Thursday, December 10, 2009

You're on notice, Arthas!

Server: Khadgar (US) - PVE
Character: Keleili (80 human priest)
Friends: Katria, Bigswede, Deathsarbs, Olorin (guildies)

Last night, I collected 4 other of my most able-bodied companions...

  • Katria, warrior tank
  • Bigswede, arcane mage
  • Deathsarbs, death knight of blood
  • Ol√≥rin, retribution paladin (and off-healer)

And with them I, Keleili, discipline priest healer, set my sights on Ice Crown Citadel. This is our story.

Our first challenge met us before we even entered the citadel - finding it. Olorin was familiar with the layout of the icy fortress, but even so, it took a very chaotic 10 minutes for us all to find our way in. This was complicated by a strange realization that Olorin was invisible to the rest of us while right outside the citadel. This is a concept known as phasing, but no one was quite sure what Olo might have done to cause it, since we had all completed all of the missions in the Ice Crown area. We are heroes, after all. Or, as Jaina says, champions. *stands a little straighter*

Once we reached the Frozen Halls, we met up with Jaina in the Forge of Souls. She gave her speech, blah blah blah, then we turned to stare at the pair of 9 foot tall skeleton guards standing a few feet away.

Katria: "Are you guys sure we want to do this on heroic?"
Olorin: "Please, can we change it?"
Me: "I don't mind changing it, but Gimini did it on heroic the first time - I saw her ding the achievements in guild chat last night. And if she can do it, as awesome as she is, I think we can do it, too."
Bigs: "We can do this, guys."
Deathsarbs: "Let's just try it on heroic and if it doesn't work, we can change it to normal."
Katria: "Oooookay.... Olo, you know the fights, right?"
Olorin: "Sort of..."
Katria: "Alright... here goes..."

Katria pulled the skeletons and we burned them down. Afterwards, we stared at the corpses.

Katria: "That was too easy."
Bigswede: "They are just trash."
Katria: "But they are guarding the freaking door. When guards go down that quickly, you begin to suspect a trap."

Not to be dissuaded, we headed into the forge. We found the second pull to be slightly more challenging.

Me: "Wow... I can't remember the last time I actually burned half my mana bar in one pull! This is awesome!"
Bigswede: "I know what you mean, Kel. I haven't used that much mana since I began heroics!"
Me: "Heeheehee - fun!"
Katria: "..."

We pushed on, wiping up glowing skull grenades and taking out two more skeletal guards until we came to a group of 4 necromatic-looking casters and a shade. We paused to let Kat mark.

Bigswede: "I can sheep one."
Me: "I can shackle the shade."
Olorin: "I can cast repentance on one."
Katria: "I really don't like using CC, because then I break it and with my thunderclap, and it's just not pretty. It rarely works.
Me: "It's okay. We can take these guys."
Katria: "Hmm..."
Katria: "Who pulled!!"
Deathsarbs: *points at Bigs*
Bigswede: "Wha-at?!"

It was messy, but it worked and no one died. We moved on and shortly after found ourselves facing the first boss. Olo explained the mechanics. Unfortunately, most of our detailed questions were met with, "I'm not sure - I was too busy healing. And it was on normal." Ooooookay, let's just give it a shot.

We did give it a shot. The first time Bronjahm used his Corrupt Souls ability, we were unable to burn down Deathsarbs' "Soul" before it reached Bronjahm.

Katria: "Holy, crap, it healed him back to full!"
Me: "Well, shit."

The second time, Katria was able to kite Bronjahm around in a circle away from the soul and Deathsarbs found that he could ice chain it to the ground. After that, Bronjahm didn't stand a chance.

Me (Yelling): "SOULBOUND ROCKS!"

We continued on to the second boss of the Forge of Souls - the Devourer of Souls. And as we stood there, eyeing the massive floating stone head, I had a vision. In the vison, I was in a different world. I think this world might have been called Final Fantasy II. I was in an underground land of monsters, meeting with the queen of monsters - which of course included a fight to the death. This queen had 3 faces and each time she turned to a new face, she had a different ability. One face could heal, the others could deal damage. Strange...

And why I had that vision as I was staring at a floating head, I don't know. It turns out that my vision was more of a foresight than I realized...

As I came to, I realized that Olorin was talking.

Olorin: "There are two things that you need to know about this guy. First - he's an ugly bastard. And second - he has a retarded voice. You'll understand when you hear it."
Me: "What does he do?"
Olorin: "Oh, right."

Olo explained the fight and we charged in. From the beginning, as the healer, it was not pretty. We had an army of specters coming at us and then people just started taking damage and I couldn't keep up. Afterwards, Katria checked the auto-log of the fight.

Katria: "Well of souls? That's what killed me. It must have been that purple thing on the ground."
Me: "The adds were a pain in the ass, too."
Bigswede: "They weren't adds; they were bombs or something - we couldn't target them."
Me: "Bombs? Hmm... AOE bombs?"
Bigswede: "Dunno..."
Me: "Okay, your healer votes that we spread out, in the case that they are AOEs."
Katria: "Sounds good. And stay out of the purple circles on the ground."

The second time, we wiped the ground with the Devourer's faces - all three of them.

As the Devourer of Souls crashed to the ground, Jaina came running in with reinforcements. She opened a portal and we hopped through, finding ourselves in the Pit of Saron. Ahead of us, there was a massive frostwyrm and some other mobs. And no Jaina.

Bigswede: "She's supposed to be right here."
Me: "Is it having trouble loading? Olo? Where is Jaina supposed to be?"
Olorin: "I... don’t know. I haven't done this wing."

Finally, Katria (I think) discovered that we have to move forward to get Jaina and her reinforcements to come through the portal. When she did, she sent her regiment charging at the dragon, which one-shotted them all. Then it raised them as skeletons and sent them back to us to say hi.

Me: "Oh, shit."
Me: "Wow, Jaina might actually do more dps than you, Bigs."

And with that intro, we headed down into the Pit of Saron, knowing that this time we'd have even less guidance since Olorin was as new to the dungeon as the rest of us. There were some sticky but funny moments, and shortly after we started, Deathsarbs had a vision not unlike the one I had before the Devourer of Souls. I heard him say, "Skeletor" and had to laugh.

Me: "What is this, He-man meets Warcraft?"
Someone else: "By the power of Grey-scourge!"

This conversation spiraled down into a discussion another old vision, "Master of the Universe" (classic live-action He-man movie) and then to Beastmaster and finally to why my D&D druid characters always have ferret pets.

Katria: "I love you, Kel."
Me: *blush*

Eventually, we managed to make it to the first boss, Forgemaster Garfrost. Olorin cheated by snagging a short description of the fight from some mysterious source, and so we didn't go in completely blind. Even so, it was a sticky fight. And when we finally downed Garfrost, I had only one observation.

Me: "This line of sight shit SUCKS."

We moved on, rescuing more prisoners.

Deathsarbs: "Eww, the dwarf I just rescued offered to kiss me."
System emote: (Some random prisoner) needs a big man-hug. (If anyone has this actual e-mail, can you pass it to me? It was priceless, but I didn't write it down)
Me: "There totally needs to be an emote for giving "big man-hugs".
Katria: "YES!"
Bigswede: "Hey, guys, we have a friend."

Sure enough, there was a chick running around with us - a female human mage. She was helping us burn down the trash mobs.

Me: "Where the hell'd she come from?"
Katria: "I think she's one of the people we rescued."
Me: "She's wielding an ice pick and shooting magic missiles. Awesome!!!"

Moving on, we found a large flesh golems... 5 or 6 of them in fact. Behind them was Krick and Ick, bosses. Olo began researching them while Kat pulled the trash and we dpsed them down. Deathsarbs took offense to the flesh golems.

Deathsarbs: "He's dragging around a... giant... foot."
Golem: *throws down green nasty stuff*
Deathsarbs: "Ugh, I'm getting nightmare flashbacks of ToC."
Me: "I've never seen one of these guys dragging around a massive foot in ToC."
Deathsarbs: "No, the green stuff!"
Katria: "ToC has poison. This isn't poison. It's bubbling. It's, like, acid."
Deathsarbs: "It hurts!"
Olorin: "Then don't stand in it."
Deathsarbs: "..."
Me: "There's a quote somewhere about how human beings are remarkably creative in coming up with different ways to destroy one another. I think this qualifies."

A little bit later, after we took down Ick, I wiped Deathsarbs' corpse off the floor with a rez.

Deathsarbs: "...creative ways to destroy one another. Right."

As we moved up towards a spiraling pathway that would lead to what Olo warned us was a gauntlet, we realized that one of our long-lost guildies was back on-line.

Deathsarbs: "Yeah, Elzy got the bouquet of white roses that I sent her."
Deathsarbs: "..."
Me: "You gave Elzy a bouquet of white roses, but you only gave ME a single red one?! YOU ARE SO FIRED!!!"
Katria: *ROFL* "Busted!!!"
Deathsarbs: "...I need to learn to keep my mouth shut..."
Olorin: "Can I take his place?"
Deathsarbs: "No!"
Katria: "The gauntlet has been dropped."
Deathsarbs: "grr... that's it, Olo, after this pull, we are unequiping our weapons and having a smack-down, 1-on-1."

Isn't it fun when the boys start fighting over you?

Anyway, were was I? Oh, right, the gauntlet.

Right before the gauntlet, we got to a pull of 4 melee skeletons and 2 casters. They were all undead, so sheeping (or turtleing, as Bigs corrected us), was out, but Olo and I both offered to repentance and shackle the casters. This allowed Kat to pick up the melee mobs while casters stayed in place and let us CC them. It went... BEAUTIFULLY. I didn't realize how much I had missed using my shackle undead ability. <3!>

My personal opinion was that the gaunt was fun. Not too hard, but challenging enough to keep you on your toes. I enjoyed it. And when we got through the tunnel, we found...

Scourgelord Tyrannus.

Behind us, Martin Victus led the rest of the prisoners that we had rescued into the area.

Deathsarbs: "Reinforcements!"
Me: "Do you remember what happened the last time 25 alliance reinforcements charged Scourgelord Tyrannus? He one-shotted them, then sent them back to us as scourge."

Lucky for us, we got to take on Tyrannus without the help of our friends. The first time was a very quick failure. As we headed back for a second try, Olo explained a new tactic that he had just picked up through his cheating. As we rebuffed...

Deathsarbs: "I want Martin's shield."
Katria: "Holy crap, that is one bad ass shield."
Me: "I don't get it. This is the guy who was leading the prisoners and met up with us still wearing his rags at Gorefrost's forge. How did he get a bad-ass shield like that between then and now?"
Katria: "He's obviously a bad-ass blacksmith."
Me: "'re right! When he gave us that quest, all the other prisoners were running in to work at the forges. They must have been making all their new gear, including his shield." *pause* "That's some seriously quick work."
Katria: "Remember - this is Warcraft. It only takes like 5 seconds to make a piece of armor."
Me: "Oh. Right."

On the second attempt, using Olo's strategy, we were able to deftly smash the scourgelord's face in. Triumphantly, we headed to the next dungeon...

Only to find ourselves sucked back into the tunnel and dazed while everyone else exploded.

Katria: "What the hell? Why am I stunned?"
*mass of confused muttering and freaking out*
Jaina: "blah, blah, the ice queen is gone, blah blah..."

We realized then that the ice queen was Sindragosa - the Lich King's personal frostwyrm mount. And she had basically done a fly-by ice storm that one shot everyone who wasn't safely inside the tunnel. While Jaina mourned the death of Martin Victus and the rest of the rescued prisoners, we charged on into the Halls of Reflection.

Upon arriving in the Halls of Reflect, Katria verbalized everyone's reaction perfect, and this is a reaction that I think everyone will have upon first stepping into the hall:

Katria: "Ooooooohh..... SHINY!"
Deathsarbs followed up with an equally profound statement: "Holy shit, it's Frostmourne!"

There was a lot of "blah blah blah" between Jaina and Uther - AND I WANT TO KNOW HOW UTHER'S SOUL WAS CAPTURED BY FROSTMOURNE!!!!!!!!

No, actually, it was an awesome scene, and we were all talking excitedly as we listened and read. I won't ruin every one's experience with my own group's suspicions. Eventually:

Me: "Olo? Olo, are you listening? Am I right about that? Are you being quiet because you already know?"
Olo: "Huh? Sorry, you guys were ruining my lore moment, so I put you all on mute."
Me: "..."
Deathsarbs: "Hey, look guys, boss 1 and boss 2."
Katria: "And... trash incoming!"

Moments later, we were all dead. When Olo explained that this fight was supposed to be waves of mobs, according to his cheat-sources, we stepped back in and prepared to give it another shot.

Katria: "Everyone stay back down this hall. I'll pull them back to you."

We did as we were told and when Kat pulled, we backed up further. I was just close enough to see the door slam shut in my face when the event began...

With Kat and Olo on the inside, and Sarbs, Bigs and I locked on the outside.


Needless to say, that is one of the funniest wipes I've ever experienced. We laughed so hard we were crying. Hysterically.

The next attempt led us to face the only weakness of the warrior tank. Kat was having trouble picking up agro of the random waves. Kat was getting frustrated, and I don't blame her.

Katria: "Seriously, guys. Do not attack until I get agro. I'm serious."
Deathsarbs: "That was two seriouslies."
Me: "Seriously, don't mess with Kat's seriousness, it's seriously important that you seriously not pick up the adds until she seriously has serious agro. Seriously.
Katria: "Seriously."

In the end, we decided to drop the instance back to normal mode and head in again to get an idea for the fights. We managed to get through the waves and both bosses, then facerolled the third boss before reaching the Lich King. Jaina had a sliver of her life left, trying to beat the Lich King with a stick.

Me: "What... do we do?"
Jaina: *ice blocks the lich king and takes off out the side door."
Deathsarbs: "Run?"
Bigswede: "RUN!"

We ran. Unfortunately some of us (*glare at Sarbs and Olo*) ran too fast, and ended up on the wrong side of the ice wall. Kat, Bigs and I took down the adds while the Lich King approached. At each following wall, he got closer. On the third (fourth?) wall, we died.


At that point, it was very late in the night, so we called it. But, all in all, I consider last night a very successful experience for all of us. Even if I didn't get any loot. :)

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