Tag Archives: Zul’Aman

Facing the Voodoo in Zul’Aman

We have had a bit of a gap since our last full instance group run.  Birthdays, marathons, and some other outside activities have intruded.  We have done some things together.  Operations in search of mounts, bags, and rep are always an option.  But it hasn’t been the full group for almost a month.

And I wasn’t sure we were going to have a full group up until nearly the last minute on Saturday.  I was in a game of Age of Kings with that group, where we were working on build strategies influenced by our obliteration at the hands of MoronHunter and friends, when suddenly everybody in the instance group was online.  Time to go!  I quickly built a wonder, thanks to my booming economy, and let that match run out in the background with my apologies while I got World of Warcraft up and running.

We were on for the night, and our group was:

  • Earlthecat – Level 86 Human Warrior Tank
  • Skronk – Level 85 Dwarf Priest Healing
  • Bungholio – Level 85 Gnome Warlock DPS
  • Alioto – Level 85 Night Elf Druid DPS
  • Ula – Level 85 Gnome Mage DPS

No boost in levels for anybody since last time.  I think I mentioned this before, but an interesting side effect of the huge inflation in numbers when it comes to Mists of Pandaria is that, at level 85 and beyond, experience gained from doing Cataclysm content is almost negligible.  You have to get into Pandaria to move that experience bar beyond a rate measured in single digit pixels per hour.  The situation is almost EverQuestian in that regard.

Anyway, despite everybody getting logged on at the appointed hour, we ended up mucking about for drinks and bathroom breaks and at least one computer reboot to clear up a sound issue.  I was able to watch the end of the Age of Kings match and close that out as we got ourselves settled.  Earl and I got on the bird to get out to the summoning stone at our target for the night, which was Zul’Aman.

Zul’Aman is rated level 85++, where 85+ is a standard heroic mode dungeon.  Given that, even with out item level 372 gear upgrade from Pandaria, we still ran into problems in the heroic Deadmines, I was a bit concerned that an instance considered to be a challenge relative to that might be an issue.  But we were going to give it a shot.

Earl and I summoned the rest of the party out to the stone and off we went.  Well, we bounced of the entrance for a minute because the group leader (me) had not set the instance mode to “heroic.”  It seems odd that a heroic-only dungeon should care about that setting, but whatever.  At least the error message was informative, so I switched modes and we were able to enter.   We picked up the quests in the foyer of the instance and then the gate was opened and we were set loose.

Opening to Zul'Aman proper

Opening to Zul’Aman proper

Our efforts in detail after the cut.

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Opening a Portal and Facing Locked Doors

The instance group was short a gnome on Saturday night, so while we were all sitting outside the Halls of Stone, that was obviously not going to be our destination as a four person group.

Original Target - Halls or Stone

Original Target - Halls of Stone

The four of us were:

76 Warrior – Earlthecat
78 Priest – Skronk
78 Mage – Ula
78 Paladin – Vikund

And we needed something to do.

For a short term solution we decided to head back to the Caverns of Time and hit the heroic version of opening of the Dark Portal.  We did the regular version a few weeks back and figured we could handle the heroic version with this group.

Fortunately there is a portal from Dalaran to the Caverns of Time, so we were able to get from Ulduar to the instance pretty quickly.

Earl picked up the quests and away we went.  Again, another week without a delay getting an instance.  Very nice.

The routine was the same as before, and since Earl had done Violet Hold with us it was easy to explain what was going to happen.

Zip, bang, an 18 portal round and we had the achievement, Earl getting a double, both the regular and the heroic.

OnDarkPortAchi

This time we were ready for the orcs to stream through the portal.  Last time we were ready to light them up.  This time we just waved.

Orcs through the portal

Orcs through the portal

I then demonstrated to Earl that there wasn’t any going through the portal for us.  If you try to follow the orcs back through the portal, you just end up on the ground on the other side.

Nothing around back for us

Nothing around back for us

And that wrapped up that for us, leaving ample time for other adventures.

So we thought about what we ought to try next.

We had talked about Zul’Aman previously, there being a quest as part of it that yields a 20 slot bag.  We could all go for that.  So Ula opened a portal to Ironforge for the four of us, then we flew off to the Ghostlands to hit Zul’Aman.

Once there we picked up the quest for the bag and headed in.

There we found an NPC named Harrison Jones.  I had just run into him in Grizzly Hills with my hunter the other day so was a bit surprised to see him.  WoW does have its share of recurring characters.

We spoke to Harrison and he lead us over to a gong that he explained would open the inner doors to the instance if only he could get at least five people to help him sound it.

Five people.  If only.

Harrison Jones needs help banging the gong

Harrison Jones needs help banging the gong

Well, we tried banging the gong with just the four of us in case they changed that rule, but nothing appeared to happen.  Our attempt at Zul’Aman was thwarted.

So suggestions were called for once again.  This time Karazhan came up.

A mage portal to Stormwind, a flight to Darkshire, and then a ride through Deadwind Pass got us to the gates of Karazhan.

Which were locked.

Locked!

Locked!

Well, a quick look through WoW Wiki indicated that getting the key to the place was a little more involved than we were expecting.

That wasn’t going to fly.

Again we began discussing options.  What could we do that was fun, interesting, new (for us, at least), and would possibly grant an achievement?

The perfect idea came up.  A plan was hatched.  Another mage portal was opened.  We were heading off for something different.

But I’ve got nothing else on tap for this week, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what it is.