Rot-Face the Music, People!

Rot-Face the Music, People!

The second wing of Icecrown Citadel has been open for just two lockout periods.  There have been the outcries from all sides:

“It’s too soon!”

“Thank God, it’s finally here!”

“Why can’t we just fight Arthas already?”

But my new personal favorite, has GOT to be:

“Rotface is too hard!”

First, let me go on the record that I’m thankful for fights like these.  I’ve mentioned here before, and also when I’ve guest-hosted on Raid Warning (shameless plug), that I loved bosses back in the BC days.  Fights like Leotheras or Al’ar took coordination, teamwork, and dedication.  I remember the guild I was in never took down Al’ar.  Primarily, we lacked perseverance.  We would spend 3-4 attempts on that bird, and then people would gripe about how hard it was and we’d move onto Loot Reaver, I mean Void Reaver.

My point is that in Wrath, we’ve essentially seen easier bosses in raids.  Yogg was hard, Faction Champions held up a lot of guilds, true.  Aside from examples like those, we haven’t seen any fights in ICC thus far that have resembled the challenging nature of a true raid boss.

Rotface as a challenge?  I welcome it.  I think we, as raiders, get tunnel vision too easily.  Most of the fights have been the following:

  • Switching targets to an add or group of adds
  • Stay out of the stuff on the ground
  • Heal through this bout of incoming damage

Hence, Rotface is a breath of fresh air, even if it’s the leading cause of my healer-rage on any given raid night.  Healers, because of the instances of raid damage, have to step it up.  Any combination of the following mechanics will make for a bad experience:

Mutated infection – [UNAVOIDABLE] The primary mechanic for the fight.  Your choice to cleanse it early, though I wouldn’t recommend it unless your raid is totally on their A-Game.  You have to get on top of this as fast as possible because of the Mortal Strike-styled healing debuff.  When I’m assigned to the mutated peeps, I throw PW:Shield, Prayer of Mending, and a quick Penance to pile on Grace.  It’s better to keep them topped off than just keep them alive.

Slime Spray –  [AVOIDABLE] This is a pain in the butt to deal with if people don’t move out of the way.  At roughly 5k each second, multiple victims make healing rough, especially in the later stages of the fight.  It’s a short cast but on a regular timer, so it’s easy to anticipate.  If you keep your raid clumped behind the boss, a simple run-through to the other side is all that’s needed.  Don’t always assume it’s going to the majority of the raid.  Rotface may target the slime tank/kiter.  I’ve seen attempts almost wipe because people ran right into the spray without thinking.

Ooze Flood – [AVOIDABLE] The standard WoW rule of “Don’t stand in the crap on the ground!”  A lot of raiders claim to be taken by surprise, but I don’t buy it.  Not only do you get an audible warning from Petricide, but you see ooze spouting from the pipes before the flood appears.  At crucial moments of kiting or fleeing the ooze explosion, it’s not impossible to miss these entirely.

Radiating Ooze – [SEMI-AVOIDABLE] The only time anyone should be taking damage from this is the person merging an ooze with the big ooze and possibly the player kiting the ooze.  They’ll take damage from their own smaller ooze, which is less, and then momentarily from the big ooze.  I see too many people run INTO the ooze to try to get it to merge.  In actuality, you just need to get the ooze into the 10 yard radius of the big ooze for it to merge.  Even at that, it’s best to wait until your disease is gone to step into that area.  A near-full ooze will tick for a lot of damage, and a half-heal debuff is horrible to try to work through, let alone the tick from the disease itself.  It’s easy to die to this, even with a lot of healers on you.

Unstable Ooze Explosion – [AVOIDABLE] It’s simple.  It’s like the orbs in Void Reaver, except smaller.  Once the ooze explodes, and not before, you should start running away.  From personal experience, try not to be by the tank when it explodes.  If the tank is caught in about 4-5 of those projectile oozes, he or she is a goner.  Don’t run into ooze puddles, and don’t run near other oozes that are still growing.


I highly recommend that you read and know each of the mechanics that I’ve explained above.  These debuffs and mechanics aren’t just for the healers to heal through but for every raider to avoid.  One or two of them together is manageable, but when you’re consistently not paying attention to the different intricacies of the fight, it just makes my soul hurt.

I know there’s a tendency to just want muscle through some of the fights, but on some of these Icecrown fights, it’s imperative to actually know what you’re being afflicted with.  Your little extra focus can get you through that last 30% that most guilds may be struggling with.


Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!


  1. As a resto shaman I’m finding this fight very hard to heal. We have very limited instant heal or heal over time, and the amount of movement we have to do in this fight is really cutting into my healing ability very badly. I’m not sure if that makes it more fun, or too frustrating yet. I supose time will tell 🙂

  2. Well said.. in 25 we’re banging our head against the wall at the 25% mark, even having raiders say they’re tired of raiding because they don’t like wiping. Personally I love the rotface encounter even though we have yet to down it. It’s a reality check that one does not simply walk into Icecrown Citadel to have tea with Arthas. Overall it’s been brutal. Everyone tries to voice their new ideas on how to do the fight, or talks in vent. It’s one fight that is simply crushing my guild’s moral.

    I’ve been offering things like double EP bonus (we use epgp) and was planning on supplying flasks for the next night but it’s tough. If we don’t down him this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had some people exit the guild claiming the players are bad, when it’s really a matter of coordination and I feel like everyone is to quick to blame the “nubs” when they can’t point out a specific person causing wipes.
    .-= Xillian´s last blog ..How to be a good raider =-.

  3. Funny, I never thought Rotface was that hard. We’ve only been trying him for a few days on 25-man (2-3 nights of attempts tops) and we’re already making progress, last wipe was at 7% or so. We’ll probably have him down next reset, and while we’re a progression guild, we’re not in the top 10 server or anything (more like top 20).

    I remember (painfully) how we wiped for months (and months) at Beasts heroic 25. Wipe after wipe of not even getting to phase 2… *that’s* hard. Or Kael, or Vashj, or most bosses in those instances. It might be easier for me since I can heal on the go (tree), but I’ve done much harder things.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..How to manage a full-time job and WoW in 4 easy steps =-.

  4. My guild is far from being a top guild, even on our own server, but we have progressed pretty well in ICC. Fester and Rot don’t seem to be any harder than the first 4 bosses to me. All took several learning wipes (except the boat encounter). None of our kills on Rot were pretty and if the fight lasted another 20-30 seconds we wouldn’t have been successful but kills on Saurfang and Marrowgar were like that at first.

    We made some attempts on the Price Council last night in 10 man and didn’t get very far. That fight MAY be harder than Marrow – Rot or maybe it won’t be so bad after we get some fresh attempts. Hard to say.

    To me Putricide is by far the hardest fight of the 8 bosses I’ve seen. I haven’t seen the Blood Queen yet but I would guess her difficulty will be about the same as Putricide.

  5. JB with everyone grouped up on Rotface’s butt I’d think your chain heals would be overpowered. I tree heal Rotface in 25man and feel my heals are just too slow and too little compared to the shaman/paly/disc priest I raid with. I do agree and find this fight hard, and a coordination check, a teamwork check. But we’ve been making some pretty solid progress, so I have hope.

  6. One other thing to note: I think an important part of getting the ICC bosses down in 25 man is to have done it in 10 man first. Our guild has at least 3 10 mans running ICC each week so when we get to a certain boss in 25 man there’s only 1 or 2 people that haven’t already learned the fight in 10 man.

  7. My guild saw Rot for the first time last night. It was late, we made three half-hearted attempts to kill him; managing to get him to 30%. I would say its among the closest thing to a situational-awareness-check as we’ve seen so far. Most fights are heavy on the tank-healer coordination. This fight requires the dps to be involved in this as well. If they drag their ooze back to the wrong spot, they can get one-shotted by the large ooze.

    The lazy players that choose to just stand there end up as more of a burden than on a tank-spank fight.

  8. I like that fight. Actually, I have been liking all the fights in iCC 25 so far. Blood Princes were fun last night and we will get them on Thurs 🙂

  9. Haven’t killed this boss on 10man yet, mainly due to my guild stating that alts can’t do this even though we got him to 10% on an half alt/mains 10man run last week.

    There isn’t alot of raid damage if people are on the ball so we had for healing a resto shammy and myself as Disc. I would take care of the Rotface tank and the raid (Being all stacked up a simple holy nova etc was fine) and the Resto shammy take care of our DK Add tank and the person getting the disease.

    In the end the MS debuff was getting too painful so we went with the dispel fairly early approach and I would holy nova if the person wasn’t as quick getting out of the raid.

    Biggest problem – After the first explosion from the giant ooze getting the first two oozes to start again the cycle turned out to be difficult for some 🙁

    We only managed 3 attempts before we called it but i know we would have got it for sure.

  10. Am I the only one who at first glance thought the title of this post was “Rot-face the Musical, People!”?

    That is all, return to your boss discussion 😀

  11. “Yogg was hard, Faction Champions held up a lot of guilds, true. Aside from examples like those, we haven’t seen any fights in ICC thus far that have resembled the challenging nature of a true raid boss.”

    Sorry but this must be taken on the premise of not doing Heroic modes in ToGC. Especially for Anub’arak HM. Yogg Saron is a mechanics fight but its not really particularly hard until you hit YS+1 or YS+0. Faction Champs isn’t a hard fight at all even on HM when you use a few simple tricks (and only one or two people are necessary to do them).

    The big thing to take away from my comment though is ‘NORMAL’ is not meant to be ‘HARD’. Its like playing an FPS on Easy mode and complaining that its hard and just writing off the Extreme mode. If you want a challenge, do it on Heroic Mode, that’s what its there for.

    Thats why I’m amused at the “Rotface is Hard” comments, since it’ll be nothing compared to the HM verison.

  12. I also like that Rotface is a step-up in difficulty from bosses in the first wing. Although with good coordination and awareness, it’s not that hard.

    One thing to watch out for: sometimes you can get really bad timing and he’ll do a slime spray as people are running away from an unstable ooze explosion. That’s caused most of the wipes that I’ve experienced. Having everyone stay grouped up near the boss as they run makes it easier to get out of the way.

  13. He is tricky for sure, we’ve been seeing a bug with the slimes though. Sometimes the little slimes will not merge. We had one slime never merge for about four minutes before we ended up wiping in the 10 man.

  14. We’ve never gotten past the 50% mark, (rotten ~4k DPS, mostly) but I LOVE this fight. One of the more fun ways to spend wipe night, as I feel that I actually improve as a healer while contending with the massive raid damage we seem to always take. I suppose a hunter or a shaman would help; we’re running sans resistance.
    .-= Espoire´s last blog ..The tank is not a tank. =-.

Speak Your Mind