Tag Archives: Temple of Atal’Hakkar

Crag Boar Rebellion and the Sunken Temple Video

Ula somehow found the time to produce a video of the instance group that pulls together our various runs in the Temple of Atal’Hakkar, the Sunken Temple.  She posted it over at her blog, but I want to post it here as well so I remember where to find it.

This is actually the third instance group video about that instance.  As we prepped for our 4 person runs she also put out a trailer to highlight our coming adventures in the swamp of sorrows, which included some of our first run.

And then there is the ancient video I did about the instance group and the Sunken Temple back after Blizzard had trimmed down the instance to meet the needs of the dungeon finder to deliver a boss fight in 30 minutes or less.

The post with that video contains extensive director’s commentary about making the video, the instance, and our group, written at a time when we thought we would never see it on anything but a pirate server ever again.

That is our Sunken Temple collection… so far.

Facing the Avatar of Hakkar

It was time for another trip to Sunken Temple.  It was time to try the Avatar of Hakkar, the one part of the instance we had yet to attempt.  We got on together and flew down to Nethergarde Keep once more to join up.  Our group was:

  • Viniki – level 53 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 53 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 53 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 53 gnome mage

And we started running into problems pretty quickly.  As we were riding towards the Swamp of Sorrows and the instance, I noticed that Moronae had stopped following.  We circled back and found him riding in place, as one does in Classic, though apparently still online.  He was on Discord as well, and told us later that he could still hear us talking.  We could not hear him however.

Moronae was moving yet standing still

He texted to say that it was a Comcast Xfinity outage and that there was not yet an estimate as to when service should return.  What to do?

We decided to take some alts out for a spin while we waited, so for a bit our group was:

  • Denogh – Level 42 Dwarf Hunter
  • Scscla – Level 42 Gnome Warrior
  • Wilhelm – Level 44 Human Paladin

We decided to hit Booty Bay as that seemed a likely spot for us to find some quests to do together.

Flying in to Booty Bay, there seemed to be something going on.  There were a lot of level 60s Alliance players hanging out around the flight point.

Crowd when I arrived

Down below there was a crowd of high level Horde players as well.  We stood to the side and shared quests and came up with a plan.  As we were headed out, we got a zone buff.

When the spirit hits you

We guessed that somebody must have finished up Zul’Gurub and was turning in the quest, which was why everybody was hanging around.  They knew the buff was coming.

We decided to head out to the beach where there were the quests for Captain Smott’s chest and the three pirate ship captains.  Gorlash, the holder of Smott’s chest was on the way, so we went after him first.  We were, perhaps, not an ideal group to take on a level 47 elite, but we managed it, though the ride was not exactly smooth.  I did not have to use Lay Hands though, so it wasn’t that bad either.

Gorlash down

From there we went after the first of the pirate captains, where we got in over our heads pretty quickly by rushing in too far too fast, with Wilhelm and Scscla going down.  Denogh was saved by feign death.  By the time we got back and were setting up for another run, Moronae was logging back in, his internet restored.  We camped on a nearby island to resume the main group.

Camping Out

Back together, we rode out from Nethergarde Keep once more for the instance.  We did not have the luck of last week, where somebody had cleared the path to the instance for us.

Trash to clear on the way in

But, by this point, we knew the way in and were more than capable of clearing a bit of trash.  Once into the instance, we took the stairs to the left and headed up to the fourth floor, or the main floor, of the instance.  There we only had to clear our way out and to the right to slip into the room where the Avatar of Hakkar would be found.

In the room where it happens

The Avatar of Hakkar is an event.  You have to click on the egg from the quest to kick it off, after which you are locked into the room by gates dropping at either end of the room and have to clear mobs, waiting for a Hakkari Bloodkeeper spawn.  You need four of those.  Each one drops Hakkari Blood, which may be used to extinguish one of the braziers in the corners.  Once all four have been put out, Hakkar shows up and the big fight begins.

We had a bit of trouble with the event, largely because it involves a bunch of non-elite mobs roaming the room, so keeping aggro off the casters is a chore.  This is one of the pains of having just a four person group.  One more person would take a lot of pressure off.  But with four we dance around a lot.  I hold aggro on elites and sometimes we try to freeze and burn the non-elites, but they don’t die quickly enough and end up chasing Ula around as we try to save her.

Still, we muddled through.  We got the fourth Hakkari Bloodkeeper down and Ula, the designated collector, looted it and extinguished the final brazier.  The Avatar of Hakkar spawned.

And then the power went out at my house.

This was perhaps not unexpected.  It was a hot day all along the west coast and power draw was very high, straining the power grid.

Local temp while we were playing

Fortunately it was just a blip.  I had hooked up a UPS to my computer, so it stayed up, and the power came back on in about 20 seconds, so everything else was coming back up in the house pretty quickly.  I thought I could get back in for the fight.  However, I had not plugged the cable modem into the UPS, and it took several minutes for it to come back up and establish a connection to Comcast Xfinity internet.  (Like a lot of places in the US, there is only one high speed internet service provider in our area, so we are at their mercy.)

Eventually though the connection was re-established and I got connected back to Discord and WoW, where I found myself still in the group and in the instance, but at the instance zone line.  I ran back to where the Avatar of Hakkar was as the group told me how they had just managed to squeak out a win without me, with a combat ress and some luck.

When I got back to them… no respawns thankfully… I found that the corpse was not sparkling for me.

The Avatar of Hakkar down

I had missed the fight.  I did not get credit so could not loot.  My quest was incomplete still and, to add some sting, the Avatar of Hakkar dropped the one plate item he can carry.

The plate chest was not for me

That would have been a nice upgrade for me, but I couldn’t have it.  Such is life in Azeroth.

However, since the whole thing hadn’t taken that long, everybody agreed to go back and do it again so I could at least get my quest update.  We ran back to the instance line, stepped out, and reset the instance.

Restart the whole thing

We made our way back in short order.  Some of the groups change up with every run, others are fixtures with the same mix every time.  We got into the room and I kicked off the event once more, being the only one in possession of an egg still.

Round Two begins

This time around we tried to single target, if only to keep mobs from chasing the casters as much, but to keep up with the pace we ended up having to do some freeze and burn all the same.  We managed, extinguished the braziers, and summoned the Avatar of Hakkar again, then slew him in rather short order.

Naturally, the plate chest piece did not drop again.  So it goes.  We took our victory shot.

The winning team

From there we wanted to turn in the last quest for the instance.  That mean going back to Steamwheedle in Tanaris.  We asked Ula to open a portal to Ironforge, but it turns out she forgot to buy that spell, so we took a portal to Stormwind and flew up to Menethil Harbor from there.

Next stop Stormwind

Then there was a boat ride, another flight, and some more riding before Steamwheedle was in sight.

Quest turn-in ahead

There we turned in the quest.  Done with that.

Now the question is what to do next.  We did not defeat the Shade or Eranikus, but a quick glance at the guide and it seems that we have to do the whole mini-boss routine on the fifth floor again and kill Jamal’an the Prophet before we can take another run at the fight.  We could do that, but I am not sure there is a lot of enthusiasm for that.

Or we can move on to Blackrock Depths, which will open up a new multi-week effort.  We shall see how the group feels, but I’ll probably go look into what we ought to get lined up before we go into BRD.

So this might be it for Sunken Temple in 2020.  Our history with the instance:

Upstairs at the Sunken Temple

It was time for our second run into Sunken Temple.  We did the downstairs bit last time, so it was time to move upward I suppose.

The Temple of Atal’Hakkar

We got ourselves online and on our way to the temple.  Our group for the week was:

  • Viniki – level 53 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 53 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 52 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 52 gnome mage

From Nethergarde Keep we rode on out and started our second descent into the actual instance… so I guess we had to go down stairs first.

Back at the start

This time around we did not get lost on the way to the instance line, remembering the whole “follow the masks” thing and having a bit of luck.  We also barely had to fight anything.  It seemed that another group must have passed through just ahead of us.

We also managed to pick up some of the tablets you need to collect for one of the quests.

I call them pizza boxes because that is what they look like to me

Sunken Temple is very much a multiple visit dungeon, so I was looking at the map and suggested that Jammal’an the Prophet ought to be our target for the week.  To get him you have to go up to the fifth floor, do the ring of mini-bosses to open up the forcefield protecting him, then go down to the fourth floor and fight your way to him.

Fortunately, I had the map because it helped keep things clear.

The Old Sunken Temple map

Once I orientated myself and figured out which path to take, we were pretty quickly up on the fifth floor, another ring like the second floor, with balconies to clear.  And the ring to clear as well.  There is always something between you and your destination.

The ring itself did not go too badly.  There were groups of 1-3 elites, often with a mix of non-elite adds which we tried to take as groups.  There are also a couple of elites that wander around the ring, which led to a surprise and our first death of the run, when Moronae went down.

It was actually the non-elites that were most of the problem.  With 3-5 of them adding in, keeping their aggro focused on me was a chore, and they tended to end up chasing Skronk or Ula now and then.  But we carried on and managed to get to each balcony, one after another.

Resting on a balcony

Some of them are connected directly to the ring, others you have to go downstairs, under the ring, and then back up to find.  But there are only six, so it wasn’t too long before we were fighting the last mini-boss.

Huku was last on the list

From there it was down and around to the fourth floor, which I tend to think of as the main floor, as it has the big open area where you find a lot of mobs.

Into the fourth floor… lots of welps and dragonkin

You can also see the balconies that we had just visited, including the one with the great big gong that doesn’t do anything.  It is the same one from Zul’Farrak.

The map indicated where we needed to go, so we cleared out just enough of the main floor to get into the side gallery that led to Jammal’an.

Jammal’an ahead

He and his co-boss are up at an altar at the end of the room.  However, draw distances in WoW Classic are a bit wonky.  I knew he was there, we all heard him shout when the forcefield went down.  But he does not draw until you get well into his chamber… though you can see the altar, tablets, candles, and everything else around and behind him.

Still, we trusted in him being there and started to clear the room, which reminded us of a couple of things.  First, some of the mobs there cast fear, so you can end up running into another group, which happened to Moronae on the first fight, so he died again.  Oddly, he died so quickly that the mobs reset and didn’t come after the rest of us, so we were able to ress him and carry on.

Second, some of the mobs become ghosts when they are slain, and in this form they are invulnerable but can hit for a lot of damage.  Fortunately, they are also very slow and have a timer, after which they expire, so you just have to dance out of the way and let them drop.

Dodging the ghosts

We were able to clear the room and soon it was just Jammal’an and his buddy Ogom waiting for us.  Not remembering anything specific about the fight, we decided to slay Jammal’an first with a “there he is, get him” level of planning.

There he is, get him!

We had forgotten that he takes control of a party member now and then and turns them against the rest of the group.  So I ended up so charmed and ran back and killed Ula before the spell broke.  Fortunately the druid combat ress was available and Ula was back up again.  But things were still kind of crazy.  More of us were mind controlled and Moronae ended up dying for the third time that run.

Chaos on the altar by Moronae’s corpse

However, we managed to get Jammal’an down, then it was a very near run thing to get Ogom. Though he doesn’t hit very hard I was running under 10% health and had used a health potion already, so I was pulling out all the defense skills I could to stay up.  I outlasted him and he went down.

We got everybody back together and went to loot.  Jammal’an had the Vestments of the Atal’ai Prohpet.

The vestments

Those went to Skronk to replace the robes he had been wearing for a few instances at that point.  Mission accomplished, we went to take our usual screen shot on the altar.

Victory over Jammal’an

However, we still had some time left, so we went back out into the main area again, to find Dreamscythe and The Weaver, two dragons who spawn only after Jammal’an has been slain, circling the area.

Those two are not connected, so we were able to pull them one at a time and take them down.

From there we worked our way around, clearing a bit, to the side path that led to Morphaz and Hazzas, who we needed to kill to complete the class quests for Skonk and Ula.  They come as a pair, for a bit more of a challenge.

Morphand and Hazzas flying around

Fortunately we were up to the task.  We focused on one, then the other, and had them down without any further deaths.

Both dragons down

At that point everybody had their class quest items in hand, Viniki having gotten his from the mini-bosses on the fifth floor.  We still had a bit of time and just around the corner lay the Shade or Eranikus, so why not one more boss?

I seemed to recall that he would summon the local dragonkin to help him, so we went back out in the central area and cleared that out, then returned to take our shot.

Eranikus had his own plan however.  His think is to sleep his main target, which was me three out of five times.

Slept by the shade

Things started to fall apart pretty quickly.  Moronae went down first… it just wasn’t his day…. followed by Ula.  Skronk and I danced around for a bit, but once I was asleep again Eranikus killed him and then turned back to me.  Soon we had a full wipe.

Down as Eranikus returns to his slumber

With nobody left to ress, we all released.  There was some thought about running back to the instance, but we figured we were about done for the day, so just had the angel revive us, taking the equipment damage hit.

Reviving at the graveyard

We all recalled back to Ironforge and called it a day.

Later I came back and flew back down to the Swamp of Sorrows to turn in my class quest.

The Fallen Hero has something for me

When you turn in the quest you have some choices.  Fortunately, the class quest guide is very clear on what a warrior should choose.  It says:

You will be able to choose 3 items, as a Warrior it is very important that you choose Diamond Flask.

So I took the Diamond Flask.

Some health on demand

I now have two trinkets that I likely won’t replace.

So all we have left is the Avatar of Hakkar event to run and we’ll have done the full tour of the instance.

Down Stairs in the Sunken Temple

After a week of getting class quests together and another wrapping up the lead-in quests for the instance, we were finally ready to step foot into the Temple of Atal’Hakkar, the Sunken Temple.

The Temple Awaits

We actually ended up heading in on Saturday, on very short notice, when it became clear we were all around and had the time.  It turned out to be a good thing too, as during our usual time frame on Sunday the power went out five times at our house due to the heatwave hitting the west coast.  At least after the third time it blipped out and back on I took the time to plug my computer into the UPS that I had sitting, charged up, under my desk.

We got on and all flew down to Nethergarde Keep, the closest flight point to the instance.

In the Blasted Lands again

Our group for the run was:

  • Viniki – level 53 gnome warrior
  • Skronk – level 52 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 52 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 52 gnome mage

We had managed to gain some xp as part of the preliminaries at least.  It had been suggested that we ought to be level 54 as a group to finish the whole thing off, but we figured we could get started and level up as we went.

We rode out through the Swamp of Sorrows, then swam out to the temple itself, heading up the stairs on the east side that lead into the depths.

Looking down into the temple

That isn’t where the instance begins however.  Sunken Temple is like some of the other dungeons from vanilla where there is a series of paths between the meeting stone and the instance line, only one of which will get you where you want to be.

Sunken Temple is also multi-level, so the mini-map is often less than helpful.  So we wandered a bit and took a few wrong turns before Skronk recalled that there was some legend about following the masks to get to the instance.

There is a mask, so this way maybe?

I am still not sure this is true, since it only came up after we had about exhausted the false paths, but we did end up at the instance line shortly thereafter.

Into the instance at last

Once in, there was the question of where to go.

I had an old map that I had put in a post about Sunken Temple back in 2012, after Blizzard had shrunk the instance down to a “30 minutes or your pizza is free” level of effort.

The Old Sunken Temple

I included the map as something of a historical artifact showing what the place used to be like, back when the idea of Blizzard doing anything like WoW Classic was just a pipe dream of an old school underground.

But here we are in 2020 and the dream is real… and that map is useful again.

Looking at it, uncertain where to even begin, I suggested we head to down as that looked to be less… complicated for a first run.  Also, the boss down there has the drop for Moronae’s class quest, which would be good to finish.

We headed down, clearing the way as we went.  There was the central pool at the bottom of everything, but no boss there.  Instead, there was an altar with a quest update and some instructions.

When selected, the altar highlights the balconies on the floor above, each of which has a statue.  You have to activate the statues in the order indicated.

On the altar for the order

I jotted down the clock positions as they were lit up in turn; 12, 6, 2, 10, 5, 7.

Then I realized I was facing south, not north, so that my orientation did not match the mini-map.  So I tried to transpose them in my head… failed… then simply faced the other way and ran the sequence again and jotted the correct list.

From there it was back up to where we started, then down to the second floor… the map names the floors bottom, second, entrance, fourth, and fifth… to clear out the balconies in the order given.

There are, of course, a bunch of mobs in the circle that connects the balconies, plus mobs on the balconies themselves, so it took some time to get around.  Also, part way into this I recieved a text from my wife asking me to call in an order for dinner for her to pick up since it was over 100 degrees out so nobody was in the mood to cook anything in the house.

Some statues already lit up

Part way through this I realized that the map had the order printed on it, meaning that it doesn’t change, and that I need not have spent my time trying to make an ordered list of my own… though at least I got it right on my last try, so we didn’t get out of order.

When we activated the last statue Atal’Alarion, the boss we wanted, appeared down in the pool.

There he is below us

In hindsight, we could have just jumped down into the pool and grabbed him right then.  We had, on our initial run down there, cleared all the trash from the room.  Instead, we ran back the way we came and ended up having to clear again.

One of the things in the back of my head about Sunken Temple was a recollection that it had a brutally fast respawn rate.  None of this two or three hours on the timer.  So we ended up having to fight our way back down to the pool, where we found that the trash around the pool had just started to respawn.  In order to be safe, we started clearing that, with it respawning about two spawns from where we were clearing as we went around the circle.

The kicker was that the three mobs that we cleared down in the pool also respawned, so the boss would have some help.

Looking down at the coming fight

We decided to crowd control two of the mobs and kill the boss first, then work on the trash.  Ula could polymorph one, Moronae could hibernate another, and then we would all focus on Atal’Alarion until he was down.  Sounded easy enough, so in I went.

Onto Atal’Alarion

Things mostly went to plan.  It turns out he likes to punt players into the air, which inflicts quite a bit of damage when you land.  At least once I was below half health and flying up in the air expecting that I might die on impact.  But we managed to muddle through and brought him down.

Atal’Alarion defeated

That was about when my wife got home with the dinner she had picked up while she was out, so it seemed like a good time to close out our first venture into Sunken Temple.  We took one last screen shot on the altar.

Everybody recalling home

Sunken Temple was always going to require multiple visits.  I am just glad we managed to find a route that had a conclusion we could manage in the time we had… we started a bit later than usual and there were interruptions at my end… and even wrap up a class quest.

That is one boss down… many more to go.

The bosses of classic Sunken Temple

There will be at least a couple more trips in before we’re done.

Addendum:  Ula has made a trailer for our return to Sunken Temple featuring video from our first visit.

 

Ula has posted this with some notes and an old video over at her blog.

The Long Road to Sunken Temple

I had a notion in my head that perhaps we could run down the lead-in quests for Sunken Temple and then maybe set foot in the instance for a bit, just to get started.  Some wildly optimistic part of my brain thought maybe we could even slip in and finish Moronae’s class quest.  WoW Classic, however, had other ideas.

But first we had to pick up where we left off with Moronae’s class quest in Un’goro Crater.  He had one last thing to wrap up there.  I had move myself out to the flight point in the zone and Moronae had camped there the week before so was still there.  Skonk was in Tanaris and running down one of the Sunken Temple lead-in quests when we were all getting logged in.

Moronae and I headed out from the flight point at Marshal’s Refuge to try and track down a Devilsaur, the mob he needed, while Skronk flew out to meet up with us.  Ula was still back in Ironforge, so she started heading for Tanaris.

Moronae and I found a Devilsaur in short order, and started following him as we waited for Skronk to catch up to us.

Devilsaur in the crater

Following is easier said than done.  The Devilsaur stomps around at a brisk pace and pays no mind to all the other aggro mobs in the vicinity, so we were weaving around trying to keep on eye on him and the other on potential dangers.  Also, he isn’t restricted to a small area.  According to the wiki he can wander in a large U-shaped area that spans most of the zone.  So we kept on him.

I had read that a druid could possibly use soothe on him, then hibernate, to put him to sleep long enough to plunge in the stinger that was the quest objective.  Then you run away.  That was supposed to be the solo method.  With three of us, I figured we could take a level 55 elite if we had to, but first we had to get him.

At one point I ran ahead a bit and grabbed him, only to find that Skronk and Moronae had gotten tangled up with another mob.  And then another.  And then when we finally were all on him we managed to pull in three more of the local beasts just to make things exciting.  It became a bit of a scramble, and Moronae forgot about the whole stinger thing for a bit, which would have been quite a blow, but remembered in time to stick the Devilsaur and update the quest.

Devilsaur Down

That done, we rode on back to the entrance to the zone for the quest update, only dragging along a few additional mobs along the way.  From there we needed to get to Tanaris to meet up with Ula who was now in Gadgetzan.  How to get there was a toss up.  We could ride back across Un’goro to the flight point, or just ride up the ramp and through Tanaris.  We chose the latter.

Riding out of Un’goro

Along the way we started doing a quest checkup.  Skronk had picked up the quest from Feralas and a couple of us had grabbed the one in Stormwind, though both could be shared.  But then we noticed that Moronae did not have the quest The God Hakkar.  It turns out that he never went back to Steamwheedle after Zul’Farrak, so had not gotten the update, so we took a little detour.  Then it was back to Gadgetzan to share the shareable and get started on the next step.

We had to find Marvon Rivetseeker out in Tanaris somewhere.  Given the general description, I figured I knew where he was, having done one of his other quests with my hunter.  We found him out in the ruins south of Gadgetzan.

Finding Marvon

He wanted us to go retrieve his toolbox from Ratchet, which meant riding back to the flight point, flying to Ratchet, finding the tool box (it is just sitting on the ground outside of one of the shops, no marker, just a cog wheel when you mouse over it), then fly back to Tanaris, and ride back Marvon.  He then gave us the task to go into Sunken Temple.

That done, we started on the quest out of Stormwind, a chain that first sends you to find the instance.  So we rode back to the flight point, flew back to Ratchet, and waited for the boat to Booty Bay, which we had just missed.

Waiting for the next boat

In Booty Bay we ran to the flight point… there is no riding in Booty Bay… and flew out to Nethergarde Keep in the Blasted Lands, then rode to the Swamp of Sorrows next door and headed towards the instance.  It is not hard to find.

There it is

To get the quest update you just have to swim a short distance towards the temple and then you get the complete message.  At that point you have to head back to Stormwind.  But we were in luck as Ula had the Portal to Stormwind spell, so we were spared some of the running around and flying.

Stormwind is just a click away

From there it was off to the Dwarven District to find Brohann Caskbelly to get the next stage of the quest.  He sent us off to The Hinterlands, so another flight for us.  Up there the quest plays mistaken identities for a bit before sending you to find Rhapsody Shindigger, who is at the end of a little path in the hills by Aerie Peak.

Just overlooking Qeul’Danil Lodge

He is an alcoholic dwarf… which I realize is like saying a “short dwarf” in Azeroth, but he takes it to the next level… who needs some ingredients for his special concoction before he’ll share his tale of the Sunken Temple.  He wants some roc gizzards and some livers from Groddoc apes and Ironfur bears.  The latter are found in Feralas while the former are from Tanaris, where we had all met up previously.

So it was back to the flight point and off to Menethil Harbor to take the boat to Theramore… because Portal to Theramore is a WotLK era mage spell… then on the bird again to Tanaris to find some rocs.

There were several suggestions as to where to find rocs, but the most insightful was the mention that rocs and hyenas shared spawns.  So after some fruitless chasing potential spawn points, we just went to the big old pile of bones in the middle of the zone that was overrun by hyenas and started slaughtering them.

Hyena corpse pile forming

And it worked.  Rocs began to spawn.

This is the problem of the shared spawn point where more than one type of mob can spawn, but where only one of those mobs is desirable.  The desirable mob is hunter until all the respawns are the other mobs and then nobody can find what they need.

So we basically came along and fixed the spawn.

Rocs spawn!

From there we just slaughtered… though the drop rate was pretty low.  And then, as the three hour mark came and went on our venture, dinner was ready at our house, so I had to log out.  But the rest of the group carried on and noted on Discord that they had collected their drops while I was away.

I got back on later in the evening and got my quota of roc gizzards, then flew over to Feralas and headed to the Feral Scar to hunt Ironfur bears and Graddoc apes for their livers.

The apes were a little rare on the ground, though I think they share spawns with the bears, as once I had killed a bunch of bears the apes started showing up.

Once I had all the entrails requested, I recalled back to Ironforge and flew back up to The Hinterlands again to speak with Rhapsody Shindigger who, after some theatrics, was ready to tell his tale.

Being drunk means never getting to the point…

Once I had the update from him it was back to Brohann Caskbelly, who I will mention is hanging out in an Inn in the Dwarven District of Stormwind, to get the quest that actually sends you into the dungeon to collect some stuff for him.

So I believe we are now all ready to enter the Sunken Temple for real.  But that will have to wait until next time.

Class Quest Prep for Sunken Temple

We decided that we had had enough of Maraudon in our two runs and turned our gaze towards Sunken Temple, or The Temple of Atal’Hakkar, to give it its proper name.

The Temple of Atal’Hakkar out in the swamp

But there was some preliminary work to be done.  Some of it was the usual rounding up of quests for the instance.  Oddly, my usual starting point for that, Icy Veins, doesn’t seem to have the instance on their list.

Nothing between Maraudon and Dire Maul?

Still, there are other sources.  And some of those quests have lead-ins that we need to do, staring with one to just find the temple.

But there were also some special quests to pick up.  At level 50 all of us were offered a class quest, and while they all have different starting points, they all end up in the instance. (WoWhead has them all listed out.)  So we set out to get those ready.

Between the four of us we had to go to the Blasted Lands, Un’goro Crater, and Azshara.

The warrior quest was in the Blasted Lands and I had already been out there with Viniki to do the first part of it.  That, and the fact that it was somewhat on the way to any place else we were headed… not too far from the boat out of Booty Bay… made it the starting point for the day.  We got on the bird and headed to the Blasted Lands.

Making this even easier, I had already scouted the next step, which just involved killing a variety of mobs who were all located in and around a cave just south of Nethergarde Keep.

It all fits on one little map section

We landed there and Skronk got to use his newly acquired group fortitude spell to buff the group.

Everybody at once

It requires a reagent, which means something else to keep track of, but it gets everybody in one shot and takes less mana than hitting us one at a time, a process that was requiring a break for a drink in order to complete.

We rode out and were able to pick up the kills we were trying for fairly quickly.  The only problem we ran into was a Servant of Allistarj, a mob that just refused to die.  You would knock them down to one hit point, and then nothing would stick.

The Servant of Allistarj abides

We ended up having to just run away from them if we ended up aggrod.  That was a minor inconvenience, but it did slow us down a bit.  Later I looked up the mob and found that you needed to get them to one of the local pylons to finish them off.  That would have been handy to know at the time as one of those pylons is literally in the background of the above screen shot.

Still, we wrapped things up and I was able to update the quest chain with the Fallen Hero of the Horde just over the zone line in the Swamp of Sorrow.

Quest update please

From there we were off to Un’Goro crater and the druid quest for Moronae.  That meant a boat trip, some flying time, and a ride across Tanaris to the pathway down into the crater.

The path is at least well marked

There we needed stingers off of the Gorbashi mobs, which are in the south end of the zone.  The quest notes say they come off of the bugs in general, but we only ever got drops from the wasps.  Given the low drop rate, we were there hunting for quite a while.

A stand up fight or another bug hunt?

We persisted, killed a lot of bugs, then finally got the final drop.  Then there were some bloodcaps to be found, but those drop from the bloodpetal sprouts around the zone.  We found some of those fairly readily and were able to finish up and update the quest back at the path down to the zone.  From there we needed a devilsaur.

However, time ran out for Moronae.  He had announced a hard stop time, but misunderstood and discovered that time was when he actually had to be at his destination so the stop time was moved up considerably.  We had just enough time to run over to Marshal’s Refuge and the flight point, where he camped.

With Moronae out, the next stop was Azshara, where both Skronk and Ula would find their quests.

Azshara is a zone I mostly think about in its post-Cataclysm, crazy goblin rocket ramp state, a much different place than the WoW Classic version of the zone.

A Panda riding the rocketway during Mists of Pandaria

Even getting there was a bit of a chore.  We decided that the nearest flight point was in Ashenvale, but that required use to ride almost the full length of the zone before Azshara finally came into sight.

The bridge into Azshara

We remembered enough to go grab the flight point that, for the Alliance, is off to the right almost immediately after entering the zone.  Then we went in search of the quest giver Ula needed for the mage quest line.

This led to one of those quirks of the old days.  The NPC she needed to speak with is in a tower in the zone, but it is up on a ledge and you need to use what is essentially a teleporter in order to get up to it.  We found the area from which you teleport.

This will get you to the tower level

There is an NPC there you need to speak to in order to be teleported.  But you don’t just ask him to send you or click on a cog wheel item.  The NPC has a quest, and you take the quest, then complete the quest, after which you get teleported.

The quest isn’t part of the mage quest line.  Anybody can do it.  It is just one of those things that probably got setup before somebody decided on a standard way to teleport people.  Blizz wouldn’t do this as a quest today.  But back then, a lot of things seemed like they were figuring it out as they were doing it.

The quests themselves, it was a two-parter like mine and Moronae’s, were straightforward enough.  Go slay, get drops, return, go slay some more, get more drops, and you’re done.  We just had to go find the mobs.

Riding around in the high plains of Azshara

Skronk’s quest was even more simple.  We had to find a quest giver then run off to slay some non-aggro mobs for drops.  The drop rate was low, but we had the area to ourselves, so we were able to kill steadily until he had the final drop.  Both sets of quests took place in the same area of the zone.

Around here, which is the only part of the map I have filled in

Once everybody had their quests turned in, we were about set.

We still have to go back and finish off Moronae’s class quest preliminaries, as well as running down any lead-in quests, so there might be another week of ground work.  But we should be able to get into the instance soon.

 

Visions of a Sunken Temple

This is the second in my series of… well… at least two videos about World of Warcraft.

The first video was focused on the exploits of our regular instance group in their first year together in Azeroth.

This time around, the focus is on a single instance, the Temple of Atal’Hakkar or Sunken Temple.

If you are viewing this in a mobile device or RSS reader, the video can be reached via this link.

More information about the video is available after the cut.

Continue reading

Sunken Temple – Round 2

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.

Target marked

And then, after the victory party, posing in front of the serpent.

Victory shot

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.

At the altar again

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!

Double Dragon!

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.

st2shadeoferanikus.png

So, in the end, the fight was not dramatic. Here we are, the opposite of the picture from last time, us alive, Eranikus dead.

Our turn to slay him

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 Patch

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.

All Done

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.

Sunken Temple – Round 1

Instance night started off on something of a bad foot last Saturday night. As 9pm approached we found that logging into World of Warcraft was not possible. We all got stuck at the “Authenticating” message, though once or twice I hit “Handshaking” and then sat there until the connection timed out.

I foolishly went to the Blizzard support forums and got the message that the server was too busy.

The server that runs the support forum, that is. Every time there is a hiccup in-game, in gets slammed.

After a few attempts I managed to get in and saw more than a few threads with the word “authenticating” in the title, indicating that we were far from alone in this issue.

After about 20 minutes things were set to rights and we, along with all of the other desperate masses, were able to log in.

Of course, that did not stop somebody from starting a “Class Action Lawsuit” threat in the Blizzard support forums. There is at least one in every crowd, and since the WoW crowd is so big, you get multiples. The last I saw the person who started the thread was being shouted down pretty unanimously. Still, that sort of thing makes your head want to pop.

stheadpop.png

Meanwhile, back in the game, we decided to head towards The Temple of Atal’Hakkar, otherwise known as The Sunken Temple. We talked a little bit about going back to Maraudon for a farming run, but decided to press on to Sunken Temple. While we did not have all of the quests for the instance lined up, everybody had their level 50 class quest ready to go, so we headed on down to the Swamp of Sorrows. Our group:

50 Warlock – Bungholio
51 Priest – Skronk
51 Mage – Ula
52 Warrior – Earlthecat
52 Paladin – Vikund

We headed on into Sunken Temple to knock off everybody’s class quests, three of which had the same set of objectives (voodoo feathers) and two of which required the death of somebody named Morphaz. And, while we were there, we thought we might as well knock over Jammal’an the Prophet for another quest, then probably call it a night.

And we did very well in accomplishing our goals.

Of course, there were trolls, undead, and dragon kin all about coming for us.

Target marked behind

But we slew all who opposed us. Ula did get killed once in a hot fight where she ended up with a bit too much aggro, but that was our only death in the pusuit of our goals. (After reading the post on paladin blessings on Blessing of Kings, I think we might be able to solve that with some better buffing by me.)

We got in and killed the guardians Gasher, Hukku, Loro, Mijan, Zolo, and Zul’lor (which seems to be Luzor spelled sideways) who, in total, dropped all the feathers needed by Bung, Earl, and myself for our class quest.

We then cleared our way to Jammal’an the Prophet, though clearing out the area before the altar where Jammal’an lives is about as tricky as clearing out the cathedral in Scarlet Monastery, so we were extra careful. Fear wards are highly recommended and we cursed the designer at Blizzard who put a 30 second cool-down on that priest spell.

The fight with Jammal’an went well. At a couple of points he turned Earl into some sort of monstrous minion who would then turn and beat on me for a while.

But if that was Jammal’an’s ace in the hole, it was found wanting. At the end, we were the ones still standing.

Fighting the Jam

We slew him, took his head for our quest, and let the squishy casters roll out over the Gloves of the Atal’ai Prophet that he dropped. Then, having slain our main boss target for the night, we took a picture on his altar.

Post alltar-cation

(Note that some of us are wearing the new Twilight Cadre tabbard. It is IWW chic.)

But we had to move on. We still had Morphaz to eliminate.

As we headed out of Jammal’an’s annex to get to Morphaz, we found Dreamscythe and Weaver, two dragons, flying around the center circle of Sunken Temple. The apparently spawn on the death of Jammal’an.

So in what may have been my first real dragon fight in WoW, we pulled them one at a time off to a corridor and slew them. (Okay, yes, real dragon fights take 40 people 6 hours in pre-cataclysm Norrath, but this is probably as close as I am going to get these days.) Here we are taking on Dreamscythe. Or Weaver. They looked pretty much alike, so it is hard to tell.

Dragon fire on!

Having cleared them away (Dreamscythe only dropped some leather gloves, continuing our roll of back luck with drops that started when all of the guardians dropped either leather or mail items) we went down the hall and took on Morphaz and his sidekick Hazzas, who are also dragons and who look remarkably like Dreamscythe and Weaver. Okay, I understand the concept of art asset reuse, but come on Blizzard, four identical named dragons in a space of 100 yards?

Despite the fact that Morphaz and Hazzas came as a pair, we took care of them and wrapped up our last goal for the evening. Everybody’s class quest had been completed.

Then we looked up the hall and saw another dragon, sleeping peacefully.

steranikus.png

We thought we might go in and wake him up. Sure, he was level 55, but we were on a roll. So we started in on him.

And then we learned/were reminded that every mob left in the area comes to help old Eranikus when you attack him. So while we started out well, not too far into the fight a good half dozen dragon kin rolled in and kicked the spit out of us. Complete wipe, no chance of anything else. Here we are, dead again.

Another wipe for the books

As more of a challenge than any real hope of continuing the fight, once the other mobs left the room, Skronk used the soul stone, revived, the proceeded to bring us all back to life. We formed back up and headed out under our own power, kicking in the teeth of a couple hapless mobs we ran across. Honor restore, we declared victory and Ula opened up a portal to Ironforge.

From there we all flew off, turned in our class quests and called it a night.

So our first venture into Sunken Temple went pretty well. We still have some quests to collect, bosses to slay, and, of course, a score to settle with Eranikus.