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June 2009
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WoW Spotlight: Halls of Lightning

I’ll write about The Sims 3 every day if I don’t write about something else, so let me take today to give the stage to the worst non-raid dungeon in World of Warcraft’s second expansion.  I’m speaking, of course, of Halls of Lightning.

Halls of Lightning has the titan-themed look of dungeons like Uldaman.  It’s hidden off in the distant north of Northrend, where many titan-age relics should really just be forgotten.  When I got the final achievement for Heroic Halls of Lightning (Heroic mode is a higher difficulty, if you’re not familiar with the game), I swore to never go in there again.  In fact, on that particular run, I died eight times.  The group was awful, and that is par for the course in that dungeon.

Since then, I have run the dungeon once and only died once – on a trash pull before the first boss.  The rest of the run was smooth.  I only agreed to go because I’d just done two other dungeons with the same group, and they were competent levitra over the counter.  The tank took the blame for the death and we moved on.

Halls of Lightning’s bosses are not actually hard.  At least, conceptually.  The first boss is Bjarngrim, who only trips you up if you don’t clear the trash mobs (NPCs) around him first.  Or if you stand next to him when he does a whirlwind attack – this is my favorite way to die as a close-combat fighter.

The second boss is Volkhan, who is not hard at all.  The complication is right before him, where there’s a big room full of earth elementals that explode when they die.  If your group is bad, they use area-effect spells and all the elementals die at once and so does the tank, the rogue, and possibly the healer if he’s not very bright.

Next is Ionar, who (I’ll admit) can be tricky.  He’s a giant spark-man and he periodically splits into smaller sparks, is invulnerable, and kills anybody who doesn’t run.  It’s not a big deal unless the tank and the healer don’t run.  If they die, so does everybody else.

And then there’s Loken, the final boss.  Loken is one of the easiest bosses in Northrend, but only if you know two things:

1. Stand close to Loken.  He deals more damage to people further away.  In a group that doesn’t warn you, or with a healer who is bad, this kills the healer first.

2. Heal through the lightning nova.  Running away from it on Heroic is hard.  And then you have to deal with his damage-at-range attack (see #1).  No, just stay up there, keep hitting him.  It helps if you have a nature resistance boost of some kind.  Like a Shaman.  Bring a Shaman.

So, the real tragedy in Halls of Lightning is that so many good items drop from the bosses.  On that run where I died 8 times and swore I’d never do it again, I also got some pretty good gear.  That’s all that made it worthwhile.  Halls of Lightning.  Seriously.  To be avoided at all costs.

But it’s easily the most attractive dungeon in Northrend.  It would make a better tourist attraction.

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