Tag Archives: Razorfen Downs

Razorfen Downs Confusion

After the previous week’s run at Razorfen Downs, where we ran out of time with only two bosses down, I decided to do some ground work to make sure things went better.

To start with, we completely missed a quest giver outside of the instance.  And we spent more time wandering around looking for instance, so I got out my druid and walked around stealthed in cat form to get the lay of the land until I was sure I could find my way directly to the instance.

I had also suggested on Discord that we pre-position ourselves over on Kalimdor if possible, and Skronk added that it might be a shorter run from the alliance flight point on the boarder of Thousand Needles and Feralas, so I tested that route as well.

We met an hour earlier than the previous Sunday afternoon, but I still wanted to get things under way as I was still not certain how long the whole run would take.  The group met up in Theramore.

  • Ula – level 41 gnome mage
  • Viniki – level 40 gnome warrior
  • Moronae – level 40 night elf druid
  • Skronk – level 40 dwarf priest

Skronk and Ula had also leveled themselves up a bit over the week, so the whole group was past the level 40 mark. (But nobody has the gold yet to buy a mount.)

Everybody in Theramore

The first problem came up when we found that Moronae didn’t have the Feralas flight point.  Fortunately, I had forseen this as a possible issue and had run Winki, my level 24 gnome warlock, down to the flight point and camped him there.  So Skronk, Ula, and I flew from Theramore to Feralas.

Our dots on the map

Once there I logged Viniki out and Winki in, got in the group, and fired up the ritual of summoning.

I even remembered to have a soul shard on hand

Moronae was summoned and got the flight point while I swapped back to Viniki and we headed off to the instance.  There was no trouble along the way.  At the top of The Great Lift the Horde guard was dead already as we passed through, so we were unimpeded all the way to our destination area.

Leaving the Great Lift behind us

I was also able to successfully navigate us to the instance, taking a small side trip up the hill overlooking the path to pick up the quest we missed last time.

Overlooking the crude boar snout structure

Then it was into the instance, where we got ourselves prepped.

There was a question as to how we ought to proceed.  We decided to go left again and follow the same path as before.  However, we decided to leave Belnistrasz and his escort quest until the end.  There was a bad feeling about that.

So off we went.  Being better prepared and higher level, things went a bit more smoothly.

We were able to ring the gong for the Tuten’kash event without losing anybody.  For the first wave we actually all stood so far at one end of the room that the wave of non-elites at the other ended were outside of our aggro radius and just hung out until we finished with the mobs at our end.  They actually ran in a bit, then withdrew down the hallway it seemed, as we went to go ring the gong for the next round only to find no cog wheel when we moused over it.  We had to go looking for them before we could get to the next round.

The round with the elites was a bit chaotic, but we got it done.  And Tuten’kash himself was a simple fight.

Tuten’kash goes down again

From there we moved on through the Murder Pens and across the bridge to Mordresh Fire Eye on his pile of bones.  This went almost exactly as it did last time, where I got a couple of pulls from the skeleton mosh pit before hitting somebody who aggro’d the whole pack and the fight was on.  Ula AOE’d the skeletons while I ran up to Mordesh and hit him with my shield every time he tried to cast his fireball spell.

Smacking Mordesh

Without that he doesn’t do a lot of damage, so we were able to take him pretty easily.

He dropped the Deathmage Sash, which went to Ula.

From there we went back to the Murder Pens and took the path that starts up to the summit of spiral.  There is a lot of trash on the way as well as the occasionally running skeletons.  But the runners are non-elite, so we tended to just take them in stride.

We hit The Glutton on the way up.  Or he hit us… or me… and he hits pretty hard.

The Glutton approaches

However, we had it in us to take him down.  He dropped the Glutton’s Cleaver, a 1h axe that was much worse than the sword I got at the end of Scarlet Monastery, so we rolled on that as vendor trash.  It was worth over a gold, which still seems rich to us.

We kept on around the spiral until we arrived at the summit and Amnennar the Coldbringer, the final boss.

At the top of the spiral

None of us could remember anything about this fight, so we just went at him.

As it turns out, he resists frost, which forced Ula to change up on damage, and spawns some minions, which we mostly just ignored, and knocks back the tank every once in a while, which could have gone really badly had I been kicked off the summit, but I happened to be positioned so his tent was behind me… in inadvertent but fortunate… so I just slammed into that.  Also, he has some dialog.

Are you in the right expansion?

Even with all of that together he went down pretty quickly.  He dropped the Coldrage Dagger.  I was hoping for the plate helm he can drop, as I am still wearing the mail helm from Herod.  I took the dagger, being the only one interested in it.  The DPS is a hair lower than my sword (29.7 vs 30) but it can proc, which might make up for it.

Coldrage dagger stats

Also, a dagger looks like a sword when wielded by a gnome, while a sword sometimes looks silly.

Dagger vs Sword sizing

That pretty much wrapped things up save for the escort quest.  So we tromped back to Belnistrasz to give that another shot.  We were not feeling confident.

There he is in his murder pen

And, of course, things started off with an almost comedic blunder.  The first time you speak to Belnistrasz you have to go through a series of quest dialogs before you end up with the go.  But after you have gotten the escort quest, you basically just accept the quest he has up and it is off to the races.

I was thinking about the original set, so just hit accept right away, only to find it was go time.  Everybody else got the join message, and was able to get on the quest again, though Ula had a moment of panic when she found her quest log was full.  She managed to clear that and accept.  But we were going to have to buff on the fly as Belnistrasz marched on to the idol.

We got waylaid at the last corner by a pair of boars… I think that is just part of the event script… killed them, then caught up with Belnistrasz, quillboars already in progress beating on him.  I pulled taunted one off and the other got sheeped and we were on our way.

Until Belnistrasz.  A few spawns in I had clearly lost track of mobs and one of them killed him.  At that point the event despawned and the quest showed as “failed” in our logs again.

There it is again…

It looked like the event was going to elude us again, though at least this time we did not wipe.  We took a group shot at the idol as it seemed like that might be it for the evening.

The first final group shot

Skronk went to look up if it was possible to get things restarted or if Belnistrasz might respawn while we debated whether or not it was worth it to reset the instance to start again.  The restart was voted down and the web seemed to indicate that if we waited a couple hours Belnistrasz might come back.  We were wandering about when Skronk went back to the start point of the escort quest to find Belnistrasz was already back.

Woohoo!  We got another run at it!

Forearmed this time, we got buffs, made sure health and mana was at max, cleared space in quest logs, and then set off with once more.

Another bite at the apple… or idol… or whatever

At the same turn we ran into the same two boars again… on script… but I ran on past and set myself up to grab the first mobs as they spawned, before they started pounding on Belnistrasz.

For all of the prep, we were still in the same hole as last week.  Getting through this event requires burning mobs down fast, and with a four person group we are missing a person’s worth of possible DPS.  So we started falling behind.  We killed one elite and the non-elite boars that come with when the second group spawned.  Ula kept one sheeped, but we were similarly back a mob when the third group spawned.  And then the fourth.

At some point Moronae pulled aggro on one of the mobs… we were practically surfing the crowd of quillboars by that point… and died.  Already behind with four, losing a DPS put us further in the hole.  But I was determined to hang on for as long as possible.  I pulled out all the tricks I could, tossing out any possible skill that wasn’t on cool down as rage was not at all an issue.

We were still going when Belnistrasz called the one minute mark, but it wasn’t clear how much longer we would last.  Moronae mentioned releasing in the hope of running back to help, but the distance back to the instance was way too far for that.  Eventually I succumbed, followed by Skronk and then Ula.  We were defeated.

Everybody dead at the idol

I stayed put in my corpse to watch Belnistrasz get ganked by the mass of mobs.

Only he didn’t get ganked.  Instead he announced that the ritual was complete… to those of us who had not hit the release button yet.

Ritual complete, op success!

Then he disappeared and the mobs in the room just milled about in a couple of groups.  Those of us still in the room, dead though we were, got the quest update.  We had apparently made it just over the time limit.

But we were still dead.  We had to release and trot back to the instance.  Once in we had healed up, buffed up, and got ourselves ready because, in the interim, the instance had started to respawn.  We fought our way, group by group, back to the idol room.  Fortunately that is not too far into the instance.  There we saw the two groups of mobs still milling about.  We took on one of them, but as we got to the last guy we got too close to the other group and pulled them by proximity.

Still, it wasn’t too bad.  We burned them down and looked around the room.  There was a brazier with a cog wheel on it when you moused over it.  When we clicked on it, Skronk and I were able to complete the quest and get the reward… but Morone and Ula were left out.  The “complete” button was not activated for them.  They apparently released just before the quest update and missed it.  Erf.

We seemed to be done.  I had thought there was a boss at the end of the event, but the room was clear.  The quest from outside the instance did not get any updates, so we decided to skip that and call it a night.  We took a second group shot around the brazier.

The second final group shot

Then we recalled and turned in the one remaining quest that came from the cathedral in Stormwind.  That was about it.

A little later on, after I had dinner, I went back and started looking up the Belnistrasz event.  We were supposed to fight Plaguemaw the Rotting.   When I went to look for screen shots of him, he didn’t seem to look much different than the other mobs, so it is possible we killed him him the mix and didn’t even notice.  The only hint was that we got the Swine Fists off of one of the mobs, or so I seem to remember.  That is a drop from Plaguemaw.  But I don’t have any screen shots to really back that up and Ula hadn’t been running video.  The closest I have is this shot after the fight.

Corpses around the brazier and idol

In looking at screen shots on the web, I think the corpse in the foreground might be him.  But it is hard to tell.  It might not be him.

So maybe we killed him.  But if we did, it didn’t register very much.

Once more, Ula rolled up an excellent video that shows a lot of what I have described.

I like to watch these after I write up my post to see how they line up.  I am surprised at how infrequently I need to change my post after seeing the video.

And so it goes.  We have now done as much Razorfen Downs as we are likely to do.  The next item on the list is Uldaman.  That means so research to find the quests, a trip to the Badlands, and probably several runs at the whole thing, as it is one of the dungeons with a side-door and a step up in levels such that the starting mobs are likely gray when the group is on par with the Archaedas, the final boss.

Finally, a list of past posts about our runs at Razorfen Downs:

Starting Late in Razorfen Downs

As last weekend approached we started looking for a common time when we could meet up.  Common times seemed to be difficult and we ended up aiming for 4pm on Sunday afternoon.  That is a bit of a late start for us, or at least for me on a Sunday. but I had glanced at the Icy Veins guide for our next destination, Razorfen Downs, and it said the instance should take about an hour, so it seemed like we would be fine.

That we all got online at close to the appointed hour seemed like a good sign.  Our lineup for the afternoon was:

  • Viniki – level 40 gnome warrior
  • Moronae – level 40 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 39 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 38 dwarf priest

I had gone out and bumped Viniki up to 40, which means he is again broke as skills ran close to 2g per, but he can now wear plate armor.  I even had some stored away for him.  But now all of the mail armor I picked up in Scarlet Monastery is effectively obsolete.

Moronae has also been busy the previous weekend and had popped up to level 40.

In looking at the Icy Veins info, I had also noticed that one of the quests started in Stormwind and had picked it up in advance and mentioned it in our Discord.  However, nobody else had and when we logged in everybody was in Ironforge, so there was some travel time as people flew off to Stormwind to pick up the quest.  The quest is not sharable.  And during that diversion we also found out that you need to be level 39 in order to get the quest, so Skronk flew to Stormwind and came back with nothing.

Meanwhile I was hanging about in Menethil Harbor watching the ships come and go.

Will this get me to Kalimdor faster?

We decided that getting to Razorfen Downs, which is at the south end of The Barrens, was probably best done via Theremore.  Feralas was considered, but it wasn’t clear if we all had the flight point and there was the complication of getting up the Great Lift and getting flagged by the NPCs there.  So that was discounted.  Instead we ran through the Dustwallow Marsh, emerging into The Barrens at the Shady Rest Inn.

Some day the renovation will get under way

From there it was a run down to the south end of The Barrens.  On the east side of the Gold Road is Razorfen Kraul and on the west Razorfen Downs.  We found the entrance pretty easily.

It is in there

Well, when I say “entrance,” I am being a little less than accurate.  That is the way into the area around Razorfen Downs, and like a lot of vanilla instances, it has a bunch of elites outside on the way to the actual instance.

As for the instance… it has been a long time since we’ve done RFD and I could not remember where the actual entrance was.  So we wandered for a while before finally finding the correct path and were able to get into the instance proper.   At this point we were well past an hour of elapsed time.

As for where to go… I think we went down the correct path.  Again, the Icy Veins article hand waves the whole thing as linear and yadda yadda yadda, but there were clearly some choices.  We bore left at the first two branches, fighting our way past an enormous gong.  The gong hand a cog wheel when you moused over it, so clearly you could click on it to ring it, but I was hesitant to start banging on gongs just yet.

It is a great big gong

We carried on for a bit past that until we made it to the murder pens around the corner.  Murder pens has such a safe ring to it.  We stopped for a bit and Ula, who had tabbed out to read something about the instance, said we ought to go back and ring the gong, as that would summon the first boss.  Or it would summon the boss after a couple of tries.

Back in the room we were spread out when the gong was rung and the first round was a series of non-elites.  Ula went to ice and AOE them, which did not work out quite as well as hoped, with Ula getting swamped and dying.  But the rest of us were able to clean up the mess.

Ula restored, we rang the gong again, this time faced with four elite mobs, which we were better prepared to face.  It was a bit chaotic… getting everybody on the same target and getting random targets off the casters and such… but we managed.

Then, with a third sounding of the gong, Tuten’kash arrived, the boss we had all been waiting for.

Tuten’kash comes to us

He was actually easier than the first two waves, a single big target being easier to manage if nothing else.  We finished up the fight and Tuten’kash was kind enough to drop a nice armor upgrade for me.

Just my size

I actually had a plate chest piece already, the Jouster’s Chestplate, but this was a significant upgrade.  Also, it wasn’t a bare midriff item.  The Jouster’s Chestplate made me look like Viniki the plumber.

Ula made a GIF of my plumber’s butt

That done, we moved on into the murder pens and cleared out the hostiles, then began looking for that quest mob.  There are a few in the pens, but we found the right guy, Belnistrasz.  This guy I remembered as being the quest give that everybody has to stay on sync with.  If one person blitzes through his quest/complete/quest cycle, only they will get the quest and the rest of us will be stuck.  So we did it carefully… and actually managed to do it right on the first try.  Then it was off to follow him.

Come on, it will be fun

While following him back the way we came we were waylaid by a pair of rampaging boars, the random patrol mechanic of RFD.  They ignored him and we had to stop and slay them before following on.  Belnistrasz had disappeared around a corner and, as we caught up we found that the event had already begun.

You have to defend Belnistrasz through a series of waves in order to get to the big boss.  The waves… pairs of elites… keep coming as time counts down.  We got stuck into the task, but for the first time in a while I think we were suffering from that missing DPS position.  If you burn down the quillboars quickly you are only dealing with pairs, which isn’t an issue.  But if you’re slow because you’re been using your healer’s wand skill as a crutch and now he doesn’t have time because he has to heal, then things may not work out well.

We kept it going for quite a while.  Belnistrasz called out the final minute.  But we had fallen behind the killing curve and we never caught up.

When your kid says, “Just a minute” but you need them now

Skronk ran out of mana, I used my health potion, Moronae went down, then I, then Skronk, leaving only Ula in her ice block at the end.  We wiped.

The run back… well, the graveyard isn’t as far away as the one in Uldaman is, but it is a long ways up The Barrens.  And we got lost… I got lost… again trying to find the instance once more.  But we got back and started warming up again.

First, a snack

We rested there a bit while Ula went off to feed their cats.  We were now past the two hour mark and my wife had been poking her head into my office to ask when we would be done.  It was dinner time and all.

So when we set out again I suggested that we find the next boss and call it.  I was going to have to log off pretty soon.  So we went down the path we had blazed previously, past where we had wiped, past the gong, through the murder pens, and over the bridge, to find the boss I had been expecting.

Skeletons and a pile of bones

This is probably my only solid memory from past runs, Mordresh Fire Eye and his skeleton mosh pit… and his pile of bones.  I wonder if the skeletons pull from their for replacement parts?

The goal was just to finish him off, but first we wanted to clear the dance floor of the mass of non-elite skeletons.  My first pull was good, and we got a couple.  The next one was bad and we got everybody, including Mordresh Fire Eye.  Ula AOE’d the skellies and I ran up and grabbed Mordresh.

It ended up being another pretty straightforward fight and Mordresh was down soon enough.  He dropped a nice caster necklace, the Glowing Eye of Mordresh.  In the roll-off it went to Skronk.  And so we were done for the evening.

The group atop the bone pile

That bone pile is pretty elaborate for what is a hill prop for a secondary boss in a mid-level instance.  There are bones and bits sticking out all over it and it took some of us a bit of effort in order to get to the top.  It is also sizable.

Bone pile zoomed out for some scale

Screen shots taken, we recalled back to Ironforge and called it a wrap.

Our first run at RFD was less than a success.  Two of the bosses we hit were easy enough, but we failed pretty hard on the idol event with Belnistrasz.  We’ll need to be a bit better prepared for that next time around.  Also, Skronk hit 39 along the way so he will be able to grab the quest from Stormwind this time.

Once again, Ula has posted a great video of our run which illustrates some of the situations mentioned above.

Next time will see our return to RFD… which is probably okay, as we should probably all be at least 40 before we wander into Uldaman.

Past runs at Razorfen Downs

Barrens RFD

Another Saturday, another instance on our horde side tour of the classic Azeroth content.

Last week while I was away the group went and took a trial run at the courtyard in Scarlet Monastery Cathedral to keep their hand in, but found they were too low level to press much further.  It was not so much because any individual group of bad guys was too tough, but because at their level, the aggro radius of the group make things very unpredictable.

Inside the Cathedral, unpredictable is a bad thing.

So, with that in mind, we decided to head out to The Barrens and tackle Razorfen Downs.

Razorfen Downs, where bears rule!

I caught that picture by accident and thought it looked kind of neat, feral druids in bear form.

Level-wise, RFD is somewhere in the middle of the Scarlet Monastery experience and we needed a spot to pick up another level.  So our group for the evening headed out to the land of the best local chat ever.

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

We didn’t even use the dungeon finder to transport the group instamagically into RFD.  Azawak and Hurmoo went the traditional route and ran to the meeting stone and summoned the rest of the group in.  We did this because there was supposed to be a quest for the instance just outside.

Finding the instance was… not a challenge…no, that doesn’t cover it exactly.

It was like when somebody gives you directions but dramatically underestimates some aspect of the journey.  You know, if somebody tells you to go up a road until you hit a stop sign, but there you are, almost three miles up the road and you haven’t hit it yet.  You start to wonder if they took it out, or if you went the right way on the road, or if maybe it was covered up by a bush.

As we ran from the meeting stone, which is so close to the RFK meeting stone that one wonders why they bothered making two (I know the reason, but it no longer applies), we kept asking, “Are we going the right way?” “Did we pass it?” “Is it over there?”

It just turns out that the entrance, in the big stonework boar’s head, is just a good long hike from the road.  Which is probably part of the reason the meeting stone is out there, to let you know that, yes, there is an instance down this series of valleys somewhere.

And near there we found the quest, which did indeed show up in our logs as a quest for the instance.  In reality though, the quest was to kill non-elite mobs roaming around the outside of the instance.  We figured that out later.

Inside RFD At Last

Cutting to the chase, the challenge was pretty low.  This instance was scary and we had to be careful when we did it three years ago.

Now we burned our way through.  In fact, we ended up getting a little sloppy with the DPS unloading on things too early and making life tough for Azawak trying to tank and leading to one of the DPS getting killed during a boss fight.  But once the problem was noted, we got it under control pretty quickly.

We went through the early bosses pretty well.

We tore through to Mordresh Fire Eye‘s mosh pit with all the dancing skeletons.

Skeletons At Play

Then killed all the undead, including Mordresh.

Our Turn To Dance!

Then went back to bang Tuten’Kash‘s gong to do some arachnid stomping.

Tuten'squashed

Then, while we were there, we spoke to Belnistrasz for his quest.  This quest kicks off a little more readily than most escort quests and only two of us were ready when Bel went running off.  Seriously, he jets from the room like no other mob in the game.

This is my third run through RFD and I still have never managed to get that quest.

Well, he runs off because it really isn’t an escort quest, but a “defend the NPC” event.  I recall this being tricky before.  It almost was this time as well until we remembered what was going on and positioned ourselves accordingly.  That got us through it all including Plaguemaw and two of us reaped the reward.  Well, there is plenty of exp to go around, so no worry.

We then started up the main spiral of the instance, dispatching bad guys along the way, including the Glutton, who dropped some nice shoulders for Azawak.

At the top of the spiral, Amnennar the Coldbringer awaited.

Amnennar the Freshbringer

There he was, so we went and got him.  The fight went so quick that I think even his summoned minions were surprised.  And with his death, Hurmoo, who had just hit level 35 back during our Stranglethorn Vale night, hit level 36.

It is nice to get almost a full level of experience from an instance.  And Hurmoo was all blue bar after my week away.

Achievement and a Level

And that was that.

We talked about resetting the instance and going to back to redo Belnistrasz, but decided against it.  Instead we ran around and finished up the quest from just outside the instance, then went to turn it in only to find one person in the group hadn’t picked it up.  Well, they had gotten the Belnistrasz quest, so it evened out a bit I suppose.

I think next week we’re up for the cathedral in Scarlet Monastery.

Razorfen Downs – Round 2

Thursday night, our group’s off night. We try to get together, but it isn’t as firm a commitment as Saturday night, being a “school night” and all that. Still, we got the full team on last night.

Blintz was getting a little bit ahead in exp, so I decided to pull out one of my other level 40 range characters to play. Vikund is my paladin, and the oldest character in WoW that I still have. (I made a dwarf before Vikund, but deleted him and went the human route.) With this group we decided to go back and hit RFD again. This was our starting lineup for the night:

41 Mage – Ula
40 Warrior – Earlthecat
40 Priest – Skronk
40 Paladin – Vikund
39 Warlock – Bungholio

I wasn’t sure how much of the instance we would end up doing, but I grabbed the quest “Bring The Light” with Vik, just in case we got that far.

We did our usual assembly, ported in the people who were still remote, and fought our way into the instance.

Once in, we had the left/right choice of paths to follow. Since we had not finished the escort quest with Belnistrasz, we decided to go left and hit that.

We fought our way in. Having Vikund as an off-tank changed up the way we worked some, with Bung able to summon a damage pet rather than a tanking pet.

We stopped and did the spider fights at the gong, finishing off Tuten’kash relatively easily. He dropped the Silky Spider Cape that went to Bung on a roll.

Again we detoured before the pens to take our Mordresh Fire Eye and his skeleton mosh pit. This time I took a screen shot of the skeletons in full force.

Peeking in on the skeleton mosh pit

Peeking in on the skeleton mosh pit

As before, we managed to pull a couple off with our first try, but the second time around we got the whole skeleton mob. Earl and I ran out to face Mordresh on his bone pile while the casters mopped up the non-elite skellie followers.

Maneuvering on that bone pile, especially if Mordresh decides to try to back off a bit, can be a bit of a challenge. I got stuck on things several times durnig the battle. But, in the end, Mordresh was overcome by our might. This time around he dropped the Deathmage Sash, a nice caster item that Skronk took on a three way roll-off.

Then we headed to Belnistrasz. We had a hiccup here. Vik had not been part of the last effort in RFD. Belnistrasz gives you a mini quest first, before he gives you the escort quest. Everybody else in the group had done the mini quest already, so when the one of the group accepted the quest, off he went, before Vik did the lead-in. Ooops. No huge loss in the great scheme of things, but a word of warning for the next time you head that way: Make sure everybody has done the lead-in (Scourge of the Downs) before anybody accepts the main quest (Extinguishing the Idol).

This time at least the quest ended successfully. We were in less of a panic this time around. We kept calm, kept the aggro off of Belnistrasz, and got through his stage without much problem.

Once that is done, Plaguemaw the Rotting shows up. A short battle later and we looted the Swine Fists off of him. Nobody really needed those, so they were rolled on to sell to a vendor. Here we are over Plaguemaw’s corpse.

Plaguemaw defeated

Plaguemaw defeated

Now we were done with the left hand side. We got a slightly late start, but it was still only 10:45pm. So we decided to take the right path, if only to see if we got one of the rare spawns for once.

We had a problem with that first fight on the right, the one with the five elites. Skronk has a general policy of not putting up the skull raid icon, which denotes the main target, until we are ready to go. He slipped this time and put the skull up first while we were still sizing up the battle. Suddenly a frost bolt shot out from our team and struck the targeted mob. The fight was on!

It was actually a fun fight. There was a bit of panic as we tried to keep all five elites under control. I let the side down a bit initially. Having played a rogue in all of our instance play so far, I was used to being satisfied holding one mob, since more would usually do me in. A bit into the battle I realized that I ought to be holding some more aggro, so I went chasing the other mobs around. I was too late though. Ula went down and so did Bung. But after that we got things under control and dispatched the last of the bad guys.

Fortunately the penalty for death is so light in WoW. I’ve been in other games where such noobishness on my part would have gotten me screamed at. In our case though, everybody was revived, healed, and off we went.

We got to The Glutton, who again was wandering our way when we arrived in his area. He was a quick fight, but only gave up the Glutton’s Cleaver as a drop.

On we went.

We got to where Ragglesnout, the rare spawn should be. He wasn’t there.

Well, that did not leave us too far from the main boss. Just another 10 fights, give or take. So on we pressed. Up and around the spiral until we once again reached the top.

Amnennar the Coldbringer stood before us.

Another fight we were ready for. We knew about his spectral summoning now. We also knew that the specters would fade as soon as Amnennar was slain. In we rushed! All of us focused and unloaded on the Lich Amnennar. The fight, for a boss fight, was short and violent. He went down, his summoned help faded, and we stood again victorious at the pinnacle.

But Amnennar had a last laugh on us. His drop was the Coldrage Dagger. A perfect weapon for Blintz. But Blintz was not there. Nobody wanted the dagger, and we could not even disenchant it, since that is another of Blintz’s talents, so we rolled to see who got to sell it to the vendor. Ula won that.

And so we were done, all the Razorfen Downs quests seen to their end. Vikund did get to turn in “Bring the Light,” which netted him a nice sword upgrade, the Vanquisher’s Sword.

Having a paladin along changed the group dynamic a bit. While we lost a single damage dealer, we gained some healing, a back-up resser, and a nice damage shield aura that ended up being nearly 10% of Earl’s damage inflicted. Since there are plenty of undead in RFD, the paladin’s usual bane of “no ranged attack” was mitigated.

And so we look towards the Badlands and Uldaman for our next instance adventure.

Razorfen Downs – Round 1

At last, a group night that was going some place besides the Scarlet Monastery! Not that SM is a bad place. It is quite well done. But after 10 rounds there, we were ready for some new sights and sounds. Well, sights anyway. Razorfen Downs (or Swineberry RFD as the locals call it) held new sights but and old sound for us; the sound of squealing porkers. Oh well, I have been having a sound issue with WoW since the 2.0.3 patch came out (sounds get stuck in a loop) so I was playing sound off. Still, I could hear each piggy death through Skronk’s mic, so it was like Helter Skelter was happening in the neighbors yard while we played.

Anyway, it was Saturday night at 10pm and we were ready to go:

40 Mage – Ula
40 Rogue – Blintz
39 Warlock – Bungholio
39 Priest – Skronk
39 Warrior – Earlthecat

The first thing we had to do was get the quest “Bring The Light.” Skronk grabbed the quest from Archbishop Benedictus in the Stormwind Cathedral before hand, but then found that he could not share it with us. You have to deal with the Archbishop directly it seems. The summoning stone at RFD got a workout from us, since Skronk, Earl, and I were there, but only Skronk had the quest. So Earl and I each recalled one at a time, got the quest, then got summoned back to the South Barrens. Ula and Bung, who had not yet joined us, picked up the quest then got summoned out as well.

On our way into RFD, we also picked up the quest “A Host of Evil” from Myriam Moonsinger thinking that this was a quest that could be done while we were in the instance. We were wrong, but I will get to that.

Once into the giant hog skull that is the way into RFD, we had to fight to the actual instance line. The instance itself is, mercifully, not as big or convoluted as its across-the-gold-road neighbor, Razorfen Kraul. Once you enter you can bear left or right depending on which mobs you are after.

We went to the left and started fighting out way in. We had to take some care with our fights, as there are very few solo fights in RFD. Instead, the mobs come in bunches, usually mixed up elite and non-elite, ranging in size from 3 to 6 mobs. And there are also small groups, usually pairs, but sometimes triples, or patrolling non-elites, just to liven things up a bit. On the left side, the patrols are boars running through the corridors, while on the right, they are skeletons roaming around.

We held together well and fought our way past the giant idol, through corridors, past a giant gong, and up and almost to the slave pens before somebody said, “Giant gong? Don’t we do something with that?”

Oh yeah, the gong. So we ran back to the gong. This summons a boss mob. You actually have to ring it three times to get to the boss, but don’t ring it three times right away, as each ring summons a wave of spiders.

Big spiders.

The first wave is 8 non-elite spiders that rush in from either side of the room. We dispatched them handily.

The second wave was 4 elite spider that also came from either side. This was a bit of a fight, but no worse than some we had faced already. Spiders do not cast nor do they run away.

The third wave, summoned by the third ring of the gong, is Tuten’kash, a huge spider best not viewed by children before bed time. He was a fight, but manageable by our group, and down he went. He was nice enough to drop the Carapace of Tuten’kash, a nice plate chest piece for Earl to use at 40.

We headed back to the slave pens, back to the last group between us and an escort quest, when we decided to detour off to the right and take on the skeleton mosh pit first.

This is really a sight to be seen. It consists of a giant pile of bones, on top of which there is a giant skeleton. Before the bone pile is an array of smaller skeletons. All of the skeletons are dancing the undead “heavy metal” routine. Again, this is a must-see for a tour of Azeroth.

The small skeletons are not elite, so we started by trying to pull some of them off of the crowd before we took on Mordresh Fire Eye, the giant skeleton in question. We managed to pull and kill one skeleton by proximity, but our next shot brought the whole crowd, including Mordesh.

Oh my!

Seeing an angry heavy metal crowd run at you can be unnerving, but we managed. Earl got right on Mordesh and I got behind him while Bung and Ula let go with the AOE on the mosh pit crowd. Mordesh went down, dropping Mordesh’s Lifeless Skull, an off-hand item that nobody wanted and which got disenchanted to a small glowing shard.

Here we are atop Mordesh’s pile of bones after the fight.

So many bones

Done with Mordesh, we crossed the bridge between his area and the slave pens, knocked off the last group between us and the pens, and headed in. We spoke to Henry Stern who taught most of us how to make goldthorn tea, though he taught Skronk, our alchemist, how to make mighty troll’s blood potion.

Then we spoke to Belnistrasz, which kicks off a quest called “Scourge of the Downs” that quickly leades to an escort quest called “Extinguishing the Idol.” You follow Belnistrasz, a quick walker at last, to the giant idol that we passed by earlier. Once there, he goes to work on it. But while he is doing that, a continuously respawning stream of mobs attacks you, trying to kill him. We got tied up in the running battle (you are never out of combat during this it seems) and lost track of our guy, who got killed off before he was done. Quest Failed! Oops.

And you cannot just restart the quest. You have to reset the instance. Oh well, we will have to come back again for that one.

That blown, we ran back to the entrance and too the right path.

The first group on that path is five elites that nearly did us in. We had to run out of the instance and regroup.

It turns out that the group of five elites is a pretty useful gate keeper. If you can take them down, you are probably ready to finish off that section of the instance. If you wipe there… well… you do not have far to go in order to try again.

We managed them on our second try and proceeded around to the base of the spiral. None of the groups were as tough as that first group. As we hit the base of the spiral, the Glutton wandered by. We tagged him, pulled him back, and took him down in pretty short order. He yielded up the Fleshhide Shoulders, which I got. They are not the best looking set of shoulders, but they were an upgrade.

That aside, we started fighting our way up the spiral. The spiral is a big cinnamon bun shaped rock, glazed with aggros, and featuring Amnennar the Coldbringer at its pinnacle. He is the big boss we needed to kill for the quest “Bring the Light.”

So up we went. Fight after fight, around and around, until we finally crested the last rise and stood atop this stone pastry of doom. Across from us was Amnennar. He has no minions hanging about or other distractions, so we went after him.

Amnennar does summon some spectral help during the fight. Several groups of ghost-like creatures sped past Earl and I, and went after the casters. Unfortunately, Ula seemed to be their prime target and she died just before the fight finished.

Still, we won. Skronk revived Ula and then we checked the loot. It was Earl’s night, as Amnennar dropped the Icemetal Barbute, another nice plate piece for him when he hits 40.

So we were done inside the instance, but noticed that we had not advanced the quest “A Host of Evil” at all. We left the instance and found that we needed to kill mobs around the stone boar skull to finish that off. We even got the Kaleidoscope Chain as a drop, which also went to Earl on the roll. After we slew, we turned in the quest to Myriam Moonsinger, then recalled home.

Back in Stormwind we turned in “Bring the Light,” which has a nice weapon and necklace reward of its own, plus some very nice experience. So nice that Ula and I advanced to level 41 and everybody else came within an exp bubble or two of 40. We should all soon have mounts.

We still need to come back to do the quest “Extinguishing the Idol” and maybe find a rare spawn for once. Our luck so far has been zero on rare spawns.