Favorite fight mechanics is a topic that came up late one night at BlizzCon. I had an answer to this right away, as this post has been sitting in my draft folder for a couple months. I thought it was about time to finally get it completed and posted.
There are a few boss mechanics I’ve seen over the years that have really stood out as interesting and challenging. I’d love to see things like these make a comeback in future raids.
Necrotic Aura – Loatheb (Naxxramas)
Necrotic Aura was a really interesting mechanic for healers. For 17 out of every 20 seconds in this fight, you couldn’t do any healing. I thought this was amazing. It meant none of your healing could be mindless. You had had to have a plan for your healing team, you had to be prepared and you had to make your heals count. It was a good lesson in timing your spells.
Aura of Despair – General Vezax (Ulduar)
Aura of Despair is another mechanic that provides a healer-specific challenge. All through the Vezax encounter you were unable to regenerate mana. This was a fantastic lesson in mana mangement. You needed to be focused and you needed restraint in order to get through this fight. It was a very nice change from fights where healing could become quite spammy. While learning the fight I had to utilize my whole bag of tricks, from timing Lifebloom blooms for healing and mana return to meleeing the boss for Clearcasting procs for free heals, even using dark runes.
Inner Demon – Leotheras the Blind (Serpentshrine Cavern)
Though I’ve always loved healing I do enjoy getting to do something different from time to time and Inner Demon was the perfect opportunity. During the Leotheras encounter random people would spawn an inner demon and if you couldn’t kill it (on your own) within about 30 seconds you’d get mind controlled for the duration of the fight. The demons did take extra damage from nature and holy spells, making them a bit easier for healers to kill theirs, but this was at a time when spell damage and spell healing were two different stats. It could still be quite a challenge as a healer.
Poisonous Blood – Hakkar (Zul’Gurub)
During the Hakkar fight, raid memebers would occasionally have to pull and kill a Son of Hakkar. When the son died, they would leave a cloud of poison. While poison on the ground is usually something to be avoided at all cost, this fight made you stand in the poison! Why? Because Hakkar would then cast Blood Siphon and he would take damage from every person infected with Poisonous Blood. Hakkar was the first end boss that I ever faced in WoW and my delight at this mechanic has only grown with my raid experience. I get much amusement from thinking back to a time when people got yelled at for not standing in the bad.
Blood boil and Fel Rage – Gurtogg Bloodboil (Black Temple)
This guy had two interesting mechanics that made him one of my favorite bosses in my favorite raid. First there was Blood Boil, which would put a stackable DoT on the 5 people furthest away from the boss every 10 seconds. I really enjoyed the emphasis this placed on spatial awareness and mobility. If you messed up your timing and positioning, someone was going to get too many stacks and end up dead. I also got to be responsible for healing one fo the groups of 5 people (pre-Wild Growth) which was a nice challenge. Then there was Fel Rage. The boss would put a 30 second debuff on a random raid member which increased their health, armor, healing and damage and then he would beat the hell out of that person for the duration. In all likelihood he’d focus on a clothie. This challenged the healers to keep up a non-tank through a vicious melee barrage and challenged the person with Fel Rage to use all the mitigation, avoidance and self-healing abilities available to them.
What are some of your favorite boss mechanics?