Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman Boss Strategy Notes

Plan on invading Troll instances today? Not quite sure what to expect? Got you covered. You can find the TLDR versions here. Comment if there’s any additional noteworthy mechanics that you find on live servers that glossed over. Notes were taken from my experiences on the PTR and from kill videos.

Zul’Gurub

Venoxxis

Stay within the maze.

Players will get linked (Toxic Link) which deals damage to both players. Break the link by increasing the distance between the two players. Poison bolts get shot at players, heal through it. Boss has a frontal cone attack. At some point, watch out for pools of poison. Not sure if that’s linked to time or health.

Bloodlord Mandokir

Randomly targets a player and one-shots them. Mandokir levels up. Kill the raptor. The raptor goes around killing ghosts (which will resurrect you when you de) and you have a certain amount of them.

Watch out for big conical, fire spike thing

Kilnara (Panther boss)

First 50%: Tank and spank. Last 50%: Calls in panther buddies.

Interrupt Tears of Blood. Pull 2 packs of panthers during phase 1 and kill them to reduce the amount of panthers coming in the final phase. When they do engage you, AoE them down.

Zan’zil

Three phases (Fire, Ice, Poison)

Zombie troll phase: Grab red cauldron . Gives your attacks additional AoE powers. Destroy zombies.

Berserker phase: One big mob? Grab the Ice cauldron. Attacks gain freezing powers. Slows down Berserker and kills them quick.

Cloud phase: Entire environment covered in gas. Grab poison cauldron, become i mmune.

Jin’do

Phase 1:

Casts a green shield bubble reducing magic effectiveness within it. Keep the tank and Jin’do within it. When Jin’do casts Shadow of Hakkar, run into the shield. Then run back out and resume DPS. Last I checked, he’ll do an AoE chain nuke of some kind if you stay too long within the shield.

Phase 2: Hakkar

There are four chains on the ground. They each have 1 million health. Those chains need to be broken. Look for Gurubashi Spirits. Really big mobs that have the ability to jump. The group needs to stay near chains so that the big guys will jump onto the chain thereby breaking it. Arrow on the player’s head signifies the target. Clear out the Twisted Spirit mobs.

Kicker: Need to keep moving to dodge assorted Shadow Blasts.

Zul’Aman

Akil’Zon (Eagle boss)

Eagles will pick players up and fly them around. DPS the birds. If you’re picked up, you can still DPS them. Look for the thundercloud and stand beneath it.

Nalorakk (Bear boss)

Standard tank and spank. Also does an AoE silence.

Charges the furthest player standing away. Inflicts a +500% damage taken debuff on the target. Don’t get charged twiced. Rotate with other group members in being the furthest person away. (Thanks Katherine and Wynn)

Halazzi (Lynx boss)

Kill totems. Kill the pet Lynx (likes to randomly rush players, healers need to stay on top of that). Lynx form frequently hits random players for massive damage. Your healer needs to be on the ball. Any self surviving cooldowns are encouraged to be used. (Thanks Katherine)

Jan’Alai (Dragonhawk)

Has a straight line fire attack, watch for it.

Watch for fire orbs and make sure you don ‘t stand near them. That hit box is a little larger than the graphic. Kill 1 of the hatchers. Healers need to dispel a fire debuff which comes from the hatched eggs. If Jan’Alai drops beneath a certain percentage, he hatches all of the eggs.

Hexlord Malacrass

Only 2 ads now. Kill them, blow up Malacrass. Remember Malacrass will assume the powers at random of the different classes in your group due to his power drain.

Daakara

Similar to Zul’Jin, he instead undergoes 2 animal forms instead of 4. Switches phases every 33%.

  • Lynx form: He rushes everybody and his damage gradually ramps up.
  • Dragonhawk form: He will dish out fires in a line from him as a center point. Watch out for flame pillars. It was a pain in BC, it’s a pain now.
  • Bear form: Randomly charges a player.
  • Eagle form: Spawns 5 random cyclones. They tend to stay stationary but will shift position every few seconds. Will shoot out lightning to players nearby.

Healing Priests in 4.1

Expecting an imminent patch drop! How are healing Priests stacking up? Pretty darn good actually.

No significant nerfs to Holy anywhere in 4.1. Some of our mechanics have changed slightly. Discipline suffered a slight nerf but gained buffs in other areas to the Atonement specs.

  • Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.

Pre-emptive shielding continues to remain lucrative but the practice of shielding significant amounts of players in a raid is all but gone. In most logs, Power Word: Shield should be somewhere from 30% – 45% of the healing done due to the way it works and based on encounters as well as healing assignments. With the duration of it halved, the chances of it falling off unused become much higher. Discipline Priests will need to exhibit discipline and really make sure players get full benefits out of them.

Dispel mechanics have also changed slightly. Shadow Priests won’t be relied upon to dispel members in the raid anymore. It’ll be up to us to take care of it.

Holy

  • Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.
  • Chakra now lasts until cancelled, up from 1 minute.
  • Holy Word: Sanctuary healing done has been increased by 35%. In addition, it has a new spell effect.
  • Surge of Light can now also trigger from Binding Heal.

Chakra dancing is just about gone now. Your present Chakra state will last as long as you like. I guess they saw no need to keep mindlessly pressing keys to refresh your Chakra state. It’ll be easier for Holy Priests to stay in one Chakra stance from now on.

Sanctuary gets a huge buff. It’ll go from “Ugh, never use” to “Eh, I’ll use it when we all stack up”. PTR numbers looked promising, but without being able to put a raid together, I’ve never been able to gauge  how awesome it would be.

Discipline

  • Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.
  • Divine Aegis duration has been increased to 15 seconds, up from 12.
  • Atonement now works with Holy Fire in addition to Smite.
  • The direct damage portion of Holy Fire can now trigger Evangelism.
  • Power Word: Barrier’s cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes, up from 2, and its effect has been reduced to 25%, down from 30%.
  • It is now possible to remove Weakened Soul effects that were a result of another priest’s Power Word: Shield through Strength of Soul.
  • Holy Fire damage has been increased to be approximately 30% higher than Smite.

Atonement Priests get extra help now that it works with Holy Fire (at least, the direct damage portion of it). Not only that, Holy Fire gets buffed? I’m curious to see how this will play out in raids and if Atonement healing will become  more widely practiced.  

Power Word: Barrier gets nerfed with a cooldown increase along with  reduced effectiveness. Shouldn’t be too much of a bit hit. With Druid Tranquility cooldowns lowered and Shamans gaining access to the equalizer totem,  healing leaders now have much more options at their disposal.

Enjoy the patch! Looking forward to your thoughts when it goes live!

Patch 4.1 Dungeon Finder Call to Arms, Lodur’s thoughts

Patch 4.1 Dungeon Finder Call to Arms, Lodur’s thoughts

Unless you missed it, Blizzard has announced an idea that they wish to implement in an attempt to shorten queue times and address the tank and healer shortage that has been plaguing the LFD for a while now. Here’s the actual blue post for you,

Source

In patch 4.1 we’ll be introducing Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms, a new system intended to lower queue times. Call to Arms will automatically detect which class role is currently the least represented in the queue, and offer them additional rewards for entering the Dungeon Finder queue and completing a random level-85 Heroic dungeon.

Any time the Dungeon Finder queue is longer than a few minutes for level-85 Heroics, the Call to Arms system kicks in and determines which role is the least represented. In the case of tanking being the least represented role, the “Call to Arms: Tanks” icon will display in the Dungeon Finder UI menu where class roles are selected, and will also display on the UI when the queue pops and you are selected to enter a dungeon. Regardless of your role, you’ll always be able to see which role currently has been Called to Arms, if any.

Call to Arms is meant to lower wait times by offering additional rewards for queuing as the currently least represented role. To be eligible for the additional rewards you must solo queue for a random level-85 Heroic in the role that is currently being Called to Arms, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss. Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you’ll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/elixir (determined by spec), a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount. The pets offered come from a wide variety of sources, and include companions like the Razzashi Hatchling, Cockatiel, and Tiny Sporebat, but the mounts are those specifically only available through dungeons (not raids), like the Reins of the Raven Lord from Sethekk Halls, Swift White Hawkstrider from Magister’s Terrace, and Deathcharger’s Reins from Stratholme.

This system is meant to address the unacceptable queue times currently being experienced by those that queue for the DPS role at max level. The long queue times are, of course, caused by a very simple lack of representation in the Dungeon Finder by tanks, and to some extent healers. We don’t feel the tanking and healing roles have any inherent issues that are causing the representation disparity, except that fulfilling them carries more responsibility. Understandably, players prefer to take on that responsibility in more organized situations than what the Dungeon Finder offers, but perhaps we can bribe them a little. While this system gives tanks and healers something extra, the incentive is being provided so that we can help players in the DPS role get into more dungeons, get better gear, and continue progressing.

While the gold, gems, flasks, and elixirs are OK incentives, we knew we needed something more substantial. We had briefly considered Valor Points and epics, but decided that wouldn’t be working toward the goal of helping DPS players progress, and ultimately wouldn’t keep tanks and healers in the Dungeon Finder system for very long. We settled on pets and dungeon-found mounts as they’re cosmetic/achievement items that players tend to try to get on their own, so why not change that up and offer them a chance to get some of those elusive pets and mounts in a way that also helps other players? Even if they don’t get a pet or mount, or get one they already have, the gold and other goodies still feel rewarding enough that it won’t feel like a waste of effort.

We think it’s a pretty solid incentive to get tanks and healers queuing, give max-level players another way to collect the pets and mounts they so desire, and above all, to improve wait times for DPS players sitting in queues. In the case of lower level dungeons, it’s actually not uncommon for DPS to be the least represented role, and so if this new system works out and we’re pleased with the results, we may consider applying this same mechanic to lower level dungeons as well.

Well there it is. Since it was first announced, people have been going crazy about it and from the general reaction you’d think the sky was falling. Well, it’s not. Lets look at the proposed rewards,

Vanity Pets: These look to be ones that can be obtained easily on your own if you decide to put the time into it. So DPS aren’t really losing anything there, it’s just a simple cookie to offer Tanks and Healers. If you’re really so worried about these pets, go ahead and get them yourself. I did, and I’m a healer.

Mounts: A lot of people are bitching about this, I can understand why, mounts are a pretty big status symbol at times, but you know what? The mounts they’ve discussed aren’t anything you can’t get by yourself, or anything DPS isn’t already soloing. Hell I’m a healer with a DPS offspec and I can solo all of the old heroics and have been in an attempt to get the mounts.

My main issue with the incentive is that it won’t really fix the problem so much as shift the issue in another direction. In the last week, I’ve queued for about 15 heroic dungeons solo. 10 of those times, I got a DPS that strapped on a shield and a sword and decided they were going to tank. Those were fantastic runs let me tell you. What I think will happen is that we’ll see more of that. People that will want the mount or pets and will try to cheat the system. So for a bit queue times may go down, but then there will be sub-par tanks and healers that people will complain about. And even then if there’s nothing you want from the random dungeon bonus, those same folks will stop queuing once they have the items they want, giving the incentive a finite amount of time. While I like the incentive idea and as a healer appreciate the thank you, it’s not a fix, it’s a bandaid. Tanking and Healing are thankless jobs lets face it. Healing and Tanking are pretty hard when you’re first starting out, and people like to criticize you often for any deficiencies you have at the role. Giving us what amounts to a Chotchkie doesn’t really help all that much as a lasting incentive.

The other problem is the additional changes to how the LFD works in terms of Valor Points. The first 7 random dungeons you do will award you the points, meaning that you will no longer need to queue once a day, but can knock them all out at once if you want to. Personally I think that change will encourage more people to get random guild groups together and just knock out the heroics all at once. This then removes a whole set of potential Tanks and Healers from the pool.

Is there a better fix for the queues? I don’t know, I’m not one of the guys in charge of things over at Blizzard and I’m not sure I can really come up with a better option. Do I think it’s worth calling out that the sky is falling over the change? I don’t think so. Personally I’m enjoying the fact that Blizzard recognizes there is a problem and is looking at ways to fix it. I hope they find a happy balance, and I hope that the fix doesn’t produce a series of under-geared Tanks and Healers flooding the queues. It’s a fine line to walk, but I’m confident that Blizzard will find the fix, that they will figure out a good enough cookie to offer under represented roles without completely unbalancing the system. In the meantime though, I do not think that it’s something we should be seeing the amount of QQ we are in the last few hours, lets give them some time to see how it actually works out. Besides, it doesn’t really hurt you, it’s not taking anything away from you, and it is a slight thank you to a set of roles that is normally criticized and never thanked. That’s my opinion on the matter at least.

How about you? What do you think of the idea? Do you think there’s a better way to improve queue times?

PTR 4.1: Holy Word Sanctuary and other Screenshots

PTR 4.1: Holy Word Sanctuary and other Screenshots

This post goes without saying. There are going to be a few spoilers in here. If you’re not into that sort of thing, mark as read and move on.

But here’s a look at Holy Word: Sanctuary.

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Yeah.

I know.

I don’t think the graphics work is complete yet. It just seems a touch small. Actual affected radius is still the standard size. Bliky over there on the right is still being affected by it.

* Yes, that’s my PTR UI. I just picked a random compilation and set it up because Real UI wasn’t functioning properly.

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The current Zul’Gurub load screen. Wonder if its a placeholder or if it’ll be updated with WoW 4.0 tech.

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Quest area just to the left of the entrance as you stroll in.

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Also the front area of the instance. Learned fast that the cauldrons provide a 90% magic resist buff. Once you kill that mob that’s got those tendrils attached to it, the area gets flooded with gas which is where the cauldron kicks in. Don’t dispel it. You’ll find another cauldron further down along the path.

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Nesingwary’s camp under siege. Many snakes. Handled it.

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Found this on the ramp leading up to the raptor boss area. Frogger, yo?

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Sup Bloodlord Mandokir? Way to instan-gib me. (Hint: Remember those spirits back in the day? Yeah, don’t release)

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Ran into the first boss already where the old ZG snake guy was. Dude is absolute nuts. Likes to paint the whole ground with poisons and stuff. Some kind of nature resist will be handy to have.

Note that it appears heroic level instances at tier 2 when randomed into offer 140 Valor points (twice that of current). No word on whether you can run tier 1 and tier 2 for a combined 210. Gut instinct says its one or the other. Will verify and confirm later. Some problems with zoning back into the Zul’Gurub portal. Looks like theres a few phasing bugs that need to be fixed. For now, if you want to run ZG, I advise you abandon all ZG related quests. You can teleport into it via the dungeon finder. But if you die (and you will), then you won’t be able to zone in since the portal is non existent in that phase.

More to come…