Posts Tagged ‘Flame Leviathan

08
May
09

Friday Strats – Flame Leviathan

All I wanna do is to thank you, even though I don't know who you are...

All I wanna do is to thank you, even though I don't know who you are...

So I know we cheated a little bit here and decided to do Razorscale and Ignis before I did this fight, but don’t be fooled, Flame Leviathan is the first boss of Ulduar and must be downed before you can advance.  When word initially got out that this fight would be another vehicle fight there were a lot of raiders up in arms and angry over this.  You see, the idea of a vehicle fight had been tainted by the fact that phase 3 of the Malygos fight had a tendency to truly break raids.  However, this fight is a far cry from that dog’s breakfast of a fight, to be sure and is actually quite fun.  So let’s get right to it since this post promises to be a long one!

The Prep

When you first enter Ulduar, you’ll be in a small concourse at the entrance that has vehicles parked all along the walls of it.  There are going to be three different types of vehicles you can choose from: A motorcycle (Salvaged Chopper), a mobile catapult (Salvaged Demolisher) and a tank (Salvaged Siege Engine).  In order to prepare for the fight, you’ll need everyone to don their highest ilevel gear since the vehicle’s health is based off of that total.  Choppers are generally going to be your weakest vehicles in terms of health, so you’ll want your highest ilevel geared people in those vehicles and then demolishers and then siege engines in order to give a higher chance of survival.  Each vehicle can have one driver and one passenger, but you’ll want the choppers to begin with only a driver.

Each driver and passenger will have their own unique set of abilities depending on what vehicle they’re in.  The Chopper has Sonic Horn, which deals about 3,500 damage in a frontal cone in front of it, Tar, which places a 10 yard slick of flammable tar down which slows all enemies by 75% and Speed Boost, which is a 5 second 100% speed increase.  When the chopper has a passenger in it, there should also be an option to heal the passenger up to full health.  Next up is the Demolisher, wherein the driver has Hurl Boulder, which launches a boulder that deals up to 16,500 damage, Hurl Pyrite Barrel, which deals up to 30,000 damage and will ignite any tar slicks, and Ram which deals up to 9,500 damage and knocks enemies back.  The Hurl Pyrite ability uses 5 of the vehicle’s ammo, but the passenger can refresh your reserves when needed.  Finally, they’ll have a Launch Passenger option which only becomes available when a passenger loads themselves.

 The passenger of the Demolisher will have Anti-Air Rockets, which can be fired into the air and deal AoE damage.  This ability can also be rapid fired at the ground, dealing splash machine gun like splash damage in a small radius and will also ignite tar slicks.  Passengers also have Cannon, which can deal up to 120,000 damage on mobs if accurate, or as little as 5,000 if you mostly miss.  There are three other abilities as well, Grab Crate, which allows you to pick up Pyrite barrels that must be shot down out of the air with rockets.  You must target the crates in order to pick them up.  There will also be a speed boost that the passenger can initiate and an option to load themselves into the catapult part of the Demolisher.  You’ll want ranged dps (preferably a mage or warlock) as the passengers and a survivable healer (such as a shaman or tree) to go with them.

Finally you’ll have the siege Engine, which is the tank vehicle of the three.  The driver will have a Ram ability, which deals up to 6,500 damage and knocks enemies back, Electroshock, which is a 25 yard conal ability that interrupts spells and school locks the target for 4 seconds, and Steam Rush, which is a quick speed burst ability that will do a little bit of damage to anything you hit or run over while moving.  The passenger of the Siege Engine will have Anti-Air Rockets and Cannon as well, which are exactly the same as the Demolisher’s abilities.  In addition to that, they also have a shield ability which pops a Physical, Frost, Fire and Arcane damage absorption shield on the Siege Engine.

Once you’ve assigned vehicles, you’ll need to speak with one of two NPCs in order to begin the encounter.  If you wish to simply begin on easy mode, speak with Brann Bronzebeard and he’ll lower the shield protecting their base camp and you can begin the gauntlet.  If you wish to try hard mode, speak with the Lore Keeper of Norgannon, who will also lower the shield, however, the encounter will automatically begin in hard mode.  Hard mode involves four separate towers set at different parts of the gauntlet that you can choose to destroy.  If left active, each tower adds 50% health to the Leviathan and adds an extra ability to the fight.

The Tower of Storms adds 25% to FL’s damage and drops a ball that deals 15,000 damage to all nearby enemies with Stormstrike.  The Tower of Flames will add 50% to FL’s fire damage and periodically a ball of flame will fall from the sky dealing 15,000 fire damage to nearby enemies and slowly move in a circle , leaving a trail of damaging flames behind it.   The Tower of Frost causes occasional balls of ice to fall from the sky, dealing 15,000 frost damage to nearby enemies and decreases vehicle and player speed by 20%.  If a vehicle is struck by the frost damage, they will become frozen in ice and must be broken out by other players.  Finally, the Tower of Life also drops a ball dealing 15,000 nature damage to nearby enemies and will summon adds to assist FL while lowering it’s damage received by 10%.

You can destroy any number of towers you want, but you won’t receive extra loot unless you leave at least three up.  We tried this fight once with two towers up and it becomes crazy complicated so I can only imagine how difficult it must be with all four up.  Once you’ve chosen your mode, you must run the gauntlet which involves a boatload of mobs beating up on your vehicle.  There will be a number of pillars that spawn these mobs, so you’ll want to destroy them to stop the constant stream of iron dwarves running for you.  If you chose to start on automatic easy mode, you can simply move straight through the gauntlet.  If you chose to start with the towers active, you’ll have to take detours to destroy any towers you don’t want active during the fight.  

Right before you enter the final area where you’ll actually fight the Leviathan, you’ll see two huge glowing circles on the ground.  If you roll over them, you can regain full health and ammo before you begin the fight.  Once you kill the final mobs at the end of the concourse, the doors leading further in will smash open and the Flame Leviathan will appear, beginning the actual boss encounter.

The Fight

Once the Leviathan shows up, the first thing it’ll do is randomly target a vehicle, usually a Siege Engine, never a Chopper unless they’re all that’s left, and begin to chase them.  It’ll also be continually firing rockets in all directions, continually damaging vehicles and players by 700 damage every 1 or 2 seconds.  While it’s chasing vehicles, it’ll begin to stack a buff called Gathering Speed which will increase it’s movement speed by 5% per buff until it reaches 20 stacks or 100% speed boost.  It will also occasionally begin channeling spell called Flame Vents which deals 2,000 damage every second to everyone surrounding the boss.  It is extremely important that Siege Engines interrupt this channel as it will tear your Choppers apart fairly quickly.

After you kill the final mobs, but before the Leviathan shows up, you’ll want at least 3 to 4 of the passengers in the demolishers load themselves into the catapult.  Once it actually bursts into the concourse, have the drivers fire their passengers onto the Leviathan where they’ll have to target and destroy four turrets.  It is important that the drivers aim by pointing their vehicles at the Leviathan.  If they don’t aim, the passengers will simply be flung onto the ground.  Remember, you want at least one healer to go with them as they’ll be taking damage while up there and you don’t want your dps to die before they finish the job.  Once all four turrets are destroyed, the passengers will be flung off the Leviathan and it will enter System Overload, causing it to become stunned while it repairs itself, taking 50% extra damage and losing all speed buffs.  All dps vehicles need to start wailing on it as much as possible in order to take advantage of this.  You’ll need a Chopper to run around while this is going on and pick up the passengers, heal them and drop them off by their vehicle.

If the Leviathan catches up to it’s target, it will begin using an ability called Battering Ram which hits for a truckload, knocks the target back and adds a debuff that increases damage taken by 100%.  In order to help slow the Leviathan, Choppers will need to drop tar slicks in front of it and it is highly recommended that people light them up in order to deal the extra damage while it’s slogging through it.  Siege Engines should be targeted more often than Demolishers, so the drivers will want to save their speed boost for when they need to turn around and book it.  Though there’s a lot going on and the fight seems complicated, it’s actually fairly easy and becomes a rinse and repeat sort of thing once you’ve mastered your vehicle’s different abilities. 

The Loot

10 Man

Combustion Bracers – This is actually a very sweet wrist slot item for a 10 man drop.  I definitely recommend this for Shadow Priests if you’re not sporting something nicer already.

Energy Siphon – A rather lackluster trinket (a running theme for casters in Ulduar), this one is better left for those crazy mp5 loving shamans.

Lifespark Visage – This is a fantastic head slot item, however, with the lower spirit totals and haste rating, it has more of a dps feel to it.  Don’t be afraid to pick it up for whatever spec you are though, as it’s still extremely good either way.

Petrified Ivy Sprig – Drops from hard mode, this is definitely one of if not the best hit gear wand in the game.

Shimmering Seal – Also from hard mode, this is a solid upgrade for shadow priests, pick it up if you get the chance.

25 Man

Freya’s Choker of Warding – a great little piece of disc or shadow gear, I’d recommend holy spec to wait till you can get something with spirit on it.

Embrace of the Leviathan – Pick this bad boy up if you get a chance, though disc may want something with less spirit on it in order to boost other stats.

Constructor’s Handwraps – Like the previous gear, this is a great upgrade for most people, but disc might want something less spirit heavy.

Leviathan Fueling Manual – If you’re shadow, pick this up.  BiS for off hand hit gear.

Glowing Ring of Reclamation – Possibly one of the BiS for holy spec and hit capped shadow priests, there are better options for disc priests out there.

Boots of Fiery Resolution – Hard mode loot, I have a feeling that this will be BiS for all three specs if you don’t mind the haste bonus.

Pendant of Fiery Havoc – Another hard mode item, this one is probably going to have dps drooling into their robes.  I believe this is currently BiS for hit gear.

And there you go, this mob drops a lot of caster items, so you definitely want to get on the gravy train here.  Next week we’ll be moving to the final boss before advancing past the Siege of Ulduar and into the Antechamber.  So come on back and we’ll take a look at XT-002 Deconstructor.

-Dueg

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16
Apr
09

First Impressions of Ulduar

its-beautifulSo 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.

-Dueg




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