Saturday, March 31, 2007, posted by WoW Fan at 2:17 AM
I've managed this run several times, each time with a different group setup, and I've put together the following tips to help you guys trek through it especially those new to the game.

Guidelines
Have a well-balanced group with people you know. Sometimes this isn't possible, so at least make sure you are with people who listen and react. Communication is extremely important and if people look as if they go afk or can't keep from chatting around instead of hitting mobs, don't make an attempt with them. This sounds harsh, but many people we grouped with didn't realize this run was different from a normal Baron run. They were going at normal pace and looking around instead of pulling, being stuck in combat mode and asking the group 'ready???' before every pull, to then finish a chat sentence they were sending to a buddy in guild chat before actually pulling. Then at the end they wondered why the run failed.

Try to stick to people that you consider skilled. Skilled people is a vague term, but with skilled we mean the following things:
1. Being always present at any moment of the run, immediately ready to react
2. Being able to LISTEN
3. Being conscious of their environment

It is hard sometimes to get hold of such people, but it is worth the effort, the more your party members correspond to the above mentioned features, the less tries it will take you. Just a briefing before going into the dungeon can already awaken these abilities in a lot of players, so it's always worth a try. If you find a good player, put him on your friends list and so on... you will finally end up with a group able to do this.

Group Makeup
Despite what a lot of people think you don't need a cookie cutter group to manage this, but of course the less skilled your group is, the more you depend on the perfect class combination. What you should have in any case however is this:

1. Warrior (Can be Offensive or Defensive specced, doesn't matter, make sure offensive Warriors have a shield and a one hand weapon on them for tanking the Baron at the end)
2. Priest (Ideally have a priest to heal the group, priests can shackle undead on top, simply very useful)
3. A good AoE class (ideally take a Mage with you, you can AoE a ton of things in this side of the dungeon, much more than many people assume... just need a good healer. This is also important for skellys at Baron later)
4. DPS.
5. DPS (can be substituted with a support class like pally if need be, paladins are actually not bad at all for Stratholme if they are smart and use their AoEs against undead on AoE pulls)

Keep in mind that you can take two AoE classes for example, like Warlock and Mage and you can pretty much AoE 40% of Stratholme Undead Side, you just need a good healer who CHAIN heals the ONE person who gets aggro from AoEing.

Brief people exactly before the run and make sure that everyone must makes an effort. Just tell them to NOT chat around, NOT go afk, ALWAYS pay attention, concentrate, etc.

If you want, tell everyone to get potions, at least mana and health ones. The more the better of course, especially if your priest tends to get low mana fast, so having support from potions is always good. Stuff like Mongoose Elixir or Flask of Supreme Power etc... are really optional, despite what many people think this is not vital.

Have the Mage summon enough drink and water BEFORE entering, since asking for stuff inside the dungeon doesn't usually work.

Once you zone into Stratholme Undead by the Service Gate make sure everyone is present and ready to follow. If someone wants to do the Medallion of Faith quest tell them to not do it, as this quest seems to make it impossible to do the 45 minute run thing, it just bugs out the quest at the end, we don't know if this got fixed yet.

Clear past the three groups of undead and zombies that block the way to the first gate, you CAN AoE these and you should, just have your Mage go inside with a Power Word Shield, spam Arcane Explosion and have the priest chain heal the Mage with spam flash heals (and only the Mage btw). If there is other AoE classes they should use AoE too of course.

Don't open the gate yet, opening and going through it will give you the Baron "Ultimatum" buff. If you didn't do this already tell your group to strictly keep to the following rules:

General Guide

1. No afk.

2. No unnecessary chat or chat with friends outside group, FULL FOCUS.

3. They must be prepared for CONSTANT PULLING, even while casters sometimes drink to regain mana, melee classes should continue pulling. The whole 45 minute thing really only becomes possible if you constantly pull, long mana breaks are really a big no-no.

4. You'll skip a lot of mobs. In fact, a LOT of stuff can be skipped to speed things up, and get to the Baron. Take a look at the map for an idea. Make sure everyone pays attention and that your puller knows the optimal pulling path. Seriously, it's frustrating to do your best to skip a group and one person runs straight into it because he didn't pay attention...make sure this doesn't happen, we can't stress this enough.

5. If things go crazy (multiple mobs), consider AoE with constant healing on the Mage (or the one AoE class that has aggro). If you have several AoE classes, make sure to heal properly.

6. Max DPS. Every dps helps, even the Priest wanding or dotting when he has nothing to do, using dmg shields and trinkets... Play every trumph card you have.

7. Have people always ready to sheep or shackle or better even pull with these spells, less damage saves mana. Counterspell casters that don't want to come, make sure your Priest is at a GOOD distance when you fight the banshee type of mobs as these silence. Also don't and really don't fight bats close to other mobs, pull them back a LARGE chunk, getting feared into adds is like the death cause of 60% of the groups in this dungeon.

8. If it's possible, don't loot. You can loot boss mobs if you want but just skip loot on trash, it will make you go much faster, even though it is painful, we know... but this run requires some sacrifice. Decide BEFORE you enter who is the Disenchanter and who hence will take blue loot from bosses that no one wants to then ROLL FOR IT AFTER THE RUN. We saw many groups discussing about loot and rolling around for DEs after each boss mob on Baron Runs... - we know loot is often the subject where people get touchy but it can't be helped, it's pretty clear why time wasting on loot is not an option for the 45 minute run on Baron.

9. Be fast, constantly pull, skip what you can, max out your DPS, don't waste any time in any form... These are the most important points.

10. When you enter with your group and once you get the ultimatum buff from Baron, go as fast as possible and follow the map... you only have to get to Baron and engage him within these 45 minutes. If you need help on how to kill Baron refer to our Stratholme Guide, which we'll be posting in the next week or so.




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