Tag Archives: Onyxia

Dragon Tom Foolery

After out encounter with King Ymiron in Utgarde Pinnacle, Ula opened a portal to Theramore which, among other things, is the center of nostalgia in Azeroth.

He’s talking about vanilla WoW

Why Theramore, aside from the ability to make the joke above? Well, Theramore is a town on the edge of the Dustwallow Marsh, the location of one of my “things to do” items for Wrath Classic.

I am talking about Onyxia.

Onyxia slumbers

As our group lands at level 80, we’re in the zone to go poke at some of the raids back in vanilla WoW.  Onyxia tops the list because at some point her raid gets upgraded to level 80.  I have heard rumor that will occur when phase 3 of Wrath Classic kicks in.

So I had put the idea in the minds of the group and when we had some time left after Utgarde Pinnacle, Ula was able to get us into Theramore straight away.

There was still a ride across the swamp to deal with, and remembering that we had to convert our group to a raid in order to enter Onyxia’s lair, but otherwise we were able to stumble into he domain… which is honestly, pretty small.

Fergorin remarked that there really wasn’t much too it.  A passageway leads from the entrance down and around to her big open room, large enough to accommodate 40 friends looking to party, with only a couple of perfunctory trash mobs on the way in.

So there wasn’t much to do in preparation.  We made sure we had buffs up and went in and got her.

Playing with Onyxia

While her level shows up as “skull” even for us at level 80, he ability to damage us was pretty low.  Two expansions of DPS and armor upgrades, spells and buffs, and whatever else, meant that our group of five was more than up to the match and was never really in much danger.

I think we literally ran into and aggro’d ALL the whelps, but the repercussions were minimal as we AOE’d them down.

The middle phase of the fight, where Onyxia rises up and flies around her chamber was a bit annoying for me, the paladin tank, as my ranged attacks are pretty limited.  I was able to deploy the engineering rocket launcher on my gloves and the Gnomish lightning generator trinket I wear.  During that time Onyxia seemed to focus on Bjorid, our hunter, so between whelps I kept having to go taunt her off of him… not that he was in any immediate danger, but that is my job.

There was also her breath weapon being deployed during that part of the fight, which we tried to avoid.  But we had fire protection aura up to help mitigate that.

Then she came back down to the ground and I was able to get in there and do my melee tank thing and she was soon down.

Achievement cheesed

I find it interesting that they already have the “Level 60” notation in the title.  When we did this very same thing back in 2009, that wasn’t there yet.

And, of course, there is the loot.  Lots of stuff drops off of raid bosses.

The first items on the list

The gear is, of course, a couple of expansions behind the times.  I rolled greed on Doombringer, thinking it had a cool model, but it wasn’t all that special.

A lot of stuff went to Ula to disenchant.  The items in contention were Onyxia’s head, which starts a quest, and the Onyxia Hide Backpack. (We did not get the Onyxia whelp pet as a drop.)

Bjorid got the head, and I ended up with the backpack.

18 slots

A backpack that size would have seemed like luxury back in vanilla.  It is still the biggest bag I have currently, but I was at least able to shift bags around and take a 12 slot bag out of my bank storage and put a 16 slot in there in its place.

Then it was time for a picture.

Posing with Onyxia

Bjorid then skinned her and that was that.  But we still had things to do.

Ula got us another portal, this time to Stormwind, in order to run down the quest related to Onyxia’s head.  We had to go see the king.

Hey, remember us? We exposed Katrana Prestor in this room a couple years back?  Well, we have her head now.

The king sent us to the front of Stormwind to speak with Major Mattingly, who yelled out to the whole town about out victory.

Major Mattingly shouts

He goes on a bit and the head gets hung up in the arch.

There she is… not sure where Bjorid was hiding that head

The adulation of Stormwind was a bit underwhelming.

There was much rejoicing

We did not, however, get the Rallying Cry of the Dragon Slayer buff on us, despite Major Mattingly’s words.  I seem to recall them making some change to that buff back in WoW Classic, and I suspect that there might be a level restriction on it.

But the whole thing didn’t take that long.  We could go back and farm an 18 slot bag for everybody before phase 3 lands and she becomes a level 80 raid.  But that is another item off the nostalgia tour list.  Now to get the Leeroy Jenkins achievement.

Touring with Marshal Windsor

Last time in Blackrock Depths we made our way to Marshal Windsor, having gone in to retrieve the items he was searching for.  However, our attempt to escort him out of the instance failed at the storeroom where four elites were waiting in addition to another group that spawns outside as soon as he goes through the door.  It ended with a wipe, including Marshal Windsor.

Dead in the storeroom as Windsor dukes it out in the hall

We were headed back to in to finish the escort part of the quest and wrap up the Marshal Windsor story.  Our group for the event was:

  • Viniki – level 56 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 55 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 55 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 55 gnome mage

After the previous week I had gone to the auction house to look for some upgrades.  I found two items from the warrior Valor set, the belt and the gauntlets, for cheap.  They were upgrades over my current gear and boosted by armor by 200 with both on as a set bonus.  I also found a 1h axe called Serathil for 20g, which was half my savings, but it boasted 40 dps and 100 armor when equipped.  My axe skills were low, 150 out of 280 for my current level, but I got out in Searing Gorge ahead of the group and killed lava spiders until everybody got out there, which got my skill up to 250.  Good enough to carry on.

So we met up out past Thorium Point and ran over to the instance, once more heading down the mighty chains.

That view never gets old

There we decided to clear a path in advance of talking to Marshal Windsor.  We knew he was going to the storeroom and then over to the Ring of Law before he would head for the exit.  With that in mind we cleared a path for him that looked like this.

The path we cleared

We cleared the detention block, including opening up the storeroom and killing the group in there.  Then we fixated on the Ring of Law and where you go in to meet the challenge, which has a number of cells close by.  We cleared up to past the last cell on that side, taking down Lord Roccor while we were there.

Then we went back to Marshal Windsor.  We had everybody check and delete the failed version of the quest from last time before Skronk unlocked the door.  We got in and spoke to him, starting him on his way.

Things went much more smoothly.  We stopped at Dughal Stormwing, which spawns a group that attacks, which we managed fairly well.  Then it was off to the storeroom.

Headed to the storeroom

There another group spawns when Windsor opens the door.  Again, we managed that.  Windsor then went in and rummaged through the boxes for his gear.  When he finds it and puts it on, he is ready to go again.

Rock? What is this rock?

The power he seems to be referring to is the buff he gives off when he is geared up, which is a fairly substantial boost.  And it is a good thing too, because we needed it.

His AOE buff

He then headed towards the Ring of Law… sort of.  As we walked with him through the big open area he was clearly not headed towards the stuff we cleared out.  He was aimed at the other side of the ring which, it turns out, goes all the way around to where we were.  I thought the “ring” was the bit on the inside, but I guess it is the path around the outside as well.  This is where he goes.

Where Marshal Windsor walks

And Windsor gets stuck right in.  He is no Sara Oakheart when it comes to pace, he moves quickly and doesn’t pause between fights.  We kept up, clearing groups and then helping him settle scores with some of the mobs in cells.

Windsor holds a grudge

We managed to make it though the half of the ring that we had not cleared, Windsor punching sheep mercilessly all the way, after which things got considerably easier.  Windsor was still in a hurry to get the last cell opened though.

I’m pretty sure we killed them all, but sure

The last guy we freed had what I can only describe as the correct attitude about the whole experience.

He wants out

He runs off and disappears in a way I wish more escort targets would.  No hanging about to find his missing gear or to settle and scores.

At that point Windsor finally headed towards the exit.  We followed him and he announced where we should head next.

Group shot with Windsor while he speaks

We didn’t follow immediately.  We had a bit of time so we went back to the Ring of Law, went inside, and rand the event.  We got the Eviscerator again, who dropped a nice belt for Moronae.  After that Ula opened a portal to Stormwind for us and we went to the flight point there and flew out to Morgan’s Vigil to talk to Marshal Maxwell.  He sent us on to Stormwind where we were supposed to speak to Squire Rowe out at the front gate of the city.  He would summon Windsor for us.

Howdy squire!

However, he had to tell us that Windsor was otherwise indisposed.

Leave a message at the beep

Squire Rowe kicks off an event in the city and only one group at a time can run it.  We saw the guards all kneeling as we ran to the front gate, so we were going to have to wait until that was done.  Eventually Rowe was ready and ran out the gate and set off a firework to summon Marshal Windsor.  He rides up, dismounts, shoos his horse… I think he punched it too… and had us follow him into the city.  There is a brief confrontation with the guards, but they defer to Windsor and in we marched.

Follow me!

He walks through town and, being on an RP server, we set ourselves to walk along with him.  The guards are all in awe as you pass by.

Windsor is their hero

Some of the guards are a bit too obsequious.

Grow a spine man!

And off you go into the presence of the young King Anduin, Bolvar Fordragon, and Lady Katrana Prestor.  Then the confrontation takes place as Windsor calls her out.

A dragon in human form!

Then she reveals her true form while Windsor expresses the greatest moment of optimism in his life.

Guards grab her indeed!

Of course the guards are dragon kin in human form, so Onyxia flies off and there is the big fight with half a dozen level 60 elites.  Back in the day I was worried that Bolvar Fordragon might not be up to the task.  But we sat back and watched the fight as he took on the whole group.

Letting Bolvar do the heavy lifting

Ula tried to help early on and got killed for her troubles, our only death during the whole run. Moronae hit her with the combat ress and we carried on as spectators.

Bolvar wins, Windsor dies, the quest updates, and the throne room resets to normal with Bolvar, Anduin, and Prestor back where they started.  Such is life in an MMORPG.

And then Moronae realized he hadn’t gotten the quest update back during the Squire Rowe segment, which meant he had to go back and do it again.  He went off to do that while the rest of us called it for dinner.

This finished up one of our tasks for Blackrock Depths as well as opening the way to Onyxia.  You might think that the raid would be too much for us, but after reading about groups of three defeating Onyxia, it ought to be easy for the four of us, right?

Maybe we’ll get to level 60 before we start down that path.  We still have work left in Blackrock Depths after all.

Date With a Lady

We last left our four adventurers looking for… well… adventure.  The cast for the evening was:

76 Warrior – Earlthecat
78 Priest – Skronk
78 Mage – Ula
78 Paladin – Vikund

And while we had managed to knock off the heroic version of Opening the Dark Portal, that really wasn’t enough adventure for the evening.  We were looking for some place new to visit.

A plan was hatched.

A mage portal was opened to Theramore… did you know that mages can open portals to Theramore?  It was a surprise to me, as the place seemed something of a backwater location… all the more so since it is located on the edge of a swamp.

It seemed akin, to me, to a major airline advertising that they offer direct, daily flights to Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Emporia, Kansas.

Of course, if Emporia had a large dragon living on the outskirts of town, that might explain things.

Yes, we were headed to Theramore en route to Onyxia’s lair, the one-time 40 person raid instance that we were going to try to do as a short-handed instance group.  We had, after all, met Onyxia before.

And yes, I know that leet dudes solo Onyxia for kicks these days, but we felt that by going in there as a group of four we could help do our part to trivialize other people’s fond memories.

We had done a quick check to make sure we could get in to see Onyxia, especially after we were just thwarted at Zul’Aman and Karazhan.  It looked like we were clear to go.

So we rode across the Dustwallow Marsh to see the lady.

Getting in was a snap, and the four guards on the way to her lair were easily dispatched.

One of Onyxia's Guardians

One of Onyxia's Guardians

Those out of the way, we turned the corner and beheld the dragon in her lair.

Onyxia Revealed!

Onyxia Revealed!

We had not read anything about the fight itself, so at least we can say we were going in blind, if over-powered.

Well, we thought we were over-powered.  A look at her hit points made us think twice… that and the fact that her level does not show.  Seeing her level displayed as “??” gave us pause.

Hrmm… big dragon indeed.

Still, there we were.  We fell back on Plan A; there she is, get her!

So in we rushed.

Dragon fights are special, yet they do have their similarities all the way back to Tiamat in AD&D.  You have breath, you have claws, you have a honking big tail that will sweep you off your feet.  All that was in play as the fight started.

Onyxia breath weapon engaged!

Onyxia breath weapon activated!

The first part of the fight went well enough.  We kept to our allotted positions for a dragon fight, we did a lot of damage, Earl kept her focus, and healing was never an issue.

Then we hit a point in the battle where Onyxia flew up and a host of her whelps began to attack us from either side of the room.  We took that in stride, killing the whelps, then waiting, then killing some more, then waiting.

We seemed to be at an impasse.  We expected that, once we had killed enough whelps, Onyxia would come down and play some more, but she seemed to feel that we were beneath he dignity, both literally and figuratively, so she flew around and we killed whelps.

After a while of this, we started taking potshots at her with whatever we had to hand; spells, guns, wands, anything with some range.  She started spitting fire now and again as she meandered aloft in her lair.  Chipping away, we made some progress in bringing her down.

Onyxia half way done, but still flying

Onyxia half way done, but still flying

As we did that, we noticed that when we got close enough to her, out melee skills would work despite the fact that she was flying around some meters over our heads.  Any port in a storm.  We took to chasing her around and beating on her.

It was a good thing too, as the casters were doing the brunt of the damage so were starting to attract a respectable amount of attention from Onyxia.

Eventually she settled down to our level and added some stomping and bellowing to her repertoire, cute tricks that sent us off into the whelps again for more fun.

Onyxia back on the ground with us

Onyxia back on the ground with us

Still, with her on the ground we were all over her.  Her time was at hand, though it had taken quite a while to get there.  We started the fight at about 5 minutes after the hour and she wasn’t dead until half past.  A 25 minute long fight is a rare thing for us.  There were a lot of abilities we can generally use once per battle that got repeated use this time around.

Once on the ground, the fight reached its per-ordained conclusion.

Onyxia was laid low and we stood in triumph.

This would have been really impressive a few years back!

This would have been really impressive a few years back!

Then came the loot.

And boy was there a lot of loot.  I realized, intellectually, that for a 40-person raid there had to be more goodies to hand out at the end than you would get in a five person instance.  Never having actually been on a raid in WoW however, I was surprised and awed at the pile of stuff Onyxia dropped.

Probably the most useful items were the 18-slot Onyxia Hide Backpacks.  There were two of those in the haul.  Other things were interesting, even good looking, but nothing worth using.  Except, of course, Onyxia’s head.

We had to get back to Stormwind to turn that in.  Skronk won the roll for the head, so he got to present it.

Sire, we have this head you see...

Sire, we have this head you see...

The king has better things to deal with, so he sent us off to Major Don Mattingly who serves as the dragon head repository in Stormwind.  It is king of like being a casino greeter, one of those things you can get after a successful career in professional sports.

Waiting for Major Mattingly

Waiting for Major Mattingly

Major Mattingly has his role.  With the head handed over and he shouted out to all of Stormwind,

Citizens and allies of Stormwind, on this day, history has been made.  Skronk has laid waste to that which had attempted to usurp the rule of the kingdom.  Gather round and join me in honoring our heroes.

Behold the might of the Alliance!  The dread lady, Onyxia, hangs from the arches!  Let the rallying cry of the dragon slayer lift your spirits!

At which point everybody in Stormwind got that buff.  See, we were doing a public service in slaying Onyxia!

We got the souvenir photo with the head of course.  Everybody does.

How to get a head!

How to get a head!

After which, we called it a night.

Now, about Molten Core

Marshal Windsor and Lady Prestor

With the holidays and the accompanying travel, the instance group was not up for much in the way of big operations last week.

We did find some time to get together and move the Marshal Windsor quest from Blackrock Depths along another step. We did the procession from the gates, through the city, to Stormwind Keep.

Actually, we had to do it twice, as somebody was quick on the trigger accepting the quest and only two out of the five of us got it the first time around.

If you have been in Stormwind very much, you have certainly heard this quest segment, the Great Masquerade being played out, as it involves a bunch of NPC shouting… er, yelling.

Essentially, you follow Marshal Windsor through town to a confrontation with Lady Katrana Prestor who, it turns out, is the human form of Onyxia the dragon.

So we got a glimpse of Onyxia:

Onyxia Appears

Onyxia Appears

Then she disappeared while a set of elite minions (which you can see in the picture) started to hammer Marshal Windsor and Highlord Bolvar Fordragon. The script demands that Windsor die, but if Fordragon dies as well, you have do the procession over again.

Of course, there are usually a bunch of people standing around in the Keep, so once the fight begins, people tend to jump right in, so Fordragon is as safe as can be. On the second trip we actually took down a couple of these level 60 elite mobs ourselves.

And thus it played out, twice, and we are all now a step closer to access to Onyxia’s Lair, which we are unlikely to ever do, at least not as a five some. The quest experience was huge, and when we were done, everybody in the group was at least level 58.