Friday, March 21, 2008

Dungeon Guide: Hellfire Ramparts

I'm stealing a page from Bremm's book. I'm going to start writing brief guides on the dungeons. Sure, they have this all listed at WoWWiki... but WoWWiki isn't me. I'm going to talk about pulls, tricks, bosses and all of it done with my typical style and flair. You can't wait to continue, can you?

So to begin... the first instance you likely encounter upon hitting Outlands... Hellfire Ramparts.

There are several quests involved with this instance, although you'll probably go in here enough at the beginning that if you do it the first time without the quest, don't worry, you'll be back.

(What, you want me to link the quests for you too? What do I look like, your personal guide to Outland dungeons?... oh wait, that's what I'm doing, isn't it? Tough luck. Click the link above.)

As soon as you zone in you're confronted with the 'if you take one step too far forward, you start a fight' scenario. A GREAT way to start your first instance!

Two fellows guarding a bridge, with a patrol. Fun fun, no? Typically, a first time tank will tank too far from the entrance, and the pat will aggro and try to eat your healer. Or, a DPS-Melee (I'm looking at you, rogues!) will be behind the mob and grab aggro (and it will go try to eat the healer. You know.. healing is a very dangerous job. Go ahead and respec to feral/balance elemental/enhancement tankadin/dpsadin or shadow ... it's safer.) ... (I jest. Without you darling healers, we wouldn't be able to do anything!)

You make it across that pesky bridge and associated mobs and right around the corner is a group of three (with archers, Blizzard loves us) and a doggy patrol. Here's where mistake #2 usually happens -- people fight right at the bridge! And then the patrol aggros and then the healer dies.

By this time, the healer is getting pissed. He's already died twice (or three times!) and the instance has barely started!

Crowd control, unless you've got a few 70's running with you, is the name of the game. The dogs can see through stealth, so rogues are limited in their use in this instance at times. The nice thing is the dogs are non-elite, though they put out some nasty damage. They don't NEED to be crowd controlled, just tank-controlled long enough for the DPS to kill them. If you want to CC them, go ahead and do that to. Whatever floats your boat. Just keep them off of your cloth healers, or you'll have to start looking for another healer. Mark one dog to die first, the second dog to die second, so your DPS focus-fires them.

This instance is riddled with caster/ranged type mobs. The archers are no big deal, we've all learned how to pull archers. People seem to forget the rules for casters. They get impatient and don't let them finish their aborted spell casts (they try to cast, then can't, then run up and try to cast, and can't, then run up... and so forth) and start trying to kill them before they're pulled.. which pisses off the melee DPS and the tank, just sayin... Healers are notorious for getting caster aggro that someone is trying to kite by staying in the line of sight of said mob.

The big first group of casters you encounter is 7 pulls in. (2 at head of bridge, 1 patrol, 2 at foot of bridge, 3 group stationary, 3 group patrol, 3 group stationary, 4 dog group stationary...) You see a group of three casters and one melee class. That melee person is a nasty customer. He isn't CCable and does a fair bit of damage. The casters are cake, with one exception -- they do short burst fears.

The usual tactic is to have the tank thwack the melee and go high tailing it around the corner. CC pick up their targets as applicable. So, they're casters. So if you're pulling them to your CC (hello, hunters, I'm looking at you now!) be ready with some form of spell interrupt/silencing shot or have a friendly mage or shaman stop their casting. Now, the other nasty thing they do, as I mentioned above, is short burst fear. This is why we don't fight them where they are, that and there's a dog patrol that walks to their position.

So, CC what you can, if you can't CC it, assign a DPS to kill it. They usually can die pretty quick with good DPS and a good healer who can keep the DPS and the tank alive. All other DPS should focus on the melee, since it does quite a bit of damage and has a decent chunk of hit points.

Fun, no? Whether you pull the dog patrol or not depends on whether it's on it's way up to you or not. The next pull is a beastmaster and two archer types. This part is really important... KILL THE BEASTMASTER FIRST AND FAST. All out DPS. Don't worry about aggro. Just hose the fellow. If you don't, he'll call in three dogs. Which, in a good group, probably nothing to worry about but in a new group, a wipable issue. Ideally, the two archers were CC'd just as the tank was engaging the beastmaster, so the DPS can just focus on the beastmaster and not worry about CCing.

Snag the doggy patrol after this group. Next is a group of four - two casters, two melee. Nothing special. Then you approach the hallway of the first boss. Here my memory is a bit fuzzy on the pulls, so forgive me if I leave one out.

There's a group (usually by a chest) under a pavilian. It has two dogs and at least two orcs (sometimes 3, not sure if it's a heroic vs. non-heroic difference). Cake.

There's a group next to them, two dogs, one melee. Cake.

On your left, half hidden by a wagon, is a group of one melee and two casters. This is right in the boss patrol zone, so you HAVE to pull them back. If I'm dps, I'll instant something on them and run away. Rogues and kitties can sprint, hunters can cheetah. Just run around the corner, then the tank can pick up the pieces.

One thing to be cautious of here... okay, a few things!

1: The boss. Try not to aggro him at this stage.
2: a lone patrol. He patrols in such a way that if you try to yank him before you clear the dog-3-pull, you'll usually grab them too. An experienced puller can get him first without clearing. However, to be on the safe side, I usually clear one group first. I usually kill that group and when he pats into their position, grab him. Alternatively, you can grab him with the wagon-group.

Once you've cleared the patrol and the wagon, now you have the boss. He has two healers who are CCable (or killable!) and ... obviously big ugly himself. You have a few options - kill the healers first, then the boss... OR kill the boss first while CCing the healers. The healers DO heal him, so you don't want to leave them loose. If you have a mage(s), sheep healers are usually left til last, otherwise, other forms of CC are considered relatively unreliable for this and usually the healers are killed first. The tank should stay on the boss at all times.

The boss charges and knockbacks his charge target. So don't fight him with your ranged DPS having their backs to mobs. This is what's known as a Bad Idea. Thankfully, it also doesn't happen often anyway.

Boss down. Yay! Skirt the wagon by hugging the left, then run along the diagonal crack in the floor to the opposite wall. You skip two or three groups on the right this way. There's a two pull in front of the door.

Up the stairs is a 5-pull of casters. The same method works if you want to use it. Another method I've seen used, if you have good AOE... is LOS pull them around so they are clumped in the doorway, then AOE the hell out of the casters. The tank needs to keep the melee on himself and off the healer/dps. You do NOT want to fight them in their hallway, there is a two-pull that you can be feared into.

Nab the two pull by the door. Do not go out the door. Repeat, DO NOT go out the door!

To your left is a five-pull (2 dogs, 3 orcs), to your immediate right is a 3 pull (melee and two archers) and patrolling around in a circle is a patrol (2 dogs, 1 orc). DO NOT pull the patrol first.

The order is right THEN left or patrol, then patrol or left. I typically nab the patrol after the right group.. pull the patrol when it is on the right side of the door. The 5-pull can be a wipe-fest if you aren't careful. Usually you have one caster in the group and two melee. CC as best you can. Remember, dogs can smell stinky rogues.

The 5-group is usually standing on a chest. Yay! Chest!

Now you have the other half of the room. A 3-pull of two archers and one melee is usually next, because the other pull is tricksy.

The last pull in the circle is a group of two casters, one melee and two dogs. The melee is a minor patrol around a box in the corner. HE CAN BE SAPPED without aggroing the dogs. The rogue needs to sneak onto the hall by him and sap him at his furthest pat from the dogs. This is the tricksy part. 1: sneaking around him and 2: the hall by him has a two pat of it's own you have to avoid.

Otherwise, cake!

You want to go to your right (from entrance) first. Kill the two pull patrol. At the end of the hall are two casters. You can fight them where they are.

Now you're on boss #2. Yay! Boss! Here's another trick. He doesn't move. Really, he doesn't. Some strategies are to have a ranged DPS "tank" him by holding the most aggro. Melee DPS and the tank can go in and whackitywhack on him, as long as they don't steal aggro. He summons felhounds, which the melee can then pick up and kill. The boss does a levitate-kick ability. Don't worry, you won't fall off, it's a tether ability. He also curses people -- if you don't have a good decurser, you want to make sure you aren't standing near to other people when you're cursed... it's a good way to get your party pissed at you. Melee are at a disadvantage for that, but ranged should be spread out anyway.

Now, after he dies, you do have to deal with the felhounds. (FYI: Heroic Mode: Tankadin, Healadin, Warlock, Mage and Some-Other-Mana-DPS-With-No-Melee-Abilities (ie: it wasn't a hunter, but I don't recall what it was)... NOT a good group for this. The felhounds eat your mana. And then we died. Because we couldn't kill the damn non-elite felhounds. It was pathetic.)

Yay! Boss 2 down. The last ramp has a group of two patrolling, then two stationary.

As soon as the stationary mobs are dead, the dragon will land and drop off his rider, so don't go nuts on the stationary mobs. Conserve mana. (By the way, if you wipe on the boss, these stationary mobs respawn.)

The tank needs to pick up the rider and we all start to have fun. The dragon, while in the air, spits fireballs on the ground. Now, you'd think this is common sense... but...


Usually when the rider is close to dead, but not quite dead, Nazan will descend. The tank NEEDS to pick up the dragon. It usually bee-lines for the healer.
This means the tank has the rider AND the dragon hitting him. If he's a good tank, the rider will stay on him until dead. His main concern is the dragon at this point. ALL DPS STAY ON THE RIDER until he's dead, then switch to the dragon.
An alternative strategy is to have some ranged DPS on the dragon while it's in the air.
Nazan does frontal arc fire bursts while on the ground. The tank needs to move, either in a circle to stay out of the fire, or pull back or something along those lines. Again...

There are multiple strategies on this fight listed on WoWWiki.

IMNSHO, unless you have a good group of DPS and healers, a NEW tank to Outlands can't tank the dragon. They just don't have the hit points or armor to do it. This doesn't mean they really can't, I just haven't seen it done without a good party behind them. With your brand spankin new group... well, at least your repair bill at this point in time isn't bad.

Once Nazan is dead, a chest will spawn. If you kill Nazan on top of the chest, don't miss it, he'll cover it with his body.

To get out, go to the entrance of Nazan's platform and the instance door is down and to your right. You can jump down and right on outside.

And you have just completed Hellfire Ramparts. Congratulations!
N.B. The melee classes in HR hit very hard. If you are cloth DPS, be VERY CAREFUL not to draw aggro from the tank because you will probably get 2-shotted (level/mode appropriate).


  1. So, I wanted to add things about the dragon, as I've just tanked him 6 times in 3 or 4 days.

    He is very tough to tank, the biggest problem is when he does his frontal aoe fire breath, he also drops fire on the ground.... which you cannot see because its inside his model, so you're taking double damage from the fires.

    As soon as he starts to cast the aoe, the tank needs to move.

    A slow circle kite (much like the 2nd boss in Blood Furnace) works well.

    -Posolutely, still > Fyzzgig