So far I’ve run two instances, Utgarde Keep and Azjol’Nerub. Both were fairly easy and quick. I was a little surprised at how easily and quickly we completed Azjol’Nerub since most of those mobs were level 72-74, and my party was mostly still 70. The only one over 70 was a Hunter. It literally took us 30 minutes start to finish.
This instance is not for anyone with arachnophobia. The whole instance looks like you are transversing a giant spider web and the mobs are all spiders and spider variants. The second boss is probably the biggest spider I’ve ever seen in World of Warcraft.
The final boss in Azjol’Nerub was none other than Anub'arak. He was a Hero Unit from Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, and accompanied Arthas on his long march through Azjob’Nerub to the Frozen Throne for his confrontation with Illidan.
Anub’arak dropped a Signet of Arachnathid Command. I greed rolled for it. The ring is lacking in Defense which it seems like I’ll need a ton of to stay uncrittable as I level. I would definitely look to pick this up if your Tanking ring is from SSC or Kara. I would rate the Hyjal Ring, the ZA ring, and the 60 Badge ring a little better.
Utgarde Keep was pretty cool and the instance really connects well with the quests from Valgarde in Howling Fjord. It was the only instance we wiped in. Our tank (Warrior) failed to move out of a Dark Smash, and got…well… smashed. Utgarde is filled with mostly melee. All the casters seemed to be female Vrykyl while the males were melee. Kill the casters first. Our tank could handle entire packs hitting him at once and this was with an Elemental Shaman as our only healer.
I made a macro to help with healing on the boss. I hit it whenever I get an Art of War proc.
/tar [tanks name]
/cast Flash of Light
I think it helped a bit on that final boss.
I asked to see my DPS after the first boss in Azjol’Nerub. I wasn’t interested in ‘showing off’ to other DPS. My main interest was just to see if I was carrying my own weight. I was clocking about 1300dps and I was in neighborhood of the other DPS. So I felt like I was pulling my own weight and didn’t ask to see DPS again.
I’ve already replaced my first epic. I had Pendant of the Perilous from Serpentshrine Cavern, but replaced it with Razor-Blade Pendant from the quest Disarmament(Alliance) (Horde version) which requires a run through Utgarde Keep. The quest also rewards a very nice tanking neck called the Woven Steel Necklace. This is clearly an upgrade to either the Barbed Choker of Discipline or the Frayed Tether of the Drowned. Depending on how much you like expertise, I would even consider this if you have the Collar of the Pit Lord from Brutallus.
My Shield Arm is Aching
Both instance runs I was Retribution. I speced Ret right after I installed for leveling purposes. It’s been a blast, and I tear through most mobs pretty easily. If I can get a couple of procs and crits, I can 3 shot a mob. I’ve never been able to do that, and the feeling is quite exhilarating.
But I miss being Prot, and I especially miss tanking. It’s not that I’ve run with bad tanks, in fact, both of the tanks I’ve run with so far were very good. No, the problem is I just miss tanking. I just don’t want to have to respec every time I go to run an instance. So I’m going to give Prot leveling a try.
My original plan had been to wait until 75 to spec Protection full time, but we are going to make some adjustments. I really wish Dual Specs were in.