Category Archives: Boss Fights

Hunter Tips for Malkorok

Malkorok is the 9th boss in Siege of Orgrimmar. He’s got some nasty abilities and is a step up in difficulty from many of the early bosses. 

It’s two-phase single target fight (there are a few adds in heroic, but they’re not a big focus). 

The fight

During phase one there is constant raid-wide damage, and a shield mechanic similar to Tortos. Any healing taken will go into your shield, not your health bar. Thankfully, you don’t have to shoot a crystal to trigger the shield, it applies automatically. Malkorok uses a few damaging abilities. Seismic Slam does damage in a 5 yard area and shoots players up into the air. Be sure to be spread out so only one person gets hit at a time. Imploding Energy will spawn void pools around the room. After 5 seconds they will explode, doing damage to anyone in them. Each zone must be soaked by at least one player standing in them, or massive shadow damage will be done to all players. My raid splits the room into quadrants and assigns people to each one so everyone knows where they need to soak. Arcing Smash is a cone attack that he will use 3 times during the phase, this can be avoided. 10 seconds after the 3rd Arcing Smash, he’ll use Breath of Y’Shaarj which deals massive damage in the places where the smashes were. Remembering the position of each smash so you know where the safe zones are is very important.

Heroic only – When Malk uses Seismic slam, it causes Living corruption adds to spawn and attack players. These have an aura which reduces the casting and movement speed of those around them. They need to get to the tank so they don’t sabotage the casters. Malkorok will also spawn orbs of corruption continuously throughout phase 1. These persist and if anyone comes into contact with them, their barrier gets removed and they take damage. These can be soaked using cooldowns, but should generally be avoided in this phase.

In phase 2 the Ancient Miasma fades, meaning people no longer have shields and can have their health restored. Malkorok will start using Blood Rage, doing huge amounts of damage split among any players in front of him. In normal, everyone just stacks in front of the boss to split the damage. Displaced Energy is a debuff that will be applied to random players. It deals damage to the player and if it is dispelled (or after 9 seconds) explodes, doing damage to anyone in 8 yards. Because of this, players who get this need to move out of the group. Whether or not you want to dispel is up to your group (I vote no!).

Heroic only – The Displaced Energy debuff also roots the affected player in place. Only tanks (or one Monk tank) should stand in front of the boss to soak the Blood Rage. The rest of the players should stay spread out in their quadrants. At this time, the Essences of Y’Shaarj can be soaked by players with good cooldowns (hunters, shadow priests, paladins) to free up some space.

When the Blood Rage ends, we go back to phase 1.

Talent Recommendations

Level 15 – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
In order to soak as many Orbs as possible, the shorter cooldown on Deterrence is good.

Level 90 – Glaive Toss
Normal is a single-target fight and in heroic the adds aren’t numerous and die quickly.

Tips for the Fight

  • Deterrence has a ton of uses on this fight. In heroic you can use it to soak the Essences of Y’Shaarj. If you get caught in an Arcing Smash or Breath of Y’Shaarj, Deterrence will keep you alive.
  • Disengage can help you get out of the bad floor effects, reduce fall damage after a slam, or get to Imploding Energy to soak in time.
  • Keep an eye on your Barrier level. It will change colour based on how full it is. Use a Healthstone if you’re in the red.
  • Heroic - Master’s Call is helpful on heroic, it can be used if you’re slowed by an ooze or if you are rooted by Displaced Energy.
  • Heroic – Help out the raid by Misdirecting the oozes when they spawn. Once they’re on the tank, Multishot every once in a while to help get them down. 
  • Heroic - Get a Druid to Symbiosis you so they can get Deterrence and you can use Dash so you can soak more orbs.

Happy hunting!

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Patch 5.4 and Siege of Orgrimmar was released on September 10, 2013. We’ve been in there for 4 months so far but to me it feels more like 4 years.

This week we learned that there is another PVP season planned during Mists. This means we’re likely looking at another 6 months in Siege of Orgrimmar before Warlord of Draenor comes out. At least. Blizzard does a lot of things well, but pacing their raid content releases is not one of them.

The most recent three expansions have had a pretty distinct pattern when it came to time spent in a tier vs. number of encounters available in that tier. The first tier goes quick. There are a lot of encounters, but the tier isn’t current for that long. In the middle tier, the ratio of encounters:time goes down – the tier stays current for roughly the same amount of time (give or take a month), but there are less bosses to fight. In the final tier of an expansion that encounter:time ratio drops even more. We get more bosses than the middle tier, but the tier drags on for 10-12 months while we wait for the next expansion to be released.

Wrath of the Lich King
Tier 7  (5 months, 18 encounters – 3.6 encounters/month)
Tier 8  (3.5 months, 23 encounters 6.6 encounters/month)
Tier 9  (4 months, 11 encounters – 2.75 encounters/month)
Tier 10 (1 year, 26 encounters – 2.2 encounters/month)  

Cataclysm
Tier 11 (6.5 months, 25 encounters – 3.8 encounters/month)
Tier 12 (5 months, 14 encounters – 2.8 encounters/month)
Tier 13 (10 months, 16 encounters – 1.6 encounters/month)

Mists of Pandaria
Tier 14 (5 months, 32 encounters – 6.4 encounters/month)
Tier 15 (6 months, 25 encounters – 4.2 encounters/month)
Tier 16 (10 months?, 28 encounters – 2.8 encounters/month)

Tier 8 (Ulduar) in Wrath of the Lich King is an outlier in this – an example of creating a tier that was amazing in both quality and quantity, but then pushing it to the background with another tier extremely quickly. WotLK is also a bit of an anomaly in that it was the only time in any expansion (or original WoW) that we got 4 raid tiers.

The question is…why the hell do they keep doing this?

I can understand some front-loading of content. When a new expansion comes out, having a ton of new content is going to help convince people to purchase it. But they need to spread the content out better. Here’s what my generally mindset looks like as expansions proceed:

Game is released
“Oh my god, there’s so much to do! Level! Get rep! Get enough gear to start raiding! Try to check out the new features that were introduced.”

First raid tier ends
“I wish it had lasted longer! I’m sure my raid could have defeated a couple more raid bosses if we had an extra month, and there’s still so much other stuff to do.”

Second raid tier ends
“I feel good about this tier. We had a decent amount of time to progress, and I’m ready for a change of scenery.”

Six months into the final raid tier
“Is this tier ever going to end? Can we hear some news about when the next expansion is coming? Pleeeease.”

Eight to twelve months into the final raid tier
“I’m so bored, we killed everything months ago and playing has been a huge waste of my life for the last few months. Fuck this fucking game, I hate it.”

They need to learn to hold something back. Maybe instead of having 3 raid instances at the start of the xapc, only put out 2 and save one for the last tier. I know I’m not the only one who gets bored doing the same, single raid for almost a year.

Mists of Pandaria also had the least amount of raid zones. In Burning Crusade we had 8 different raids – Karazhan, Magtheridon’s Lair, Gruul’s Lair, Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, Hyjal, Black temple and Sunwell. Some of these only had one or two bosses, but 8 raids make for a tremendous amount of variety in scenery, lore and types of bosses encountered. It makes things much more interesting. In Wrath of the Lich King there were 9 different raids. In Cataclysm we had only 6 raid zones. In Mists? Only 5, and 3 of them were squished into the first 5 months. This made for a lot of monotony over the next 10 months.

Is providing varied, interesting raid zones becoming less of a priority?  It seems that in Warlords, a lot of attention is being paid to allowing people to raid in 700 different ways (LFR, normal, heroic, flex, cross-realm, mythic). How much attention will be paid to the variety and amount of raid zones themselves?

After the original release and four expansions, will Blizzard ever learn how to not suck at timing their raid content releases?

Hunter Tips for Kor’kron Dark Shaman

Kor’kron Dark Shaman is the 7th boss in Siege of Orgrimmar. It’s a multi-mob, multi-tank fight (3 >2) and is a bit of a clusterfrak of  bad things on the floor that the raid needs to avoid.

Even through the Shaman share a health pool, my guild always tanks them separately (on normal and heroic) to make staying alive much easier, and I recommend that strat. 

The fight

When the fight starts, you face not only the two shaman (Haromm and Kardris), but also their wolf mounts, Darkfang and Bloodclaw. The wolves do a nasty stacking bleed on their current target, so they should be burned down quickly. Keep all 4 mobs together until the wolves are dead so you can take advantage of cleaves.

Once the wolves are dead, send two tanks, the melee dps and most of your healers away with Haromm. My raid pulls him up the hill to the right of the building. Leave 1 tank, the ranged dps and a couple (or 1 on 10 man) healers to deal with Kardris.

Haromm’s side needs more healers because of Toxic Mist. That portion of the raid will also have to avoid a number of mechanics that can kill them very quickly – Foul Stream, Ashen Wall, and in heroic mode – Iron Tomb. It’s very important for the Walls and the Tombs to be positioned carefully so the raid doesn’t get boxed in and die a horrible death.

Kardris’s side also has a lot of bad stuff to deal with and will need to make the most of the space in the room. Toxic Storms are large purple swirlies which spawn on players and need to be avoided. The storms will also spawn Toxic Tornados which are smaller, but quick-moving. All ranged and healers should stay on one side of the tank so you can control where these spawn. Once you start running out of space, rotate around the room a bit until you have a clear area. Starting at 65%, Kardris will start summoning Foul Slimes, nasty little adds with a 3 yard aura that does heavy damage. Kill these asap, but don’t get too close to them. Periodically Kardris will cast Falling Ash. This creates a large red circle on the floor and after 15 seconds does very heavy damage to the whole raid (anyone actually in the red circle will be killed). The terrain can cause issues with seeing exactly where the borders of the Falling Ash circle are. The heroic mode mechanic is Iron Prison, which is cast on random players throughout the fight, dealing 100% of their health as damage after a minute. Damage mitigation cooldowns or shields are required to keep people alive through this.

At 25% the Shaman cast Heroism on themselves, increasing their damage and haste.

Talent Recommendations

According to the top parses, BM outperforms SV on this fight. Maybe I’m just bad at BM, but I find this fight so much easier and my dps much better as Survival. The Foul Slimes are one of the biggest concerns for the ranged and I find them easier to mow down with hard hitting shots rather than my pet. But, YMMV.

Level 15 – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
This is more for heroic. You can get unlucky and get targeted by Iron Prison a bunch on this fight, so having Deterrence available more often is good. On normal, you might find the speed boost from Postehaste more beneficial.

Level 90 – Barrage
The cooldown on this lines up very nicely with the summoning of Foul Slimes.

Tips for the fight

  • The bosses initially start off in a building and are a pain to get to. Do your raid a favour and reset them so they respawn outside. Don’t forget to dismiss your pet first.
  • Use all your cooldowns and AoE/Cleave away while the bosses and their wolves are grouped up. Get those puppies down fast.
  • If you happen to get hit by a toxic tornado (it happens), use a Healthstone immediately.
  • Make sure Barrage is up while the Foul Slimes are spawning and also try to have an almost full focus bar so you don’t need to cast many/any Cobra Shots while they’re up. Start off with Multishot as they’re spawning and hit Barrage once they are all out. I generally don’t find dropping Explosive/Frost traps worth it. However, Binding Shot is great for keeping them still if you place it properly.
  • You can use Deterrence to completely deflect the Falling Ash damage. You should definitely do this if you’re lower on health when it’s about to hit.
  • On heroic, make sure Deterrence is up if you get Iron Prison – it takes a minute to deal its damage, so you have lots of warning. Use Deterrence when there are only a couple seconds left. It won’t completely negate the damage, it’ll just apply the damage reduction. It’s also a really good idea to use a WeakAura to let you know when you have the debuff and when it will expire.

Happy hunting!

Hunter Tips for Galakras

Galakras is the 5th fight in SoO and is broken up into two parts – a siege phase where you fight waves of adds and gain control of towers, and a single target phase after you’ve shot Galakras out of the sky. Though the fight seems complex because there are so many types of mobs all with their own set of abilities, it’s actually fairly straightforward to execute. These are tips for both normal and heroic.

The fight

The goal in phase 1 is to gain control of two towers so you can shoot Galakras down and begin the last phase of the fight. The raid gets separated into a ground team and a tower team. For the first couple waves of adds, the whole raid can stay together to deal with them (I’m not going to talk about what every single add does, go read a guide for that).

Wave 3 consists of a mini-boss, Korgra the Snake, and two Ebon Stalkers. The Ebon Stalkers are more dangerous so they should be killed first. It’s at this point that your tower team (consisting of one tank, a number of dps and a couple healers) wants to head up to the South Tower, which will open shortly. The ranged dps can help kill the mobs on the ground, while the tank and melee can handle the adds in the tower. Once the tower opens, a Demolisher will spawn and start shooting at the tower. The Demo should become the priority target and should be killed before the tower team starts climbing the tower (otherwise they’ll take damage and get stunned as they’re running up). At the top of the tower is another mini-boss with a cone attack that can knock people off the tower. Once it’s dead, the tower team can re-join the ground team. Important: Have one person stay on the tower and use the cannon to shoot down all the proto-drakes flying around, this will reduce the amount of damage the raid takes considerably.

The ground team will then need to handle 3 more waves of various adds. The 7th wave will be another mini-boss, High Enforcer Thranok. He will occasionally pull all players close to him, then do a big attack. Everyone needs to get away when this happens. Around this time, the North tower will open, and another Demo will spawn. The tower team should deal with this one in the same way as the last. Once the 2nd tower has been claimed, you need one person in the cannon on top of each tower to shoot Galakras down at the same time. Make sure the adds on the ground are under control/almost dead before you do this.

The priority for killing mobs may differ a bit based on your raid team, but here are some general guidelines.

Kill immediately:

  • Healing Tide Totems (dropped by Tidal Shaman) and War Banners (dropped by Flagbearers)

High priority:

  • Kor’kron Demolishers – so your tower team can start climbing
  • Dragonmaw Bonecrushers – because they hurt the NPCs
  • Dragonmaw Tidal Shamans – because they heal

Low priority:

  • Dragonmaw Flameslingers
  • Dragonmaw Grunts

Extra heroic mechanic
The Demolition Crew NPCs (the guys who open the towers for you) now get attacked by Dragonmaw Grunts and must be protected. A small team of ranged dps and a healer or two should be assigned to protect these guys until the tower opens.

In phase 2 things get much more simple. Kill off any remaining adds then, burn down Galakras. The main mechanic to deal with is Flames of Galakrond. My raid has found the best way to handle it is to split your raid into two groups and have one stand on his back left foot and one on his back right foot. The person targeted by the Flames just needs to back up a few steps to ensure it hits the group before it hits them.

Talent Recommendations

Level 15 – Postehaste
If you’re assigned to the tower team then Posthaste can help get you around a little quicker. 

Level 75 – Blink Strikes

Level 90 – Barrage
Mobs are often up in groups of 5 or 6 at a time, Barrage will get all of them.

Tips for the fight

  • You can use Disengage to get around a little quicker if you’re running between the towers and the ground team. If you’re on top of the tower you can jump off and Disengage before you hit the ground to avoid taking too much damage/dying. You can also use it to quickly get behind the rest of the group if you’re targeted by Flames in phase 2.
  • Use Master’s Call to quickly get your pet from attacking the mobs on the ground to attacking mobs by the tower.
  • With so many instant shots, hunters are great for killing Banners and Totems. Make a targeting macro to make killing these even faster.
  • You can help interrupt the Tidal Shaman. Chain Heal is the most important one, though generally people with a shorter interrupt should get that. You can also interrupt Tidal Wave.

Happy hunting!

Hunter Tips for Sha of Pride

Sha of Pride is the fourth and last boss in the Vale of Eternal Sorrows, before you start the march on Orgrimmar. For the majority of the time it’s a single-target fight, though there are a few different kinds of adds that spawn at certain times. This fight also involves an individual resource, Pride, which you want to avoid getting as much as possible. These are tips for both normal and heroic.

The fight

At the beginning of the fight, everyone starts out with 0 Pride, which means no bad effects. Most avoidable damage gives Pride (so avoid it), along with some unavoidable abilities. 

There are two debuffs which go out throughout the fight:

1. Periodically, random people will be affected by Gift of the Titans, which makes them immune to gaining pride for 20 seconds. If the people who have this debuff group up, they will get Power of the Titans, which increases haste, damage and healing done. On normal mode, everyone can stand together for most of the fight so no action should be required. However, on heroic your raid will likely be spread out, so the people with Gift should run together, then spread back out once they get the Power buff.

2. Players will get Mark of Arrogance, a DoT which does heavy damage and must be dispelled. Dispelling gives 5 Pride.

There are a few major events which happen roughly in order and repeat throughout the fight:

1. Self Reflection is used on random raid members and creates a Reflection of Pride add at their location. It also puts a small, bubbly purple void zone down at the spawn spot which should be moved out of as it does heavy damage and gives Pride. The Reflections should be grouped up in the middle and AoE’d down.

Heroic Only – Around the time Self-Reflection is cast, the Sha will also cast Banishment, sending a few players to the Sha Realm. Banished players leave behind a hostile copy of themselves, which must be killed in order to get the player unbanished.

2. Corrupted Prison will trap players (2 in 10, 4 in 25) in glowy circles spread around the boss. While players are trapped they are stunned, gain Pride and take damage. To release them, players must stand on each of the glowing yellow titan locks around the prison. All locks must be activated at once.

3. The boss will summon Manifestations of Pride (1 in 10, 2 in 25), a large add which will chain cast Mocking Pride and will give Pride to whoever is closest when it dies. These should be silenced and gripped into the group if possible so they can be killed by everyone. They should also be interrupted as much as possible.

4. Swelling Pride is cast when the boss reached 100 energy and is the most dangerous part of the fight. It inflicts massive shadow damage on all players, along with a secondary effect on anyone with 25 or more Pride. Anyone with 25 or more Pride should get away from the group before Swelling Pride is cast.

  • 25-49 Pride – Creates a mass of Sha  corruption, Bursting Pride, which does damage to anyone within 5 yards after 3 seconds. 
  • 50-74 Pride – Creates a Projection 15 yards away from the player. The player must find it and stand in it or it will do massive raid-wide damage.
  • 75-99 Pride – Aura of Pride inflicts pulsing shadow damage to anyone within 5 yards for 25 seconds.
  • 100 – You get mind controlled and wreak havoc on your raid.

When the boss reaches 30% all Pride levels are reset to 0, and it will start using Unleashed on the raid, which does heavy raid-wide damage and gives everyone 5 Pride every 10 seconds. The other mechanics continue as normal.

Extra heroic mechanic 
Unstable Corruption - Rifts will continually spawn on the ground around the room and will launch bolts of corruption at players. You can tell where they will land, there’s a purple puff on the ground. Anyone hit by these will take damage and gain Pride. Players can and should close the rifts by walking over them, but can only do so once per minute because of the Weakened Resolve debuff.

Talent Recommendations

Level 15 – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
Deterrence and disengage are both great on this fight and you’ll want them up as often as possible.

Level 30 – Binding Shot
This can be used to help keep the reflections in place once they’re grouped in the middle.

Level 90
Normal Mode – Glaive Toss

Reflections don’t stay up too long on normal.

Heroic Mode – Barrage
There are a lot of adds up when self-reflection is cast and Barrage is great for mowing them down. Make sure Barrage is available to use when Self-Reflection is being cast.

Tips for the fight

  • Disengage has a ton of uses on this fight. Use it to quickly get to prisons to free people, to get out of Bursting Pride if you’re over 25 Pride during the Swelling cast, or to get to rifts quickly (on heroic). Glyph it if you don’t normally for some extra distance.
  • Deterrence is also amazing. You can use it to completely deflect Swelling Pride and make your healers love you. I found I could deflect 2 in a row, but the cooldown wasn’t quite up for the 3rd. Use a healthstone after the cast if you aren’t able to use Deterrence.
  • You can move and shoot, so watch your feet. You shouldn’t be taking any Unstable Corruption hits.
  • You can help interrupt the Manifestation of Pride’s Mocking Pride cast. Ideally, the first cast will be silenced so the mob will move into the middle, but you should be able to get an interrupt in after. These should be your damage focus while they’re up.
  • Heroic – If are banished to the Sha Realm, there is a simple pattern to move in to make sure you don’t die. Take your first left, grab the orb, go immediately left again, then go clockwise around the circle on your right (grab that orb too). This should put you out of the way of the mobs. Just don’t run into walls!
  • Heroic – Make sure you can easily keep track of the Weakened Resolve debuff. It you don’t have it, you should go soak a rift.

Happy hunting!

So Close…

Last night was Apotheosis’ last raid of Tier 15, and the 9th night we spent working on Heroic Lei Shen. I believe we were somewhere in the realm of 175 attempts on the boss. We made steady improvement on the fight over the last 3 weeks, progressing from wiping in the first transition every time to getting into phase 2 quite often and then finally getting into phase 3 a number of times. Our best attempt was 15%.

Unfortunately, we did not manage to get the kill last night. I hate to blame outside forces, but our last night of attempts was royally screwed by server input lag. It’s something I’ve personally experienced a couple of times in this tier, but not nearly to the extent the whole raid did last night. When we were working on normal Lei Shen some people in the raid often got lag on the pull (and blamed the Hunters), but last night it was just ridiculous. On many pulls the game was nearly unplayable as all ability use was delayed and people were pushing their cooldowns 2, 3, 4 times before they went off (if they did at all). This caused our dps to lag about 5% behind what it normally is, messing up pillar timings. The lag also made transitions even less fun than normal. It’s hard enough to master the most difficult boss of the tier for the first time under the best circumstances, and the lag made it pretty much impossible to make any progress. We ended up cutting our losses and calling the raid a little early.

It is disappointing that we lost our last chance to kill Lei Shen, but I’m still extremely proud of my guild and the progress we made this tier. We ended the tier at 11/13H, which is a huge improvement over last tier. We got through normals in good time and made short work of a number of the more challenging heroic bosses. We didn’t let the roadblock bosses discourage us, and kept pushing forward. In less than 200 attempts we almost killed heroic Lei Shen, when most guilds spent 300 attempts on it.

Even though we didn’t get the kill, I’m happy that we spent our last weeks in Throne of Thunder continuing with progression. We could have farmed some more gear, gotten a few more meta achievements (a number of people, myself included, didn’t get all the achievement requirements checked off), taken it easy. But we’re a raiding guild. Progression is what we do and I don’t want to stop progressing until there are no bosses left to kill. Lei Shen really tested and improved people’s awareness and ability to work together with the rest of the raid team and I expect the improvements we made will keep us rolling through Siege of Orgrimmar.

So, good job Apotheosis – we should all be proud of our progress this tier.

Patch day tomorrow!

Throne of Thunder Retrospective

Yesterday I read Beru’s Tier 15 Resto-spective, and I thought I may as well break my blogging silence and write my own. I’m not going to talk so much about specific bosses or healing, but more about mechanics I enjoyed (or hated) like I did last tier.

The Raid Instance

I’m not a story person, but I did enjoy how the raid instance this tier had a lot of content tied in with it. Isle of Thunder gave backstory around Throne of Thunder and made it seem much more a part of the rest of the game than the raids from the previous tier.

However, I wasn’t too crazy about the 4 section design (a decision which seemed to cater to LFR more than anything else). I found the 1st and 4th sections cohesive, while the middle 2 sort of came out of nowhere and seemed to have nothing to do with Lei Shen or the rest of the raid.

Some parts of the raid were visually interesting and a lot of the bosses were enjoyable. I’d rate Tier 15 about the same as Tier 11. Not nearly as enjoyable for me as Tier 6 (the ultimate in raid content), but better than a lot of tiers.

Healing

Healing as a resto Druid this tier was touch and go. There were fights that made me feel completely ineffective as anything but a dispel-bot (Heroic Horridon), and fights that made me feel like a superhero (Heroic Tortos). To be honest, I enjoyed healing in this tier more before we got buffed. I liked being able to ignore Mushrooms in 90% of situations because they were awful. The 25-man changes to Hymn/Tranq/Revival/HTT made raid bosses even more of a cooldown-stacking game. Healing was a lot more challenging (and therefore fun) before everyone got buffed and we were allowed to upgrade our gear again.

Mechanics

Good things

  • Having other things to do. Example: Horridon’s pink dinos, Twins’ constellation drawing. I think I’m in the minority when I say I liked the dino mechanic. Mostly I just enjoy having something extra to do during some encounters. Managing healing, dispelling and knocking that dino back felt like a juggling act, which I found interesting.
  • Pick your poison bosses. Example: Megaera, Council, Lei Shen. I like council-type fights that let each raid group choose how they’d like to tackle the fight. On Megaera, you could never kill the Poison head so you wouldn’t have to deal with the AoE damage, but have to deal with increased damage from the other heads. Or you could cycle through killing each head so damage was more uniform. Giving players some control over how the fight works makes things more engaging.
  • Novelty. Example: Tortos’ crystal shells. The addition of this one mechanic made Heroic Tortos completely different than normal, especially from a healing perspective (and made it the only fight where my HoTs weren’t 50%+ overheal). It’s a mechanic I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Keep the new things coming.
  • Meaningful dispels. Example: Megaera’s Cinders. These dispels required thought and awareness about the position of the person with the debuff. You didn’t want to dispel someone and have a flame patch drop in melee or on a group of people, but you also didn’t want to leave the debuff up so long that it would kill the person it was on. I also liked that this debuff required action on both the part of the dispeller and dispellee.
  • Awareness checks. Example: Durumu. I really like Durumu’s maze. Sometimes it was a pain to see, but it really did test people’s ability to not stand in the bad. I also really liked the Light Spectrum phase. Having the beams targeting random people and the fog positioning showing up briefly really showed who was paying attention.
  • Group challenges. Example: Ji-Kun nests, Lei Shen transition quadrants. I like when the raid gets separated into smaller task forces. It’s fun to learn to work with a sub-set of your raid to accomplish something in a fight.

Things that need to go away

  • Awful trash. Example: Horridon’s bridge trash, Ji’Kun’s trash. Really, why put people through this? I think it took my raid longer to get through Horridon’s bridge trash than it did to kill Horridon for the first time. This is not the way things should work. Since trash very infrequently has rewards, it should not be so much of a pain in the ass.
  • Mechanics where 1 person can blow up your entire raid. Example: Jin’Rokh’s Ionization. Seriously. This isn’t fun. Not for the person who accidentally kills everyone or anyone else. These mechanics are not conducive to happy raids.
  • Mindless, mass debuffs. Example: Horridon. Dispelling can be an interesting job that requires thought and planning (see above). Or, like on Horridon, it can be an annoyance. Having magics, poisons, diseases and curses going out on large amounts of people at quick intervals is not fun. Dispelling like this just seems like busy work.
  • Fights that require spreadsheets to plan a strategy for. Example: Heroic Ji-Kun, Heroic Dark Animus. Seriously, fights like these make me feel bad for 25-man raid leaders everywhere. Complexity can make fights interesting, but when it involves knowing at exactly what second of the fight every nest activates and which of 10 possible places a guardian will spawn, or assigning all 25 raiders a specific place to stand in a room, it gets to be too much.
  • Fussy positioning. Example: Dark Animus. One person stands a step too far to the right or left on the pull and it’s a wipe. Most wipes on this fight happen right at the beginning, almost always due to positioning or an add running away and it’s more frustrating than challenging.
  • Stay x yards apart. Example: Ji’Kun, Primordius, Iron Qon, Twin Consorts, Lei Shen. This isn’t a bad mechanic, it’s just an overused way to challenge the ranged and healers. And it sucks a lot more for 25s than 10s.

What did you think of Tier 15? What were your most and least favourite things about it?