Friday, February 09, 2007

The Level 70 Instance Spike

As me and a couple of my friends had just recently hit level 70 we thought we would try some of the harder 5-man instances in the game. The healers we group with were running a little bit behind 70 but it was mostly because none of them were mains. In our little dungeon crawling group those of us with the most free time on our hand play a secondary character who is a healer so we can trade off on healing duties. No one really likes playing the healer so round robin helps minimize the pain. Unfortunately with our priests and druids at level 67 we ran into problems in most of the level 70 instances we tried.

The Black Morass

The Black Morass was our first stop on our quest for better loot and we had done some actual research on the event so we knew basically what to do. Our first attempt was jinxed since we had forgotten to clear out some sheathed jaguars who of course aggrod our healer on the second riftkeeper. For those of you unfamiliar with the Black Morass you basically have to kill dragonkin of the infinite dragon flight as they pop from void rifts that form around Midevh. The area around Midevh also has regular animals such as spiders, crocs, and jaguars which will aggro if you don't clear them out before approaching Medivh.

Our second attempt went better since we used our time-beacons to help take down the void rift keepers. However, we noticed that if we didn't use a time-beacon it took us too long to close the rift and another one would form. We got at a point where the next rift was already releasing dragonkin and we wiped it up. On our third try we spaced out the beacons and quickly got to the first boss. Unfortunately the bosses had the ability to auto kill the guardian from the time-beacons and we wasted two of them. We almost had him down but then he got a lucky string of crits on our tank. Needless to say we were fed up at this point and headed over to Shattered Halls where we wouldn't have to reclear every time after wiping.

Shattered Halls

Shattered Halls was easier then the Black Morass even though we had to handle large groups of elite mobs. It starts off in a long hallway filled with about 7 groups of elite fel orcs. In each group is a Legionnaire who auto revives his buddies if you don't kill him first. Guess which mob has the most hitpoints and armor class? Also sometimes you could get stuck with 3 hunters in the groups who would all use scatter shot. A lot of fun and death followed but we made it to the first boss who was actually a piece of cake. He's a warlock and would create small puddles of voidstuff which would do damage if you were near them. We just used the Hungerfen strategy and kept the tank moving around. At 25% he surprised us and started spinning around throwing shadowbolts non-stop. Luckily we had enough mana to burn him down because it was a very damaging attack.

After the first boss we got cocky and decided to keep going. The next hallway was straight from BWL and copied the suppression room. Only one of us had gotten that far into BWL so it was a learning experience. The respawning non-elites surprised us a couple of times and the fire arrows being shot at us were very annoying. After that fun hallway we were rewarded with yet another one. Only this hallway had groups of Orcish Gladiators along the side who were engaged in a Battle Royal. Its very easy to aggro the Gladiators while pulling the groups from the center of the hallway. So easy that even a orc hunter using scatter shot and running slightly out of range can cause aggro. After a couple pulls of 9 mobs we decided to try our luck in the Shadow Labs.

The Shadow Labs

The Shadow Labs started out the most promising out of all the level 70 instances. The pulls were easy and the mobs didn't seem to hit too hard. Then as we started to approach the first boss we ran into some Fel Overseers which are almost like mini bosses since they can take a hit like a Fel Reaver and fear every 30 seconds. Finally after clearing them and then some groups of channeling warlocks we got to the first boss with no wipes. Ambassador Hellmaw was a pushover just like the Grand Warlock in the Shattered Halls. He came close to killing us once since he had eliminated the majority of our warrior's armor class but we had plenty of mana to keep up the healing.

Right after this fight was probably the hardest pulls I've seen in the game. These pulls were composed of 5-6 cultists and casters and came complete with some warlock pets. That wouldn't be so bad accept that the malicious developers decided to make it so that assassins spawn and wander around the room your pulling from every 10 minutes. Thus when the assassins first appeared they cause a partial wipe and then ten minutes later the respawn caught us even more by surprised and caused a wipe. At this point we realize that even with our hunter using flare the assassins were always going to cause a wipe since we couldn't kill the groups fast enough. We decided at this point that our tank still required too much healing which was causing our healers to get aggro.

Looking back, these three instances really remind me of our early attempts at Scholomance and Stratholm. Both of them caused us numerous headaches and at the time we thought pulls of four mobs were especially difficult. They had just been revamped at that point so we thought the two instances were too hard for a single group to finish. We eventually got our warrior some better gear by doing DM and BRD and were able to handle the two undead instances much better. Of course having everyone level 60 at the time also helped and we soon picked up our Tier-0 pants and helm. Its funny that about a year from then we find ourselves in a very similar situation. It just goes to prove that no matter how new the content is in a expansion certain truths about the game tend to stay the same.


Ryan said...

I have to agree with you on Black Morass, but I need to elaborate on how bad it can be in there. My all 70 group, fully buffed with more than 2 60+ elixers each, t3 priest, THE WORKS, go owned in Blackk morass because of errors in portal spawning (two portals started spawning at the same time.) This instance is one of those that really needs to get tweaked.

Relmstein said...

Yeah the portals are on a timer so if it takes too long to kill the Riftkeeper on one then another can spawn. Plus the second boss is a pain in the butt since he's immune to taunt and stack a -AC debuff on your tank. You literally have to kill him before your tank's AC goes down to zero or low enough that he can one shot him.

Some people suggested using a pally shield on the tank and praying that your offtank was 2nd on the aggro list. However when we tried this recently he evade bugged and fully restored his life.

Another suggestion I haven't tried yet is to have everyone use the chrono beacons at the same time on him since he can only banish one dragon every 10seconds. This burns him down quickly apparently.

Bonemaul said...

Having just completed Black Morass successfully for the first time, after four evenings of wipes, let me advise you to work on Shadow Labs first, and get all the gear you can from the Tempest Keep 5-mans before spending too much time in BM. The strategies aren't too bad, but if you're low on dps or mana the pace and duration of the fights in Black Morass will take you down every time.

How can you tell if you've got enough gear? You shouldn't need to drop any Chrono-beacons before the second boss, and the second boss should be the first time you have any challenges at all.

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