A Look at Utgarde Keep

Last night I had a bit of time to play around on my Priest in the WotLK beta. Planning on hitting a few quests, I’d turned on the LFG flag for Utgarde Keep – adding a note that I was spec’d Shadow. I’m enjoying soloing as Shadow, even though it isn’t radically different than pre-Wrath. Dispersion is a nice talent, however most of the SPriest changes seem to be stacked into the new abilities between 70 and 80.

When the “Want to join for UK? We are past the first boss” whisper came in, “Looking for dps? healing?” was my reply. Knowing that there were a dozen other DPS on LFG – at least 4 or 5 of whom weren’t Death Knights – the “Ahh. we need healing” reply didn’t shock me.

Having not run UK yet, I decided I’d rather respec than to try to and talk another tank/healer into running. I got a portal to IF to dump my shadow talents, and then picked out a holy/disc spec while I followed the group through the first part of the instance.

We did the 2nd and 3rd bosses in about 30 minutes, with a single wipe on the 2nd boss. That wipe was largely due to my playing an alt-spec on an alt-toon.. damage was being spread around more than I’d expected, and I had trouble finding the spells I needed. Plus, the slightly agrro-happy bosses focus-fired my ass down.

After the run back, we cleared through the rest of the instance with no problems. Most of the trash barely required me to do anything, and were I not a still working at learning my beta keybindings I would have had plenty of time to pump out some sweet-sweet holy dps. The final boss,however, does push out some serious damage. I nearly lost the tank after letting him drop to 70%, and then having a G-Heal interrupted with a several seconds long silence. Once I managed to recover, I simply overhealed the rest of the way through. Not elegant, but the fight was quick enough that I had no mana worries.

My Priest’s healing gear is mostly Kara level, with a few Arena pieces thrown in for survivability. The tank was Kara + Badge geared. We did run with some CC, but I get the feeling that most Kara level groups should tear through UK without too many problems. I’m planning on actually tanking the run in the next few days, so I’ll have a better idea of the difficulty then.

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