Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Into Hellfire Citadel
As I mentioned previously, I've decided to move on from 60, and start the sprint to 70. I began by cleaning up the quests in Hellfire, only to end up with my first TBC Dungeon quest, Weaken the Ramparts found in Hellfire Citadel.
This quest took me into the first TBC Dungeon, the Hellfire Ramparts. The Ramparts are designed for toons in the 60-62 level range. When TBC first came out, I remember going in there the first night with 3 other 60s, and a level 58 Priest. We steam rolled the place. We didn't know anything about the mobs or the bosses. We just paid attention, and were rewarded with our first Rare TBC gear.
But that first trip was with some excellent DPS, a well geared tank (myself) and a young Priest with a "Devil May Care" attitude, and a heart of gold. We were all seasoned raiders, so success was simply part of life. (As was impressing our friends with our undeniable humility.)
So what chance did I stand in there with 5 DPS Shaman? Well, it didn't hurt that my previous AV aspirations had already lead to a complete set of TBC gear for each Shaman. Let's get in there.
The Ramparts were always a favorite instance of mine. It was our first taste of expansion raiding, and gave us our first truly cool gear. It also gave us a sign of things to come. No longer were we faced with 4-6 hour instances such as the infamous Blackrock Depths. The Ramparts could be tamed in less than an hour even when we didn't know what to do.
I decided it would be safe to sneak the Twenty Totems in at level 62. As I entered the instance, I realized I hadn't be in there for nearly a year at this point. I got excited all over again, but my focus was on the first two mobs I had to pull. They were melee. This is good and bad. It means I can split them up using Stoneclaw Totems, but that also means I'm going to be getting pounded on.
When I'm fighting a caster, I can virtually guarantee I'll never take ANY damage due to Grounding Totems, but with Melee, I can only delay them. Once I do any damage to them, they're going to be beating on one of the boys, until they die. Luckily, thanks to TBC they actually have Mail armor, and fairly nice shields. (Ancient Draenei Crest)
I dropped my totems, and focus fired on the first mob. (raid tip: remember, when you have a melee toon you need to CC, never use Chain Lightning. You need to keep your threat on that target down so your Stoneclaw Totems can grab them.) He died before he got to the group. I freaked. I had no idea how overpowered I already was for this instance.
There are several trash mobs in there that can cause problems in the past. Specifically the Bleeding Hollow Scryer. This jerk would give you x number of seconds to kill him before he yelled for backup. If he got his scream off, his "backup" would come running, and social agro whatever other groups they'd run past. That usually meant death, or at least a short run to the entrance to reset.
But he died in two casts. It was great. Then I turned my attention to his two guards (both melee), keeping one busy with Stoneclaws while I burned the other down.
This ended up being the standard practice for the trip. If I had melee, stoneclaw. If I had casters, grounding totem while I burned the melees down. It was cake.
I got to the first boss in notime. The creepy Watchkeeper Gargolmar. (Didn't this guy used to spend his time torturing innocent tiny blue people with his cat Asreale?) He has two guards, both healers. I knew I couldn't just focus fire the boss down, or his entourage would simply heal him. So I had to hope that even a Boss would be hypnotized by the undeniable lure of truly sexy Stoneclaw totem. He was.
While the boss beat my totems, (why do I cringe and cross my legs when I say that?) I burned down his healers, and finally turned my attention on him. It was all going well until he decided to knock us all back. I've always been a sucker for theatrics, which is why I love the Shaman. But this means I often spread my guys out into formation when I didn't need to, just because it "looks cool". This time being spread out meant my boys all got knocked back in different directions.
While I panicked to get the guys facing the boss, two of my boys fell to his mighty melee awesomeness. I struggled to keep the Lightning Bolts flowing, and only barely finished the jerk off with two of my guys left. Phat lewts for all! Well, for the Paladin in the group anyways. (Light-Touched Breastplate)
After he fell, I worked my way to the second boss... Omor the Unscarred, which is a name that just BEGS for a beating. Hi guys, I'm new to the school. My friends call me "Rob the Unweggied"
Omor is such a cool looking boss. He looks like he could simply "think" my boys to death with is endless supply of awesome magics. But that's actually his only weakness. He's only a caster. Which means everything he throws at my boys, can, and is eaten by Grounding Totems. Horray for caster bosses!
So he fell before even one of my boys took damage. We were rewarded with a belt named after one of my favorite bands... The Tenacious Defender. Ok... still no loot for Shaman, but there's one boss left.
Vazruden, and his Netherdrake Mount, Nazan. Now this fight is a bit more involved, and I knew that going in... but I'm the unstoppable Twenty Totems, so I simply decided to pull.
The pull actually starts with two guards (melee), who stand ready at the end of the ramp to Vazruden's area. Above us, Vaz is circling around on the back of Nazan. As soon as the two guards die, Vaz jumps off the Drake, and comes running towards us. At that point, Nazan flies back up, and randomly sends a fireball at one of my boys.
As Vaz came running at us, I charged up the nuke and sent enough lightning at the man to bake an omelet on an icecube. I kept a steady flow of lightning bolts burning through his face, and he fell rather quick. SUCCESS! We're unstoppable!
Then Nazan landed and started storming towards us.
This is a gigantic dragon. And unlike most dragons you've heard of, for some reason this one breathes fire. Everywhere.
We started burning him down, when he suddenly decided to burn our robes off with a volcanic sneeze. In an instant every one of the boys was at 20% health. Ouch. He sneezed again, and we died. All of us.
I realized I'd have to actually figure out how to tank the thing, and force him to face away from the group, and somehow hold agroo off the other "Identically geared" Shaman. Bah. Too much work. I'm outta here.
Maybe I'll come back later.