Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Arugal must die ... before 20!

When I started seeking challenging content outside of raid instances and found soloing low level dungeons I was pretty much noob in it. Clearing WC (lvl 20 endboss) with 2 lvl 24 characters? It seemed hard, but was easily done.

RFC (lvl 16 endboss) at lvl 18 alone was harder, but still doable without wipe. It's easier than I thought, or I gather skills along the way.

So the next action was: 2 lvl 19 vs Shadowfang Keep (lvl 21 endboss). The duo were Golmeg the tanking warlock, and Sitah, my girlfriends little hunter.

With the first boss came the first trouble: Rethilgore had 3 adds. This needed some cooldowns to handle, especially since hunters have no frozen trap at 19:

With the courtyard some old memories came back. Not SFK itself, but marking and planning a pull. Those who started playing in WotLK don't know but once upon a time trash pulls were not "AoE them all" but planning, CC, kill order. I missed it dearly. What I did not miss was anti-magic shell:

Commander Springvale is linked to only one guard, the other two can be pulled. Odo the Blindwatcher on the other hand is linked to all bats in the room. Some cooldowns were wasted there. No adds, no problem: Fenrus was a pushover. Arugal, jumping around and transforming us to worg was not a pushover at all. Not only all cooldowns (except the soulstone) were used, but it was the "perfect" place to discover, that lock stone and minor recombulator share their cooldowns. But at the end we were up and he was down:

Almost forgot: no raid without loot!

Since we did not die (though were pretty close sometimes), I assume we could even go lower. Currently we are 2 level below the bosses, and hunters get extreme power boost by 20 (dual wield: 2 weapon enchants, frozen trap, aspect of the viper), so I assume BFD (lvl 24 bosses) can be done on 21. Lvl 20 is pretty questionable as there would be 4 levels between us and the boss. That means 70-75 hit chance and also chance to crushing blows. We'll see. A tip to fellow low level instance fighters: level first aid (that's obvious) and get higher level bandages. I mean I could reach slvl 200, allowing me to craft heavy silk bandages, but use runecloth bandages.

In the meantime I tried to solo both WC and Deadmines on 19. Both instances have lvl 20 bosses and seems to be doable. However soloing them is very slow. In WC I killed 3 fanglords in 3 hours but was tired, late in the night and couldn't continue. Anacondra and Cobrann were pushovers:

Pythas on the other hand caused several deaths. At first his room must be cleared or fearing one of his adds bring more friends. Secondly, both him and his Druid of the Fang add cast 15 sec sleep. The druid must be feared all time, him interrupted and killed. The deviate shambler is very annoying, has self-heal, must be left for last. Too bad that in one of the tries I changed the kill order, killed the druid, died, and when I went back, the druid did not respawn. It's sad since it allows melting the pack down: kill one add, die, run back, kill next, repeat until boss is alone. Without the druid he could be killed on the first try:

Later I figured out that his sleep could be broken by Insignia of the Horde. I got one next day. There is a heirloom insignia for 250 stone keeper shard, but there is a cheaper way: you can buy 2 commendations for 2x30, both give 2000 honor, using that, Golmeg could buy a simple insignia.

Next day I went to Deadmines. The first boss only has non-elite adds. While he hits hard, after the adds went down, health funnel + dots killed him. You can also see a major problem here, despite I just rolled dots and funnel and I'm 0/10/0, I was above the aggro of the voidwalker. Practically I can't go over 35 DPS without risking that a crit gets me some attention.

The second boss, Sneed and his shredder can be pulled alone, after very slowly all goblins are pulled out of the room one by one. Beware that after the shredder dies, the goblin comes. Don't start making screenshots, analyzing recount like I did, or have a soulstone ready like I had. He gifted me brand new gloves.

The Goblin Foundry is the hardest part. The goblins can be solo-pulled and killed one by one, or at least by twoes. But with only a little mistake or laziness in pulling them far back you got yourself a run-in. The safe mode is pull, run to the top of the slope, fight there. Gilnid, the boss has only one un-pullable add, who can be feared until the boss goes down:

Mr Smite has 2 invisible adds, and aggroes as soon as the adds. On the first try I killed one add, but messed up my buttons and tried to fear the boss instead of the other add, died, ressed, and on the second try he had only one add remaining:

He was the last boss I killed because the next messed-up trashpull left me with broken items and the repairmen in Westfall are pretty uncooperative with a hordie. While I swim to Grom'gol and back, the whole instance respawn. I will finish it later, just like WC. How can I save the instance to continue from where I left? I cannot. But I'll come back with my girlfriend's 80, clear this part in 10 mins, she hearths out and I continue.

What's the hardest part in soloing low level instances 1 level below their bosses? Very long fights, many-many packs and bad pull = wipe. Look at the overall damage done in Deadmines and by dividing it with DPS you could see how much time I spent in combat. Add drinking, positioning, rerunning time and you'll see why it's hard to keep focused and not messing up:

PS: the about page is changed to reflect the current state of the blog.



Larísa said...

That's quite a change in the direction for the blog! But that's the charm of blogging for fun and not for profit. You are the master, free to do whatever you like with your blog and that's it. I'll keep reading GG, regardless of gold posts, that's for sure.

I'm glad to hear that you've found an activity in the game that gives you the challenge you're looking for and doesn't require you to play the social game.

Here's to you for your upcoming epic adventures in the forgotten and deserted dungeons of Azeroth: Cheers!

Samus said...

You should be using Curse of Weakness on bosses instead of Curse of Agony. As you said, the amount of DPS you can do is limited to the amount of threat your Voidwalker can produce. You should already be able to produce enough DPS to pass his threat without Curse of Agony. By using Curse of Weakness, your pet takes less damage (which is essentially threat wasted on healing rather than DPS) and also does slightly more damage (more threat produced by him is more DPS you can do).

This makes it slow, but with Drain Life + Life Tap and Health Funnel, you can do it forever.

I can only assume you are already smart enough to throw Curse of Weakness on all the adds you are saving until after the boss.

Miss Medicina said...

I gotta say Gevlon, I'm really enjoying these posts. I like reading about different ways people choose to find fun and challenge in the game that isn't the same old raid+epic+pvp routine.

Makes me kinda want to try this myself. I'd love to see you do this with other classes as well. (think you could do it with a non-pet/minion class?)

laura said...

Unfortunately the voidwalker will only get worse over levels 20 to 30. It gets better as soon as you can pickup the talents in demonology, but it's still quite bad until you can.

Gevlon said...

@Larísa: the plan is to do all dungeons before cataclysm might destroy or change them

@Samus: there is a problem with CoW: CoA is one of the most mana-effective damage source, and also a fire and forget. During bossfights I just put DoTs up and funnel. Sbolt and drain life needs me to not cast funnel.

@Miss Medicina: Good idea, I'll try Ragefire with a lvl19 priest.

@Laura: I don't think I'll go deeper in demo, because I need Affliction talents badly for healing. The main problem is that a VW can't hold more than 1 targets safely, not even against funnel aggro. So I'll take damage, so I'll need SL/SL.

Cazenovia said...

Just to briefly toss out there for any future Deadmines excursions - there's at least one nearby vendor where both Horde and Alliance can repair. link to the vendor on wowhead because it's late and my memory's flaky on which room he's in exactly, sorry!

Lite said...

Gevlon the only affliction talent you really "need" is Siphon Life. I am doing a weekly solo of most of Molten Core @ lvl 80. There's plenty of challenge to come by and soloing garr as a warlock requires some serious execution - Just saying that you dont have to start a new toon to get your challenge.

Xaxziminrax the Second said...

I hate plugging anything but I examined why your gear needs to suck and it might be something you should take into consideration.

Remember that everything that you accomplish by choosing a higher level instance can be counter-acted by better gear. If the mobs hit harder, a few armor enchants and spellpower will help keep the VW up. Higher level mobs have a better chance to avoid your attacks, but that can be changed with some hit-rating gear.

I'de be interested in seeing the highest comparative instance that can be done naked. A quest for my own undertaking.

Fricassee said...

In regards to the redirection of the blog: Will you still be doing morons of the week?

Justin said...

I'm assuming your choice of warlock and your girlfriend's choice of hunter are to enable the use of pets. Have you considered trying two non-pet classes instead? Warrior and priest, maybe?

Yane (Yet another night elf) said...

How fun!!!

The first time I got to really appreciate SFK (It is my favorite instance) was when I was able to solo it and take my time and look around.

I quit playing the game for a while when the "additional instances cannot be launched" issue was prevalent, because I was having fun going back doing old insances and it was preventing me from doing so.

Dorgol said...

It's a pretty well known point that Warlocks are solo-monsters. My Warlock solo'd 5 of 6 bosses in the Ampitheater of Anguish. I CAN solo the last boss, but there's a bug that causes the quest to fail if the mammoth despawns (and as you said, soloing takes time... the mammoth WILL despawn).

I've solo'd heroic MgT on my Paladin and picked up the mount.

I've solo'd Heroic Sethekk on my Druid and picked up THAT mount.

When I switched from Herbalism to Engineering, my Paladin went back into Outland and solo'd Heroic Mechenaar and Heroic Steamvaults for the recipes that drop from bosses there.

The most impressive solo work I've seen have been by a Deathknight - he solo's WotLK HEROICS. I've tried it on my Paladin - and while the trash can't kill me, I can't kill the bosses. It's all a gear issue, though. That same DK solo'd A'lar in Tempest Keep - a level 70 25 man raid boss. Best I've done is to solo a few bosses in Karazhan.

Okrane S. said...

it's funny how you can infer the interest of people in one topic just by counting the number of comments each post has.

Thus we have:

1) Drama and bickering: ~200answers
2) Bashing QA users: ~120answers
3) AH in detail: ~100answers
4) random RL economic apocalypse post: ~60 answers
5) random "socials are bad, mkay?" post: ~60 answers
6) Morons of the week: ~30answers
7) Soloing low level instance with alts: ~10answers
(this one unrelated post is actually giving you significant rating lol).

Gregulator said...

Solo'ing H MgT at 80 is a cakewalk. Some people think it's hard or initially have trouble because they approach it from a tanking perspective, when your best bet with most bosses is to just burn them before they have a chance to hurt you. When you read about people solo'ing level 70 heroics at 80, remember that druids were doing solo runs in H Sethekk for chances at a raven mount back at level 70.

I like the low level solo'ing posts, though. I'm considering dusting off my 19 priest and seeing what he can do.

Anonymous said...

Been duoing all the low level instances with the GF.

Druid and hunter combo turns out to be quite fun (guess who the hunter is).

So far we have done: Stocks, Deadmines, SFK, BFD, and Gnomer.

No wipes so far! Anxious to start SM, for the phat lootz.

Wooly said...


Warrior priest is such a classic combination. I'll vote for Paladin & Shaman. 2 Swiss army knives that can both heal, take a beating and dish out some heavy burst damage also.

But Mage & Rogue would be a true challenge, though I'm pretty sure this combination can do anything in the right hands. Till a certain level at least.

Justin said...


Rogue and mage? That's an even better idea. I was going for a combination that didn't have the Swiss Army vibe to it.

Rhetorical said...

Soloing old instances is a lot of fun. I also did Heroic Magister's Terrace multiple times, but I did it for the very non-goblin reason of the White Hawkstrider. I have the raptor from ZG, and I'm working on the ZG tiger, horse from kara, and bird from sethekk halls.

Mick said...

At the risk of being non-humble, as a ToC 10m geared prot pally, I can now solo all of the BC instances, par one of the Auchindin instances (the one with the boss who summons voidwalkers that heal him).

H MgT is a little tricky because of the composition of the trash mobs, but other then that the bosses are pretty much a cake walk.

I find soloing these instances a lot of fun as a like to solo play rather then group, they usually take about an hour, and have really helped me learn survivability as a tank.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't really seem like much of a challenge, try to put more constraints.. like maybe a time limit?

Christopher said...

There is a vendor inside one of the buildings nearby the instance in Moonbrook, on the second floor of the inn, called the Defias Profiteer. I think he's also a repair vendor, and is much closer than having to go to Grom Gol.

Just a suggestion for your future forays into that instance :)

Anonymous said...

cant wait to see your epic attempts on MC at lvl 60.....

Jormundgard said...

In a game as predictable as WoW, almost any task is a "cakewalk" once you know how to do it, but the motivation for doing them is in Gregulator's comment:

"Some people think it's hard or initially have trouble because they approach it from a tanking perspective"

Exactly, it takes a different, undocumented approach. It requires the player to break out of conventional thinking and use methods that would rarely work in the game if played as intended. Maybe experienced players do not even realize that H MgT can be soloed, even though it would be easy for them if they just tried.

The point is not whether it is easy or whether hundreds of people have already done it. The point is that a thought process is required to get there, one that isn't written down at Tankspot. That is the challenge that WoW is starting to lose, and that I think Gevlon is trying to reclaim.

Anonymous said...


I'm a prot pally too with lesser gear than you by the sounds of it.

The boss you mean is the dude in shadow labs, just tank him far away from the voids as you can and he goes down easy enough. Just don't stand in one place too long.

Vinny said...

Hey Gevlon,

I'd like to point out an exceptional player, good friend, my former top goblin competitor and fellow raider since Vanilla WoW: Coldsong the feral druid from Stormreaver (US).

Soloing raid bosses is what he does. This video shows him soloing 41 raid bosses PRE 3.1 (he stoppped playing altogether now).

Prince in Kharazan was probably the one he spent most time on... me creating restorative potions to get rid of the SW pain he casts. It includes all of ZG, MC, most of BWL (yeah, Vael sucks to solo), most of AQ40 and all of Kharazan except Netherspite, which we duoed. Anyways, 41 bosses in 3 minutes. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting read.

I believe there is a larger than expected audience for unusal challenges considering most (older) players eventually gets bored of the same old, same old. You have a large audience and I am certain these posts will convince a fraction of your readers into trying something new just for the challenge.

I hit that wall some time ago and created a dungeon group (protection warrior, restoration druid, beast mastery hunter) to 3-man every dungeon while we are 5 levels or more below the end bosses. So far, so good, we are enjoying ourselves tremendously.

The other thing I did was to create a frost mage and level her solo doing only yellow, orange, and red quests. Naked. With the interface hidden. Although frustrating at times, I find the experience to be exactly what I need when I want to play a couple of hours with death potentially lurking around every corner.

Fun stuff, at least for me!

Take care,
Hugmenot of Suramar