Tag Archives: Underbog

Advancing Two Instances

After a two week hiatus due to sickness and travel we were all back in the game last Saturday night.  It was time to let the dungeon finder take us away.  The lineup was:

62 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
62Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
62 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
62 Undead Deathknight – Maliverney (Skronk)
63Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)

And since we were all at least level 62, a new instance opened up to us.  We were now facing a range of possibilities.

So, it was time to roll the dice again and see where the dungeon finder would send us.

First pick: Blood Furnace.

This pass through ran almost exactly as it did in our last outing, including an almost exact replay of our fight with Broggok, which included Earl and Bigbutt dying on the last round of trash before the Broggok actually comes out to fight.  As with last time, Earl had his shaman revive handy and Hurmoo was able to use his combat ress on Bigbutt, so Broggok was defeated.

Broggok Coming For Us

And that was about it for drama in the Blood Furnace.  Broggok is the tough fight, being something of a multi-round event.  After that we sailed through to finish up and collect our goody bag.

Hurmoo overhealing for the win

With that out of the way, and with plenty of time left to play, we let the dungeon finder pick again.

Second Pick: Slave Pens.

Something new!

Hurmoo, in anticipation of perhaps getting into the Coilfang dungeons, picked up the only quest (Lost in Action) he could find that did not require a chain of lead-in quests, so we at least could boost our experience a little bit.  The quest actually required us to hit both the Slave Pens and the Underbog, but best to have it handy just in case.

I do not think any of us had been through the Slave Pens since we ran it together with the original cast of characters in the instance group.  So we had to relearn a few things.

For example, a minute or so into the fight with Mennu the Betrayer, we remembered that we had to put somebody on duty to take care of his healing totem.  Otherwise the fight just goes on and on as his totem heals at a prodigious rate.  And, after Mennu, you get to see some of the more spectacular scenery in the instance.

Ramps up to the drop-off

Then there was Rockmar the Crackler, a tough fight for us back in the day.  Now, however, he was just so much lobster to be harvested.  Still, delicious when dipped in melted butter.

Of course, feeling cocky after knocking down Rockmar without breaking a sweat, we managed to get in trouble with two groups of mobs who were, in turn, helped out by a wandering patrol.  Slew the boss, wiped on the trash.

We took a few with us at least

We almost made it.  In the screen shot, you can see the patrol that broke up the party walking… slithering… whatever naga do… heading away from us pretty much unscathed.  It pays to be fashionably late.

Once we recovered from that, it was a smooth trip to the last boss, Dame Helen Quagmirran.

Quagmirran caught in the tub again!

As before, the last fight went by pretty quickly and Quagmirran was defeated.

Quagmirran laid to rest

There was some worry as to whether or not everybody was in the screen shot.  I don’t think I’ve ever left anybody out.

And so the achievement and goody bag was ours.

While the Slave Pens took a while, we felt we still had another run left in us… maybe two if we drew Hellfire Ramparts… so we let the dungeon finder roll the dice for us again.

Third Pick:  Underbog.

Two new… well, new to these characters in any case… instances in one night.

Again, it had been a while since we visited the Underbog as a group, though I have actually been there more recently in a dungeon finder group with another character.  This meant we at least knew which direction to head.  Underbog has a few points where you can end up going the wrong way.

We were able to bypass a number of the trash groups and take out Hungarfen on our way to the first real fight, Ghaz’an, who happens to be a distant cousin of Ghaz’rilla.

Going after Ghaz'an

The fight really isn’t that tough, but it does have a danger to it.  It takes place on a platform and if you get caught in the wrong spot, Ghaz’an has a knock-back attack that will send you over the side into a pool full of hungry fish… elite, aggro, hungry fish.

Hurmoo was standing in the wrong spot and got knocked into the pool and died before he could get to the ramp.

Fortunately, as I said, the fight isn’t all that tough and we were far enough along that even with the healer down the fight was ours.

Ghaz'an defeated

Once done there, we remembered to go through the big crack at one end of the pool below the platform.  All of the hungry healer-killing fish die when Ghaz’an goes down, so the swim was safe.  On a previous venture into the Underbog, we spent a long time trying to figure out where to head next.  Even after noticing the crack, you have to jump down to a path well below it and with no way back up, so we were hesitant to commit.

This time we knew to just jump.

Then it was down the path to Swamplord Musel’ek and a surprisingly tough fight.

You face two bosses, Musel’ek and Claw (who also happened to be the last NPC we needed to find for our one quest) who have a habit of freezing the whole group and then setting in on the DPS.  At least that was what happened to us, which lead to a wipe.

All Down

In an attempt to save the fight, Earl used his revive right away when he got killed, but it was not enough, and so we had to do the long run from the graveyard to the instance.  It was a good thing that Hurmoo had gone to visit the instance earlier, so he knew the way.

Once back, we consulted a couple of sites about the fight to get an idea of what we were doing wrong.  The fight seems to rely heavily on the tank being able to get and keep aggro, which seems to get reset when the freeze trick happens.  With that bit of knowledge, our second run through was a success, though we did lose Bigbutt.  Being the only cloth wearing player in the group seems to make him a priority target… well, that and all the damage he put out.

Winning let us finish the quest and sent us on our way to the last boss, the Black Stalker, who I recalled giving us an interesting fight before, but who went down so fast this time that he only got to do his mid-air suspension trick just before he died.

That gave us the achievement and our goody bag.

And while we all started the evening around level 62, we ended up at, or very close to, 64 as a group.

Hurmoo, whom I had not played for two weeks, and who thus had a full load of rested experience to go through, exhausted his blue bar and got the dreaded “you feel normal” message part way into the Underbog.  Experience-wise, that was a pretty good evening’s work.

The quest turn-in put those of us who were close to 64 over the top, so next time around we may get to hit another new instance or two.

This also puts us four levels away from the big dungeon finder switch over.  At level 68, the random dungeon option will send us to Northrend.  Then it will be farewell to the Burning Crusade.

The Outland instance count so far is:

Hellfire Ramparts: 4
Blood Furnace: 2
Slave Pens: 1
Underbog: 1

We’ll see what we end up getting the next time around.

Underbog – Round 1

It was Saturday night and time for ancient television references as we went to face the Underbog.

The name alone inspired me to sing out on Skype:

Speed of lightning! Roar of thunder!
Fighting all who rob or plunder!

This generated something of a stunned silence from my fellow travelers who rebounded after a few moments in a silent agreement to simply ignore that outburst and move on as though it had never happened.

I guess I am the only Wally Cox fan. I’ll just keep my copy of “The Bedford Incident” to myself then. Carry on, Seaman Queffle.

(And in getting the links to the above silliness, I also found out that Larry Storch was the voice of Phineas J. Whoopie. I had no idea! That so makes up for that horrible guest appearance on CHiPs with Larry Linville.)

But enough side tracking, on to the instance. And we moved on to it with the following group:

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

That was the same level line up as last week, though we were all getting close to 65.

The instance itself is down the drain in Coilfang Resivoir with the Slave Pens, off to the right of the meeting stone.

We went in, spelled up, and began the crawl, Earl’s Goblin Rocket Launcher still pulling for the team.

That is never not funny.

At first things went well enough. We cleaned up the trash and found our way to the first boss, Hungarfen.

He actually has two minions standing with him, so we were ready for a big fight, but when Earl tagged one of the minions, only the pair of them came. Hundarfen remained behind.

So the pair went down easy enough and we went after the big guy.

That did not go as well.

By himself, Hungarfen isn’t such a big deal, but as you fight him, these mushrooms start growing out of the ground in his area. Explosive mushrooms. And like some Super Mario nighmare scene, they exploded and did a lot of damage. Caster killing damage. Which turned into party killing damage pretty quickly. Wipe!

And so we regrouped and tried again.

This time Earl went out and kept Hungarfen in motion, moving him away from mushrooms while Skronk and Vikund worked on healing and Bung and Ula did the damage thing.

That went much better and Hungarfen was defeated.

From there we followed the obvious path up some ramps, through the usual trash mobs, and towards the next boss, Ghaz’an.

Ghaz’an lives in some sort of underground Sea World establishment and hangs out in the central tank. We did get into a bit of a scrape with the guards at the door and ended up in a battle with seven of them at once, which left both of our healers dead, yet somehow Earl hung on and all seven were slain.

We cleared the spectators until only Ghaz’an remained… and the fish. Ghaz’an shares his tank with a bunch of aggressive fish. You don’t want to fall in that water. I know.

Feeding Time

The fight with Ghaz’an was touch and go, with Vikund, who was trying to play backup healer again, standing in the wrong spot and getting knocked off the platform three times. This is how I know the fish are aggressive, as they came after Vik. Fortunately, this isn’t EverQuest II and the fish stay in the water. (Okay, water creatures don’t do that any more in EQ2, but I still remember being chased across the Thundering Steppes by a flying octopus.)

Anyway, when Vik wasn’t running back up to the platform, he was trying to keep Earl healed, which turned out to be a tough job, as Ghaz’an’s area attacks ended up taking down Ula and Skronk. Then Earl went down and Vik rushed in, forgetting that he hadn’t bothered to heal himself at all.

Fortunately, Ghaz’an was about done as well and we prevailed on our first run at him.

He dropped our only nice loot piece of the night, a 2H mace called Hatebringer. And, being the only 2H mace wielder, Vikund got it. The rest of the bosses just taunted us by dropping leather pieces.

Done with Ghaz’an, we were somewhat lost. We didn’t see a way out of the tank room other than the way we came, so we doubled back and went looking for anything we might have missed.

After much searching we ended up back at the tank room. We decided we had better search the water.

It appears that when Ghaz’an goes down, he takes his fish friends with him, so the water was safe.

While we found nothing in the water, Earl noticed a crack in the side of the tank that, from some angles, just looked like a change in color. We swam over, climbed through, and finally found our way forward.

With the 45 minute wandering over, it was back to fighting. There was no losing the trail now though, as it was one long cavern that lead to the third boss, Swamplord Musel’ek.

The swamplord has a companion, Windcaller Claw, a druid who has been charmed by the swamplord and who fights for him in bear form.

We went with the basic plan, assumed that Claw would come to our side once his master was down, so concentrated on the swamplord. And we died for our trouble. Claw has some bad attacks.

Skronk died a little too close to Swamplord Musel’ek and ended up getting killed again quickly. Short a soul stone and had to run all the way back from the graveyard for round two.

The second time around Vikund went after Claw and pulled him away from the main fight while everybody else hammered Swamplord Musel’ek.

This turned out well, the swamplord going down readily. Then we turned on Claw who, at 20% health, restores to his normal form and becomes the last mob you need for the quest Lost in Action.

With our lost wanderings and wipes, it was getting a bit late for us. We are now used to nice, two hour or less runs, and we were well past three hours gone at that point.

But there is not much left after the swamplord. A couple of mobs, then the Black Stalker, the biggest marsh walker in the swamp.

The fight with him was short but violent. The Black Stalker has an effect that lifts a party member up and out of battle until it is dispelled. For some reason, Vikund was the main recipient of the attack, and spent a good deal of time airborne.

While waiting for a dispel, I just pretended to be asteroid mining in EVE Online.

More Veldspar

Flighty paladin or not, we beat him down quickly and were done.

And that rounded up our first run at the Underbog.

While the next instance on the list is the Mana Tombs, we actually went into the Underbog without all of the quests for the instance. That will probably mean at least one return trip. We could probably use the experience too. Looking at the instance guide, the level recommendations for upcoming instances ramp up rather quickly to level 70. Everybody except Bung hit 65 on this run, but it might be nice to get closer to 66 before we move on.

We’re thinking about level 66? We might hit level cap before Wrath of the Lich King hits the shelves!

That would be a new experience for me!