Tag Archives: Stormwind Stockade

Some Enchanted Evening

Once again the group was off on a side task.

During a past run when we were talking about trade skill coverage it was pointed out that we have nobody on the team who does enchanting.  We have a number of trade skills covered, but nobody had really picked up enchanting.  Obama had said he was going to try it, but then stopped playing with us, leaving us without an enchanter.

I don’t think enchanting is necessarily critical, but it can be a nice to have addition to the group.  Also, some part of me wants a glowing weapon.

I had initially asked if Ula was interested in going with enchanting.  She has been doing tailoring and I brought this up while we were out looking for the mooncloth bag recipe. (Since obtained for 20g at the auction house.)  Tailoring is something of a natural to go with enchanting as it does not require a dedicated harvesting skill the way many of the professions do.  I have the tailor/enchanter mix on a character in retail WoW.  We could just run her through some lower level dungeons to collect gear to disenchant to kick start her progress.

So we picked up the discussion the past weekend.  The first proposal was to have somebody’s alt pick it up, but I argued that we ought to have somebody in the dungeon group itself pick up the profession, as having them around to disenchant the inevitable bind on pickup drops that we get every run.  Those could turn into materials for useful enchants.

Eventually Moronae volunteered for the position.  He had been running with just gathering professions, herbalism and skinning, in order to make some money.  But skinning is pretty common and not a huge money maker.  So he said he would drop that and pick up enchanting.

With that decided we went of to do a few low level dungeon runs just to get him started.  For whatever reason… I can’t really recall now… the rest of us opted to bring out some slightly lower level alts for this run.  They were not low enough level to get xp or find any good drop, so I suspect we would have been fine with our mains, but at least we got them out for some exercise.  So our group was:

  • Moronae – 59 feral druid
  • Scsla – 43 gnome warrior
  • Fergorin – 40 dwarf paladin
  • Alioto – 36 resto druid

We decided that the Deadmines would be a good start, so flew out to Westfall and ran off to that.

Into the Deadmines

I will admit that it is actually kind of fun to go into a lower level instance and slay with near impunity.  This is my major gripe about level scaling all content, you never get a chance to do this sort of thing.  My druid, being level 36 and dressed to heal, did manage to get in a little bit over his head now and then… enough elite gray mobs can still be a hazard… but we kept on plowing through.

The drops were good and Moronae was able to start disenchanting stuff pretty quickly.  He kind of had to as we were letting him loot most of the corpses and his inventory was filling up fast.  I ended up taking some of the wool from him as I still needed to make heavy wool bandages to advance my first aid.

We arrive at the boat

Up on the ship we roamed around the back and got Cookie and the siamese cat drop.  Then we were back around front and up the ramps to knock out Captain Greenskin and then Van Cleef.

Skonk was quick to point out that one of the ramps had a corner cut off and that this no doubt explained why he fell off the ramp and into the water back when we were doing the Deadmines at level.

You can see if at the lower left

We went up and faced VanCleef, who gave us his usual routine.

Yes, yes, tell us some more

That did not take us much time at all and was distracting enough that we decided to do another instance.  This time we flew on up to run through Shadowfang Keep.  Another quick tour through a dungeon.

Hate to break up the dinner party…

Again we were on a rampage and Archmage Arugal didn’t stand much of a chance against us.

Arugal is down

That was a sight bit quicker than our run through the first time in classic.

After that it seemed like we might take a break, but I was in Stormwind and the Stockades were close by and a quick run, so we ran in and did that just to pile on some more gear to disenchant.

The slaughter of the Defias

After that Moronae was able to get himself up to 90 enchanting.  Viniki made him his silver and golden enchanting rods to cover his ongoing requirements and he was able to do a few practice enchants on us.  I think we all got +5 health on our bracers.

Anyway, we got him off to a good start I think and hopefully we can get him up to where he can disenchant the inevitable mail bind on pick up drops that inevitable are our reward when doing runs.  And maybe someday I will have a glowing enchanted weapon.

Clearing the Stormwind Stockade

I do not imagine that the Stormwind Stockade is on anybody’s list of epic, memorable classic WoW instances.  It might even be one of the instances that was made better by the Cataclysm revamp.  At least it got Hogger as a boss then.

But there it is, in the middle of Stormwind, easy to get to and easy to run.  It was also right in our level range and about right for our level of commitment.  I was still ill and had family in town, so a short window of time on Saturday afternoon was about it for me.

Skronk and I got over to the Stockade early just to get quests and what not in order… and to listen to the NPCs talk about their troubles.

Hanging out

Sitting around there for a bit was another reminder of how much detail work Blizz put into the game.  The NPCs go on about the troubles in the Stockade and every once in a while a group of Defias prisoners surges out of the entrance to the dungeon to fight with the Stormwind guards.  You can jump in and help, but the guards subdue them in short order, then go back to moaning about their current situation.

The Stormwind Stockade is a small instance, but it does seem to try to make up for that with quests.  As we sat around waiting for people to get online and over to Stormwind, Skonk and I were able to put together five quests for the instance, and checking later, I was missing a sixth according to the list over at Icy Veins.  Somehow I didn’t get the one from the Wetlands.

My quest list for the Stockade

I think for the full run you need to walk out of the instance with three heads, a hand, ten bandanas, and a checked off shopping list of various prisoner types slain.

As everybody got online, we ended up with this as our group.

  • Ula – level 26 gnome mage
  • Viniki – level 26 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 26 dwarf priest
  • Obama – level 27 human warlock
  • Moronae – level 27 night elf druid

We formed up outside the instance, some potions were passed out, quests shared, and then we headed in.

Looking into the Stockade

The challenge of the Stockade, such that there is, is mob management.  The instance is small, but fairly crowded with Defias prisoners, so it is easy for a pull to bring more mobs than you thought and accidentally pulling by proximity will happen if you are not careful.  The mobs also all run when they get low on hit points which can lead to more pulls if you’re not careful.

And, at the start of the instance, they can also run past the zone entrance far enough that you cannot loot them.

No Stockade run is complete without this situation

Other than that, the whole thing is a short north/south-ish corridor which is crossed by and east/west corridor, each with cells on either side and at the ends.

Map of the Stormwind Stockade

That map, which I swiped from the web, is from later in the life of the game, when instances got in-game maps, but before the Cataclysm rework, which put bosses on the maps, which I guess would make it from somewhere in the WotLK time frame.  Maybe?

Anyway, you move through the instance clearing the hallway, then each cell as you move past.  Each cell has three or four mobs.

Fighting in one of the cells

The cells have their quirks.  At one point I ran up to the broken bars to proximity pull a Defias standing behind them, but he just sat there until I moved to the open door section in the middle.  Then he came to get me.  They may have wrecked their cage, but they remain locked up in their hearts I guess.

As for the bosses… they aren’t really bosses the way they are in other instances.  A couple of them show up in random cells along the way.  Down at the west end, where we headed first, we found Dextren Ward in the furthest west cell.  We cleared the the north and south cells first, mostly out of habit, then realized we had done it right because Ward’s special attack is to fear people, which sends you running into those rooms.  If you haven’t cleared them, it is all about the adds.

Down at the eastern end there was Hamhock, the ogre, and then Bazil Thredd, neither of whom were particularly tough.  They also drop no loot, no doubt because it would be way too easy to farm.  There is a rare spawn boss who does have a couple items, but we didn’t get him.  So we collected the various body parts, as each of the mobs were generously supplied with five heads or hands or whatever.  By that time we were also done with our shopping list of kills.

Group picture time… not even sure which boss now

The one thing we were not done with was bandanas.  Everybody in the group needed to collect ten, they drop off of maybe one in four Defias mobs, and unlike heads or limbs, no Defias line member ever seems to carry a backup bandana or three on their person.  So even when we had slain the last named mob we were well short on bandanas.

But the Stormwind Stockade provides.  Another oddity of the instance is that it respawns the trash mobs pretty quickly.  Before we were done with the west end of the long corridor Defias mobs had begun respawning around the entrance.  We had to clear a walker as we crossed to the east end, so when we were done there we just turned around and went back to clear the rapidly returning Defias to collect bandanas.

Slaying respawns

We had to carry on with this for a while, but eventually people started finishing up their collection.  As that happens others are more likely to get bandanas, so our full quota was reached pretty quickly once we were down to two people.

Ula once again did a video of some of our time in the Stormwind Stockade, so you can get a sense of what it is like in there.

The soundtrack is better on the video I think.  The video also shows one of the trials of being the tank, which is people hitting mobs other than the one you’re hitting.  You can see me turning around and taunting mobs off of people.  Fortunately the warrior taunt is very effective, so it isn’t a huge deal and gives me something else to do now and again.  We would be in trouble if I had gone with my pally tank idea though.

The video is also available over on Ula’s new blog, which you can follow to keep up to date on her video releases.

After that it was time to exit and begin the great turn-in of quests.  Most of them offered up just experience and a bit of silver as rewards.  Not that I mind a bit of silver.  My characters are all still pretty poor.  But The Stockade Riots quest is part of a chain which began with a drop at the end of the Deadmines which brings you around to the garden in the castle for an event that has you talking to a gnome named Tyrion and then slaying a pair of plotters.

Finding Tryion

There is a bit of a hang up in this quest as Tyrion is required for two stages of the quest, and when he is involved with one you cannot turn in the other.  Skronk and Ula got hung up for a while waiting on this.  I came back later and was able to get some help from a stranger to finish it.  It is worth the wait as after you have completed The Attack you unwind back through the people you spoke to, ending up at the king in Stormwind castle.

And her, but we’ll get to her later won’t we?

Once there, your reward is a pretty decent ring, with stats for everybody.

The seal of Wrynn

I will no doubt be hanging on to that one for a while.  And so ended our Stormwind Stockade run.  In its WoW Classic form it is a bit forgettable, though the one quest reward was worth it  If you look through past group encounters with the Stormwind Stockade you’ll see I don’t have much to say about them either, though I do mention that ring after the first run, so I must have done that quest before. (Though I don’t remember it at all.)

As for the next destination, we head straight to Gnomeregan.  We’re pretty far into the level range for Razrofen Kraul, as our side run into it indicates, so it may get bypassed and left for an alt group to conquer.  We shall see.

Three Instances – One Night

Hrmm, that title seems familiar.

We assembled on Saturday night to renew our instance assault, and the first on the list was Ragefire Chasm.

Ragefire Chasm was up first because you can only use dungeon finder to access it through level 21, and our group line up was:

  • Xula – level 21 Gnome warrior
  • Ethelred – level 21 Worgen druid
  • Earlthedog – level 21 Worgen warrior
  • Maloney – level 21 Worgen mage
  • Nancyboy – level 21 Worgen priest

Last week’s runs through the Deadmines and Wailing Caverns was worth almost four levels to the group.  So if we wanted to do Ragefire, we needed to do it now or be faced with trying to run to the zone, which is located in the middle of Ogrimmar.  We’ve done it as Alliance players before, but it was a challenge just getting there.  And now with everybody hanging out in the old world capitals again, the challenge is no doubt even greater.

So we used the Dungeon Finder and dropped into the instance in the middle of the orc capital.

And, once there, we found… no quests.

Not much rage, not much fire, and no quests

I thought, with the advent of Cataclysm, that the dungeon quests were all going to be located within the dungeons. But Ragefire missed the cut for that it seems.  There were no quest giving NPCs hanging around the front door… at least not on our side of it.  So, presumably, the quests are all still in Orgrimmar and are horde only.

And the other thing we found was a lot of grey mobs facing us.  The level range of 15-21 seemed to be tilted firmly toward the low end.

Well, we were there, we thought we might as well get the achievement.  So we plowed ahead.  We hit and bowled over the first boss then kept going.  Weaving our way through the path of least mobbage, we ended up at the second boss, who also turned out to be the first mob in the instance worth experience to us.

We jumped on him and killed him quickly, at which point we got the achievement for the instance.

We stood there and debated for a moment as to whether this meant we were done or not. With no quests and very little prospect for experience or usable loot, did we really have to go after the final two bosses?  We decided Blizzard knew best and that we were done.  We pulled up the dungeon finder from within Ragefire Chasm, something we compared to sitting on the phone in one restaurant making reservations for second, and were soon whisked away to Shadowfang Keep.

Reservations for 5 please...

Elapsed time in Ragefire Chasm: 11 minutes.

At Shadowfang Keep (SFK) we met Ivar, a notable worgan and owner of a chain of seafood restaurants.

Ivar is the quest giver for SFK, the only exception being the class quests each of us got at level 20 that sent us to the instance.

Ivar is also known as Ivar the Doorman or Ivar-come-lately.

The thing is, Ivar and his droogs, who are very high level, appear over and over throughout the instance pointing the party at bosses and asking that we take them out, opening doors, and generally getting involved with almost everything.  Everything except the fighting. Ivar never seems to get his own hands dirty, only showing up at a fight once the main guy is dead.

So we got our first quest, to kill the first of several undead guys dressed like classical pilgrims.

Piling up on the stairs looking at the first boss

We were a bit worried, here in this new and improved SFK that we might run into something too tough for us at our level.

For the most part, however, we had little to fear.

There is a new set of bosses, but there were, for the most part, in the same old locations.

Hiding in the dining hall, eh?

There were less yard trash mobs to worry us than before.  Last time we were here we though the place had been nerfed.  This time it was a little more clear that it had.

Of course, Ivar kept showing up to egg us on, outside…

Ivar on the ramparts

and inside…

Ivar the doorman... or dog... or whatever

Until we were there at the last fight.  Ivar, in his usual style, offered to watch the door to ensure that nobody interfered, while we went in and did the heavy lift.

It was just Lord Godfrey standing up there on the platform where Archmage Arugal used to stand.

Now there was a boss.  That Arugal used to teleport all over the room.  That fight was a challenge back in the day.

This guy though.  He looked like a wimp.  Who is afraid of a pilgrim?  We walked up and tore into him.

And wiped.

It was a trap! He had TWO guns!

Yeah.  See, Godfrey has guns, and they give him this special attack, pistol barrage.  You get a warning and everything, but we ignored it.

In fact, we stood in such a way that he managed to hit us all with it whenever he used it.  He won, we lost.

That meant running back past Ivar… or multiple Ivars.  He didn’t despawn from a couple of his location.

We made it back to Godfrey and then, a little bit wiser, we pulled him down to the main floor where Xula, in her first tanking assignment that required positioning of the mob, kept him aimed at a wall while the rest of us stood behind him and kicked him in the ass.  And when the pistol attack came up, Xula stepped out of the way like a matador facing a particularly ugly bull.

We killed him dead which, as usual, got us the achievement.

And so we were victorious.

Victory over Godfrey

We learned a bit in Shadowfang Keep, though what we learned was mostly about gnomes and hay.  They love it, it seems.  They hide in it.

Beware in the hay

SFK done, we were still only 90 minutes into the evening. We decided to let the Dungeon Finder send us someplace random.

It chose Stormwind Stockade.  Here we would be challenged.  This instance has a recommended level range of 21-30, and we were only level 22 as a group.

Just to demonstrate how bad we were in for it, we wiped on the first pull.

Dead on the door step

Okay, Xula was a bit keyed up, excited after all that hay, and pulled pretty much the whole hallway down on us while we were still standing around going, “So, stockades, haven’t been here in a while.”

And to prove it, we went on and took the place out without another death.

We had to take care, all of the mobs were at least a couple of levels above us, but we stuck to tried and true pulling and killing and ground through the place in no time.

Hogger! Again!

Of course, Hogger is the star of the show.  But we cleaned his clock without much drama.

Killing him gives you the achievement.  See, he is the star.

But unlike Ragefire Chasm, we actually had a reason to carry on, another quest to finish off with the final boss.  Which didn’t take us that long at all.  30 minutes or so after we started, we were standing victorious.

Nancyboy fell asleep

And that about wrapped it up for the night.

We all ended up at level 23 and, in contrast to the start of the night where we were in a hurry to get to a couple of dungeons because we had so many choices, now there is only one more dungeon available to us through the dungeon finder.

Blackfathom Deeps is all that is on the list that we haven’t done yet.  With the same level range as Stormwind Stockade, we had probably better hit it as soon as possible to make it any sort of challenge, judging from what we have seen so far,

After that, we might have to go outside and play.

Meanwhile, watch out when walking through hay.  There could be gnomes hiding in it.

Our First Guild Achievement

The Twilight Cadre, our guild on Eldre’Thalas is still level 1 as of this writing, but it now has an achievement.

And our grand, single achievement is defeating the Stormwind Stockade and stealing Hogger’s Trousers.

We came to be stealing Hogger’s Trousers because there are still things that World of Warcraft does not do well.

Because of the guild leveling and achievements things, we have been consolidating as much as we can into a single guild so that our efforts are not dispersed.  So we’ve ditched other guilds, transferred some characters, and have gotten some friends to roll up fresh characters on our server.

And this has lead us to have main characters all across the range of levels, which was the problem we faced the other day.

We were trying to pull together a group of characters from the five people online that could do an instance and get that first guild achievement,  but the best we could do was this:

  • 17 Priest
  • 27 Hunter
  • 32 Paladin
  • 33 Warrior
  • 45 Rogue

A bit of a range spread there.

Now, on the bright side, WoW doesn’t keep a group like this from forming up and doing something.  You want a wide range of levels in your group, go right ahead.  Other games, like EverQuest II would keep level 17 characters from getting quest credit or experience if they were grouped with a level 45.

On the other hand, while there are no restrictions on grouping up, WoW doesn’t do you any favors after that really.  There is nothing like EQII’s mentoring.  There are no instances that scale to the average level of your group like Splitpaw.

Furthermore, you cannot use dungeon finder with a group like that.  DF has level range restrictions for each instance, and there is no overlap between 17 and 45.

So it was a good thing that Stormwind Stockade was a viable choice, since most of us were in town to start with.  It would have been a little under level for most of us even if the rogue had been 30 rather than 45.  And with a level 45 rogue along it was a complete walk-over.  But we went anyway.

Of course the priest died.  And the warrior couldn’t hold aggro with the rogue doing so much damage.  But we got though it well enough and it was probably good for a group that hadn’t worked together as a team before to do a milk run like this.

Because at least 4 out of 5 members of the group were in the guild (all 5 were), the guild got its first achievement. (Note the little guild banner on the mini-map with the number 5 in it.)

I expect this to be the first in a long line of guild achievements, continuing next with the Deadmines now that we’re past the holiday season.  And, with people consolidating on the single guild, there is a glimmer of a hope that maybe, at some point, we might have enough people around to try a 10-person raid.

We shall see.