Roflstomp Progress


I set out on Friday with Belmann to see if I could solo, or beat down with a small group, some more of the BC heroic instances. First cab off the rank was Hellfire Ramparts, which I started as holy while calling out in guild chat for a tank. The first few groups went down easily enough as I could shield and self-heal while beating them down one at a time. This was pretty slow going though, and Coldspine bought his mage in to tank. We knocked the whole thing over in about 10 minutes.

It was almost sad to see this instance torn down so easily, given how much time and pain I spent on it during the initial months of BC. I remember it as being the instance that told mid level ’60s that they actually needed to plan their pulls and use crowd control. Almost sad, but not quite.

I tackled Sethekk Halls next, which I’d done once or twice at level on normal mode. My vague memory of it was that it was annoying and full of birds. True enough, it was annoying and full of birds. I switched Belmann over to shadow so that I could DPS effectively, and spammed Mind Sear all over the place – this proved problematic at times, because there were a good number of mobs in there that not only have knock-back, but a silence and a stun. Even being ridiculously over geared for the instance, if there were enough mobs beating on me while I was silenced and stunned got my health dangerously low.

It was somewhat annoying that I could not get assistance with Anzu, but got guilted into assisting with some rated BG runs. Let it be said that I find the experience of PVE battlegrounds with my optimised-for-healing priest about as much fun as rubbing pepper in my eyes. Belmann may as well have been carrying a big sign saying “nuke me”, as every time he stood still to heal our opponents would all pile onto him. A couple of hours of die… wait… resurrect… run… heal… die… and I was done for the night.

Returning to Setthekk Halls the next day I finally got Anzu down by the skin of my teeth after wiping twice. The big problem I found with him was not only did he have a stun and a magic shield, and a silence, the non-elite flocks of birds he summoned also had a stun. It became a roll of the dice whether I could keep up my own health and chunk out enough DPS and not go out of mana, and in the end got him down when I was at about 2% health and just about OOM. The big boss in that instance, Talon King Ikiss, was trivial, and went down in a few seconds.

Escape from Durnholde proved a little tricky as well. I’m really fond of this instance, and it’s the one that people forget when they talk about outdoor instances. For those who’ve not done it, it’s a trip back in time to an early version of Hillsbrad, and if you take the time to hang around in some of the buildings and listen in on the NPCs, there is a huge amount of interesting lore to be picked up. Particularly cool is to see little Sally Whitemane and Renault Morgaine as children role-playing heroics with a frog.

The instance was reasonably simple, for the most part. The initial part where you wander around the orc internment camp setting fire to buildings was trivial but time consuming, as was the slog up the hill to the keep proper. I mistakenly thought that if I killed all the mobs, there would be none for Thrall to deal with when he escaped, but no, he gets fresh spawns irrespective of how many you slaughter. And what’s the deal with Thrall? He knocks out the armourer and steals weapons and armour from the armoury… and chooses to take cheap leather junk and chintzy axe. Couldn’t he have taken some plate, or at least mail, so that he wasn’t so soft? It took me four attempts to escort him out of the keep, and I only succeeeded on the fourth attempt by realising that I should not attempt to heal him, but concentrate on doing enough DPS to keep the aggro off him altogether. Once I figured that out, the rest was a push over.

Opening the Dark Portal was equally a push over. I think I did the instance once or twice on Giladris, and had virtually no memory of it, so I trotted off to Wowhead to read up on the strategy. This definitely refreshed my memory, as I recall it being somewhere that caused great angst and many wipes, and there were dire warnings about rounding up the non-elite mobs and killing them before starting the encounter proper. I started to do this, then accidentally started the encounter by getting too close to Medivh, and decided it was a waste of time anyway. Each time the portals opened I jumped straight on the elite that spawned and mostly blew it away before any of the non-elites came through. Any that did get through I dotted and they came after me – at the end Medivh’s shield was at 97% because a single little dragon had gotten to him and breathed fire.

I really enjoyed The Mechanar, possibly because I’d never seen it. The visual design is quite lovely, blending the feel of Exodar with the feel of the The Consortium and a dash of Sunwell. The interior has a nice logic to it, and it felt like a working space, and not just a dungeon crawl. One thing I found particularly interesting was that the way that mobs were linked was subtle, and there were subtleties about the crowd control – a lot of mobs you expect to be able to be mind controlled were immune, but that didn’t stop me MCing the casters and letting the melee tear them to shreds. Another unusual aspect was that there were two long corridors that the mobs ran the length of to beat on me – they seemed to be linked somehow to either entering the corridor or nuking the two guards at the start of the corridor. Either way it must have been… exciting… to see those groups charging down if you ran the instance at level.

Next off will be The Botanica I guess. Let’s see how I go.

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