Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Blackrock Blues

The real question for me lately is whether Azshandra will complete a full Blackrock Depths run or hit L60 first. Given my recent luck in BRD runs, I'm betting on L60.

Oh, it's not that the runs devolved into acrimony or something, it's just that they fall apart.

I had one where we simply ran out of time: people had to go to bed to get up for work the next day. There was another that one person said they only wanted an Angerforge run, and after they left the tank left, and that was that. A third stalled at the mobs near Bael'Gar, and a fourth stalled after a wipe near the entryway to Molten Core. In between, there have been a couple of small runs that I knew going in that were going to end fairly quickly, like the Marshall Windsor quests, but I was fine with that.

And in another recent run we wiped in the gnome area, and during the subsequent runback some people had to split.

But Az did ding L59, so at least there's that.


The most memorable run so far has been one that we knew almost immediately that we weren't going to get to the end, but we decided to see how far we were going to get.

You see, the evening began with me wanting to get into a Blackrock Depths run, but the runs that evening only wanted AoE DPS --basically Mages and Warlocks-- so people could farm experience. A single Rogue such as Az was not on people's radar. So, when a Sunken Temple run appeared, I was happy to join.

Once invited to the group, I realized that I'd run with half of the group before*, so I knew this was going to be a solid bunch. We spent a bit of extra time doing a full clear of the entire Sunken Temple complex --as a lot of groups simply skip the sewers portion-- and once done we began to go our separate ways.

However, the healer spoke up about how she wanted to do some more instances tonight, and how does BRD sound?

"That's what I wanted to do this evening," I replied, "but people only wanted Mages in LookingForGroup. So count me in."

One player didn't want to run, so we said goodbye to him and the four of us hearthed out and began the trip to Blackrock Mountain while asking around for a fifth.

A fifth quickly joined us, and it was yet another toon I'd run with before. Surely this meant that the stars were aligning, and I'd finally get that BRD run completed.


One of our group disconnected mid-flight.

"Um...." I said.

"Oh, I bet I know what happened," one of the group said. "He said he was going to check his phone, and because of lag he was using it as a hot spot."

It turned out to be the case, because after he rejoined he told us he'd rebooted his phone as it was slow and had completely forgotten about using it as a hotspot.

Well, since he died mid-flight, his corpse was stuck somewhere near Karazhan, so he had to run all the way back to Darkshire to revive. Once there, he picked up some water for the healer (who'd run out and forgotten to get more) and headed out on the flightpoint once more.

While he was en route, the tank yawned and said that she couldn't keep her eyes open, so she was going to have to call it a night. We tried getting a tank, but no dice. There were two or three BRD/UBRS groups vying for tanks at the same time, and while we said "no reserves" in our call outs the other groups were offering gold as bribes. Things kind of degenerated from there into the other groups getting into a fight with some people who "claimed" to be tanks, saying they weren't offering enough incentives to tank

At that point, the healer basically said "screw it" and said that we should just go with the four of us (Druid Healer, Two DPS Warriors, and Az the Rogue) and see how far we get. The four of us were fine with that, so we figured with some luck we could at least get through the Arena portion and up to Angerforge.

We did a lot of line of sight pulls, and the healer did a great job of keeping the designated Warrior tank upright, particularly since she didn't have any tanking gear at all. We only had one stupid wipe at the beginning where we pulled once too many, but we made it to the Arena. "As long as we don't get something like the bats, we should be okay," the tank said.

We got the bats.

We wiped.

As we ran back, we debated strategy on how to take care of them, but it turned out to be for naught as the event had glitched and the bats had vanished. The way forward lay open.

"Let's see if we can take Angerforge out at least," the tank said, and led the way out.

We made it to Angerforge, waited for all of the Healer's cooldowns to finish, and we pulled Angerforge up the stairs and into a side hallway. Given the lack of that fifth person, we did pretty well in getting to within a hit or two of knocking Angerforge off, but we still wiped.

"Okay," I said as we ran back, "We've got this. just one or two more hits and then we'll have taken him out."

"Maybe we should pull him farther back," the healer suggested. "Like around the bend and close to the door leading to this area."

"That's fine. We'll wait there while the tank pulls. If the tank needs an extra heal, you can run forward a bit as needed."

So we set ourselves up, with Az (me) and the healer near the door, the other DPS Warrior hanging around by some cannons at the end of the hallway, and the tank ran past him and got ready to pull Angerforge.

"Okay, pulling," she called.

Suddenly the healer and I were surrounded by eight fire elementals, who quickly blew us apart.

"AAAAAAAAAHHH!!!" The Warrior DPS yelled.

"What the holy hell was that?" the healer asked.

The tank dropped the pull and ran back to see the fire elementals vanish.

"I was just standing here on the cannons, looking at the two of you, and you were both engulfed by those fire elementals. It was terrifying!"

The healer and I started laughing.

"It had to be triggered by my pull," the tank said. "You screamed as soon as I pulled."

"I'd have given a lot to have seen the look on your face, man," I said as the healer and I started a runback.

"I'd rather have a video of the view he had," the healer added. "It must have been some sight."

"It was, and I don't want to see it again."

During the runback we decided that this was likely a built-in protection that Blizz had to keep a Hunter from kiting Angerforge all the way and past the hallway. "Because Hunters," the healer added.

"Well, we can't kite that far," the tank replied, "so let's redo this and make sure people use their Chained Essence of Eranikus when each mob appears."**

"And if we kill Angerforge, make sure to click on him so we can at least loot him when we run back."

Our strategy in place, and everybody's abilities now completely off cooldown, we tried once more to kill of General Angerforge. And this time, we killed him before his second mob wiped us.

That had to be the happiest bunch of dead people running back to revive in an instance.

We mutually agreed that we weren't going any farther with just the four of us, so we decided to regroup some time later, get a real tank, and finish the instance.

So while Az didn't get that BRD run she wanted, what she got was a totally memorable run nevertheless.


*I had already friended them, which I typically do for players who not only do a good job but also make grouping enjoyable. Basically, they're the people I'd not mind having as guildies.

**The idea was to use one Chained Essence on the first mob, and the other one on the second. I, being a "nice guy", had given up my Chained Essence because I that's not how I roll.


  1. I was going to say something about hanging in there for that full run but can see from the follow-up post that you got there soon after anyway. :D

    As I mentioned in my own post on the subject BRD can be a right pain to get done in Classic... but it also provides plenty of opportunities for some very memorable experiences. The run you describe in this post certainly sounds like one of those!

    1. Oh yes. Between BRD, Sunken Temple, and Maraudon, there have been plenty of memorable experiences lately. I've also gained quite a few new friends on my friends' list because of our shared experiences.

      On one memorable ST run, we did fine up through Jammalan, although Az was the one pulling the mobs in front of Jammalan using daggers, but we completely fell apart with Eranikus. After 3 failed attempts it became too late for the Mage and the Hunter who had to split, and instead of giving up the tank managed to find one of the raid tanks from his main guild raid team on late at night and we four-manned Eranikus quickly after that.

      And the raid tank? She was someone I'd run Stockades and Scarlet Monastery with months ago. Small world.