Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

Final Notice – We have moved!!!

This blog will be deleted soon.  We have moved to, transferring all old content.  Please update your bookmark.

If you are the admin of a board or guild website, please update your links.  The feral gear posts, Kara guide and Bartender overview are all on the new site, in addition to plans on upgrades to all those posts and more. 

See you there!!!


February 21, 2008 Posted by | 1, Attunements, Burning Crusade, Custom UI, Druid Blogs, Druid Gear, Enchants, Factions, Fun, Instances, Interface Add-ons, Must have addons, Online resources, Raiding, Site Meter, Strategy - Balance, Strategy - Feral, Strategy - General, Strategy - Resto, Way off topic, Wordpress, World of Warcraft | 3 Comments

Glad it’s not just me…

I just read this article on WoW Insider.  In it, Matthew talks about the challenges of playing well into the night – where sleep deprived Priests fake disconnects, and instances that should be quick, clean walkthroughs become extended corpse runs.  While Matthew’s experience was surely frustrating, it came at just the right time for me.

As you can probably guess from reading my posts over the last few months, I haven’t been playing much.  Correct that – I haven’t been playing as much as I used to.  Most of my time online has been some solo work on Amanna, and playing around with some new alts (level 19 Warlock and level 17 Shaman).  Basically a lot of personal drama combined with the disintegration of my guild has contributed to little time online, and basically no time in instances or raids.

So, when I had a couple hours over the weekend to kill I logged in to see what kind of trouble I could get into.  Almost immediately, I got a /pst from one of the few remaining 70’s in our guild wondering if I was interested in a Steamvaults run.  Heck yea!  Not only had I not done any instancing for longer than I will admit, SV was perfect in that I still need to build CE rep for my Earthwarden.

I know, I know, you don’t have your Earthwarden yet???  Hey, sometimes that thing called “life” has to be attended to for a while…

Anyway, I got the invite and the group was a PUG.  If I remember right it was me, a Pally, a Warlock, a Hunter and a Rogue.  Everyone was from different guilds.

Well, you probably can guess the punchline – it was a horrible run.  Multiple wipes even before the first boss.  I was really thinking it was me; that I was too rusty or something.  And that probably did contribute a bit to the bad run, but you know what?  Sometimes, as pointed out in the WoWI article, you just have a bad run.  I’ve done Steamvaults plenty of times before and had flawless runs in less gear than I’ve got now.  Plus, it doesn’t help when you’re in a PUG where no one wants to mark, the rogue is sapping the right target but in the wrong mob group, and the Shaman keeps whining “I can’t heal you if you’re not in my line of sight.”  Well then MOVE, dammit! 

So, yea I’m probably a bit rusty.  But you gotta accept that you’re going to have a bad run here and there.  I guess my time was this past weekend.

One thing I did notice is that my my new custom UI was more of a hindrance than a help.  I actually miss the lower resolution a bit.  Text on the screen is really small and my eyes aren’t what they used to be.  Plus, maybe I was just too used to my old action bar setup, but I’m having a hard time adjusting to this new layout.  With the amount of addons in the package, my framerate really took a hit also.  Now, that’s not to say that the ADUI package didn’t open my eyes to some great addons that I wasn’t aware of, but I’ve found that I probably don’t need around half of the stuff that’s in the package.

So, one decision I made out of the run is to move away from the custom package and rebuild my UI from the ground up, getting back to something more like what I used to have, but integrating the addons I found out about by using the package.  In the tradition of BRK’s recent Omen overview (which was great – thanks Damh), I’m planning on documenting the rebuild and posting it here in case there are others out there looking to build or just revamp their UI and could use some help.  You all probably know more than I do, but hey – it sounds like a fun project.

Forms Bar

December 19, 2007 Posted by | Custom UI, Instances, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Monday night – that was fun!

Yes, switched to herbalism from mining.  Laughed a lot at the comments left on my previous post; especially ladyjess who said “When I had herbalism, I saw mining nodes everywhere. So I changed…hardly found any, but there were herb nodes everywhere! So I’m back to herbs…it’s just temptation by blizz to makes us farm more than we already do I swear…lol”

Certainly some truth there, but I levelled up to 100+ herbalism in just over an hour last night.  I started in the Night Elf starting zone of Teldrassil and it was like shooting fish in a barrel.  Got to level 70 or so in less than 40 minutes.  Herbs thick as, well, herbs all over Teldrassil.

From Teldrassil, I headed through Darnassus to visit the trainer, then flew to The Barrens.  I had seen on wowhead that Briarthorn was thick there.  Well, there is a decent amount of it, but a friendlier zone, with perhaps a better distribution of herbs (briarthorn and earthroot) is Westfall.  Picked in Westfall for a half hour or so to get up to around 115.  From Westfall I headed to The Wetlands and picked bruiseweed and wild steelbloom there until around 130.  Only took me another half hour or so there.  So all told a couple of hours to level herbalism to 130.  My recollection is it took a lot longer than that when I was levelling mining.

I’m using this herbalism levelling guide from TenTonHammer.  It’s fairly Horde-centric, but enough good suggestions that it’s a worthwhile guide.  As you can see from the guide, my next stop is Swamp of Sorrows which should take me over 200.  I’m happy with my switch.  Potions ingredients will always be in demand, whereas gear components decline over time.

I also saw in guild chat someone looking for a BM tank.  This intigued me as there are very few high levels left in my guild as I’ve mentioned before.  I had been looking to make a few low impact instance runs to get my paws wet again as I haven’t instanced/raided much over the last couple months.  Well, Black Morass is about as low impact as you can get in my opinion, so I jumped at the invite.

I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a good run and it definitely felt good to be swatting at big ugly monsters again.   No Hourglass of the Unraveller, but still fun.  We ended up disenchating all but one of the drops and my Large Prismatic Shard should be just enough to cover my repair bill for the run.

Forms Bar

November 13, 2007 Posted by | Instances, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Vacation update 7/9 – A lot of little

Man that was nice having a full week off.  Even better I only had to take 4 vacation days to get 5 and two full weekends!  (Kids – you’ll appreciate that comment in a few years).

 Nothing crazy to report on the WoW front – I had few extended play sessions.  I did do a lot of little things though:

  1. I put a lot of thought into my priorities to help guide my gameplay.  I think that is an upcoming post, but I decided my number 1 priority is the lvl 300 flying skill so I can start my epic flight form questline.  So I’m blowing through quests, mainly in Netherstorm, to get money.  I’m also mining anything and everything I can. 
  2. I tried an experiment sending two stacks of Adamantite Ore to a guild jewelcrafter for prospecting.  I need money right?  The reason ore is selling so high is for the prospecting, right?  Maybe I should just have my ore prospected?  Well, two stacks of prospected ore later – guess what?  The gems that come out of the ore almost exactly match in value, the stacks of ore themselves.  A little thing called “game balance”.   Where you can make your money though, is having that same JC cut your gems into the best selling cut they can make for the particular gems.  Then, you can definitely make more than you would with just your ore stacks. 
  3. I came very close to dropping skinning, and at this point I think it’s just a matter of time before I do.  Why?  Again, money!  Leather stacks have really dropped in price on my server, but herbs continue to retain their value.  They even seem to have gone up a bit (in some cases a lot) after the elixir nerf.  Yes, skins are plentiful, but herbs are fairly plentiful also.  Why should I continue to get only around 5-7G per stack of Knothide Leather when simple Dreaming Glory is going for well over 15G in some cases.  It also seems like the quests I am doing at the moment do not involve creatures, so unless I’m specifically farming for leather or happen across corpses, I’ve got no leather to sell, whereas herbs are everywhere.  I was doing some quests on The Barrier Hills and ran across 4-5 spawns of Mana Thistle.  That would have been at least half a stack of something that is selling for over 20G on my server.  I hate to think about grinding yet another profession back up (and dealing with two gathering skills at once), but I’m really feeling like I can’t pass up the money.
  4. Had the worst ever instance run of my life in Botanica.  It was my first time in there, and to be honest – the first time for everyone in our group, but we had a solid group, were on vent and were cutting through trash mobs like butter.  Heck, the first boss Commander Sarannis went down without us even breaking a sweat.  We make our way to the second boss, High Botanist Frewynn, then things went bad in a hurry.  Long story short – about 5 wipes until we decided to move on only to have the next guy spank us badly too.  Yes, we had wowwiki up for strategy hints.  The thing with the Botanist is that he just seemed to get way too much health back while we were killing the treant adds.  We poisoned him, drew the adds away, burned them down (I thought) pretty quickly, but by the time we got back to the boss, it seemed like just a few seconds and he was channeling Tranquility again.  Not sure what to do there and if anyone had mastered this encounter (with suggestions other than wowwiki) I’d love to hear how you did it. 
  5. Didn’t get into Kara yet and this was my one big disappointment.  I really wanted to at least take a look.  No runs posted on the guild website through Wednesday night.  Then I log on Thursday and see a run going.  Check the guild website and sure enough there are a couple runs posted, but they’re all full.  Arrghhh!

So, that’s about it.  Nothing great, just a lot of questing and trying to gather money.  I have a long way to go (currently at around 1500G), but now that I have a goal I can really focus on it for a while.

Oh, and I also got the gem section of the Buffing Up page half done, and hope to finish it and post it later this week.  It doesn’t look like you all are hitting the enchantment links very much, so maybe this section isn’t useful, but I’m going to finish it out anyway.  If it’s missing something, or needs changed in some way to be more useful, let me know and if I can I’ll get the changes up.

Forms Bar

July 9, 2007 Posted by | Instances, World of Warcraft | , | 5 Comments


The Master’s KeyThe Master’s Key.  Attuned for Karazhan.  Finally!

This is one of the reasons I’ve been playing an alt the last week or so.  This, and the fact that I don’t have a ton of free time now that it’s full-scale summer.  After close to a month of asking, pleading, begging, and almost-pugging, I still couldn’t get a Black Morass group together to complete my Karazhan attunement.  I’m not bashing my guild; I’m in a good guild.  It just worked out that when I was on most of the upper levels were already helping someone else, or on a run.  The only thing that bothered me just a little, is two weeks in a row I saw in guild chat they cancelled their Kara run because not enough people showed up, yet it was pulling teeth to get some help on a BM run. 

So, I took some time off, got some things done around the house and started a Gnome Warlock (yes robb – a GNOME!!!).  I’m finding that Warlocks are fun.

About a week ago I checked out our guild website.  I don’t go there often as it’s a fairly static site and we really only use it for DKP and raid signups.  Well, they added a couple sections to the raid signup for folks not attuned to Kara.  One section was for the first two key fragments, the other section was for Black Morass.  So I signed up. 

Well, the runs are Monday and Tuesday nights.  Monday night I was busy and last night I wasn’t able to log on until amost 9.  I checked the guild roster when I logged on and sure enough there were 5 guildies in Black Morass.  Just for the heck of it I asked them how it was going.  Long story short, when they found out I needed it for attunement, one of the party members dropped out and let me go.  Very nice.

I was the tank for the run, and I have to say that while it’s a very fun instance it isn’t that difficult.  If you’re reading some of the strategy writeups and getting nervous – don’t.  We had a good solid group of 70s and had no difficulties whatsoever.  The only issue was on the second boss.  Our leader’s strategy was to let all the adds through and burn down the boss quickly.  Well, by the time we got back to the adds, Medivh’s shield was down to 29%.  Party leader was surprised it had gone down that much, but rest of the run went smoothly and it ended up being a non-issue.

Briefly, there are 18 waves of mobs and a final boss.  There is a boss at wave 6, 12, and at the end.  Each non-boss wave has a Rift Lord or Rift Keeper and that was my duty as tank to keep that guy busy.  There is a period of about 30-60 seconds after each boss where you can re-buff, bandage and pot if you need to.  Again, for a party of 70s, I didn’t think the instance was very hard – but it WAS a lot of fun.

I think one thing that we could have done better is to use our Chrono-Beacons more.  As a group we only used 2 of our beacons.  A beacon earlier on the adds for the second boss probably would have helped.  (Each party member can get a Chrono-Beacon at the start of the instance.  If you use the beacon, you get a targeting circle.  When you apply the circle, a dragon appears and does a good job of killing mob adds that are in the circle).

No great drops.  Burnoose of Shifting Ages dropped off the first boss and I was told to greed it as it was more of a tanking cloak and we didn’t want to waste time haggling over drops.  I ended up selling it as it wasn’t really an upgrade over my Bogstrok Scale Cloak – but darn close.  I passed on all the other drops as I had already got one, so I don’t really remember what they were.  There was a healing trinket off the last boss that looked pretty sweet that I would have taken for my healing set, but someone else needed it.  I was happy just to get this done.

This is the instance where Hourglass of the Unraveller drops that everyone drools over.  No drop, but I may come back a couple times to try and get it.

Talking to Medivh after the run gets you the quest to head back to Shattrath and finally get your key.  Oh, and don’t forget to talk to the NPC at the entrance to the instance.  You’ll get the quest Hero of the Brood to talk to Andormu.  The quest has some decent rewards.


Forms Bar

June 20, 2007 Posted by | Attunements, Druid Gear, Instances, World of Warcraft | 6 Comments

What do I hate about PUGs???

Let me count the ways:

  1. They don’t know you and aren’t in your guild, so if it takes them 20 minutes to get ready they don’t really care.
  2. Sorry gtg“.
  3. They usually seem more interested in screwing around than getting through the instance.
  4. One word – NINJA.
  5. Every once in a while someone will just go dark for 5 minutes or so, do nothing, then come alive again.  No apologies, no explanations.  WTF??!!??
  6. Average instance run time with a PUG:  Normal run time X 2.5.
  7. Party members who get the drop they want off the first boss and split.
  8. Pullers who start the next pull before everyone’s ready. 
  9. Pullers who think they can pull and can’t.
  10. People who leave the party on the first wipe.
  11. Sorry – I can only play for 1/2 hour“.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few, so help me out via comments!  Feels good to get that off your chest, doesn’t it?  Amanna is here to help.

Forms Bar

May 27, 2007 Posted by | Instances, World of Warcraft | 3 Comments

Stealthing Steamvaults – Second Kara Key Fragment

*** Please Note: My site has moved to***   While I will keep this site running for a while, eventually it will be turned off.  Please update your bookmarks to point to the new site.  If you are the admin for a forum, board or website that links to this site or article(s) on this site, please consider updating your link(s).  Simply removing “wordpress” from the domain name should do the trick; i.e. would become 

I’m on my way to Shatt to turn in The Second and Third Fragments after soloing the second fragment in The Steamvaults.  It really wasn’t that hard and with decent gear you should be able to do it to.

The stealth to the Arcane Container was the easy part.  Once you enter the instance, you’ll turn right and head down a ramp.  At the bottom of the ramp are two Coilfang Warriors.  You’re going to be tempted to squeeze between them.  I didn’t try that and I’m guessing it’s suicide.  Instead, head to the left and prowl between the left hand wall and the lamp.  Stay glued to the left wall as you make a slight turn to the right to go behind the left hand warrior.  It will  hiss at you, but you’ll be fine.

Now, come up over the rise still hugging to the left.  You’ll be facing a room with all kinds of mobs.  Basically, you’re going to be staying towards the left hand side, splitting between the groups of mobs – walking through the water.  You’ve got to time three patrols – one of two Naga, and two other patrols of water elementals.  It’s really not that hard.

As you head forward on the left hand side, you’ll see you’re coming up to some bluish colored Naga at the entrance to a ramp.  You want to bear to the left of the entrance, go up and over the side of the ramp, and you’ll see a lake in front of you with some Naga hanging around to the left.  The Arcane Container is in that lake to the left.

Now here’s where the real strategy comes in.  I hate to admit it, but I died about 5 times trying to kill the Guardian to get the key. 

The first mistake I made was trying to fight him underwater.  Unless you’ve got some Nagrand Cherries still lurking around in your backpack, shifting to aquatic form and getting your breath back just takes too much time and you get beat on too much.  I had much better luck drawing the Guardian back to the ledge I jumped into the water from.

The second mistake I made was fighting in cat form.  I was thinking the damage would just burn him down quick.  Well it doesn’t – he’s an elite with decent hit points and in cat I was just taking too much damage. 

The third mistake was listening too much to the comments on Wowhead.  One poster pointed out the Guardian was a beast and so could be Hibernated.  They recommended switching to Caster gear, hibernating the Guardian and burning him down with Starfire.  Well, this guy must be a much better caster than me, cause that strategy sucked the worst for me.

No, I finally got the Guardian in Bear form.  I just swam underwater to get in range and drew him out with Faerie Fire.  I swam back to the ledge and fought him there.  You’re getting hit for around 700 damage a pop during this time, but not having to worry about breath is worth it.  Once I got to land, it was a no-brainer.  My rage built up pretty quick and I waited to see how quickly my health was going down to see if I needed to save it for a Frenzied Regeneration or not.  It wasn’t going down too bad, so I got a Mangle and 5 Lacerate in place before letting some more build back up.  I then popped a Frenzied Regen to get my health back up.  When it was done, I hit Enrage to get my rage back, and went back to my Mangle/Lacerate strategy, which took the Guardian down just fine.  Don’t forget to keep your Fairie Fire and Demoralizing Roars active at all time also.

So – grats to me on my key frag.  I flew to Shat and turned it in.  Now it’s Old Hillsbrad, then Black Morass, then Kara with my guild.  Something to do this weekend…

Forms Bar

May 23, 2007 Posted by | Instances, Strategy - Feral, World of Warcraft | 16 Comments

Shattered Halls

I got to go on my first Shattered Halls run last night.  I was excited to go – I’d heard it was a good instance and I had a couple quests for completion inside.  It was also predominantly a guild run, so I was among friends.  I was a little nervous though, as I had also heard that SH was a tough instance, and I was main tank.

I’m happy to say the run went well.  We finished just under 2 hours, so pace was on par.  We didn’t have any wipes, but did have a few deaths here and there mostly on bosses.  I’m also very pleased to report I tanked the entire instance with no issues.  It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. 

For as much as I had heard this was a tough instance, we really didn’t encounter too many problems.  Could be we had a great group (or maybe just a great tank??!!??).  Our group composition was me as tank, a paladin as off-tank, another pallie as healer, a mage and a hunter.

Everyone did a great job – heals were well-timed and I didn’t die once (always a good thing).  It was nice having a pallie as an off-tank; not only was he a very capable tank, but he could also heal himself, taking a lot of stress off the main healer.  The mage did a good job on crowd control and dps.  I’m not sure what spec the hunter was as he was the only non-guildie in the group, but he did a good job of pet control.  Everyone was pretty good at watching aggro.  There are some big pulls in here and if you start blasting away too quickly, things can get out of hand quickly.

I’m not going to go into instance strategy per se here as the wowwiki link has all of what I would say in the general instance overview.  If you read that as prep, and have a good leader, then I don’t think this instance should pose too much of a problem for your group.

This is a great instance for Honor Hold rep – I made Honored during the run.  There are a lot of elites and they all seem to give 12 rep, trash is 1 rep and the bosses were a couple hundred.  All in all, I’d guess you’d easily get 1,000 – 1,500 rep for a run.  The two quests I had, Pride of the Fel Horde and Turning the Tide, gave 250 and 500 rep respectively, along with decent gold.  The feral rewards for Turning the Tide weren’t upgrades for me, so I took the Mantle of Vivification, which was a decent upgrade for my healer set.

During the run there were plenty of opportunities to practice my tanking abilities.  This instance offers several 5 and 6+ mob pulls so the stakes are high and good execution of strategy is imperative.  I had several revelations throughout the run:

  • Faerie Fire as a pulling mechanism works quite well.  However, it doesn’t do squat if a party member has pulled aggro off one of the mobs you had under control.  Therefore, always make sure to keep your eyes open and have plenty of rage saved to have options for getting that mob back under control.
  • Swipe is a great way to keep multiple mobs under control, especially if other party members are focus-firing on your main target.  On one large pull, the group leader asked me to keep 3-4 mobs under control.  With the main target in the middle of that group, I just FF’d the target, hit a Demoralizing Roar when they got close to collect them up, then started spamming Swipe.  I was able to keep all 4 mobs under control for the entire fight (obviously, the rest of my party had the discipline to only attack only my main target.  Swipe alone won’t keep a non-main target under control if someone else starts bashing on it).
  • People always say rage management is key, and I definitely agree.  However, I have to say that rage generation has not been an issue for me in most of the 70+ instances; it certainly wasn’t during this run as in most fights I had 70+ rage for the majority of the fight.  I think where good rage management comes in is 1) at the start of the fight where you only have leftover rage or Enrage to jump start the fight; make sure you have a plan that correlates with the amount of rage you actually have, and 2) effective use of cooldown abilities.  In particular, I’m thinking of Growl (10 second cooldown) and Challenging Roar(10 minute cooldown).  These are your safety nets for getting a runaway mob back under control and if they are on cooldown your job is harder.
  • Don’t forget about your job.  Your job is to keep multiple mobs under control, not do damage and definitely not to keep just this one mob under control.  It’s too easy to get fixated on that ugly brute standing right in front of you and let other mobs wander off.  Spam some Swipes every once in a while.  And if one of your mobs wanders off, go pick him up!  You’ve already got good aggro on your main target, hit the tab key to get the wanderer targeted, go after it, hit it a couple times, then re-group. 
  • Remember Frenzied Regeneration?  You can really help your healer out by popping this in a big fight.  Two of the boss fights last night, I had no trouble holding aggro and was generating a ton of rage.   Due to adds, our main healer was having to heal a couple other party members besides me.  Pop a FR, and while it might not keep you alive, it should take some pressure off that healer and help their mana situation.  With only a 3 minute cooldown, this ability can be used often throughout a run.  Just be sure to communicate to the healer you are firing it off so they factor that into their heals.

So there are my observations tanking last night.  It was a very fun run and I felt very satisfied with my performance.  I would recommend you read the wowwiki overview and most of it seems right in line with our experience.  We didn’t do anything tricky with the final boss – Kargath Bladefist – as far as positioning.  We were all in the ring and the one pally was focused on the incoming adds, with help from the hunter.  The downside was that Bladefist didn’t burn down real fast so we had to withstand about 4 of his “ping pong” attacks where he hits everyone in the ring for around 1000 damage.  At the end I believe we only had one member down. 

The best part was Bladefist dropped Wastewalker Gloves, part of a rogue set but a definite upgrade for my kitty (and highly rated on the gear list).  Since I was the only leather wearer in the group, it was a no-brainer.  Nice loot for me!

Forms Bar

May 18, 2007 Posted by | Druid Gear, Instances, Strategy - Feral, World of Warcraft | 6 Comments

Amanna spotlights: Bruennor!

Part of the fun of writing a blog is reading the comments you all make.  From time to time there are some real gems and I’ve tried to incorporate them either back into the original post, or point readers to the post comments.

Well, a comment was made yesterday that just begs to be it’s own post.  Bruennor made a comment yesterday on my Shadow Labyrinth post that was so simple yet so helpful that I just have to give it, and him(her?), a spotlight moment.

Without further ado – here’s Bruennor’s comments on how to fight Murmur and get out of his Sonic Boom AoE in the least amount of time:

When you click on both buttons at the same time 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!!!

Thanks Bruennor!

April 13, 2007 Posted by | Instances, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

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.

April 11, 2007 Posted by | Burning Crusade, Druid Gear, Instances, Strategy - Feral, World of Warcraft | 12 Comments