Now that I had the gear for Heroics, I wanted to jump in and see what I could do. An old gaming buddy has been waiting patiently for my slow progress. He was actually the GM of the first guild where I truly felt like part of the team way back at Level 60. His main is a shaman these days and he's been running as a healer, but now that I can run as a tank, he can go as DPS (enhance I think).
We started with a Random and got Shadowmoon Burial Grounds. I'm not going to lie, I was nervous heading in. Would I be able to survive? Would I mess up a mechanic? I took some solace in that we were on Vent together and he could talk me through the harder pulls. As we moved through the dungeon my confidence grew. I never died (credit to the healer who did a tremendous job) and without much fanfare we were facing down Ner’zul.
Ner’zul??!!!??? Seriously? I couldn’t believe we were actually going to be fighting Ner’zul. THE Ner’zul. This was Gul’dan’s Yoda, the master who taught Gul’dan all his tricks. Gul’dan taught Teron’gor (Teron Gorefiend) and Cho’gall and on down the line. He was the first Lich King. His spirit was ripped from his body and forged into the helm that Arthas wore and now, presumably, Bolvar Fordragon wears. Well, that was the original Ner’zul. This guy isn’t him, I mean it is him, but it’s not him.
This time travel, alternate universe stuff messes with your head.
We had a little trouble with coordination of the DPS on the skeleton line. It reminded me a bit of a fight from the End Times dungeons in Cataclysm (Sylvanas maybe?) where you had to kill a mob to make a hole to run through. We can dangerously close a couple of times. I wasn't quick enough to throw up a skull. I really need to keybind that. On the upside, we got an achievement for killing two of the skeletons within 10 seconds of each other.
After our successful run, I asked if we could target the specific dungeons I needed for Khadgar’s Ring quest. We started by seeking the Core of Fire from Bloodmaul Slag Mines. This was a little more challenging than Shadow Burial Grounds had been. There was one room that was something like a gauntlet. It seemed like an endless stream of fire elementals kept pouring our way and eventually we were overwhelmed. We managed to regroup and try again, this time with greater success.
I had time for one more run and we chose to go after the Core of Iron in Grimrail Depot. The difficulty ramped up yet again. The first boss was a team of a goblin and an ogre. I thought we had things well in hand, but when the goblin boss died the ogre went crazy and wiped us. We figured out real quick this was a Romeo and Juliet situation (from the Opera event in Karazhan). They needed to die really close to the same time. DPS did a much better job and we defeated the encounter on the next try. Then we jumped on the train. This was a really cool twist on the dungeon crawl and a it felt a bit like the train sequence from the first Captain America movie.
Things were going peachy until we started pulling the trash to the next boss. My Deadly Boss mods started yelling DESTRUCTION! One of the trash mobs opened up with a giant shoulder mounted cannon and it was nighty night for our party. We identified the mobs as Gunners and my Shaman friend started frogging them. Frogging, that is totally a word.
But we were still having problems. I respeced from Fist of Justice to Repentance and that gave us two mobs CC’ed at the start. That allowed us to take them down and we were able to clear up to the next boss.
This was the craziest fight I’ve seen in Warlords. My Shaman friend told me all I had to was to pick up the adds and stay out of the fire that would cover a quarter of the room. Okay, I can do that. He failed to mention that the adds were same DESTRUCTION Gunners as before and now we had no CC. I basically felt like I was running around like the proverbial chicken with its proverbial head proverbially cut off. Yet, somehow, someway, I lived. Our healer was a Priest (no idea if Disc or Holy sorry) and he did a great job even though he was on absolute fumes by the time the boss finally keeled over.
I was impressed by the other players. Everyone had a great attitude when we wiped and there was none of the snipping and yelling you always hear about in a PUG.
I got several good drops over the night including a Heroic Warforged Shield and my iLevel boosted up to 620.