Friday, June 27, 2008

Elites, they aint so tough after all.

One great thing that the Burning Crusade expansion gives to solo explorers, is an opportunity to get into areas that would have previously been almost inaccessible. A higher level 60's character can get past level 60 elites without too much difficulty.

On my travels as a young adventurer, I came across several areas which were protected by ?? level elite monsters. If I got too close, they came running out and ripped me to shreds in seconds.
Now that I'm level 67, I've come back for revenge... and to take a look around.

A fellow guildmember and I hit up three of these areas the other night. She's a level 69 priest who has done an excellent job of keeping my undead ass intact in numerous previous adventures.

Our evening's entertainment started at Undercity, where we grouped up and headed via bat to Taren Mill. Off the west coast of Hilsbarad is a nasty place called Purgation Isle, infested with undead monks, priests and paladins. When I swam past the isle at about level 18 I was more interested in dodging the tribes of murlocs (yes more murlocs) on shore and didnt even see the nasty elite dive into the waters and rip me to shreds. This time I was ready for them!

After obliterating the murlocs, I dived in and swam accross to the island. My friend was showing off and used levitate to keep her dainty undead feet above water. On shore I imediately stealthed up and ambushed the first opponent. Level 58-60 elites tend not to last too long against two high-60's in a bad mood!

We fought our way up the island to the top. I wont spoil it other than to say its worth a look but nothing particularly awesome. There was a nice mineral node at the top and my friend fell off the edge of the island while trying to reach a herb node. Lots of dead elites on the way up that had started to respawn as we made our way back down.

We rode back to Taren Mill via the edge of Southshore, just to keep the natives restless. From there it was a bat to Undercity, then the Zeppelin to Orgrimmar. In Org we took the wyvern down to brackenwall village in Dustwallow marsh for our second island adventure. Always keeping an eye out for mercantile opportunities, I bought several of the first aid books from the vendor in Brackenwall and mailed them to my bank alt. Mounting up on our rusty steeds my companion and I headed off to the east cost just north of Theramore Isle.

Ah, Theramore. This brings back memories....
Theramore Isle contains an ally base, but more importantly, is the home of one of Azeroth's most prominent magicians, the lovely Jaina Proudmore. Rumour swirls around about her past relationships with both Thrall and Kael'thas Sunstrider, also key players in modern events. Our guild took the time to visit Theramore once... but the guards, and Jaina herself, were less than pleased to see us. We only wanted to say hello. The bouncers wouldnt let us in, so we ...ahem... persuaded them to lie down quietly. Jaina was entertaining guests at the top of her tower. Someone in the raid group got a bit too close and she cracked a hissy-fit of epic proportions. All I remember was the flashing lights and the scorching warmth before I was visiting the lovely spirit healer. I was soon joined by the rest of our raid group, including a good half-dozen level 70's. Even the guards had recovered before we got back to our corpses and a few of us suffered further casualties at their hands before we took the better part of valor and buggered off into the sunset!

... Ah, where was I? Oh yes. Dustwallow. Off the east coast are a chain of islands. When I was here last time, they were occupied by mostly turtles and (more!) murlocs. This time, some Venture Co divers had moved in scavenging off the shipwrecks. The island to the furthest east is called Alcaz island. This is a thinly veiled reference to Alcatraz, but like the real world Island, most of the excitement was over by the time I'm able to visit.

At the docks, we were greeted by a couple of fierce elite hydra. Their skins were added to my collection and we moved inland. We encountered the naga guards, also elites, and made short work of them. From a vantage point half way up a hill, we could see the southern lighthouse, but it appeared unoccupied. Suddenly, a great flying shape swooped past us..... a firemane Dragon. We prepared for battle on its return but unfortunately were unable to engage... its all roar and no bite.

Further inland there are a number of former prison barracks. These were empty of anything interesting, but still guarded by lots of Naga. On a hilltop was one of the swirling pink portals such as are used to get into Naxx, but no indication what to do to activate them. Two interesting things were found nearer a set of barracks buildings however. Dr Weavil has left a flying machine here under guard of two tough bodyguards. These were the first elites that were even slightly challenging but we disposed of them easily enough. Beside the flyer was a ramp descending into a sewer pit. It looked somewhat ruined but was still guarded by lots of Naga elites, so we investigated. Inside, through an underwater passage, we found the Naga lord. Wowhead tells us that we are several patches too late to find the true king of Stormwind, imprisoned here by the Defias. Oh well, We'd have just killed him anyway!

It was getting quite late, so my companion and I rushed back to the flightmaster at Brackenwall and flew off to Shadowprey Village in Desolace, since she didn't have the FP in Ferelas. A quick mounted tour past Dire Maul and collecting the flight point in Ferelas's horde base ended up with us on the docks at the western shore, just short of the Ally contrlled Feathermoon stronghold on its Island. We boarded the boat, resisted temptation to kill the level 40-ish human pally that was also aboard. Our true destination wasnt the ally base at all, but a narrow canyon on the eastern side of the "isle of Dread" to the south.

I jumped ship as it sped past the northern shores, but my friend got stuck somehow. Eventually she was able to disembark as well and we headed south. My last visit here was when I was in the high level 40's and the scary Chimaeroks easily saw through my stealth, making short work of me. This time was different! There are several varieties of chimaerok on the island. All are level 60ish elites and moderately tough. At 67 with crap gear, I would strugle to kill one solo, but with lots of lovely healing it was fairly easy. Their daddy however is NO pushover. He looks just the same as the others but is a hell of a lot tougher. I had found his info on wowhead before we got there so wasnt expecting to win this fight. We got him down to only 95% before my healer was almost out of mana. I hit vanish to avoid death but was finished off by his AOE while my healer managed to run out of range. We will be back, with ranged DPS and a real tank to take him down!

We killed the naga in the cave at the north end of the island, then desecrated the festival fire outside of feathermoon before I hearthed and logged for the evening. Lots of fun.

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