Tag Archives: Uldaman

Archaedas in the Foyer

The past weekend found us all at home.  Since we all live in locales that were under community lockdown guidelines… “shelter in place” they call it… thanks to COVID-19, we seemed to have ample opportunity to play.  Nobody had any reservations for dinner, a show to see, or a sporting event to attend certainly.

So we got together on Saturday afternoon to take another run at Uldaman and met up again in the Badlands.  If nothing else, we still had quests to finish up.  Uldaman is good at keeping your quest log supplied.  Our party for the afternoon was:

  • Viniki – level 44 gnome warrior
  • Ula – level 43 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 43 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 42 night elf druid

The still seemed shy of what we might need for Archaedas… but, quests!

Before we went in though, we had to get out quests aligned.  Viniki had gotten ahead with one in the Badlands, so we spent a little bit of time getting everybody back on the same page.  That meant finding a dead dwarf then slaying some troggs.

The troggs are over there

The annoying bit was having to run back to Loch Modan to get the quest update, but three out of four of us have mounts now while the hold out, Moronae, is a druid, which means he has a travel form, so it didn’t take as long as it might of to get the quests set.

Another week in Uldaman

The missing one was Agmond’s Fate, and it was another “collect a few things” quests, in this case it was four urns.  But like the power stone drops and the fungus, there didn’t seem to be many urns about.

It didn’t help that, once again, things were a bit busy outside of Uldaman.  We were not the only ones sheltering at home.  We did find out way to one quest objective outside the instance, a large stone chest.

Well, we got this at least

But otherwise we were in competition with other groups for mobs and drops and harvestables and whatever.  The place was stripped clean, like the paper goods aisle at the store.  So the instance seemed to be our best bet.

So dramatically lit too

Inside we followed what has become the usual path.  We cleared through the troggs, met up with the lost vikings, got the bits for the Staff of Prehistoria, slew Revelosh, and set up to fight Ironaya again, just because.  Seriously, we could just bypass her, but calling her out doesn’t take much extra time and we all live in hope of a nice blue drop.

Fighting Ironaya again

I like that screen shot because Ula’s spell is in flight and because I got off a disarm on Ironaya, which always pleases me for some reason.  Ironaya’s revenge was to drop some mail bracers, and nobody in our group needs that.  Her chamber was, as usual, empty.

Again, the paper goods aisle at the store…

I like that they went so far as to put cobwebs on the shelf to emphasize their emptiness.  I was hoping they might at least have an urn.  But we were denied.

We carried on, following the left wall mostly, taking down Galgann and Grimlok in their turns.  We bypassed the Ancient Stone Keeper and went from Grimlok straight to the Hall of Crafters.  It was time to get things cleared for the big fight.

All those groups in there again

Here is where a couple weeks of practice began to pay off.  After all of the fights… and a few deaths… last week, we had finally settled on a routine that worked for us.  The rhythm for these groups was for Viniki to engage and get aggro and Moronae to call the target marker color the the current DPS focus.  Previously we had tried targeting off of Viniki or having me call the target, both of which have problems.  I use push to talk on coms, and mid-fight my fingers are sometimes too busy to get that extra key, while targeting off of Viniki can fall apart because he has to change targets to hold aggro on whole bunch.  But Moronae taking the lead on that made everything much smoother.

So we plowed through the three groups in the first room, did the golem event easily enough, then did the next set of groups, all without any major issues.  That brought us to Archaedas again.

There he is

On last week’s post Rebeard left a comment suggesting a different strategy for fighting Archaedas.  This involved starting the fight and then running back up to the room with the golem event and fighting Archaedas there.  That was supposed to slow down the arrival of the adds so that, towards the end, when he summons the his final minions you can kill him before they show up and ruin the party.  So we set up to give it a try.

Ready to start Archaedas

The whole thing nearly fell apart seconds into the event.  We started the event and then paused to make sure Archaedas would follow.  As it turns out, the doors to the chamber close and we just barely managed to squeeze out through them.  I believe you can open them up again, but I didn’t stick around to check and even if you can, doing so with Archaedas beating on your seemed like a bad plan.

And then, with Archaedas hot on our heels up the stairs to the golem room, he began beating on Skronk.  Skronk was losing a lot of health and Archaedas seemed to be able to shrug off my taunts.  Somehow we managed to get up to the top of the stairs and into the golem room and get things sorted.  The fight began.

On the plus side Ula, Skonk, and Moronae all leveled up along the way before we started this fight, so we were better equipped.  But being away from Archaedas’ room only slowed down the arrival of the first add.  After that it was the same routine, hitting Archaedas, swapping to burn down the latest add, then on to Archaedas again.  There was a question as to if we would know when we should go all out on him, but his shout of “To my side, brothers! For the Makers!” seemed to be the hint we were looking for.  We focused on Archaedas and were so very close as the big golems arrived and started pounding on me.

Getting so very close

And then he collapsed and the fight was over.

Almost over, one non-elite arrived late

Strewn about us were the corpses of many adds… though they seemed to fade quickly even as the fight was going on.  During the fight we pulled out all the stops.  Moronae hit Skronk with innervate part way through the fight and I managed to consume three superior health potions along the way.  Not a short fight.  So we lined up to take our screen shot by the fallen Archaedas.

Victory in Uldaman

That accomplished, it was time to run back down stairs to the treasure room.

The treasure room has opened

I have to say, the treasure room in Uldaman is one of the biggest teases in the game.  You run into that room and see a giant chest and piles of gold and gems and what not, but what you walk out of there with is… not much.  You go through the final quest bit, get a bit of lore

Ding! Your discs are ready!

The chest contained a couple of leather items, and Moronae only wanted one of them.  Our loot drops for the run were not great.  But we finished the instance, killed the boss, and got into his vault.  One last screen shot there, then it was back to Ironforge.

The treasure is so bright we have a backlighting problem

Back in Ironforge, after a bit of run around, we got the real prize for the whole venture… a 14 slot bag! (Plus some potions to replace the ones from that last fight.)

The best quest reward

And so we were done.  Viniki still has two unfinished Uldaman quests in his log.

Urns and fungus

But I am not sure either is worth finishing up.  After three weeks there it might be time to move on.  Next on the list is Zul’Farrak, home of the famed Carrot on a Stick trinket.  I think I still had that and the Argent Commission in my trinket slots well into The Burning Crusade.

And, as I have done with past instances, here is a replay of the group’s experiences from both the distant and the recent past:

Oddly, February and March seem to be when we visit Uldaman.  No other months will do I guess.

Visiting Archaedas

As we gathered up again this past weekend, the question was what should we do.  We had taken down almost all of the bosses in Uldaman the week before, but our group, as it stood, seemed a bit wee to challenge Achaedas.  We started out on Sunday as:

  • Viniki – level 43 gnome warrior
  • Ula – level 42 gnome mage
  • Moronae – level 42 night elf druid
  • Skronk – level 42 dwarf priest

My inexpert opinion was that we probably didn’t have much of a hope unless we were all at least level 43.  Archaedas is level 47 and our past experience shows that when you are five levels below a boss they will resist your spells and abilities with alarming regularity.

However, we still had a good number of quests to finish up in Uldaman. As nobody had a better idea when it came to leveling up it seemed like a worthwhile venture to head back in.  We all had the same five on our list this week.

Our quest list

So off we went to the Badlands.  Ula and I got there first.

Waiting for the group

I had sold everything not nailed down and scrounged gold from my alts to get a mount for Viniki, which felt like a necessity after I had run back and forth across the Badlands a few times.

As it turned out, somehow Moronae never obtained the flight point at Thelsamar in Loch Modan, so he had to run out from Ironforge.  I was less concerned about the delay than how he managed to get this far without that flight point.  Anyway, he got it this time and joined us out in the Badlands.

We figured we could work on some of the quests that require drops outside of the instance, but it was a busy Sunday around Uldaman and the mobs were being hunted by several groups besides ours.

Into the tunnels

Even inside the tunnels it was slim pickings.  We did go update one quest and, after a bit more hunting, decided to just head on into the instance and carry on there.

The area around the instance was bare

There we made our way to the dead paladin, which in turn started another quest that required us to pick up three gems.  That required killing a few bosses, so we figured we might as well clean out the ones we did last week one more time.

We did stumble a bit at Ironaya.  We forgot to get the bits to make the staff to unlock her.  We could have just passed on by, but that seemed wrong, so we headed back, got the items, made the staff, and went through the summoning routine again.

Staff in place to call her

The fight went smoothly.  The whole run through the first part of the instance.  The scorpion traps and such did not cause us any real problems.

Scorpions! We’re Back!

We worked our way around and took down Galgann Firehammer hammer again without issue.

Galgann gets it again

For the quest we needed to go take care of Grimlok as well, so we cut our way into the troggs and got set up for that fight.

Eyeing Grimlok

This time around we put Grimlok third on the list, with the basilisk taking second position since it caused some problems last time.  Grimlok went down pretty easy with that ordering and we were able to update the quest.  The update had us pointed at the vault guarded by Archaedas, so it was on the list for later.

That done, we took a side trip over to the Ancient Stone Guardian, managing to keep Ula alive in the trash this time around.  He was another quick fight, after which we still had some time.  So we figured we might as well see how far we could get on the path to Archaedas.

First there are the troggs outside the Hall of Crafters.  They come in groups of four and are a step up from a lot of the earlier trash in the instance.  Early on you run into a range around 38-42 or so.  Now it seemed to be 43-45.  Still, we managed to get them cleared out and made our way to the big door.

The Hall of Crafters door

Past the door we faced a room with three groups each made up of an elite and four or five non-elites.  However, the non-elites were where we had fallen down in the past and they caused us problems again.

Looking into the room with the groups

The opening idea was the old plan of I hold elite and the rest of the group does AOE to burn down the little guys.  Only the little guys were now our level or higher and one or two of them were casters, so tended to stand back out of the AOE and pelt our own casters.  Ula went down with the first group, though we were far enough along that we finished them off.

The second group saw Skronk go down, and from there it was a near run thing to finish off that group.  Also, to get Skronk back Moronae had to use his combat ress, which has a 30 minute cool-down.  So we were a bit on edge and decided to change up out plan.

Instead of me holding the elite, I would grab the group and pick a non-elite to focus on.  Everybody would target off of me and we would quickly burn down all the small guys with single target damage, after which we would take on the elite.

That seemed to go much more smoothly and we cleared the final group in the room.  But now we had an event to pass through, involving the four golems in a circle.  Again, vague memories were with us, but we were not solid on how the event really ran.

In the room with the Golems

You get three people to click on the pedestal in the middle, which starts the event.  That much we remembered.  But how would the fight run?  We decided to press the button and find out.

As it turned out, the golems activate one by one.  You kill one and the next one goes live.  Four single target mini-boss fights was no big deal.  It helped that Skronk leveled part way through the fight, so got a refill of mana, but we were on it either way.  Soon they were all down and the far door had opened up.

Golems down and the door open

On the far side of the door was another group based on an elite.  But he had six non-elites.  Or maybe it was seven.  I know we had to use all of the target markers to mark them.  That proved to be a couple too many mobs for us to handle.  We ran down the little guys like last time, but eventually damage builds up and Skronk has to start laying heals on me, which then pulls aggro.  I have a taunt to get everybody back on me, but it has a ten minute cool down, so it is a once a fight deal, and after I used it the wheels came off anyway and we had a wipe.

We released and decided to try and run back in via the back door, which we managed to find.  I am not sure how.

The cave to the back door as seen in dead-o-vision

Going in via the back door mean we had to kill the Obsidian Sentinal, a boss we bypassed because it only has a drop for the mage quest and we got that last week.  Again, not a tough fight and we were soon back in the Hall of Crafters.  Fortunately we had pared down the group that we wiped on, so were able to finish off the rest.

There were two walkers going up and down the halls, which we managed to get solo.  Then there were more groups, the last of which was another “use all the target markers” in size.  Somehow though, we managed to get through them with a wipe, or even a death.

Which left us standing at the door of Archaedas.

There he is!

We had gone all that way, we were certainly going to give him a shot.  Again, vague memories and the layout of the room suggested how the fight might go, but we were not certain.

Standing in the room

He has a series of inanimate dwarves around the edge of the room, then some bigger ones in the circle around him, and then two more even bigger ones at opposite ends of the room.  We had out theories as to what might get activated when, but decided to figure it out by kicking off the event.  We got three of us on the pedestal to start things going.

Waking Archaedas, or whatever it is we are doing

The basic plan was to tank Archaedas, focus on him when we could, but kill any add as it appeared.  And there are a lot of adds.  Archaedas starts lighting up the outer circle of dwarves one by one.  They are non-elite, so died pretty quickly, but there are a lot of them and they just keep on coming.

That seemed to go okay.  When his health was down by about a third he woke up that inner circle of dwarves, which we managed to get through.  But even as we were working on that, more of the outer ring dwarves were getting lit up.

A lot of animated dwarves down

We were not doing bad, but we were falling behind.  And then a little too much healing landed on me and they began going after Skronk and the wheels started coming off the wagon.  We had Archaedas about half way down at that point.

Last health check on Archaedas

But then we wiped.  If the boss is on Ula it generally means we’re about done.

After the wipe

It wasn’t a horrible wipe.  Three out of four of us were level 43 by that point in the run, Ula having leveled up as well, but Achaedas was still resisting attacks fairly regularly.  And, again, there is a DPS check aspect of this that we, as a group of four, are going to have to work hard to get past.  But I think we might manage it.  We may have to be 44 or even 45 as a group to ensure success, but our one run at him didn’t feel like it had no hope.

Still, we were not going to go again.  It was getting towards dinner time and home life was calling, so we released, ran back into the instance to revive, then recalled back to Ironforge to call it a night.

With all of that, plus the grinding he did to buy that mount, Viniki is close to 44.  Ula shouldn’t be too far back from that and Skronk is at least a ways into 43.  We might need to look into getting the group a level or two next time.  But the best way to do that might just to be to head back into Uldaman.  We still have quests to finish after all.  We all need some more power core drops and nobody is close to done with the fungus harvesting.

An Uldaman of Vague Memories

One does not just walk into Uldaman… at least you don’t if you want to complete all the quests.

Uldaman seems to be to be clearly designed for multiple visits.  It has a noticeable step in mob level/difficulty part way in, it has a side door like Gnomeregan, and, the clincher, you cannot actually wrap up the quests for the instance in one go.  There is one that sends you there and, upon turning it in, sends you back again.

But first you have to get all the quests, and that too is not just a matter of “grab and go.”  The project leading up to the weekend was to find and collect the quests we could.  The wiki helps, of course.  You can get a list of quests.  But you still have to go out and do things as several of the quests have precursors.

So you start in Ironforge by picking up a couple.  Then you fly off to Loch Modan to pick up and advance a couple.  Then it is off to the Badlands, where there is no Alliance flight point, so you walk all the way.

Now entering the Badlands

The color palette changes from greens to oranges as you cross over into the zone.  Even the map is in the right colors to depict the place.

Welcome to the Badlands

I didn’t have to go very far out of my way while doing some of the lead-in quests in order to fill out most of the map.

Probably the most burdensome quest on the list was Badlands Reagent Run.  This starts in Thelsamar in Loch Modan and sends you off to the Badlands to procure a few items.  The ten coyote teeth are easy.  The drop rate isn’t high, but coyotes are practically the signature mob of the zone, so they are everywhere.  Rock elemental shards are not too bad either.  There are not a huge number of rock elementals, but the drop rate is very high, so you only need a few.

And then there are the buzzard gizzards.  The drop rate is low and buzzards are few and far between in most of the zone.  I was struggling on this stage until Ula mentioned that there was a place where they seemed to congregate.  There was a bunch of them around what looked to be an abandoned orc structure.

Where the buzzard collect…

That done, it was time to trot back to Loch Modan again in order to turn that in and get the quest for the instance.  So much running.  Of course, some people had been saving their coppers for a mount.

Ula on her mechanochicken

Viniki is still about 20g shy of a mount as I write this.

Mechanostriders are not cheap

But after all that running about I had the six quests.

Ready for Uldaman

When I was done with that Moronae showed up and we shepherded him through that as well, guiding him to the buzzard spot and such before finally getting everybody together at the meeting stone.  The lineup for the evening was:

  • Ula – level 42 gnome mage
  • Viniki – level 42 gnome warrior
  • Moronae – level 41 night elf druid
  • Skronk – level 41 dwarf priest

From there we headed to the front door where, as the title suggests, the whole adventure stirred up a lot of vague or half forgotten memories.  Fortunately there was just enough of a tickle in the back of our collective brains to steer us in mostly the right direction without getting too lost.

As with a lot of the classic instances, there is a whole outer area with elite mobs and a couple of the quests get updated there, as well as mobs dropping items for another.  We wandered around the outer area for a bit, then headed in where we faced Revelosh.

He went down pretty easily.  After that there was a side are… we knew there was something significant about a side area… where we fought our way to Erik, Baleog, and Olaf, the lost vikings.

Not the last appearance these guys will make in WoW

There was a quest turn in there and we read a book and then I picked up an item from a chest, which seemed to be important.

From there we wandered further into the instance to the wide open area with the model city.  Clearing that out we were left with an item that wanted the Staff of Prehistoria.  None of us had that, but Skronk remembered that we had to assemble some pieces, and I had the pieces, so we were able to summon Ironaya.

Ironaya approaches

Ironaya is one of the more memorable bosses in the instance for me.  Probably the only one I can recall clearly, but women wearing tall boots often have that effect on me.  Memorable or not, she went down.

Ironaya done

From there it was a bit of a tour of the mini map as we ran along the edges of the instance to find the bosses.  There was the Obsidian Sentinel, which we needed for a mage quest for Ula.

There he is

That was a fight we only remembered once it started.  The sentinel starts spawning adds, getting smaller as he does.  So we killed the adds then him, collecting Ula’s update.

Further along was Galgann Firehammer and his helpers.

Getting ready for Galgann

While there were three of them, we were able to knock them down with much drama.

Then we worked our way around to Grimlok. He has quite the array of wandering troggs before him and is in the end of the instance where the trash mobs start to scale up in levels a bit. We were a bit more careful with our pulls there, and manag

I sued to do pretty well with that. Grimlok himself is part of a foursome. The plan was to kill the caster, lest we find out that he was also a healer, then move on toe Grimlok. Ula would sheep the warrior and Moronae would pacify the pet basilisk. And, in the end, that worked out. We slew the caster quickly and moved on to Grimlok.

However, there came a point when the sheep popped and the basilisk broke out of his spell and the rest of the crew was trying to get that under control that I started feeling a little lonely out in front with Grimlok pounding on me.

Hanging on with Grimlok

I survived, though I had to use a potion, long enough for the DPS to get back on the big guy and burn him down.  Then the warrior and the basilisk got their turns.

At that point, with some of the pre-instance quest work, we were starting to get to the end of our time.  We started about midway into Sunday afternoon, but dinner time was approaching.  We decided to go check out at least one more boss.  We didn’t think we were up for Archaedas, but there were a couple other named mobs in the instance.

The first one we ended up at was Annora, who is the enchanting trainer in the instance.  You cannot fight her.  So we started working our way towards the Ancient Stone Keeper.  And it is along the way that we had our one and only death.

While bosses did not seem to cause us much problem, there are a number of points in the instance where you end up fighting a sizable group of non-elite mobs, like pits full of scorpions.

Scorpion trap unleashed

We were able to handle most of them, but they were often harder work than some of the boss fights.  Again, I think it is the missing DPS player slot in our group that makes these a bit of a challenge.  Viniki’s taunt has a cool down and his one AOE in defense stance needs a lot of rage to use, so the mobs always get away from me. (I might just be a bad tank in this.)  So the burden tends to fall on Ula to AOE these mobs, but she can quickly pull aggro on the lot of them and it becomes a race to save her.

One group of mobs around the Ancient Stone Keeper managed to win the race and Ula went down.  But it was just that one fight.

She died up here, above the Ancient Stone Keeper

The Ancient Stone Keeper himself… well, he has a gimmick at least.  We learned quickly to get out of the whirlwinds that appear around him.  But with that bit of knowledge we were able to knock him down as well.

He ended up dropping a pair of gloves for me.

Stone Keeper Gloves

I am not sure that +10 spirit was the stat for which I would have wished.  However, I was still wearing mail gloves, so the armor was a boost, and the defense and stamina stats were to my liking, so I took them.

And then it was time for a screen shot of the group.

Done with the Ancient Stone Keeper

Before we recalled, Skronk wanted to go track down a paladin’s corpse that was earlier in the dungeon, around the first troggs.  It was something related to a quest.  However, when we found him there wasn’t anything we could “do” with the paladin, so opted to recall back to Ironforge.

There, in turning in some of the quests, we got the update from one that sends us back for that paladin.  So just one trip to Uldaman won’t do.  Also, we have a lot of drops to get still.  But at least we know where that pally is for next time.

Ula has put together another great video of our first Uldaman run.

She captured all of our boss fights very well.  I especially like the sound effect when Ironaya runs up to Viniki at the start of the fight and punts him.  Also, apparently there was a problem with Viniki’s animation for a while, so instead of the running animation, he was just walking very fast.  I could not see this on my client, but it is visible at some points in the video.  I caused great hilarity as I ran around.

There are also a couple of post-credit scenes, including one with the scorpions and another capturing Ula’s death at the Ancient Stone Keeper.  She also captured a lot of the drops we got from bosses.

We will be making a return trip of course.  We need to level up, if nothing else, before thinking beyond Uldaman.

Right now Viniki is close to 43, as is Ula I imagine.  Skronk made it to 42 and Moronae is probably close there.  Looking back on our group composition from our first victory over Archaedas, we were a group of five that were levels 43 and 44.  We might still give Archaedas a try next time.  That will further test the “bad then, better now” theory of our abilities I suppose.

One Night – Three Instances

Which, frankly, isn’t all that many instances when it comes down to it.  Heck, I did three instances in about 90 minutes one afternoon.

But those were lower level dungeon finder runs.  Here we had the regular Saturday night group together for a planned production.

And the tasks at hand required us to get out the old crew.  A reminder for those not keeping score:

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

We had to get out and figure out how to play our old classes.  For me that wasn’t such a big deal; going from healer to DPS made things easier for me, plus I still actively play Vikund regularly, pursuing those achievements and what not.  But others were a bit rusty.  And even I had forgotten some of the dynamics of having a warrior tank and a warlock DPS in the group.

Sorting ourselves out

You can see in that picture that Earl still has a pumpkin head, though I think we were throwing those around at Winter Veil, so it might not actually be from October.  Then again, it might.

The first instance on the agenda was Utgarde Keep, the scene of our inglorious start on Northrend instances that forced us to actually spec and equip for our roles in the group rather than just throw talent points around at random.

We needed to go kill Prince Keleseth so Vikund could get the Love is in the Air drop from him for the achievement.  Fortunately, killing Keleseth is a popular activity, since according to my stats at least, no other boss has killed me as many times as he has.

As a level 70 dungeon, that was a good warm up for us.  The risk was low and we got to use our skills without worrying about a wipe if we made a mistake.  Plus it still showed up on dungeon finder for us, so we could warp right in and start.

We rolled in and took care of Keleseth, getting me the drop and securing me the holiday meta achievement, as I previously mentioned.

Achievement secured

After that, it was time for the second instance, Shadowfang Keep.  There is both an achievement and a daily quest to be taken care of in SFK, which involves knocking off some level 80 bosses in line with the Headless Horseman at Hallow’s End.  I wanted the achievement, even though it is not required for the meta achievement, and the group was keen for a chance at some of the drops from the encounter, which looked pretty nice.

We had to travel overland this time around, since the dungeon finder does not let you into instances that are below your level.  A couple of us made it to the meeting stone and reeled in the remainders, thanks to the fact that the meeting stones no longer have level restrictions.

Inside, we met up with the trio that are the focus of the daily quest.

Baxter, Hummel, and Frye

Like most of these holiday encounters, it is an event that has some interesting parameters.  Baxter is wearing cologne and Hummel is wearing perfume, each of which causes some significant AOE damage. (Not unlike that woman in accounting.)  You are given two bottles of antidote that will protect you from the AOE effects, but they are mutually exclusive.  You can only wear one at a time.

The suggested method we saw was to put the main tank on Hummel, have an off-tank pull Baxter away (each wearing the appropriate antidote), and then burn down Hummel, then Baxter, then Frye.

Frye is the wild card, as he runs all over the place and hurls bottles of perfume and cologne, land and leave pools of the stuff which have the same effects as the perfume and cologne that Baxter and Hummel wear.  If you have the right antidote, you’re safe, if you don’t and you’re standing in the pool, you’re going to be toast pretty soon unless you move.

We gave it a try and seemed to be doing okay.  The battle went on for a while until Frye started hitting us with annoying accuracy with the items we were not protected against.  Earl went down and the wheels came off and it was a wipe.

Spread out and dead

We had forgotten to even make a soul stone.

That went badly enough that we decided to try the other strategy we saw, which has everybody focus on Hummel to take him down fast, then swap antidote and kill Baxter, then finish off with Frye.

And so we tried the concentrated attack in three different forms.  Each time we wiped, but we wiped much more quickly than our divide and conquer strategy.

Concentrated and dead

The problem did not seem to be Baxter or Hummel, it seemed to be Frye.  So for our last run, we decided to try a third strategy.  Earl pulled Hummel off to one side of the courtyard and held him.  Vikund pulled Baxter the other direction and held him.  And then everybody who could attacked Frye.

This worked out much better.

With the right antidote, Hummel and Baxter are no problem and Frye obliged me several times by running into my consecrate or whirlwind.

And by the time Frye was down Vikund almost had Baxter down.  The only hitch came when Skronk died.  We suspect he was standing in a pool of something for which he did not have the antidote active.

Good on the fifth try!

We did not get the elusive Big Love Rocket as a drop.  Instead we got the sweet perfume broach, which Vikund passed on because he’d already gotten his drop for the night back in Utgarde Keep.

Now that we know the fight, we will probably try to do it again this coming week.

Once we were done in SFK the evening was still relatively young for most of us, so we swapped over to Lightninghoof and our up and coming horde characters, who stood at the time at:

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

Earl had gotten out earlier in the day to catch up with his shaman, so we decided to head back to Uldaman to get him that last quest in the treasure room behind Archaedas.  He’d missed it during our last run because he was too low level.

Enaldie, however, was ready to call it a night, so we thought we’d give it a try with just the four of us.

Unfortunately dungeon finder won’t send you places with just a group of four, and we weren’t really in the mood to invite a stranger along at that point.  So we did what any similar group would do in the same situation.  We had Skronk go log Enaldie back in and join the party so we could use dungeon finder.

We dragged Enaldie along on follow for a while as we took on the instance as a group of four, which turned out to be not that big of a deal.  Ironically, in the pre-history of the instance group, it was just a group of four players who at one point just beat their head against Uldaman at and even slightly above level.  This was part of the reason that our initial victory over Archaedas was so sweet.

However now as a four person group, it wasn’t a big deal.  We wiped Enaldie off on some feature of the terrain at one point and didn’t notice until she was off the mini map.  It turned out to be a safe spot, as she disconnected before anything came to kill her.

As with last week, the troggs were the most difficult fights, at least from Hurmoo’s healer perspective.  After we were past that it was all smooth sailing and excellent experience.  The four of us made it to Archaedas and sent him packing.

Battle with Archaedas

So there you have it.  Four players at the appropriate level for the dungeon were capable of seeing through without issue.

Now we’ll see if we’re ready for Zul’Farrak.  The quests for the instance are levels 45-50.

The Uldaman Run Around

We gotta run, run, run to Uldaman!
And then we gotta run away!

-A song I am going to finish writing some day

Travel turned out to be the word of the evening as we headed back to Uldaman, the site of an epic and fulfilling victory nearly three years back.  The chronicles of that event are assuredly the stuff of legend.

Or so it seemed back then, when we went in there as a group at level 44 and struggled to defeat Archaedas.

Who are we sending against Archaedas this week?

38 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
38 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
38 Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
39 Tauren Druid – Azawak (Skronk)
40 Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)

We’ll call the level gap about 5 levels on average across the board between then and now.  You can probably predict how this is going to turn out if you’ve been following our exploits on the horde side of things of late.  But I will still log it for posterity.

First we got out to the Badlands.  No dungeon finder for us yet.  The lead in quests for Uldaman require a few items just outside of the instance.

Being a section of mines that was non-elite, this wasn’t a huge challenge… well, the fighting wasn’t anyway.  Finding our way around was a bit of a trick as we tried to remember exactly where stuff was based on a nearly 3 year old experience.

We did get a little taste of PvP while we were doing this segment.  While we were heading in we got a bit spread out and ended up walking in file with quite a bit of space between us. (Keep your interval!) Azawak, out in front, turned a corner and ran into a level 42 alliance rogue who promptly set upon our tank.

And then Earl came around the corner and started to pound on the rogue.  Then I made the turn and dropped a heal on Azawak.  By the time Enaldie got there things were pretty much settled and Bigbutt only got to see the resulting rogue corpse.

The rogue decided to stalk us and see if he could catch use tied up in a fight and get his revenge.  We killed him twice more and he decided to steer clear of us.  But then we stumbled on him attacking another horde player and felt obliged to stomp on him again just to support the team.  And he was a night elf.  Hard to resist that.

Stomping on the alliance

We caught sight of him once more, but he decided to go the other direction and we were happy enough just to let him be if he wasn’t right on top of us or attacking horde players in our midst.

After picking up the required items, we got the newly level 40 Bigbutt to portal us first to Undercity and then to Orgrimmar to turn in quests and pick up follow-ons.  From Orgrimmar we then used dungeon finder to get ourselves into Uldaman proper.

However, the quest update we needed wasn’t very far into the instance, after which it was back out and to Orgrimmar.  And then from Orgrimmar back to the Badlands.  And from the Badlands, back into Uldaman via the dungeon finder to get to the meat of the quest line; kill everybody with a name and take their stuff.

And so we moved through the instance, which did prove somewhat challenging at points given our level.  In the area around Grimlok, the troggs were laying down some hurt on the group.  Hurmoo had to wake up and heal for real!

Fortunately HealBot, which proved no panacea for noobishness earlier in the day, worked out quite well.  I had not bothered to configure it, but the default druid settings worked well enough, especially when I actually had to drag out the big heal on a couple of fights.

That’s when I know we’re actually facing some resistance, when regrowth doesn’t make the cut and I actually have to use healing touch.  And when I have to hit somebody other than the tank with healing touch, then we’re really in a fight.

HealBot seems to be a keeper, though I will have to figure out how to change one of the defaults.  It comes with mark of the wild as one of the mouse button sets, but I would much prefer to have abolish poison on that button, since that is much more useful in a fight.  I’m sure that is configurable somewhere.

We took care of Grimlok in a chaotic fight when we forgot that he was just around that corner and walked into him without clearing some of the additional bad guys.  Well, our aggro radius did that for us, but we won.

And that cleared the way for us to head down to Archaedas.

Back with Archaedas

Archaedas is an event, that we well remembered.  We picked our spots.  Azawak was to dance with the big guy Hurmoo kept him alive.  One DPS stayed with us while the other two were to alternate between Archaedas and any of the helpers he invoked.  Azawak turned the knob that starts the event and we went to our places.


What?  He’s dead?  That was it?

Yes, I have expressed that before, haven’t I?  Archaedas was less trouble that the trogg trash mobs in some sense.  Of course, we had a plan for Archaedas and followed it perfectly, while we picked up groups of troggs in a rather haphazard manner.

Of course, the corker in all of this was that once we got through to Archaedas’ treasure room, Earl and Hurmoo, who were still level 39 at this point (everybody else had made 40 by this point, and Bigbutt was 41, so if nothing else the exp was damn good!), could not pick up the last quest in the instance.

That gray exclamation mark

Fortunately  for Hurmoo, he was pretty close to 40 by this point, so he left the instance to turn in a quest to boost him up for the quest.

Nice quest turn in

Then Hurmoo used dungeon finder to re-enter the instance, which put him pack at the initial start point.  On his run back through he suffered the only death of the night when he took a wrong turn and ran into some more troggs that we had bypassed.

Damn troggs!

Azawak ran out and revived me.  It is handy having four out of five group members able to bring people back from the dead.  I got back and was able to pick up the quest.  Then we posed for the usual end of instance group shot. Earl had already left though, so some editing was required to get him in the picture.

The group shot

30 seconds in PaintShop Pro for the win! We even left a spot in the line for him.

Too bad you can’t actually pick up any of that gold.

Earl was still shy of 40 at the end (which was why he didn’t run back), so we’ll have to get out a death knight and clear the way for him at some point.

Of course now that we’re (almost) all level 40, that means epic mount time!

And what is next on the list?  Zul’Farrak!  We cannot even go there with dungeon finder until we’re level 42, and I am going to bet there are going to be some more quest issues.  Plus we have to go get that mallet.

I think I am going to agitate for some Azeroth holiday activities back with our alliance characters this coming weekend, since love is in the air.

(Here’s hoping that Blizz gets that lovely charm lag thing figured out soon.)

Going to the Chapel

But not to get married.

No, not everything I’ve done over the last week has involved outer space.  There was still time spent in Azeroth.

It was time to wrap up the Scarlet Monastery by hitting the cathedral and defeating High Inquisitor Whitemane.

As usual, I went and positioned myself at the summoning stone out of habit.  Tonight however we decided to use the dungeon finder to jump into the instance.  Our group was:

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

So in we went.

We were again magically transported across continents (or across the road in my case) to the cathedral.

Where we had to wait a bit because it turned out that Enaldie accidentally sold her weapon when cleaning out her bags.  And for some reason it wasn’t on the buy back list at the vendor so she had to go cruise the auction house for a new weapon.

While we waited, we spoke, as we sometimes do, of strange food we have encountered in our lives.

Available at the Mall of America

Shopping done, we moved on to the business at hand, which was clearing out the area from the entrance to the front of the cathedral.

And this is where the tale gets dull, since there were no issues doing this.  It was just pull, kill, pull, kill, whoops, I need to cast a heal, and we were there.

Got me to the church on time

At this point I’d love to be able to tell you that things got challenging.  But I cannot because they did not.

Clearing out the trash from the cathedral lead to some unanticipated aggro, but nothing that caused any alarm.  The big bad boss fight at the end flashed past even more quickly than the first time we did it and we were done.

Time for a shot of the team and…

Done with Scarlet Monastery

… and it was only 10:10pm.  We still had plenty of time to get into other sorts of trouble.

So we checked the list and Uldaman was next up, so we decided to head out that way… until we realized that only Bigbutt had the flight path out to Kargath in the Badlands.

Well, that is what dungeon finder is for!

We sent Bigbutt off to fly out there and pick up any quests we might need in Kargath and took a quick I/O break.  Being ever in search of preparedness, I started running from Hammerfall, the closest flight point I had, to Kargath just in case.  Kargath is a nice central flight point, if nothing else, and would open up travel between the Undercity and Booty Bay.

I had gotten most of the way through the Wetlands when we were all back, Bigbutt had the quests, and we were ready to enter Uldaman.

Oh, I remember this...

Some of use were experimenting with the dungeon finder along the way.

But shortly after entering, we realized that the lead-in quests for the instance require you to be just outside to complete them.  And since we jumped in via dungeon finder, which avoided that messy “getting to the door” part of Uldaman, we couldn’t just step back outside.

We were there already, so we did the first part of the instance.

Doing the map room thing

But we ended up just fighting our way around to the back door of the instance on the off-chance it wouldn’t notice and just let us step outside into the Badlands.

No such luck.

Fortunately I was already well on my way out there while Bigbutt was in the Badlands, so we met up at the summoning stone and pulled everybody through to go grab the flight point.  That made for a shorter ride for most of us.

Riding through the Badlands

We all made it to Kargath without incident, but by the time we were all there and set, it was too late to start in on the instance again.  So Uldaman will have to wait for another night.

Uldaman – Round 3

Saturday Night! Time for more Archaedas fun! Uldaman here we come again! The Line up:

44 Mage – Ula
44 Paladin – Vikund
44 Warrior – Earlthecat
44 Priest – Skronk
43 Warlock – Bungholio

Again, in through the back door, through the Obsidian Sentinel, the dwarves, the bats, the scorpions, and the troggs.

We had a bit of a problem with the troggs. When pulling a group of three a bit of miss-targeting brought that group and the group of four behind it into the fight. We wiped. Here we are, all dead.

Death in the Hall

Death in the Hall

Not an auspicious start to the evening.

Still, the soul stone was about to time out, so our wipe insurance would be up to date again shortly. And we did kill a few of the troggs before the wipe, so at least we were moving forward.

We finished up the troggs and started on the spiral though the mass non-elite, immune to everything, dwarf fights. We managed to get Ula killed once before we got to Archaedas’ door.

And there we were. We opened the door and got ourselves ready for the big fight.

We decided that one of the issues we had on Thursday was Archaedas activating helpers all over the room. Somebody read that he favors the dwarves closest to him, so we moved the fight from the center of the room to the edge of the circle opposite the door. Call this the 6 o’clock point if the entrance was 12 o’clock.

We also decided to add a bit more firepower, so Bung dismissed his voidwalker and summoned his imp. This gave us a bit more damage and the advantage of blood pact, which was worth another 270 hit points to everybody in range.

So we started. We activate the altar, Earl grabbed aggro, and pulled Archaedas back to the 6 o’clock point outside the ring, Skronk and Bung focusing on the Archaedas fight while Ula and I took care of the ads. Here we are at activation time:

Summoning Archaedas

Summoning Archaedas

The ads were pretty well restricted to those nearest Archaedas, so that bit of info seemed good. Our placement was not so good in the long run. Archaedas was about equidistant from two lines of stone dwarves so began pulling from both groups, meaning I had to run back and forth quite a bit. Also, being close to Archaedas meant that his AOE stun, which goes he uses at a regular interval, kept bringing Ula and I to a halt.

Still, we carried on. We made it to the activation of the six dwarves on the circle, which Ula killed fairly quickly with some AOE action of her own.

Then came the two elite adds. They got on to Skronk and Ula. I ran around after the elite. The elites ran around after them. Skronk kept watching Earl. And in a bit of bad timing, Skronk went down. With no healing, Ula, who was trying to burn down one of the elites, went down as well.

Now I was the only healing left, so I started running around watching Earl’s health bar rather than my own. I hit Earl with some heals, but ended up down pretty quickly myself with the two elites now focusing on me. Then Earl and Bung went down and we were done.

Here we are, all dead again. If you look at my bar, you’ll see no cool down timers. I forgot to use my lay hands, my health stone, or a potion during the fight. Dopey paladin.

Dead to Archaedas

Dead to Archaedas

Archaedas and his minions reset and we were back at square one.

Skronk used the soul stone then began the ress process for the team. With only nine minutes on the timer before Bung could make another soul stone, we decided to wait for it so we could have three chances at the fight if we needed it.

While we waited, we decided on some changes to our approach.

First, rather than the 6 o’clock position, Earl would pull Archaedas to the 7:30 position of the room, relative to the main door. This would put only a single line of dwarves close to Archaedas, so presumably there would be less running around.

Second, rather than fighting at the perimeter of the room, Earl would stop inside the circle that runs inside the room about two thirds away from the center. We hoped that this would put Ula and I outside of the range of Archaedas’ AOE stun while we were slaying adds on the perimeter.

Finally, in search of even more damage, Bung dismissed his imp and brought in the succubus.

The timer ran down, the soul stone was generated, and we got ourselves together for round two.

We activated the altar and Earl grabbed aggro again and ran to his designated spot. We had actually picked out a specific green tile on the floor as a marker. Ula and I went around to the stone dwarf line up to cover the adds, and Bung, his succubus, and Skronk, all got in there with Earl to work over Archaedas.

As we hoped, the location kept Archaedas drawing from just one group of dwarves and Ula and I were outside of his AOE stun zone.

We made it through the six dwarf add easily.

Then the two elites came into play. This time I managed to grab their aggro and pull them off to one side of the room. They were beating on me pretty hard, but I remembered all my own healing options this time around. While I held them everybody was on Archaedas trying to burn him down quickly.

And then in a bit of bad luck, Ula got bit by some of the adds still flowing into the fight.

Then Earl went down and we knew we were in trouble again.

Still, Archaedas had barely a sliver of life left. I ran after him, trying to do any damage I could while Bung and Skronk continued with their own work.

And we did it. Archaedas suddenly fell over before us. His minions live minions all vanished. We had slain him!

Here we are at the moment of victory, with not much health left between us.

The Moment of Victory

The Moment of Victory

Apparently I was yelling into the mic on my headset at the last stretch of the battle. I woke my wife up who was there to see our moment of victory. Not that she cared, she just asked me to please keep it down.

Once we were all alive we took our traditional victory shot.

Victory!

Victory!

After that we looted our quest updates from Archaedas, then went into the treasure room, the door to which opens up when you slay him. Here it is.

The treasure room

The treasure room

Mostly gold for looks

Mostly gold for looks

 

I have heard tales of people getting this far then not fully updating their quests and having to go back and do it again. We wanted no such thing, so we carefully clicked on, spoke to, or otherwise examined the room until there was nothing left to be clicked on.

Then, satisfied that there was nothing more in the room, we recalled to turn in our quests in Ironforge. At last we were done with Uldaman.

Now we need to start warming up for Zul’Farrak and Maraudon.