Absolutely ages ago (well six months ago) Lathere and I struggled to find our way around Scholomance. We were trying to do quick Argent Dawn rep runs and found ourselves running in circles instead hoping to magically unlock gates and doors. It doesn’t help that I have a terrible sense of direction both in game and in RL.
Even with a map open from WowWiki or the like, I would still get lost in Scholomance. All I want to see is a clear path that shows me where I start, in what direction to reach the first boss, how to reach the second boss etc etc. In the end I made up my own colour-coded diagram for Scholomance. Today I made one for Blackfathom Deeps.
I’ve queued the Random Classic Dungeon for my little baby Mage (currently level 25) a few times over the last couple of days. I’ve been sent to Stockades most frequently, and those runs have been pretty damn good. But when I was dropped into Blackfathom Deeps it was… an experience.
I’ve run Blackfathom Deeps two or three times over the last three years. I did complete it once with a level appropriate party of 20-somethings when I was leveling Xata. Cassandri did a run through at level 80 for a couple of achievements. So I remembered it very, very vaguely. I knew there was swimming, sink holes, turtles, murlocs and cultists. And an “event” that if not handled correctly will not let you through to the final boss. The layout of the instance is really a big watery cavern with several corridors radiating out from the center. When you run south from the entrance into that main cavern you want to clear each corridor in a counter-clockwise manner. The final corridor branches off to the south and then east. Map below.
The bosses are:
- Ghamoo-ra You won’t have any problems spotting this big turtle.
- Lady Sarevess
- Gelihast After you kill him, touch the altar behind his body for a small buff.
- Lorgus Jett Multiple spawn points.
- Baron Aquanis
- Old Serra’kis We skipped him by mistake, but to reach him you need to jump off the stone ramp leading east into the final temple and swim underneath and then north.
- Twilight Lord Kelris Make sure you clear this whole room then one by one light the braisers around the center square and kill the mobs that spawn. Until you complete this event you cannot go through the doors to the final boss.
- Aku’mai You made it!
Frankly I’d have preferred it if the WoW Gods of Randomness had given me a difficult party to complete Stockades and a good party to complete Blackfathom Deeps. But it didn’t quite work out that way. Let’s see if I can remember the members:
Leader. Priest. Queued to heal but made people eat food so that they could spend the entire time in combat attacking creatures with a staff instead of actually… healing. After the first wipe one party member left and we were forced to requeue and the Priest was then assigned to DPS. They continued melee attacking mobs with their staff until about the half way (1+ hour in) point when I broke down and said “Moretotems is healing now so you can Smite to help kill our target now”. Once we reached the cultists (last 2 bosses) they suddenly learned how to play and it turns out that they had been AFK for the previous hour and had gotten their little cousin to take the controls up til that point. Thanks. Oh yeah, apparently has 5-10 level 80s.
Resto Shaman. Our replacement healer. Fantastic.
Warrior Tank. Possibly a first time player, definitely a first time tank. They did their best, but struggled to hold aggro and seemed more comfortable when other players did the pulling for them. By about half way through I stopped putting up skulls to mark the way and instead (along with the Shaman healer) just started pulling.
Melee Shaman. Convinced that somehow the run would have been so much easier if we just got a Paladin instead of a Warrior tank. And hey, we should listen to him because he has a level 80 and his gear score is like nearly 6k.
Me. An ignorant Mage who has frosty talents and generates a whole heap of threat. My Mage Trainer won’t give me the How to Ice Block lesson no matter how much I /beg. Fortunately I have lots of health pots and bandages. I am willing to Polymorph, although nobody seems to like it when I suggest it.
Actually I’m really surprised at how resistant to CCing players are in groups this time around. It’s a really noticeable difference in grouping since I last leveled a character. But perhaps that’s a topic for another day.
Towards the end of the instance while I was trying to gently teach our friendly Warrior tank about line of sight pulls, we wiped. And let me tell you it’s a really awful spirit run back from the southern point of Darkshore. During that run the Priest and the DPS Shaman got into a heated debate about whether or not a Paladin would have made a better tank for Blackfathom Deeps than the Warrior we had and why Ret is cool even though it’s hard not to hate how OP it is while leveling and, you guessed it, who has the most tricked out number of level 80s.
Because, of course, the player with the most impressive main character automatically wins any argument. I tend to believe that it’s mostly lies and exaggeration, and very little fact. Quoting your (conveniently absent) main’s gear score is actually lamer than … well, I think that’s the possibly the worst use of Gear Score I’ve come across so far!
If I remember correctly at that level my Paladin didn’t have any other method of pulling mobs except by just wading in and auto attacking, or getting in close enough for a Judgement. Rank 1 Consecration is available at level 20. But our Warrior had Thunder Clap so they definitely had some ability to handle multiple mobs at once. I found this “a Paladin would be so much better at tanking this” pretty baffling. It’s a baffling to take that attitude at level 80 – all the tanking classes get equivalent abilities. And we’re talking level 25, here!
It was a really long run. And I think we accidentally skipped a boss (Old Serra’kis) towards the end.
Still, it’s better than Gnomeregan. And the XP was pretty sweet. The rare reward you earn from using the Dungeon Finder to complete the Random Classic Dungeon has given me a rare piece of armor each time – and every time it’s been a piece that I can equip, even if sometimes the stats aren’t right for me (eg, a +strength cloak).
ps. I dusted off my Blood Elf Paladin (level 23, created at the start of the Burning Crusade) to take that screen capture above. Gosh it was fun soloing all those elites! I just might spend some more time with her…