Tag Archives: Upper Blackrock Spire

An Evening (Wasted) with Blackrock Spire

With Bung away on vacation, the four of us had to find something to do on Saturday night.  There are still a variety of Outlands heroic instances left for us to try in addition to re-running instances that we had done already but for which we have not been given achievement credit.

But buoyed by the experiences of our last 4-person evening, we decided to head back to old Azeroth to see some sights from days gone by.  The four of us were:

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

As you can see, after being let off the leash at allowed to hit level cap, both Earl and I raced ahead.

Our target for the evening was to do no less than conquer Blackrock Spire.  Or at least pick up the achievements for Blackrock Spire that we did not already have.

We had, after all, earned our access to Upper Blackrock Spire the old fashioned way, before Blizzard nailed the door open for all and sundry.

We were suffering from some “Onyxification” of our expectations after our battle with the brood mother, which went off pretty much without a hitch.  (And it is a good thing we got her when we did, as they are going to redo her lair it seems.)  We felt invulnerable in old Azeroth, simply irresistable.

The first item on our list was to get to Upper Blackrock Spire, which is a bit of a challenge in itself.  I fell off one of the chains and into the lava.

The good news is that, at level 80, the fire resist aura and the occasional heal will keep you alive enough to get back out of the lava.

Once we were all assembled, we headed to the Rookery to get the “Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!” achievement.  I thought this was actually going to be the tough part of the evening. Killing 50 of anything in 15 seconds seemed like an iffy proposition to me.

We got into the Rookery, picked a concentration point, then all ran in different directions to get the eggs to hatch and bring back whelps.  Obviously woke up way too many as we got the achievement long before we dispatched all the whelps that followed us back.  And even then there were groups of a dozen or so that didn’t follow.  It happened so fast that I almost didn’t get the screenshot.

Plenty of whelps to spare

Plenty of whelps to spare

First achievement down.

Then it was time to crawl through Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS) and defeat the main boss.  This was something of a toddle, as we gathered groups of trash mobs to dispatch them.  We went through the event with Gyth and Rend Blackhand, which let us into the route to the main boss.

Rend about to be rent

Rend about to be rent

After that it did not take us long to make our way to General Drakkisath.

As we made our way to him, a couple of things struck me.

First, there are a lot of places where you can fall or go over a ledge and find yourself genuinely screwed.  All the more so if you were doing this at level.  I compare this do some of the instance we have done in Northrend where any drop-off is usually guarded by an invisible barrier to keep you from falling into so difficult/impossible ress location.

Second, for a raid boss, General Drakkisath’s place is kind of a dump.  He’s just there with a couple of minions in this bare niche in the wall.  No throne, no altar, no piles of loot, no bones of victims.  This isn’t where a raid boss lives.  This is where a raid boss parks his car.  It looks like he just got the keys to the place.

We have an appointment with an interior designer, I swear

We have an appointment with an interior designer, I swear

Well, we didn’t have to stare at his bare walls for long.  Soon he was the late General Drakkisath and his landlord didn’t have to clean up much for the next tenent.  Well, there was some blood.  And since the theme of the night up to this point seemed to be not quite getting the achievement screenshot, a mis-click by one of us brought up the loot on top of the achievement.  You can still see it, plus now I have put in the gratuitous loot shot.

Hidden Achievement

Hidden Achievement

That done, we dropped off Drak’s balcony and considered our next target.  We had passed the entrance to Blackwing Lair (which would have made the reference in my title more clear if I had used that instead of Blackrock Spire) so decided to recon that as an option.

We made out way up the stairs and into the instance and ended up in a room with a couple of bosses, a beam of energy, and a bunch of eggs.  As usual, we went into this without any research.  We had a choice between Razorgore the Untamed and Grethok the Controller.

We chose Grethok and got them both.

And from a “kill them all and let Blizzard sort them out” point of view, the fight went pretty well for the first 99%.  Then Razorgore went from Untamed to Unleased or something and blew us all up.

All Dead

All Dead

There was obviously something else we needed to do or understand to finish that fight.  I mean, technically, we won I suppose.  Everybody was dead, the status quo was upset.  But this seemed a little more complicated than we wanted.  After a little research, we put Blackwing Lair on hold and headed to Molten Core.

Visit Molten Core!

Visit Molten Core!

We had actually done the quest Attunement to the Core so go to jump straight in… once we could get an instance.  We had hit some peak time or some instance land rush or something, because we spend the next few minutes trying to get into Molten Core.  It probably wasn’t that long of a wait, but the fact that you have to talk to Lothos Riftwalker each and every time you try to get into the instance, which means cycling through his four or five stock phrases over and over.

And then the trouble began.

The first thing we noticed was that yard trash designed to keep 40 people busy has a lot of hit points.  Grinding down each mob in the instance was like going through a series of mini-boss fights in terms of duration.

We decided to play the level 80 aggro radius card. We stopped clearing and started threading our way around the yard trash, slaying only when necessary.  This came back to haunt us at the first boss, Gehennas.

Gehennas Screams!

Gehennas Screams!

We didn’t clear the stuff wandering around him, which eventually lead to adds which tipped the balance against us, and down we went.

Then were faced with another old-school issue, the long run back from Thorium Point to the instance. Dying was much less convenient in old Azeroth.

Back to Gehennas, we managed to take him down on the second go, but it wasn’t a cake walk.  He has a nasty curse that reduces all healing amount on you by 75%.  Vikund used lay hands at the end of the first battle and I went, “Huh?” when the health bar barely went up.

Gehennas down we slipped between the wandering mobs and made our way to the next boss, Garr.

Garr and Company

Garr and Company

Garr was probably the highlight of the evening.  By this point we had begun reading up on bosses before fights, since it was clear this wasn’t going to be a series of push-overs.  With Garr we read, “The more warlocks in a group, the easier this battle will be…”

A quick count showed no warlocks in our group.  We opted for the “hang the tank out and hope you can keep him healed” approach, with which we are so familiar.  And with Skronk keeping the healing rolling while Vikund chucked out the divine storms and judging to boost mana, Earl’s health was never in doubt.

Garr dropped a load of stuff when he went down.

Bung missed out, since the tier 1 headpiece he dropped was the Felheart Horns.  That is headgear I would wear around town if I could.

Vikund with the Felheart Horns

Vikund with the Felheart Horns

Among the other items dropped was the Drillborer Disk, a great looking shield that Vikund now wears around town along with his Argent Avenger “lightsaber.”

Vikund showing off glowing gear

Vikund showing off glowing gear

After that though, the evening began to fade for us.

We made it to within sight of Shazzrah, but had to tangle with Baron Geddon first and that wasn’t working out for us.

Baron Geddon wins again!

Baron Geddon wins again!

If we had been determined we could have gotten past him.  Each time we went down it was due to a mistake on our part, something that could have been averted.  However it was getting late, we were getting tired, and there was frankly no immediate end in sight for Molten Core, so we called it a night.

If Bung is back next week, we’re still lined up for the Halls of Lightning.  Otherwise we’ll end up with another evening of achievement hunting.  Maybe some Outlands heroics instead.

Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access

We decided to stay in old Azeroth for a little while longer, having the ambition to work our way through Uppper Blackrock Spire. Five of us in a ten person raid instance, that should be challenge enough to put the edge back in our play. So off we headed on Saturday night:

61 Warrior – Earlthecat
62 Warlock – Bungholio
62 Mage – Ula
62 Priest – Skronk
62 Paladin – Vikund

Of course, you cannot just stroll into Upper Blackrock Spire, or UBRS, without a key. And this key, it is actually The Seal of Ascension, requires a series of quests be completed before you are set posses it and can enter UBRS.

Fortunately last week we completed the first segment of the quest line, which required us to collect the unadorned seal of ascension, a random drop throughout Lower Blackrock Spire (I think we all ended up with one) and three gems which drop off of three bosses in LBRS, Omokk, Voone, and Wyrmthalak. Earl looted all of the gems, so he was to be the key master.

But before we continued on with getting access to UBRS, we though we might as well lay down the groundwork for other things, like Onyxia’s lair. So, just in case we blew through UBRS and killed Drakkisath, we thought we had better have that lined up. Plan for success!

That quest line requires a visit to Haleh in Winterspring. Haleh lives up on top of a snowy peak. You can get to her by fighting through a bunch of mobs in a cave, or you can climb the mountain.

We chose the mountain. Up to a point it is easy. We could see her from here:

halehprejump.png

Then there was just a little issue of getting across the valley between us and her and we were set. You cannot quite jump it.

halehjump.png

So we had to scramble up a narrow gap, which too some Mario-like jumping around to accomplish.

halehclimb.png

We were advised not to step in the blue circle. That is the teleport back to the cave of nastiness, through which you are supposed to travel to meet up with her. The cave we had avoided.

halehquest.png

Once set on that quest, we took a portal back to Ironforge and headed out to Blackrock Spire. We had to get in to LBRS and find the quest mob, Vaelan, to continue the access quest for UBRS.

We fought our way into LBRS and right past Vaelan. He is off in a pretty well hidden side passage. We did find one of the Lunar Festival elders, Elder Stonefort, there in LBRS. He probably isn’t getting very many visits.

elderstonefort.png

We fought our way to Stonefort, then past him before we figured we had gone too far. In the picture above, Vaelan is behind us, to the left, and up on a platform.

We managed to get to him after some running around.

He gave Earl a couple of items and sent us off to find Emberstrife out in the Wyrmbog district of Dustwallow Marsh.

The task for us was to beat down Emberstrife until we got an emote from him that his will had weakened. Then Earl had to use one of the items Vaelan gave him, the Orb of Draconic Energy, to take control of Emberstrife. Then, he had to use one of Emberstrife’s flame attacks to forge the Seal of Ascension.

Sounds easy, right?

Well, it took us a while.

The first time out, in our zeal, we just killed Emberstrife. Oops.

Then, when he finally repopped, we managed to hold back on killing him and let Earl get control, but then the dynamic of which of Emberstrife’s abilities to use and when to use it on the unforged seal of ascension became the trick. You only get five shots at it. Here Earl has him under his control:

emberstrife.png

Due to a computer crash and just plain bad luck, we blew our first five and had to go all the way back to Vaelan to refresh the quest for another five shots. Of course, by that point, some of the stuff in LBRS had respawned.

So we killed a few things, got back to Vaelan, got restarted the quest, the headed back out to Dustwallow.

This time we got it in three tries.

And then we had to head back to LBRS, clear out a few more respawns, and speak with Vaelan. This time we were set. He gave Earl the Seal of Ascension. We were cleared for UBRS.

Unfortunately, all this running around took a bit longer than we thought, so we decided not to try to conquer LBRS just then.

Still, we had to at least check if the seal worked.

Once you’re in LBRS, the door either is open or not. So the instance had to be reset and we had to clear our way to the door to LBRS, but once there, it opened right up.

We decided to test the first room.

intoubrs.png

The patrols were easy enough, but inside there are several side rooms that need to be cleared, each with five or so elites. Here we managed to wipe.

deadinubrs.png

LBRS will not be a push-over, certainly. It will take all of our skill and discipline to vanquish it.

But we are all set to try now!