Chronicles of Cataclysm: In Which Dungeons Remain Unfinished

John Funk | 2 Aug 2010 09:00
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The lack of communication in a new dungeon hadn't hampered us yet, since it was clear that we roughly knew what we were doing. Things got harder at the second boss, however. Three cultists are kneeling in front of her, and once the fight starts she'll begin to cast magic on all three of them - a beam that applies a steadily-increasing buff. If the buff hits a hundred stacks, they turn into a big dragon and hurt you. This is very bad. Much like the Netherspite encounter in Karazhan, though, players can stand in the beams and intercept them - but if they get a hundred stacks of the buff, they become mind controlled and help kill everyone. This is also very bad.

Nobody stands in the beams, and we die horribly. Attempt number two, I stand my tiny Gnomish frame in the beams, but nobody else does - we still die horribly. By attempt number three, we've worked out something approximating a strategy all the while without saying a word, and while some of us die horribly, we still kill her: I'll call that even.

It's a very intriguing experience running a dungeon like this with a group that can't communicate. On live WoW, we all have obscenely epic gear and know all of the current Wrath dungeons by heart, so we don't need to chat. But when we barely outgear the content and don't know any of the fights, even many of the little "trash" enemies can be lethal. Even so, my language-barricaded group pressed on, bravely knowing our repair bills wouldn't ever count on our "real" characters.

The third boss was interesting - a giant bipedal dragon who initially takes virtually no damage. The tank must drag him into a giant pillar of flame to melt his armor so that the group can hurt him, but the longer he stays in the pillar the more damage he does when he comes out of it. It's a very tricky dance for the tank, but not all that complex for the rest of us, and we take him down in one shot.

Moving on, we encountered the rampaging mutated orc again (once more helpfully clearing the road for us) and then ran into another boss that is a fond throwback to Classic WoW. Beauty is a core hound den mother, and people who played back at level 60 will probably connect her to her mate, The Beast. She fights much like her mate - charging, spitting fire, a fear-inducing roar - but she has little core hound pups nearby that can complicate the fight if you don't kill them beforehand. Make sure to leave Runty alive, though: Not only is he adorable (and you will feel bad killing him), but it'll make Beauty go berserk and murder you in a painful manner.


We'd made it almost to the end of the dungeon, and I was feeling good about having persevered in the face of the language barrier - until we met the final boss. The end boss of the dungeon, a powerful Earthen elemental, has two adds with no aggro table: They'll attack whoever hit them last, and if they get in range of their target will apply a debuff that prevents all healing. Obviously, this means the tank can't take them, or they'll die for lack of heals.

This fight was a lot of fun, because it was the exact opposite of a "tank-and-spank" - the damage-dealers need to work together to juggle the guards, picking them up and letting them go in order to be healed. Unfortunately, it also requires a lot of coordination, and perhaps a bit more gear than we had. One wipe became two wipes, two became three, and by three wipes we'd had enough.

So yes. Blackrock Caverns remains uncompleted, and I had a similar experience in Throne of the Tides - though there, we didn't even make it to the first boss. Can someone tell me how to say "Someone please kill those damn healers" in Korean?

Next time: We take a trip to Mount Hyjal.

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