Monday, March 31, 2008

First Impressions: Magister's Terrace


Over the weekend, I got my first chance to run Magister's Terrace.

First of all, the Magister's Terrace instance is really beautiful. I was stuck immediately by the similarities between this place and the Blood Elf city of Silvermoon which I've explored on my Blood Elf alt (Level 21 Paladin on Mannoroth).

The run had two significant "Wow" moments. These are the kind of moments when you really fall in love with the game.

It's the kind of feeling you get the first time you walk into Stormwind and you look at those imposing statues and the music filters through your speakers, or the first time you see a Ancient Protector near Darnassus and your whole screen shakes as it walks calmly by. It's the first time you ride out of the tunnel in AV with 39 other mounted heroes with you. It's the first time you tank.

The first of these moment's in Magister's came shortly after we killed the 2nd boss (which I'll talk about more in a minute). You walk up to this orb and click on it and you get a cutscene. I loved the cutscenes in Blizzard's other games (Warcraft, Startcraft, etc), and it was really cool to have one in the middle of a 5 man. I hope they continue with this idea. I think a cut scene in Wrath would be wicked cool.

The next moment came after we killed the Final Trash Pull From Hell. I'm mousing over the different targets. Okay, there's an Astromancer, there's a Blood Knight, and Kael'thalas Sunstrider. KAEL'THALAS!! (You can see him from the final trash pull).

Since I installed tBC over a year ago, I've been waiting to cross maces with this guy. I've followed him from his days as a Hero Unit in Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, to shutting down his Mana Forges in Netherstorm, and done battle with his Phoenix in Tempest Keep (more on THAT later too).

I had read with interest on World of Matticus that Magister's was the first anti Paladin Tank instance in the game. I really wanted to see what he was talking about for myself.

The best way I could sum it up would be to imagine Shattered Halls (and all my warrior tank friends probably say 'No thanks'). Now make all the mobs Casters instead of melee. That's Magister's Terrace.

My group consisted of our raiding Arcane Mage (Raistalin), our incredible Resto Druid (Celoria), our GM on her Rogue Alt (Dora on Darhla), on of our raiding Rogues on his Hunter Alt (Nightwin on Duskwin), and a Protection spec Paladin (your humble author).

As you can see we had a couple of alts, and Nightwin was even leveling a new pet.

We weren't paying much attention and pretty much just goofing around. This is a normal 5 man which we completely overgeared.

First boss was cake. He has the same dynamic as the last boss of Steam Vaults. He runs over to a crystal to POWER UP! I think he did two crystals before we killed him.

Second boss gave us a little trouble. He's basically the Curator fight all over again. In fact, it came down to me to and him. I had about 200hp, he was at 1%. I bubbled, threw a Hammer of Wrath, a quick heal and a Shield toss to finish him off.

We had some trouble with the trash. I tried to AoE tank some of it, but it just wasn't working. I couldn't hold the mobs as they rarely ever melee. The Warlock mobs puts an Immolate on you that ticks for about 1k. The weird thing is I'd look at my combat log and not see any big hits, but I was going down.

The 3rd boss is actually pretty fun. It's like a 5v5 arena. The boss has no threat table or resets it often, I'm not sure which. I feared the Demon in the pull. I really like that Blizzard allowed Paladins to fear Demons as well as Undead. It makes sense to me. Honors is the embodiment of the power of the Holy Light. THAT should be pretty scary to all the minions of Shadow.

We continued to work through the instance. We were pretty sloppy and had a couple of wipes to people aggroing 2 groups at once.

Then we get to the Final Trash Pull From Hell.

The last pull before Kael is really tough (or at least it was for us). Eventually we had our GM switch over to her Priest and went with a 2 healer/2 DPS/1 Tank matrix. Raist put on his Mage Tank gear and tanked the Consortium guy. I feared the Succubus and got on the Blood Knight. We had a pet tank the Warlock after a I two shot the Imp, and Dora and Cel did an awesome job keeping us all up.

Then we got to Kael himself. I know the speech will get old after I've run the place a bunch, but man, it was cool the first time around.

Kael himself was not too bad. Gravity Lapse took some getting used to, but we defeated him.

Nothing dropped that anyone was interested in except a resilence cape that I probably should have rolled on but didn't.

When I do this on Heroic, I'm going to need a solid group, and we are really going to have to be on our game.
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