Tag Archives: Iron Docks

Meanwhile, Back in Azeroth

I haven’t written much of late about actually play World of Warcraft.  That hasn’t been due to a lack of play time really.  It is more a lack of doing anything worth writing about, a problem of sorts that I lay directly on the cumulative doorsteps of the five garrisons I have running right now.

The Draenor Contestants

My five garrison characters, pre-Draenor

Seriously, when I log in and go through each character, collecting all their work orders, checking all their buildings, doing all the harvesting, upgrading follower equipment and then sending them out on new missions, and then finally go through the various daily pet battles to continue work on my pet army, I am about done with time on an average weeknight.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  At least Blizzard has given me a reason to log in every day to check on things, but sometimes days go by before I do anything besides garrison maintenance.

But occasionally I do get out and do things.

I did, for example, run Alioto through the gnomish section of Spires of Arak in order to finally pick up the level 1 plans for the Salvage yard.  I am what, four months late in doing that?  And then when I found out you get a follower as well when you finish that chain I started pushing the rest of the Draenor crew through it.  I think only Trianis is left.

The instance group has not been completely idle either.  I see Earl, Skronk, and Ula on regularly, no doubt tending to their own garrisons and working on alts as well.

We also went out and did the Iron Docks as a group… like five times already.

Flushing out all the NPCs in the Iron Docks

Flushing out all the NPCs in the Iron Docks

It is kind of a neat instance.  There are several interesting mechanics that you have to learn as you move through the whole thing, so there was some trial and error, which is always good.  There is at least some satisfaction in figuring things out.

But once we figured things out the whole thing was pretty easy in normal mode.  Easy enough that the first two times we ran the instance Ula was not feeling well so we ran it as a foursome.

And, as an at-level four person party, we beat it on our first run through.  Granted, we died a lot as we learned the mechanics, but once we figured things out the fights were not all that tough.  So after our first run through as a team of four, we did it again.

Then the next time we were one, we ran it three more times with Ula in tow.  We did it that many times because, by that point, the run was pretty quick and because she was level 93 still and Blizzard decreed way back in Pandaria that you cannot even walk into a dungeon, much less enter it through the Dungeon Finder, unless you meet the minimum level requirements.  Heaven help the nanny state.

So our last couple of runs through we tried to maximize experience by killing every mob we would find.  We even tried to take on that big open area that you roll the giant iron wheels through to clear.  We did well on the periphery, but the big mass in the center overwhelmed us, so we rolled one wheel through to thin that out and then cleared the rest.

Of course, part of the problem is that Tistann and Earl are both over-equipped.

Tistann with the big gun and the big pet

Tistann with the big gun and the big pet

Tistann has the full upgraded purple engineer’s gun and a couple of the item level 630 crafted pieces, while Earl has a Garrosh heirloom weapon and level 630 pieces of his own.  So we have way more DPS than anybody would ever need to take on instances at level 94.  That advantage will get pared back as we level up, but right now we are OP.

If we were a more active group, I might even suggest we all just drive for the level cap and work on the heroic versions of all of these instances.  I am just not sure we are that active.

Still, we have conquered the normal mode version of the Iron Docks.

The instance group in the Iron Docks

The instance group in the Iron Docks

And then there was the whole 6.1 patch thing, which I have not yet begun to explore in any depth.  Garrisons keeping me busy and all that.

I was happy with how the heirloom changes turned out.  While Blizz warned us that we might need to log on and dig through every character’s bank in order to get all of the heirlooms we socked away over the years to show up in the new heirloom tab, mine seemed to all get picked up automatically.  I still logged everybody in all the same… that was kind of interesting to go visit some old characters… but it wasn’t really necessary.

All told I had 19 heirlooms, which was enough for three achievements.

HeirloomAchiI then turned around and went to the guild vendor in Stormwind and the heirloom vendor in Ironforge and filled out some missing slots by buying a pile of the now readily available for gold level 1-60 heirlooms.

I then used Darkmoon Faire tickets and ancestral coins from the Lunar Festival to upgrade some key heirlooms that I just bought, and which I thought might be useful in the near future, to the level 1-90 versions so I can drive some alts straight to Draenor when the time is ripe.

Blizzard figured out a way to get me to participate in holiday events again.

I mentioned my 2006 vintage Orc Hunter Garnatz as the prime candidate to get me a Horde version of the Garrison thing, because I clearly need more freakin’ garrisons!  Well, he is heirloomed up the butt to level 90 now.  I can have a whole army of forgotten and idle… but well equipped… alts now.

And, finally, I did take the obligatory selfie with the new camera.

Vikund in his garrison

Vikund in his garrison

So that is about all the news I have from Azeroth of late.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go attend to my followers.  Some of them might be idle!!!

Cross Country to Frostfire Ridge and the Bloodmaul Slag Mines

Last Saturday night we managed to get four of us online for one last go at Warlords of Draenor.  The line up was:

  • Skronk – Level 92 Dwarf Priest Healing
  • Bigbut – Level 92 Draenei Monk DPS
  • Tokarev – Level 92 Draenei Death Knight DPS
  • Earlthecat – Level 93 Human Warrior Tank

It was not a full group.  Ula was not feeling well.  But we thought we ought to scout the path to the first instance, in keeping with our standing policy of not using the Dungeon Finder to enter them.

The first five person dungeon instance in Warlords of Draenor is the Bloodmaul Slag Mines, which is all the way over in the Frostfire Ridge zone, where the horde starts out after exiting Tanaan Jungle.

Frostfire Ridge is quite a ways away from the comfort of garrisons in Shadowmoon Valley.

Fortunately, on hitting 92, we all got the starter quest for the Gorgrond, which includes a flight out to the zone from your garrison.  That at least put us in a zone adjacent to Frostfire Ridge.  Earl had already been deep into Frostfire with other characters, while Skronk and I had gone at least far enough in with other characters to get the first flight point in order to be able to do the fishing daily for the zone.  So we had an idea of how we were going to get there, a general route.

The planned route

The planned route

Just take the flight to Gorgrond and then follow the road to its closest point to Frostfire, then cut across, making our way through a pass and into the snows.  We met up at the flight point in Gorgrond and off we went.  We have been on cross-continental travel adventures before.

On the road to Frostfire

On the road to Frostfire

Earl had actually gone into Gorgrond already, following the quest line up to the point of building his lumber camp outpost in the zone.  The rest of us were setting foot in the zone for the first time, so I was curious to see if we would have any phasing issues as we went.

When we reached the point just before the outpost location, we could still see Earl, but it was clear that he saw different terrain than we did.  For him there was a clear path up to the plateau where his outpost lay.  For us, there was a series of large boulders blocking the path.  You could go around the boulders easy enough or, if you like a jumping puzzle, you could actually climb up through them.

So phasing seems to have been upgraded a bit.  Unlike the days back in Wrath of the Lich King, people didn’t just disappear from the world as you entered an area that was different for each, though there is still the potential for comedy in “Go up the path!” “What path, it is just boulders!” I suppose.

We carried on past the outpost location, heading for Frostfire, stopping to kill the occasional silver border mob and, once, getting ourselves splattered all over the scenery by an open world heroic mob.

Okay, maybe level 100 was our reach exceeding our grasp...

Okay, maybe level 100 was our reach exceeding our grasp…

We rode across the zone, zig-zagging and trying to find a gap into Frostfire.  I was pretty sure I knew a route that would work, but there were a couple of potential paths along the way that we had to check in on.  They were dead ends, but did lead to at least one more silver border mob kill.

We pressed on, eventually finding the way through to Frostfire, dashing through a hostile village, and emerging near the Iron Siegeworks, where there are lakes to fish in and an alliance friendly flight point.

Draenei in Frostfire

Draenei in Frostfire

From there it was a ramble out of the mountains and into the Cracking Plains.

The Cracking Plains... not so cracked actually

The Cracking Plains… not so cracked actually

We did stop to pick up a couple more special mobs along the way.

I forget who this guy was, but we had to feed him ogres

I forget who this guy was, but we had to feed him ogres

We eventually found the flight point, summoning stone, and entrance to the Bloodmaul Slag Mines and were soon inside.  As for what we found… it wasn’t a completely linear dungeon.  We chose to turn right at the first intersection and cleared as we went around the circle.

Bloodmaul Slag Mines

Bloodmaul Slag Mines

Given that this is a five person instance and we were not exactly beyond the level gap and only a four person group, the whole thing seemed pretty… easy I guess.

Granted, Earl is superman, and he has that Garrosh heirloom sword that ensures he not only tanks, but also tops the DPS list.  However Skronk was coming into to healing for real for the first time since the 6.0 changes, so I thought we might have a hiccup or two.  But we seemed to plow on without fuss until we hit the final boss.

Gur'gokk reclines

Gur’gokk reclines

Gur’gokk did give us a little trouble, though it was less about him being tough and more about us learning the mechanics of the fight and simply stepping out of the fire at the right time.  He lays down all sorts of molten harm you have to avoid, and we failed on that front the first time through.

We're going to wipe on this one...

We’re going to wipe on this one…

However, we regrouped and ran back.  Armed with what we learned… which was we needed to kite Gur’gokk around a bit so we could stay out of the molten gunk… we were able to defeat him handily on the second try.

Gur'gokk down, Santa hat is ours

Gur’gokk down, Santa hat is ours

That got us the achievement and earned us some gold for the guild bank.

BSMachiWe took out usual post-instance group picture.

Standing in Gur'gokk's chair

Standing in Gur’gokk’s chair

Then there was a question about what to do next.  Travel and the instance took up a decent chunk of time, but we still had a bit more in us, so we decided to run to the next instance just to scout it out.

So off we went to the Iron Docks, which was back on the upper west coast of Gorgrond.  We had to ride, because we did not have a connecting flight point between the Iron Siegeworks and Gorgrond.  So off we went on another set of minor adventures.  At one point I got completely separated from the group, but manged to rejoin them.

Along to Gorgond coast

Along to Gorgond coast

Then we tried to sneak up along the cliff, only to fall in the ocean.  At that point the Death Knight skill frost path became pretty handy.  We were a bit worried about how we were going to get back up to the land, as the coast was mostly cliffs.  However Blizzard left us a path up from the beach just south or the Iron Docks.  We got in, got the flight point… which also connect the flight paths from Frostfire Ridge to the rest of the world for us… poked our noses around, got chased by a pile of mobs we accidentally aggroed, ran into the instance to shake them, then called it a night.

And so ended the last adventure of the instance group in 2014.

We will have to get Ula on when she feels better and go back to the Bloodmaul Slag Mines so she gets the achievement as well.

I am also considering trading out my Death Knight.  I have a hunter in the right level range, I wouldn’t mind a change from melee DPS, and if I brought him we would have somebody who wore mail armor, thus covering all of the bases, cloth, leather, mail, and plate.

We will see how I feel in 2015.