The Ring of Blood is probably the most talked-about quest in the Outlands. It definitely has the most talked-about rewards -- a choice of six excellent weapons, including a two-handed axe, a rogue dagger, a fist weapon, a nice caster staff, the aforementioned Staff of Beasts, and a healing club. I know a lot of people are really interested in successfully completing the quests, and since I aspire to please my reading public and get that sweet, sweet fist weapon, I grabbed four of my guildmates and took the plunge into the Ring of Blood.
What followed was an excellent lesson in how Alliance and Horde, by calmly working together and trying to help each other, can turn a simple fifteen-minute quest into a two-hour nightmare.
Lured by the promise of getting to comment on the quest in this article, I managed to gather a crew of four guildmates, all above 65, who wanted to finish Ring of Blood. We had Synbios, our protection-specced tank; his roommate Gorah, a resto shaman; Darkboom, a level 67 mage; and Darkboom's friend Exiledchaos, a newly enhancement-specced shaman who likes Arrested Development a little too much. We all headed out to the Laughing Skull Ruins in the northern part of Nagrand to start the quest at Gurgthock's ring.
In retrospect, it probably wasn't a good idea to start the quest at 7 pm on a Friday night. Perhaps 7 in the morning on Sunday would have made things a little easier. But when we saw that the Ring of Blood was already inhabited by two Alliance groups, we knew that we couldn't turn back without forever being ashamed at ourself for running from the allies.
Gorah instructed us not to gank, because we knew that would make it a longer time. Instead, we stood in line and waited for the quest guy to open up, figuring we could all take turns in the arena. We did the first quest in the series of six -- a pretty simple tank and spank fight with Brokentoe -- with the Alliance helping us. It was kind of cute, in a gnomish sort of way. It was only after the first fight that we realized the big problem with the quest.
It's a six-part chain quest, so everyone has to turn in the first part of the quest so you can all progress to the next part at the same time. Otherwise, someone will get left behind and you'll have to repeat a fight. This wouldn't be so bad, except that as soon as another group starts a fight, you can't talk to the goblin NPC anymore -- whether to turn in the quest or start the next one. So basically, we had three groups sitting directly on top of the NPC, competing to see who got to do the next fight. We lost the next four or so chances to the Alliance, who had picked up a strategy of dropping a freezing trap on top of the NPC. We still weren't actively fighting, but it wasn't looking good.
We managed to tag the NPC and kill the next group -- two Murkblood brothers who were pretty simple to defeat. We waited through a few more Alliance groups and then got the next guy, a giant called Rokdar. He hit hard, but it wasn't very difficult. After this, though, we started having problems. We fought the fourth boss, a giant voidwalker who absorbed some of our attacks, with no issues -- but it turned out that Synbios, our tank, hadn't turned in the third quest. We had to wait in line again to redo the voidwalker. The Allies were displeased, to say the least, so we tried to curry their favor by helping them with their own bosses.
We killed the voidwalker again and started the fifth boss, the Warmaul Champion. This guy was actually pretty hard -- our tank was taking some massive hits, and the boss was charging random people in the crowd. It didn't help that about halfway through, an Alliance group that had just finished up decided to vent their frustration by attacking us. We wiped and called for aerial support. Some very nice shamans came down and helped us finish off the attacking Alliance, who headed off for greener pastures as two more groups arrived to do the Ring of Blood.
Luckily for us, the confusion had cleared out the area around the NPC enough for us to abandon the quest, restart the fifth round, and finally kill the Warmaul Champion. (Note: have one or two dedicated healers, have a well-equipped druid or warrior tank, and prepare for your clothies to get charged.) Unfortunately for us, we had started the quest before Gorah had abandoned his. We had left behind a groupmate once again.
Some difficulty in communication and a lot of swearing ensued, and we somehow managed to spawn both the sixth round guy and the Warmaul Champion at the same time. Everyone died. Not just us, but two Alliance groups, one other Horde group, and the very nice 70 shamans that had flown in to rescue us. And the two bosses weren't going away. Finally, Exiledchaos managed to evade bug one out by climbing onto a roof, and both bosses despawned. We took five to clear our heads (we had been there for about an hour and a half) and came back with new instructions. "No one but Synbios is to even TALK to the NPC. Stay five feet away, and let Synbios get the Warmaul Champion."
The break must have cleared our heads, because we killed the Warmaul Champion much easier this time. A lot of Alliance and Horde helped, probably because they felt sorry for us. Synbios turned the quest in and started up the final boss, Mogor, Hero of the Warmaul. We took him down fast. He hits hard, but he's less of a pain than the Warmaul Champion, although he does ankh after you kill him the first time. He also uses chain lightning, so have everyone who isn't melee stand far back.
After two hours, the five of us finally walked away with our weapons. Synbios, Exiledchaos and I took the Mag'Hari Fury Brand, Darkboom chose the Battle Mage's Baton, and Gorah picked Mogor's Anointing Club because he's one of those weird healer people. So, guys, what did you think?
Exiledchaos: I thought the quest chain was a good idea, but much like everything else Blizzard does, it fails. Terribly. If they could've made sure that only one mob spawns at a time, it would've been perfect. I have four things to fix: a queuing system, guards, fixing the multi spawn bug, and turning in quests when a fight is going on.
Gorah: I thought over all the quest was fun. Good idea, good story line, but the execution was horrible. Way too many people fighting over doing one repeated quest. They should make it one long chain, or in an instance of sorts, to avoid the mass lciking and people missing parts of the quest. We also need to have the ability to turn the quest in while one is going on.
Darkboom: It was a good quest, but an idiotic way to do it. It took 2 hours to do a 20-minute quest.
Synbios: Umm, coolness 7 out of 10, but the way it all went down with everyone mass zerging, it took away from it. A one-room, five-man dungeon would have been better.
Me: I swore never to do the Ring of Blood again. The next day, I went in after midnight to help a priest friend who had just turned 65.
This time, the quest took fifteen minutes.