Tag Archives: Stratholme

Stratholme with The Replacements

The Dark Portal might be open, but we still have some work to do back in Azeroth before the instance group travels to Honor Hold.  One of the things on our list is get used to the new composition of the group.

The joke on Monday when we were playing is that Ula had fired the old group and hired some replacements for dungeon runs.  Last time around I had substituted in my paladin, Wilhelm, for Viniki, my warrior.  But, with the level 58 boosts available, we ended up getting two more substitutions.

First in was Skonk our priest, who dropped out in favor of a boosted paladin spec’d to heal named Fergorin.   That was the group’s first experiment with the WoW Classic character boost, which gives you gear and skills and a basic mount and a bit of gold. (30 gold seemed to be the amount.)  The gear didn’t seem bad… Fergorin got something for every slot, which might make a solo leveling player jealous, as trinkets are kind of rare outside of instance content… though the look of the gear might have left something to be desired.

When a Dwarf cosplays as an Ogre

With two paladins in the mix we could double up on auras and blessings and not lose a resser.

The Moronae, dissatisfied with the changes to the feral spec on his druid, went for a boost as well, choosing a gnome warlock whom he named Beanpole.  That lost us a combat ress, but got us soul stones and health stones along with warlock DPS.

The weekend was busy, but Monday was a holiday in the US, so we met up that afternoon to give the new team a try out.  The group was:

  • Ula – level 60 gnome mage
  • Wilhelm – level 60 human paladin (protection)
  • Fergorin – level 60 human paladin (holy)
  • Beanpole – level 59 gnome warlock

The new group met up for the first time out in the Eastern Plaguelands at Light’s Hope Chapel.

Welcoming everybody onto the new team

We were out there because we had decided on Stratholme as our next target and warm up run.  It had the advantage of possible gear upgrades, several quests that had decent rewards both in gold and gear, and both paladins needed drops from the instance to get going on the charger mount quest.

From Light’s Hope Chapel Stratholme is just a modest ride to the northwest of the zone, where we found the meeting stone and went in.  Going in we were reminded how much we had likely forgotten since we last visited.  Going through the main entrance leaves you locked inside the instance.  The only way out… discounting portals or hearthstones… is through the instance.

Looking into Stratholme

We got into the instance and cleared the first couple of groups, but it quickly became clear that it had been a long time since we last did Stratholme.  Going back through the blog I have one run from January 2008 and another after the Dungeon Finder was put in when we were doing Horde alts in mid 2010.  We eventually had to go dig out an old map online to figure out where we were and where we ought to go.

Stratholme of old

On that map we came in where the blue “A” is and worked our way around to the courier and the first mailbox, managing not to wipe even when we did things like open the mailbox immediately after the first fight, before we had healed up, something that triggered another fight.

The mobs were in groups of elites and non-elites, so for me tanking was getting in there, casting consecrate and holy shield and then keeping them up.  That was mostly enough to keep everything on me.  Fergorin quickly got in a cycle of healing that seemed pretty active.

Beanpole had gone the demonology spec route, so his Felguard was in there doing melee damage.  We tinkered around with having its taunt on or off and seemed to do better with it off in most circumstances.  And then there was Ula, still the mage queen of burst DPS.

We made our way north, through the gate that traps you and releases mobs, only opening when you kill them… we remembered that much about the place, until we got to the Y intersection at point 2 on the map, where it was a left or right choice between the living and undead portions of the instance.  We decided to go right, into the undead.

We seemed to do pretty well and made it to The Unforgiven, who is 3 on the map, and defeated him.  There was a nice upgrade for me at the end of that fight.

New Shoulders

That was an upgrade for me on all stats.

We made our way around to the open area around the fountain, which is where the 2s are on the map.  That is where our first mishap came.  We pulled one group from around the fountain and, during that fight, Beanpole’s felguard went running past me through another group, and into a third, pulling everybody back on to us, causing our first wipe.

Down by the fountain

We did manage to kill a lot of the mobs, so some progress was made.  And Fergorin had the soul stone, so was able to revive and ress us.  But more importantly, as we sat there getting ready to return to the fight, we spotted a shadowy figure somewhat hidden off to the side of the road.  You can just barely see him by a barrel off to the left of the screen shot above.  That was Hearthsinger Forresten, a rare spawn.  He is not aggro and just hangs out off to the side, so you can miss him.  Our pause there made sure we saw him, and we slew him in turn.

Forreseten finished

He coughed up another big upgrade, this time for Ula, the Magister’s Boots.

From there we cleared the rest of the fountain and moved into the next area, where we found Magistrate Barthilas, who drops the key to the side door of the instance.  But only one key, so Fergorin got that.  From there we pressed on into the mini-boss section, marked 10, 11, and 12 on the map.  There we started having some problems.

Into that section of town

There are a lot of mobs, often in groups very close together, along with some flying mobs that move around the area and who can fear you into other groups.  So we got in over our heads at least once before we had made it very far.

A bad pull will do you in

We cleared as carefully as we could, and did okay, but our first run at the first of the mini-bosses, Baroness Anastari, ended in a wipe due to a proximity pull of nearby mobs we had sought to bypass.

Baroness Anastari survived

We had been lucky with the soul stone previously, but with a 30 minute timer we were eventually going to end up in the gap between casts, so we had to run back from the graveyard this time around.  Fortunately, the run from there to the side door is very short and we had obtained the key to it already.  Magistrate Barthilas sometimes spawns further in the instance, so we were happy to have found him early, if only to avoid a longer run.

From there we did okay.  Another wipe on trash getting out of hand caught us, but we had the soul stone up by then, and were able to carry on and slay the other two bosses.  So we went towards the final area, 14 and 15 on the map, only to find the gate locked.  Something sparked a distant memory about the three bosses we had just killed, so we ran back and checked the areas behind them, slaying the mobs there.  Clearing those areas opened the gate and left us facing the final challenges.

Facing the patchwork undead

This is an event, though it starts off slowly.  Once you start pulling the mobs around the courtyard some start wandering your way, so if you aren’t killing them fast enough you can end up overwhelmed.  We figured that out the hard way, wiping once more.

Our second try got out of hand as well, though this time Fergorin had set up a Divine Intervention macro as we were once again on the soul stone cool down.  As we got too many mobs and started losing people, he hit the macro and put DI on me, as the soul stone was on cool down still, which takes you out of combat for three minutes, sacrificing the caster.  I waited until all the mobs reset back in the courtyard and ressed Fergorin and then we ressed the other two.

Getting everybody back

I had also managed to go red on my shield during that fight, so part of the reason I started losing aggro is that you cannot cast Holy Shield if you don’t have a shield equipped.  Ula had picked up a green loot shield and traded that to me for another try.

We got ourselves set up for another run, and this time managed to slay all the patchwork horrors, drawing out Ramstein the Gorger.  We finished him as well.  Success.

We then sat down to drink and heal as another group came out of the central building.  We had not even looted Ramstein when they were walking towards us and in aggro range and suddenly we had to fight again.  We fell apart and wiped again.

Another wipe

We didn’t have a soul stone again, so it was another run back from the graveyard and in through the side door.  But once at the gate we found that mobs we had passed a while ago had begun to respawn.  The loot on Ramstein was lost as we decided to call it a night there.

That room and beyond looks full again

So we did not get to the final boss on the undead side of the instance, so we still have that left to do.  Fergorin and I also did not come up with the Strathome holy water vials we needed for the paladin charger mount quest, getting only two each.  So we’ll have to come back for that as well.

On the upside, we did get some nice drops, Beanpole made it to level 60, we did complete at least one of the quests, and I made it to honored with the Argent Crusade, largely because Wilhelm was still wearing the Argent Commission in his trinket slot.  I was eyeing the trinket that Ramstein dropped, but that was not to be.

And, most of all, it wasn’t a bad warm up run for a group of four, three of which are playing new classes in the group.  At least it seemed like we did okay to me.  We’ll see if Ula keeps us or fires us and looks for more replacements.

Two Doors to Statholme

When Saturday night rolled around we decided not to go back to Dire Maul North to turn in the two quests we finished the previous week.  With Dire Maul complete in our eyes, we to pick our next target.  Dungeon finder listed a few options for us.


The choice really came down to Stratholme and Scholomance.  We were interested to see that Stratholme had two options in dungeon finder, so we decided to go there and use the service entrance.  Our group for the night was:

57 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
58 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)
58 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
59 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
59 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)

We let the dungeon finder take us away to see what we could see.


The dungeon finder generally does not let you go places where you cannot achieve a given goal.  Of course, that is for the random dungeon.  There is no telling what you get when you pick your poison.

We were wondering if we would need a key to come in from the service side, but that did not seem to be the case.  And when were in, we could see Magistrate Barthilas who holds the key to the city.

Barthilas spotted

So we started forward to clear the area, which proceeded at a rapid pace.  However, we failed to notice that as soon as we stepped in, Barthilas ran away deeper into the instance, leaving us on the wrong side of the locked gate.

Soon the area was clear but the gate was locked.  We started working our way towards the front door, just in case we missed something, but aside from Hearthsinger Forresten, there was naught to be had from that direction.

With that decided, we left the instance, reset it, and then came back through the front door.

This worked out a bit better.  We had to work our way around to Barthilas, but the fights were not very tough.  We managed to get back to where we had started, finding Herathsinger Forresten again, in a short time.

Unfortunately, we managed to screw up the Barthilas fight.  Azawak stepped through the big gate to pull him back to where we were.  However, once the fight started, the gate went down with Azawak on one side and the rest of us on the other.

Azawak stranded

We could not target either Azawak for heal or Barthilas to do damage, though Hurmoo did find that tranquility would heal Azawak.  Too bad about the long cool down.

Azawak went down eventually, and Barthilas walked through the gate to us.  He had been beaten down sufficiently that we managed to take him out without too much drama.  The gate then opened.  We had the key to the next gate and were able to ress Azawak.

We were then into the Gauntlet area, the Baron’s timer started counting down, and it was time for some tougher fights.

The Gauntlet awaits

We did well enough for the most part.  We kept things to small, manageable groups through most of the Gauntlet, though at one point we did get in over our head and ended up with a wipe.  That set us back and pretty much meant would wouldn’t beat the timer.

Those bones out there... they are ours

We pressed on to the finish though.  And by the time we got within sight of the Baron’s hold, people in the group started getting this achievement.


Yes, we were turning the corner to 60.  First Enaldie, then Azawak leveled up.

We managed to finish off Baron Rivendare without there being any question as to the outcome.

The Baron defeated

That done, we headed back into the instance to clear out any pockets of undead we left behind and triggered the Postmaster Malown fight just for fun.

Malown Malowned

That got Hurmoo to 60 and Earl to 59, at which point nobody was left close to a level.  We decided to call it a night.

For Hurmoo, level 60 meant a whole pile of healing skill updates.  No lifebloom until 62 though.


And there was one more important item on the list, druid flight form and the accompanying achievement.


This will be my second druid with flight form, and it is still fun even the second time around.

But the first time you get flight form can be a pretty big thrill.  Azawak got flight form for his first time and his own post on it tells the tale.  Too much fun!

And now we’re arriving at level 60 and have to make some decisions.  Do we finish up the classic instances?  Do we press on into the Outlands after that, before that, or ever?  Do we go back to our old set of characters and finish off the three instances that were added after we moved to Lightninghoof?  Do we try a new game?  Or do we just take the summer off until Cataclysm comes out?

Stratholme – Round 1

Saturday night came and we weren’t sure what to do. We had the new, all level 60 line up:

stratlevels.png

But we had several choices of where to go.

We decided to hold off on Scholomance until Vikund’s epic mount quest required another visit.

Lower Blackrock Spire (LBRS or “loobers”) was discussed, as some of us have a load of quests in our log for that instance. But not all of us did, and getting us all on the same page looked like an evening’s work on its own.

In the end, we decided on Stratholme.

We all had a quest or two for strat, and more were readily available in the Eastern Plaguelands.

Strat would also supply Vikund with the holy water needed to advance his epic mount quest.

And, finally, Earl is the master of Strat, having done the instance more than fifty times… doing it multiple times a day at one point… in order to get the a pair of pants from a set for his old warrior. (He never got those pants.)

Into the undead fun. At least it starts off undead.

The sky burns in Stratholme

We went in carefully, following Earl’s advice as closely as we could. The advice was obviously sound as we went through two without too much in the way of drama. Fights were a challenge, but never more than we could handle. We only suffered a couple of deaths, at least until we got to Postmaster Malown.

Now that was a fight. We were not quite ready for him to show up, and when he did, it was havoc as he and his three minions managed to slay first Ula then Bung during the fight. As he says when he shows up, “You just got MALOWNED!”

Then it was a matter of endurance, healing, and mana.

I personally used a health stone, two potions (long fight), lay hands, and a lot of flash heals to help keep Earl and myself in the fight.

Malown is a tough nut to crack too, as he casts fear quite often. Skronk managed to get a fear resist onto Earl, but the cool down on that spell is long, so I spent a lot of the fight running away, then running back again.

In the end though, we finished him off.

We worked our way around to the Scarlet Crusade end of town and entered their keep.

Things got a little more sticky here.

The fights were tougher and Vik lacked that extra bit of power he has against undead.

We plodded through, trying to get to the main boss, Grand Crusader Dathrohan. We did okay, suffering a few deaths, but hanging on, until we got to the hallway before you hit the carpet that leads to Dathrohan.

That was the hallway of death for us. Typical pose:

Strewn about again

We wiped three times.

The hallway itself was not so bad, but at the end of it you learn that you aggro radius at level 60 is pretty big. We managed to proximity pull multiple groups from either side of the end of the hallway again and again.

We wiped. Fortunately the timer on the soul stone was almost up, so after we revived, we waited a bit, then tried again.

We wiped. We used the soul stone again.

We wiped. I managed, just as I died, to hit Skronk with divine intervention, so he was safe and could revive us all a third time. This is Skronk and I in the position as I cast and died:

But the spell hit!

 

Finally, on try four, we managed to pull just one group. The another single group. Then a patrol. And finally we were set and advancing again.

We made it to Dathrohan, saw him change into the demon Balnazzar, and slew him quite handily. Our time in the hallway was more difficult.

At this point, it was getting late, but we decided to go after Cannon Master Willey.

This was the second best fight of the night, after Postmaster Malown. Here is Willey and his cannons:

Cannon finale

We did not read up on the fight before hand and Earl was foggy on the details, but we knew there was something to be done with those cannons.

As it turns out, when you start the fight, Willey summons reinforcements and you use each cannon to blow them away.

If you shoot the cannons at the right time.

Not knowing the details, we shot the cannons at the first sign of help for Willey, which left quite a few enemies unaccounted for. Which meant more dead casters and me running around using consecrate on the hired help.

This fight wasn’t nearly as close as the Malown fight, where we were down under 10% health and no mana on all of us at the end. Here we had a safe margin left at victory.

And so we stood at the cannons, then called it a night!

Final salute

Vikund got his holy water, so he could advance his epic mount quest. Now he just needs to get to Dire Maul, then back to Scholomance.