Friday, January 28, 2011

Throne revisited

There they were again. The Three Stooges, in all their glory. Well, this time - again - in Stormwind, but dedicated to take on The Throne of the Tides again: this time the whole experience.

To get to the Vashj'ir - as well as any other Cataclysm high end area - is pretty easy. Just login, go to the island within Stormwind and pick your portal. WOOSH and you're there.

Except that when we are around, things are not exactly that simple. Oh, the WOOSH part was ok, we got to Vashj'ir area, but to get through the maelstrom in the Shimmering Expanse was another story. You see, we should have understood at that point that the game was somehow bugged. While Laiskajaakko, the tank and miner and bullsh blacksmith went around the area mining (it's amazing how empty Vashj'ir is nowadays, and how much there is to mine!), Förgelös was the first to enter the maelstrom...

"Wait! What?! I died!"


"Yea, I died as I parked above that swirly-thingy. No reason!"

You must be kidding, bro.

"Wait. Killed by Exhaustion?!"

At this point Bishopgeorge tried to enter the maelstrom and noticed that a) he got the fatigue debuff and b) he didn't get in, right away at least. And concluded that you have to enter the darn thing exactly from the top of it, and smack in the middle, otherwise you get the fatigue debuff and - eventually - die.

I had to try it myself, and sure as hell, I was about to die before I got out of there and went for the white hole for entry. We then summoned the ill fated rogue among us, he would have gotten lost in the whirl otherwise...

The instance felt even easier than before. Main things that had changed were that we were all now level 83, so slightly on the high side for the normal levelling instance. But our undermanning tactic should have countered that. At the same time Förgelös had received some green rings (Alcite Band) and some other green crafted gear to compensate the outdated Northrend blues, still being below the gear score of the normal dungeon PUG you might find through the Dungeon Finder.

No, really. The trash felt almost as trashy as the ones in the WotLK instances. Crash in, trash them, move on. Very little need for any crowd control or care. The overall comment was that the instance felt sluggish and the characters abilities seemed to lack the punch they had a week ago.

This went on to Lady Naz'jar, whom we downed after several tries last time. This time - however - she went down on the first try and without breaking a sweat. Only one time pop of cooldowns from the tank, no real thing in there. Wo-hoot and rejoice.

Except that from this point things continued to go 'our' way.

The encounter didn't proc the conclusion and we couldn't initiate the cut scene nor open the gate to let us out. We tried this and that and some more, until we gave up and hearthed out. Only to find out that the instance was stuck in the moment and we had to reset it to proceed.

Rinse and repeat. This time it worked, we had not died once (to our surprise and disappointment) and we faced the Ulthok thingy.

All posh and full of ourselver we crashed in and...

Wiped. (Hooray, we died!)

It was a splash, bang, 50k+ in and out! We had gotten careless due to the instance being so easy till now. As we ran in and took Ulthok down without even blinking, we came painfully aware of the fact that the instance WAS too easy. To add to the injury, we killed Erunak's squid helm without a thought and helped Neptulon to defeat Ozumat, even though Förgelös decided to die and watch the fight from the other side of the gate again. Like I mentioned earlier, he has this cunning habit of giving the bosses some equal ground every now and then, and this time he decided to do this before the final of the instance.

His loss: as he was standing outside when Ozumat was vanguished, he didn't receive the achievement for the instance!

Due to the running from SW twice, we spent some time discussing how anti-climatic the finale of the instance was, very much a let down in both story and difficulty, and noting time and again that the instance was - in the end - very much too easy. Even though it's an entry instance for the WotLK skipping newcomers, it still doesn't pose any real challenge to a full group. Hecklers, if the three of us cleared the place in two tries, severely undermanned in the end, then a whole group should clear the place in their underwear!

To add insult to the injury, everyone else got a piece of gear or two except the tank, who is running around in WotLK purples and crafted Cataclysm greens. Which means that the gear composition of the group is pretty much in level with the required ones.

The decision was made to tackle Stonecore next. Let's see if we can two shot the first real instance.

I sincery hope not.