Which, frankly, isn’t all that many instances when it comes down to it. Heck, I did three instances in about 90 minutes one afternoon.
But those were lower level dungeon finder runs. Here we had the regular Saturday night group together for a planned production.
And the tasks at hand required us to get out the old crew. A reminder for those not keeping score:
80 Priest – Skronk
80 Mage – Ula
80 Warlock – Bungholio
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund
We had to get out and figure out how to play our old classes. For me that wasn’t such a big deal; going from healer to DPS made things easier for me, plus I still actively play Vikund regularly, pursuing those achievements and what not. But others were a bit rusty. And even I had forgotten some of the dynamics of having a warrior tank and a warlock DPS in the group.
You can see in that picture that Earl still has a pumpkin head, though I think we were throwing those around at Winter Veil, so it might not actually be from October. Then again, it might.
The first instance on the agenda was Utgarde Keep, the scene of our inglorious start on Northrend instances that forced us to actually spec and equip for our roles in the group rather than just throw talent points around at random.
We needed to go kill Prince Keleseth so Vikund could get the Love is in the Air drop from him for the achievement. Fortunately, killing Keleseth is a popular activity, since according to my stats at least, no other boss has killed me as many times as he has.
As a level 70 dungeon, that was a good warm up for us. The risk was low and we got to use our skills without worrying about a wipe if we made a mistake. Plus it still showed up on dungeon finder for us, so we could warp right in and start.
We rolled in and took care of Keleseth, getting me the drop and securing me the holiday meta achievement, as I previously mentioned.
After that, it was time for the second instance, Shadowfang Keep. There is both an achievement and a daily quest to be taken care of in SFK, which involves knocking off some level 80 bosses in line with the Headless Horseman at Hallow’s End. I wanted the achievement, even though it is not required for the meta achievement, and the group was keen for a chance at some of the drops from the encounter, which looked pretty nice.
We had to travel overland this time around, since the dungeon finder does not let you into instances that are below your level. A couple of us made it to the meeting stone and reeled in the remainders, thanks to the fact that the meeting stones no longer have level restrictions.
Inside, we met up with the trio that are the focus of the daily quest.
Like most of these holiday encounters, it is an event that has some interesting parameters. Baxter is wearing cologne and Hummel is wearing perfume, each of which causes some significant AOE damage. (Not unlike that woman in accounting.) You are given two bottles of antidote that will protect you from the AOE effects, but they are mutually exclusive. You can only wear one at a time.
The suggested method we saw was to put the main tank on Hummel, have an off-tank pull Baxter away (each wearing the appropriate antidote), and then burn down Hummel, then Baxter, then Frye.
Frye is the wild card, as he runs all over the place and hurls bottles of perfume and cologne, land and leave pools of the stuff which have the same effects as the perfume and cologne that Baxter and Hummel wear. If you have the right antidote, you’re safe, if you don’t and you’re standing in the pool, you’re going to be toast pretty soon unless you move.
We gave it a try and seemed to be doing okay. The battle went on for a while until Frye started hitting us with annoying accuracy with the items we were not protected against. Earl went down and the wheels came off and it was a wipe.
We had forgotten to even make a soul stone.
That went badly enough that we decided to try the other strategy we saw, which has everybody focus on Hummel to take him down fast, then swap antidote and kill Baxter, then finish off with Frye.
And so we tried the concentrated attack in three different forms. Each time we wiped, but we wiped much more quickly than our divide and conquer strategy.
The problem did not seem to be Baxter or Hummel, it seemed to be Frye. So for our last run, we decided to try a third strategy. Earl pulled Hummel off to one side of the courtyard and held him. Vikund pulled Baxter the other direction and held him. And then everybody who could attacked Frye.
This worked out much better.
With the right antidote, Hummel and Baxter are no problem and Frye obliged me several times by running into my consecrate or whirlwind.
And by the time Frye was down Vikund almost had Baxter down. The only hitch came when Skronk died. We suspect he was standing in a pool of something for which he did not have the antidote active.
Now that we know the fight, we will probably try to do it again this coming week.
Once we were done in SFK the evening was still relatively young for most of us, so we swapped over to Lightninghoof and our up and coming horde characters, who stood at the time at:
40 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
40 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
41 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
41 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)
41 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
Earl had gotten out earlier in the day to catch up with his shaman, so we decided to head back to Uldaman to get him that last quest in the treasure room behind Archaedas. He’d missed it during our last run because he was too low level.
Enaldie, however, was ready to call it a night, so we thought we’d give it a try with just the four of us.
Unfortunately dungeon finder won’t send you places with just a group of four, and we weren’t really in the mood to invite a stranger along at that point. So we did what any similar group would do in the same situation. We had Skronk go log Enaldie back in and join the party so we could use dungeon finder.
We dragged Enaldie along on follow for a while as we took on the instance as a group of four, which turned out to be not that big of a deal. Ironically, in the pre-history of the instance group, it was just a group of four players who at one point just beat their head against Uldaman at and even slightly above level. This was part of the reason that our initial victory over Archaedas was so sweet.
However now as a four person group, it wasn’t a big deal. We wiped Enaldie off on some feature of the terrain at one point and didn’t notice until she was off the mini map. It turned out to be a safe spot, as she disconnected before anything came to kill her.
As with last week, the troggs were the most difficult fights, at least from Hurmoo’s healer perspective. After we were past that it was all smooth sailing and excellent experience. The four of us made it to Archaedas and sent him packing.
So there you have it. Four players at the appropriate level for the dungeon were capable of seeing through without issue.
Now we’ll see if we’re ready for Zul’Farrak. The quests for the instance are levels 45-50.