Tag Archives: Mana Tombs

The Mana Tombs – By Any Means Necessary

And so, there we were again, standing outside of the Mana Tombs on another Saturday night. The line up was familiar:

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

So familiar were the levels on that group list that I moved that the group rescind the “everybody stay around the same level” rule.

Since we are so close to level 70 now I felt it would not imbalance the group if some people got there sooner than others.

The motion was passed with three “yeas” and two abstentions. Despite the fact that I proposed it, I imagine that it will be Earl who ends up at level 70 first. Having the tank up at that level couldn’t hurt.

But back to the instance.

Skronk did some research on the Mana Tombs over the previous week, but we were still not confident in the outcome. No miracle “I Win” button could be found, so we were going to have to go in and take our chances.

And when we stepped into the instance things immediately went awry with a bad pull on the first group that resulted in a dead priest and the rest of us standing outside of the instance.

You would think that, third time into the instance, we would at least be gliding through first part. But it isn’t that sort of instance.

Revived and ready to go again, we pushed on to the first big room and the first named mob, our old friend Pandemonious.

During our previous two visits to the Mana Tombs, Pandy had been something of a walk over. Well, okay, we lost a gnome to him, but that happens in the real world of… well… make believe. The fights have never been big deals, some of the trash mob fights ending up more deadly than this guy.

So, of course, we wiped.

We wiped because rather than just running after him in the Leroy Jenkins fashion, as we have in the past, we decided to think about the fight, to approach it with a view to addressing past mistakes and gnome deaths.

Thinking failed us though, so for the second round we just ran at him and took him out. Sometimes having chicken is enough.

Pandemonius was nice enough to drop the Shield of the Void for Earl. A shield with both decent stats for a tank and a distinctive look.

It is too bad we couldn’t do something with his shoulder pads.

My, what big shoulders you have

I think Joan Rivers had some about that size back in the late 80s.

That out of the way, we continued to chop our way through the instance.

We slew Tavarok on the first go, having worked that fight out well enough. No pre-fight talk was needed, everybody did what they had to, including Vikund putting on his healing gear to keep Earl alive.

Tavarok rewarded us with a leather drop. I yearn for Tobold’s idea about binding to an account versus a character. Some of us have alts that would benefit from some of these drops.

On we went.

Finally, only a couple of wipes later, we stood again before Nexus-Prince Shaffar.

And then the wipes began in earnest.

We came at Shaffar and his Ethereal Beacons from a couple of different directions, but always had the same problem. Either we could keep the beacons down, which is a chore, as Shaffar starts with three and new ones spawn pretty quickly with apparently no upper limit on how many can be assisting him, but manageable, or we could lay down the damage on Shaffer himself.

We just couldn’t manage both.

We brought fear, polymorph, AOEs, and anything else we could come up with into play and still ended up dead.

Dead again

After using the repair bot, we finally went with plan Z.

Skronk had read that sending an Eye of Kilrogg up to Shaffar and having it jump until he noticed it, which causes the three beacons to despawn, after which there is a short window of opportunity to engage Shaffar. If you get him in that window, you end up with the same fight, minus the initial three beacons.

Not exactly in the spirit of the game perhaps, but we were past our twelfth fight overall with this guy and we wanted him down at any price. Our gaming souls? Sure, take ’em, if it will get Shaffar dead!

So in went the Eye of Kilrogg.

It worked.

And it gave us just the extra edge we needed. It was still a tough fight as those beacons spawn in all over the place and Shaffar is a tough cookie. In fact, it was a near run thing at the end of the fight. But Shaffar went down and we found ourselves standing where he once stood.

Down with the Prince

Shaffar stuck his thumb in our eye one last time, dropping the Ethereal Warp-Bow, which none of us had any use for. But at least the quest to kill him, Undercutting the Competition, was complete. That got each of us a piece of socketed gear.

And so we called it a night and headed back to the Inn, leaving that damn escort quest behind. Another time.

Now, do we have enough in us to get through the Auchenai Crypts? Or have we just stepped a bit deeper in over our heads?

Level up Earl!

The Mana Tombs – Death Revisited

Saturday night and into Azeroth again.

After spending the last two weekends focused on experience and equipment we were all up another level and much better equipped.

Well, maybe a little bit better equipped.

Okay, we found almost nothing that improved our equipment while question in Terokkar.

And, while we all levelled up, none of us appeared to get the “I win” button as part of our level 66 spells and skills, so we were going to have to face the Mana Tombs the old fashioned way. The group for the evening was:

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

Things started off very well. They certainly went better than last time, when we practically wiped on the first pull in the instance.

We blew through to the first boss, Pandemonius, and sent him packing without much drama. His big trick, fading to another dimension for a moment, which causes damage to be reflected back, was not fooling us.

Here we are sizing him up before the attack.

After that we advanced at a brisk pace to the next boss, Tavarok, losing a gnome now and again along the way. But that is the cost of doing business some nights. There were no wipes, however, something that continued through out battle with Tavarok. Last time it took us a few runs before we brought him down. This time we had his number and dispatched him on our first try.

Go team!

We continued to clear and ended up with one wipe on the way to the last boss. It was a group of four mobs and we lost control of the battle. Not a huge thing, our first wipe so far into the instance.

We revived, cleared that group on our second try (we got two down on the first run, so the outcome was not in question), turned the corner and entered the room of Nexus-Prince Shaffer, he of the witty dialog.

Clearing his room was no problem, and very quickly it was only the Prince and his three minions, the ethereal beacons, before us.

And then the wipes began.

A few runs at him and we were not even close on any of them. Once he was down to 25% of his health, but he constantly respawning ethereal pals were too much.

We looked up some strategies for the fight online, but couldn’t come up with anything viable. We lacked the firepower to implement the suggestion we found at several sites, which was to kill the three beacons quickly, before they shifted into human form. Once they have that form, they get a bunch more hit points and do a lot of damage.

With Earl on the prince and the rest of us on the beacons, we could only slay one before they changed over and then the pain began as they ran amok on the casters.

It was getting late and at least one of us had a full dinner and a Broadway show as a lead-in for the evening, so we gave up on the prince and went back to do the escort quest in the instance, thinking to get at least one quest done.

At the first encounter of the escort quest, four elite mobs spawned and hit us from each corner of the room, resulting in a wipe and a failed quest. And that was it for the night.

We did not leave completely empty handed. Experience is always its own reward, plus Pandemonius dropped the Faith Bearer’s Gauntlets for Vikund (everybody said, “Eeew, Pally gear!”) and Tavarok coughed up the Staff of Polarities, which Ula won in a roll-off between her and Bung.

But we still have not defeated the Mana Tombs yet. It is time for some research into how to handle that last fight.

Death in the Mana Tombs

I joked as we were looking for the instance that the name of the instance meant it was a tomb for mana users who entered it.

Little did I know how spot on that observation would be.

Looking for the instance. Yes.

What with time spent by some of us in LOTRO of late and my efforts in EVE Online, we did not do a whole lot of groundwork in advance of this run. I cannot speak for the others, but Vikund was still parked where I left him the previous Saturday night.

So when the time rolled around, we were a little vague on the whole location of the instance. Somewhere in the Terokkar Forest, right?

A couple of us got in the general vicinity of the Mana Tombs but then had to run around for a while, first to find the meeting stone to summon the other party member, and then to find the actual entrance to the instance.

After a Three Stooges level of effort, we finally got everybody together, picked up the two quests outside the instance, then went in. The group was:

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

We started off lost, then stepped into the instance, only to end up dead.

The first pull in the instance was nearly a wipe. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the fact that we were all of three steps from the entrance, it would have been a wipe. Skronk and Bung went down quickly, then we decided to get out. However, Earl and Vikund were both hit with DOTs and managed to die outside of the instance. Ula was the only survivor.

We\'re just good friends

That set the tone for the night.

We nearly wiped again a few yards further into the instance, Ula being the sole survivor again.

After that, we really buckled down and took care. We even managed to make it to the first boss, Pandemonious, the biggest voidwalker we ever did see.

We even defeated him on the first go! We seemed to be getting back in the groove.

Of course, he dropped a mail item, the Boots of the Outlander. Our luck in that department holds.

Then we moved onward, and managed to wipe on trash mobs again. There is Vikund, dead again.

He looks so peaceful, he could be sleeping.

More care went into getting to the next boss, Tavarok.

Oh, the pain. Here is a shot of us, all dead, with Tavarok in the background.

We were eager to go again though. (You can see the bones left from the last effort.)

And we wiped again.

It was declared “time for research” and WoWWiki came out.

It turns out that Tavarok has a 30 yard AOE attack that stuns and does quite a bit of damage to casters.

So we positioned the casters outside of a 30 yard radius of Tavarok and had at him again.

This time we won. It wasn’t easy. Tavarok’s crystal prison attack has a much greater range and knocks off half of your hitpoints as well as stunning you. This is why we lost Skronk and Ula in the fight.

And, as our streak dictates, Tavarok dropped a leather item, the Nethershade Boots. Bleh.

Still, onward we went, dying again on the way to the next event, which got some of the team, who were already showing paper doll to the red, durability to zero stage where equipment is simply no longer usable.

For the first time in a long time, we had to send somebody out for repairs. Ula put up a portal for Skronk, who went off and found a repairbot at the auction house and brought it back. Earl has his engineer skills high enough to deploy the bot, so we all stopped for a repair break.

Repaired and rested, we moved on. We managed to clear all the way to the last boss, Nexus-Prince Shaffar.

He actually has some witty dialog.

He also creamed us three times running. He didn’t just beat us, he beat us into the ground. We were not even close to winning.

He beat us so rapidly I did not even get a screen shot of it.

And after the first defeat, even advice from WoWWiki wasn’t any help to us. We were fighting way out of our weight.

Having run back to the instance after the third route, we decided to give up on Shaffar and just do the escort quest we passed up before calling it a night. The NPC made it sound easy!

All we had to do is follow him around while he emptied out his Ionic Breezes nether collectors.

And, in the first fight, we wiped.

That was it for the night. More than three hours in and many deaths later, we called it.

Two bosses down.

Two quests left hanging.

Too many deaths.

Now we have to regroup and figure out what went wrong.

While we were at the lower end of the level range (64-66) for the instance, we were not totally off base attempting it.

And while we were not, perhaps, in our finest form that night, we were still working together pretty well.

I am starting to wonder if the curse of the boss drops, the fact that we seem to get mostly leather and mail items that none of us can use, is beginning to work against us. Maybe our equipment just isn’t up to par. After all, we have been doing mostly instances and very few quests. We might be behind in the department.

So next time around, we will have to decide what to do. Should we go back and farm an instance for blues, or go run some quests for levels and green upgrades?