68 to Utgarde Keep (aka: just punch me in the nose)

It is like a special hell for the level 68 toon.

Welcome to Northrend which is full of nasty bomb dropping, armor sundering vrykul who are going to beat your adventuring butt bluer than it might have been previously. Actually I had forgotten this pain, even though I have currently 3 level 80’s who must have all visited Utgarde without their shiny purples… actually if I dig around I can find posts where I am bemoaning how I didn’t have the magical healing touch because I was fail on Ingvar (where melee dps just fall over dead a lot and tanks eat dark smash).

Currently I have two toons slogging their way past the Utgarde gambit, a level (68-)71 death knight DPS and a level (68-)71 Paladin tank, and it has all come back to me in stunning technicolor horror. On the DK it takes ages for the queue to pop if I do not have a fellow guildie tank or heals kind enough to allow me to tag along on their emblem run for the day. So the DK has to wait at least a good 30 minutes to even get into the dungeon.

And then melee-dps hell begins:

  • Tanks too confident that pull the entire room
  • Dudes who have brought their level 80 dual wielding dps warrior friend along to tank, who promptly pulls the entire first corridor (or 3 dragons) to cop a stack of 5 sunders or something else the poor level 68 heals can’t keep up with.
  • New tanks that don’t know where the pats are due to wipe the entire group
  • Tanks that die to bomb blasts resulting in group wipes
  • Peeps that don’t break the ice block
  • Peeps that don’t stand in close to avoid the charge Etc etc.
  • Tanks are so hard to heal that a dps is lucky to get a HOT, and then as melee you are forced to stand in fire and dragged over bombs to continue doing damage – there have been times where my health is so low and there is so much crap on the ground beneath the mobs that I just stand at a distance and throw death coil around… and then bandage some or something

As a DK the most I can do to make it easier is death grip mobs whaling on the heals… break the ice and step off any bomb crosses I see when in melee range… this never is enough to save the team. Sometimes I’ve slapped frost on and stepped up as tank on the trash… but really that’s not what my toon is designed to do and I don’t last very long… and my DPS while okay for outlands kinda sucks for Northrend because I haven’t been questing to receive gear upgrades.

Hell from the tank side is a little different:

  • Hunters and mage types that pull extra… remember how I said I liked that sometime? Not here in Utgarde thankyou. The mobs may look like trash but they either stack sundered armor, drop bombs, knock players around the room or poison/fireball from a distance. Even the easy trash kills crit like a bitch on a clothie. Trust me I’ve picked up a manageable group and I have them in the strategic spot I picked … please please do not go collect the boss when I am still clearing out his four body guards. T_T Any dick who asks me to pull more can go soak their heads!!
  • Of course no one trusts you because they have had tanks like I have had tanks on my DK run. 
  • I have to use all my avoidance abilities because no matter what I do a five stack of sunders causes me some serious damage – and that’s considering ima happy to blow damage reducing cool downs on trash.
  • If my DPS support takes too long to kill stuff or my healer isn’t willing to occasionally spam heal or HOT me up pre fight it can really hurt.

Members of the pug can come and go like you are slogging through black rock depths all over again. And the final fight with Ingvar, oooh that’s something special if you happen to make it that far (I always do on the tank toon.) Healers getting locked out of their spells on the roar, melee and tanks dying to the whirly shadow axe, heals killing themselves by healing peeps who have the woe strike debuff (no one dispelling this curse) and tanks that don’t avoid the smash in the 2nd half of the fight. DPS that don’t think to move if the smash is aimed in their direction.

Actually I think this fight can be soul killing for a level 68-69 healer who isn’t kitted out with full enchants and the like… they need an emergency heal for stupid tanks who eat a dark smash. Aye even for me when I am reasonable at doing the sidestep and popping my cooldowns etc – the other day I swear Ingvar jumped in one direction on my monitor to execute his dark smash so I moved through him (watched him do what feels like a stupidly long warm up to smash as a tank), only to eat the damage even though it totally looked like he was facing another way wtf??

I had one little healer ask me what he was doing wrong in this pleading way after three wipes and I couldn’t tell him. In the first wipe all the dps dies on the second round (two melee n one caster) but not due to loss of aggro and it was just the heals and I for almost more than half his health bar – and we almost almost nailed Ingvar.

Almost /sigh. 

Second wipe due to healer death about five or six seconds in (didn’t even get the chance to ‘lay hands’ on him he was just gone…. did he heal himself with the debuff or something… I don’t know. Needs must learn to check recount.) We lose a couple of peeps … not the 600dps warlock though (oh well.)

By the third wipe (more melee dps down and I blew my hands on the heals) and I had the new DK crying “Fail tank?” so I decided to break group. But I couldn’t tell the little healer dude why it wasn’t working. Figured I’d let the new DK make fail tank comments and the little heals could continue on with the party hopefully to land an uber tank- he was beating himself up pretty badly (what I really should have done was offer a nexus run.)

10mins later I requeue and one shot the instance with the next group. And the following.

I really think it was the combination of us all… I needed more heals than a level 72 tank would have, the dps were not really beating me on the dps meters, we were melee heavy with peeps who couldn’t avoid the axe business  and the heals was a little bit slowbie( or rather new to the fight as heals)… just… a really bad combo I suppose.

NB: at leavel 72 I’m not seeing half this crap!!


About Bytes

Returning wow player, one of those elderly burnt out ex-officer types. My current main is a Hunter (MS the under-dog talent tree Beast Master), but thats shifting back to hybrid Shaman. Together with my virtual cat I battle evil, kick butt and take names.
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