Sunken Temple last Saturday provided us with a unique view of the changes that patch 2.3 introduced.
You know, that patch that some hard core players are still decrying in Ironforge at all hours, shouting for all to hear that Blizzard caved in to the noobs or some such.
Or maybe that is just my server.
Anyway, we ran Sunken Temple the Saturday before the patch and then the Saturday after the patch, so we had a pretty fresh comparison. Things certainly changed. Even us, being a bit higher level. Our line up for round two was:
51 Warlock – Bungholio
52 Priest – Skronk
52 Mage – Ula
53 Paladin – Vikund
54 Warrior – Earlthecat
Since we had spent some time over the course of the week picking up the remaining quests for the instance, we were able to just meet up at the summoning stone for the instance, buff up, and surge forward.
The first thing we noticed was that the yard trash (I cannot write that without thinking of Unrest in EverQuest) around the instance was all non-elite. The mobs were not all elite previously, but a good chunk of them were and we had to take at least some care in getting through them. Now we just ploughed ahead.
Even inside the instance there were a few more non-elites wandering around. It was not as drastic a change as outside, but there were a couple of points where people in the group said, “Wasn’t he elite last week? Or at least a higher level?”
The second question was correct all over the instance it seemed. According to WoW Wiki, the level range of mobs in the instance went from 44 to 60 down to 47 to 50. A more focused level range is probably better, when it comes down to it. Having mobs from level 44 to 60 seems, to me, to be a bit broad.
Once into the instance, we started on the first quest of the night, the Secret of the Circle. This involved fighting our way around a circular hallway and turning on lights in the right order. Once we cleared all of the mobs and got the order straightened out, we managed to get them all lit, which brought forth a giant serpent in the center of the circle… and a guardian. We slew the guardian, Atal’alarion, who coughed up the Headspike with his dying breath. Here we are squaring off against him.
And then, after the victory party, posing in front of the serpent.
The serpent, the end of the quest, came up with some nice parting gifts wrapped up in a decorative Hakkari Urn.
We then went down the path we followed the previous week, which meant again slaying the guardians Gasher, Hukku, Loro, Mijan, Zolo, and Zul’lor to open the way to Jammal’an the Prophet.
We cleared a path from the guardians to Jammal’an’s altar without any drama and then took him down. He left us the Vestments of the Atal’ai Prophet that went to Ula.
As with last week, we’re all here on his altar for a group shot.
We then headed out to the middle of the circle that forms the main section of the zone and slew the two dragons, Dreamscythe and Weaver, as well as clearing out some of the dragon kin that were out there.
We then started clearing the way to the Avatar of Hakkar, to finish up the quest The God Hakkar.
This involved getting to the room of the avatar and then summoning him. As you wait for him to arrive, you must slay his minions, some of whom drop blood, which is used to extinguish braziers in each corner of the room. It is a running battle to slay, loot, extinguish, and move to the next brazier, but not insurmountable by any means.
Once the last brazier is out, the Avatar of Hakkar shows up. We slew him, looted his essence, and each of poured the into essence into the nearly half dozen eggs of Hakkar that we all had, which closed off the quest, leaving only the final turn-in way back in Tanaris. (As the reward, I took the Avenguard Helm.)
That done, we were only left with the Shade or Eranikus, who spanked us pretty thoroughly last week.
However, that spank was in part because we left his minions alive in the center of the instance, and they come running when he calls for help. So we first set about clearing that lot out so that we would have Eranikus to ourselves.
The last pair, before Eranikus are Morphaz and Hazzas, an pair of dragons. Last week I had a shot of us fighting one of them. This week I have both of them!
That done, we faced him at last. He had been changed since last week. Last week he was level 55. The patch demoted him to level 50.
So, in the end, the fight was not dramatic. Here we are, the opposite of the picture from last time, us alive, Eranikus dead.
Eranikus left of the Rod of Corrosion, which the casters obviously wanted because the reverse psychology came out pretty fast. “Oh that thing, it sucks,” was uttered almost immediately.
And with that, we were done with Sunken Temple.
We ran around, turned in our quests, and called it a night.
The most obvious changes post-patch were to the mobs outside the instance, which are all non-elite now, and to the level range of mobs within the instance. The level range in the instance, which is much tighter now is a double-edged blade. Which it makes sure that the is not half easy and half hard for a given group, it does also limit the level range that can access it. On the balance I think the tightened level range is probably a good thing.
At quest turn-in time, we also noticed a change with the patch. We had several quests that were over 10K experience at completion. Up to this point, the best quest I had ever seen was in the 6-7K experience range, so it looks like that change was for real.
And then there were drops from named mobs, bosses and mini-bosses. They are all supposed to drop blue, or rare, equipment. During our first run through, we received a few uncommon drops from bosses, especially from the six guardians. This week, we received no green drops from that group. In fact, we got no drops at all from that group. So, on the average, the drops were better, but we did not get as many. I suppose that meant we sold back less stuff, but I wouldn’t call that a clear cut improvement.
So that was Sunken Temple. Not one death on our part this time around, which makes the story less interesting. Screw ups, set backs, and desperate battles are more fun to read about.
We will have to see how we fare at our next target, Blackrock Depths.