Monday, September 8, 2008

Argent Dawn - "Undead/Baron Stratholme"

Time for another installment of Argent Dawn Reputation Grinding. In the last two installments we did a full run of Scholomance and half of Stratholme. Get to the Servant's Entrance of Stratholme (if you're not already there) and clear the initial courtyard. There's a chapel with a paladin here and if you have the Medallion of Hope from the other side of Stratholme, turn that in to him. He'll give us some small amount of help when we fight the final boss.

You should have a couple of quests for here.
  • Above and Beyond - Collect the head of Baron Rivendare (follow up from turning in Balnazzar's head)
  • The Active Agent - Collect Scourge data (follow up from The Flesh Does Not Lie)
  • Menethil's Gift - Use the Keepsake of Remembrance on Holy Ground (follow up from our long Scholomance quest chain)
  • Houses of the Holy - Collect Stratholme Holy Water (if you didn't get them all in your live side run)
Head through the gates and begin clearing. This side of Stratholme is generally a large circular path with three ziggurats, each guarded by a boss. Once that boss is dead, the ziggurat doors will open and you can kill all of the humanoids inside. Once each of the ziggurats has been cleared the final pathway to the Baron will be opened. Here's some notes:
  • The Scourge Data you're looking for can be inside any of the three ziggurats. It looks kind of like a lunchbox on the ground.
  • The Baroness Anastari guards one of the ziggurats. She is a banshee and will silence and mind control if you're not solo.
  • Nerub'enkan is a Nerubian (spider) guards another of the ziggurats. There's nothing too tough about him.
  • Maleki the Pallid guards the third ziggurat. Dispel/purge his bone armor for best results.
  • If this is a "fresh" run of Stratholme and you entered by the Servant's Entrance, Magistrate Barthilas will be just before the Baron instead of by the back door.
  • Be careful if you're in a group about heading through the gate. It closes behind you (and can lock other party members out) when the first abomination is engaged.
  • From this point on, most of the instance is on a script. Things will continue to happen in a predictable order whether you're ready or not.
  • Abominations will "self-pull." This pulling is tuned for a group of 5 level 60 characters, so you're probably okay to pull them to you yourself if you're level 70.
  • After all the abominations are dead, Ramstein will come out of the Baron's building. He's a boss abomination and nothing too painful.
  • After Ramstein dies, about 3 dozen non-elite undead will run in. These are best dealt with via AOE.
  • After the non-elites go down five elite undead come out of the Baron's room. They also are not hard. Kite/control them and burn them down.
  • The script is over at this point, and you can ready yourself for the Baron.
  • Hug the left wall as you go in, so as not to aggro him prematurely. He has a damaging aura that applies shadow damage every second. At times throughout the fight, he will cast raise dead, summoning some non elite skeletons. If these aren't killed, a few seconds later, he'll cast death pact, killing his summoned skeletons and healing himself in the process. This generally isn't a consideration for a level 70.
  • He can drop an epic mount, an undead charger. Don't hold your breath though.
  • After the Baron is dead, loot his head and use the Keepsake of Remembrance on the rune on the floor in his room.
  • If you've used the Medallion of Faith, the paladin from the chapel at the beginning will aid you during the fight.
Now you can head out, turn in quests and scourgestones. By now you should surely be Honored with the Argent Dawn. Turn in quests and take any quests you like in the area. There are a number of good reputation quests. At some point you should collect and turn in 30 each of Bone Fragments, Savage Fronds, Core of Elements, Dark Iron Scraps, and Crypt Fiend Parts. Initial turn-ins for each of these is worth 1000 Argent Dawn Reputation.

After you've done all the quests you can, it's just a grind to exalted. You're also positioned to go back to Scholomance at some point and finish the Ras Frostwhisper quest line.

If you've ever done some dragon egg freezing quest, from Upper Blackrock, Bettina will offer you Dawn's Gambit which makes the room with all the yellow students inside Scholomance trivial, turning all the ghostly (elite) students into (non-elite) skeletons and giving you a real shot at killing Vectus in that room.

If you keep doing quests and killing stuff in Plaguelands and collecting stones, you'll be exalted in no time flat.

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