Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Solo-ing Coilfang Reservoir: The Steamvault

So what does one do after a server restart? It depends on what one likes to do. Me, I like to solo low level instances. I haven't been able to do that recently due to Blizzard's inability to fix those damn instance servers. I've been dying to do The Steamvault but even though I tried getting into it over the past weeks, I just couldn't. At a normal hour that is. If I try at 4 a.m. I will undoubtedly get inside but it's not often that I wake up at that hour for some WoW.

Anyways, after Tuesday's extended maintenance, thanks to my server being one of those on the extended list, I managed to log in fairly late. It occurred me that since not many people are bound to be online, now would be the best time to get into The Steamvault with my Beastmaster Hunter. So off I went.

Before you get inside, check if you can grab the quest The Warlord's Hideout from the NPC outside the instance. By the way, this particular instance is the one in the middle after you surface from the water.

I have to admit that this has been the hardest 5-man instance that I've solo-ed so far. And for good reason: it's a level 70 instance. I didn't know what to expect and I figured that since The Slave Pens and The Underbog were pretty easy, this one won't be very hard either. Of course, those are lv. 62-65.

The mobs here are predominantly Nagas, with a few Bog Lord type creatures and Water Elementals. They are all dangerous. The Nagas are grouped in threes or fours and can be taken down by a level 80 Hunter without any problems but I had to heal my pet constantly and my mana would be drained at the end of every such fight. Once I pulled about 7 or 8 such mobs due to two groups being close together but even though I came close to dying, I pulled through by using all I had: heals, pots, cooldowns and the like.

One other tip that I will give here is that the Nagas are of 4 main types: males which are melee only and females which can be Oracles, Sirens and Sorceresses. The females are dangerous because they do very high magic damage and some of them have nasty tricks. Sirens can cast Fear on your pet or yourself although most of the time it is resisted. Oracles heal themselves or others so I had the nasty surprise of almost killing an Oracle and then it would heal itself to full health and I basically had to kill it twice. Sorceresses generally do a lot of magic damage.

The Bog Lord type creatures are on their own but they have massive health, over 45K and do a great deal of damage so healing of your pet (if you're a Hunter) is paramount.

The Water Elementals, again, are dangerous. They travel accompanied by smaller, non-elite elementals, about 4-5 of them. Together they do a fair amount of damage so once again, constant healing is the way to go.

Your main objective in this dungeon is to kill the final boss which is Warlord Kalithresh. Before you can get to him though, you need to kill two lesser bosses so you can activate a couple of switches which open the doors behind which the Warlord awaits. The switch part is important! I didn't read up carefully on how to open the gates and I missed the switches so I was running around in circles, imagining that the instance is bugged.

The first boss you will probably encounter is Hydromancer Thespia. She's a Naga type caster on a circular platform, guarded by two elite Water Elementals. The Elementals are weak at only 16K HP each so you should take them down first. The boss herself is also nothing to write home about and she went down quickly. I healed my pet throughout, of course. She casts a dark cloud with lightning that hits moderately hard. Make sure to activate the switch behind her.

The second boss is much tougher. This dude's name is Mekgineer Steamrigger and you've probably guessed that he's another one of those bastard mechanized gnomes. As you enter the vaulted cavern where he waits, you will notice groups of Leper Gnomes. They are non-elite but hit hard. Take them out first. Clear the room of them as much as possible.

Now you can tackle the Mekgineer. He doesn't hit that hard but unfortunately still has a few of those gnomes attending him when you start attacking. Furthermore, every time he's 25% down in health, he will summon a group of 4-5 of those gnomes who will rush in and try to heal him, while also attacking you and/or your pet. The gnomes had the annoying habit of aggroing me and I got swarmed a few times. The Mekgineer also liked to throw spinning saw blades at me such that between the gnome attacks and his blades, my health dropped kinda low such that I was forced to heal myself. Finally, of course I prevailed. In all, this was the most difficult fight and mostly due to those stupid gnomes. After killing this dude, make sure to flip the switch behind him.

Once both switches are activated you will see a message saying that the gates to the Warlord are now open. Head that way and you will have to clear his chamber of about 5 more groups of Nagas.

The fight with the Warlord is not hard per se but it has a trick to it. Around the room there are some big, liquid-filled tanks or containers. During the fight, every once in a while, the Warlord will start channeling a spell towards the closest container. Immediately he starts channeling, stop DPS-ing him and start attacking that tank. If you don't destroy the tank before he finishes channeling, he will gain a buff that increases his damage and attack speed greatly. For each subsequent tank that he successfully channels, the buff will stack until the dude becomes unstoppable and you will, of course, die.

My strategy for this fight was simple. I chose to use Aspect of the Viper while DPS-ing the Warlord, just to be on the safe side and to keep my mana topped off. During this time I also healed my pet continuously. Damage was on the low side but steady. The guy has about 140K HP so it will take a few minutes to bring him down. Once he started channeling, I switched immediately to Aspect of the Hawk and threw everything I had at the tank. I managed to destroy each tank with time to spare and he channeled a total of 3 times during the fight.

Once again, I used all my cooldowns when available and all the big-damage abilities that I had. Overall, this guy seemed easier than the Mekgineer, as long as one manages to destroy the tanks in time. Killing him awards the achievement for this dungeon.

Here's a short summary of the gold that I made during this run:

Gold: 31G
Vendor trash + blue BoP items: 40G
Value of mats from disenchanted green BoE items: 70G
Repairs: -1.94G
Total: ~140G


Celebrandil said...

I will NEVER go in there again. I must have done the instance more than 50 times so far. At first, once you hit 70 back in the day, it was nice because it had cool drops and was rather small. So you did it numerous times.

Then, once you reached Revered with Cenarion Expedition, you tried it on Heroic, and it was pretty hard but manageable. Again you did it numerous times, because on Heroic the loot is better.

Then, you were ready to go to Karazhan with your guild. You had to get part of a key which was hidden inside Steamvault. Alltogether you did more than a dozen runs because not only you but every other 70 in the guild wanted the key. Luckily you could get to it without killing a boss.

Then, you stumbled upon the quest chain which eventually gave you the title "Champion of the Naaru". It required you to get a quest item from the end boss. It meant several more runs because you weren't the only one who wanted it.

Oh and there were some hunter items, e.g. a piece of the so called Dungeon Set that dropped from the end boss, or a nice gun from the Gnome.

There is no other instance in BC that I've visited more often than Steamvault. Karazhan probably comes very close, but it's a raid after all.

TB said...

The boss at the end is a trip. I didn't read up on him beforehand and couldn't figure out why we was steamrolling me after he would channel that second jug. Of course after running it 12+ times to get CE to exalted it became trivial but those first few times were rough.

Darth Solo said...

I'll probably do it a few more times if they fix the server instances, for the reputation. I'm obviously not exalted with CE yet :)

Skaut said...

Just ran this for the first time this past weekend! It took 3 runs, plus all the armaments picked up, to get the last 10k or so I needed to get exalted. And I loooove that Hippogryph now!

I probably could have soloed it with my druid, but I dragged along my husband and daughter. We love 3 manning old instances(though none of us still has ever stepped foot in a heroic).

And I remembered what to do with the end boss after reading your post! At first I was like, what's he going to do? And then when I saw him run for the fish tank I was like "Oh snap! I just read about this on a blog!" So thanks! :)

Darth Solo said...

@Scout gratz! Glad my post helped. I'm sure your druid could have solo-ed it, depending on the spec, of course.

Jangomar said...

Nice Post! I'm planning on doing the same sort of thing on my Warrior once he gets high enough level. Do you think that a Warrior is a good class to solo dungeons with? or does the lack of self-healing become too much of a problem?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. You should check out my new blog. Its the one with Jangomar in the name :P
Would love to have some inter-blogular dialog going.

Darth Solo said...

Thanks. The most I've played a warrior is to level 18 so I don't know what to say in this regard. I know for certain that a Blood DK or a Prot Pally would be really good for solo-ing stuff like this. A warrior? I have no idea. I believe they do have a talent in the Fury tree that heals them. Something like that. That should probably work.

These old dungeons aren't that hard on normal. For that matter, you could go as Prot and just eat or bandage yourself when needed. Yeah, I think you'll be fine.