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As most of you IRC Dtoiders know and maybe some of you non IRC regulars. I play world of Warcraft a lot. In fact chances are if you see me on Sexbox live and I am just idling or watching a movie. Itís because I am playing Warcraft and I am using the Sexboxís more trivial functionality for background noise.
I play Alliance on the Earthen Ring server as a 73 Warrior Night Elf Tank. Surprisingly enough I am one of the few people who did not immediately respect a bunch of my points into threatwave err Shockwave as soon as it came out. I like the ability, Iíve seen it in action and have used it a few times but I much prefer having my talent points in fury and arms for extra oomph to my attacks then sacrificing it just for a nice extra threat builder. Between Cleave, Thunderclap and all my regular abilities I really have no issue holding my own as a tank unless the other party members (looks at the death knights) decide they want to tank.
I know most of that last paragraph was pretty trivial and information you didnít need to know but I get an amazingly high amount of crap over this from my guild mates. All of which do not have level 70+ Protection Warriors surprisingly enough but are apparently still experts on my class.
With the release of Wrath of the Lich King Players were given a new continent to level in called Northrend. Depending on where Alliance players left on the boat to Northrend. Either Menethil Harbor or Stormwind, you either ended up in Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra. Last night I was in Howling Fjord when my guild mates decided to go on a run through Utgarde Keep.
Hauling ass from Ironforge to Utgarde Keep in a race with my guild mates to be the first one there only took me a few minutes and by the time I was there I was positively giddy with excitement. New instances are always a fun experience for me because it always gives me new situations to test myself against and try new things. This time was of course no exception because I was sharing a party with a 71 Blood Knight and a 71 Shaman. Having leveled a death knight to 71 myself I wasnít all that concerned with partying with them but the Shaman gave me pause. The last time I partied in an instance with a shaman I spent the entire time fighting with them to hold hate. The previous shaman had been a hardcore raider and had the equipment to match. At the time I had partially completed karazhan gear.
This time around I had completed karazhan gear and the shaman had slightly good quality blacksmithing gear. He did not steal hate from me this time. Points for me, yay!!
Our 5th member who wasnít part of our guild was a healer named Healmachine. If youíre anything like me, you immediately cringed as soon as you saw his name. I know I did; within about 30 seconds of him joining the party we had his armory profile up and we were going over it in guild chat. About 10 seconds into talking about it we started seriously considering kicking him out of the group and looking for another healer that would not be nearly as much suck. After a few minutes of trying to decide what to do (roughly the time it took for everyone to get to the actual instance) we decided to keep him and go with it and replace him if we wiped because he wasnít holding his own.
Tank Like a Girl [dot] com describes Utgarde Keep as a ďlevel 70-72 instance located in Howling Fjord. Itís low in difficulty, very linear, and easy to clear. Inside you will find three boss encounters, with three quests for the Horde and two quests for Alliance players.Ē
I could not summon it up any other way. With Cym our Blood Knight off tanking the adds we blasted through everything in no time. The best fights were of course against the Proto-Drakes which were so awesomely cool to look at. Iíve put some renewed interest in completing the seasonal events in order to get me a proto-drake because of this fight : )
A few thoughts and notes I made about the bosses for people who have not gone through the fight yet and are looking forward to it.
Stupid mage caster, I tried to drag him onto the map to tank him there out of a homage to some 80s action movie I saw once that I can not for the life of me remember but he refused to go up there. Heís a pain in the ass because his spells can not be reflected or interrupted. He however is a mage and has a weakness to sharp pointy objects. A couple of further notes I made was that during the fight Keleseth summons skeleton minions to fight on his side. These guys come in from the door you entered sort of so its best to have the healers on the opposite side of the room so that he does not get aggro. Thunderclap works well to get skeletons fighting you. Keleseth also likes to cast Icy tomb which incases a player in ice. I found a shield slam and devastate to be more then enough to free another player who is next to me and it keeps me in my normal routine of ability usage. Apart from that he is a normal tank and spank.
Dalronn & Skarvald
This fight is so easy; I really donít understand why people have such an issue. Skarvald is the melee giant while Dalronn is the Mage. Here is the strategy we went through. Kill Skarvald as fast as you can while saving interrupt abilities for Dalronn when you can (it helps to have party target that shows casting bar up for Fubar and Shield Bash on a mouse over macro). As soon as Skarvald is dead and his spirit appears to whup some ass. Tank Spirit-Skarvald with taunts and proceeded to beat the snot out of Dalronn. Fight should last all of 5 minutes at the most. As soon as both have died the fight is over.
Ingvar the Plunderer
This only fight that is actually challenging in so much as the tank has to dodge left and right to avoid his Smash attack. Get his hp down past zero and he dies and is then resurrected as a giant zombie. More hit points more damage greatÖ. The same rules apply as before though. Dodge his Smash attack, which is now called Dark Smash (how original) and hope that Woe Strike doesnít wipe your party (like it did mine the first time we fought him). Apparently a mage is useful for this fight to decurse party members so they take less damage. I will have to try again with a mage to test that out.
Overall the instance was a lot of fun and almost stupidly fast. A nice primer for further into Northrend unlike Outlands which gave us Hellfire Ramparts which was 40 minutes and then everything after that was hour and a half.
The loot for Utgarde Keep is terrible for anyone that isnt a mage or mage class. We had one decent item drop that was not mage oriented, a nice Main hand fist weapon that our parties shaman picked up. The only good tanking item from the instance was a neck piece from a quest that involved the first part of the instance. A good neckpiece for Death Knight tanks because it ups defense rating and parry. Not so good for Warrior Tanks who focus more on defense rating and dodge/shield block so I kept my Karazhan neckpiece over it.