Geez, really silly to put off posting when we’re in the middle of doing lots of instances. The stuff to talk about really piles up fast. Three weeks and six instance runs.

Back on Labor Day weekend we had a couple of big runs. After all the troubles with Stratholme I suggested we take a break and go do Dire Maul North. This was agreed to, and we had a very pleasant time doing what amounted to an off-the-cuff tribute run. We hadn’t planned on it, initially, but it soon became obvious that it was simpler than it looked. Had to send Blondiewood out for materials while I disconnected, logged in as Farmishi, created a Truesilver key, handed it to her, and logged back into Dunain…. Blondie then snuck back into where we were I and opened a locked door.

I haven’t been able to open locked chests and lockboxes with a Truesilver key in ages, and now there’s an instance door I can open…? Weird.

I was a little disappointed with the loot (from a hunter perspective), until we took a side-trip into DM East for Thermidor and the hunter book dropped. From there it was just a quick trip to get the first in the guild. That right there made my day.

The next day was our first run into Lower Blackrock Spire. Blackrock mountain is a huge place, with the biggest instance in the game going down (Blackrock Depths), and a raid instance below that (Molten Core), the two-part instance Blackrock Spire (Lower and Upper) going up, and a raid above that (Blackwing Lair). Had a few problems getting in, myself. One portion of the normal route has you looking at a dark wall, in shadowed area, and my monitor contrast wasn’t up to showing me a thing.

The instance itself was fun and a real good workout. We got a lot done, but had some notable failures: Urok’s minions wiped us, and then destroyed what was needed to summon him. The ending boss area taxed us at the end of a long run and we had to quit short of the goal when we couldn’t quite get the entire team back in the same area again (the problem with Druid healing: only one Rez per 1/2 hour).

The next weekend featured our second attempt at Lower Spire. I’m not sure if Urok went better or worse, but it still wiped us. However, we got ourselves through the important areas and took on Wyrmthalak. All-in-all, a bit of a rough run still, but we’re getting better.

Sunday was another BRD run as we continue getting people through all the quests there, and hunt for pants. Overall, it went very well, and quite fast. We got through the flamethrower room without any real incident. Tip: fight with party at the far door, not the near one, works much better. This time there were four Anvilrage Captains in the throne room. Count: 18 Captains, 0 plans.

This last weekend saw our return to what has been the bane of our guild: Scholomance. Stratholme is just cursed, this one kills us in the first two rooms.

The good news is that apparently it’s not just us. The first two rooms are much tougher than anything else in the instance short of the actual boss fights. With a couple problems (ahem), we made it through and had a great time with the rest of the instance. The main boss, Lord Barov, was a problem. He comes with two guards, and has a nasty area-effect damage field that effectively caused a wipe, as it had the party constantly low on health.

We had killed one guard, but got back to the room to discover he was back (apparently, the guards will respawn within seconds of a failed encounter, they really want you do deal with a group). So we tanked him at the bottom of the room, while we took care of the guards in the main part of the room to eliminate the area-effect. The plan generally worked, but I noted that I was still taking damage from the field. It didn’t seem to be as big of a problem, so it may drop off as you move away from him. Still it’s a big field of effect.

The last encounter of the night was going back and doing Jandice Barov. That was nasty. Skeletons that can’t be hit with magic. Zombies that play dead, and come back a minute later (Lance kept attacking, which probably kept us from having a really nasty surprise the first time). And that’s just the room leading up to her.

The boss fight was really nasty, as she splits into a couple dozen hard-hitting, magic immune duplicates, while forcefully detargeting you from the real one. That was a wipe. The second time, we asked our priest (Noxlux) to go shadow form (let’s take a moment to appreciate how often a priest hears that in an instance) and mind-flay her to slow her down and help get rid of the illusions. It worked quite well. Still a wild little combat, but that along with a hunter’s mark, and a targeting macro made it much easier.

Last Sunday was another in the unending series of BRD runs. I had recently got the plans for the Dark Iron Plate. As it (for once) didn’t demand a bunch of Molten Core materials, Blanc started eagerly buying up the massive amounts of Dark Iron Ore needed to make it. Luckily, Smudge noticed before the run that it was a Bind on Pickup item. Unless Blanc takes up Blacksmithing, he’ll never see it. (sigh) So Dunain paid him back for it (ouch!) and used it for further rep turn-ins with the Thorium Brotherhood (now 20% of the way to Revered).

The run itself was mostly errand-work and ended at the bar. Smudge is on new medication, and conked out at 10:30. Fortunately, Jariedthe was available to step into the party and main tank for the last hour. Thermidor had been leading the party, and the split between designator and tank does slow things down a bit. But the team did quite well, and and I think both of them did great in roles they haven’t seen much of.

Meanwhile, other things have been happening too. Farmishi has finally hit level 50 (actually 51 now) and is busily getting ready for a Sunken Temple run. This includes a Pally class quest that makes sure you get introduced to the Argent Dawn and Chillwind Point as fast as possible….

Also, we’ve been seeing a bit more of some of the ‘minor’ members of the guild lately. It’ll be while yet, but with luck we’ll have more high-level characters to help out in a bit. We keep hearing things like ‘you’re the best guild I’ve been in!’ (awww… *sniff*).