Instance#8 Zul’ Farrak

Oh no – another Warcraft post. Matt – close the window now and avoid disappointment. This dungeon instance was a lot of fun because you never have to go into any claustrophobic smelly dark rooms where the auto-zoom on your character makes it impossible to concentrate. Instead, the whole thing is done in the blazing sun and scorching sands just outside the wonderfully named Gadgetzan, which I always call gadget-STAN. We were joined by the Hunter Freand, a Paladin mysteriously named Rhysesmum (who is a bloke called Martin who works in a secondhand store in Sydney) and the omnipresent Bridei my kick-arse wife. Apart from the various nasties that want to kill you, the scenery is most pleasant and brings to mind the winding rock canyons of Petra in Jordan from 1987. Hundreds of inoffensive, scuttling Scarab beetles add even more of a middle-eastern feel to things. I’m surprised there wasn’t a shop with tables where you can smoke a rejuvenating Hookah before continuing. And refreshingly its all outdoors. My much underutilised Entangling Roots spells were able to be used because of this, and they got a regular workout, despite not doing very much. Led by the ever-capable, Fluffy Bunny (oops Antheriel) and with Kim as my bodyguard (wielding a dirty big hammer), we wove our way through the sandy canyons and had the longest melee fight of my gaming career – 8 minutes anyone? Atop a pyramid of stairs we stood, a horde of nasties trickling up to make us pay, and we just blitzed them all. It felt momentous (though exhausting).
Click here for a bigger shot. How can anyone not fall in love with the final boss Ghaz’Rilla. With a name like that, the sleek electric blue three headed hydra with the funky slithering walk has got to be my favourite boss to date, though the fight itself was unremarkable. The screenshot just doesn’t do her justice. We foolishly had forgotten to charge the hammer needed to summon her (him?) and spent an hour back in the very nasty Hinterlands trying to get that done – which was tougher than Zul’Farrak itself, so thankfully we had help. Rohana ended up joining in when Freand was disconnected, so he was able to do some customary backstabbing to get the job nicely done in the end. Thanks to all involved.