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Kayin/Carmesi's Guide to the Undead side of Stratholme
#1
Well, here is the first of what will hopefully become a complete series of high level instance guides and strategies, which will not only make me appear more useful, but will hopefully garner me some kind of slavish devotion which will make my ego swell like a balloon Big Grin

Anyway, Undead Stratholme....

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Overview: The undead side of Straholme is one of the easiest raid instances, especially following the latest patch, which lowers it from "easy" to "cakewalk" status.

What the general idea of the area is, is that in order to get to the big boss at the end, you must first break down his shield by killing three minor bosses. Since the area is compact and easy to navigate, this will not lead to many problems, and in all I'd say a good raid should be able to perform this start to finah in 60-90 minutes.

Special things of note/member roles/etc

Crates: While they appear tempting, many of the crates you seein Stratholme are not of the kindly, give you piddling loot variety. A good number of them are traps, which can either posion you, or surround you with a small swarm of rats or bugs, best dealt with by Area Effect attacks.

Gates: Rumors abound of this being fixed, but it is still something to be careful of until I can confirm it. Several times,y ou will be moving through a tunnel with one or two entrances, but along it will be gates into dead end areas with not much inside, and certainly no way out. The only time you can enter these areas is when you become feared by the Screecher gargoyles which patrol the area. If you have a warlock on hand, no big deal, people can be resummoned, but no other LOS abilities will work.

Crowd Control: After the patch, in a 10 man raid you will need little crowd control, barring bad pulls. The most one raid should ever need would be one sheep or shackle, or a freeze trap for a shorter version of it.

The Martyr Quest: This can be done in a raid if in a run to the Scarlet side you picked up a Medallion of Faith, I believe in a chest near Malor. Upon entering the instance and getting into the first open area, there is a small building to your right which has a paladin in it, give him the medallion and off you go. You will not need to worry about this until you get to the Baron Battle, and mid fight yo uget some support from the same paladin you helped out (a level 60 one, to boot). After the fight, the paladin falls and all in the raid (even those without the quest) can speak with him for a rather nice reward. You get your choice of Will of the Martyr (Neck, +10 Stamina +30 Attack Power) or Blood of the Martyr (Finger, +15 Stamina +10 Intellect).

Eyes: These floating jerks skulk around the main area of Stratholme invisibly, and are a terrible pain. When you see it yell "The living are here!", immediately begin to look for it. If left unattended, they will happily summon gargoyles on you, usually right on top of your healers. Luckily they have about as much health as a tin can, and go down quickly.


Now, on to the walkthrough!

Entrance:

If you are in most raids, someone will have a Key to the City, and therefore you will be entering from the Service Entrance, a small gate in the mountains of Eastern Plaugelands slightly east of the undead town area. The keys are fairly common and it is VERY rare that you get into a raid without one person having it.

Once you enter the instance, you are in a small tunnel with another closed gate leading to an open area. Have your tank open this gate, as it triggers the first pull, mostly weak skeletons but with a handful of casters and elites in there as well. Players with sharp eyes will spot the Magistrate scamper off and you will follow him. The first open area has another two or three small groups of skeletons to deal with before you cross the plaza and into the next tunnel. Going left from here takes you into the Scarlet side, and away from your goal. The tunnel you enter is a "T" shaped, with you entering the bottom and going out the right, the left is one of the gates mentioned earlier. The best way to manage this is to have your puller pull mobs from the next area far back into the bottom of the T before moving on. Once you clear enough of the next zone to move in, you will be in the main area of this raid.

This is where you will find the three minibosses which open the gate to the final area. The area is a very rough circle in shape, which makes it easy to navigate. The mobs here are as follows: Ghouls, Humanoid Casters, Banshees, Crypt Fiends and patrolling Gargoyles.

Rare spawn: If you are lucky, you will happen upon a named Gargoyle named Stonespine, who is just slightly tougher than a regular gargoyle and can drop a nice cape and fist weapon (punch!).

Moving straight from the gate, you will pass a road to the left and then further on, to your right you will see a Ziggaraut, and the first miniboss. The wisest way to fight the Baroness is to move to the small nook to the side of the Zigarraut, where you will find Blacksmithing plans (note, only a 300 skill smith cna take them, but the recipie is generally a BoE, so put it in the loot pool). The Baroness is a fairly standard banshee with one nasty trick, her love of possessing people. If you see her fade away, look for a party member who is big and beating on someone else, feel free to open up on them but do NOT use any DoT items, as they will still exsist after they are depossesed. Once the possesed person is nearly dead, the baroness will leave and the victim willl be automatically healed. Once the BAroness drops, move in and clear the weak humanoids from inside te Ziggaraut, a yell will sound when you "deactivate" it. In terms of loot, the Baroness is a bit iffy, she does drop the Dreadmist foot item, but that is really about it for worthwhile loot.

Once finished with her, go back the way you came and to the road you went past (it will be on your right as you head back) and clear your way down to the next Ziggaraut, where the second miniboss awaits. Nerub'enkan waits at the steps of the next target. He is a Crypt Fiend, and fairly pathetic. The only trick he has is that he can create little annoying bugs which die quick and are pathetic. Do the same drill with the humanoids in the Zig and move on. Nerub'enkan's loot is slightly better; including the Beaststalker Boots, a nice shield and a decent crossbow.

From Nerub'enkan's Ziggaraut, move towards the next gate. However, do not rush in, as entering will trigger a trap where whoever is inside gets lucked in and has to deal with a swarm of small, annoying bugs. You can, if fast, run one person in and out before the gate closes to deal with the bugs, or just send AoE-ers in and let them go to work. From the other gate you will see the path split, to the left is the direction of the end, and you will go there later, but to the right is the final Ziggaraut. Fight through the mobs until you get to Maleki the Pallid, a humanoid caster boss. Like the ones before him, he drops like a sack of potatoes. Celar the Zig like before and oyu should get the "The Slaughterhouse is now vulerable" yell, letting you know that you can now go after the final area. Maleki's loot is not bad as well, including the Devout Sandals, a Fire Resist offhand and a very nice 1h axe.

Once all three Ziggarauts are handle,d move towards the gate ot the final area, but before you pass it, look to the right to find Magistrate Barthilas, who is very big and very very ugly. But he is no major threat, and the best thing he can do is toss you a short ways. Bring him down and his loot can give you a nice caster hat, plate gloves that are immune to disarm and a top-notch polearm for many classes (+attack +crit rate). Also, he drops a Key to the City, but be mindful when looting as it does BoP, but it appears to anyone, not just the ML.

The gate which you passed to get to Magistrate Barthilas is the final gateway, and there is only one important thing to know about it. Make sure that the entire group is through it before aggroing the next mob, for once it aggros the gate behind you shuts and locks, stranding anyone left behind. Before you now is the Slaughterhouse, but between you and it are a number of fights. The first starts with clearing the Abominations from the area. Individually they aren't a threat, but they can add easily as well as "walk add" where one will slowly move ot join another. There are two kinds, both of which use poison, and one creates slime mobs. Hunters are advised to use Aspect of the Wild here to reduce the impact. Notably, these are the mobs which drop Frayed Abomination Stitchings, a component to a number of epic armor quests. Since they BoP, generally they are rolled for on the spot.

Once you clear the last Abomination, Baron Rivendare yells at you and sics the boss Abomination, Ramstein the Gorger on you. He hits slightly hard, but with no poison at all, he should go down easily. Among his drops are a nice ring for tanks, the Gauntlets of Valor, a fun area-effect trinket and another nice shield. However, it's advisable to hold off on looting him, because immediately after he dies, a far gate opens and unleashes a massive swarm of very weak skeletons on you, an AoE paradise. Once you deal with those skeletons, you have a few seconds to rest before the Slaughterhouse opens again and releases its final attack, a patrol of elite skeleton warriors. Shackles and traps can manage their numbers, but they are not so deadly as to really cause much trouble.

Once the final wave of skeletons is dead, the Baron will yell at you some more, and invite you inside, just about done! Move into the Slaughterhouse and down the stairs, but do not go further! Like the gate before, once you aggro the Baron, he will shut the door ot his room. Organize, buff and heal before moving in. Most raids order casters to one side and tanks to another, but do as you wish. Mages and any major AoE class has a special job here, as during the fight, the Baron will summon weak skeletons. They do not present a danger in hurting you, but if left alive, the Baron will cast Death Pact and for each living skeleton, he gets 1,000 health. Outside of that, the only special attacks he uses are a damaging aura (use Shadow resistance) and occasional magic attacks. Mostly, he sticks to pounding on someone with his sword, which is a substaintial threat to weaker classes, but not too rough for tanks.

Once he drops, congratulate yourself, then cross your fingers. The Baron is a special kind of mob in terms of set armor, as he always drops the leg item for one set, but only one at a time, so you basically have a 1/8 or so chance of getting your set leggings from him. As far as other loot goes, the Baron also drops a nice cape for combat people, a nice caster ring, a nice dagger, healer robes and one of the better 1h swords. In addition, there is also a very slight chance you will see of his two BoP epic drops. The first is the Runeblade of Rivendare, a powerful two handed sword that increases movement speed and life regen rate (and looks amazing). The second is his mount, an epic undead steed. Do not get eager, in all of my raids there I have never seen a drop, and in my play, I have never seen a Runeblade except in screenshots, and only one of the mounts.

Congratulations! You have conqured the deader side of Stratholme! Pass out the rest of the loot, take some photos and skedaddle!

(comments, compliments, death threats and gushing praise are very much encoruaged :3 )
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#2
Good job, mate. I appreciate the work you put into this. ::pop's Kayin's ego balloon and snickers with mischief::
-Dentik
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