Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

The Shadow Labyrinth

I went on a run through The Shadow Labyrinth, or Shadow Labs, last night.  I had just got on and was looking for something to do.  A guild member was looking for dps help and I was looking to get my kitty some combat experience, so it was a fit.  The group came together pretty quickly and we were on our way.

This time around, we had a solid group.  2 Pallies, 1 Warrior, 1 Mage and me in feral cat. 

I had heard and read a lot of grumbling about this instance so I was very interested to see what it was like.  I had heard it was about a 2 hour instance.  What I didn’t factor in is that it was my first time in along with one of the other party members.  Three+ bleary-eyed hours later (getting to bed at 1 a.m. this morning), we finished up.  My opinion – overall, I loved the instance.

While Shadow Labs can be a humbling instance, I think it is thoroughly enjoyable.   I loved the scripts for the bosses, the layout flowed well, and gameplay overall was very fun.  Unlike Sethekk, in Shadow Labs I found the mobs to be relatively easy and the bosses very hard.  The scenery and atmosphere works together very well with the areas where the mobs are “worshipping” the boss just outright fun to watch.  I also think the animation effects and wandering patterns are some of the best I’ve seen also.

We started off pretty good and downed the first boss, Ambassador Hellmaw, with no problems.  He was nice enough to drop the Idol of the Emerald Queen for me.  While I don’t do a lot of healing, this is a very nice idol to compliment the druid Lifebloom, which I used a lot last time I healed.  There was nothing particularly special about the boss other than a lot of fears – but then getting feared isn’t exactly a one-time experience in this instance.

Heading around the corner, we got a Purification Staff drop off one of the trash mobs.  It was the “of the Beast” flavor if you follow the link.  The stats on it were almost identical to my Staff of the Four Golden Coins, but the feral attack power increase was a bump, so it was immediately equipped.  It’s always fun to get a drop in an instance that you can use right away. 

So I was off to a good start with two good drops.  That ended up being the majority of my bounty for the night, but I was very happy with two good drops (also got a few Spirit Shards and some sellable BoE items).

Around the corner was Blackheart the Inciter.  This big, two-headed, monster of a mob was the first in an almost church-like setting with various mobs in pews bowing and worshipping him.  What a spectacle.  It was actually fun to start pulling the different sets of mobs out of the pews and mowing them down.  Blackheart himself was a challenge and we did wipe twice on him before downing him.  Every 30 seconds or so he casts a full party mind control debuff that makes you all attack each other for around 10 seconds or so.  There are some good strategies on wowwiki, so be sure to follow the link to be prepared.  We did eventually get him down.  Nothing exciting on the drop.

You then come around the corner into another long chamber with mobs marching and paying homage to a boss.  In this case it was Grandmaster Vorpil, probably the most fun fight during the run.  Once you’ve cleared your way to Vorpil, the strategy we used was for our tank to kite him down the long hallway we had just cleared up.  During that time, everyone had DPS on him.  Once he gets to the end of the hallway, he teleports the entire group back to his platform.  You have to get off the platform immediately, as a Rain of Fire starts coming down that can do some serious damage.  Our tank then kited him the other way down a hallway while we were dps’ing all the way.  We did get teleported a second time, but was able to down Vorpil shortly after the second teleport.  I believe we only wiped once downing this boss.

During the entire fight though, Voidwalkers start to spawn.  I didn’t realize this last night, but from reading wowwiki, they heal Vorpil if they make it to him.  Strategy suggestions are to down the Voidwalkers as they start to appear.  We just ignored them and they never seemed to be an issue.

Vorpil gave us another “meh” drop.

We then made our way to the final boss, Murmur.  Murmur has without a doubt the coolest animation I have seen yet in the game and made the experience in his chamber completely immersive.  We cleared up to Murmur no problem, but just could not get him down and after three attempts gave up.  Nature resistance seems key here which we had not brought.  Murmur also has one of those abilities where he powers up then releases damage.  Wowwiki suggests getting out of the blast radius (Duh!) and I can tell you this is a very good idea.  What I found was that it was very hard to get out of radius in time.  Probably just a timing issue that will get better, but it was very frustrating.

With our gear at 0%, we ran back in one last time so everyone could get the First Key Fragment on the Karazhan attunement quest chain.  We then bid each other farewell, and (mercifully) called it a night.

So, my thoughts and observations on my first feral cat/dps run in a higher end BC instance?

It was a lot of fun and I did feel like I was contributing.  I was main dps assist for the tank so I just always targeted the mob he was on and helped bring them down.  Until I got killed in a couple key fights, I was basically tied with our Mage for second on the damage meters.  Being level 69 and not having great cat gear yet, I felt pretty good about the experience and my contribution.

What could have gone better?  Two things:

  1. Put simply – I died a lot.  It’s important to remember that you don’t have the armor or the hit points that you do in bear form, and you break a lot easier and faster.  This wasn’t a huge problem in mob pulls, but in boss fights, the special abilities made me feel much more vulnerable than I do as tank.
  2. It’s much more important as dps support to be on the correct mob.  If you’re on the wrong mob and draw aggro, you’re probably going to die and without the dps support you’re giving the tank, you may cause your group to wipe.  This did happen once last night and really drove home the point.  I got in the habit of hitting the function key for our tank, then the “F” (assist) key after every kill to make sure I was on the same target as our tank.  I don’t do a whole lot of macros, but that sure sounds like one I should create.

So, all in all I had a great time even though I’m a little tired this morning.  I would love to hear everyone else experiences – especially how you keep yourself alive in cat form in tough instances.

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April 11, 2007 - Posted by | Burning Crusade, Druid Gear, Instances, Strategy - Feral, World of Warcraft

12 Comments »

  1. Shadow labs — to me its a love hate relationship. Love the bosses, but hate the amount of trash and length.

    As for survival in kitty, always attack MT target. If you do pull agro, cower will help reduce your threat so the tank can reacquire. Now if you somehow manage to pull agro on a different target, you can also maim ( Doesn’t work on all mobs ) and switch to bear form. Basically anytime, you grab agro and feel that the tank is not gonna pick it up, just shift to bear form. Its will keep you alive longer than relying upon the tank to pick it up and less strain on healers.

    Bruennor

    Comment by Bruennor | April 11, 2007 | Reply

  2. Great comment Bruennor – this is the reason I pay you the big money.

    I did shift out of cat a couple of times for quick heals but did not shift back into bear. And while I have found a new love for Maim, I completely forgot about it last night.

    My experience with Cower wasn’t that great last night, but my guess is the MT was too busy concentrating on his one target to try to get a second off of me.

    Comment by Amanna | April 11, 2007 | Reply

  3. I did labs last night on my druid and got my first key fragment. Pretty excited to actually get him into Karazhan as my hunter is pretty boring compared to my druid. I’m pretty happy about my Labs run, but nothing solid really dropped. Three of the four boss drops were de’d because we either couldn’t use them, or they were just horrible (ie: stupid trinket off of Vorpil)…
    I am very excited however, as Blackheart decided to be nice and drop Pattern: Stylin’ Purple Hat which I will be making for myself tonite.
    Murmer is the easiest boss in the instance imo, but everyone in the group has to know the fight, very well. Last night was my first time ever in melee on him and his damn explosions were hitting me for about 7500 each hit in kitty. I just could NOT get out of the circle in time. I think the best thing to do here would be to give up the added dps of constant shreds, and just switch to a frontal melee attack to keep you closer to the stairway.
    One other thing you didn’t mention is the Touch of Murmur debuff he tosses out. Does approximately 4000 damage in a 10 yard radius of you when you explode. Go to the hut closest to Murmur to avoid the fall damage and save your healer some mana.
    In regards to Blackheart, I absolutely love this fight as it is extremely challenging, no matter what the group makeup. Because you spend a lot of time fighting each other, I found it best to switch out of cat form. He spams Starfire which, for a feral druid, takes a long time to cast and does crap for damage. Only problem with this is he can burn your mana and not leave you enough to switch back to Kitty.

    Comment by Slipslappy | April 12, 2007 | Reply

  4. A trick for murmur that I use that always works for is to use the mouse to move myself. I’ll explain:

    When you click on both buttons at the sametime on the mouse your character moves in the direction of your view. So taking this in mind for murmur.

    1. Move into melee range for murmur.
    2. Spin your Camera Point of view around such that you are looking through Murmur at your character. you should be looking at the front of your character.
    3. Do DPS/tank stuff :-p
    4. Watch Murmur’s Cast bar for the Sonic Boom Cast. This is better than watching for either the emote or graphic because by the time you see them you have already lost a second or 2.
    5. Once you see the start of the cast, press both mouse buttons. This will automatically spin your character around and start running out of the circle. Once your far enough out, spin back around and get ready to get back in after he does his explosion.
    6. Loot Boss!!!

    Bruennor

    Comment by Bruennor | April 12, 2007 | Reply

  5. Slip – I’M JEALOUS!!! Stylin Purple Hat??!!?? Very nice. I don’t suppose you’re on Eldre’ Thalas and could make me one???

    I’ve been checking the auction house every night now that I can wear it and haven’t seen another one since the one I saw a couple weeks ago. And no one in my guild appears to be able to make it yet. Oddly, same for the other Clefthoof stuff I wanted. Only the boots seem to be on our auction house.

    Yea, I had the same problem with getting out of the ring in time. I was always getting caught in the explosion, then not being able to switch and heal before the o.t. debuff killed me. Very frustrating. I’ll try the front next time.

    I wasn’t really intending my comments to be an strategy guide so I didn’t really talk about the Touch of Murmur. I didn’t notice it affecting us that much.

    Comment by Amanna | April 12, 2007 | Reply

  6. Bruennor – you get a big fat raise. That’s a great trick and I’ll keep it in mind for the next run. You may even get a spotlight post on that one.

    Comment by Amanna | April 12, 2007 | Reply

  7. Spotlight Woot!!! Oh, I forgot to add. Murmur’s hit box is huge.

    Comment by Bruennor | April 12, 2007 | Reply

  8. Sorry – I must be a n00b. Hit box?

    Comment by Amanna | April 12, 2007 | Reply

  9. Hit box, amanna is the point/range at which you can melee him. On some boss/mobs thier hit box is so large that you can actually be a couple of yards away from them and still able to melee them. Murmur is one of those bosses that you can do that.

    A way to determine how large a mob’s hit box is to backup slowly away from the mob, until you start getting errors that you are not within range.

    Comment by Bruennor | April 13, 2007 | Reply

  10. My comment is horribly late because I don’t read your blog daily at this point, only when I run across it on my bookmark toolbar.

    Anywho, on to my point. Mobs hit boxes can also be determined by the spot you end up on when u feral charge. On Murmur, I always feral charge back to him and end up on the very outside of his hit box.

    If anyone needs the purple hat on Mal’Ganis, let me know.

    Comment by Eilianna (Mal'Ganis) | April 17, 2007 | Reply

  11. Not sure about your raiding history, but Murmur’s “hit box” is similar to Nefarian and Ony. It’s so big you’re surprised you can even hit him from that range. Imagine a huge orb around the boss and you’re pretty much just grinding away on that orb instead of the actual mob. Being as I’ve never tanked Murmur I guess I never really paid attention until tonite. Helped me a ton and I didn’t get hit by one explosion once I backed out enough to still be able to hit him.

    As to my late response to this post, it’s difficult for me to find all of the “new” posts in this site. It would be awesome if there was a “find new posts” button or something, but doubt that’s possible.

    Comment by Slipslappy | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  12. Hey Slip – the posts are in chrono-order from most recent back into history. Are you using an RSS reader or feed aggregator? I use both the one embedded in IE7 and one called Great News, but there a lot of them out there. They can help you keep track of what’s new.

    In the meantime I can look and see if there is anything that WordPress provides, but what’s “new” to one person may not be new to another.

    Comment by Amanna | April 25, 2007 | Reply


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