Monday, November 17, 2008

The Nexus and Other Tales

Because a picture speaks 1000 words (or thereabouts), I am continuing to write my "picture book" posts to save you text walls and boring commentary. That, and maybe I lack the skill to adequately describe the beautiful instances that Blizz has given us.

So over the weekend I led some 5-man teams of guild mates through the first two instances encountered in Northrend: Nexus and Utgarde Keep. Oddly enough, we did Nexus the first night even though it is the harder instance.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Nexus, the general layout is kind of like a three leaf clover with a diamond in the middle. That is to say, from the entrance, the final boss is encased in ice in the middle of the diamond, with a wing to the left, right, and behind. Each of those wings contains a boss that must be killed before you can thaw out the final boss. You can do them in any order, but clearing either the right of left first spits you out in a different part of the back wing. I beleive the right wing's "spit point" would give you the shortest path to the back wing boss, but I recommend just seeing the entire instance as it can be breathtaking in spots.

As promised, Blizz has shortened up instance runs and these can easily be completed in an hour or so. We went slow on our first time as we were learning the pulls and such, but these are not the huge dungeons you'd find in the Old World.

The wing bosses shouldn't prove too difficult for you, as they are all basically tank and spanks with a little mechanic thrown at you. The right wing guy is probably the easiest and you'll just want to DPS him down fast. The left wing caster has three phases, the middle one is probably the hardest when she splits into three clones. They can be CC'ed (even feared!), so keep that in mind. If I were you, I'd kill the purple looking (arcane) clone first as she has a tendency to polymorph people. For the back wing guy, make sure you take down the voids when he opens them.

The final boss is a challenging fight. After you click on the orbs to release the dragon, you will need to pick her up and have everyone stand to the side of the dragon to avoid a tail swipe. Someone will need to dispel the shackle that is done as there is a DoT that will kill you if you stand in one place too long. Basically, as a 'lock (or any class for that matter) you will need to hop after EVERY cast, since any movement dispels the debuff. It takes a little to get the hang of, as standing still will get you killed right quick.

The boss herself is actually quite slow and you can almost kite her as I found out after the rest of our party wiped. Here is a rather humorous picture of me attempting to run away while she was dotted. I almost made it to the entrance!

Run Away!


After a couple of tries, you'll get the hang of it and then can celebrate on the dead body. This kill was really close to a full wipe and I got a lucky Nightfall proc as she was running at me. Kind of intense, but really a lot of fun.


And Stay Down


Because leveling is best in small doses and I love my Death Knight. I went later to help Fuu get her Ghost Saber on her hunter alt. Who doesn't have a hunter alt (me!)? In any case, it was fun to run around and pwn low levels on the DK while looking for these stupid cat idols. It can sort of take forever, but at least I made my Fuubaar happy after she finally got it. You can see the transparent kitty in the front here with my death gate to the left. I was ready to get out of that place after an hour or so.


Bad Kitty!


On the gear front, I was doing some more research and came across this little tidbit: apparently the rule of thumb amongst beta testers in regards to how long gear should last you is...
  • T4 equivalent items should last until 71-73
  • T5 until 73-75
  • T6 until 75-77
Some really uber items could last all the way into your first raid, but that would be the rarity. So if you start to feel like you're seeing better items than what you have and it fits into those ranges, chances are you're completely sane. At least when it comes to gear judgement :-).

Edit: I was informed that some of my picture's links were broken... I think they're fixed now, sorry about that.

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