Archive for the “Instance Guides” Category

Encompassing guides to Instances, Raids, and their associated bosses.

Five man instances.  That part of the game that almost all players seem to encounter at some point in their WoW careers.  Whether people enjoy raiding, levelling, PvP, or any other activity, we will all set foot in most every dungeon in the game at some point in our WoW careers (especially in the expansion packs with the introduction of heroics).

So, what are the best five man instances?

5.  Zul’Furrak

I remember feeling so awed the first time I stepped into ZF.  Holy crap, I can mount in here!  Oh wow, look at the Egyptian theme… And I do have a massive thing for Trolls, I’ll admit it (if I ever make a Horde character, I’ll totally be a Troll).

Zul’Furrak was also my first real introduction to the massive powers of AoE.  My boyfriend at the time was levelling a Mage, and (urgh… I feel dirty) I couldn’t help but be amazed at the massive AoE pewpew powers of his rather ridiculous looking Gnome.

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Ghaz’rilla, the smilingest Hydra in the game.  Look at those grins!

Of course, the best part of Zul’Furrak is the staircase.  That staircase was intimidating as all hell pre-heirlooms.  I remember the first time I went in there… trying not to pull aggro, trying to have stuff die without it eating the tank or healer… it was so much fun. ZF established my love of gauntlet events in 5 mans, and it only grew from there!

4.  Gnomeregan

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Gnomer.  Sure, it’s massively long.  Sure, leper Gnomes are kinda freaky.  All this is immediately compensated for by the presence of amazingly cute little machines (even the annoying alarm bots), the thrill of killing Gnomes on a massive scale, the wonder of Gnomes demonstrating their stupidity by mistaking most everyone for a trogg, and being the only 5 man with a cute, useful safe zone half way through the instance.

Yep, I heart Gnomer.  I want that on a T-Shirt.

mekkatorquewantsyourlt I’m going to miss you, Gnomeregan.  *Plots destruction of the Gnome Uprising*

3.  Caverns of Time: Escape from Durnholde Keep

Yeah, I’ll admit it.

Rescuing Thrall kinda turns me on a little.

Seriously – who doesn’t want to have a giant green hunk of an Orc owing them their eternal gratitude?  *purr*  “Why, Mr Thrall, have you ever wondered what a Warlock wears under her robes?”

… ahem.

Durnholde Keep took me a little while to warm to.  Initially, I hated the place. It made me want to gnash my teeth and wail.  Why, oh why Thrall?  Why must you be so stupid?  Why must you get yourself cornered in every single building?  Why must you piss off dragons who can silence me?

And then… I explored a little.  And I found Southshore.  Holy Lore People!

WoWScrnShot_083010_195149 Dude, you are NOT going to be happy the next time you see meSeriously.  By the way, I’d highly recommend following these guys around for a little while.  They have a rather interesting conversation

WoWScrnShot_083010_195427 I don’t know why, but it always tugs at the heartstrings when I see undead guys in their Human form.  Except for Kel’thuzad.  He can go suck my DK’s giant popsicle of doom.  As for Bilger… I’d turn to the booze as well, the poor bastard.

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Well, lookie here.  Seems like these guys are having a nice lil ol’ gossip.  What’s that you say Alexandros*?  Northrend has fallen to the Undead?  Fancy that!

Oh, Abbendis: word of warning.  I’d invest in a decent piece of neck armor. Or, you know… not become a psychotic Scarlet Onslaught evil bitch.  Seriously.  What is with these people?

There’s a couple of interesting children you might find familiar if you wander around there long enough.  It’s well worth a visit.

2.  Shadow Labyrinth

Shadow Labs was a source of much frustration.  It tested most every ability I had as a Warlock – extensive crowd control while DPSing, trying not to die when you get half your health Life Tapped away while mind controlled, splitting DPS between a boss and adds in an efficient manner, running in and out of the bad – Shadow Labs had it all.  Not to mention packs of skeletons.  I do love my men carting some bone around with them.

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And it still has it all!  There is little more entertaining than killing everyone in your group when you run a bunch of lowbies through Shadow Labs.  I do love messing around with Murmur ‘Run in!  Run out!  Run in!  Run out!’  It’s the Hokey Pokey on steroids and with randomly exploding dance partners.

1.  Caverns of Time: Opening the Dark Portal/Black Morass

Oh, Black Morass.  My poor, dim memory vaguely recalls BM as being the hardest 5 man for me to get past.  My guild got stuck at BM for quite a while in our attempt to get everybody their Karazhan key.  Those damn dragons!

I always felt a vague sense of pity for Hunters, who usually got stuck with protecting Medivh from those damned annoying small adds while the rest of us got to focus on the big ones.  Not that the larger tethered trash mobs were much fun… they liked to smack my poor Druid around a lot when she was learning to tank, and I pulled aggro on a few of them more than once.

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And the bosses!  Oh boy… Blizzard let you off easy with Chrono-Lord Deja, but then smacked the snot out of you with Temporus.  Anyone else have painful memories of wipes on Temporus?  That damn debuff on the tank… urrrrgh.  Getting told to up your DPS because the healer is having trouble – only to pull aggro and die.  Oh how I wished he was tauntable!

Still, I guess the leather made it great for our guild skinners.

Runner Ups

Caverns of Time: Culling of Stratholme: The talking did this one in for me.  Seriously.  First time?  Awesome!  Every time after that?  Please please please spare me.

Scholomance: I will always love Scholo.  The only reason it’s not on the list is because of its prior 10man status.

The Mechanar: A Warlock’s heaven.  I don’t think I will ever see a room a Warlock can solo in an instance ever again.

The Violet Hold: A great idea, let down by its ‘WTF that easy?  Really’ factor.

Shattered Halls: That gauntlet *swoon*.  Nothing will ever top the sheer horror of that gauntlet, the feeling of awesome wonder when you survived it.

So, what are your top instances and why?

*Alexandros Mograine may not be familiar to players who haven’t played through the Death Knight chain (no, I am not spoiling that for you), or who haven’t done Vanilla Naxx.  Poor ol’ Alex became one of the Four Horsemen in original Naxxramas, but he vanished mysteriously… to be replaced by everyone’s favourite mount grind, Baron Rivendare.

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OK… this is going to be an interesting guide. Why? Because I didn’t actually down the guy. That’s right, I am writing from the perspective of a failed PuG. Of course, this is always super helpful, because I can tell you where the heck I went wrong, and how I think I would fix it.

Our group composition was myself, a resto druid, an elemental shaman, a prot warrior, and a hunter of some sort of spec (‘fraid I didn’t notice). Over the course of the trash pulls before hand I noted that I was going to have difficulties in not pulling aggro, which is always handy to know. However, this had little effect on the boss strat.

You ‘summon’ Ahune by clicking on the large, very prominent crystal in the middle of the first large room in Slave Pens. Everyone in the group should stand as close together as possible, to minimise the range of the adds when they appear.

Ahune is not able to be attacked at first. He will send out a large Earth elemental to begin with which has to be DPSed down, with some smaller Water and Air elementals appearing after that. Where possible (especially when you have a lock!) AoE the small adds down. This is where it is important to stand close together so the adds dont roam too far.

The best tactic for this in my opinion (one which we did not use!) is to have all DPS on the main elemental (IF you have a warlock). If all people stand close enough to the main elemental, the adds should be close enough that the lock can spam Seed of Corruption on the earth elemental and hit all the other adds. As soon as DPS start to go weird and run far far away, things go awry. The main thing here seems to be getting that elemental down ASAP. Don’t stand too close though, he does an AoE attack himself.

While you are doing this, big icicles will pop up. First you will notice a small patch (which looks like a mage’s Frost Nova), then they turn into big icicles and throw you in the air. I kinda sucked at avoiding these, since I was so busy focusing on maximising my DPS (and the fact I only had 5 minutes before I had to log!). The damage taken from these isn’t huge, but the less strain on your healer the better!

The boss works on a timer system and will submerge in Phase 2, leaving his vulnerable core, which can be DPSed. Pretty simple here – nuke it hard and fast! You can’t pull aggro, because he is fixed in one spot (and isn’t even really a boss – just a chunk of crystal).

Rinse and repeat!!

Of course, in testing tomorrow, I may decide that I am a total twit and this is wrong. Heaven knows there are a wide variety of strats for any boss! What has worked (or hasn’t worked) for you?

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