WoW: Instances, bosses and strategies (spoilers)
No, really. The instances I've been in have all had clever... ok, some only mostly clever... tricks to beating them and the surprise, challenge and enjoyment you'd otherwise get is going to be appreciably lessened if you carry on reading. But if you had your group's collective butt handed to you in an instance and are seeking some guidance/suggestions, I thought I'd start a thread containing some hard earned lessons, in hopes I'd hear some new techniques and/or stories.
Deadmines/Van Cleef: No real challenge or trick here, you just have to be careful pulling mobs at the very end to not aggro the captain on the deck and be ready for a couple summoned adds during the VC fight. There are patrols that respawn, so you can expect three adds to show up from time to time and it's worth sticking someone on back watch detail.
The Stockades: Again, no real tricky bits here, but the four nameds aren't really bosses, just heads that need collecting for quests.
Gnomeregan: Make sure to kill the "Viscous Fallout" (might be Vicious, actually... I can't remember) in the ooze room, the "Electrocutioner 6000" in the flight hangar and ... I can't remember the third mini-boss at the moment, will edit later. These three drop nice blue loot and are straightforward fights (although I can't remember what the third one is, so maybe I'm wrong). The end boss is a different story. He's in a room with six columns, each of which has a button on it. The trick here is as you fight the boss, the columns dump out bombs, which are mobs, but blow up before you can reasonably expect to kill them. One solution is to put a tank on boss, a healer to keep him up and a damage dealer for good measure, while the two other folks each watch three of the columns for a blueish electrical glow, then haul ass over to push that columns button when it does. Voila, no bombs and it's a relatively easy fight without those.
Scarlet Monastery: Herod and the chapel are the only two tricky bits. After you kill Herod, you get swarmed by 25-30 non-elite mobs. Cue AoE... and done. It's terrifying the first time you see it, but after you've gotten used to elite fights, all those acolytes rushing to their deaths will likely just strike you as sad. The chapel is... amazing. You must clear all the mobs in the chapel, including the ones in either wing (excepting the undead bishop... leave him for after the Morgaine fight to avoid nasty curse). Morgaine summons everyone in chapel otherwise, which will really louse up your day. Anyhoo, kill off the peaceful church-going fanatics two or three at a time until it's just Morgaine. After you kill him, crazy blonde boss runs out, fights with you awhile, rezs the Commander and now you've got two bosses to deal with. Standard target selection applies here: kill the caster fast, then the tank. Yay, you.
Uldaman: Great looking instance, but I'm waffling over how much I like it, because it looks like you need a certain party setup to beat the end boss, which I hate. There's an Indiana Jones moment when you summon one of the mini-bosses, but it's a little foggy how you go about that, so I'll not describe it poorly here other than saying when she comes out the doors, don't run, no matter what your targeting information is telling you. You can kill her. Probably. The end boss is awesome... huge statue in room, ring of 6-8 dark dwarven statues around him and then four dozen white dwarven statues in four groups around the edge of the room and two huge golems. When you start the fight, he begins waking the white dwarves up. Non-elite, drop pretty fast. Looks like he summons as soon as one dies or after maybe 20s of time. Purple lightning from his hand will indicate which is waking, so plenty of time to get ready for them. At ~66% health, he wakes all of the dark dwarves and that gets a little interesting, but still doable. At ~33%, he wakes the two golems and whatevers left of the white dwarves all at once.
First time through, we just tried to kill him. Got the golems and maybe 20 of the white dwarves on us... the end. Second time, we got a warrior with a shield to go defensive, dealing no damage, but not draining the priest's mana dry either while we killed all of the white dwarves. This worked well, but we tried to kill off the two golems too and that didn't. They have an insane amount of hp and you just can't overcome that much damage... the end. Third and all subsequent times, same thing as second until golems wake and then you go into damage dump mode. Everyone, including the priest, starts dumping everything they can into the boss. Heal as needed, but don't save mana. Turns out when the boss dies, so do the golems (although it should be noted that this entire encounter is buggy and I've personally wiped here three times to various things not happening as expected... like the entire room waking up 30s into fight). Congrats and make sure you check out the treasure room, there's a really cool quest series to start there.
I don't like the fact that a defensive stanced warrior is necessary to handily beat the encounter. It is, I hope, not actually a fact that it's necessary, but it really seems like it's what was intended. What do you do if there's no warrior handy? Someone in one of the groups I was in said it looked like "an encouter designed by Furor", which will make no sense unless you followed the end game drama that was present in EQ and make perfect sense if you did.
Zul'farrak: Instance I'm currently in and haven't come close to beating yet. The Executioner is the only mini-boss I've found and that's a wild fight that I've yet to successfully beat, so suggestions welcome. Basically, lots of sand and trolls. Top of a big, Mayan-esque pyramid are cages full of green con mobs, Sgt. Bly and company (who are quest targets themselves) and the Troll Executioner. You kill the executioner pretty easily, plus his two pet lizards and get the key. Unlock the cages (do not talk to Bly if you're able... you'll set off something else you don't want to do yet) and you get some dialogue. Cue 60+ mobs spawning at foot of pyramids. Do NOT run down to meet them with hugs and kisses. Wait for them to come up, few at a time at first, then in bigger and bigger lots. Bly and company will pitch in. Mobs are mostly non-elites, but you need to get on the elites, because they're nasty casters. No idea what happens if you lose one of Bly's folks, but it's a madhouse of a fight. Two waves of that, then Bly gets the bright idea it'd be good to "advance on the trolls". Two nameds at bottom, plus whatever mobs you foolishly didn't clear on your way up, plus respawns. That's where I've wiped both times I've tried it. I think the trick is to clear the entire area, but it's a few dozen mobs and by the time the pyramid fights are over, respawn would likely be occurring. I guess, a few is better than a mob, but...
Forgot to add another of the minibosses is a summons that I'm working on getting the bits for, but it's a giant lizard apparently... named Gahz'rilla. Yes, that's right. Gahz'rilla. And as a bonus, he apparently drops a darn nifty poker. Can't wait!
Anyhoo, hope this helps, without detracting from the experience. Every instance I've been in has been challenging and unique at many points. I can't wait to see more and am looking for lower level ones that I've missed on the way up, just because I'm so intrigued with what I have gotten to experience. Any other strategies to share?