Category Archives: Instances

Oculus Easier?

I’ve had the Oculus come up twice now since the cross-realm Pug-Fest began.

On the first visit our Healer was shot out of the sky by Dragons and dropped group.  The Paladin dropped group.  The Rogue said “Re-Queue” and then dropped group.  As did the last of them.  “What the hell.”

Last night was my 2nd visit.  This is after the “changes” were made.  One notable change with the “personal loot bag” you get.

So, our Healer is a Druid this time.  First time they’d been there.  (She died when the Mage Lord ‘ported and she failed to get behind a column.  And she headed one direction while we pulled him another, and … well, it was her first time.)

But shortly and easily enough we stood before Eregos, 2 red drakes, 2 amber, 1 green.  I was on a red drake.  I pretty much moved like I do when on a tournament horse, firing and moving.  I ran from the floaty balls.  I got close to the healer to get my health back.  I fired, and fired some more.  I evaded when I had the charges.

End result: Eregos dead, Heroic mode, first try, noobs on board (me included).

We open our bags.  I got 3 red gems and 2 badges.  The warrior got an Azure Drake.  Sweet to be him.

Did they make the Oculus fight easier?  This isn’t an exercise in DPS pwnage, but the ability to use vehicles to their fullest, doing things when they needed to be done.

But I’m glad we got ‘er done.

And, in the future, should the Oculus come up again, I know for a fact that it’s not difficult.  Stick it out in the instance,  play smart, and collect your Azure Drake mount.


Posted by on January 6, 2010 in Instances


First time.

And it feels like the first time
Like it never did before
Feels like the first time
Like weve opened up the door
Feels like the first time
Like it never will again, never again


Dag, was that like high school?  No, earlier.  Classic stuff anyway.

And it’s what we did tonight, Msaker, that is.  Going into Blackwing Lair with the guild on a lark.  We started with 10 to get the attunement (20 minutes UBRS run), and wound up with 12 killing Razorgore and 14 killing Vael in BWL.  In the old days of the 60′s it took 40.  Who says gear doesn’t matter?  And you can go back and visit places like this.

Amusing.  Have fun with it.

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Posted by on July 25, 2008 in Instances, Screenshots


Heroics wrong, Heroics right. CC, crowd control, is king.

The guild I’m in has this litmus test for joining them in Karazhan.  See, they’ve already got ten that can clear Karazhan in two days.  But ten isn’t enough for the follow-on places like Gruul’s Lair.  So they need more folks.

But they don’t want to take just anyone that shows up with a wand or a shield.  They’re expecting a high degree of competence as well out of it’s potential raiders.  Assembly of ones gear set is a start.  Msaker has gotten 4 of the 5 pieces of the Dungeon 3 set, and the missing piece is already upgraded with a Karazhan replacement.  Trading out a few pieces he can achieved 142 Arcane Resist, the minimum they’d like us to have for The Curator fight.  The last hurdle was getting at least three Heroic keys, and then proving yourself in your role in each of them.

My first Heroic was to Mechanar.  We had a Hunter, Resto Shammy, and I forget who the other two were.  It took a little getting used to the harder hits, and the special abilities, of the otherwise easy enough trash mobs.  Punch #1.

My second Heroic was to Coilfang Reservoir.  To the Underbog.  That was disastrous.  We simply didn’t have the crowd control.  My second try in Coilfang was into the Steamvaults.  This was kind of on a lark since we brought along a Holy Priest for DPS.  And it worked.  I described this Heroic a few weeks ago.  Punch #2.

Heroic Auchindoun was my last ticket to punch.  That was tough.  The first time I tried Setthik Halls Heroic we were myself, a Protection Paladin, a Fury Warrior, a Resto Shammy, and a Hunter.  I don’t make the group, I simply sigh inwardly and march out with it.  “Hamburger Hill” anyone?  We got one boss, but Ikiss eluded us.

Last night, though, was the Heroic from Heaven.  I was tanking, a Rogue, Mage, Hunter, and Holy Priest invited me.  Four/five pulls can be nightmares.  Except when you can sap one, sheep another, shackle another, and trap another, heck, I’ve only got one to tank?  Cool.  Punch #3.

Heroics can be as painful as you let them be, or as easy as you can make them.  It wasn’t perfect, but we cleared the place, and the Rogue got on his main, a Druid, and we summoned the Raven God to kill as well.  And when you’re depositing Badges of Justice into the bank account, that’s what matters.

The group consisted of the Guild Master and his top officer’s.  Watching us go through the place, and sapping for CC, one of the officers realized “We need more Rogues in the guild.”  We do.  (The officer was playing one, but he’s got seven other 70′s, one of each class, and the Rogue wasn’t his main.)   Rogue’s sap.  That was kind of a forgotten CC that we quickly learned to love.

If you’re going to raid, or maybe just do Heroics, make sure your guild has enough folks to make viable groups the routine.  “Thunderbluff Steakhouse” makes for a nice concept guild, but Taurens can’t CC beyond traps. … While two Hunters, a Druid, a Shaman, (one of which is Restoration, and only one) and a Warrior might make a decent instance group, and could be the core of an all Tauren guild, this group will have some real challenges in a Heroic.  Or maybe I just like my heroics to go easy.

You know, with this patch coming out, I can show my alts a little love, and I know my 70′s have so much more yet to do, I’m in no hurry for the Expansion.

P.S. Have you noticed folks returning to WoW?  And this is long before the expansion is coming out.  I’m half expecting the old guild master of Dark Ministry to resurface, following his hiatus in the Shire, and /whisper a “Hey.” to me.

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Posted by on November 13, 2007 in Instances



The guild took 12-14 members to Zul’Gurub tonight. The 3 60-something’s we had along were raking in the loot.

Droonda had never seen Zul’Gurub. Tonight she saw every boss. And every boss was defeated. Including the big guy, Hakkar. This was also Msaker’s first raid into ZG. Previously only Blackhoof had regularly raided ZG, and Arcarius went a couple of times.


This got everyone in the mood for the soon to be Zul’Aman instance.  Bear mounts!

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Posted by on November 2, 2007 in Instances, Screenshots


Two unusual Steamvault Runs

First run into Coilfang’s Steamvaults I went with Blackhoof, my Elemental Shaman. He’s there for the Reputation with the Cenarian Expedition and the possible gear.

The group included my lovely Shaman Princess Droonda, another Elemental Shaman, and Magnarussa, a Resto Shaman.

Magna’s husband, Dagerta, is a Mage. And Lanthus, a Paladin, did the tanking.

Paladin’s have a great AoE/Tanking ability and trash mobs were just eaten alive by it.


Lots of dead Leper Gnomes? Lots to cheer for!

Every party member was a caster type. Hydromancer Thespia was the only problem, and that’s because her lightning is indiscriminate. Otherwise a full clear. We were done in little over an hour.

Later, Msaker was signed up to tank in a Heroic Mode Coilfang instance. We had eleven sign ups, but only six were online and five joined the group. We were a Protection Warrior, a Protection Paladin (Lanthus from before), Gorvahk the Warlock, Sheripiari a Resto Shaman, and Sistajuju, a Holy Priest who was joining us to add some DPS. ! No Druid, Hunter, Rogue, or Mage along.  (Gorvahk and Sista are married in real life.  Lots of husbands and wives tonight.  Another couple were out of town with a single, and bad, internet access.)And these Heroic mode fights were fun too. Lanthus was still a better group aggro holder, and lacking real CC, he main tanked. I off-tanked the target to kill, and kept pulling them off him as we ran down the kill list. Sista mindcontrolled one mob, either using to heal us, or keeping it from hitting us with Blizzard. The Thespia fight also caused us problems, but our 2nd try we persevered, but it was a long fight. We didn’t really have the usual amount of DPS.

The Mekgineer also stumped us the first try. So, for the 2nd try, I put on my DPS gear, did a maniacal Headless Horseman laugh, and we manage to unload enough damage on the Mekgineer to fire off the seeds of corruption and kill those leper gnomes trying to heal him.  Too, going DPS allowed me to generate more Rage and that let me fire off more Thunderclaps to stop the gnomes from healing.

The last fight also did us in the first time. The 2nd try I was firing off my Attack Power trinkets as we worked on the water tanks that Warlord Kalithresh was trying to use, and that secured us the final victory. (And part one of the Naaru’s Test of Strength quest was done.)


Score one for the use of creativity in a fight. Even Heroic mode can be done, and well, by a creative group.


Posted by on October 28, 2007 in Instances


WordPress Blogroll has pretty good stealth ability. New to an instance. The other xp. Freakish happenstance. (Is the world coming to an end? Horde wins??!!)

It keeps disappearing on me. It’s there, like it’s playing a game or something, when I go look for it in the Blogroll section of the Dashboard. Then I review the page and it’s back.

Kara feels a lot like Molten Core.

Molten Core was easy-mode. ZG was tougher, AQ tougher still.

Kara is certainly easier, I think, than some of the 5-mans I face now. And Heroics? I’ve never even been in one.

My wife’s Droonda went to Black Morass without me last night. She was there to get her Master’s Key. I was having computer problems. Zone Alarm just fubared my machine. (So on a guildies recommendation I picked up AVG. So far, so good.) Anyway, she’s going to Black Morass. With a Shadow Priest (same that I went with), a Rogue, a Druid Tanking and a Paladin Healing. She was in charge of the adds and was just frantic. Being an Enhancement Shaman there really was no other role for her. I was sitting there beside her, telling her she was doing great, because she was. But the strain of being responsible for something this importat was getting to her. She was doing fine. I was just in awe of the numbers flying off her screen as she dual-wielded and got hits of 1000+. Some trinket dropped that upon getting a Crit her Attack Power would go up by 300 for a bit. And she won the recipe for the Stylin’ Jungle Hat. (Our Alliance Druids will be quite happy to be stylin’.) Alas the gig was up around wave 12.

The group reformed at the entrance. I was invited to take Droonda over. Msaker, finally, was sitting in Shattrath, /afk, ignoring the Kara invites.

I click a lot less. It’s enough to turn the attack train on. Throw down Stormstrikes with partnered Earthshocks, bring up Shamanistic Rage for mana regen (if I recall correctly), and away we went. Argh! 17/18 and we wipe. Dag. But, yeah, being in charge of the adds with an Enhancement Shaman that doesn’t raid much is kind of tough.

But, once she’s gotten her key and gets into Karazhan, she’ll be set. Because Karazhan is easier in a 10-man than doing some of these 5-mans. Just like the old days (kind of).

The other xp is what you get with time and experience. The ability to remain cool regardless. Things might be going bad, or not. It might look hectic, but you’re doing fine.

Blackhoof, my Resto Shammy, returned to the Wars. Healing up a storm to top the lists, getting a few Killing Blows in, getting as much honor as anyone on the Horde side out of the deal. And, dag, Horde won. What the heck is going on? Horde wins??? In Alterac Valley? Are the planets all aligned in the House of Mars or something?


Posted by on September 16, 2007 in BGs/PvP, Droonda, Instances


Easy gear, for Shaman or Tank. Bring a healer. Or three.

Last night Msaker, Droonda, and our friend, Nachmahd, went to Netherstorm to run a little quest for Professor Dabiri at the Protectorate Watch Post. The quest chain is a mere 3 quests long, and the middle quest is a simple bombing run for which they provide the mount! The starting quest is called “Recipe for Destruction.”

The rewards are lucrative. 20 gold and some nice gear. +88 Healing mail armor for the Shamans, and a +30 Defence trinket for me, the Warrior.

We spoke with Captain Saeed, who stands close to the Professor, and he brings a group of Ethereal soldiers with him, up into Mana Forge Ultris. There we square off with a huge voidwalker called Dimensius.

Tanking is simple enough. The healer’s job undoubtedly tougher. I sundered and devastated and shield slammed and fun was had by all. Dimensius is slain and we go and collect our loot.

But Msaker isn’t the only toon in town. What of Blackhoof, recent convert to the Restoration side of Shamanism? He could certainly use a +88 Healing chest piece.

So Blackhoof flies out and the 3 Shamans take the fight on. Droonda didn’t tank, none of us did. We simply kept the Captain alive. And kept him alive. And kept him alive. And and and… Well, the sun’s set, the cow’s have come home, glaciers recede, advance, recede, bonds mature, investements accrue, seasons change, and we healed a little more.

Yes, it was a lot of healing. We healed in shifts, kept Mana Spring and Mana Tide totems down, and we pulled back and drank when we ran low, healing in shifts. Yes. You can actually back away to where you can simply sit and drink Draenic Water to restore your mana. Why waste a potion???

And in the end the Captain prevailed, and Blackhoof got himself some nice +Healing armor.

Funny part about this fight is that it seems the 2nd person on Dimensius’ threat list gets to be a “mini bomb” That had them “blowing up” in a purple flash and hitting the cieling. In the last fight Nachmahd, our friend, was “the bomb.” It was kind of amusing (that’s how long a fight it is) to watch him drinking and blowing up and eating and blowing up. It got to where we was hanging out in door openings so he wouldn’t be blow so high. First fight, unbeknownst to the tanking Msaker, it was Droonda that played this game.

All in all, an easy fight, even for three, provided you can get some good healing in. The three of us went with first two, then three healers, and it amounted to easy loot.

Later on Msaker returned to the Shadow Labyrinths. Easy. No wipes and every boss on the first try. And, again, no shield off Hellmaw, and no shoulders off Murmer. Good thing reputation with the Lower City continues to roll in.

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Posted by on June 28, 2007 in Gear, Instances, Quests, Shamans, Warriors


Being 70 means Crush.

Being 60 meant I could log out anywhere I wanted. No more looking for Inns in which to stop. At 60, when 60 was the limit, I could log out in the bank in Everspring, dammit. Wherever I wanted. Nobody and nothing was the boss of me.

Now, being 70, means I can do stuff. I’m sought after. (Well, being Fury I’m not the Tank everyone really wants.)

Droonda has never been on a successful Ramparts run. Killing the Nazan the Dragon eluded her. Not last night.

New guildie in the Outlands. Druid. Level 60. Wants to run the Ramparts. It’s early in the evening. So do we. While we wrap up a quest in the Blades Edge Mts he gathers a group. He’s ready, are we?

We steal a bag from some big Gronn guy via a well-trained boar, and then drop our group and get invited to our guildies, and then get summoned.

Level 62 Warrior, Level 70 Pally, our Guildie, Droonda and I. “I’ll Tank,” I say. The Pally says “Don’t worry about it. DPS, use a two-hander, whatever.”

Now this is the same Pally I grouped with the night before in Shadow Labyrinths. Over 10,000 mana pool. And just an incredible healer.

Droonda and I were neck in neck in DPS, topping the charts. Everything got mowed down. The Pally kept us all alive and never dropped below half mana.

We kill the Rider before the Dragon lands. Then I Fury DPS’d Nazan the Dragon, with my The Planar Edge and Blackout Truncheon*.

Woot. Job done. And turning in the quest Droonda picks up a set of blue gloves. The same gloves Blackhoof has yet to replace. (Blackhoof needs to get out more.)

*The Blackout Truncheon procs a haste buff called Blinding Speed.

The Planar Edge is a 2.7 speed weapon. The Truncheon is 1.5.

When the Truncheon procs, the haste speeds that up to about 2.1 and 1.0. Same damage on the weapons, and noticeably faster. More DPS. It’s an amusing off-hand.

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Posted by on June 5, 2007 in Gear, Instances


Rain days are Ding days.

It rained Saturday. And that means between Friday and Sunday I got my last two levels and dinged 70 on Msaker, my Orc Warrior.

We, Droonda and I, were in Shadowmoon Valley, spying on the Legion’s activities, when the moment came. Upon returning to Shadowmoon Village she gave me a loan of 200 gold and I was on a flying mount. Droonda herself is 68 going on 69, and is just a few more quests from being on a flying mount herself. Loan repaid, she’s now over 1000 gold and is just counting the days.

And Blackhoof, newly rich again running ordinary quests, repaid her, and then bought himself, and Droonda as well, two Crystal Pulse Shields. Both are Enhancement Shamans, but when it comes time to heal, it doesn’t hurt to have the best equipment for it. Blackhoof’s got Mogor’s Anointing Mace, and she’s got the dagger reward off Durn the Hungerer. The CPS’s are the best healer shields outside of Karazhan I’ve heard.

One highlight for Msaker and Droonda was our going to Karazhan and getting the first two quests towards getting our keys. With careful pulls our time in the Master’s Cellar was mostly against a ghost, or two, and she being dual wielding Enhancement and I being Fury Tank, and we tested both the waters easily. Well, the testing part was easy. Actually getting there, and the well in particular, was not.

And with our friend Nachmahd’s help we finished up some 3-player group quests down in old Nagrand. Summoning and killing Gurok the Usurper, the Elemental that the Warmaul’s worship, and finishing the string of quests against the Forge Camp’s for Altrius the Blind.

And what’s the first stop of a 70 with goals on the Karazhan Key quest chain? Well, the first part in the Outlands? The Shadow Labyrinths. PUG, again, Msaker was tanking, two Hunters (great crowd control! No multi-shots!), a Mage, and a Priest. That was my first time into the instance with Msaker (and only once before with Blackhoof). And we did well. We killed Hellmaw, on the first try, dropped Pally plate, not the tanking shield I wanted, and the Inciter, killed on the first try, and he dropped a tanking trinket for Msaker. We cleared a little further into the place and at that moment the priest informed us “I’ve got to go.” and hearthed out. I look at the group. /lol.

Someone knew someone and we shortly have a Paladin join us. I see her mana pool is huge. And Vorpil, killed on the third try, drops the Blackout Truncheon, which Msaker took to accompany his slow The Planar Edge. The last boss, Murmer, we didn’t down. It was late, one of the Hunters had to go, and I really had to go. We gave it like 4 tries, but success eluded us. (Funny how Blackhoof’s time there it was easy on the first try.) Oh, yes, a random mob dropped blue plans for the Felsteel Helm. Since I was the only smith, they came to me. Does not seem to be a bad helm. And only 8 Felsteel bars. (16 eternium ores being the holdup there. And I’m not 365 smithing.)

It was a good pug, my first time tanking the higher level instances, and overall I think we did okay. (Msaker did complete the two quests there and that’ll get him bracers and boots, happily both with tanking attributes on them.)

Msaker will stay Fury/Prot until Droonda is comfortably 70 and we’ve gotten things accomplished. Then he’ll go more into Protection, providing the instance running becomes regular.

*And* Arcarius picked up some pointers on instance running with a Hunter. Two Hunters kept a lot of trapped trash mobs frozen. Now the lazy elf just needs to get those Nesingwary quests done Nagrand and get a decent gun.

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Posted by on June 4, 2007 in Dings, Instances


And it ended with a “Leeeeeroy Jeenkins!”

That was my PUG experience last night.

Msaker had been out mining. He and Droonda had just finished up a handful of quests up in Blade’s Edge. He needed to find just one single Eternium Ore and he’d craft The Planar Edge.

Then in comes a whisper. “Do you want to run Slavepens?” I check my quest log. No Coilfang Quests. However, I had the intro quest, which leads to finding the lost guys quest, and that quest has you finding two of those lost guys in the Slavepens. “Sure.”

It was a 64 Hunter doing the asking. When I join the party I see a 2nd 64 Hunter, and a 62 Warlock. Oh boy. “Guess we need a healer now :D” someone says. 10 points for the obvious there.

But I’ve got the shield, and I’m the tank. We’ve got DPS. Yeah, a healer is the last part. And they recruit a level 70 Paladin. Alright! We’re going to do this. I’d been there before. We’d taken out the first guy, and wiped on the 2nd, the crab guy, until we called it. This time would be different.

You know, there are some subtle signs that things aren’t going to go smoothly. Little clues that kind of foretell your destiny ahead of time. That sublime arrangement of tea leaves at the bottom of that teacup, or dried foam on the side of that beerglass, whose words, if you can read the language, spell out for you, in no uncertain terms, your future. Todays reading, brought to you by the Amazing Msaker, was “This is going to go badly.”

Hunter runs ahead and multi-shots the first pack. She’s apparently a Gladiator pvp-ranked member of a guild running Karazhan twice a week. This must be an alt. Who’s never played a hunter in a group before.

The other hunter is no better. And apparently they don’t have their pets on growl. I guess they’d figure I could just swoop in and gain all their aggro and then enough to hold everything on me.

Uh, morons.

The Paladin did okay. I was kept healed. He joined with a Mogor’s Anointing Mace so I figured he must be Holy spec’d.

The Warlock. I’m sure he did something. Oh, yes. He’d fear adds. In an instance. That’s something. You get to 62 fearing the crap out of things, so why stop?

We kill the 1st boss. The “Spellsword” drops. Looks spiffy. I figure the Warlock or the Paladin will want it. Though both are honest enough to say it’s not an upgrade. Pally even says “I’ve been so wanting that sword for a long time.” So everyone just random’s it. Multi-shot Hunter wins it. “For RPing. Lol.” Moron.

We get to the 2nd boss with just a wipe. And the 2nd boss then proceeds to wipe us again. 2nd try on the 2nd boss I go down again, but this time he’s got 1,000 health left so he drops. Some healing mace drops. It’s actually pretty cool looking. The Mogor’s Anointing Mace is shiney and this thing is glowing, but in a nature way. But it’s not a need for the Pally so it just gets /randomed. I win. It’ll pay for repairs. But, damn, nothing in the place is an upgrade so I’m in here hoping for lucky rolls.

After Rockkor (or whatever the crab guys name is) we get ready to proceed. Multishot brings like eight back and we wipe. “WTF” says the Paladin.

Oh, yeah, the 2nd Hunter has run out of Ammo. We summoned him from Ratchet, but he’s out of ammo. So he’s there dual wielding. And after the wipe, and we’re getting back health. “Ive got2go.” He sits and zones out.

So then the Paladin complains “I can’t ever get a PUG to clear this place.” Pally must be an alt of someone too. Legolas was his name. Or something pretty close to it. Armory says he is a Hybrid, something/something/zero. Taking none of the defining features of Holy or Protection. Enchanter/Tailor. Now he complains? The last boss has Paladin pants on him, go figure, and he’s annoyed that we won’t get there.

I check the watch. It’s 1 a.m.. It’s been 3 hours now. These new instances were supposed to be short. I check the damage taken meter. Oh, yeah, I’m doing my job, with 90% damage taken. Pally comes in 2nd. I tell them “It’s 1 a.m. so I’ve got to go too.”

So the Warlock, I’ll just call him Ignored now, he yells “Leeeeeroy Jeenkins.” Whatever. And then I see a DOT land on a Naga, and six start cruising our way.

Well, that stunt cost me a gold and a half. As I wipe again. My tooltip on my durability meter, watching what 10% damage does to me. A death costs me a gold and a half. Five deaths this run.
BUT, I got level 69, I got the last Eternium Ore I need (until I can get my mitts on a primal nether), and I got some tanking experience.

Signs your run will fail: Your hunter runs forward and multi-shots to pull. Their pets don’t growl. And your Warlock fears adds in crowded rooms.


Posted by on June 1, 2007 in Instances


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