Blizzard’s been crazy inventive with their raid mechanics over the year. Whenever I think they’re running fresh out of ideas, they manage to come up with something new and different. Malygos was one of the first raid bosses where we were not using our own class abilities to bring down a boss — We sat in a vehicle (red dragonflight).
But, encounters aren’t all about the tanking, the DPS, and the healing. There’s these little gimmicks and tricks that need to be executed with perfection or else it’s back to square one. Most guilds have those few players that were liabilities. For whatever reason, they couldn’t get it quick enough.
Learning curves? No, more like a learning line which was parallel to the X axis. The quality of a player’s skill isn’t measured by their HPS, DPS, or SPS (Survival per second). It’s an immeasurable quality of their ability to pick up mechanics quickly enough and master it. Mastery just isn’t a character stat. It’s also a player stat.
Atramedes – Gongs
Ah, the gongs. All you had to do was click a gong which interrupted Atramedes’ casting, reset every player’s sound, and gave Atramedes a case of Vertigo. This was one responsibility that you trusted to a small, select group of people. Too early, and you waste a gong that’s not going to catch an interrupt. Too late, someone in the raid dies and you need to burn a fast combat res or go through the raid short handed. Most raid leaders assumed this duty themselves.
Honorable mention: Players that ran the Sonic Breath right into the raid or into the tank.
One of the easiest mechanics in the game yet has claimed so many lives. Raid wipes hinged on people both hitting “the button” at the right time and not hitting “the button”. Getting the occasional death? Sure. Getting consistent deaths? What the hell, man. And there was a 5 second grace period which is like an eternity.
Actually, the times I died was either because my macro wasn’t on the bar, or I hit it too early. When you’re used to fighting Ultraxion on hard mode and then downshifting to normal mode, old habits die hard.
Nefarian – Missing an interrupt
Prior to the nerfs, you needed (at minimum) 6 solid, reliable interrupters (or 3 on 10 man). Shaman classes dominated here because Wind Shear was awesome. If even one person blew an interrupt on phase 2, the entire raid wiped after the platform exploded.
I was tempted to switch to my Resto Shaman alt for this one.
Teron Gorefiend – Ghost
Beating Gorefiend was like spinning Roulette. We all prayed that the ball didn’t land on that one player who struggled night after night. They couldn’t reliably kill their ghosts without the instance of the others. I kid you not. One night, there was a conversation that went something like this:
“It’s hard to turn the ghost, target the enemies, and click on the different abilities to kill them!”
Vent turned silent.
Supremus – Running
People that couldn’t run. Goddamnit. How can you not outrun the slowest, largest thing in the instance? Yes, Supremus had a quick dash if you were too far. BUT STILL. You didn’t have to outrun him forever. You had to outrun him long enough so that he switched phases!
Professor Putricide hard mode – Unbound Plague
Putricide on hard mode was one of my favourite fights during Wrath. It was one of the ultimate exercises in teamwork. Players had to coordinate who had the debuff, who didn’t, and who could take the debuff. You had situations where a dirty person mistakenly ran into a clean person too early. Did it too late and you run the risk of dying. Eventually you’d run out of people to use if the Unbound Plague debuff didn’t wear off. Thankfully, the debuff only last for about 60 seconds — But it was 60 seconds of steadily increasing damage.
Archimonde – Air Burst
I observed that people with really bad depth perception struggled like crazy on this fight. Air Burst would knock players up really high and Tyrande gave you feathers to slow your descent. They had a hard time gauging where the ground was and how long it took before they pancaked. I can understand the Fires being a problem because they were often unpredictable. I remember I was kept way out in the back with no way to get within range of my groups because the fire had cut me off. But at least with tears, you have some semblance of control when to hit the button.
Lurker Below – Spout
World’s easiest mechanic which also claimed many lives. Yes jumping into the water meant you’d take some damage, but it was hardly even fatal. I’m quite ashamed to say that I was the worse at this largely because I was healing with 5 FPS. I stood directly behind Lurker (opposite the tank). I compensated for this by facing away from Lurker and looking at the water instead. Backwards healing so that I could smash my forward button and prayed it was enough time to push me into the water. With single digit FPS, you did everything possible to get as much of a lead off as you could.
Shade of Aran – Flame Wreath
Oddly enough, the biggest wiper of this tier was to people moving when they didn’t have to. Flame Wreath incinerated those with itchy fingers. They’d see a huge ring of fire around them and instinctively try to move after being constantly drilled to stand out of the fire.
The Lich King – Defile
The more you stand in it, the bigger it gets. This took us way longer then it should’ve to master. I view Lich King as 1 of my biggest failures for the group I had at the time. If I had been more ruthless, would I have been able to gather players that were capable of getting us through that phase faster? I don’t know.
Thaddius – Plus and Minus
“Is positive side his right or our left?”
Buried my face in my hands.
Magtheridon – Cube clicking
Ol’ Maggy had a channeling ability that would go off and nuke the entire raid. However, there was only one way to stop this — Synchronized cubing. If 5 people clicked the cube at the right time, his channel would be interrupted and he’d get pissed off at the raid and rage out. However, if even one person missed a cube click, the rest of the raid would rage out.
Raid’s sounded something like this:
“HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD OKAYCLICKRIGHTTHEHELLNOW”
“… Okay, who missed it this time?”
Sindragosa – Ice Tombs
We had this one Mage back in the day. We entered the air phase with the Sindragosa Ice Tombs. Targeted players had to array themselves in a specific pattern so as to not nuke their partners. The rest of the raid ran to the top of the stairs and waited until the Tombs hit, then they had to run back within melee range and DPS the players out of the ice block (Hagara’s intermission phase was inspired by this).
Anyway, this one Mage would run to the top of the stairs with the rest of us despite the fact that he had the mark above his head from Frost Bacon. And he kept forgetting to move down to get the frost bombs away from us. It felt like every third raid he’d forget to do this. After about 6 raids of him consistently doing this, we were too tired to yell at him anymore. We pretty much just stopped saying anything and vent was super quiet when it happened. While we were still recruiting a replacement, I’m positive every person in the raid kept praying “Please target me with the Tomb. Please, please, please target me.”
Geeze, I just about aged a few years from this encounter alone.
Just thinking about all that stuff makes my blood boil.
… Actually, don’t even get me started about Blood Boil.