Tag Archives: Opening the Dark Portal

Opening a Portal and Facing Locked Doors

The instance group was short a gnome on Saturday night, so while we were all sitting outside the Halls of Stone, that was obviously not going to be our destination as a four person group.

Original Target - Halls or Stone

Original Target - Halls of Stone

The four of us were:

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

And we needed something to do.

For a short term solution we decided to head back to the Caverns of Time and hit the heroic version of opening of the Dark Portal.  We did the regular version a few weeks back and figured we could handle the heroic version with this group.

Fortunately there is a portal from Dalaran to the Caverns of Time, so we were able to get from Ulduar to the instance pretty quickly.

Earl picked up the quests and away we went.  Again, another week without a delay getting an instance.  Very nice.

The routine was the same as before, and since Earl had done Violet Hold with us it was easy to explain what was going to happen.

Zip, bang, an 18 portal round and we had the achievement, Earl getting a double, both the regular and the heroic.

OnDarkPortAchi

This time we were ready for the orcs to stream through the portal.  Last time we were ready to light them up.  This time we just waved.

Orcs through the portal

Orcs through the portal

I then demonstrated to Earl that there wasn’t any going through the portal for us.  If you try to follow the orcs back through the portal, you just end up on the ground on the other side.

Nothing around back for us

Nothing around back for us

And that wrapped up that for us, leaving ample time for other adventures.

So we thought about what we ought to try next.

We had talked about Zul’Aman previously, there being a quest as part of it that yields a 20 slot bag.  We could all go for that.  So Ula opened a portal to Ironforge for the four of us, then we flew off to the Ghostlands to hit Zul’Aman.

Once there we picked up the quest for the bag and headed in.

There we found an NPC named Harrison Jones.  I had just run into him in Grizzly Hills with my hunter the other day so was a bit surprised to see him.  WoW does have its share of recurring characters.

We spoke to Harrison and he lead us over to a gong that he explained would open the inner doors to the instance if only he could get at least five people to help him sound it.

Five people.  If only.

Harrison Jones needs help banging the gong

Harrison Jones needs help banging the gong

Well, we tried banging the gong with just the four of us in case they changed that rule, but nothing appeared to happen.  Our attempt at Zul’Aman was thwarted.

So suggestions were called for once again.  This time Karazhan came up.

A mage portal to Stormwind, a flight to Darkshire, and then a ride through Deadwind Pass got us to the gates of Karazhan.

Which were locked.

Locked!

Locked!

Well, a quick look through WoW Wiki indicated that getting the key to the place was a little more involved than we were expecting.

That wasn’t going to fly.

Again we began discussing options.  What could we do that was fun, interesting, new (for us, at least), and would possibly grant an achievement?

The perfect idea came up.  A plan was hatched.  Another mage portal was opened.  We were heading off for something different.

But I’ve got nothing else on tap for this week, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what it is.

Caverns of Time and the Botanica

Another foursie group on Saturday night sent us back to the Outlands for a bit more instance backfilling while Earl got some rest.  It is tough to blame him for missing once in a while since we start playing at midnight his time every Saturday.  He’s the young guy in the group, but nobody stays young forever.

So that left the Left Coast Quartet to carry on:

76 Priest – Skronk
76 Warlock – Bungholio
77 Mage – Ula
77 Paladin – Vikund

A check of the Instances by Level list showed that Shattered Halls was the next instance in our queue.  But it also requires a key which has a quest chain behind it which we have not yet run down.  Wanting to get straight to the action, we moved on to the next instance, The Caverns of Time: Opening the Dark Portal, also know by its location, the Black Morass.

I suppose this wasn’t exactly going back to the Outlands since the Caverns of Time are in Tanaris.  But it is Burning Crusade content.

We had been to the Caverns of Time on more than a couple of occasions, so we knew how to get there.  We did not, however, do any reading up front so were not sure how things were going to play out.

We grabbed a quest for the instance on the way in, found the right instance swirl, and then spent 10 minutes trying to get in.  We were back to the old “Additional instances cannot be launched, please try again later” routine, only it seemed to be worse than usual.  A busy night for instances I guess. Eventually though Blizzard relented and let us in.

Once in, we spoke to the quest mob at the door… he must have been the butler… and then headed towards a likely looking portal thing we could see in the middle distance.

There we spoke to a guy named Medivh who said something that essentially seemed to mean, “Cover me!”  We stood around for a minute or so, waiting for something to happen. Then some dragonkin began wandering in from one of the flanks.  We killed them while looking for the source.  There was a swirl in the air and a mob called a “Rift Keeper” standing next to it, so we figured that must be the target.

Upon killing him, a counter at the top of our screens incremented.  It seemed that we would be doing this at least 17 more times since we had just advanced to 2 of 18.

It turned out that at every sixth rift came with a boss.  We did well enough against the first one but had a rough go with the second, with Bung and Vikund getting killed.  Fortunately there is a fairly long delay after each of the bosses, so Skronk was able to bring us back before the next rift came along.

Rift Count and Shield Status

Rift Count and Shield Status

Back up we got through the next six battles including the last boss and… well… we were done.  Achievement.

CBODPachi

There we were, standing before the portal.  A host of orcs came wandering through, but they turned around and left.  I would have too, the place was a dump.  But when we tried to follow them, we just ended up at the backside of the portal.

Defective Portal

Defective Portal

Out of that the only look worth mentioning is the Mask of Inner Fire, which dropped off of the first boss.  And the only reason it is worth a mention is because it just looks cool.  Vikund won the roll for it and I am keeping it as part of his ever growing hat collection.

The Mask of Inner Fire!

The Mask of Inner Fire!

That done, it was still early for us, so we decided to go for two.  Ula opened a portal to Shattrath for us, and while we were there, it was decided that those who did not have the Going Down? achievement should pick it up.

I showed everybody where I had done it, jumping of the Scryers area and landing on an awning below.  It turned out though that only Ula was missing that achievement, so it was gnome free fall time.  Unfortunately she missed the awning.  Twice.

Ballistic Gnome

Ballistic Gnome

And then when she did hit the awning, she didn’t get the achievement.  So, once we stopped laughing (you should have seen her bounce off of that structure in the picture above) we decided to shelve that achievement for the time being and move on to the Botanica wing of Tempest Keep.

The Botanica did not turn out to be that hard for our group of four.  We hand’t picked up any of the quests for the instance, so we just burned our way through to Warp Splinter, the final boss, without slowing down.  There were four bosses in before him, but none were that tough.  We’ll have to go back and do this one in Heroic mode at some point.

Warp Splint and his minions in the last fight faded before our damage and soon another achievement was ours.

CBBotAchi
The loot, just for Coppertopper, was:

CBBotLoot

And that brought us to the end of the evening.  We just had to take our traditional victory shot.

Warp Splinter Down

Warp Splinter Down

This coming weekend, if we’re all available, it will be time for Violet Hold.