Tag Archives: Maraudon

A Princess of Maraudon

Last time around we jumped into Maraudon without much forethought, choosing to take the experience in as fresh a way as we could.  That led to us taking a somewhat less than optimal route, as we had to double back after clearing the purple side to get a critical question from the orange side.

(Note to self: You can’t be OP is you don’t do orange before purple.)

For our follow up trip we were going to be more direct.  Our group for the run was:

  • Moronae – level 51 night elf druid
  • Viniki – level 51 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 51 dwarf priest
  • Ula – level 50 gnome mage

We had a distinct series of tasks to accomplish, which started with some quest turn-ins on our way there.  We met up in Theramore to turn in a quest, then flew out to Nijel’s Point in Desolace and got another turn-in done along the way to the instance.  Then it was through the big doors to get started.

In we go

The next item on our list was Magra, the Third Khan, who held the final jewel we needed for another quest.  That meant going down the orange side of the entry area, as he hangs out in a side tunnel, up some stairs from the instance line over there.

Orange, this way…

It took a bit to find him.  The color/texture/lighting inside that area really messes with my ability to resolve the 2D image into a 3D environment in places, so we ended up taking a rather round about way to him because I was sure the direct route was a dead end.  Instead, it was just a sharp turn in the cave, which I discovered when we came back that way.  But we got him.

Then it was over to the purple side of things again, where we fought our way through to Lord Vyletongue.  He was all we really needed from the purple side.

This time around we pulled the guards outside of his lair first, then took him and the interior pair second, making the fight much more manageable.  He had the second item for the Celebras quest.  After that we just needed to get back to him.  The purple side of the instance does allow you to bypass some mobs, though we did have a mishap with the toxic bubbles.  After last week we knew to kite them as their AOE attack was hard on the melee.  Ula, who was trying to get in one last spell before pulling back sat too long in range and ended up being our first casualty of the run.

Mage down! Mage down!

It was about time to redo buffs anyway, so we rested a bit, then moved on.  Along the way we did get one of the better named drops of the run.

Imposing!

They came off a treant, so I guess he had a monkey living in his branches at some point.

Once out of the purple side and into the center of the instance, we found we could bypass quite a bit of the trash by jumping off into the brackish water and slaying the few mobs that wandered there.  We didn’t need any more drops of quest updates.

That brought us to Celebras again.  We fought him and his mininions and bested them, and this time Celebras had a quest turn-in for us and offered to teach us about the stone of something or other.

Celebras the instructor

That was a bit more of listen, turn-in, listen, watch, and so on.  We got out of sync, but once somebody is finished Celebras is willing to run the whole routine again for anybody who was left out.

Celebras and Ula

So we ended up with the Scepter of Celebras, which those of us who were just clicking through and not reading the quest text then asked, “So what? What  does it do? Can we use it right now?”

I had to go look it up, being one of those who clicked through without reading.  The scepter lets you skip the whole orange/purple parts of the instance and start at the stone, so you can farm the inner instance.  But we were not even sure what the inner instance was about, so we wandered off to see what we could find.

As with the the earlier parts, we found we could bypass quite a few mobs along the way.  We killed what we needed to, bypassed any mobs off the path, and made our way along.  Landslide, the primordial behemoth boss, dropped a helm upgrade for me.

Defense and Nature Resist

I also got a cloak upgrade that also had a nature resist stat, that being the theme of Maraudon gear I guess.

From there we fought our way down to Princess Theradras.  I actually didn’t take very may screen shots on this run.  I find that being the tank keeps me busy and I forget to take screen shots all the time.  But there was a nice vantage of the path leading down to the princess, with the behemoths in pairs spaced out along the route that I wish I had stopped to take a picture of.

But we made it down there to the island where Princess Theradras roams.

Princess Theradras is about

And we sat for a bit and discussed how we sort of remembered this fight and maybe some failed strategies and something about line of sight and being in the water and some other possibilities.  In the end I just looked it up.  I had been up past 3am the night before playing EVE Online and only got about 4 hours of sleep because I am old and seemingly incapable of staying asleep past 7am, so I wanted to get this done on the first try.

The basic info was she hits hard, so the tank needs to endure, and if she runs off after any of the casters the tank needs to grab her quick because she’ll smoosh the clothies.

In the end, we got her in one run.  It went about as described, though I think the fact that, by the time we got to her, we were all level 51 (and I had just hit 52) gave us enough of a buffer to endure any rogue attacks.  She dropped a nice caster item.  We gathered up and took the traditional screen shot.

Down with the princess!

I didn’t tweak the saturation or anything on that screen shot, it is just bright green around there.

After that I was feeling done, but we needed to leave and couldn’t remember if there was an exit path out of the instance or if we had to stone out.  I thought there might be something down in the water below the path to the princess, so we jumped off to check.  While we were there we took down Rotgrip.

Rotgrip under water

That was worth the effort as Moronae ended up with a nice set of boots out of it.

with nature resist

We explored a bit more… there is a whole cave area down behind where Rotgrip lurks… but did not find any likely exits, so decided to just stone back to Ironforge.

Recall in the water

After that I called it a day.  We still had a couple of quests to turn in.  One was back in Desolace, which promised to reward me with a best in slot item for tanks, the Mark of the Chosen.  The other was in Moonglade, which Moronae could just teleport to in order to turn it in.  The rest of us were going to have to get there the hard way.  But for 6,100 xp and a gold and a half I’ll make the run.

We missed at least one boss on our runs, and probably a few more things, but Maraudon isn’t anybody in the group’s special favorite instance, so we may be done there.

That makes the next instance on the list Sunken Temple.  But before we venture into there we need to get our level 50 class quests ready, as they all seem to require something from that instance to complete.

Addendum: Our history in Maraudon

Meandering in Maraudon

Having finished up Zul’Farrak we ended up skipping a couple of weeks due to the real life, but got back together this past weekend.  The next instance on the list was Maraudon.

I know I always say something about hazy memories and having forgotten places, but for Maraudon that was especially true for me.  I remember there being an orange side, a purple side, and the final boss… not the fight, just the boss herself.  Aside from it being in Desolace, that was about it.

Add into this the fact that we do very little research before we head into an instance, preferring to learn on the go, and we sometimes set ourselves up.  The only thing we really look into is the quests, just to make sure we have them all going in.  There were three we needed to grab on the way in, one in Theramore and two more out in Desolace.  Everything else was said to be in the instance, so when we got on, we didn’t know much more than that.  Our group for the evening was:

  • Moronae – level 50 night elf druid
  • Viniki – level 50 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 50 dwarf priest
  • Ula – level 50 gnome mage

Everybody was 50 at last, and I think we all have our class quests.  We’ll get to that later, since that involved the next instance.

We picked up our quests, riding across Desolace from the flight point.

Out in the aptly named Desolace

I had scouted the locations up front.  It was a matter of going to out outpost, then finding a wandering NPC in the south of the zone, then turning to the Valley of Spears and Maraudon.

Our path across Desolace

Also, as a side note, I am thinking of doing a series of short weekend posts featuring the in game map of each zone, completely explored, as finding maps for anything classic on Google has been problematic at times.  Just the map and a few notes about the zone, just so I can find them later.

Anyway, once to the Valley of Spears there is a big door, which we found straight away. There is no key or anything required, you just click on it and in you go,  you are in the foyer of the dungeon.  We stopped for a bit there to get ourselves buffed up and ready.

Setting up inside

Inside we ran into the Nameless Prophet, killed him, got his drop, and then ignored it while we went wandering around in the caves.  Unlike some other instances, the “outside the instance but part of the experience” area was not all elite mobs.  Maraudon was a post-launch addition, so maybe that changed their minds.  There was also at least one collect drops quest where we all got to loot a drop rather than only one of us getting the update.  Modern times.

We came to a point where things were clearly split into the orange and purple sides.  We looked at the orange side.

Orange, this way…

And the promptly went off towards the purple side of the caves, finding our way to the instance.

Into the purple zone

Once in, we began our advance, facing off against multiple groups of four or five.  But at level 50 we were well above the level of most of the elite mobs early on, and some of the mobs in groups were non-elite, so we were able to clear and move pretty well.  And well all had a “collect 25 items” quest that was of the old school, with only one person getting the drop, but everything seemed to drop them, so we were happy enough to slaughter everything as we went.  100 drops is a big ask, but we seemed to make decent progress.

We made out way to Lord Vyletongue, the first boss encounter.  We were not fooled by the two minions in stealth at the entrance to his chamber.  However, rushing in to grab him, we were surprised to find two additional stealthed guards in with him.  That could have gone more smoothly, but we managed to muddle through on an innervate from Moronea to get Skronk back his mana.

Lord Vyletongue down, dealing with his minions

Somewhere along there Moronae asked about the drop we got from the Nameless Prophet, a gem that we needed to use somewhere along the way.

The amulet in the bag

After trying to use it in a few likely spots, we happened upon one of the spirit Khans, so used it on him.  That does indeed manifest them in to the physical world… and they are aggro and attack right away.  Fortunately we were prepared.

We carried on into the center of the instance, where the purple and orange sides join and started in on that.

The middle of Maraudon is icky

The mobs started getting up to our level, but we kept on, clearing our way until we found Celebras the Cursed.

Celebras and his droogs

We got ourselves buffed back up, then Moronae and I waded into the green water to start the attack.  We decided to kill Celebras first.  He summons more minions as the fight goes on, but we were able to power though, drop him, and then clear his help.

That left us talking to the ghost Celebras, which something in the back of my head knew was the result, but something was missing.

Celebras, post fight

I believe Skronk asked aloud, “Aren’t we supposed to get a staff or something?”

Yeah, that was the ticket.  But no staff here.  So we started looking up the instance and the quests and found that we had gone the wrong way.  There is an NPC early on in the orange side that sets you up with the quest you need.  Then you need to kill a boss on the orange side and a boss on the purple side to get yourself set for Celebras.

We did not have that quest.  We should have done the orange side first.  Plus, we had already killed the purple side boss, Lord Vyletongue.  We were in a “what do we do now?” situation.

We decided to just go back the way we came, go over to the orange side, get the quest, then see if we could make it to the boss there to at least move the quest along.

Fortunately, not much had respawned behind us, just the first few mobs in the instance.  Unfortunately, getting back was a bit of a maze of bridges and paths, though in our wandering we did wrap up another quest.

We found another khan along the way.  We ended up with four of the five gems from them, and I think the last one we need is right at the start when you come in, so we should be able to finish this up next time.

Eventually we unwound the maze and made it into the orange side and found the quest giver, Cavindra.

Quest obtained

That done, we decided we had time for one more objective, to take down the boss on the orange side for the quest.  On the mini map that boss, Noxxion, looked like he was pretty close by.  But the mini map lies, Maraudon is twisting caves and ramps.  We had a ways to go.  But we managed to move fairly quickly.

The one test on the way was in a room with a bunch of non-elite larvae.  I grabbed a bunch of them so we could do freeze and burn, and in the middle of them an elite showed up.  I hadn’t seen an elite before, but grabbed aggro and focused on him.  Then another showed up, seemingly out of nowhere.  Something was amiss.

I looked up and around the room and saw a large pulsing tube that ran from ceiling to floor, and when I moused over it I got a cog wheel cursor.  With that a little light went on in my head, the tube was the source of the elites.

Moronae worked his way over there as another elite appeared from the tube to prove my point.  He clicked on it, we finished off the last elite, and were set to move forward again.

The deflated larvae launcher in the background

From there it wasn’t much farther to Noxxion.  The fight with him had a mechanic where he divides into multiple versions of himself that you have to burn down, then he reappears to resume the fight.  We had enough power to burn through that and bring him down.  That accomplished our goal for the night.  We lined up for a picture then stoned back to Ironforge.

Maraudon very orange

For next time we have a couple of quests to turn in, the third khan to find, Lord Vyletongue to slay once more, and then a return date with Celebras.  Then we can move on into the end of the instance and maybe wrap it up.

Embracing the Dungeon Finder

Saturday afternoon found Potshot and I running around with alts on Lightninghoof.

I had Grungur, my healing shaman on and he had his pally on, who was only a couple levels ahead of Grungur, and also spec’d healing.

Thinking we might get some good, fast exp, he re-spec’d to protection and we hit the dungeon finder as a healer tank pair.  We got off to a bit of a slow start… working as a team we tend not to be the “gogogo!” types, something which lost us one impatient DPS player… but we hit our stride pretty quick.  And joining as a tank/healer pair meant never waiting for more than about 5 seconds to get a group.

Earl showed up and got out one of his alts, a fury warrior, and joined us as DPS for a run.  We had a bit of a hiccup with the dungeon finder at that point, as the level spread between us left only one dungeon possible to run (the armory in Scarlet Monastery) but when we tried to do random (because we wanted to goodie bag) the system kept picking dungeons that at least one of us were not eligible for.

Still, the experience was good, so we thought we would go the random dungeon route with our main characters that night, since we were a bit shy in levels to get the quests for Sunken Temple.  Going into the night, our group was:

46 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
47 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
47 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
47 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
47 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)

The first thing we had to do though was go back to Maraudon and finish up the quests that are (mostly) in what I will call the vestibule of the instance.  We had to knock off the first three khans, kill some elementals, and take a quick peek into the instance to cure some tainted plants.

Finishing up Maraudon Quests

That did not take us too long.  Once we turned in the quests it was time to queue up for a random dungeon with the dungeon finder.  And that dungeon was:

Maraudon!

Although it was called, Maraudon – Pristine Waters.

I guess they have Maraudon chopped up into more manageable chunks for dungeon finder.  This chunk puts the group in mid-air over the waterfalls that leads to the last section of the instance.  You drop into the deep water and can swim to the shallows.

In the shallows, ready to start

If I recall right, that is about where the staff of Celebras used to drop you, back before it had stats. (And decent stats too, Hurmoo is wielding that staff.)

That leaves a pretty reasonable chunk of Maraudon to take care of.  And to complete the dungeon and get the goodie bag, you do not even have to go after all of the bosses, you can just go straight for the princess.

We opted for a detour to Landslide, but then headed for Princess Theradras.

Stalking the princess again

The princess did not take us long, and soon we had our loot.


That went so fast, we queued up again.  And this time we got…

Sunken Temple!

Well, crap.  We were going to hold off on Sunken Temple until we had all the quests.  The experience from quests has been really good, so we don’t like to skip it.

Still, there we were.  We didn’t want to wait out the 15 minute re-try timer just to get it again, so we decided to give it a go.  At least this would be a good warm up.  All we had to do was kill the Shade of Eranikus.  However, you have to do a few things before you can do that.

And so began a blurry trip down memory lane.

We went and killed the mini-bosses on one level.

Then we went and activated the statues in order on another level. (Fortunately, Alpha Map has the order listed.)

Then we headed down to the very bottom level, killed the boss, and activated the altar which I don’t suppose we really needed to do, since it just shows you the order you need to activate the statues, and we’d already done that.  Score one for thoroughness I suppose.

Finally, we headed to what I will call the main level and began clearing everybody out.

Dealing with Morphaz

All the dragons and dragonkin were a boon for Azawak, who is the leather worker in our group.

We ended up with just Jammal’an the Prophet and Eranikus.  But Jammal’an was behind a force field and Eranikus wouldn’t give us the time of day.

Excuse me, Mr. Ghost Dragon? Can we kill you?

We ran around a bit, just to see if there was anything left in the area we needed to do, but all seemed quiet.  We did find the Elder Starsong who hangs out in Sunken Temple during the Lunar Festival.

Elder Starsong

Then Bigbutt spotted one of the mini-bosses still alive up in his balcony.  We missed one.

That meant finding our way back, which wasn’t so easy because Sunken Temple seems to respawn pretty quickly.  That means you can just go where everything is already dead and know you’re on the right track.

We fought our way to the last mini-boss, killed him, then jumped down from his balcony to the main floor and headed for Jammal’an.  Sure enough, the force field was down.  We knocked off his congregation, remembering to simply avoid the ghosts that sometimes appear, and were able to take him and his assistant down pretty readily.

Then it was out to the center again for the last two dragons before Eranikus.  Once they were dispatched, we were finally ready for the last fight.  As has often been the case, the final fight was pretty much a foregone conclusion.


Unlike our usual ending, we got an achievement AND a goodie bag.

The corpse of the shade of Eranikus

The experience was good.  We all ended up at least two levels higher than we were when the night started.  Now we just need to go grab all the quests and do it again!

And Quiet Flows the Maraudon

I have to come up with a new title scheme for these posts about revisiting instances, as I tend to fall back on “Return to N,” where N represents a dungeon we have done before on the alliance side of things.  See last week’s post, Return to Zul’Farrak.

This week the post is about Maraudon, and as you can see, I latched onto the “don” at the end of the name when looking for a title.  Other, alternative titles were:

  • Maraudon Pardo
  • Maraudon Juan
  • Maraudon Quixote
  • Maraudon Ameche
  • Maraudonnie Brasco
  • Maraudonnie Darko
  • Maraudonnie and Marie
  • The Last Maraudon
  • Unagi Maraudonburi

And with all those (and more) to choose from, I decided to go the obscure route.

Maraudon, like Uldaman, has a good chunk of its quest content out and around the front of the instance rather than inside.  That meant getting a couple of us to Shadowprey Village to grab the flight point and then move to the meeting stone to bring people in.

Hurmoo and Azawak riding to Maraudon

You can see that Hurmoo has a new mount there.  I realized that I still had a referral zhevra left over from getting my friend Xyd hooked on the game for a while.  I decided that Hurmoo would benefit most from a new mount.  The poor zhevra looks a bit overloaded.

Once to the stone we started pulling in people as they arrived and running them to Shadowprey for the flight point and the quests you need to pick up over there. (Most of which you cannot share.)

Hanging out by the meeting stone

Once there, the team was:

44 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
45 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
45 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
45 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
45 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)

As you can see, the instance runs once a week are moving us right along when it comes to levels.  I’m not sure we’ll be level 80 before Cataclysm comes out, but we might well be in Northrend.

Once we collected the quests and went in, we headed towards the orange side.  The idea was to blow through as much of this instance as we could in one night.  Last time around we needed three visits to wrap things up.

Despite being there three times before though, our memories of the place were pretty hazy.  Orange was chosen because it seemed right.

We worked our way around, knocking off Noxxion and finding our way to Lord Vyletongue.

Lord V is in!

That turned out to be the right route, as we then turned about and found our way to Celebras, defeated his possessed version, and knocked off a quest.  That also got us the Scepter of Celebras which turned out to be a nice weapon upgrade for Hurmoo.

After that it was through the turtles, over the falls, and up to Landslide for a quick visit.

Then it was back down and around to the main boss, Princess Theradras.

The Princess on her island

Once a fearsome fight, she did keep us busy for a bit, but the outcome was never in doubt.  And with her death we got the achievement for the dungeon.


Royalty out of the way, we dropped down in into the water below to wrestle with Rotgrip.

Crikey, it's a croc!

Rotgrip out of the way, we climbed out of the water and headed towards our last target, stopping only to say hello to Elder Splitrock who hangs around in Maraudon during the Lunar Festival.

It must get lonely down here

Then it was Tinkerer Gizlock and we were done.  Gizlock was nice enough to drop the Hypertech Buckler, which Earl really wanted about two and a half years ago when we were here.  But since his shaman is the only shield wearer in the group, he got it this time around.

At this point we realized that we had a couple more quests outstanding.  It was nearly midnight by that point and we weren’t keen to go chase down stuff that seemed to be outside the instance, so we decided we would wrap that up next Saturday and then head on to the next destination, Sunken Temple.

Maraudonian Azerothian Princess

The Saturday night instance group was out in full force last weekend for another trip to Maraudon.

50 Warlock – Bungholio
50 Priest – Skronk
50 Mage – Ula
51 Warrior – Earlthecat
51 Paladin – Vikund

Our mission was simple: Take the most direct route in and slay Princess Theradras.

And believe me, she was in need of slaying. But we’ll get to that.

We did not take the absolute straightest route to the Princess. We took a short side trip to take out Landslide. But he was on our way.

Not that the trip was really worth it. We killed him easily enough, but he only dropped the Rockgrip Gauntlets. Being a group that is divided into those who wear plate and those who wear cloth, all of these leather and mail drops do not do much good.

We pressed on, fighting our way through the Primordial Behemoths and their never-not-hilarious “squash the tanks” death move.

Soon we were looking at the grim visage that is Princess Theradras.

No female can see her and not feel more attractive.

No straight man can cast eyes upon her without at least considering an ex-girlfriend joke.

No gay man can go past without a comment about her shoes.

Okay, maybe I went to the cliche bag for that last one. Not every gay male cares about women’s shoes.

She is every guy’s Sadie Hawkins nightmare. Ugly enough to scare you. Fast enough to catch you. Strong enough to drag you back over the start line before sundown.

Fortunately, our group is made up of the married. But we still had some trouble with her.

Earl ran out first to get her attention lure her over to a corner in the water, away from the water fall close by. You can see her in full chase, which has to be difficult in those shoes. (We were in skeleton form… have to love those Halloween wands.)

princessonearl.png

She lit out after Earl, but then Bung layed a DOT on her and she acquired a taste for gnomes.

So began the fight and our problems with her. It was very difficult to keep her aggro focused on Earl despite all his attempts. She would chase around first one of us then another.

Once Earl of I got her aggro on us, she would hit us with her frightful gaze, a fear effect, and off we ran while she went after the softer targets.

And then there is her AOE attack, which I saw listed somewhere as a stomp, but which I was sure was really the worst case of flatulence in history. It knocks you back in waves and does damage each time.

Our first dance with her was less than a success. In fact, it was a wipe. We were all over the map trying to get a handle on her and she managed to peel us off and kill us one by one.

Fortunately we had a soul stone handy and Skronk, who had it, was in a spot safely away from her island.

We revived, regrouped, and rethought our strategy. The first thing we did was have Skronk put a fear ward on us to help keep the tanks under control.

Then we decided to let Earl get in some damage and taunts before we let loose on her again.

So we buffed up, and sent Earl in for another round.

We had some of the same issues this time around. Princess Theradras seems to be somewhat fickle and spent time chasing everybody down at different stages of the battle. But in the end, with no worry about being feared, we brought her down. Here is our traditional “killed the main boss” snapshot.

princesscorpse.png

She left us the Gemshard Heart to remember her by. Bung ended up with it, though I cannot remember if that was because he won the roll or drew the short straw.

After the Princess was gone, Zaetar’s Spirit showed up with a quest and possibly the largest exclamation point in all Azeroth.

zaetarexcla.png

With our main target down, we decided to pick up a couple more boss mobs if we could.

Fortunately, Princess Theradras little (relative to her) peninsula sits at the top of a waterfall, at the bottom of which is the domain of our big crocodile friend, Rotgrip.

Earl and I jumped in to secure the LZ, then the casters followed us down. We secured a perimeter, knocking off a couple of hydras who were too close to be ignored, the waited for Rotgrip to swim on by.

He did not keep us waiting long. Here he is, one fight away from becoming a whole shoe store worth of Gucci pumps or a set of luggage for the lot of us.

mararotgrip.png

He went down quickly and left us with the Rotgrip Mantle, which went to Skronk on a roll-off between him and Ula.

From where we slew Rotgrip, it was a fairly easy path to get to Tinkerer Gizlock. I really want the shield he has, the Hypertech Buckler, but this time around he dropped the Inventor’s Focal Sword, which went to Bung. His sword skill is a little rusty, but the spell crit buff is nice for him.

And then we were done. We knocked off all four bosses in the back end of Maraudon. Ula opened a portal to Darnassus so we could turn in one of the quests related to the zone. Then we had to get to Moonglade, which we did via the trickey Skronk method of swimming along the coast north of Auberdine to a point where the Moonglade zone extends out to the ocean. Once there we drowned ourselves to “tele-motre” to the graveyard in Moonglade. That avoided the nasty run that would have probably killed most of us anyway. We turned in Zaetar’s quest, grabbed the flight point, then flew back to Nijel’s Point in Desolace to turn in one of the other quests.

Ula decided to call it a night at that point, but the rest of us stayed on to knock off two left-over quests in Maraudon and perhaps grind to another level. We still had Shadowshard Fragments and Twisted Evils to finish.

So we ran back to Maraudon and started killing the appropriate mobs in and around the purple side of the instance. We actually worked our way in far enough that we decided to take out Lord Vyletongue, who was nice enough to hand over the Satyr’s Lash for our troubles. Too bad nobody really needed a nice dagger.

And by that point we were all ready to call it a night. We rolled back out, turned in one quest, then used our hearth stones to head for home.

Everybody ended up getting a level over the course of the night, so we are getting ourselves ready for the Sunken Temple next.

Maraudon Light

you-have-died.pngLight as in, “we came up light in numbers.”

It was Saturday night and there were only four of us available. We decided to give the main section of Maraudon a try anyway. We had all passed to level 50 and gotten upgrades to our major spells and skills. Plus a lot of what we had run into Maraudon up to this point was levels below us. So in the four of us went.

50 Warrior – Earlthecat
50 Priest – Skronk
51 Mage – Ula
51 Paladin – Vikund

The first thing we had to do was figure out where to use The Scepter of Celebras we each got on the last run. We thought that we could zip into the middle of Maraudon and then roll back to some of the bosses we had already done as a bit of a farming exercise.

After some running around in the foyer of Maraudon, we found the altar when the scepter is used. We opened up a portal with the secpter and stepped into the instance.

And we were ankle deep in water. The portal drops you in a pool in the middle of the instance.

Well, pool might be the wrong word. The shallow end of a small lake might perhaps be more accurate. You can look up and see the open sky from where you come in. It made me wonder if there was a place in the outside world where you could look down into the lake.

We looked around and tried to head back into the earlier parts of the instance, but we were at the bottom of a set of waterfalls and where we wanted to go was at the top. No route up was obvious, so we decided to head further in.

The first mobs were some three-headed hydras that wander around the southern end of the lake. I was disappointed to see them as they look just like Gahz’rilla, though somewhat smaller. I like a boss mob to be somewhat unique, so seeing little clones of Gahz running around was a minor let down.

We killed a couple of the hydras and bypassed the rest as we made our way to a cave opening. Inside was a group of three Diemetradons, a common resident of the caves. We pulled the three of them to the entrance of the cave, but as we fought, one of the hydras walked up behind us.

So suddenly we had four mobs.

And then the hydra knock-back hit Vikund and threw him into the cave just as a wandering rock elemental patrol arrived, aggroing yet another elite mob with several minions along for the ride.

Less than ten minutes into the zone, within sight of our entry point into the instance, we wiped.

you-have-died.png

Not a good start to the evening.

Then we had to figure out how to get our corpses back.

You cannot go back to the altar to get into the instance and collect your corpses. You have to go to one of the other entrances. So we ran up to the purple entrance (though everything is greyscale when you are a ghost, so it was a bit hard to tell what color is what) and jumped into the instance there. We collected our corpses that way, then exited, ran back to the altar (with only a fight or three along the way), opened up a portal, and stepped back to where we started, in the water.

This time around we were more careful. We killed all the hydras. We pulled the Diemetradons well out into the water. We slew the patrol by itself. We began to advance into the instance.

We did not know how far we would get, but we shot for the first boss on the map, which was Landslide. To reach him we had to fight through a series of mobs, including our favorite, the Primordial Behemoths. Those were our favorite because they are huge and when you slay them, their death animation has them fall forward, apparently squashing your tank. Everybody loves that… except the tank. See this picture for a size comparison:

primebehe.png

We made it to Landslide and took him down without much fuss. He was nice enough to drop the Fist of Stone, a good paladin mace, which Vikund got to claim.

This mace probably caused a death or two. Vikund immediately wielded the mace. While he had improved his 1h mace skill some in the past, it was not exactly up to the level of his 1h sword skill. In fact, his 1h mace skill was only about 140, so for the next dozen fights or so, his DPS took a huge hit while he skilled up.

But in an undersized group, a DPS hit like that is pretty severe. So in the next series of fights Vikund died once, Ula died twice, and Skronk fell once. The groups of four Diemetradons seemed to be our worst threat.

Part of it may have also been the fact that Ula was very sleepy. After a couple more fights, she decided to call it a night, which left just Earl, Skronk, and Vikund.

We were within sight of the main boss, Princess Theradras, but decided instead to go looking for Tinkerer Gizlock to see if we could separate him from his Hypertech buckler.

This involved a bit of back tracking to find our way to him.

We eventually found the path, but came up against more groups of four Diemetradons on a series of ramps down to Gizlock. Fortunately, they seemed to be regularly clumped at one side of the ramps, so we were able to jump off the other ends, fight some much smaller mobs, and end up right above the cave with Gizlock.

We dropped down between Gizlock and a group of four Diemetradons and got ready to fight. I took a step forward, to put a little more room between me and the Diemetradons and managed to get right inside Gizlock’s aggro radius. The fight was on, but it went fairly smoothly.

Without a lot of DPS on hand, I was using seal of light and judgement of light to help heal as well as backing up Skronk’s healing while dropping a consecrate now and again to get in some additional damage. The new hammer and its random mana regen helped out a lot there.

So Gizlock went down, but he did not drop his shield. Another mana regeneration item, I would really like to get that… though the stats on it are good enough for Earl to want it as well. Instead we got Megashot Rifle as a drop instead, and Earl took that by default, being the only one in our group who can handle a gun.

After Gizlock, we followed his tunnel back through to another path that looped around and came down to the edge of another lake. We thought this might lead back to Princess Theradras, and we were feeling pretty good about ourselves at this point, so we were game to give her a try.

We were clearing some hydras out of the water when Rotgrip, a giant crocodile, showed up. Being mid-battle with a hydra already, this was something of a stretch for the three of us. We came close. After Earl and I were dead, there was just a sliver of health left on Rotgrip, but he chewed up Skronk too quickly and we all ended up back at the graveyard.

We were so close though, that we had to run back for another try. We skirted the couple of hydras at the entry point, ran through the still empty areas we had cleared, only being stopped by a quick-respawning patrol now and again. We did our trick of jumping off the ramps to get past the big groups of mobs and finally made our way back to Rotgrip, who went down pretty quickly this time around.

All he had for us was the Albino Crocscale Boots, a leather item that nobody could use. Vikund got it on the roll.

The we decided to head over to see if we would take one last shot and hit Princess Theradras. However, we figured out that the water we were in would not lead us back up to the princess. We had to track back again.

This lead to a problem. It was easy to jump down past the groups of four Diemetradons. Getting past them on the upward trip was another story.

We managed to sneak by the first group. But at the second group we aggrod them as we ran past and managed to get a third group involved as well.

So we all went back to the graveyard.

Still, keen for one last shot, we got back to the instance only to find that by then everything in the beginning area had respawned. It was late enough that a fight all the way through again was not an option, so we tried to sneak again. Again, we got past the first group in the cave, but Earl tripped on the second group, then ran on and told us to use our hearthstones to head home.

Not being in the mood for another death, I hit mine immediately. Skronk was a little slow though, and had not quite finished when the Diemetradons were back for him and he died again.

So we picked up some loot and had a good time. It was a bit tense with just three of us at the end, but we did pretty well considering.

We still have a date with Princess Theradras though, and I wouldn’t mind another shot or two at Gizlock’s buckler.

Maraudon Orange

Maraudon, like Gaul, is divided into three parts, and we did about one and a half of those parts on Saturday night.

Maraudon was new territory for us. Being content added after the release of World of Warcraft, most of the group was already past the levels for it when it was added in. Only I, the guy who is seeing most of this instance content for the first time, had been in Maraudon before.

Back in June or July of 2006, Gaff and a couple of other guild mates dragged along Nomu, my level 38 priest at the time, for a run through the Princess section of Maraudon. But for that trip, the group already had the Scepter of Celebras, so we skipped all of the lead in part, the purple and orange sections of the instance.

So we were ready for something new with our line up for the night:

49 Mage – Ula
49 Warrior – Earlthecat
49 Warlock – Bungholio
50 Priest – Skronk
50 Paladin – Vikund

Maraudon is located off at the western edge of Desolace, just north of the Horde outpost of Shadowprey Village. Skronk and I pre-positioned ourselves on Friday night at Nijel’s Point in Desolace, so we would be in place to run over and use the Maraudon summoning stone on Saturday. Desolace is a long trip to reach when you do have the flight point (I recall it taking nearly an hour to reach the first time when I had to go on foot) so we thought we would speed things up a bit by being ready in advance.

Maraudon is similar to instances like the Deadmines and Wailing Caverns because there is something of a dungeon crawl just to get to the instance itself. The instance itself is rated for levels 46 to 55, but the entrance area is somewhat lower, with the mobs in the 39-42 range. This made most of them grey to us, so we had to plow through a lot of yard trash (tunnel trash?) before we got to the instance.

There are two paths into the instance, marked with purple or orange crystals. We chose the orange path because it seemed to be closer to where we were when we had gone a ways into the outer area. Then we took a wrong turn and looped around the wrong way, but the delay was short, the mobs were easy enough, and we ended up at the orange entrance.

We had some confusion with the maps available of Maraudon. I was using AlphaMap, part of the Cosmos package, which is very nice, but the map is projects on screen is small and I had trouble picking out where we were because somehow the feature that spins the minimap as you turn was on (I later found the check box and turned this off) so my minimap geography rarely matched the map.

Still, like most instances, there are only so many ways you can go, so we pressed on and ended up at the orange entrance.

We scored early on when a Barbed Lasher was nice enough to drop the Robes of Insight, which Skronk won in a caster roll-off.

robesofinsight.jpg

That might be the only purple drop we have seen thus far in our instance adventure. I happened to have Auctioneer up, so you can see what the market price for the robes are.

The main problems we had in the instance were pretty ooze related.

The first ooze we ran into were creeping sludge.

We had an issue early on with these guys because every time you hit them, they let out an AOE attack for 200 or so points. That was pretty rough on the melee members of our party. Fighting the first pair of them, we almost lost Earl and Vik and we did lose Bung’s pet, Mezzmon.

This called for a change of tactics.

The one things that the creeping sludges did not do was move fast. They are aptly names, as they come at you at a snail’s pace. So we switch from frontal assault to kiting. DOTs, AOEs, and ranged attacks took them out fairly quickly, and without loss, once we had the tempo down. Vik’s consecrate AOE did quite a number on them.

Getting past them let us work our way around to Razorlash, the first of the named mobs of the night. We had him down pretty quickly. He dropped Phytoskin Spaulders, leather shoulders that did no good in a group of 2 plate and 3 cloth wearers.

The we tackled our next troublesome scenario. Between Razorlash and the next named there is an area with a large number of non-elite larvae and some small groups of elites. But there is also a tube that disgorges an elite larvae every minute or so.

The freshly disgorged larve does a circle around the open area where the larvae start and then moves along, rapidly, to the area of the next named mob, Noxxium. This meant that there was no safe rest between fights as we moved along to Noxxium because every minute or so an elite larvae would come chugging up from behind us and attack.

Fortunately, once you get close to Noxxium, you can find a safe spot out of the way of the larvae express.

Which lead us to the fight with Noxxium, which was a little different. A several points during the battle, Noxxium disappears and some minions of his take over the fight. We were not ready for this, so it came as a surprise, but we powered through it okay.

Noxxium dropped the Heart of Noxxium, which was dismissed by some of our group as a meager drop. However, I think we all had empty trinket slots, and the resist bonuses on it versus nature comes in handy in Maraudon, where just about everything is a nature based attack.

Noxxium also gave us the Celebrian Rod, an item we would need for a quest.

After that we faced some more straight up fights with lashers as we headed around for our next boss encounter. Along the way we got to see some beautiful… green… waterfalls.

No place for a honeymoon

We had our second problem is ooze along the way. There are some groups of Noxiums Slime which have their own surprise. When you take on a group of them, as they die they let loose a toxic cloud which, if you hang around, hits you as a DOT. Our only two deaths during this run, Vikund and Ula, both died to these toxic clouds at the end of fights.

We headed around for Celebras the Cursed. Another stand-up fight. He has a few non-elite minions around him, but AOEs (consecrate again for Vik) kept them busy and helped finish them off.

Keeping with the leather theme, Celebras dropped the Soothsayer’s Headdress, a leather head item which none of us wanted. If we had a druid in the party, I suppose he would have been happy, but not us.

Once slain, a ghostly Celebras came back to tell us about the Scepter of Celebras. We had the first part already, the Celebrian Rod from Noxxium. now we just needed the Celebrin Diamond, which comes from Lord Vyletongue, who is over on the purple side of Maraudon.

Fortunately, by the time you get to Celebras, you are pretty close to Vyletongue, so we pressed on to him.

He sits at the end of the purple side of Maraudon, the only boss on that side, and has four stealthed elite minions around him, so he can be something of a chore to take on if your group is at the lower end of the level range. By this point in the night, everybody but Earl was level 50, so it was a fight, but we won.

Vyletongue dropped the Celebrin Diamond and the Saytermane sash, a nice cloth waist item that Bung ended up getting.

We took the diamond and the rod back to Celebras, went through a bit of story telling and leading about with him, until we finally completed the his quest and received the Scepter of Cerebras. The scepter lets us skip past the orange and purple sections and start in the third part of the instance.

By that time it was a little past midnight and we were tired out and ready to call it a night.

We said farewell to Celebras, and hit the hearthstones for home. Here we are, a group picture of us teleporting away from Celebras.

Scepter kthxbai

Four bosses down in Maraudon, four to go. The next time around we have a date with a princess.