Remember Theramore

Over the weekend I wanted to go and see Theramore for the last time as it was probably going to be the last time that I saw the place – the way it is now. It brought back memories of when I levelled my Priest through the zone. I was antsy to  get there as I needed to go to the profession guy there. I think it was the tailor, or maybe enchanting.

So I flew Cool over there pausing just outside the walls to take a few pics while I wondered where Jaina might be. Theramore was just as I remember, peaceful and quiet.

Theramore

Theramore

Theramore

Theramore

Theramore

Theramore

Cool told me she was in the tower so I flew us through the doorway and ran up. Not surprisingly, we were followed by some not so friendly guards. We made it up top to find quite a few NPCs attacking us but took care of them easily. Jaina however was more of a formidable foe – as you’d expect. The first time we both died and on the way back I wanted to see if I could take a good shot of her. I was happy to see she didn’t attack me even though I was almost in arms length of her.

Jaina Proudmore

Jaina Proudmore

Jaina Proudmore - attack

So we gave it another try and by the time Cool had died, I was teleported outside to the lake. It was quite funny when I told him what happened to me but it was a lot of fun to go back and remember how it was before it’s changed forever. Although we can always look back through our pictures and relive our memories.

Scourge Invasion

The first Scourge Invasion appeared as a world event when players logged into Patch 1.11 during the opening of Naxxramas. Reintroduced in preparation for the Wrath of the Lich King and tuned for the new level cap of 70, it’s the only world event to ever be repeated.

This is how Tanaris looks today – sun, sand and giant plants, among the other usual stuff.

During the the second Scourge Invasion of 2008, the rares dropped the pants for the new Blessed Undead Slaying sets with 100% drop rate. They could be easily taken down by a tank and DPS / healer if fought without adds. You had to be fast to tag them since they didn’t spawn all that often, especially at highly populated times.

Numerous high-level zones were placed under attack by one or two flying necropoli. These zones could be located by purple skull markers on either continent map and only appeared in Eastern Plaguelands, Burning Steppes, Blasted Lands, Tanaris, Azshara and Winterspring.

Assaulting the Necropolis

The necropoli were accompanied by Necrotic Shards, which could only be found near each of the flying citadels. These shards were always surrounded by a large number of undead who were non-elite, granting 5 Argent Dawn reputation until revered. They were also a consistent source of [Invader's Scourgestones] if slain while having the [Argent Dawn Commission] equipped.

The Shards near the undead weakened as each abomination was killed. When the strength of the shard reached zero, four Cultist Engineers would appear and begin to heal it. Each of these engineers could be “disrupted” through the use of eight Necrotic Runes causing the Acolyte to convert into a Shadow of Doom, a tough 70 elite mob. Defeating them would yield a [Corruptor's Scourgestone], 50 Argent Dawn rep, 30 Necrotic Runes and a chance to drop the chestpiece for the Undead Slaying set.

Destroying all four Shadows of Doom would destroy the Necrotic Shard, healing nearby players for 10,000, grant them a powerful buff and stop new Scourge from spawning for a short time at that location.

Today I took the opportunity to go back to Tanaris in my Blessed Regalia of Undead Cleansing set and re-enact the event. I can’t remember what I had as a weapon so I substituted my Scythe and veil for the occasion.

Scourge Invasion-stance

Aside from the necropolis event, Scourge mobs would occasionally appear in Stormwind and Undercity. However, their spawns appeared to be random as the city NPCs would yell for help. The most common were Flameshockers, level 63 mobs which didn’t hit very hard but had a lot of health. The city NPCs were capable of killing the Flameshockers on their own, but if a player or group chose to tag them, they would receive 5 Argent Dawn rep (at Honoured). Flameshockers could also drop Necrotic Runes.

Pallid Horrors would periodically spawn as they attempted to reach the city leader. The leader would yell they were under attack but did not pose any real threat as they were able to defeat the creatures themselves. Once defeated, a dead Necrotic Shard would spawn. The shard provided a quest to talk to an NPC at Light’s Hope Chapel which could be picked up by any player, even if they didn’t tag the mobs themselves.

The city mobs were neutral and wouldn’t attack a player who hadn’t attacked them first. Fortunately, they didn’t appear to attack vital NPCs such as bankers and vendors so players could simply ignore them and go about their business.

Prince Tenris Mirkblood was added to Karazhan as a part of the Scourge Invasion. He could be found behind a Bloodstained Door in a secluded section of Karazhan, above the stables where Attumen resides. To complete the Chamber of Secrets you had to loot some papers which were the objective of the quest.

You can read about our first encounter back in 2008 where his most popular drop was the Arcanite Ripper. We managed to do this boss twice for our axe wielding tanks back when 10P raids weren’t really that common. However, I was happy to see the Vampiric Batling could be looted by all.

On November 10, 2008 scourge forces attacked Stormwind Harbor and Orgrimmar’s Valley of Honor every thirty minutes with actively hostile 72 elite Frost Wyrm Raptors and 71 elite Towering Horror abominations.

The Haunted Memento could drop from any invading undead mob during the invasion. Just by having the item in your inventory gave you the Haunted buff – an untargetable and harmless Scourge Haunt which could follow you anywhere. The effect could last as long as you had the item in your possession and could be given/tossed to any friendly player by targeting the player and right clicking the item, much like a Heavy Leather Ball or Happy Fun Rock. Catching the item triggered the /cower animation. However, the item was destroyed with no confirmation if the recipient had no bag space. Can you guess who this happened to?

The shadow could be dismissed by placing the memento in the bank, stealthing or summoning a companion though the buff remained. Likewise, if receiving the Memento while your companion was summoned would dismiss your companion.

Do you have memories from either Scourge event?

Scepter of the Shifting Sands

Scepter of the Shifting Sands

The Scepter of the Shifting Sands was an item created from an extremely long quest chain used to open the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj. Being the first to bang the gong would allow the entire server access to both the Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj and the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj. In Patch 1.9 this epic chain was added but in Patch 4.0.3, it became unobtainable due to world changes and missing quests.

The chain began in Cenarion Hold and required you to go into different raid locations and kill certain bosses meaning you needed 40 individuals to coordinate and collect materials for the end result. It was such an epic chain that it required participation from the entire realm in terms of hand-ins for the War Effort and massive time commitments from the individual if they were determined to complete the scepter for themselves.

Remember the [Agent of Nozdormu] badge which enabled you to loot [Silithid Carapace Fragments]? Each turn-in required 200 fragments rewarding 500 reputation with the Brood of Nozdormu. However, it required handing in thousands of fragments to get the required rep and I have to say that this was one of the most boring grinds I have ever done in-game. In fact, I’d have to say the 500 eggs for Noblegarden were a piece of cake compared to this.

After getting neutral reputation with the Brood of Nozdormu, you were offered the quest to locate the crystalline red tear outside the gates of AQ. So if you ever wondered what that red crystal was sticking out of the ground, there’s your answer. Once you had completed the quest, the following cut scene started.

After that, Anachronos asked you to locate the 3 dragon shards located somewhere in Azeroth, specifically the [Green], [Red] and [Blue] shards with Eranikus, Vaelastrasz and Azuregos respectively holding the secrets to these shards.

The chain eventually led you to Tanaris to talk to a gnome named Narain Soothfancy. One of my favourite items from this part was the turban he gave you which transformed you into his likeness. These days, you won’t find Narain in his hut but his twisted reflection.

I actually didn’t start the chain until Wrath came out due to the effort involved but had always loved the whole event. The opening of AQ was one of the best, most memorable events for me in-game. The Emissary outside Cenarion Hold was so exciting to see and try to kill. When the Gates of AQ finally opened, the lag was pretty intense but I was anxious to try the raid. As soon as I entered AQ20, the RL asked me to continue the pulls on my Hunter. I was nervous but excited at the same time as they were only a couple of pulls into the place when I had arrived. The last time I felt that nervous was when I had to kite Drekk in UBRS. Back then, a bad pull or kite could mean wiping the other 9 players.

Here we had double the people so the pressure was even higher not to wipe. Sadly, we were two pulls away from the first boss when I had to leave. Even today it’s one of my all-time game highlights but then it helps when you know the raid leader :)

One quest I absolutely hated was the one requiring me to go to The Isle of Dread in Feralas to find Lord Lakmaeran, a large chimera. Killing the surrounding Chimaeroks for the 20 [Chimaerok Tenderloin]s were the annoying part as the drop rate was horrible. But I did like the reward – Recipe: Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops.

Since the Isle of Dread no longer exists, there’s a rare chimera in Silithus with a very similar name, Prince Lakma. Interestingly enough he still drops the Chimaerok Tenderloins for the recipe.

Another annoying part of the chain (at least for me) was obtaining [Chapter I] from Dr. Weavil who resided on Alcaz Island in Dustwallow Marsh. His mind control mechanic left a lot to be desired and required Coolidge’s help to complete. I found that kiting him up and down the stairs worked a treat though.

May 2006 – Taking a closer look

Underwater view

I always wondered what this swirling maelstrom was for and even tried fishing in it but couldn’t stand on top of the crates to try =/

After the components of the blue shard were completed, Narain offered the quest to supply the items for an [Arcanite Buoy]. You’re then asked to take the buoy deep off the coast of Azshara and spawn Maws, the “minnow” carrying the shard. When you kill the shark the blue shard drops. One of the rewards for completing this blue chain was the [Band of Icy Depths], an item I still find useful today for things like exploring underwater caverns.

August 2006

Even though the [Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal] could no longer be obtained once the gates were opened, it was still possible to get the feat of strength – Veteran of the Shifting Sands if you had the scepter prior to 4.0.3. All I can say is, I’m so glad I did it before it was too late. A big thanks to everyone who helped along the way, particularly Coolidge :D

So how about you guys?

Was there any part of the chain that you loved or hated or are you just glad you completed it?

Karazhan Opera

One of my favourite fights in Karazhan would have to be the Opera Event. Here you had a choice of three random stage productions. To start the event, all you had to do was talk to Barnes the Stage Manager (assuming you had first killed Moroes below), who would be waiting by the stage door. From there, he’d walk on stage and make an announcement, triggering one of three plays:

Big Bad Wolf
The Big Bad Wolf – Starring the hungry Wolf himself.

Stagehand Barnes:
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this evening’s presentation! Tonight, things are not what they seem… for tonight your eyes may not be trusted! Take for instance this quiet elderly woman waiting for a visit from her granddaughter…. surely there is nothing to fear from this sweet, gray-haired old lady! But don’t let me pull the wool over your eyes! See for yourself what lies beneath those covers! And now… on with the show!

The Fight
Terrifying Howl
– Instant. Causing nearby enemies to flee in fear for 3 sec. Cast every 25-35 seconds.

Little Red Riding Hood

  • Description: Change the target into a little red hooded gnome aka Little Red Riding Hood. This increased the likelihood that the Big Bad Wolf would chase them and try to gobble them up!
  • Effect: Reduced the target’s armour and resistances to 0. Increased speed to 50% to flee the Big Bad Wolf. Pacifying and Silencing.

Wide Swipe – Instant. Stun the current target for 4 seconds. Cast about as often as Terrifying Howl. This could be used against a target with the Little Red Riding Hood debuff, possibly guaranteeing death.

Killing a player: Mmmm… delicious.

If you ever wondered about the audio cue for “Run away little girl, run away!” you’d have this event to thank. My favourite drop from here would have to be the Ruby Slippers who doubled as a hearthstone. I used these for a long time until I replaced my slippers with my Kirin Tor ring sometime later.

Raid Notes: 4 August, 2007 – Another One Bites the Dust!
After our usual start with the Huntsman, we decided to switch it up a bit and head straight to Moroes. With a bit of CC swapping we added another boss to the tally. Next came our standing appointment with Barnes the Stage Manager. Before long we were playing chasings with the Big Bad Wolf. Moving onward, we cleared our way to the Curator. A great effort getting him to 18% on our first attempt!

This was by far the most common production for us.

Romulo and Julianne
Romulo and Julianne — A tale of forbidden love…

Stagehand Barnes:
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to this evening’s presentation! Tonight we explore a tale of forbidden love! But beware, for not all love stories end happily. As you may find out, sometimes love pricks like a thorn. But don’t take it from me. See for yourself what tragedy lies ahead when the paths of star-crossed lovers meet. And now: On with the show!

The Fight
Julianne

  • Eternal Affection: Calls upon Holy magic to heal an ally. Heal 46250-53750, Cast Time 2 seconds.
  • Powerful Attraction: Stun 6 seconds. Range 45 yards. Cast Time 1.5 seconds.
  • Blinding Passion: 4500 Holy damage inflicted over 4 sec (1500 initially, then 4 ticks of 750 each). Range 45 yards, Cast Time 2 seconds.
  • Devotion: Holy damage dealt is increased by 50%. Spell casting speed is increased by 50%. for 10 sec.

Romulo

  • Backward Lunge: Strikes at an enemy behind the caster, inflicting weapon damage plus 300 (Knock Back 35 yard).
  • Deadly Swathe: Strikes at nearby enemies in front of the caster, inflicting weapon damage plus 300 (Affects up to 3 targets).
  • Poisoned Thrust: All statistics reduced by 10% (Stacks up to 8 times), the debuff can be depoisoned.
  • Daring: Increases the Physical damage dealt by the caster by 50% and the caster’s attack speed by 50% for 8 sec.

Raid Notes: 1 March, 2008 – Parting is Such Sweet Revenge
So there we were, three bosses down in just over an hour and then it happened. Over in the Opera Hall, Barnes made the announcement we were hoping to hear. The only Opera Event we had yet to encounter which began with – “A tale of forbidden love…”. Said to be the hardest of the three, we managed to add this event to our list of achievements.

Fighting Romulo and Julianne was a pretty intensive fight. Phase one involved fighting Julianne who primarily cast spells, while phase two involved fighting Romulo, who only did melee. Phase three ended once you successfully fought them both together.

The Crone
Wizard of Oz – Starring Dorothee and her dog Tito, Tinhead, Strawman, the lion Roar, and the evil Crone that tries to stop them on their way home!

Stagehand Barnes:
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to this evening’s presentation! Tonight, we plumb the depths of the human soul as we join a lost, lonely girl trying desperately, with the help of her loyal companions, to find her way home. But she is pursued by a wicked, malevolent crone! Will she survive? Will she prevail? Only time will tell. And now: On with the show!

The Fight
The Crone would appear once the four major players had been defeated. She spawned cyclones that would knock raid members up into the air, dealing a significant amount of damage, as well as fall damage. They were avoidable but any slow fall ability would also negate any fall damage. Cyclones did not stun so instant cast spells could be used in mid air. The cyclones moved around slowly with someone usually calling out the cyclones position and direction so everyone could move accordingly. The Crone did not have a lot of HP so this phase was easier than the first.

Raid Notes: 19 April, 2008 – Conventional groups? Psh!
We tend to strive when it comes to the unconventional so when it looked like we would be limited with our group make up we gave it a shot anyway. I WILL say that it started with a minor mishap but what began as one Tank, one Healer and six DPS soon became something different. Not only did we manage to kill Attumen with a single healer but were soon clearing the path to Moroes, Opera and Maiden. In just under two hours, we one-shot them all with our slightly unconventional group of nine.
What can I say? We push the envelope and love it!

Beasts of Karazhan

When we first started our first Horde Guild on Khadgar, Karazhan was the first raid we ventured into. Not much different from now, recruitment was slow but it did not deter us from trying. There were three random beasts who became available as optional bosses. I used to think of them as rare spawns because you had to force an appearance. However this isn’t really the case. I was always eager to encounter all three. The loot they dropped were epic-quality random enchantment types, which weren’t too bad at the time.

Back then it could take a while before one appeared. Luckily you didn’t have to clear the entire area for a boss to spawn. It usually appeared after a certain number of kills – an emote, such as ‘Hyakiss the Lurker emerges from…’ would occur. These bosses did not lock you to a raid ID either so this area was useful for new raid groups in building confidence and speed levelling everyone’s reputation to honoured so that Koren (an NPC inside) could be used to repair. It appears we only killed these beasts five times after we managed to encounter all three. Once we managed to get the rep for everyone, we decided to skip this section entirely.

Below are some of the entries from our raid encounters (taken from our first Guild website).

Hyakiss the Lurker

21 July 2007 – Moroes CHECK!
What started as a typical day with Attuman and Midnight, slowly evolved into something else when the optional beast boss – Hyakiss the Lurker announced himself to us. Down he went on one easy try. Next came Maiden. They say third time’s the charm right? It certainly was this time. The group now motivated to try Moroes, were pretty close to adding another boss to the tally. We knew we had it in the bag for our second attempt though and before long it was a certainty. Down he went with only 2 CC’s to boot. Well done MischiefUs and friends!

02 February, 2008 – MischiefUs Achieves New Record
Five people ventured into Kara today all set to clear a few trash mobs and before we knew it we had cleared the way to the Huntsman. With only a second to spare we engaged Attumen in combat and shortly after that we had the Huntsman and his steed dead with zero casualties no less. Working our way upstairs, we managed a couple of attempts at the Maiden getting her to ~50%, the day ending with a successful first attempt at the Spider boss.

A pretty exceptional effort for 1 tank, 2 healers and 2 dps. Well done everyone!

Hyakiss the Lurker

Lurker’s Grasp of the Bandit
Lurker’s Cord of Intellect

Shadikith the Glider

01 September, 2007 – Mammoth Effort
You could say we made up for lost time in Kara today after last week’s effort. That is just a distant memory now with our ‘Wham Bam thankyou Mam’moth effort! With an abundance of CC combos we quickly breezed through the Huntsman > Maiden > Moroes and Opera.

The Opera event!

It seems for the time being we were destined to be stuck in some sort of Twilight Zone starring the Big Bad Wolf himself. Never-the-less we took him down with ease and ended the day with Shadikith the Glider – the second out of three optional beast bosses.

14 October 2007 – Novelty Group
Well it felt like things were back on track today. Not only did we down Maiden and the Beast boss with 9 but with the addition of another off-tank to fill out the group (which is unusual for us) we successfully took down Attumen and his steed, Moroes and completed the Opera event.

Shadikith the Glider
Glider’s Greaves of Stamina
Glider’s Greaves (Mail, Sta/Int)

Rokad the Ravager (image from Navimie)

08 September, 2007 – Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
So there we were, Attumen and Moroes dead within the hour. Next came Maiden, another boss we have on farm status now. But the highlight of the day came from not one but two new events for us as a Guild. Barnes offered some welcome news when he introduced Dorothee and friends. Before we knew it we were fighting The Crone. Last but not least, we decided to leave things on a high note by attempting the Beast boss – Rokad the Ravager, the third of the optional beast bosses we had yet to encounter.

Rokad the Ravager
Ravager’s Bracers of Stamina

The Maul

If you venture into Dire Maul, without the luxury of zoning in, it’s hard to miss the huge pit located outside the three instance wings in the middle of the Broken Commons. Before Cataclysm, entering the Maul would flag players for PVA (Player vs. All) which allowed them to attack and kill other players in the Maul, regardless of faction, much like the Gurubashi Arena in Stranglethorn Vale. The only difference would be if you were already in a party.

The easiest way to enter the Maul was to simply jump down into the arena. Alternatively, you could enter via a doorway on the west side of the commons that takes you into a tunnel leading past packs of sleeping Gordok hyenas. However, since there was usually a race to tag the opponent, people would usually just drop down at the risk of taking fall damage and possibly dying from another competitor taking out the competition. Once the fight began, the double doors to the only exit sealed shut, opening only once the fight was over. This tunnel was the only exit from the Maul, unless of course you hearthed.

An NPC named Griniblix the Spectator would enthusiastically yell that one of three random spawns had appeared. He could be heard by anybody inside any part of Dire Maul. These three opponents would wait in the pit for brave gladiators to face: either The Razza, Skarr the Unbreakable or Mushgog. It’s interesting to note that the Maul no longer flags you so if you have a dig there, don’t be afraid to fly into the arena if you wish.

Skarr the Unbreakable

Skarr the Unbreakable had four abilities:

  • Cleave – Inflict 110% of normal melee damage to an enemy and its nearest ally.
  • Mortal Strike – Inflict 300% weapon damage and leave the target wounded, reducing the effectiveness of any healing by 50% for 5 sec.
  • Knockdown – Inflict 32 to 48 damage to an enemy, stunning it for 2 sec.
  • Summon Player – Teleported the target in front of you. This was cast if the player was attacking the enemy from outside the arena.

He was a popular spawn since he had a high drop rate of ~12% for the Orb of Deception.

Skarr the Broken

Skarr the Broken now spawns in the mountains of the East section of the Lower Wilds. I’ve been told that there’s a spike sticking up from the ground where he sits which might suggest why he looks so unhappy and well… broken.

The Razza

The Razza had three abilities:

  • Poison Bolt – Shot poison at an enemy, inflicting 150 to 200 Nature damage, then an additional 100 damage every 5 sec. for 10 sec.
  • Chain Lightning – Strike an enemy with a lightning bolt for 463 to 537 Nature damage that arced to another nearby enemy. The spell affected up to 10 targets, inflicting greater Nature damage to each successive target.
  • Summon Player – Teleported the target in front of you. This was cast if the player was attacking the enemy from outside the arena.

The Razza

After Cataclysm, The Razza can be found in an abandoned Gnoll camp in the Lower Wilds of south-east Feralas, west of New Thalanaar. If you can’t fly you’ll need to follow a path high into the mountains at the base of 83, 46. He’s an exotic beast tameable by BM hunters and even has a new skin.

Mushgog

Mushgog had three abilities:

  • Entangling Roots – Entangled an enemy in roots, inflicting 25 Nature damage every 3 sec. and immobilising it for up to 10 sec.
  • Thorn Volley – Dealt 150 damage to nearby enemies, knocking them down for 2 sec.
  • Summon Player – Teleported the target in front of you. This was cast if the player was attacking the enemy from outside the arena.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a picture of Mushgog pre-Cataclysm. These days you’ll find him wandering around Woodpaw Hills.

On a side note, at 76, 48 in Feralas you can still find Griniblix the Spectator. If you talk to him he says “Listen, if you’re headed for a fight, Skarr was headed towards the Lariss Pavillion, and The Razza was soaring in the direction of New Thalanaar”.

All three don’t seem to share a spawn timer. I managed to find Skarr and Razza up at the same time within a couple of minutes of each other. Mushgog wasn’t up when I went looking for him initially. But I didn’t have to wait too long either, he spawned within half an hour, allowing me to get some nice shots of all three. In the Maul, they were known for some nice blue drops. Nowadays, they drop green quality items which are suitable for levelling in the area.

Playing around in the Arena

Back then we spent quite a lot of time in Dire Maul and managed to see and kill the rare spawns several times. On this particular day, I could see our lock in the pic was stuck in some funny pose. His arm was stuck in the air and I think I was the only person who could see it hence the pic.

On another occasion I have to admit I helped cause the death of a certain Druid. As a joke I shot him and some of the others in our group joined in. As his health got low, I decided to turn my character around thinking I would stop auto-shooting him in time. I was wrong. In my attempt to stop attacking, I still managed to give him the final blow, killing him. To this day I still feel sorry for this even though he brings it up from time to time, half-joking, I still feel bad about it so for that I’m sorry =/

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