Tag Archives: Zul’Farrak

Preparing for Sunken Temple

Well, that sounds silly, doesn’t it?

I mean, we did Sunken Temple the previous week, why would we then start preparing for it?

Well, we’ve been big on doing all the quests for instances and seeing all the sites as we make what might be the last run through pre-cataclysm Azeroth, and Sunken Temple has a couple of important quests.

Sunken Temple has the level 50 class quests.  Remember those?

Maybe not.

There were a set of quests, one for each class, that finished up in Sunken Temple.  But you have to be level 50 to get those quests, and as you can see, our line up for the night was just a bit shy of the mark.

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

Hurmoo actually got on earlier in the day to get to 49 to try and keep up, so he still had nearly a full level to go before 50.

Anyway, the class quests each end with a nice blue item as a reward.  This was fine back when you had to be level 50 to have a hope of finishing Sunken Temple.  Our first run at the instance back on the alliance side ended badly when faced with the level 55 Eranikus.

And then came the great November nerf of 2007 on the Tuesday after that first run.  And suddenly Eranikus was level 50 and we walked all over him.  Well, we didn’t wipe in any case.

But they didn’t change the levels of the quests associated with the instances.  So despite being able to finish Sunken Temple, we weren’t high enough level to get the quests.  We decided to work on that.

The quests aren’t simple, talk to the NPC and head into the instance variety either.  No, we had an evening of prep work to do.  First it was off to Steamwheedle.

Taurens on the Beach

There to pick up Screecher Spirits, a quest line that runs along through a couple instances.  This required us to run out to to the Feralas coast to kill three flying snakes, talk to their spirits, and then head back to Steamwheedle.

Flying through Thousand Needles

Once complete, we had to then run off to Zul’Farrak to knock off a couple of bosses for their tablets.

But first we had to engage in a bit of at-level PvP.  A slightly higher level shaman and priest were on the dock at Steamwheedle.  Enaldie rushed right in to tackle them and promptly died.  Then we managed to continue to squander our numerical advantage by joining in one by one until we were all dead.  It took a while, and Earl, Azawak, and Hurmoo keep them busy for several minutes, but in the end we were all dead.

Fortunately for us, they had other tasks to take care of and they didn’t hang around to camp our corpses or otherwise make us any more miserable.  We took our meager revenge on an alliance player hanging around at the Zul’Farrak entrance.  That will show them we’re serious!

Back here again

Once in Zul’Farrak, we made our way reasonably quickly to the first boss.  We managed to bypass quick a bit of the troll trash on the way, but on defeating the first boss somebody, who shall remain nameless, did not get the tablet.

They did not get the tablet because they did not have the quest.  In tracing things back, in turned out that they had not picked up the initial quest.  So it was break time for some of us while others returned to Steamwheedle then flew to Feralas to kill wind serpents, then came back, updated the quests, and finally returned to Zul’Farrak where we reset the instance and started over again.

Fortunately, as I said, the effort to get in and find the bosses was not substantial.

Finishing up our time in ZF

We actually stopped, rang the gong, and killed Ghaz’rilla again, just to do it.  Then it was back to Steamwheedle and off to the next destination, the Hinterlands.

At least we have a mage in our group, so we could get a portal to the Undercity from Tanaris.  However, once there, it seemed that only two of us had the flight point way out in the Hinterlands.  Tarren Mill seemed to be the closest point we all had, so it was off to Tarren Mill.

Luck was with us in that it was Saturday night and we managed to fly in during one of the few moments that Tarren Mill wasn’t under siege by high level alliance players.  We were able to fly in and head to the Hinterlands unhindered.

Through the Hinterlands

We had to head to the far end, both to get the flight point, but also to visit Jintha’alor, where our next quest objective lay.  Hurmoo happened to have a couple of other quests for that area which were sharable.  As on our past visit, we did the slogging fight into Jintha’alor to get to the pinnacle and grab the ancient egg, but on the way out we did the wild ride through everything.

Airborne Kodos!

The ride is not without danger.  But we managed to get down mostly intact.

Post-ride Health

Once clear, we headed down to Raventusk Village, the horde encampment in the Hinterlands, turned in the extra quests we had for the area, then looked towards getting back to Steamwheedle to turn in this leg of the long quest line.  A portal to Orgrimmar and a flight down to Tanaris, then a ride out to Steamwheedle took care of that.  We turned in the quest and got the next segment that leads us to Sunken Temple.

Which left Hurmoo one final task.  We quickly ran out to knock off one more quest which, when Hurmoo turned it in, made him the last one in the group to get this particular achievement.


We were all now ready for our individual class quests in Sunken Temple.  We’ll have to do a bit more preliminary work on a some of them, but we should be ready for our final assault on Sunken Temple come Saturday night.

Oh, and with level 50, Hurmoo can now be a tree.

Make like a tree!

Another advance in healing.

Return to Zul’Farrak

It was time for a return to an instance that was a challenge the last time we were there, Zul’Farrak.

ZF is interesting in that it is an outdoor instance, which means you can mount up and ride.  But the spaces are not that open, and they can be quite crowded.  Plus the trolls who live there have a penchant for fleeing at low hit points.  So a group, especially a lower level group with a large aggro radius, has to take care, lest it find itself overrun.

And we were such a lower level group.  We had actually popped up, for the most part, into the ZF level range, but only just.

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

In advance of the night’s adventures, Azawak and Hurmoo made their way down to Tanaris and then to the entrance to ZF, forgetting once again about the implications, or even existence, of dungeon finder.

The implication is that the only people who run to instance doors these days are high level players who need something from that dungeon or who are running through some lower level friends.

Azawak and Hurmoo sat there at the meeting stone in stealth discussing how we would summon people in and have them run for the door since there was a ?? death knight hanging around in the area when another group, lead by a level ?? popped out of the instance, saw us, and killed us in about as much time as it took to read this sentence.

As we were headed back to our corpses, we realized that we could have avoided all of this by just using the dungeon finder.  So we headed back to Gadgetzen after reviving and sneaking away from the scene of our demise.

Once everybody was on and grouped, we fired up dungeon finder and took the easy way in.


It never seems like 8 bosses in ZF, but who am I to argue with the dungeon finder?

Once in ZF we settled down to the routine of clearing trash.  We took the counter-clockwise path to try and pick up the scarab shells early.  It turned out that all of the quests we had for ZF, including the red level 50 quest for Gahz’rilla, were all sharable.  And, as was pointed out in a comment previously, we didn’t even need the mallet of ZF to summon.  But we’ll get to that, first we had some trash in our way.

Who is clearing who?

We got a little over zealous once we got in and let fleeing trolls get out of hand, leaving us all dead in the sand.

Re-entering Zul'Farrak

Wow, a wipe!  On trash mobs! This might be… a challenge! We had best take care!

That was the only problem we really had. We worked out way through the trash, taking care not to let the trolls get out of hand again.  At one point, Bigbutt had to jump out of the instance, and when he came back he was placed at the entry point.  He mounted up and rode past some respawns without thinking that stuff in instances do not lose interest and let you just run away.  We were semi-AFK at that point so had a bit of a chaotic fight as Bigbutt and his new found friends arrived amongst us.

And then there was the site with all the graves, which we diligently began digging up one-by-one, fighting each undead troll that appeared, until we were about 75% through them when somebody asked, “Do we even have this quest?”

No, we did not.

Still, the experience was good.  There were level ups all around as we cut our way through.

We then made our way to the big event at the top of the stairs.

Everybody loves an event!

That actually came off about as well as I have ever seen it.  Okay, I’ve only seen it three times now, but it worked, we won, and nobody went away grumbling about bugs or having to reset the instance to try again.

The event cleared the way for the… um… final boss, Chief Ukorz Sandscalp.  His fight is not all that exciting, but you have to go kill him because his death now triggers the achievement for the instance.


Achievement in hand, we still had the best fight left, Gahz’rilla.

We cleared out all around Gahz’rilla’s pool, bumping into Elder Wildmane who was there for the Lunar Festival.

Once clear, the fight began.  Of course, no Gahz’rilla fight is complete without some air time.

Cast interrupted!

You’ll note that Azawak is flying through the air encased in a block of ice.

Gahz’rilla’s fight was exciting but short.  The end was a foregone conclusion.  We stood in victory.

Gahz'rilla defeated

Or sat, in some cases.  Enaldie likes to be seated for these shots.

That left us done with the bosses, but short on troll temper and scarab shells for various quests.  We kept clearing out the instance, but had to leave and reset the instance before everybody was covered for quest drops.  I seem to recall some of the ZF quests requiring multiple visits previously.

That done, we left the instance to turn in our quests and found ourselves scattered throughout Azeroth.

Returning to where we started, Azawak and Hurmoo rode out again from Gadgetzen to the summoning stone and pulled everybody through so we could ride together to finish our tasks for the night.

Riding to Gadgetzen!

Between Gadgetzen and the Mirage Raceway we managed to close out four of the five quests we had.  This included turning in Ghaz’rilla’s scale for the the Carrot on a Stick, an alien trinket of unimaginable cultural significance.  There is another reward for that quest, but I think everybody goes for the carrot.

That put us well past midnight, so at least ZF delivered a full evening of adventure.  The next up on the list is Maraudon which features, as I recall, a disappointing number of Gahz’rilla clones.  Life in the re-usable content lane.

Finishing Zul’Farrak

Saturday night rolled around at last.

A move had been completed. Another was yet to come.

But this night we were all online and ready to polish off Zul’Farrak.

We checked our readiness at the door.

Buffs? Up!

Soul stone? Ready!

Health stones? Distributed!

Health potions? Hot bar’d!

Aura? Glowing!

Mallets of Zul’Farrak? In hand!

So in we went, our group for the night being:

47 Mage – Ula
48 Warrior – Earlthecat
48 Priest – Skronk
48 Warlock – Bungholio
49 Paladin – Vikund

We had just two quests to finish and we would be done. First up, Gahz’rilla!

We plowed through the trolls, advancing on the gong that mocked us several weeks back. We cleared all mobs in the area as well as a few out of the way that looked at us funny. Then I was given the task. Sound the gong.

And out came Gahz’rilla. Earl charged into the attack as I stood and took a screen shot.

As we went into the attack, Skronk mentioned, “Watch out for the knock-back” in what I felt was, in hindsight, a rather casual tone.

Yeah. Knock back.

To me, knock back is something that, you know, knocks you backwards. Gahz’rilla does not knock you back.

Gahz’rilla sends you FLYING!

Here we are, flying through the air after one of Gahz’rilla’s specials.

Skronk, who wisely stood back, caught Ula with a heal mid-air, if I recall right. She did not die on hitting the ground.

As the fight wore down, Gahz’rilla sent Earl and I flying again.

But we were all high enough level that the outcome was not in doubt. Gahz’rilla went down, the electrified scale was collected, and we posed for pictures around the defeated monster.

One down, one to go!

We advanced on the stairs, first clearing all the mobs in the courtyard. That was what got us into trouble last time, some unexpected adds.

Then we killed the troll with the key, flagged ourselves PvP, spoke to the goblin, then let out Bly and his group.

Bly and his team moved to the top of the stairs. We stood there with them, looking down at the now re-filled courtyard.

Then the trolls began to mount the steps. The battle was on.

This time we kept our cool and did not edge down the steps until Bly moved down. We followed him to face the final set of trolls, bringing them down quickly. Then we asked Bly for the Divino-matic Rod he promised us, the second item we needed that night.

That, of course, is the trigger for Bly and his group to turn on us. We slew them, took the rod, and were done with our goals for the night.

But speaking to the goblin before that battle on the stairs gave us access to one more thing, Chief Ukorz Sandscalp. His gate was open and we walked in, slaying the patrol on the path then his pet basilisks and snakes.

The Chief was no match for us either, but he did leave behind a nice gift. Earl got the Big Bad Pauldrons out of the fight.

So we stood in the Chief’s spot and took a picture of ourselves victorious.

And then we tried to ride out and got variously mis-direct, dismounted, hexed, and eventually in a couple of fights that left Skronk and I dead. Here I am, my corpse oh so close to the exit, hexed and slain.

Skronk and I released and took the angel’s offer of revival with penalties. We had paid one final price, but we were done with Zul’Farrak.

We gathered back up and turned in our quests, one in Gadgetzen and one at the Mirage Raceway.

While we were picking up our Carrot on a Stick reward at the raceway, I got one last treat for the night.

Being a fan of the Error’d posts on the Daily WTF, I am always on the lookout for such errors, such a the variable $n below.

variable-racer.jpg

Now that we are done here, the next stop is Maraudon!

The Mallet of Zul’Farrak

One week back into WoW and already we were short of players for a Saturday night. Bung was out of town while Earl said something about a “wedding anniversary.” A likely excuse.

That left three of us:

47 Mage – Ula
48 Priest – Skronk
49 Paladin – Vikund

We thought we might go looking for that Mallet of Zul’Farrak that came up missing last week in ZF.

gongmessage.png

This meant heading up to the Hinterlands and facing the Altar of Zul.

I was more than a bit dubious about our chances. The last time we went up to the altar we were a group of five and we got plastered all over the scenery. Now there were just three of us, though we were at least a few levels higher now.

Being higher level helped us almost immediately. The last time around our level meant our aggro radius was big enough that even getting to the altar was a pain. This time we managed to get pretty much to the base of the pyramid on which the altar rests before we had to start fighting.

We killed the mobs on the steps and soon faced Qiaga the Keeper and Morta’gya the Keeper, both level 50 elites, as well as a normal level 48 mob. We buffed up, took a deep breath, and went after them.

And won.

We won handily in fact. It was not even a close fight.

We all looted the mallet off of Qiaga. Of course, the mallet is not ready for ZF yet. You have to enchant it first.

enchanting it means a visit to another part of the Hinterlands, Jintha’Alor. More elite trolls in the level 46-50 range.

We took this carefully. You have to get to another altar at the top of Jintha’Alor to transform the mallet, so we battled our way up the stairs and along the paths, taking one or two mobs at a time. I believe we only ended up with more than two a couple of times, and only once was there enough drama in a fight to make anybody nervous enough to get Skronk to start his “remain calm” mantra.

We made it to the top, to the amphitheater where the altar is. There is an elite troll bound to the altar, Elder Torntusk, but he leaves you alone if you don’t bother him.

Around the altar patrols an elite as well as Vile Priestess Hexx. We took out the elite, let Hexx wander away on her rounds, and ran up to the altar to transform the mallet. You just have to get close to the altar and right click on the mallet in your inventory and it becomes the Mallet of Zul’Farrak.

Only one of us needed to get the mallet, but now we have three copies, just in case.

We were pretty much done for the night at that point. We had only one more thing to do, the Valkyrie ride back down and away from Jintha’Alor. While we could have used our hearth stones to head home, there is something of a tradition of mounting up and riding wildly down the stairs and over parapets to get out. It is something of a celebration. So off we went.

downja.png

Of course, here is where we had our only death of the night. Ula took a couple of big hits from passing mobs as well as a couple of rough landings and ended up dead at the bottom of Jintha’Alor. Skronk and I rode on while she just revived at the angel and ported back to Ironforge.

So now we prepared for our next trip into ZF. We have the mallet, we can sound the gong and get on with the instance.

Return of the Azerothian Combo

We’re getting the band back together!  -Earlthecat

It was April when the Saturday night instance group last met in full.

A spring and summer full of real life challenges, like changing jobs and moving across country, kept us from being able to play together until this past weekend.

Finally though, things have settled down a bit. Last Thursday, during our “off night” when we usually try to get our characters lined up for an instance on Saturday, we decided to put Lord of the Rings Online on the back burner for now and get back to finishing up the five person instance path we had been pursuing in World of Warcraft.

Friday, those of us who had to re-activated our accounts did so.

Of course, once we had all done that, I noticed one of Blizzard’s latest inducements to get people back into the game, the “Scroll of Resurrection” where by you can send an offer to a friend who has left the game and end up with some free play time.

Oh well.

So the first team was back together and ready to go in Azeroth.

47 Mage – Ula
47 Warrior – Earlthecat
47 Priest – Skronk
47 Warlock – Bungholio
48 Paladin – Vikund

I have no idea how I ended up a level ahead.

Most common phrases of the night:

“Oh yeah!”

“How do I do this?”

I actually got on about 30 minutes early to get up to speed on how to play the game. Skronk was already on and we ended up running around outside of Gadgetzen killing mobs just for practice. And I needed it! It took me a few fights to figure out judgement again and what skills a paladin has in WoW.

We were all on by 10pm Pacific time and headed for where we left off: Zul?Farrak

We all had at least two quests to finish off in there, so we headed in.

We started off slow and deliberate, taking on the fights carefully. We actually did very well, although the last thing we had done in WoW was work on a few levels to make ZF easier. At around level 44, when we first went in, it was a series of very tough fights. Now the extra few levels were payoff.

We managed to get ourselves through ZF to our first goal, the Gong of Zul’Farrak!

gongofzf.png

Getting here is required for the quest Gahz’rilla.

There was, however, a catch.

As we stood there, eyeing the gong, Skronk, who is Potshot, said on Skype, “Remember what Darren said about 90 minutes into “Shut Up We’re Talking #8″ the first time we did the show?”

That was, of course, the show that did not get recorded. I knew exactly to what he was alluding.

When you mouse over the gong, you get the message:

gongmessage.png

Mallet? Mallet…

Oh, crap! The mallet! We need to finish that quest in the Hinterlands to get the mallet.

And so we had to put off Ghaz’rilla for another day.

We did knock off a named troll for Earl so he could complete a quest the rest of us had done.

Then we started off towards the one other quest we all shared in ZF, the Divino-Matic Rod.

This involves getting up to the top of a pyramid… or ziggarut… via a long set of stairs, killing a named guy, flagging yourself PvP, releasing a group of Alliance NPCs, and then helping them fight off a series of attacks at the top of the stairs.

Here we are, flagged PvP, and getting ready to roll. We have the key and just need to unlock the cages to start the battle.

flaggedpvp.png

The fight starts at the top of the stairs, but as it progresses, the Alliance NPCs, and us in tow, are slowly drawn down the steps as wave after wave of mobs come at us. None of them were elite mobs, but still the weight began to tell.

Finally it was time for the two named, elite NPCs to come after us. We were pretty far down the stairs at that point.

As we started into that fight, one of the named cast fear on Earl and Vikund and off we ran, collecting a few more elites from the area around the base of the stairs.

You see, we got up there by taking an edge route around the courtyard. We might have been better served by clearing some of the courtyard near the stairs before we started the battle. Live and learn… or die and learn rather.

And die we did.

Embarrassingly I went down before I remembered… er, was reminded… that I had lay hands.

As I said, it was a night of “Oh, yeah!”

So we ran back to ZF in ghost form.

wowghostrecon.png

Aside from a few patrols, the instance had not yet respawned.

Unfortunately, the Alliance NPCs do not respawn. If they die, you have to reset the instance. By that point it was getting late. One of our team is now living on the east coast, so pressing on until 2 or 3am is not going to be an option any more.

But we got back in the game, got our feet wet, and at least when we died, we died on a tough battle.

Next time we will be working on the Hinterlands. We have to pick up that mallet.

Questing in Tanaris and the Hinterlands

I have not been writing much about our adventures in World of Warcraft of late. With the defeat of Archaedas and our departure from Uldaman, we have been building up for Zul’Farrak.

Unfortunately, we got through Uldaman with our highest level group member at 44, and Zul’Farrak looks to be more in line with a group closer to the level 50 range.

So we have been slowly working on experience. We have been doing some of the quest lines that lead into ZF. At this we have been mostly successful, though one quest in the Hinterlands requires a pretty serious fight with some level 50 elites which ended up with us getting plastered all over the terrain on our first few attempts. We marked that one “for later.”

We have actually been into ZF a couple of times to knock off a couple of the lesser quests, such as the one for scarab shells, and to scout.

intozf.png

Even though we did okay, we were still fighting a bit out of our weight so that anything unplanned generally lead to some deaths on our part, like this:

deadinzf.png

So our group activity for last weekend was an outing in Tanaris to collect pirate hats and other odd items that the NPCs of Azeroth love to horde. We are moving up slowly. We are all level 46 now and climbing. We probably have another week of side quests and lead-ins before we are ready to run into ZF again.

If nothing else, I have been learning some new quest lines in Tanaris and the Hinterlands. If I have some spare time I can run my hunter through them as well, as he isn’t too far behind in levels at this point.

So that is where we stand.