01 June 2007

Scarlet Monastery

It's been quite a while since we've taken down an instance. Cargarios, Firegrin, and Wyrmm spent some time in Zul'Farrak, but that was more of a farming trip than a real attempt to clean out the instance. And in any case, Alamein wasn't there. So our last full group effort was in Gnomeregan, quite a while back. So we were excited to get the band back together.

The first half of the instance was really too easy for us. We're all up between level 43 and 45, so most of the mobs in the graveyard and library were gray. The only painful part was killing so many trash mobs as we worked our way down the halls. When we entered the Armory, things got a bit more interesting, but for the most part we didn't have trouble. Herod made for an interesting fight — he's a cool character, and his avenging students nearly did for Alamein. But in the end he wasn't too hard either.

Things were more interesting in the cathedral. The mobs were tougher and tended to run fairly early, which made it hard to stop them. As healer, Alamein would try to watch for runners too. Usually, a quick Moonfire is enough drop a runner, but these guys usually needed two or more hits from the 'flashlight' before they'd drop. That made for some challenging fights.

One fight resulted in the death of Cargarios, our tank. With a large number of pulls, Alamein got behind on her heals. (It didn't help that she was drawing aggro too.) When Cargarios goes down, we're in a lot of danger, because he's our only really qualified rezzer. Druids have that 30-minute cooldown on Rebirth so Alamein can only rez one other player. The big advantage of Rebirth, however, is that it can be cast in combat, and it gives the resurrected player enough hp and mana to keep fighting. So she got Cargarios rezzed and that allowed us to finish the group.

The other bad patches came in the cathedral itself. We had a couple nasty chain-pulls, with running mobs bringing back other mobs in a neverending cycle. Here, Alamein's new spell Innervate really made a difference, alongside the Blessing of Wisdom from Cargarios. She was able to keep her mana up even in long fights. Even so, she had to drink most of her mana pots, and was still quite low on mana at the end of the fight. I'm sure that these two challenging pulls had by far the most healing she'd ever done in a single encounter, and the rest of the team had similarly grueling experiences. Still, we were able to fight our way through, and in fact we probably took down the trash mobs a bit faster this way.

The final fight was only mildly anticlimactic. We didn't have a huge problem with the two final bosses, and the plan we used worked wonderfully (other than the one respawn we missed that came running). Both Mograine and Whitemane went down without major dramatics. They are interesting characters, and their tactics make for a fun fight. We gathered up the loot, fought one last boss (in the secret room), and hearthed home.

The loot was the only disappointing portion of the night. We had a ton of greens, and a few of the nice blues, but nobody got any of the major pieces they were looking for. So we might make another run or two in order to look for some of the good pieces.

In the end, we probably waited a bit long for this one. Given the scope of the final battle, we probably would have had the absolute right level of challenge at level 42 rather than 44. Certainly the early portions would have gone better in the mid to high 30s. But the atmosphere and storyline of the instance is quite good, and the boss mobs are a lot of fun. I'd definitely put it right behind Deadmines as far as the quality of the instance.

Next up... Uldaman?