Updated Thu, Feb 21, 2008 by Messiah
Today I continue our first look at the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade. Once again I am focusing on the new instance in the game since small group adventures are one of my favorite things about MMOs. So far I have covered the Hellfire Ramparts and the Blood Furnace in the Hellfire Citadel and the Slave Pens in the Coilfang Reservoir. Today I once again head to Coilfang Reservoir in Zangarmarsh, but this time to visit the Underbog. The Underbog is the second of the four instance in Coilfang Reservoir in Zangarmarsh.
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
Getting to the Coilfang Reservoir is not the easiest thing in the world to do, as it is hidden deep in the center of a lake in the north area of Zangarmarsh. By deep in the center I mean that literally, the entrance to this instance is found at the bottom of the lake. To get to it you must swim down to the bottom and find a tunnel that leads even further down. Once in 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.
Once again (as per my previous instance guides) I was able to find a solid group almost immediately using the LFG and LFM system. Again I hope this continues to work as well in the released version. It will take some getting used to not spamming for group though.
|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 Underbog|
What's with all the giants?
I did this instance with the same group that I had run the Slave Pens with. We did it immediately following as I suspect most players will. Since the are ia a little bit difficult to get to it makes sense to find a group to do both pieces at this level, in much the same way you would for running the pieces of the Scarlet Monastery at level 40.
The Underbog is the right most instance in the area and is meant for level 63- 65 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. I was able to complete the runs easily with a group made up of 3 level 62's, a 64 and a 67. So as long as you have a decent mix you should be ok.
When we entered the instance we found it full of the flying manta ray type creatures that are a type of marsh bat. We also (as soon as we came around a corner) saw several giants patrolling the area. They looked the same as the last boss from the Slave Pens instance. The most interesting MOBs in the zone to me where the giants, a type of bat creature called a Fen Ray and the wasps in the area. I also carried over many of the same MOBs from the Slave Pens. The giants where difficult when we got to pulls of 2 since they hit hard enough that our healer had trouble keeping up with two on our tank. The wasps were neat since they had a very nasty poison that could tick for 500+ damage.
Lastly the Fen Rays were very cool because they had an ability called terror. It worked almost exactly like fear, except you ran away faster than a fun (seemed like epic mounted speed) and it seemed like it was not avoidable. I tried trinkets and abilities to avoid and negate fear and they did not work. This got really fun since the first one terrored one of the group into a second, which did it into a third. This left us scrambling to survive having 1-3 members running at all times. The lesson here: remember to pull far back. In this case pull back further than normal since you can run quite far at that speed.
Completed our quest and rescued the fourth Druid
We came to the first boss in the instance very quickly, and much to our dismay it was yet another giant. After wiping to the last giant boss in the Slave Pens we just didn't like giants much at the moment. While we stood and talked strategy for him we happened to see his very cool animation. While resting Hungarfen lifts first one arm then the other smelling his arm pits. He then waves his hand if from of his face to clear the air. It's a very cool little touch that adds atmosphere to the game. On to the fight...
The biggest issue with Hungarfen is that he spawns mushrooms around him that let off a poisonous cloud. Apparently they can explode as well but I did not see that happen so can not comment for sure. What I do know is the gas from the mushrooms killed me in just a few ticks of not paying attention by doing over 800 damage per tick! Luckily this was late in the fight and we were still able to clear him. He dropped a nice thrown item with decent +AP on it.
Probably the weakest drop from him...
We continued through the instance now fighting two giants per pull, moving up a ramp to find nagas at some sort of control room. It was back to the female mind controlling nagas and elite guards from the last instance (The Slave Pens) that mad up the MOBs. Once in the control center we could see a giant Hydra fighting with a named naga character on a center platform. We worked out way to the platform to find the hydra had killed him. This was the third boss, Ghaz'an. He was an easy "Tank and Spank" boss as long as the tank kept him facing away from the group. He had a hard hitting acid spit that hit everything in his front arc, but other than that did not seem to have anything special. We got a neck drop with +30 stam and +10 resiliency, but the warrior had been looking for an amazing mace that drops... Apparently better than anything other than the Naxx weapons or the Artifact stuff. I am heading back to find out with my paladin.
After defeating Ghaz'an we jumped into the water below and found a tunnel out. In the tunnel we found the third druid for our quest and came across the Fen Rays mentioned above. After a few Fen Rays and several wasps we came to the third boss. The boss is Swamplord Musel'ek and is a hunter with a pet bear. Upon closer examination the bear had the same name as the forth and final druid we were looking for... hmm.
Completed our quest and rescued the fourth Druid
We engaged the Swamplord and killed him first thinking this would free the bear. It didn't right away though. The Swamplord only had one ability that we saw in the fight and that was a freeze ability that hit everyone and trapped them in ice for 3 to 5 seconds. We found it was important to have HOT's (heal over times) on everyone as the lord and bear would continue to beat on everyone while they were in ice, so you could not always get heals. It seemed like it was on a 20 or 30 second cool down as we saw it 3 times in a 2 minute fight. Once the swamplord is dead, you must continue to fight the druid, until he is low on health at which time he will submit and you can complete your quest by talking to him. The Swamplord dropped a very nice caster dagger that will be found on many characters as soon as the game is released.
The Black Stalker
At this point we started looking for the exit, thinking that this was a normal BC 3 boss instance. When we went around the corner we were surprised to find a fourth boss, The Black Stalker. We was in the shape of a giant swamp stalker that can be found throughout Zangarmarsh. We engaged and frantically fought through him sending bolts of shadow damage at everyone in the group. Other than the bolts we didn't see any abilities but hear that he can mind control as well. We didn't see it though so I can not confirm. He dropped a very good rogue dagger with +AP. We heard rumors after coming out of another group getting some really good plate tanking shoulders with +18 defense and over +20 stam/str on them, so we will be heading back soon for the tank to get them.
Once the Black Stalker was down we looked for a quick way out and were happy to find one. Another nice feature of most of the instances in the Burning Crusade are a quick way out from the end. It is a very nice touch, especially considering that most instance runs will be followed up by another in the immediate area. The only one we have found so far that you have to run back through the whole instance is the Slave Pens, even there there all some small shortcuts.
Having finished all four of the lower level new instances, I now have a wait to complete anything else. Time to level up for a while since the next ones at 65-67 and I am only level 62. Having run all of these instances though it reminds me how fun small group instances can be if there is progression. We all were quite thrilled when each person "dinged" a level in instances. It had been a long time since any of us had seen this on a main, for some of us, almost 2 years...
Well, with all the lower level instances previewed, I'm off to level. I hope to see you all in a few weeks with the next round of instance and maybe even raid previews!
I took many additional screen shots which are all available in our gallery here: TenTonHammer visits the Underbog .