Updated Thu, Feb 21, 2008 by Messiah
Today I continue our look at the the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade. The part I have been the most interested in are the new instances, as featured in my last few articles that covered the first two instances in the Hellfire Citadel. In today's article I will look at some more of the new instances. Having leveled my Undead priest to 62 I headed into the marsh to explore. Over the last little bit I have ventured into the Coilfang Reservoir in the Zangarmarsh. In what now seems the standard, the location houses another four brand new instances. The instances range from 2 low level ones, a max level 70 one and a raid.
The instances in the Coilfang Reservoir are as follows:
|Instance||MOB Levels||# of Players|
|The Slave Pens||62 - 64||5|
|The Underbog||63 - 65||5|
|The Steamvault||70 - 72||5|
Please join us on our forums for more Burning Crusade discussion. You can see more of Ten Ton Hammer's Burning Crusade coverage over at our main Burning Crusade page. As always, click any image in this article to see a bigger version of it.
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. For that I headed over to our trusty map of the outlands. It shows the instance as being in the middle of the lake in the north area of Zangarmarsh, however this isn't the whole story. This instance is tucked away deep inside a huge building that looks like a steam engine or refinery of some kind. There is also no obvious entrance, instead you must swim to the center of the lake and the building and then swim down... way down. At the bottom you will find a tunnel that leads even further down. Once far enough into the tunnel there is steam entering the water and you will find that you can breath at certain points, allowing you to get deep enough into it to reach an underwater cave full of air. This is the Coilfang Reservoir Instance area.
Being a new area in the game, it was full of players looking for a group. Once again (as per my previous instance guides) I was able to find a group almost immediately using the LFG and LFM system. Maybe it's just because most of the players in the beta right now are from top guilds, but I have yet to get a bad group and both groups I got for my first two trips through the slave pens rocked!
|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 Slave Pens.|
That's what I can a nice reward item!
The Slave Pens are the left most instance in the area and are meant for level 62- 64 characters. Just outside the instance is an elf that gives you a quest in the instance for some fairly good reward items. Unless you are all tier 2 or better they will likely be upgrades. The quest is mixed though, between the Slave Pens and The Underbog, so don't expect to finish it all in one instance run.
Nice drops too, even for greens! These where from the first few packs in the instance.
We entered the instance to find it full of lobster and crab type creatures. As we had learned from previous instances in the Burning Crusade, you really need to respect the hitting power of elites and if you have cloth or leather armor, be careful about pulling aggro. The first several pulls went without incident as we learned several of the mobs. Most of the MOBs in the instance are fairly normal, with the exception of the female naga casters and the elite guards. The female casters can cast mind control, which can be very interesting if they grab a DPS'er or tank as all hell will be unleashed on the party and all cool down abilities are quickly used. They especially liked grabbing my shadow priest and casting shadow word death on players, hitting them for 1200-1500 damage and then inflicting it on me since they didn't die. Since it is an instant they cast it often, thereby trying to take out me along with someone else... ouch! The elite guards can be interesting as they have a magic shield that pops every once in a while making them totally immune to damage, like a paladins bubble. Overall though the trash mobs were fun and interesting and fit the instance.
Mennu the Betrayer
The first boss that you come across is Mennu the Betrayer. He can be found patrolling a ramp surrounded by groups of other MOBs. Once the area around him is cleared, we found it best to pull him back to the hallway you just came from. He was an interesting fight that reminded more than one of our group (but pointed out initially by just one) or a scaled down version of Jin'do the Hexxar from ZG. He is a hard hitting boss that pops down totems every so often that must be eliminated quickly. His healing totem really heals him quickly, so it must be taken down. Other than that the fight was straight forward. He has some really nice drops including a nice +damage sword and +AP dagger. I know I'm heading back for the sword for my Paladin when BC is released.
From Mennu we climbed a ramp to a walkway over head and made our way over a retaining pool of some sort where we had to jump down. Just out of the pool we came across the first druid for the quest in the Coilfang Reservoir. He is up a dead end ramp immediately opposite the pool. After getting him we moved on.
Mmmm... Giant Lobster, just add butter!
The second boss was Rockmar the Crackler, a giant lobster or crab type creature. This is one of the simpler battles I have had in the expansion for instance bosses. The only real twist that he had was a debuff called grievous wound that he could hit anyone in close combat with that did damage over time. The twist being that we could not cleanse the debuff by normal methods, instead the only way to get rid of it was heal who ever had it to full health. This isn't that difficult if only one person gets it, but if you end up aggro bouncing, characters can die fast as it hits HARD. I didn't get exact numbers but saw the tanks health tick down FAST.
After the second boss we worked our way to an area where we found the second druid for our quest, locked in a cage. We cleared the surrounding MOBs and set him free. Once free it started a scripted event where we where rushed by additional MOBs. The first run through they almost wiped us as we were not at full health or mana when we started. It served as a reminder for us that you should always be ready before clicking on something... Which is something we all know, but seldom remember. This accomplished the first 1/2 of the instance quest. The rest of the quest takes place in the other low 60 instance in the area, The Underbog.
What would a new instance be without at least one wipe?
This brought us to the last boss in the instance, Quagmarran. He is a giant swamp creature with tentacle arms that has a few abilities beside the ubiquitous ability to hit hard. He has a cleave attack that can hit everyone in his front arc, making it important for the tank to turn him around away from the party. He also has a poison volley attack that hits everyone in about a 40 yard range. I was at max healing range and was still getting hit. The poison is very nasty, it ticked on me for over 800 a tick, with decent nature resist on. The first group I fought him with didn't have a way to remove poison with us, so we had to rely on nature resist pots, gear and TONS of healing to get us through. We wiped the first time and barely made it the second time with two priests spamming prayer of healing.
With the fight over we rezed people and looted. He drops some very solid gear, the two pieces we saw were a casters cloak and a tanks chest piece. The cloak had +15 Intellect and Stamina along with +Hit and +Damage/Healing, while the plate chest had over +20 stam/str/agi, 3 sockets and +4 defense! Both obviously very good, leaving me wondering what other nice trinkets he drops.
Great Tanking Gear
With that we were done the instance! Even with a wipe at the final boss in our first run it took less than an hour and subsequent runs to make sure we knew what we were doing got it down to a very fun 40 minutes. Everyone loved the instance, the fights and the loot. I did two runs through it in less than 2 hours and had a blast. We talked about the short instances that Blizzard is featuring in the expansion and everyone seemed to like them. They are challenging enough even for well geared players, and will be very difficult initially for green and blue equiped players, but will very quickly get easier as you level and gear up.
Again we really noticed hitting power in the instance. In fact many of the cloth wearers were talking about how they had already started doing trade offs of +damage or +healing gear to get more stamina on their items. I have started to do the same with my Priest as well, but as I did not start with much +damage gear, it's all an improvement! At 60 in I had roundly 3500 health, 6800 mana and +500 healing or +150 damage (unbuffed), now at 62 I am at roughly 4300 health, 7000 mana and +400 damage (unbuffed). That's roughly 800 health while still focusing on +damage gear. Other players have done even more. It's not uncommon to see +30 or +40 stamina on a cloth item. It's there for a reason, you NEED it. As above, the last boss was hitting everyone with a poison debuff that did 600 - 800 damage a tick, you need to be able to take a few ticks before being cleansed.
I took many additional screen shots which are all available in our gallery here: TenTonHammer visits the Slave Pens .