04 April 2007

Bring me the head of Edwin VanCleef!

Danny had joined us a bit late, so we had already completed much of the Defias Brotherhood quest line. So we spent some time Friday night to get him up to the same point as the rest of us. It was kind of fun to run amok killing Defias trappers, smugglers, pillagers, looters, pathfinders, highwaymen, and knuckledusters. With three of us over level 20, it was trivial to take them one at a time, at least until Moonbrook, so we set Loot to Free-for-all and spread out a bit, engaging in a bit of Defias genocide. We were a bit more careful in Moonbrook but it was still easy enough; it was rather nice to go into the inn and take everyone down without any deaths, and we were rather lucky in finding the messenger without waiting too long.

Still, the whole process took a few hours, and Eric was ready to log out when we finished. DK and I helped Danny get to Redridge to complete that (annoying) errand, and then we logged out.

So by Sunday we were all caught up, and ready to escort the traitor to Moonbrook. With four of us it was never going to be a problem, but we got lucky in that several players were farming the Defias, so the escort was trivially easy.

And then we were in front of the Deadmines entrance. Since we were there -- and had time -- we decided to jump in and check it out.

This was new territory for us. I had taken a level-24 warlock in once before, but even soloing the entrance (non-instance) area is tough, so I hadn't gone in very deep. We ended up wandering around the entrance for quite a while. Killing the Defias and their miners was pretty easy, but we had a tough time with the undead miners and wiped the party at one point. It is difficult to manage the large pull that we get at the back of the room, and we didn't handle it with four of us.

A warrior showed up, so we added him to the party and went back; that made life much easier. Frankly, we're not very good at managing difficult group work, and in particular handling aggro is a challenge. Part of that is due to our paladin serving as our tank, but the rest of us also don't know much about controlling aggro in a fight. DK's rogue is pretty good at managing on his own, but Danny's hunter struggles to keep mobs away, and I have a tendency to pull in mobs with my druid's heals.

So, in other words, having a warrior made life easier, but also was probably a bit weird for him. We also have a tendency to just roll Need on all the loot that pops up, since we're all friends and good at passing around good items to whoever can use it. I hope he was OK with it. We had to break up the party anyway, but at least we were able to wipe out the undead miners first.

So we left off there. We've spent the last two nights on our own, mopping up other quests, getting new gear, leveling up professions, and generally cleaning ourselves up. But tonight we're planning our first run into the instance itself. I'm really curious to see how we do. As I said, we're not terribly skilled at group dynamics. Our party makeup (rogue, paladin, druid, hunter) is a bit tricky, though theoretically well-balanced. And we'll be going in with a four-man group. But we're also a bit higher in level than usual for Deadmines (23, 21, 21, and 19), and we've developed a good group dynamic.

And the best part about that group dynamic? We'll have fun no matter what. We've been able to laugh at ourselves for doing stupid stuff or just getting overwhelmed; I fully expect that a) it will happen tonight and b) we'll be able to see the humor.

Hope I'm right!

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