Going the Outlands way
Soloing old content is a very different experience to doing it in a group. In the case of level 70 heroics, it’s about half the speed, but also half the downtime. Most things below that, I can solo faster than a group the appropriate level could work through, but I’ve been finding that the Outland Heroics have needed me to stop and drink/eat up a fair few times. As a Protection Paladin, I fare best against melee heavy enemy instances: I block, dodge and parry my way through losing barely any health and pulling rooms at a time. Thanks to BoSanc and Divine plea, this means I also never go out of mana against enemies like that. Sadly, most of these places have a fair few casters in as well, which quite aside from not hitting me to get my mana back, they often pull some nasty abilities out of the bag such as fears, freezes and so on. (Despite their low health, the imps in the blood furnace gave me a lot of trouble with their fast fireballs and tendency to skip away from you if you get locked in place.)
Nevertheless, I’ve been working my way through, consuming stacks of Potato cakes and Honeymint tea. I hope I never need to take Zal to the dentist. Despite the multitude of magical and physical batterings those places have offered up, the only time I’ve died is by jumping off the cliff in the Underbog (as you are meant to) and forgetting that Ardent Defender (takes a killing blow for you every 2 minutes and heals you up to 30%) doesn’t trigger from falling damage. It was a shame, as the fall only did 10k, but I hadn’t healed up from the Hydra boss before. /Doh.
I finally managed to accomplish the goal I didn’t manage in TBC, when heroics were hard to pug. The Outland Dungeon Hero achievement is for completing each of the Outland Heroics, funnily enough, and it proved a nice little challenge for me. It was a lot of fun to see some of those old dungeons again, especially my favourite places like Old Hillsbrad Foothills and the Tempest Keep instances (Arcatraz – bloody hard but an awesome place in all respects, in my opinion). From here on out, I’ll be doing the TBC Daily Heroic as it pops up for rep, until the factions I need are maxed out. I may venture into Outlands again for Rep quests, seeing as I ended up doing the majority of my levelling in Nagrand, away from the dungeon factions.
It’s something to do, and you never know, one day I might have a Gear set that’d go really well with the Honour Hold Tabard or the Lower City Tabard.
One thing I never noticed until recently is that Auchenai crypts, one of the four Auchindoun instances, is absolutely overflowing with Draenei. That place is like Draenei killing central, and the only instance I can think of that features them as a main enemy. The last boss (a big Draenei) summons a friend (a ghosty Draenei) and duplicates your character to fight against you (random evil Zals, or to put it a better way, more Draenei). I don’t know what it is about that place (aside from the Draenei) that slightly un-nerves me. If you know anything about the Auchindoun Lore and do the quests, you unravel a terrible story: Auchindoun is a former Draenei holy site and Horde fortress in the middle of the Bone Wastes, in Outland’s Terokkar Forest. It was a holy ground for Draenei burial until the Shadow Council took over, summoned an extremely powerful demon as old as time itself, and destroyed half of Terokkar Forest in the process. The whole of Auchenai Crypts is full of disturbed Draenei spirits, some of them confused, some of them Violent. The place is littered with bones and delicate crypt arrangements that have been smashed and desecrated. The first boss is a massive Beholder, the floaty things with too many eyes. It’s actually called Shirrak the Dead Watcher, and by the names of its abilities it suggests its been consuming the corpses littered around. Highly unpleasent. It also dropped the most freakish fist weapon I’ve ever seen in-game. It feels very good to defeat Exarch Maladaar at the end and free the place from the grip of the scourge and the shadow council. That could just be me though, I probably get too wrapped up in the lore. Its a good story though, and it certainly pulled me in.
On an off note, and as you know I love to keep you guys updated with my little UI developments, I experimented with implementing my PTR tested setup into my healing UI on live, and was shocked at how much I liked it. On the right is an example from my Old Hillsbrad run as a tank, seeing as I haven’t raided since I made these changes. Just click it if you wish to see it full screen. It tells me all I need to know in any situation, target’s buffs and debuffs are now clearly differentiated (although this isn’t a great example of that seeing as the boss I was attacking was buffless), focus and target of target frames are now reasonable size, and I no longer have ForteXorcist crunched down the side. Very pleased with it!
If you’re getting bored of Wrath endgame, especially if you didn’t play in TBC, I highly recommend you go back and look at some of this old content, either by soloing it or working on it with a friend. It’s chock full of Lore and most of the places are visually amazing.