First of all, apologies for the lack of updates recently, I blame Blizzard for giving us the Achievement system in the last patch. Like the true obsessive-compulsive I am, I’ve been farming those achievements like a thing possessed. One achievement in particular I never thought I’d see this side of level 80, but I did in fact gain it just before the last server reset. Outland Raider.
Yes that’s right, I completed the achievement that meant I’d completed all Outland raid content, which is a roundabout way of saying:
WE KILLED KIL’JAEDEN BABY! YEAH!
Let’s just bask in the glory of the screenshot for a minute.
Okay, okay, he’s been nerfed. Yes we live in an age where we clear Kara in an hour and PuGs run Black Temple. I don’t care. He’s dead, we’re not. Har Har Har!
Last week was the first time I got past Felmyst in Sunwell, and having seen the remaining bossfights, I have to admit I can’t quite see why all the hardcore raiding guilds rave about how well designed Sunwell is. Let’s look at them all one by one.
This guy can still be moderately tricky even after the patch, as it’s not about dps and all about co-ordination and not standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. Post-patch the major problem that raids will face with the Kalecgos fight is NOT killing him. Since he has to die at the same time as Sathrovar the Corruptor and they both exist in different dimensions, communication is the key. Still, it’s a fun fight and I have to admit, quite well designed, despite some annoying “issues” like the portal spawn times that can make an already tricky fight frustrating. The importance of smart decursing isn’t nearly as paramount, since they both die too quickly now for the Curses to mount up to anything significant.
Pre-patch, Brutallus was a brick wall for raids who hadn’t been farming Black Temple for months. He’s your typical dps check, and without all the shiny BT gear, your raid most likely would have to min/max group composition to scratch out every last bit of dps before they hit his enrage timer, as we had to do. And it’s here that my major gripe with the whole Sunwell boss fight design emerges. Each fight practically required a new raid group to succeed. Kalecgos required 4 decursers, Brutallus required the best dps you could field (cya mages, thanks for turning up), Felmyst required at least three priests, etc, etc… Thankfully, post-patch you no longer have to min/max groups and can take whoever are the best players rather than who works best in a particular group because of what class they are, because buffs and synergies are now mostly raid-wide. Result? Brutallus dead in 3 minutes 11 seconds.
Ah, Felmyst. I hated Felmyst for two reasons. Firstly, we never managed to get past her pre-patch. Secondly, I always had to switch to Aluriel and respec shadow for Felmyst, because of the boss encounter’s design requiring smart Mass Dispelling and our lack of sufficient numbers of Priests. All of which was frustrating because Felmyst drops a staff that Calli badly wanted and we never managed to kill her anyway. Felmyst is incredibly annoying due to a number of reasons, but the most annoying has to be the Deep Breaths. This isn’t like Onyxia’s Deep Breath, which is survivable, oh no. If you get caught in Felmyst’s Deep breath you get Mind Controlled and your raid has to kill you. End. Of. Story. What makes it even more annoying is that she can breathe in any one of three locations and the warning of where she’s going to breathe looks almost the same for all three locations. Oh yes, Felmyst is FUN! Not. She will most likely be the new brick wall in Sunwell even after the patch for the simple reason of Deep Breath prediction. You cannot zerg Felmyst they way you can Brutallus, you must be paying attention at ALL times and know exactly what to do. All the time. Of course, not being able to zerg her is not a Bad Thing, it’s good that even after the nerf patch there are still raid bosses that can hand you your own arse on a plate if you take them for granted.
If you make it this far, congratulations. Now take a look at your raid and identify anyone who has any lag or latency issues. Once you’ve identified them, remove them from your raid. Seriously. Blizzard designed an entire fight around killing anyone who lags even slightly, and worse, having them take the rest of the raid with them. If you get targeted with Conflagration, GET THE F**K AWAY FROM THE RAID! If you don’t, you wipe. If you lag, you wipe. If you have any latency at all, you wipe. If you finish your current spellcast, you wipe. And just to add insult to injury, you can also be stunned at any time, including just before you get a Conflagrate, and wipe. Apart from that one small issue, it’s a pretty good fight, and any raid that can down Felmyst should have the co-ordination and dps to kill them. And they drop phat lewt. Oh yes, these are the first of the bosses that drop the Tier 6+ gear, and very pretty it is too.
I now totally understand why pre-patch M’uru was considered a brick wall learning curve. The good news is that now, he isn’t. You will need at least two players who can either purge or dispel, or your raid will wipe, of course. Thankfully this isn’t such a stringent pass/fail requirement as earlier bosses had, but the boss himself used to be so tough that raid composition was the least of your worries. He is now by no means a pushover, but any raid who downed Brutallus or Felmyst pre-patch should have what it takes to put him on his arse post-patch, and do it on their first night of trying him. The biggest challenge is dealing with the hordes of adds he spawns, and not just killing them, but killing them in a smart way so as to mitigate the danger to the raid when M’uru dies and Entropius spawns. Again, it requires a smart raid, not a mindless zerg, but if you got this far, you can do it. And the loot will last you until level 80, which is always a nice incentive.
The Big Man himself. Take the complexity of all the previous Sunwell boss fights, add the importance of not standing in fire (because it’s hot!), remove the “you must have x number of y class” bullshit that went with earlier bosses, add some “LOOK MA, I’M A DRAGON!” rofls and you have the Kil’jaeden fight. Much like M’uru, you absolutely definitely cannot just waltz in here and zerg it, and your raid leader will spend hours banging his face into his keyboard in frustration because idiots are not staying away from people with Fire Bloom/running into other people when they have Fire Bloom/failing to get into the Shield of the Blue in time/not moving away from Armageddon in time (because it’s HOT!) etc, etc… But each failed attempt will teach you something new and you will improve. With luck, your raid will have enough dps after the patch (as we did) to zerg him to some extent by getting him to 55% fast enough to miss the second Darkness, which helps immensely, but no matter how you do it, killing Kil’jaeden is still a hell of an accomplishment. The fight is utter chaos and I have nothing but respect for any guild that downed him before the patch. But killing him after the patch is no mean feat either. If you can do it, and if you can even get to him you’ve got the raid who can do it, well done! You completed World of Warcraft! Now go grind Sporegarr rep or something, Rash of the Itch King is only three working days away!