Azjol-Nerub was merely a Setback!

Tuesday night, we fought valiantly and killed the meanest oversized ugly beatle in the world- and no, I don’t mean Ringo Starr.*

I think we’re as bad at posing for pictures as anub was at avoiding dying.

He dropped his axe, and I did in fact nerd rage offline for a good fifteen minutes before calming down and realizing A)The Rogue who got it has spent all of WoTLK trying to make Combat work since he loves the spec, and now that it’s competitive with mutilate and he has this axe he never has to respec. B)He’s both good, and has been with the guild way longer than I could even come close to. C) It’s my fault I didn’t have the EPGP priority. One or two more raids I hadn’t missed would have meant the axe was mine, so the only person I could be annoyed at is myself. Doesn’t make it suck less since I still need two, but I’m happy for him. 😀

At any rate, here are my first impressions of ToC (Number/5 is my personal rating system-1 is worst boss in instance, 5 is best):

Northrend Beasts, 2/5: To be quite frank, I’m not sure how this belongs in a raid that drops iLevel 245 loot. It’s not the loot pinata that non-hardmode Flame Leviathan is, but it’s fairly close. Snobolds on the first phase can be somewhat annoying-even with nameplates on, I find some of them spawn too far out of range of my nameplates and I don’t see them, so I watch for our qt rogue leader man to take off in a random direction.

The two jormungars are relatively easy, with the only real problem being slime pools- I got poisoned, ran toward the tank with burning bile on him, and a slime pool spawned. He turned left while I was running right around the slime pool, and I and two other melee would have been paralyzed had the worms not burrowed and he ran towards us. 😛

Icehowl is obnoxiously easy (this coming from someone who died on him on his first attempt in 25man-I thought you had to click whoever he targeted to see if they were near you. xP) Beyond the fact that he spins around to face the direction he’s going to charge, Deadly Boss Mods now offers a GIANT BLUE POPUP OF TEXT saying “Charge near you, run!” so as to remove -any- doubt that the giant thing now staring you down might be charging you.

And, taken as a whole, I dislike this fight because it isn’t melee friendly, and it definitely isn’t totem friendly. First phase: Chase down Snobolds. Second phase: Avoid slimes, run debuffs, chase down burrowed worms. Third phase: Increased damage for 10-15 seconds!…which doesn’t help when I’m across the room because he targeted someone in the complete other direction. However, not every fight can be melee friendly, so it’s not worth being mad about. xD

Lord Jaraxxus 5/5: I love this fight. I’ve loved it since we first engaged it weeks ago and our entire group of melee got one shot by a portal we stood too close to. It’s a mindfuck for DBM-I don’t think I’ve ever had that addon go off more in a fight than it does on Jaraxxus. Part of my enjoyment comes from the kind of epic high-fantasy feel of the fight: You’ve got succibui, demon lords, creatures made of green magma, magic volcanoes, fireballs, curses, gigantic purple portals and more. Part of my love for it might be because I get to do more than just dps on it- I’m a windshear and purge spambot. And, the last third of my fangirl tendencies towards Jaraxxus come from the fact that it’s very melee-friendly, while the ranged get to be the ones who chase down the adds.

On a side note, healing Jaraxxus is fun too. I wasn’t able to figure out how to make incinerate flesh show up on Grid, and I may have forgotten to earthliving my weapon…but I’d do it again if I had to. I’m actually really enjoying the more spot-healing aspect of restoration at the moment.

Faction Champions, 1/5: I very rarely feel negatively towards Blizzard. They’re a hardworking group of people who will never be appreciated by the majority of players who feel that their class is somehow more worthy than others to be better. That said, Blizzard’s Human Resources department needs to have a chat with whatever designer came up with the idea of Faction Champions (and, preferably, put him/her down for a mental health evaluation.)

Seriously. Does no one remember the massive amount of QQ that surrounded Priestess Delrissa in Heroic Magister’s Terrace? She was hated. And no, the “You just don’t like it because it forces you to think outside of the box” argument holds no water. PVPing is not thinking outside of the box, it’s just a different box. I choose not to partake in that box, I like my box with the shiny PVE label, tyvm. At least I already have my nice expertise trinket, so I don’t need to do a Burning Crusade and do this mockery of a real fight 33 times in a row. :/

Twin Valkyrs 4/5: Twins are a fun fight. The relationship of light and darkness is a theme that’s been explored in almost every form of media, and it’s fun to see how they took that idea and designed an encounter around it. Execution-wise, it’s a cakewalk. Provided your rogue leader doesn’t forget to tell the melee group that all physical dps are on the left valkyr and you and two others end up going right and the raid wipes due to lack of dps on the left side twin pact. Other than that, the only semi-difficult aspect of the fight is avoiding the globes of color opposite what you’re buffed with, and doing your best to grab the ones that match your color. Or, you could do a me and switch colors to avoid a dark vortex, but then end up one shotting yourself because you forget that when you switch colors to avoid taking aoe damage you don’t want to continue picking up the same colors as before. 😛

Anub’Arak 3/5: This fight deserves more than 3 stars. It has an epic intro- if you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil it for you, but make sure you bring your glyph of water walking and a guild member with a sense of humor/your worst enemy and have fun murdering them. Beyond the intro, the fight itself is well designed. Phase 1 is pretty melee friendly, as your ranged friends get to shoot down pyrite permafrost and nuke the adds, and phase 2 is more ranged friendly as you run around through snares avoiding Anub’s spikes and try to kill adds. Phase 3 is a good old fashioned dps race, and DPS races are always a tension-heavy way to end an instance.

As I said, this fight deserves more than 3 stars…but it doesn’t get them, simply due to the rather terrible tuning of Anub 10.  4.2 Million HP is 2/3 of what Kel’thuzad had- and with adds that barely require any attention from the ranged (we just let the single bad add be tanked on anub and die to incidental aoe) and a really small health pool, Anub’arak can be kept from going under more than once just from average (4.5-5.5kish)dps per person. On 25 man, the fight is much more finely tuned (it took us 8 attempts, iirc, vs. the 1 attempt with not deaths we got in ten man today.) I kind of hope they stealth buff Anub- I don’t want to be elitist, and I really don’t want to be the type of person to throw out cliched phrases like “catering to casuals,” but Anub really is too easy.

As a Whole: I like ToC Reg. With the exception of Faction Champions, the idea behind every fight is cool to me, and they all seem well designed. But, it’s entirely too easy of an instance. Ulduar was difficult at times-we’ve been perpetually cockblocked by Hard Mode Iron Council for a month now (partly due to end of summer attendance issues), and our first Yogg kill came on an off-night where we decided to push through the slump of days of attempts and kick his ass. Anub was not Yogg. There was accomplishment, but there also was the feeling of “we should not be able to down the last boss of an instance the day it’s released. We’re not that hardcore.”  I do understand the casual-logic of “Well, hardcore players are not the only ones that deserve to see [major lore character], but they should at least have to work for it, aand I don’t get that sense from ToC.

That said, I am quite excited to see the heroic version, as I do believe it will be harder. I’m also excited to see Icecrown Citadel-it seems quite apparent that ToC was the side project to keep us tied over until IC, and I’m perfectly fine with that- provided IC is badass. I have faith in Blizzard that it will be so.

(I’m also excited to see Cobra Starship and Boys Like Girls in concert together on November 20th. Just bought tickets. 😀 :D)

((Yes, it is 5AM in the morning, Yes I am blogging, and No I have not slept yet. :/)

*I have nothing against Ringo Starr, though I do prefer every other Beatle to him. I just thought it was a catchy first line, so don’t flay the skin from my body or something.

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2 Comments

  1. Sorry about the loss of the axe 😛

    I haven’t been able to do Anub yet but the guild I’m in did ToC 10 man last week for the first time and we only wiped once on the faction champions. We had the Paladin, Shaman, Hunter, Warrior, Mage, and Warlock. On the second attempt I was picked to Windshear the hell out of the Paladin and just be a general pain to her.

    If you ever get the Druid can you let us know how you deal with her? I haven’t seen her yet but the rest of the guild tells me horror stories of her 40k healing ticks.

    • We tend to focus fire the druid as the first kill target, and I sit on his butt and spam purge on everything but lifebloom. 😛 I think last night was actually the first night we didn’t have the tree-she’s annoying as heck. >.<


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