There has been one section of Borean Tundra I've been purposefully avoiding. A little north of the Horde starting town is an area called Amber Ridge. This is the first encounter the players have with the Kirin Tor. (That's the Dalaran mages for those not big on lore.)
Unfortunately, Dalaran isn't accessible until level 74 unless you can get a 74+ mage to port you there. I haven't even seen it yet. However, I'll have good reputation with the Kirin Tor when I arrive because I'm helping them with a mission.
You see, the blue dragonflight, led by Malygos, have decide that magic is too dangerous a weapon to be in the hands of dragons and have elected to try to siphon it away. Needless to say, the Kirin Tor don't like that, but neither does the red dragonflight, who thing that the blues may be threatening magic itself and want to make sure another cataclysmic event like The Sundering doesn't happen again.
The blues don't exactly like the Kirin Tor or the reds, either, and have started imprisoning some of them. When you first arrive at Amber Ridge, your first set of obectives are to rescue a few mages from the associates of the blue dragonflight.
Once you earn their trust, they ship you off to Coldarra, a large island nearby that is the home of Malygos and his flight. Somebody took out the bridge, so one of the red dragons actually flies you into the Transitus Shield, the hidden base of operations that the mages work from within Coldarra.
One of the quests in Coldarra will find you freeing a red dragon from one of the blue prisons, who then has you perform an assault on Saragosa, Malygos's "consort". Yes, I actually fought that giant dragon all by myself. Well, me and my rhino pet.
In retaliation, Malygos abducts the red dragon you've freed to bend her to his will and be his new consort.
And so begins the journey into the Nexus. In the literal sense, the Nexus is the area in the center of Coldarra, and represents a dungeon hub. However, only one of the instance wings is available without flight, and is simply called "The Nexus." The mages had other missions that ultimately required me to go inside, but now that I have to rescue my new dragon friend, I *have* to go inside!
So I rounded up a party and took a look around.
The entire area is very blue. I guess that shouldn't be surprising. It's the BLUE dragonflight's home, and it's an icy area to begin with. Plus magic is often represented as being blue-ish. Still, it was a little too blue for me.
The dungeon itself is set up to be non-linear, but with an obvious path you ought to follow. The central boss, Kerialstrasz, is not available until you defeat the three sub-bosses. When you enter, there is a path that will lead to any of them, but once you reach one, there's also a path around the back that connects them to each other, so a full run is probably going to just sweep around the outer circle rather than cut across the middle.
My group consisted of a warlock, a mage, a healing druid, and a tanking death knight. The DK was 70, in quest greens, and he did die a few times during the course of the run, but overall didn't do a half-bad job considering we were feeling things out and it was his first time tanking. (With that character, anyway.) I don't know what the rest of the group's gear was like; I personally have T6 gear, but in general the instance seemed pretty well-tuned.
The zone itself is a bit of an enigma to me. In the western portion of the zone is a bunch of people trapped in ice cubes. This area, dubbed the Halls of Stasis, eventually leads to a region with lots of Blood Elves.
And then we reached this chick:
Grand Magus Telestra was not an easy fight. In fact, she was responsible for the one true full wipe our group had. She starts off as a simple mage, doing the things mages do like Polymorph and Blizzard, but occasionally she starts whipping everyone around the room. It doesn't do much damage, but it's disruptive. The hard part about the fight is that at half health, she creates 4 clones of herself that all have the same spells that she does. It's tough handling a room full of mobs that suddenly appear and start casting painful spells and turning you into a squirrel. (Did I mention we had no dispeller in the group?) If you can squeak past the clone phase, she reappears and does the exact same things she did in phase 1.So we did get her eventually, and were rewarded with this:
We continued around the back path to the northern part of the zone where we found a bunch of drakkonids guarding "The Rift". There are a few magic aberrations in this area as well, and they kinda need to die first because they hurt.
We pushed our way through the area, moving from strange rune-glowing platform to platform, until I could see the next boss in the distance.We had more ground to cover first, but finally we arrived at Anomalus. (Sorry, don't have a good pic. He looks like the second boss from Magister's Terrace.) Anomalus also takes himself out of the action while adds are summoned, but his main phase isn't all that threatening, and he summons the adds many times through the fight. Each time he goes poof, two guys appear. You kill them, he comes back, and you get back to business. Not terribly tricky imho. We were rewarded with some mail boots.
Finally we moved for the eastern boss in what appeared to be a frozen forest known as The Singing Grove.
All the enemies in this area were plants. The little flowers were nothing more than a minor nuisance, however they also respawn quickly. You're supposed to keep moving forward in this area.
The boss of the area was Ormorok the Tree-Shaper, a...er, I dunno what he is. He's like the second boss of Mana-Tombs. But in practice, he fights very differently. The most dangerous effect to watch out for is the shards of ice that emit from him in various directions. A few seconds later they shatter for lots of damage, so you need to move clear. This was the most significant aspect of the battle. In the end we were left with more boots.
At last, we entered the center chamber, right by where we entered. Kerialstrasz was waiting for us, in a block of ice.
Orbs around the room released her from this prison, but she turned on us.
The most dangerous part of the fight is a stacking dot/debuff that can be removed simply by moving. A mere sidestep or a jump removes it, so there's no excuse for dying to the effect. However, that does make this a slightly mobile fight. Slightly.
I'd like to thank Cisare, Somar, Tjofshadow, and Mediveh for having me along for the trip and for letting me use their likenesses and all that jazz.