Raid Review 2: Plane of Night
Alternate names: Von 6 (so named because it was the 6th quest in the series back when you had to run them in order each time), dragon raid
History: Released with module 1 in April 2006 (modules were what updates were called before Eberron Unlimited). Rereleased with epic difficulty with update 3 which included some changes to the boss fight mechanics. Over the next few updates this fight was tweaked for balance (boss HP changes) and the egg mechanic was added for more dynamic fighting. Epic saw changes with the MotU expansion as part of the global epic changes to add variation in difficulty.
Level: 10 heroic – 22 epic
Quest pack: Vault of Night
Flagging: 4 quests that typically only need to be completed once (an intermittent bug may require reflagging). The raid entrance is actually inside a pre-raid quest that must be run every time, but it allows a party of 12.
Objective: slay the dragon Velah who has infiltrated the famous Kundarak Bank.
Overview: The red dragon Velah has broken into the Kundarak bank in an effort to learn more about the Stormreaver prophecy. You must break into the bank yourself and stop her. To do so you must first take down 3 pillars (guarded by 3 djinni on epic) simultaneously to open the door blocking access to her. Then you slay her before time runs out.
What’s really going on: run a gauntlet of a baseball diamond to destroy 3 pillars (and their djinni on epic) while a red dragon shoots fireballs at you. Then fight and slay said red dragon. You have 45 minutes. Go.
Best raid features: the first (and for a long while only) dragon in the game. Running the bases is still a great exercise in group coordination, though its far easier these days. The egg mechanic was arguably the best change to a raid ever. Also, a great view.
Worst raid features: the ability to fall off the bridges into the marketplace and out of the raid with no way to return. This was partially alleviated by adding a portal that was only accessible if you could land o the tiny platform (feather fall required). Velah is also not a very dynamic raid boss with the exception of her fire breath and egg spawning, but he still looks cool.
Prominent builds/Key roles: until the recent changes to epic difficulties, a bard was practically essential just to complete the bases on epic. A rogue is also handy in the pre-raid.
How we used to run it: heroic – this raid defined what was referred to as the “hero method.” This entailed having 1 person fighting the dragon in a duel to the death while every other available person healed and wand whipped. This was before the introduction of the heal spell and even after the heal spell before most mass cure spells were available. Some groups (particularly after heal was available) would use 2 or even 3 heroes and divide available heals between them.
Experienced groups would run a party of 12 through the pre-raid and then split into parties of 3 or 4 to run the raid. This was because at the time the raid chest always had 2 pieces of loot regardless of how many players were in the instance. This gave every player a better chance at raid loot
Epic – a highly coordinated base running followed by great respect for the fire breath by cowering behind large rocks.
How we run it now: marginal coordination on the bases if any with a bum rush attack on Velah. Special attacks? What special attacks?
Why we used to run it: we were playing dungeons and dragons, the experience was not complete without slaying a dragon. Also, every 2 handed fighter needed a sword of shadows. Also the earliest place to find a +2 tome.
Why we run it now: red scales and every 2 handed fighter needs an epic sword of shadows
Notable loot: (epic) sword of shadows, red dragon scales, stat tomes.
What you need to know: don’t fall (even as a ghost), don’t attack fascinated mobs, respect the fire breath.
Best way to fail: pre MotU – break as many fascinated mobs as possible. Cast grease on the approach to the dragon.
Now – lack coordination of any kind while destroying the pillars
Bonus Tidbits: until the release of the gianthold this was the only dragon in the game. Until the release of MotU the only red dragon in the game. You can meet Velah in the Bogwater tavern talking in the back. Also continues the Stormreaver prophecy campaign arc.
Personal favorite moment: as the last person standing I had the bridge blown out from underneath me only to be teleported back by one of the djinni. We regrouped and tried to run the bases again only to fail because I was too gimp to destroy my pillar.
Honorary mention – the first time I fell off. If you haven’t done it, jump off after you win.