The Great Barrow is an instance quest, a repeatable dungeon bash located in the Southern Barrow-Downs for six people – and trust me, you will need six good people if you are going to attempt it because it is hard, fast and mean. The first time I ventured in our team had a minstrel as our healer, but the leader did not spell out our roles and the healer fancied a bash at the barrow-wights and giant grave worms himself. Biiiiig mistake because he quickly died and we followed him. I told him to stay back and designated myself as his guardian which worked out better. Any bad guys that made a beeline for him(1) I got stuck into until I pulled their aggro on to me. He then healed me as I went all rotary dicer on their foul, undead arses and he could get back to healing the rest of the group who were being tossed around like rag dolls by the worms. It was fun 😀
The second time was a little easier but I’m not sure why. Maybe the level of the instance was set lower or maybe the players were a better mix of types and experience, or maybe we just caught some luck, I don’t know but we managed to kick the crapola out of everything without dying once which left me with a lovely warm feeling that lasted all the way until I joined another group a few minutes later and went through it again. This time it was a much different story and I think it’s fair to say that that future visitors to the Great Barrow will be picking up pieces of us for some time to come.
To be fair we did alright until the end room with the boss (the second boss for those in the know) and that’s when it all fell apart.Or rather we did, with the help of his ruddy great halberd blade! I think the reasons were two-fold: 1) the level of the instance was set at 27 and our team level spread was 41 down to 16, and 2) we only had one healer and nothing he could do could keep up with the rate that the lower level guys were falling. We tried it a few times without success before I had to log and my lasting memory is of being alone with the boss in a room full of ‘dead’ team-mates as I desperately unleashed my finest sching-sching upon him only to see it do nada to his health bar. Nothing. Not a jot. I stood there hacking five kinds of crap out of this guy and he just sucked it up like I was spooning him ice-cream until he got bored and killed me. That is a humbling sight, let me tell you.
I’m going to go back with some more guys and find that boss guys and regain my honour. And my kidneys. The bastard.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect in the Great Barrow from a random search on YT:
p.s. One thing I wasn’t expecting, or rather the lack of something I was expecting, is that no one was using voice! I just assumed everyone used voice in a raid but no one in the ones I’ve been in so far has. Very odd.
(1) I wasn’t sure how ‘aggro’ and threat really worked until I played the Great Barrow. I’d read about them, about how the game calculated your threat level to each bad guy and had that bad guy act accordingly meaning if you became too threatening (doing too much damage or using taunts, etc.) they’d shift their focus to you, but if I’m honest I think I imagined it was all bullshit and they’d just hit anyone near. Wrong. Very, very wrong. These fuckers are smart. They react in real time to not just what you are doing, but what everyone in your team is doing and if you think that whoever is hitting them hardest is going to be their main concern, you are dead wrong. They go after the healers. You can see them peel off a fight and head for the poor sod stood at the back trying to keep everyone alive with his magic or music and if these guys die, so do you. Quickly. So my role as a Champion is to intercept and punch these bastards so hard that they have to take notice of me and try to kill me instead – this means the squishie little healer can keep me alive as I keep him alive. It’s fast, desperate work, but bloody good fun when it goes well. God I love being and Champion in this game!:-D