The second boss, Novos the Summoner, is a much more complicated fight than Trollgore was. While more complicated it is at the same time quite fun. Once you approach Novos, he seals a shield around himself and starts calling for help. Trolls start flowing into the room from the stairwell, most of them are non-elites and can be handled easily by anyone. Occasionally, an elite caster will be called that carries a key. You must defeat four of these elites, as each one dies, one of the crystals around Novos's shield shuts down. Once the fourth has been defeated the shield is completely shut down and you can attack Novos himself.
The fight with Novos at this point becomes a simple affair as you just need to keep the non-elite trolls under control while DPSing Novos down. No more elites will spawn once the shield is destroyed.
After Novos you move into a room full of bats, it is a large pull of 8 or more, so be ready with Area of Effect (AOE) attacks. Luckily they are all non-elite and die easily. However, a single elite bat rider is spawned, so the tank needs to be ready to pick him up. From there you move through an outside area called the raptor pens, where you will find the third and completely optional boss, King Dred.
King Dred is a large Tyrannosaurus rex located in a side pen. He is a simple fight, with only two abilities of note. He has an AOE fear effect that sends everyone running for a short time, and a fast multi-strike attack. The fear only lasts long enough for a few attacks so if the tank is at full health it does not seem to be an issue. The multi-strike attack is also not a real concern with a geared tank at or near full health. Just make sure you clear the pen area of the raptor adds before pulling King Dred and he should be easy loot.
You need to continue to move up the various levels of the outside terrace of the keep, fighting trolls and undead along the way. One thing to note on these pulls is that they have several casters and the railing on the terrace did not block line of sight (LOS) so you need to either pull them back to the stairs, silence, or counter spell them to get them close. There are patrols that walk between the groups and if a group is not pulled back you could end up with the patrol as well.
At the top of the third platform you come face to face with the fourth and final boss of Drak'Tharon Keep, The Prophet Thraron'ja. The Prophet is a large flying skeletal wind serpent who has many abilities which make the fight one of the most interesting encounter yet in the beta. The fight is made up of two main phases. In one phase, the one you start the fight in, he appears in skeleton form and can cast a damaging shadowbolt or a nasty curse. The shadowbolt can hit for over 2500 damage and the curse drains up to half of a players life, but does not kill them.
At seemingly random intervals Thraron'ja draws life from the players and turns into a fleshed windserpent, while transforming the players into skeletons. While in skeleton form players lose all of their normal abilities and instead get the following four abilities: Slaying Strike, Taunt, Bone Armour, and Touch of Life. Slaying strike is a physical attack. Taunt increases your threat. Bone armour is a shield that absorbs incoming damage. Lastly, Touch of Life is a spell that steals up to 2000 life from the target, healing yourself.
In this skeleton phase, everyone needs to ensure that they use touch of life every time it is available as the healer will not be able to heal them. Also ensure that you use bone armour as much as possible, and attack. The tank is the only one that should be taunting.
The fight reverts between the two phases until you manage to defeat the Prophet. Overall the fight is fairly easy with almost any group, as players can heal themselves using Touch of Life very effectively. The fight is almost too easy, but because it is essentially a gimmick fight to allow players to do something else, that may be OK. Many groups rave about it being different and fun, so maybe challenge isn't that important all the time. Once the Prophet has been killed, you are done in the instance.
The instance is fairly quick once you know your way through it. This instance once again follows a much faster pace than many of the older Burning Crusade and original World of Warcraft instances, there is just enough trash found between each boss to set the flavour of the area. Also many of the pulls are much smaller than previous Burning Crusade instances. Other than the single large non-elite AOE bat pull, the largest pull was four enemies, making tanking and crowd control much easier.
The instance is slightly longer than the previous instances in WotLK, but can still very easily be completed in less than an hour. Each of the four bosses has only 3-8 groups of trash before them and you move from one boss to the next every 8-12 minutes. It's a very nice pace.
The quest tie ins are great as well, especially the quest for the last boss. If you are lucky enough to have someone in the group on the quest for the final boss in the instance you get to see a great cinematic after the fight. A troll comes out to thank you for your assistance and then calls his master, who is none other than Arthas himself. Arthas appears and thanks the troll and you for assisting him in gaining control over the Keep! Looks like you've been used.
Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.
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