New readers, check out what this project is all about: Right here.
This was quite the epic journey. The Dire Maul portal lets you enter the instance at level 31 and we progressed, with some difficulty, to the endboss: Alzzin the Wildshaper.
You can read about the first bosses and our troubles with Alzzin in the previous post.
Alzzin is without a doubt the toughest bossfight in the game we encountered so far. We had roadblocks prior to this, like the Houndmaster who was really strong due to a debuff where we had to get lucky or Rooguk in Razorfen Kraul, who was just ridiculously unbalanced and not actually difficult.
But Alzzin has it all. High damage, multiple phases, shapeshifting, adds, tons of abilities, movement, mana and aggro management…it’s a shame that regular dungeon groups basically kill him before anything happens.
I already spoke about the boss in the previous posting, but let’s recap the fight in detail and with what we’ve learned while leveling up.
I just wrote a neat little overview about the World of Warcraft Dungeon project. There you can read all about the motivation and general progress of the duo and it will also be updated with links to the new posts.
New updates are coming soon, there has been quite some progress in the last couple of days!
Time to get back on track with everything and I’ll make a few minor changes.
I still fully intend to finish the current tutorial game, but it’ll probably be the last. I’ll also finish the tutorial with the provided assets for now, to get to a playable product, or let’s call it a prototype. From there I’ll work on expanding the gameplay, game, interface and overhauling the visuals.
So I expect to finish the tutorial much quicker now. My new work schedule has settled and I’ve freed some time each week to work with Unity again, yay ^^
Huh, I actually had to check my own blog to see where I last left off in our little dungeon adventure.
As far as I can tell, Uldaman had been cleared.
Right! So let’s get on with it! Next on the list is the first wing of Dire Maul and I’m glad we were able to complete Uldaman at 31, because the minimum level to enter Dire Maul is 31.
Dire Maul used to be a massive instance for players close to or at max level, spanning from level 56-60. You were supposed to tackle different parts of the instance at different levels and return many times, but technically you could clear the whole thing in one long run.
Today the dungeon has been slightly updated, split in different parts and because most players leave for TBC content at 58, Dire Maul didn’t get a lot of visitors anymore, so the level range was heavily reduced to a minimum of 31 with mobs ranging from 36 to 52 in all wings.
To be honest, I didn’t do a lot of DM runs back in the day as the location was a little bit inconvenient. We did a bunch of guild runs and I did complete all quests in there and we also did the tribute run, but unlike other instances I don’t really remember the trash mob placement or bosses and their abilities.
At level 31 with only two players and low dps, the trash in this instance is absolutely brutal. We’re slowly getting into the realm of more trash abilities and boss phases/abilities and with “huge” trash packs of 4-5 mobs with different abilities and mixed melee and ranged mobs, it can be really tricky. Of course the bosses are nothing to sneeze at, but in general I was more afraid of some Satyr packs than I was of the bosses. Kiting the mobs while getting some distance to recover HP is key.
Sorry for the long wait folks, but it’s been a madhouse over here. If I wasn’t swamped with work, I was sick, so I didn’t get anywhere with my blog.
But luckily all that is (almost) behind me now and I’ve already prepared a couple of things for the next postings, namely a World of Warcraft Dungeon update and also Unity Game Development will continue shortly as well.
Other than that a scary webserver move is on the horizon in a couple of weeks where I have to move two WordPress projects and other stuff…I really hope nothing goes wrong. It’s especially annoying, because I just recently got everything working and now I’ve got to move again…bah. Oh well, at least it’s supposed to improve performance and give me more space etc.
We already cleared the whole instance up to the last boss at the lowest level possible (you can enter the instance through the portal at 30, which we did). Archaedas was difficult, but for the most part doable. What killed us was the third phase where he summons two strong elite adds in addition to his normal 10 second summons and of course his own significant damage and frequent stuns.
Getting killed within seconds after running out of cooldowns in Phase 3, we decided to level to 31. I wasn’t confident we were able to kill him at that level (he’s still 9 levels above us), but the next dungeon, Dire Maul, unlocks at 31, so we didn’t want to level too far for the sake of the next instance.
The original plan was to use the Monk ability “Touch of Death” on one of the adds and increase the time my “Guard” spell would last. The problem was: The mobs are very high level, unfortunately, and when the crucial moment came, my Touch of Death actually missed! The 90 second cooldown started and with it our death sentence…or so it seemed.
Well, nothing major going on right now and other articles are still in the works, so I might as well write about some various updates.
Tech Talk: Taking it too far?
The T43 upgrade project is basically finished and unless I get a different mainboard, there’s no way to increase the performance of the system.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t improve it. I like to keep things in a good condition. As you all know, computer and especially laptop keyboard keys tend to get worn out over the years. The mat finish makes way for glossy spots on the most used keys, which makes the whole thing look much worse than it is. It looks dirty, even if it’s not.
Of course I could get a new replacement keyboard, but these things are expensive, so there’s a different method for Thinkpad keyboards. It might work on other models as well, but I’m not sure about that.
You can put a coat of clear varnish on the keys, which will basically restore the new look of the keyboard and according to people who’ve had these restored keyboards for a while, it’s more durable than the original plastic.
I didn’t do the procedure for my keyboard myself, since the materials are more expensive than a new keyboard, so it’s only worth it if you have a bunch of keyboards to work with.
Anyways, here are before and after pictures. Look at the space key for example.
It basically looks like a new laptop now. Of course this doesn’t improve performance or usability, but it still feels better to work with the new keyboard.
A friend of mine has urged me to try “Clash of Clans”, a free-to-play (actually borderline pay to win in my opinion) strategy game on Android. It’s kind of fun for a while, but as usual progress gets really slow after a while, making you either want to quit or spend cash on boosting your progress ingame.
World of Warcraft
I’ve been playing a lot of World of Warcraft lately. The Dungeon Challenge project is waiting for the completion of Uldaman and our first attempt at Dire Maul.
But right now I’m also leveling several characters through the quest zones to finally see all the new Cataclysm content on both factions. I haven’t played a lot of Horde in 10 years of WoW, so it’s like a new expansion for me right now. Which is perfect, because the current WoD endgame is boring and Legion is still far away.
So far I’ve finished the 1-10 zones on my Horde and Alliance characters and almost three 10-20 zones on the Horde side. I’m not sure how to structure future progress, because I want to use the opportunity to level a bunch of classes I never had at a high level, but I also don’t want to level a bunch characters through all the same expansion zones.
Another thing I’m working on (when I need a break from leveling) is finally getting some gold in WoW. In 10 years of playing I was never rich. I could usually afford what I needed, but even the old gold-cap of ~214k gold was so far out of reach. Now it’s at 1 million gold, and even though there’s a high inflation, especially since WoD, I usually can’t afford anything “nice”, which is a shame because I like collecting old items that aren’t obtainable anymore, and they’re usually just too expensive for me. Even pre-TBC I was unable to afford my epic mount. I think I had about 600g when the expansion hit and finally borrowed the rest from a fellow guildmate shortly after launch.
So, I’m trying to increase my income, but because I don’t have a lot of time, I’m trying to find the best way for me that is not boring and doesn’t take ages.
I’m also thinking about buying game time tokens with that gold, so WoW essentially becomes free to play for me. Unfortunately, gametime tokens are pretty expensive in Europe, around 90.000 gold, so even with one million gold, I could barely afford a years worth of game time. And with the prices rising, I’m not sure the time required to get 90k gold is worth less than the 13€ for a month. US servers have a much lower price, less than 40k gold. But I’m glad I don’t live in Korea or Taiwan, where the tokens cost about 175k gold. Can you imagine getting almost 200.000 gold each month just to pay for your game time and only the game time after that is actual gameplay. Crazy! It also seems that the gold cap of 1 million is becoming a little bit low…
So, that’s about it for now. I hope I can finish my next article for tomorrow, so I’ll see you then…maybe!
“Already?” Was my first thought when I set foot into Uldaman, having just hit Level 30 a few hours prior. Uldaman was among one of the many instances to get a lower level after the Cataclysm. The final boss, Archaedas, was originally level 47 and now he’s just 40. Other bosses have been scaled down as well.
The original instance used to have a pretty big level range. Revelosh, the first boss, was Level 40, making it a big stretch to the last boss. That meant having a group with a good level for the first bosses would result in wipes on the last bosses and a group well equipped for the final boss will be extremely bored during the first half.
Now Revelosh has only been lowered 1 level, making the overall difficulty of the instance much more even.
There’s two NPCs that didn’t survive the Shattering of Patch 4.0: Magregan Deepshadow and Digmaster Shovelphlange. The first one was just outside of the instance, and the second was a rarespawn that got removed.
One more historical side-note: The enchanting NPC in Uldaman still spawns, if you kill the scorpids in the little side room. She also still trains enchanting, but isn’t really relevant for anything anymore. Prior to Patch 2.3, she was the only (!) Artisan Enchanting Trainer in Azeroth and every enchanter who wanted to move their skill forward HAD to go pretty deep into Uldaman with a group to level up their profession. I found this incredibly awesome, but most people hated it. There’s another article planned about that exact topic.
Enough chit-chat, let’s start with the first boss, shall we?
We’re back with another Dungeon Challenge progress post. Last time I already mentioned that we hit a major roadblock in Razorfen Kraul, forcing us to level up quite a bit. The original plan was for us to finish each instance at the lowest possible level and move on to the next one.
But now we were in danger of getting to a too-high level for the remaining bosses and even the next instance. Maraudon is split into three wings in LFG and it starts almost at the same level as RFK. While there wasn’t any way to prevent the RFK bosses from becoming trivial, we had to go to Maraudon before finishing up RFK. We were Level 28 and planned to go to 30 for Roogug in RFK, but before we did that, we took a detour to Maraudon to see how far we could get.
We entered Maraudon at Level 28, not really knowing what to expect and just tried to get as far as possible.
Maraudon Boss 1: Tinkerer Gizlock
Not really a memorable fight. He threw some bombs and had a long cast with his Goblin Dragon Gun, but that’s about it. Apparently his flash bomb can fear hunter pets and druid tanks, but with us being Gnomes, we didn’t have any trouble and he died in the first try. He was 7 levels higher than us, so the damage wasn’t too trivial, but that’s about it.
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