a comment thread over at Tobold’s Blog, reduced his chance to be crit’d by 7%. Not bad.

We also did some questing as a smaller group on Saturday night just to pick up some gear, experience, and standing, which I guess is why anybody does quests when it comes down to it.

But the primary focus for most of the instance group over the last week or so seems to have been alts.

Earl, in a marathon WoW Saturday, pushed his alt, also a warrior, over the top to level 70, making him the first of the five of us in the instance group to hit level 70.

Skronk (aka Potshot) pushed one of his alts to level 60.

Ula has an alt closing in on level 60 as well.

And I, after mucking about in Alterac Valley for a week, went back to the Outlands and pushed Tistann to level 62.

Add to that the fact that Gaff is back in WoW and has a couple of characters over level 60 on our server and, on the face of it, we might be able to run an instance with alts at some point.

Granted, it would not, perhaps, be the most well rounded group ever, as it would consist of two warriors, two hunter, and a druid. But since one the druid and one of the warriors is level 70, we might be able to get away with something. We will have to see what becomes of the idea.

So there the instance group stands, waiting for another Saturday night when we can all get together for another run.

Hellfire Ramparts

The weekend before last, while I was sitting in the warm Ka’anapali sunshine, drinking lava flows, and advising on Pokemon, the instance group went back to Stratholme for episode 97 of “The Baron’s Revenge – No Pants for You!” They were rewarded with the now familiar ironic drops of mail and leather items for a group that wears cloth and plate armor.

Last weekend, returned and refreshed, I rejoined the group as we decided to head someplace new.

We decided to step through the portal as a group and begin the Burning Crusade instances.

As a group we were all heading into the back stretch of level 62 and were starting to worry that we might be out levelling the new content while we mucked about in the old world. So, as a group, we moved on. We went in as:

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

We got on Saturday night and, once to Honor Hold, the first thing we had to do was actually find the instance.

Not noticing exactly how close it was to Honor Hold, we ran right past it and to the Southern Rampart.

We climbed up on that and ran around for a bit until we spotted a dungeon meeting stone far below us.

Looking for a short cut to get to it, Skronk hit Bung with power word shield and Bung jumped over the edge of the rampart… and went splat.

Undeterred, and seeing a ledge part way down that I thought might save me from a similar fate, Skronk hit Vikund with power word shield (even though we were pretty sure it wasn’t going to help by that point) and over the edge I went.

And splat I went as well.

Ula floated down past our corpses using slow fall and looking like a gnome in a glass elevator while Skronk found a safe way down for himself.

And once they got to the meeting stone, they found out it wasn’t the one we were looking for. We were too low level to even use it.

Eventually, after more running around, but no more dying, we found the right location.

Once in, things went reasonably smoothly. The instance is very linear. There are only three boss fights. They were:

We just happened to need to slay all three of these for the quest Weaken the Ramparts.

Getting to these fights was work, but not a huge challenge. There are lots of closely arrayed groups in the instance, with patrols wandering through, so we were kept on our toes. It wasn’t as hairy as Stratholme was for us, but we had to be careful. Here we are, a few fights in, sizing up the next set of groups:

Ramparts Lineup

And our care paid off, as we knocked off one group after another without much in the way of drama or sudden intakes of breath.

First we made our way to Gargolmar, who walks a patrol with two minions not far inside the instance. We cleared out all the groups along his beat, then pulled his little group over. Earl tanked Gargolmar while the Ula sheeped… pigged… polymorphed one of the minions, then we all piled the other minion. He went down fast, then we cleared up the other one, then went in with Earl and finished of Gargolmar.

One down.

There was more clearing of mobs until we got to a choice of directions. One way lead to Omor, the other to Vazruden. For no particular reason, we chose to go with Omor first. I guess he seemed a bit closer. We could certainly see him from where we were standing.

Like Gargolmar, he has two minions, so we did the exact same routine. We were not quite as successful this time around. Here we are in the fight. You can see some additional minions in with us, Omor summons those throughout the fight.

rampartomor.png

A bad hit killed Earl late in the fight and Ula went down as well, but we won in the end.

Two down.

That just left us with Vazruden. Here was the challenge.

There is a bridge to him, with a pair of guards at either end. The pair at the near end went down easy. The pair at the far end though trigger the battle event with Vazruden and him mount.

His mount proved to be the trick.

We went straight in and killed the two guards. That gets Vazruden, who is just flying around in a lazy circle on his dragon, to come in low, dismount, and attack. Here he is coming for us:

rampartherecomesvazruden.png

Earl and I went in and things were going well until we got him down to about 30% of his health. At that point, his dragon mount joins in the fight, and he has a killer breath weapon.

We managed to kill Vazruden, but Nazan did in Earl and Vikund almost immediately, then rounded up the rest of the team.

We felt we were close. Skronk used the soul stone and ressed us up. Fortunately, the encounter resets itself if you fail, so we got another run at it.

The second time around we did not even kill Vazruden. And we did not have a soul stone.

Fortunately, as I wrote above, the instance is very close to Honor Hold and the graveyard therein. Also going our way was the fact that nothing in the instance had respawned yet, so we had a clear run back to the encounter.

The third try also went awry. We had learned to stay clear of Nazan’s breath weapon, but the transition between Vazruden and Nazan was putting so much damage on Earl that he died again, and the battle with Nazan needed all five of us.

After running back for a fourth try, we started in again. As we approached the point when Nazan joins in, I decided to pull Vikund back and use up his mana helping Skronk heal while Earl was enduring the high damage phase of the battle.

This turned out to be just enough. Vazruden went down and Earl was still well stocked with hit points. After running down my mana, I ran in to melee with Earl and Nazan went down at last. Here we are in our hard earned victory shot.

rampartvazvictory.png

Three down.

You can see skeletons from our previous attempts in the picture.

We nearly missed the chest that sits on the far side of the area that Vazruden and Nazan patrol, which had a couple of very nice items, the Ironsole Clompers, which Vikund won on the roll, and the Mok’Nathal Clan Ring, which Earl won.

After that, all we had to do was run back and turn in the quest. Now, from the instance, it looks like you can just hop off the rampart and run to Honor Hold.

rampartshhviewsmall.png

It is, however, an illusion. You have to run back through the instance, which still had not respawned for us, exit, then run to Honor Hold.

After the quest turn in, we were all closing in on level 63.

I had read at some point that the five person instances in the Outlands were going to move away from the giant monstrosities, like Wailing Caverns and become doable in a more reasonable time frame. We started in on Hellfire Ramparts at 9pm and were done by midnight Pacific time, which is pretty reasonable indeed.

Next week we should be looking into Blood Furnace.