Tag Archives: Trial of the Champion

Horsemen and Champions

While we finished the last, real, official, current, canonical five person non-heroic instance last week, swatting down King Ymiron like the bug he is, there were still things on our agenda.  Some loose ends to tie up.

The whole group was on.

80 Priest – Skronk
80 Warlock – Bungholio
80 Mage – Ula
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund

And the first order of business was the Headless Horseman, a Hallow’s End standard.

This is our second year hitting the Headless Horseman in hopes of getting his mount.

HHTOCflyingHH

The Headless Horseman Takes Off

For the group this represented attempts 16 through 20 to get the brass ring.  But it was not to be.  We now have quite a selection of rings, so many that we had to leave one horseman corpse unlooted, but no mounts.

Going after the Headless Horseman did not take us long though.  Compared to last year taking him down seemed quite easy.  There was no question that we were going to win.  Last year we lost once and it was work to win the rest of the time.  This year we previously went at him minus Earl and with a level 54 shaman in tow and it still seemed more like a chase than a fight.  (The shaman died a couple of times, but that didn’t change the balance of the fight.)

I don’t know if this means that were are just better this year in skill/equipment or if the HH didn’t get big enough boost over last year, but we beat him down 5 out of 5 times on Saturday and are 20 out of 20 overall so far.

Which left us enough time to go take a full group run at the Trial of the Champion.

We tried to do this as a four person group previously, and were not successful.  This instance is supposed to be a bit of a step up from the other five person instances in Northrend, so we were back again to give it a try.

HHTOCLineup

Mounted for Battle

The first part, the mounted combat segment, was a bit chaotic as before.  Three of us died during that part.  However, the graveyard is close and if you run back you can mount up and join the battle again.  So after a lot of running around, we defeated the first three bosses in mounted combat.

Then we were treated to a change.  The event has been altered since last we ran it so that now, once the mounted portion is done, the bosses don’t just turn around and start wailing on your lance equipped character.  Instead, they just retire to the gate through which they came, allowing us to get ourselves together and plan out attack.

We faced Morka the Skullcrusher, Zul’tore, and Deathstalker Visceri.  Visceri had a mana bar, so we figured he ought to be first on our list.  We went straight after him.

Earl was able to keep all three on him and, while healing got a little scary for a moment or two, once Visceri was down, the drama ebbed and we were able to drop the other two.

The first round was complete.  We were now further than last time.

Next up was Eadric the Pure, who shows up with nine trash mobs in three groups of three.  We were surprised to find that none of these groups were linked with Eadric, so we were able to mow them down and then move on to the big guy.

His big move is Radiance, a flash of light that damages and blinds you for a short time.  However, this attack can be defeated by simple turning away from him, which the announcement that heralds the attack pretty much tells you to do.

We figured that out pretty quickly, though we all turned around at the announcement of another of his attacks, having fallen for the old “Simon Says” gambit, which did not diminish his Hammer of the Righteous.

In the end, Eadric went down.

Which left us facing the bonus round, the Black Knight.  He was a pushover out on the tournament grounds,  but now he was back from the dead and seemed a bit more formidable.

We had to face the Black Knight three times to get through the encounter.  He comes at you in three phases, first as a scourge, then as a skeleton, and finally as a ghost, and each segment has its own flavor, which we had to learn the hard way.

The first phase was straightforward.  We never had a problem there.

The second phase, when he is a skeleton, sees the Black Knight summon a group of minions who got out of control the first time we ran into them, leading to a wipe.

The second time around, we took care of the second phase by getting Earl to collect all the minions and then Bung and Ula rained area attacks on them, swatting them all down pretty quickly.  Then we smote the Black Knight, which lead us to the third phase, where we wiped again while trying to come to grips with the constant damage to the whole party and the “Marked for Death” special that hit and caused the death of Skronk early in the fight.  Another wipe.

So we ran through the the three phases one more time, there being no partial credit for the Black Knight, and at the final phase just had everybody keep a close eye on their health while we burned him down with maximum DPS.  We still ended up losing Ula and Bung in the fight, but they poured enough damage onto the Black Knight that we were able to finish him off.

And so we stood in victory over the orb that was all that remained of the Black Knight.

HHTOCvictory

Black Knight - Not Invincible

Unfortunately, there was no achievement.  The Trial of the Champion achievement requires you to defeat all the possible bosses in the instance.  One pass through leaves at least three bosses left undone.  So if we want the achievement, we are going to have to come back for another visit.

On the upside, the loot chests were pretty nice, with a couple of nice, purple upgrades for the casters and a good cloak for Vikund.

And so we made it through the Trial of the Champion.  Since it was Hallow’s End there were a few out takes from the victory shot, since everybody seemed intent on scarfing the candy from the Headless Horseman.

Skronk Hurls HHTOCEarl HHTOCbung

We all had the Out With It achievement already, we just like throwing up in public.

As for next week.  I’m not sure what we’ll do on Halloween.  Probably five more shots at the Headless Horseman and some more puking.

Called Out in the Trial of the Champion

Saturday night on Labor Day weekend found us again short a gnome as Bung ran off to the wilds of Northern Sierra-Nevada mountains, where we hope he was safe from fire.  So the group was:

80 Priest – Skronk
80 Mage – Ula
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund

We decided that the Oculus was probably off the agenda.

Instead we thought we might scout out the Trial of the Champion.

The Trial is a five person instance up at the Argent Tournament that involves a combination of jousting that makes up the tournament and old fashioned “kill the boss” fighting.

The first thing we had to do for this was to get Ula up to speed on the Argent Tournament.

Earl, Skronk, and Vikund had all, to different degrees, explored the tournament and figured out the whole mounted combat paradigm Blizzard has set out.

Ula, however, had not touched the tournament up to that point.  So we got her out there on the training horse and helped her through the first starter quest to give her a feel for things.

Gnome Mounted

Gnome Mounted

After our very quick intro course, we headed into the instance to give it a try.

Mounting up in the instance

Mounting up in the instance

The instance actually provides mounts.  There is an ample supply of mounts around the arena.  Earl was the first to note that there was no “heal” feedbag button on our instance mounts.  If you get dismounted, or if your mount is low on health, you can grab a fresh mount.

Mounted up, we spoke to the guy in the center of the ring to set off the event.

This takes a while as three sets of horde riders, one boss and three minions have to parade into the ring.  Eventually they settle down the combat begins.

The minions were manageable.  They came at us in groups of three and we took them down readily enough.

Then it was the three bosses, and things got interesting.

We held our own for the most part, though things were rather chaotic.

Skronk got dismounted and killed, but found that he could just run back to the instance from the graveyard, mount back up, and rejoin the combat.  That seemed almost unfair, until we brought down the first boss.

The big orc was face down on the floor and we all went after the other two.  Then we noticed he was upright again and walking towards the edge of the ring.  He walked right to another mount, got on, and rejoined the battle.

Turnabout is fair play I guess.

That confused us for a bit, but eventually we delegated somebody to pound on the dismounted riders every time the stood up to keep them from coming at us again.  Doing that allowed the four of use to finally bring down all three mounted bosses.

At which point the instance turns into a more traditional battle.  Our mounts disappeared and the bosses all stood up and clobbered us.  We were there swapping our lances out for our regular weapons and trying to figure out who to go after while the bosses were making chutney out of us.

We were all dead in short order.

Fortunately, you do not have to replay the whole start of the instance.  Once you are done with the mounted combat, you can focus on your regularly scheduled character class.

Eyeing our dismounted foes

Eying our dismounted foes

So we were able to go back in, organize ourselves, get everything lined up, and get ourselves slaughtered again.

For the four of us, these through bosses were quite a challenge.  After a few tries we decided that victory was not going to be ours without our warlock.

We ended up just running some more quests in Icecrown, getting ourselves lined up to knock off a pile of group quests.  We did not, however, make it to those quests.  Like the Oculus, they will have to wait for another Saturday night.