Trying to catch up on a few things here…

Farmishi finally reached 64 last week, and immediately went on a Mana Tombs run to celebrate. It went very cleanly. However, there is a certain drop she’s looking for, and she didn’t get that. So, we went again. It turns out that Thermidor has been missing a fair number of instances, and hadn’t done Mana Tombs yet, so we gave him a guided tour. That run also went very well, until the end where our place started getting horrific latency and lag spikes. Doing an escort quest when it may take you a few seconds to do anything is not fun. Farmishi still didn’t get her drop, so we’ll be back for boss farming. ^_^

However, the real focus of the guild lately has been the fourth wing of Auchindoun, Shadow Labyrinth.

It’s meant for level 70s, so we’re going in slightly under level. The guild went in once earlier (without me), and apparently had a really rough time, not even managing to do the second boss.

Earlier this week, we did the first run with me in it. Three 70s, Blanc (69 – hit 70 about two fights before the second boss), and Dunain (67 – barely, Lance is still 66). It went fairly smooth all things considered. Most of the time, we were doing quite well. There’s some 6-monster groups before you take on the second boss. Those wiped us. However, we kept control part of the time at least, and and killed some of them, so it was an easier group on the second try.

The boss himself is an odd fight, as he’ll regularly force the entire party to fight each other. However, he wasn’t too big a problem.

The third boss, Grandmaster Vorpil, however…

Tough. Really tough. Really, really tough. Really.

He would not be so bad. He does periodically teleport himself and the entire party to one spot and do some frightening AoE damage. But that’s dealable. No, he opens portals, which start summoning voidwalkers that start slowly moving towards the boss. If they touch him, they go away… healing him in the process. We can get him about halfway down before that becomes a problem. But we can’t guide him or clean up the voidwalkers enough to keep the fight from getting out of hand as Mr. Boss gets healed and hands us a E-ticket ride on the Wipe Express.

We went in a second time the following day (or was it the day after that?), and things were much smoother, and progress was much cleaner. Naturally, all that ended when we hit the third boss again.

It’s frustrating. But the current diagnosis is that we need a bit more DPS, and we’ll probably get that just by Dunain getting closer to 70. The guild can put together an all-70 group as it is (Blanc, Blondiewood, Grumbly, Asclepius, Noxlux), and it might be interesting to hear how that would work out….

Oh, and Dunain seems to be skipping the Tier 1 look-alikes, and going straight to Tier 2.

Oh, while I’m on a semi-RPGish bent, and for those of you haven’t heard, Dragon Magazine is going to cease publication this September.

I haven’t paid attention to Dragon for years, somewhere around #150-ish it lost all interest for me. I still had interest in earlier issues, so it was at least partially something the magazine was doing, and not the mere fact that I was moving away from D&D to other RPGs.

Anyway, it is another childhood friend gone by the wayside, like AH and GDW before them. It will be missed less than the others, but it was the last of the grand old gaming magazines.