After way too many other events, Fickle Muse finally went back in to Blackrock Depths this Sunday. The line-up was a little different this time: Blanc, Dunain, Brunev, Noxlux and Blondiewood. Also, everyone was level 60 when they went in.

With two new characters in the mix, we needed to run the early parts of BRD again. The higher levels, and probably our prior experience with BRD showed pretty well. We certainly couldn’t breeze through it, but the initial loop and into Shadowforge City was pretty non-stressful (especially on the scale of instance encounters). Incendius went down. Dunain once again regretted that he didn’t have anything he could do with the Dark Anvil, got Darkvire and therefore the Shadowforged Key for the new characters.

We also finally had enough Relic Coffer Keys to do the Vault. Kind of interesting, a bunch of vaults with… mostly junk. The main vault is why you come here (questy!), but Dunain did manage to find the one notable minor item: A bag full of gems.

After that was the final stretch for the guide’s Round 1, and the first place that took us somewhere new: the Dark Iron Highway. This was a bit tougher.

The Highway is a long stretch of road from the city with many groups of five Dark Irons marching around it. So fights were generally five on five (Mmerr! – sorry, Lance, six) with just a few straggler dogs and flame elementals to deal with separately. This was a lot tougher than the rest had been. We were winning, but Noxlux was reporting he needed a mana potion per fight.

Part of the problem was that Blanc had run out of arrows, so I was doing most of the pulling. This meant that our hate management was a lot less focused, and Blanc was needing time to really establish control. In a way, it’s a good lesson as to why Hunters have had problems with instances. The ‘job description’ implies that they should pull, but it becomes hard to avoid bouncing aggro throughout the entire party after that. On the other hand, being able to see just where all the Dark Irons were on my mini-map was a big help in clearing the area properly.

So we tried out a few things and were having some success when we finally hit the end of the road. Literally. It just stops, and there’s Bael’Gar, the reason we’re here. We almost got him the first time. He was pretty far down before he finally dropped me (right after he flattened Noxlux). The second try went much better, with only one death.

Unfortunately, the one thing Blanc forgot was the item needed to with his corpse, so we get to clear about half the highway and do it again next time.

After that, we’d been at it for several hours and were back near the entrance, so we called it a (successful!) day. Next time, there’ll be a couple chores to get done in the early parts (a sequel quest for the two new characters, and Bael’Gar for Blanc), and then it’s off to… the bar?!

What, the ale in Ironforge isn’t good enough for you guys?!