Grand Stairs and Hall of Crafting

It was a blowout evening in LoTRO! While I was skirmishing, several kinmates were logging in and out, chatting, and forming instance groups. I sorta paid attention but wasn’t really following the conversations. Later when I was out of the skirmish and figuring out what to do, a kinmate asked if I wanted to come along to an instance, Grand Stairs.

That’s one of the few Moria instances I’ve been in, but my groups never did take down the final boss. So I said yes.

Unlike the last time I entered, the Instance Join system transported us all there – SWEET! We set an easy fellowship manuever, Pure of Heart, gathered up at the start to buff a little, and then began. The first boss has a fear debuff that must be dispelled, or he removes it and heals himself, but we killed him before he had that chance. We advanced carefully and soon found ourselves at the final boss, Igash. I was the lowest level at 61, everyone else was 65, so the fight went much better than I’ve ever seen it done. 🙂

Grand Stairs
Anybody have marshmallows?

My reward included 7 tokens which I was able to trade in for 2 armor upgrades: Trickster’s Gaunlets and Trickster’s Leggings. I’m hoping to get the other pieces of the set as well.

A few people had to go, but others logged in and we formed up another group for Hall of Crafting. I was looking forward to it since I’ve never been in. We had a few tough fights on the way to the first major boss, Ă‚mbal. He has some major ranged fire attack so the strategy is to fight on top of him, in melee range. We tried that but he must of moved a bit because for our first attempt, we got roasted. As in: 6800+ points of damage in a single attack. Ouch! Next time we were more careful about staying close and we defeated him with no trouble.

Hall of Crafting
Watching him pace

The next boss, Bashkuga, apparently turns the floor to fire, so we just had to be careful and move away when that occurs. I saw the first fire effect and moved out of the way, but the second one got me – you don’t get much time to react at all! That’s part of the challenge of instances in MMO’s in general: learning the fights, specifics like this furnace timing, and so on. The next time around… I died again but fortunately the group finished him off while I was making my way back.

The final boss, Thaguzg, proved to be a challenge as well. He has an induction that results in a pretty big hit, so I interrupted it whenever possible, and just backed away when I couldn’t (Addle was on cooldown). We defeated Thaguzg, but not in hard mode, which requires that his allies not reach him (NPC’s that move slowly towards him).

Final Boss in Hall of Crafting
Sizing him up...

For me, the evening was a great success. I got in some skirmishes, two instances I had never completed, and Dhrun dinged 62!

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