Will Ruby Sanctum Compare To Wrath’s Best Bosses?

Will Ruby Sanctum Compare To Wrath’s Best Bosses?

shrine

I’m one of these weird people who doesn’t read up on content before it’s released. I like a surprise. So the Ruby Sanctum’s got me thinking: is it going to be a patch on my favourite bosses from Wrath? What are my favourite bosses?

After all, I am looking forward to the Sanctum. In about the same way one might look forward to a shopping centre opening up nearby.

I’m vaguely aware it’ll open sometime in the near future and when it does I’ll probably make plans to go trundle round it immediately. But I’m expecting it to be just like any other local Sanctum/raid shopping centre. There’ll be modern lighting trying to hide the fact that the decor is all too familiar. The staff will breath smoke at you as soon as look at you, and their uniforms will look like they’ve been stolen from another shopping centre and dyed a different colour. Oh, and the wares will be updates of last month’s fashion, alluring only inasmuch as being on buy-one-get-one-free and so must be good offers.

The Sanctum’s got a lot to live up to compared to my favourite bosses in Wrath – let me show you.

5. Thaddius. For those who met him when TBC wasn’t yet a distant memory, Thaddius was a well-timed and comforting reassurance that it wasn’t all Big Change. That some fight mechanics had been passed down through the expansion; Mechano Lord Capacitus’ polarity charges could be a fun challenge back in TBC days and here they were again. Better yet, with a twist that put an emphasis on teamwork and introduced raiders to the idea that no, bosses now really do have that much health – and by the way: if you get it wrong you kill your group. Besides, it’s a good sign for a fight mechanic when PUGers regularly spend half a raid session arguing that their nigh-identical method of doing it is better. I was grateful that this wasn’t one of the many tactics dragged out time and again through Wrath – it gave me memories of a unique fight in Naxx.

4. Sapphiron. Bones rising from the floor to amass into a huge nitwibble-off dragon in your way. What better start to showing players the shape of future mechanics? Sapphiron was a really well constructed fight, and well placed within Naxx’s structure. He effectively compiled individual basics which raiders had encountered in earlier bosses in Naxx. Tactics such as moving to the correct place when targeted, a’la Grobbulus, or moving out of the nasty AoE, like Anub’s Insect Swarm. Back when it was a new encounter, moving around – for a long, endurance fight – was quite refreshing to me. I also have fond memories attached to Sapphiron: the first time my guild raided was at our first HerdMoot when we headed into Naxx. It was Sapphiron we found ourselves wiping on at 5 AM.

3. Mimiron. When we hit Mimiron he had a reputation which preceded him, and he didn’t let us down. He was the first four-phase fight in Wrath in which everyone had multiple roles, or at least different tasks to do. He also shared the responsibilities out a bit more evenly. Suddenly tanks had different things to tank at different times. Melee had responsibility past stabbing and kicking things. For many raid groups, he gave a ranged DPS the chance to prove that they’re not all paper (so long as they have a good healer behind them). And for us healers, he gave us the chance to prove we can be flexible. For better or worse, Mimiron was one of the first fights in which healing on the run with twitch-reflexes was showcased. Its originality made it fun.

2. Valithria. I’d not considered as a healer that I rarely had a direct combat role with a boss, nor how this affected my fulfilment as a raider. I’m a healer – therefore my fulfilment should come from making sure other people stay alive so they can do the dirty work, right? So I thought. Until my healers and I were lumped with the responsibility of dealing with Valithria’s health – even if that was to make it go up rather than down. It’s a long deserved fight mechanic and is balanced perfectly: no-one feels left out, as the tanks and DPS have an increasingly manic (and as I understand it, fun) time of keeping the adds in control, and the healer roles are not only varied but accessible for any healing class.

1. Yogg Saron. Tentacles. Many-eyed blob in the floor. Sanity loss. Need I say more? This is the most unique fight in WoW. Yes, in terms of fight mechanics, it’s a “this is your final test, what have you learnt up to now?” There were fires clouds to not stand in, there were adds to control in a certain way, there were target priorities for DPS. But it didn’t feel like a final test: every wipe felt like a few minutes of unbridled, chaotic fun. Even going into the brain room and coming out before going mad, while a ‘do this before X time’ mechanic, wasn’t as annoying if someone failed; it was almost funny for people to miss the chance to come out of the brain room and so go mad. No other fight has had my Herd raiding to the sound of “Tentacles!” and “If I were a Deep One“. A pure stroke of genius to incorporate Cthulhu mythos into WoW without it feeling forced or misplaced.

 

My main metric here was how much fun I had in a fight, regardless of how long it took to best. But most of these also did something unique or at least were the first of their type. The Ruby Sanctum has a tall order. We’ll see! Perhaps I’ll have a pleasant surprise when I’m panicking that the fire’s getting away and I should be standing in it or be lost in time and space.

I am amused that those bosses aren’t a fair representation of all of Wrath – I’ve left the bosses from Trial of the Crusader out in the cold, and there they can stay. While I was whittling this list down I was also compiling a list of the worst bosses. I have a feeling those will be harder to choose between … though I certainly know which luridly-lit fight tops that list. Perhaps I’ll share that list at a future date!

What do you think? What fights in Wrath have you particularly enjoyed – and why? They don’t have to be raid bosses, any encounter you remember having fun whilst redecorating the walls with your character’s innards – let us know. Do you agree with my choices – or are you sitting there asking why on earth anyone enjoyed Mimiron? Which encounters would you like to see a variant of in Catacylsm?

This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my twitter feed here.

Article image originally by hawk684 @ Flickr

Ulduar Fights Where It’s Just Not the Healer’s Fault

I’ve experienced just about type of death in Ulduar. I’d die to Constrictor tentacles. Early on, I’d get rocked by Hodir’s Flash Freeze. Sometimes I’d get unlucky with a Rocket Strike.

Today’s post is designed to help you identify under what situations a healer is at fault and when it is simply out of their hands. Keep in mind there are several exceptions. In most cases, tanks are the one that will be bearing the brunt of these abilities. If they die, odds are good they weren’t at full health. If it were any other player, well let’s take a look shall we?

This is a really long post. I’d consider using it as a reference when trying to troubleshoot your raid to see if there really was anything that could have been done to keep players alive.

Flame Leviathan

Nothing much here. I don’t send healers onboard the tank. I usually send up hybrid DPS who are able to heal in addition to DPS.

Razorscale

You died because of:

  • Devouring Flame – Your fault. Should not have been standing in them. It’s the blue stuff on the ground.
  • Flame Breath – Your fault. Don’t stand in front of Razor when this happens. Tanks are an exception.
  • Fireball – Our fault. It’s only 11000 damage or so. However, there are times when a player does get gibbed by these. I’ve been hit by this twice in a row in the span of a half second. I happened to have a shield up which saved me with a 15% health left.

Ignis

You died because of:

  • Scorch – Your fault. Why on earth would you stand on a big giant tower of fire?
  • Flame Jets – Our fault. Players should be in the green when Flame Jets connect.
  • Slag pot – Our fault. You can help even more though if you can. I cast Lesser Healing Wave on myself when I play my Elemental Shaman to help the heals out.
  • Construct explosion – Your fault. Run the heck out before it gets detonated.

Deconstructor

You died because of:

  • Gravity Bomb – Neither. It’s the job of the guy who got Gravity Bomb to get clear. If he’s too close, he pulls you in and detonates. Bomb guy’s fault.
  • Light Bomb – Both. It’s the Light bomb’s duty to also get clear. But the raid will take 2 or 3 ticks of Light Bomb damage. Our job is to heal that up. Requires effort on both parts.
  • Tympanic Tantrum – Our fault. We should be able to outheal the damage done by Tympanic Tantrum.
  • Bomb bot – Your fault. Should not be within proximity of these things when they explode.

Iron Council

You died because of:

  • Fusion Punch – Our fault. Unless none of the healers are dispellers. Then it’s the dispeller’s fault. That debuff has to come off quick.
  • High Voltage – Our fault. Steelbreaker’s aura. Everyone gets hit by it no matter what. It just has to be out healed.
  • Rune of Death – Your fault. Shouldn’t be standing in it.
  • Chain Lightning – Both. It depends on how much damage you take. If you die to a chain lightning, check to see if you were properly spaced up. You can stay with 1 or maybe 2 other players nearby. That type of damage is survivable. If your health was too low for a period of time, then its our fault for not getting you back in the green quick enough.
  • Lightning Whirl – Both. It should be interrupted. It’s normal to see 1 or 2 ticks slip through. Most players should be able to survive that. If you didn’t survive it, then chances are you weren’t topped either.
  • Overload – Your fault. When the little guy stops moving and starts doing his Kamehameha move, run out of the blast zone.
  • Lightning Tendrils – Both. It’s difficult to outrun this. Some players are going to get caught in them. At the same time, a concerted effort should be made by those not being focused to run away from it, not run towards it. Focused players are taking 3000 – 5000 damage per second. It’s possible if its one or two players. It’s a nightmare if it’s five or so.
  • Melee hit for 30000 – Not our fault. Ideally a cooldown will be popped. I know when I see Steelbreaker on the tank, I’ll drop a Pain Suppression reflexively on the tank to buy some extra time to get him repositioned. Sometimes Murphy likes to come along and crap on your raid with a Rune of Powered up Fusion Punch. One word: Screwed.

Kologarn

You died because of:

  • Shockwave – Our fault. No player should be that low when Shockwave connects. Otherwise they’re dead.
  • Stone Grip – Our fault. Gripped players just have to be kept alive until the arm takes enough damage.
  • Focused Eyebeam – Your fault. On the one hand, your health should be high enough to eat a tick or two if necessary. On the other hand, if you have several seconds to run and kite the beam before you start registering damage.

Auriaya

You died because of:

  • Seeping Feral Essence – Your fault. It’s basically a void zone. Get out of it.
  • Sonic Screech – Neither. Some players weren’t stacking up when it went off. Obviously if you’re at 5% health when it hits, you’re probably going to die. Should be in the green as much as possible.
  • Sentinel Blast – Our fault. It’s healer duty to heal up the initial parts of the blast. The faster the interrupts, the less we have to worry about it.

Hodir

You died because of:

  • Biting Cold – Your fault. Keep jumping. Keep strafing. Keep dancing and moving.
  • Flash Freeze – Your fault. Weren’t fast enough getting into a snow drift.
  • Icicles – Your fault. You can see the blue runes on the ground. You know where they’re coming from.
  • Frozen Blows – Our fault. There’s nothing you can really do to avoid it. It’s up to us healers to play triage on the whole raid.

Thorim

You died because of:

  • Charge Orb – Your fault. Should be standing near the center of the room to avoid this when in the arena.
  • Smash – Your fault. Should not be standing in front of the Rune Giant in the gauntlet.
  • Shockwave-like ability – Your fault. Dodge them.
  • Rune Detonation – Your fault. You see the fire shield above the target, get clear of them.
  • Chain Lightning – Both. Don’t stand with more than 2 other people. There’s only so much space in the room and you do have to dodge Lightnign Charges.
  • Lightning Charge – Your fault. When you see the streams coming from the wall towards Thorim, break off quickly.

Freya

You died because of:

  • Detonating Lashers – Our fault. Unless your raid manages to precisely kill all of them at the same time.
  • Nature Bomb – Your fault. When you see these big green balls on the ground, that’s your cue to move.

Mimiron

You died because of:

  • Napalm Shell – Our fault. We have to be able to heal this through.
  • Plasma Burst – Our fault. Tanks and healing cooldowns must be used so that they can live.
  • Shock Blast – Your fault. We can’t outheal 100000 damage all at once.
  • Proximity Mine – Your fault. No comment.
  • Heat Wave – Our fault. Shouldn’t be a problem healing this up.
  • Rapid Burst – Out fault. No good reason why we’d die to this either.
  • Rocket Strike – Your fault. Stand out of the red stuff on the ground.
  • Laser Barrage – Your fault. Nothing we can do about this either. Up to you to make a run for it.
  • Bomb bot – Neither. These things do a lot of damage when they explode. By now, your raiders should be able to survive at least one of these with you at full health. Hopefully the rest of your raid can kill these before they become an issue.

General Vezax

You died because of:

  • Shadow Crash – Your fault. Outrun these. We’ll do what we can to heal up the player or two that gets hit by it.
  • Searing Flames – Neither. Someone missed an interrupt. This should not be going off at all.
  • Surge of Darkness – Neither. Depends on the strategy. With defensive cooldowns, it shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Mark of the Faceless – Neither. Again, this requires the efforts of both. The target has to run out fast. Those nearby need to be healed up quickly.
  • Saronite Vapors – Your fault. Be very careful about staying in too late. As a Priest, I Prayer of Mending on stack 6, and Shield myself on 7 and escape with about half my health. Others may not be as lucky.

Yogg-Saron

You died because of:

  • Shadow Nova – Our fault. Unless your raid killed like 5 guardians at the same time.
  • Death Ray – Your fault. These green beams start off harmless at first and don’t move. When you see them, get clear. It amazes me how many players still stand there after it’s been there for several seconds. Drop what you’re doing and move.
  • Crusher Tentacles – Your fault. Shouldn’t be in melee range of these. They will kill with one blow.
  • Brain Link – Technically our fault. But run towards each other quick!
  • Squeeze – Our fault. We have to keep you alive long enough for the DPS to break you out.
  • Sanity – Your fault. There is nothing we can do if your sanity reaches zero.

And there you have it! Use this list only as a rough guideline. There are always exceptions to everything. Look into the context of what happened before making a judgment. You don’t always have to assign fault. But it is important to find out what happened so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. You’ll notice that a lof of these deaths are easily preventable by healers. But there are some rare cases where there’s just nothing we can do short of a psychic Guardian Spirit on a player.

Yes, you’ll notice I didn’t add any comments on Algalon. I haven’t engaged him and it won’t be for a while.

Monday Midnight Musings (Patch 3.2 and Exploits)

It’s not often I do late night posts. They usually come out all funky and misunderstood or full of typos and other clerical errors. At the same time, the evening is when my mind is at it’s most active. This is going to be a fairly decent sized blog post about some big changes that have been announced.

Yogg Saron

Tonight we managed to kill Yogg-Saron on 25. It took us around 6 weeks (or about 12 hours total) to clock him out. Previous weeks involved the melee clicking and the ranged DPS still struggling or some melee players having portal difficulties and the ranged just killing tentacles one after the other. I’m proud to say that everything came together tonight. I believe that this was one of our most complete attempts and kills. I felt like a hockey GM in the week leading up to the trade deadline. Trying to add the pieces and classes that would help us cash in on a playoff run (Raid bosses are my playoff series). Syd did a beautiful job looking for diamonds in the rough. It took us two shots tonight. I’m extremely proud of the players in the raid tonight and grateful for the players who weren’t there but helped contribute to the learning process over the past few weeks.

Hard mode attempts begin this week. Leaning towards Flame Leviathan first. Just found out that it’s possible for a Demolisher to have a driver, a gunner, and a player loaded and ready to fire at the same time. This presents some intriguing possibilities.

One buys all

Universal armor tokens. I’m surprised this wasn’t reported earlier. My wow.com colleague Mike Sacco mentioned this during the day and it took me a few seconds to realize what it meant. You won’t have to fight specific bosses for specific tier tokens anymore. As in, there is no more head token, chest token, or shoulder token to cash in. You get one tier token of your armor set (Protector, Conqueror or Vanquisher) and then it can be used to buy whatever piece you like.

And I know someone’s going to come in here and say something about catering to the casuals. But hell, this caters to everybody. Loot council’s going to have a fun time assigning these tokens. Sacco presents some great arguments in his post that I will reiterate briefly here:

  • Upgrade sets at your own pace: Several players in Conquest have held out on tier pieces until they acquire a certain amount stating that they wouldn’t use them right away because their current items were better. This change allows players to specifically target which pieces benefit them the most.
  • No wasted tokens: Mix and match your 10 and 25 man tokens. You don’t have to feel empty for replacing your Valorous gloves with Conqueror gloves.
  • You’ll get your 4 piece… eventually: At the rate you’re organization is going, it really is going to be possible to get it.

Many of the Triumph and tier tokens are functioning as a partial gold sink. Not only do the tier 9 pieces require a Regalia token but you’re going to have to shell out some coinage to pick them up. They’re in the neighborhood of the 50 to 70 gold range. Doesn’t seem like the gloves have a monetary cost.

But, it’s the PTR and nothing’s ever finalized.

Priest tier 9 pieces

I wrote about that on wow.com. You can find my thoughts on it (and a history of the names) on there. Wyn seems disappointed at the 4 piece bonus.

Triumph vendor items

Here’s a few screenshots for you to check out. I think images are worth a thousand words.

shoulders-triumph trinket-triumph

Pair it with the Intellect trinket from Mimiron (Pandora’s Plea) and you’re good to go.

helm-triumph

Hit rating helm, I know. BoE though. If it wasn’t for the hit, it’d make a fairly juicy helm for Discipline Priests.

ret-libram

(Am I going to want that Libram on my Ret Pally if I have the one from Naxx that increases my Crusader strike damage or should I pursue other items with badges?)

rings

I managed to replace both of my rings tonight. Packing both Radiant Seal and Lady Maye’s Sapphire Ring now. I wonder who Lady Maye is.

Exodus exploit thoughts

Ingenious. The method used to down the boss was absolutely brilliant! The idea calls for something like a Warlock and a Paladin entering the brain room. You’re relying on healing aggro to cause the outside mobs to evade bug. So the Warlock soulstones the Paladin, the Paladin DI’s the Warlock upon transition from phase 2 to phase 3. Paladin pops up, warlock clicks off DI, starts casting Life tap like crazy while the Paladin bomb heals him for an insane amount causing the outside mobs (the ones that are piling up) to immediately aggro on to the Paladin (who is untouchable as he is inside Yogg) and trivializing the encounter.

There’s some comparison to the method that Ensidia used to exploit for their Hodir hard mode kill. It involved kiting and tanking plant trash from Freya to Hodir. Mages would spell steal that buff and proceed to use it in the encounter. While it wasn’t exactly causing mobs to bug out, it’s still an unintended side effect. Of the two exploits, I have to admit that the Hodir one is a little more impressive.

These upcoming weeks are only going to get busier. Actually, the next few months are going to be flowing with news and features. If the faction change is something they announce in a blue post, it makes me wonder what else could possibly be announced at Blizzcon.

Heading to bed. It’s 2 AM.

Ulduar Almost Cleared and Some Priest Notes

Ensidia has cleared out Yogg-Saron. Only Algalon remains. I only have time for a quick post today. I have an exam on International Politics coming up in around 4 hours. The similarities between inter and intra-nation relations and guild relations is eyebrow raising. But that’s a post for another time.

Healing strategies for Razorscale and Ignis are on the way. I’ve got them written down from various PTR notes. Just a few corrections, some screenshots and they’ll be up within days.

I’m going to expand on and revise my Flame Leviathan tips a bit more. I forgot to mention the amount of vehicles there were. There are 15 in total. The Siege Engines and the Demolishers have spots for a driver and a gunner. I set group 1 as Siege Engine drivers, group 2 as Siege Engine gunners, group 3 as Demolisher divers, group 4 as Demolisher gunners, and group 5 as Choppers. That made organization and overall raid direction much easier.

Quick notes regarding the new Divine Aegis from Duct Tape and a Prayer. Wanted to get this out there quick for Priests who were curious.

If you or another Disc priest casts another critical heal on the same target, the Divine Aegis effect refreshes its duration (back up to 12 seconds), and 10/20/30% of the second critical heal is added to the remaining shield from the first crit heal. For example, I establish a 1.5k DA on the Tank, the Tank takes 1000 damage, and then I cast another crit heal on the Tank for another 2k shielding, which makes the total shielding 3.5k and the remaining shielding 2.5k (since the shield absorbed 1k damage between the first and second crit heal).

Etherjammer has got more information regarding Divine Aegis. Go check it out and remember to subscribe to his blog while you’re there.

Now if I can just remember the 6 points of a “Just War”…

1-0 Canucks.

Quick Thoughts About Val’Anyr

There’s been a few updates about Val’nyr since the last time I wrote about it. Now we have some more information regarding the retrieval and construction of the legendary mace. Here are the Coles’ notes version:

  • 30 fragments
  • Step 1: Bring shattered fragments to the Archivum Console
  • Step 2: Throw the shattered fragments into Yogg-Saron’s maw while he is casting Deafening Roar
  • Kill Yogg-Saron and loot
  • Condition 1: Can only be completed in Ulduar Heroic mode
  • Condition 2: If at least one Ulduar Watcher is not assisting you

This leads me to conclude a few things.

First is that it appears the person who is collecting all the fragments does not have to be the same person who ends up with the constructed mace. After all, the fragments must be thrown into Yogg-Saron who must then be killed. The loot master should then find the completed mace on the loot table of the old god.

This means the fragments can be looted to any one person as a keeper until the guild collects the necessary amount of fragments.

Second is that the construction of this weapon is going to be out of the reach of many of the casual oriented raiding guilds due to the conditions needed.

Some more questions remain

What happens if the raid group fails at killing Yogg-Saron during that attempt? Or even during that week? Are the fragments lost?

Lastly, it seems that PTR build 9767 (the most recent) was pushed through mostly for bug fixes. Since the latest build was meant to fix stuff, we can assume then the patch is very close to completion. I do believe 3.1 will be here sometime this April. Two weeks.

A good indicator that the patch will be coming out soon is when PTR servers shut down.