So last night <NEED A DISPENSER HERE> made it’s first foray into Ulduar as a 25 man raid group and just about two words sums it up so far: Fucking. Hard. Well, let me start from the beginning. We got into the zone and took about 20 to 25 minutes to get everyone organized and ready for the Flame Leviathan fight. Not so long really when you think that we had to explain the fight to everyone and organize teams of people for the vehicles really.
Then the gauntlet started and we decided since it was our first time through we’d just go ahead and knock over all four towers and do it on easy mode since only ten of us had gotten to see it the night before. Thanks to a limited understanding on what buttons did what, one of our siege engines ended up taking a flying leap off into space at one point, but other than that we were able to get to the Leviathan without too many problems.
So in the first fight I was one of the healers nominated to be thrown onto the back of the leviathan in order to help keep the ranged dps alive. For anyone not in the know, the Leviathan starts to pick up steam at a certain point in order to try and ram your siege engines and demolishers. In order to reset this stacking speed boost, you have to throw dps onto the leviathan itself from the back of demolishers in order to destroy the turrets on his back and they have to press a big red button after that which overloads it’s circuits and causes it to sit still and take increased damage. You also want to send a couple of healers with them because they’ll be taking damage while sitting on his back and will die if it’s just the dps.
So I got catapulted up there but the other healer was killed mid flight and only one of the dps made it onto his back because of further limited understanding of what buttons do what and how to get catapulted. Thankfully we were able to teleport directly to the Leviathan’s concourse area and after a little more explaining we brought down this boss on the second shot with almost no problems. This boss on easy mode is VERY easy I’d say. Next week we’ll probably leave at least one tower up to make it a little more challenging and try to increase the loot a little bit. Unfortunately, no caster gear for holy priests dropped, but there was a very nice caster neck piece and some plate gear.
So we move forward and decide we’ll give Razorscale an attempt next. We buff up explain strats, everyone gets set and runs in and Dueg immediately dies in a fire. You know, for fun. Seriously though, this fight is chaos incarnate and extremely heal intensive, making for a not fun fight for healers. The gist of the fight is that there’s a proto drake flying around above the raid that needs to be brought down by harpoons that a bunch of dwarves are fixing. Once you fire four of the harpoons (which break again after you fire them thanks to shoddy workmanship), it will ground Razorscale for a limited amount of time and once she hits 50% life she’ll stay permanently grounded.
However, while they’re fixing the harpoons, all these iron dwarves are popping up from the underground and charging them and the raid. Oh yeah, and also the proto drake is spitting fireballs and occasionally one of those fireballs is blue and will leave behind fire on the ground that tics you for 5k in damage every second. Not to mention the initial hit is about 5k in damage, so basically you will take 10k damage in the course of a second and if you don’t move immediately will most likely die. Instant heals are your friend here.
Now I’ll admit it, I was effin terrible at this fight in ten man and didn’t show much improvement in 25 man until our third or fourth attempt when I was finally able to figure out how to avoid running through fire. However, I was openly ridiculed for my lack of raid awareness and rightfully so. One thing my guild was noticing though is that this fight seems to be insanely overtuned for the average guild.
Not only is there intense and brutal raid damage, but some of the mobs also cast chain lightning which will hit about five or so targets for crazy damage. After learning to avoid fire, I died twice to being hit by a fireball and getting chain lightninged pretty much at the same time. Plus there’s a crazy ass pantload of adds and usually by the time we grounded her the second time, we were getting overrun by the adds. The fight is fun, but it honestly felt to me like you need a raid fully geared in Ulduar purps to be able to get this boss down.
So we tried Razorscale a few times and decided to give Ignis the Furnace Master a try in order to shake things up. Now this guy had a reputation for being a joke on the PTR, which leads me to believe that Blizzard wanted a “who’s laughing now?” moment by way way overtuning this guy. First off, he absolutely crushes the tank and was regularly hitting our bear for 35k melee shots. That’s not a typo, 35,000 damage in one shot. Yeah, healers, start your weeping.
He also occasionally uses an ability called flame jet that if your casting the moment it goes off, it locks you out of that school for about 8 seconds. I got around this by casting instant spells when he started casting this ability. When it goes off he also tosses the raid up in the air and hits them with a DoT, so Binding Heal is definitely in order after you land in order to keep yourself and the tank up.
Occasionally he’ll also grab someone from the raid and throw them in this smelting pot he’s carrying that burns the hell out of them and they must be healed through. The damage isn’t too rough though and you can keep casting while you’re in it, so if you’re a healer, try to keep yourself healed. Unfortunately there’s a small bug that should’ve been hotfixed last night that was causing him to occasionally melee the person he picked up and threw in the pot which meant he was one shotting random people.
Another part of the fight is that he summons golems occasionally that have to be grabbed by a tank, dragged to the flame jets he leaves on the ground and held there till they become “molten”, then dragged to one of the water pools on the side where they become “brittle.” They can then be shattered if they take 5k damage in a single shot which should be no problem for your average Ulduar ready dps. However, after a few attempts we decided to pass on him for the moment because of the bug and went back to Razorscale wipes for the rest of the night.
Also let me say, when Blizzard promised harder trash, they delivered. We almost wiped twice trying to figure out the trash for ol’ Iggy there and you definitely have to be on your A-game when it comes to it. Unfortunately, we also had a few scrubs along with us last night and weren’t able to bring Dispenser’s full might to bear on the bosses. I think that if we had our full first string team along with us we could’ve maybe gotten Razorscale down as we seemed to start getting it under control by the end of the night, but who can say for sure? Both fights after Leviathan felt a little bit overtuned though and our GL had a theory about this which sort of makes sense.
He said that the problem is the way they did the testing with limited pre announcement of fights meant that the majority of the guilds who got to test the fights were hardcore, stay by your cell, quit your job for testing guilds. When you have only the cream of the crop testing your fights, they’re going to complain that it’s too easy because they’re the kind of guild willing to spend 24 hours straight in a raid instance trying to down Yogg-Saron (grats Ensidia, you sons of bitches). Your average guild however is not going to think that 6 minutes is too long of an enrage timer which is why they hotfixed it to 10 minutes after the first night. I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more tweaks in the form of hotfixes coming down the pipes in the next few weeks as they retune the encounters.
So my final thoughts are that this is what raiding is supposed to feel like. It’s very hard, but it’s FUN. I feel a thrill during the encounters and am excited to get back into Ulduar again. It’s not the cakewalk that Naxx was and I think we’ll be able to really start separating the wheat from the chafe over the next couple of weeks as we progress. We’re going to try to have another 25 man attempt tonight if we can get the group together again and hopefully we’ll be able to actually down a few bosses. Daddy needs him some new plums, my current ones are so last patch.