The Hellfire Ramparts are the first wing of the Hellfire Citadel and are generally referred to as simply the Ramparts. The Citadel straddles the path of glory leading to the Dark Portal and contains 3 other instances. The Citadel is the home of the Fel Orcs in Hellfire Peninsula and was built by Blackhand and Gul’dan and still houses the Kargath Bladefist.
The Ramparts instance is set on the walls of the citadel and you can look out and see the whole zone in spectacular view in several places. The Hellfire Ramparts are the first instance that you are likely to do in the Burning Crusade. Much of the loot that is found is on par or will replace tier 1 epic gear. Players that have not raided in the past will be very happy with the rewards and should run this instance several times to get all gear for their class.
The other instances in Hellfire Citadel are as follows:
# of Players
60 - 62
|The Blood Furnace||
61 - 63
|The Shattered Halls||
70 - 72
As always, click any image in this article to see a bigger version of it.
|Getting to Hellfire Citadel and finding a group|
The Outlands! A complete map of the world and where everything is in it
The first thing is to figure out how to get to the new instances. For that I headed over to our trusty map of the outlands. The Hellfire Citadel is located in the in the center of the Hellfire peninsula between the Horde city of Thrallmar and the Alliance city of Honor Hold.
The instance itself can be done with almost any group as long as you have patience. Gear is a bit of an issue since difficulty has been stepped up. As long as you all have at least dungeon tier 1 items you should be ok in the instance.
Everyone should try using the meeting stones and LFM/LFG systems to find and summon their group. The more players that use the system the better it will work.
There is only a single quest in the Hellfire Ramparts.
Weaken the Ramparts – Slay Watchkeeper Gargolmar, Omor the Unscarred and the drake, Nazan. Return Gargolmar's Hand, Omor's Hoof and Nazan's Head to Gunny at Honor Hold in Hellfire Peninsula.
There is also a quest available in the Hellfire Ramparts from a drop that leads to a quest in the Blood Furnace.
Dark Tidings (Drop from Vazruden) - Take the Ominous Letter to Force Commander of your faction in Honor Hold or Thrallmar in Hellfire Peninsula.
There are many new mobs and several interesting trash MOBs in the Hellfire Ramparts. All of these add to the new feel of the first instance in the Burning Crusade. The two that are most important to look for and deal with effectively are:
Bonechewer Beastmaster – If this MOB is not killed within 30 seconds then he will summon 4 additional hounds that need to be dealt with. Drop him quickly by focussing all available DPS on him first.
Bonechewer Ripper – This MOB is immune to polymorph and will receive a buff for each of the casters around him that is killed before he is. Focus on him and kill him before killing casters.
Watchkeeper Gargolmar wanders a path between several groups of MOBs. Part of the trick in fighting him is clearing the MOBs that have a chance to aggro before pulling him. This will generally mean that you should clear all groups leading to the corner where he paths up to and the group across the hall with two dogs and the group around the corner to the left. Once these are cleared you can pull him safely.
Amazing Paladin loot from the Watchkeeper
Watchkeeper Gargolmar comes along with two casters as adds that add to his abilities.
Casters – The casters have very powerful heals and will heal each other and the Watchkeeper.
Charge – Watchkeeper Gargolmar will charge the furthest person away from the fight at different times in the fight regardless of aggro. He will then return to the tank.
Because of his abilities it is important to do two things to win this fight: kill or crowd control the casters first and don’t let a cloth wearer be furthest away.
If you are lucky enough to have two crowd controllers then you can just CC both adds and kill the Watchkeeper first. If not, have the tank hold the Watchkeeper while DPS deals with the two adds in sequence. If they are not down by the time the Watchkeeper reaches 50% health he will call out for heals and they will heal him to full health, essentially starting the fight over again.
Throughout the fight the Watchkeeper will also charge the furthest player away. Since he hits for a lot of damage it is important to keep someone who can take the hit furthest away. Cloth wearers usually can’t take the hits too well so a good option is a having a hunter, shaman or druid furthers back. The less the healer needs to worry about other than the tank the better.
|Omor the Unscarred|
Omor the Unscarred is a large demon boss. While he is located on a tower with two guards, the guards can be cleared without pulling Omor. The fight with Omor is a relatively simple affair to just tank and beat him down, however there are a few things to watch for.
AOE Debuff – Omor puts a curse on a random player several times throughout the fight. The curse does no damage to that player but does 350-450 per tick to everyone nearby.
Shadow Whip – Omor can pick someone from close combat range up and throw him up in the air and juggle him around for a short period of time. This usually gets don’t to the tank and allows Omor to focus on someone else for a few seconds.
Summon Fel hound – Omor will yell “A'Kreesh” occasionally and summon a fel hound that will go after one of the casters (usually the healer). They are non elite and have very little health.
Before the fight assign someone to watch for the fel hounds and drop them as soon as possible so that they do not go after the healers. A rogue or hunter can generally drop them in a few hits and get right back to the fight.
The fight should be setup with everyone spaced out so that if anyone gets the debuff it does not damage anyone around them. The debuff is dis-spellable as well so if people are close together dispelling is an option. Spacing seems to work better though as there is no need to even watch for it.
Once the fight starts as long as you maintain spacing and pick up the hounds as they are summoned it is a simple fight to win.
|Vazruden the Herald & Nazan|
This is the most complex fight in the Hellfire ramparts. It is also the fight that will cause most players issues the first several times, especially those without end game raid gear. The fight is done in two stages the first against Vazruden and the second against his mount Nazan.
Vazruden the Herald circles the Ramparts
Vazruden himself does not have any abilities other than hitting very hard. The main difficulties come from Nazan who has several abilities.
Fire bomb – While in flight Nazan circles the area and drops fire bombs on players. The bombs do impact damage and then leave a fire burning that will damage anyone who stands in them or moves through them.
Fire Breath – Once Nazan has landed he will breath flam on everyone in his front arc that can hit for as much as 500 damage per tick!
The fight itself is broken into the two phases that start as soon as you kill the two guards at the entrance to their ring. In the first phase Vazruden will jump off Nazan to engage the party. The tank should pick him up and move him near the center of the platform, the rest of the party should spread out around him. This will allow them to have space to move as required when Nazan starts dropping bombs. Everyone, including the tank need to move as soon as a bomb drops on them. Other than moving around this phase is a simple tank and DPS affair. Once Vazruden drops below 30% health Nazan will start to land and enter the fight starting phase 2.
In phase 2 the tank needs to engage Nazan immediately and try to face him away from the group so that he is the only one taking the fire damage. The rest of the group needs to finish downing Vazruden quickly and then move onto helping against Nazan. While tanking Nazan the tank needs to move around every time Nazan breaths flame so that he can limit the damage taken and not stand in the flame that is left behind. Also the damage is all fire based so if your tank has fire resistance gear it can make this phase really easy. This is the phase where most groups wipe since the flame does so much damage to cloth wearers if he gets away from the tank. The biggest trick is managing aggro and still doing enough damage to drop him before the healer runs out of mana.
Alternate Strategy – Some groups have reported success in this fight by focussing ranged damage on Nazan while he is still in flight. In this way when he lands you have to deal with him for a far shorter period of time, which is always the problem phase.
Even with a few wipes while learning the instance it should take less than 90 minutes to complete the Ramparts. Subsequent runs should get this down to a very fun 30-40 minutes. Most players really like the instance because of its speed and accessibility.
The loot certainly helps as well. While it is limited to 4 good blue drops (one from each boss) and a bunch of greens from the trash, all the loot is excellent and much better than anything available outside of raids in the original game. Most players will run this instance several times to get the loot they need to progress onto more difficult instances.
I took many additional screen shots which are all available in our gallery here: TenTonHammer visits the Hellfire Ramparts.
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