23 February 2011

Seriously? How did they do that at level 80?

Achievement farming was back in session Saturday night - this time in Heroic mode.  We were able to face-roll through Storming the Citadel, The Plagueworks, and The Crimson Hall.  Well... actually, we completed The Crimson Hall, but I can't honestly say we face-rolled it...  Read on!

Heroic Icecrown Citadel (10 man)
In general, the bosses have more health and do more damage. But, in addition, the fights have a distinct element or two compared to regular mode.  Let's check 'em out, shall we?
Lord Marrowgar

No real change from regular mode. Still have to dodge the flames and free spiked raid members (which will occur more frequently). With a level 85 raid, we single tanked / two healed this one without issues.

Lady Deathwhisper
  • Threat issues in Phase 2
  • Cultist adds continue to spawn during Phase 2
  • Vengeful Shades cast AoE instead of single target with Vengeful Blast
  • Dominate Mind forces some CC of your mind-controlled raid member

Phase 1 is pretty much the same as regular mode. Phase 2 adds some complexity. Adds will continue to spawn, so even at level 85 we dual tanked / dual healed. Shreks can still put a hurtin' on a non-tank, so those need to be controlled. DPS and Healers need to move away from the ghosts, because they do go boom. Different sites say different things as far as being tauntable or not, but we did struggle with threat. Thankfully, with the DPS we had it didn't last long.

Gunship Battle

Pfft. A well-earned break after Lady D! We actually completed this with three people off the ship (afk for raid bio break when a newcomer clicked the wrong dude). Only 3 people had the jetpacks. Wasn't pretty, but it got done.

Deathbringer Saurfang

No distinction from regular mode - still need to not AoE, and the Blood Beasts need to go down ASAP. We wound up getting two raid members marked because folks weren't switching fast enough.


With the addition of malleable goo, ranged and heals need to be aware of that and dodge or it gimps output. Otherwise, it's the same fight as regular just faster and stronger than before...  Sorry, Steve Austin flashback there!


  • Professor Putricide chimes in with Vile Gas

With the addition of Vile Gas, try to spread out a bit more.  Otherwise, no big deal.

Professor Putricide

This one becomes more complicated than regular with the plague mechanic. Even at 85, you need to coordinate passing that off after 10 secs or so and then move so that the person that passed it (and now has the sickness debuff) won't get it again. This caused one wipe for us until we looked up the fight and went -- aha!

Blood Prince Council

Basically, don't try what we tried at first which is just burn the boss and don't worry about the kinetic bombs. Those suckers hurt. You need to be disciplined and still control the kinetic bombs while dealing with all of the other crap going on.
I ranged-tanked Keleseth, and that shadow prison sucks and sucks hard core. It sure adds a level of complexity to running around the room to collect the dark nuclei. 
Our fifth attempt was successful: we had a tank on both Valanar and Taldaram, while the hunter range-tanked Keleseth. We also ran three healers (though one was discipline so added some smite spammage). This was not a fun fight.

Blood-Queen Lana'thel

This, on the other hand, is a fun fight. The heroic mode becomes more of a DPS race because her aura increases the more vampires she has out in the raid, but she was dead  with only 3 vampires even with one mind-controlled mental shammy going ballistic amongst the ranks at the end of the fight.

Valithria Dreamwalker

  • The healers entering the Emerald Dream take a bit of damage
  • Valithria takes damage during the fight

This one boils down to not ever letting the stacks of Emerald Vigor fall off. Valithria takes damage during the entire fight and has more health, so the healing is a bit increased.  We went with 2 healers into the dream (2 holy priests) and had a resto shaman healing the tank and the remaining raid. We missed the enrage timer, but again Binding Heal powered by 20+ stacks of vigor is pretty amazing, so the priests were able to save the raid. 


We didn't actually complete this one yet, so it's still a thing-to-do.  But, where we failed was losing too many raid members during her air phase because they weren't hiding behind the ice blocks correctly. There's also a re-tuning of the damage on the blocks because we need to balance our level 85 DPS against the increased health of the ice blocks. So, basically, it's balance. 
The other thing to remember is that when casters get Unchained Magic, when Instability goes boom they need to be away from the raid because it does have an AoE effect in heroic.

The Lich King

  • Phase 1 - summons a Shadow Trap
  • Phase 2 - Val'kyrs can't be killed. Once they get to 50%, they drop the target and fly up over the raid and then begin casting Life Sipon.
  • Phase 3 - Harvest Soul is raid-wide
  • Frostmourne - the whole raid comes here and kills Wicked Spirits before they hit the ground and explode for lots of damage.

This just sounds awesome. 
Phase 1 : Now we have both the plague mechanic and a defile-like mechanic during the Careful Aim phase. Run towards the aberrations and run away from the raid depending on which debuff you catch.
Phase 2: Move defile out and collapse on the center to minimize time spent running all over the platform and avoiding having too many Valks up there sucking life from you...
Phase 3: Eat a boat-load of AoE damage, survive, and kill wicked spirits for 60 seconds until you port back to the platform (probably right into a defile) and then manage the Vile spirits that will be bombarding us with AoE explosions.

To all of you who actually did complete Fall of the Lich King at level 80, my hat's off to you.  I'm in achievement farming mode and struggling with the encounters. Remembering how I struggled with the Lich King fight in the months prior to Cataclysm, and fresh off being thrashed by encounters attuned for characters 5 levels below me, I'm honestly impressed by those players and guilds that not only completed the normal modes of these fights, but then went on to Heroic kills. Seriously, kudos!