TenTonHammer's First Look at "The Burning Crusade: Blood Furnace "
Continueing on from Xerin's great job covering the basics in his article TenTonHammer's First Look at The Burning Crusade, and my first look at the instances in the Hellfire Citadel, TenTonHammer's First Look at The Hellfire Ramparts, I thought I would check out another instance. This time the Blood Furnace. The Blood Furnace is the second instance you are likely to visit in the Burning Crusade and is located between the two starting towns of the factions in the Hellfire Citadel. The Hellfire Citadel, houses the following four instances:
|Instance||MOB Levels||# of Players|
|Hellfire Ramparts||60 - 62||5|
|The Blood Furnace||61 - 63||5|
|The Shattered Halls||70 - 72||5|
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Getting to the Citadel and finding a group
The Outlands! A complete map of the world and where everything is in it
The first thing to figure out was how to get to the new instances. I knew from my last trip to the Citadel that is was just south of Thrallmar or north of the Alliance city. For those unfamiliar with the area, you can always check our trusty map of the Outlands. It is a little counter intuitive to find the Furnace though as you actually head up onto the Ramparts to get to it, even though the Ramparts instance is gotten to through the keep area... strange, but oh well.
I was once again able to find a group using the LFG and LFM interface in no time at all. Again I can only hope it works this well when released, meaning: "I hope players are not too stubborn and think its a piece of crap and ignore it like they did meeting stones".
Ok, So I now had a group and was ready to go in, what was it all about...
The Blood Furnace
|WARNING: What is described below is from the beta, anything described may change before release and / or be completely invalid. Upon release of The Burning Crusade, return to TenTonHammer for a complete guide to The Blood Furnace.|
Once in the Citadel and having zoned into The Blood Furnace we were all really excited, after all it was another new instance! Having all played through the Ramparts several times and seen and collected loot there were were anxious to see what could be found in the next harder instance.
Off to a good start, but what's over there?
The Blood Furnace starts with several pulls of warlocks and warriors that were very similar to pulls in the Hellfire Ramparts, with the exception of the Warlocks having imps along with them. Again the instance starts off very safe and adventurer friendly in that all the pulls are usually 3 or 4 mobs only.
Throughout the instance there are several Rogues that wanted the halls. We encountered them in quite different locations on our several runs through the instance so the paths that they wander could be very large. More runs will confirm this. They had a knack of showing up when we were low on health and being rogues could hurt anyone very quickly. They ambushed our unlucky mage and killed him 4 times in our first run before anyone could save him. They seemed to be smart enough to avoid attacking the Tank first, but that could have just been us wandering all over the halls looking at the new scenery.
Off to a good start, but what's over there?
The other MOB that really stood out to us was the technicians in the labs. They are very much like the goblin lab technicians in Blackwing Lair in that they throw dynamite at you, however they also place proximity mines on the ground. Once placed they still need to be activated and at any given point the technician may state that they are activating a mine. Once activated the mines will then explode if you move too close to them at a later time, doing large amounts of damage to everyone in their AOE.
As we made our way though the first corridor we came to a window overlooking a huge pentagram in a room below. The pentagram was a spell being cast by 5 warlocks and in the center of the pentagram was another caster. It looked very cool and we could not wait to get down there to find out what was going on.
This is what happens when the cloth wearers pull aggro against the Maker...
The first boss you come across is The Maker, a very large angry looking Orc that carries allot of equipment strapped to his arms and back. The room he is in is a torture type lab with prison cells along the side and he looks almost mechanical in nature, and a bit like a frankenstein creation. The whole scene works. Once his room is cleared and you start the fight with him you find out that he can hit hard! The one really nasty ability he had is that he can mind control players and it did not seem to be dispellable. So all we had to do was DPS him down in between kiting our own MC'ed players and ensuring our tank had aggro so he couldn't kill our casters. All in all though he wasn't that bad.
Great, a big flying eye...
We then moved through the back of his lab into a corridor full of technicians and other guards. The corridor leads to a second lab / prison / test area where we could see the second boss behind a cage at the end. The boss is a giant floating eye creature, essentially a beholder or for the Nintendo crowd the Metroid Boss. Before taking on the boss we had to clear the room, at least we didn't have to worry about pulling him as you need to activate a lever to let him out of his area. Surrounding the room are four prison cells just like the Makers room. at the time we didn't give them much thought...
Once cleared we activated the lever and were surprised when the boss did not come out. Instead the cages started to open! They open one at a time and start with a fairly simple group of 4 non-elite MOBs but progress to a final hectic and challenging group in the forth cage of 6 or 7 mainly elite MOBs. As soon as the last MOB from a room dies, the next room opens. As soon as the last MOB dies, the boss "Broggok" the beholder is set free. This is when we learned a simple but important strategy called sheep to win! When Broggok was released we were all very low and mana and could not deal with him so wiped and had to come back and clear them again. What we learned is to keep the last MOB from the last room either sheeped, frozen or feared until everyone regains mana and life. Only then should you kill him and free Broggok.
Broggok has several poison based abilities including a poison spray that affected everyone in his front arc, a poison Dot and a poison AOE. Most of my time as a priest was spent abolishing diseases and casting the odd heal. The shaman in our group picked up the other heals to keep up alive. Broggok did not seem to have much health though and dropped very quickly, leaving us to wonder if the "sheep to win" strategy may be patched before release. The script of the fight is very entertaining and well thought out, but sheeping made it too easy. With full mana and health the boss himself was a cream puff. Oh well, that's what beta is for and I am sure it will be fixed.
After Broggok we had to clear past a whole new set of MOBs in the form of Fel Guardians. They continues the trend of hard hitting MOBs and creatures in the Burning Crusade and we found out through a few deaths that casters REALLY need to let the tank keep aggro! We moved through a room and down a ramp to the room with the pentagram that we had seen from above.
We moved into the room to investigate and were greeted to cries of "No, you will ruin everything! He will Kill us all!" as the 5 warlocks that were casting the pentagram rushed us. We killed them one by one and then the final boss of the instance Keli'dam the Breaker who had been trapped in the center of the pentagram charged us.
I only see one broken thing here...
The fight was a fairly straight forward "tank and DPS" affair, other than when he calls everyone closer. As you can probably guess, if he wants you closer to him, its probably not a smart idea to be there. After he does this call you have a few seconds to clear out of the way and then he does several AOE fire blasts, that hit HARD! We thought that the tank would be ok, but found out otherwise! When he does this call, even the tank should move away. As soon as he is done, just reengage. He did not seem to clear the aggro list, although we may have been letting the tank hit first before our ranged DPS hit him. It was hectic after the first AOE almost dropped the tank from full health, and we lost track pretty quickly.
When you do manage to kill him you gain a key that allows you access to the next area of the Hellfire Citadel, the Shattered Halls. I now have my key, and may explore the beginning of it soon, however it is a higher level instance so it may be a while before I can offer any sort of real preview.
Did we mention the amazing loot?
With that we were done the second instance of the Burning Crusade. Even with a few wipes the first time through it took less than two hours and when we ran it a second time we finished in about an hour. Again, everyone loved the instance, the fights and the loot.
The two things we all commented again were the same as we had notice in the Ramparts instance, Loot and Hitting power! Much of the loot was amazing. This included an amazing set of healer gloves called the Bloody Surgeon's Mitts, WOW! With two sockets in them they replaced my tier 2 gloves for healing. Many of the MOBs hit a lot harder than anything in 5 mans and in some cases even the old 20 man raids. There is a reason that stamina is on allot of the new loot and that the numbers are high. Our tank dropped insanely fast from full health to barely being saved in less than 3 or 4 seconds. He was shocked at the damage being taken on many occasions. Several times our lesser armored members (cloth and leather) were dropped in a single hit when they accidentally pulled aggro. Stamina and +healing are defiantly the stats to have!
I took many additional screen shots which are all available in our gallery here: TenTonHammer visits the Blood Furnace .
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