Having hit Level 85 on my Hunter, Tamsinela, I was cordially invited to participate in a few dungeon runs with my guildmates in the Ani Ayastigi. We started with a Normal Throne of the Tides run, then hit Normal Stonecore, and finally Normal Vortex Pinnacle.
Throne of the Tides
This dungeon moved fairly quickly. It was interesting to see how they’ve upped the difficulty in Cataclysm, with small touches such as trash mobs that leave “fire” on the ground for you to not stand in (or stand in, if that’s how you roll), and boss mechanics that go beyond simply tank-and-spank. That said, it was not very difficult — our tank, Arafalle, did a superb job, healing was spot on, DPS was solid. It was a nice little introduction to Cataclysm dungeons, if somewhat forgettable.
Neptulon’s PURE WATER was great, however. As a guildmate said, “they should bottle that stuff.”
Throne of the Tides felt like we were zooming through the place. Stonecore had a slower pace, with more patrols, sentries (kill them fast or they’ll summon aid, ala ye olde Eye of Naxxramas), and a need for Crowd Control on a handful of pulls.
Corborus was an “add fight” where he submerged halfway through and summoned a host of Shale Spiders to keep us busy. Slabhide was a change of pace, as the stalactites falling from the ceiling provided Line of Sight challenges during the fight, plus lava on the ground to avoid. Ozruk, for a ranged class, was extremely easy, though I hear it is far more punishing for melee. Finally, High Priestess Azil’s encounter featured ‘void zones’ and adds, and a need to draw the adds into said void zones to easily obliterate them. I’ve seen this sort of mechanic while questing in Cataclysm — basically, “drag the boss over this spot on the ground, but you yourself shouldn’t touch it!”
A second trip into Stonecore (last night) with a Death Knight tank (go Riav!) was just as enjoyable. I even picked up some loot: Key to the Endless Chamber.
This dungeon was beautiful to look at. Unfortunately, it was dull and uninteresting otherwise. There are only three bosses to contend with, and the one who stood out for me was Altairus, and only because he was a dragon. Yay dragons! The mechanics of the fight involved an “upwind” or “downwind” buff/debuff, which when explained to me sounded interesting. The reality was that I never lost the “upwind” buff for the duration of the fight, despite the wind having changed (visually) a few times. We burned him down fairly plainly.
He did not drop the Reins of the Drake of the North Wind. Boo.
All in all, it was exciting to try my revamped User Interface in a dungeon setting. I need more time with it to see if there is anything that needs adjusting, but for right now I was topping our DPS chart and/or tying with our other top DPSer, a Death Knight. That tells me I’m doing something right.