Updated Thu, Feb 21, 2008 by Messiah
Today I continue our first look at the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade. Today I head into Auchindoun, an ancient Dreaenei burial ground on the Terokkar Forest. I adventured here last week and let everyone know about the Auchenai Crypts. Over the weekend I explored further and ventured into the Mana Tombs. The instances in Auchindoun are as follows:
|Instance||MOB Levels||# of Players|
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The Outlands! A complete map of the world and where everything is in it
Getting to the Auchindoun is fairly easy unless you are too low a level, as the MOBS around it range up to level 65 and 66. It can be found in the large blasted bone waste area of Terokkar forest to the south of Shattrath City. You can also get access to it from the Alliance or Horde towns to the east and north east. They are the Allerian Stronghold and Stonebreaker Hold respectively. Auchindoun is the large ruins in the center of the bone wastes. When you reach there you have to head down through various tunnels to reach the bottom of the ruins, which is a circular plaza area. In the center is a meeting stone to summon other players and the instances can be found in tunnels around the outskirts of the central 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 Mana Tombs.|
The entrance to the Mana Tombs
I adventured through the Mana Tombs with several groups over the weekend as both healer and tank. Once, I even went DPS, but as you know, Pallies don't do DPS that well, so it was a bit of a mis-adventure that time, especially since I had gone in expecting to tank, so was protection specced. Oh well, live and learn.
The Mana Tombs are the first instance that you should visit in Auchindoun and it contains several quests that you can get the first time through. Two of the quests are available outside the instance from the mummy looking MOBs standing there, while the third quest is available inside the instance once you have completed one of the quests. The Mummy looking MOBs are members of the Consortium and appear to be traders of some sort. They are entirely energy based and wear clothes and wrappings to show their form to "fleshlings". Very sci-fi, not sure how they fit into a fantasy game, but they are cool none the less.
Throughout the instance you will find other ethereal / energy type mummy MOBs from an opposing faction that are ready to try and fend you off. Unfortunately so far many of them have not been modeled or skinned in the game so you are left fighting mini-cubes on the ground. It makes tanking or fighting in the instance very difficult as you can tell when they are attacking, casting, or the direction they are facing. Of course this is all just part of beta and will be long gone by the time the Burning Crusade is released.
First boss is Pandemonius a huge armored Mana Fiend, and you come to him very quickly in the instance. You get to fight him after maybe half a dozen pulls, which is really fun. He can be a difficult fight and every group I have been with has had some issues with him until everyone in the group understands the fight. That being said, once we did, it wasn't that hard and was a fun and challenging encounter.
Some really good loot!
Pandemonius has a knock back attack, a damage reflection shield and a shadow bolt attack that hits everyone. To deal with all of this we had to do a few things. The first is the tank must hold him with their back to a wall, or the block sticking up in the middle of his room. That way when he knocks the tank back he doesn't go anywhere. The second thing is that everyone doing melee attacks must STOP attacking when the shield goes up, this means the tank too, as I was having 700ish damage reflected back at me each time I hit him with the shield up. Since the tank is not able to attack, no one else should either, or they risk pulling aggro away. Luckily the shield is only up for about 5 seconds about twice a minute. Lastly, every time his shield goes down, he paused and sent out shadow bolts that hit everyone in the party for about 1500 - 2000 damage. While not deadly, it can finish you off if you had tried to attack him while he was shielded.
Once Pandemonius is down you can continue on through the instance. This time you must fight many more MOBs before the next boss. Including a few interesting ones, namely the nexus terrors and the mana leeches. All this in addition to the continuing Mummy MOBs. The Nexus terrors are demons that deal shadow damage and fear everyone around them quite frequently. They can do significant damage so the best thing we found to do with them was enslave them when we had a warlock in the party! Mana leeches are flying mana based eels that set off very nasty arcane explosions and leeched mana from us. If a non-mana based tank got a hold of them they were easy, however they can cause real issues for all mana using classes.
The second boss is Tavarok, who is a giant rock elemental. He drops a kick ass 2 handed sword that I was lucky enough to get. He is also mineable once killed and generally drops several ore, enchanting bits and gems, so always ensure you have a miner along! The fight with him is a healing and aggro management fight. Healers must manage their mana because it will likely be a moderately long fight, and the tank will need some big heals due to Tavaroks hitting power. I mentioned aggro management earlier, and that is because of Tavaroks stomp and earthquake abilities. Fairly often in the fight Tavarok will perform a stomp that hits everyone in melee range stunning them for about 5 seconds. While the tank is stunned everyone else should back off on damage so that they do not pull aggro from the tank while they are incapable of creating more threat. If everyone paces themselves the fight will last a little while but should not be that difficult.
The third and final boss is Nexus-Prince Shaffer, who is an energy mummy that is against the consortium. He can be found in the last room of the instance and is guarded by several large groups of mana leeches that need to be cleared before you start fighting him. As you move into the room he will emote a warning that you will be dealt with, don't worry about the warning as he will not attack or come after you until you engage him. The first group I was with freaked and though he was coming after us, just a friendly warning.
The fight is ok, if you can keep the adds to a minimum. He spawns several adds that come out and cause issues for the healers, casters and ranged DPS. The adds are energy based spawns similar to the mana leeches in that they do explosions. I didn't get a good look at them since I was on the boss the whole fight. Having a solid DPS character take care of them though keeps the fight very simple. He will spawn several at a time, so keep them to a minimum. He will start with 2 or 3 up and then spawn them in groups of 2 or 3 throughout the fight.
Shaffer is a caster based bos, but despite this has a fair amount of life, so while not as long as some fights, it is still an endurance test for healers, since they will be stuck healing the DPS killing the spawns while ensuring the tank is kept up. If you focus too much on adds and let the boss live too long, everyone will be out of mana. In that way its a sprint for DPS at the same time. All in all though its a fun fight.
Finishing off the escort
An escort quest with a few sweet rewards
The last part of the instance is doing an escort quest to protect Cryo-Engineed Sha'heen through the instance back to the beginning. As long as you were quick going through and didn't have any wipes, this should be fairly easy. Sha'heen will stop at each collector on the way back to collect the energy, at which point you will be attacked. The attacks are no more difficulty that the larger pulls in the instance though and should be managed easily. Once you reach the beginning a named MOB spawns to attack you.
While this is supposed to be like a boss fight, it really is a simple tank and spank situation. I for one really hope they buff the boss before release and make it more interesting.
The instance as a whole was very fun, and I really liked the fact that you got to the first boss so quickly. The bosses were all interesting and different to fight, which made it even better. While I didn't have loot drop that I needed, everything that did drop was amazing for the intended class, which was cool. While I didn't know enough of the back-story to full appreciate what was going on, what was provided in the quests, gave some glimpse at the complete back-story that is to come through other quests and dialogs. I also liked the look of the instance, even though we joked about the fact that MacGyver might want his imitation star gates back. Hmmm, mummies, Egyptians, gates... sounds like Blizzard "borrowed" this from somewhere, doesn't it? Regardless it makes for an interesting instance.
Having again finished running all of the instances at my level it is going to take a while to get to another batch of previews. I hope you come back often to check though, I hope to have something in a week or two!
I took many additional screen shots which are all available in our gallery here: TenTonHammer visits Mana Tombs .