Filesystem Checkwits survive Gnomeregan

10th November 2009 – 5.49 pm

We stand outside Gnomeregan, contemplating the arudous path before us. We could just turn around and go to punch boars in their Heisenburg snouts, only determined to exist when we are specifically not on a quest to gather them. But, no, Vulzerda is adamant that 'we are here as adventurers in Azeroth to experience everything, even if it hurts'. As I'm the paladin tank, I'll be only too happy to make sure our time is painful. Besides, Gnomeregan is the capital city of the gnome race, it sounds like a dream come true to slaughter hordes of the big-headed, pink-haired freaks. The deviant gnomes are even sprouting fast enough inside to continually have some dash out of the entrance every few seconds. This clearly needs to be stopped, so we head in to do our duty.

It seems we've been lied to. There are few gnomes in here, encountering instead mostly trogs, and irradiated trogs at that. But popping around an early corner finds us a gnome, separate from all the blasted trogs around, but sadly we can't kill this one. Instead, she offers us an opportunity to watch her try to cause an industrial accident with explosives, which we readily accept. This leads to fighting more troggs, including a minor boss who drops rubbish loot, and no one gets blown up. I am sure that this gnome used to offer a quest, and thus extra experience points, for helping her secure the tunnel, just as I am sure that the quest always used to bug and start without everyone in the party being included. I consider it better that no one gets the quest XP than only half of us, and we move on.

We get back to killing trogs that aren't coming out of tunnels, and it seems to be going rather well. When we get our third punch card from the gnomish machines, the alarm bots wandering around have apparently been reprogrammed and don't start shouting warnings and exploding. Before we progress to room of slime monsters, we find a goblin who has the simple request to be released from being stuck in Gnomeregan, and we accept his task to guide him out. Perhaps it is the lack of gnomes so far, but it all seems rather civilised. 'I'm not sure why Gnomeregan has such a bad reputation', muses Vulzerda.

'Maybe it is because we are over an hour in to our run, not even making it half-way in to the instance, and have just accepted a quest that sends us back to the entrance' and, as it turns out, in to the clutches of mobs that have respawned far too quickly. We could have skipped the escort quest, but I did earlier promise some pain. And we have only scratched the surface, needing to dig much deeper and for longer until we can claim our goal. Luckily, after the trogs and then the slimes, we eventually start feeling more involved, as the inner sanctum of Gnomeregan is full of critters. 'We're killing gnomes!' I cry, which is replied by a chorus of 'finally!'

Gnomes with spanners, gnomes in diving suits, gnomes on mechanical chickens, gnomes wearing cowboy boots, none escape our attention. Livya breaks out the AoE attacks for the larger groups of vermin we attract, for more efficient gnome slaying, although she admits that she'd 'be happy to do it with a potato peeler'. We've all felt that way at one point, I'm sure. The efficiency of the AoE spells lets our warlock get to their 'silky goodness', which I presume to be for her tailoring efforts, but Vulzerda has other ideas.

'Does this mean you can wipe your arse on a gnome?'

'It's worth a try', Livya says, after a moment of reflection, 'face up', of course. It is only moments later that a couple of party members die quick deaths against gnomish opposition, which Livya attributes to us 'all standing there watching' as she tries the conjecture. Death is a good alternative, frankly.

The gnomes may produce some fancy vehicles, but when I realise it is only Mechano I suggest that perhaps we could use the dismantled pieces to build something to help us. The stress of spending so long in Gnomeregan begins to show as Vulzerda replies, 'a decent instance?' I fear that is beyond our capabilities, but the sight of dark iron dwarves heralds the proximity of the final room. Despite starting out with an intention to clear every path and room of all danger, we now take the shortest route to Mekgineer Thermaplugg's chamber, being cautious and strangely professional about the annoying mines the dwarves drop. Some of us remember abandoning runs after wiping on the mines, not wanting to face half the instance again because of respawns.

Thermaplugg turns out to be less of a threat than we anticipate, even after sacrificing maybe a tenth of our DPS by assigning our warlock to hit all the emergency stop buttons of the bomb makers. The stupid gnome boss drops a ring of nature resistance as the ultimate loot in the instance, which we give to our enchanter to destroy and pretend it never happened. We survive Gnomeregan, and have the achievement to prove it! Now let's get the hell out of here.

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