The current World of Warcraft dungeon challenge is the Scarlet Halls. We’re two low level Gnomes trying to beat dungeons at the lowest level possible.
We did a couple of Blackfathom Deeps runs to improve my gear a little bit, but the desired item didn’t drop. Since survivability was our main concern, we didn’t bother anymore as the item in question was mainly a DPS boost.
In this post, I’ll be breaking down the encounters one by one, what challenges we faced and where we had some interesting surprises.
Current World of Warcraft patch: 6.2.3
Dungeon: Scarlet Halls
Bosses, gear and unexpected challenges
Both characters were level 25 by the time we cleared Scarlet Halls. We originally entered ad level 22 but hit a roadblock pretty early on, before even getting to the first boss.
Our gear was mostly dungeon blues until Gnomeregan and a few quest rewards. No heirlooms and the average item level was about 20-23. As for buffs, we used a few low level alchemy potions and enchanting recipes to give us a slight advantage, but since it’s still pretty early in the project, we haven’t gotten any serious upgrades yet.
Here’s a list of all noteworthy encounters:
Well, this was a surprise. We didn’t even get to the first boss, due to mechanics that a properly leveled 5-man group doesn’t even notice. It’s the encounter with the archers, where you get closer by using the targets as shields. Once you engage Lindon and his archers in actual combat, the archers hit you in melee and you get a stacking debuff, Bleeding Wound, increasing the damage dealt to you by a very significant amount if it stacks high enough.
Basically the fight was over within seconds, because once the adds hit me, the tank, twice, I was usually oneshot by Lindon unless I had full HP, in which case I was two-shot. He dealt more than 2000 damage to me in one hit, while I had just about 2500HP total.
After numerous tries, we decided to level up slightly to get from 22 to 24, giving me access to a defensive cooldown and also a new healing skill for the priest. This finally did the trick and with some kiting of the adds, we were able to progress to the first boss.
Kiting is something you don’t really see anymore in Warcraft, especially in low level dungeons.
The first boss was the most difficult fight in the whole instance, due to his ability to target the healer for serious damage. It’s also pretty random, so we had to get somewhat lucky.
He calls dogs every 10% until he’s down to 50% health at which point he enrages. He has two abilities that hit somewhat hard, but more importantly they place a DoT debuff on the target, which can’t be outhealed after a certain point. Since he targets a random group member for those abilities, there was a 50% chance the healer would be targetet, which happened often.
We had a couple of close calls and got the timing and positioning just right, but the damage output was just too high, so we decided to give us just one more level, without new abilities or gear.
Now at Level 25, we still had some difficulty defeating the boss, but eventually we made it. Often I get to use Touch of Death to instantly kill the boss below 25% health, but with Braun, a small even started at 1HP. The first time we got that far, the healer was already dead and I was down to 1k HP, with the debuff still on me, ticking for ~400-500 each time. Of course my weak self-heal couldn’t outheal it and I died as well, resetting the encounter, because the boss was technically still alive.
Next time we were more lucky and won the fight, but the healer still died, due to the high DoT damage and increased enrage damage. This was definitely the most interesting fight in the instance, because you had something unpredictable and had to coordinate a couple of things, like getting the adds off the healer.
Considering the low amount of mechanics and own abilities, this is probably my favorite encounter so far. Warcraft has evolved its dungeon design with every expansion and this is the Pandaria revamp of the dungeon. In Classic World of Warcraft we’ll be jumping a bit between relatively untouched dungeons and heavily remade instances. Once we hit The Burning Crusade, we will have pretty oldschool fights again, but with lots more options. Can’t wait.
I was expecting this to be quite tough, because he regularly spawns 2 elite adds, has several damaging abilities and one mechanic requiring movement. What got me really worried was his enrage at 50% which increases his damage every few seconds by 4%. Because we were only two underleveled characters, I thought this phase would last too long, thus stacking his damage buff too high.
But we killed him in the first try. If you don’t screw up the movement phase, there’s nothing to worry about and he quickly went down from 50% to 25%, allowing me to Touch-of-death him.
The final boss was probably the easiest in the whole instance. For random/new players, this encounter is in theory the most difficult, because he has the highest number of abilities, several of which require movement. But since we’re actually able to properly position ourselves, there wasn’t much he could do. Two direct damage abilities, but there were no stacking DoTs or a nasty enrage.
Don’t get hit by his Dragon’s Breath and intercept the Book Burner and you’re fine.
Comparing this encounter to the rest of the instance, the fight would be more coherent if there was a DoT/debuff and/or enrage, which I was actually expecting. Seems like Blizzard deemed the amount of abilities and movement enough of a challenge for the end boss.
Warcraft Dungeon Challenge: Scarlet Halls result
Anyways, the minimum level to enter as a 5-man group through the dungeon finder is 26, with the bosses being 31. We cleared it at 25 with two players. Not quite the minimum level you can enter the instance at, but I’m still satisfied with the result.
Overall I liked the Scarlet Halls, albeit a bit short and inconsistent in terms of difficulty.
So far I think the most interesting situations arise from abilities or events that were designed specifically with 5 players in mind, like the archer debuff or Brauns DoT. Regular damaging abilities still can hit very hard, because damage absolute, not relative, but usually we can manage.
So far trash hasn’t been of any concern except for this guy. They come in packs of two and their Jolt ability hits for about 1K damage, ignoring threat. With the healer’s HP being at about 2100, we were in for a nasty surprise when he got basically one-shot twice. Good times.
We got some loot from the bosses, but it’ll be a while before we can use it (lvl28 required)
Next time we’ll take a look at the Scarlet Monastery.