Tomb of Sargeras: A Peep into Deceiver’s Fall

I will start right at the point: Kil’Jaeden must be nerfed. Plain and simple.

Kil'Jaeden-tomb-of-sargeras
– WHAT?
– Yeah, you heard me right, Kil’Jaeden. You must be nerfed.

Micromantica was an obvious pioneer in the fourth wing yesterday. We had the most experienced tanks there. One of them naturally came as a raid leader. He patiently explained tactics and stayed with us until the end.

I switched from Frost to Fire, as I deliver more damage through it, both artifacts being at 52 traits. My ilvl was 897, which is more than enough for LFR. The other guys were well geared too.

And we just couldn’t beat it.

On our first try we had an obvious quick wipe as people learned how to manage the fiery void zones. On our second try we managed to pass up to the shadow phase, still struggling with void zones, but much better.

On our third and fourth try we’ve driven him to the last phase. Everyone was performing perfectly! And he hit enrage both times.

This is ridiculous – as you are geared via LFR, you should be able to kill KJ in this raid’s gear. But we needed 25% flat buff to kill him on our 5th try. Mark you, EVERYONE survived when we killed him. EVERYONE was just perfect in performing their role at all phases. And yet we wouldn’t kill him if not for 25% buff.

The mechanics are perfect, they are multiple, they are interesting, and it’s quite a challenge for a raid group who needs patience, quick reaction and work in unison, because the other’s fail may cause a wipe. Everything’s cool for the “last” boss – if not for this ridiculous overtuning.

So yes, it’s gonna be a single kill for every toon.

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That Save Though!..

It’s a busy week. The next wing is opened, so my toons have more to accomplish per cooldown. Besides, this week’s bonus is world quests, so I have my hands full – I never miss it.

The first and the second wings in LFR have become much easier. People learnt the boss strategies, and geared up a bit. The first wing could be definitely cleared with one tank now.

The third wing – Maiden and Avatar – is yet being discovered. Many people die at orbs at Maiden, and DPS is barely enough to kill Avatar. 5% wipe buffs help, but still I expect more troubles on weekend for my alts, as most experienced and geared players tend to clear the cooldowns on the first day.

Today’s Avatar encounter was awesome – as yours truly saved the day.

I went healing the wing with Aurinko the Holy Priest. We wiped the first time at 700k, so I presumed we would need at least two more wipes to stack buffs. Yet we killed him on our second try!

People were doing much better at the first phase on our second try, so just one died by the time we dropped through the floor. Avatar managed to smash every floor down below in four takes (a decent job from tanks). When he demolished the last piece, tanks were down, all healers down, all dps down… and only one pally survived with 10% health. And the Avatar was at some real minimum, just a hair from dying.

I confess when Avatar broke the last platform I already put away my hands from the keyboard, seeing everyone dead and presuming a wipe was already here. Then I saw that he didn’t kill this last pally in one or two blows – that we may fight yet, granted that low-low boss’ health! And me – as a Holy Priest – have this awesome perk to heal even after my death – as a spirit! I would die in 20 seconds, but I still can be able to heal full throttle during this time.

I had my most powerful saves off cooldown, so I quickly put my fingers back on the keys. I confess that even so we could lose, because I casted a weak HoT first – my core spell, so it came out naturally. This second could be critical, but happily the worst didn’t happen. After yelling at myself “WTF are you doing?” I quickly cast a save, and I restore the pally’s full health in one click. And Avatar of Sargeras dies two seconds later!

The worst part was that no one noticed my contribution :) Well, technically I were dead. Yet we won :)

Aurinko got two tier pieces from the full raid run – a decent drop.

Speaking of drops, I had half an hour yesterday between my return from my band’s rehearsal and going to sleep, and Mindebad claimed the cape from Trilliax. This be the last Nighthold piece that I lacked. Now I have collected all sets from The Nighthold for all classes! No more Nighthold for me :) I can concentrate on current raid in full.

Tomb of Sargeras: A Peep into Chamber of the Avatar

The-Avatar-of-Sargeras

The next wing is opened in LFR, and today we enter Chamber of the Avatar.

The wing is significantly shorter than the previous ones – most notably, it’s just two bosses, and little trash is present which is also killed in a blink of an eye opposed to very tedious and dangerous Wailing Halls. This also means it’s not the best place to farm your set pieces which drop from trash mobs only.

Maiden of Vigilance – offers a pretty unique terrain with a giant and deadly elevator hole in the middle (Tip: don’t enter it under usual circumstances). The fight itself can boast with several mechanics, all comprehensible and executable but one. First, you need to jump down the hole when the bomb starts ticking at your head – the easiest and the most fun part. Second, a massive AoE spell which you cannot interrupt unless you blow off a small shield – also easy. Third, you are not supposed to collide with players of other debuffs when you’re granted with one of two debuffs – it’s the hardest thing that may pose a great trouble in LFR. Think Xhul’horac, but it’s harder due to the less move options. You should be tracking the others’ debuffs not to come close to the opposite ones. I think most casualties happened because of this, but we pulled off the fight on our first try.

The Avatar of Sargeras – is much more likeable and probably the best encounter for me. In LFR there’s no option to cover the beams – so it’s basically a single-target fight and a relief for tanks. It’s a pure DPS check, and everything is about stepping out of the bad (very deadly bad though). If tanks don’t fail positioning at the last phase, it’s a piece of cake – an extra dps buff on your extra tries would do the trick sooner or later. We wiped once, leaving the boss at 170k, and it was only because the tanks didn’t know the range of platform destruction, so he got rid of it in just two blows (should be at least three). On our second try it went smooth, although I was the only one dead because I failed to use the Ice Block to prevent my debuff, and no one came to help.

Lorewise, it’s the most interesting wing of all.

Previously we dealt with sealing the Legion gateway with Pillars of Creation. Assume that by the time we are breaching the Tomb class order halls already dealt with Legion in Broken Shore. I played every class storyline, and I see the whole picture. Class order halls each delivered a strike at a specific area of Broken Shore, demolishing the Legion ranks, plans and efforts down to zero. Despite the world quests still running, lorewise the Legion is beaten and chased into the Tomb of Sargeras – and it’s just feeble remnants of them. Goroth, Inquisitors, Desolate Host machine and Kil’Jaeden himself are all that’s left. Mad Titan construct/elf guardians are local.  Just think of it: we did it.

And when we kill off the Legion’s last hope in this invasion – the Avatar of Sargeras, a doom weapon – this is the end of invasion. We won. Kil’Jaeden flees. The Avatar of Sargeras encounter equals the Sunwell Plateau ending: Kil’Jaeden is gone. The threat is eliminated. Kil’Jaeden didn’t even make his last stand. He ran away.

We dealt with all the demons in Broken Isles (remember how Maiev sent us to deal even with Legion camps in Azsuna/Suramar during Legionfall campaign?), sealed the portals, and no demons remain on Azeroth. We won. Please understand that the main goal is completed – ever since that first preview cinematic when Khadgar flew in Varian’s court as a raven and told him that Legion is here – this job ends exactly here. Let it sink:

There is – no – more – Legion – on – our – planet.

Only this time Velen follows his brother into the Twisting Nether, and the second chapter begins exactly now: OUR assault. Illidan and Khadgar and us follow Velen to save him and try to end the Legion at its lair… A bold move, and a necessary one to prevent “merely-a-setbacks”. Next stop: Twisting Nether and Legion’s general, Kil’Jaeden.

P.S. I couldn’t help but notice that Kil’Jaeden doesn’t look as intimidating and large as Archimonde. It maybe due to their different development: Archimonde was all obsessed with raw magical power, so no wonder he got so big, accumulating it and focusing on this way of enhancement that Legion provided.

Tomb of Sargeras: A Peep into Wailing Halls

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Naturally what I did yesterday was a testing run in the new wing by Micromantica, doubled today by yet another caster – Faerella the Warlock.

The next wing consists of 3 bosses: Demonic inquisition, Sisters of the Moon and The Desolate Host.

In this wing I start to understand the whining about logistics – it really is tricky. But not so much on your second run.

Demonic Inquisition is a pair of fellow dudes who argue about whether flesh or soul is a subject of torment. I liked these bosses very much. Their looks design is awesome, and torture mechanics are totally comprehensible: just stop hitting them during a specific spell, is all. Neither of my tries brought me to the second room. Well, Faerella got this debuff by the very end, but bosses were supposed to die in 10 seconds (which they did), so I didn’t see any reason to try and see the other room.

After that we fight the same infernals in Goroth room – I hate when we have to kill the same trash in different wings – and then we descend to Elven rooms. Few packs of trash – really not annoying, well done, Blizzard, and we reach Sisters of the Moon boss.

I didn’t even notice how we killed them. First of all, I liked the wrestling-type boss change: when you deal with one and the same health bar, and they just give each other high five and change one by one as you do so. Really cool (and Elisande-type replenishing health bar, thrice – is not). The moon mechanics is probably the easiest movement requirement during a boss fight. You may go to the other floor color if you feel so, or you may do nothing and still be good, because the needed color will reach you anyways. So it’s just stepping out of a rare bad and nuking an add owl. Piece of cake.

Then comes The Desolate Host fight. Micromantica spent the whole encounter dead. She knew someone should go to the spirit realm, so she did. Something killed her immediately far away from any boss, and she never learnt what. Apparently not many guys, like myself, knew the encounter, because there was only one healer among very few people in spirit realm, and she had some tough times. Anyways, the boss went down. On my next try Faerella stayed in corporeal realm, but the group was better, so it split in two without any discussions. The boss just died, no troubles at all.

Is it because people already got some loot in previous weeks, but the wing seems very simple compared to the first one. The encounters are fun enough, and I won’t feel tedious when re-running them for loot. Second wing’s cool.

Tomb of Sargeras: A Peep into The Gates of Hell

Tomb-of-Sargeras-The-Gates-of-Hell-Sasszine

Although finishing EN/TN raid tiers is still my raiding priority these days, I’m also starting to explore the new raid.

I’ve completed three runs by now. Aurinko the Priest got a healer’s trinket, Backston the Hunter got her tier wrists, and Paitsu the Monk who went as a healer got gauntlets and legguards from her tier – and without extra coin rolls.

I liked the lore very much. Probably my most favorite theme in every game, cartoon or movie is assembling something big out of parts. I’m a fan of Elements or other concepts alike. So no wonder that the whole thing of Pillars of Creation is my thing 100%.

In every wing we will be putting the Pillars in their slots – and before we assembled them. By the way, it must be checked if they are removed from storage in Dalaran after you get the raid achievement :) Would be awesome.

The first wing is water-themed, and naga are bound here perfectly.

  • First, the Tidestone is the element of water.
  • Second, the naga have nothing to do with Legion, but they continue their story arc from Azsuna and the following dungeon. Their arrival is quite logical, as they wait us here – a perfect deduction from their side to get a Tidestone. Of course they can’t retrieve it from Dalaran! It also explains the naga arrival near the Tomb in Broken Shore, although those on surface are a corrupted kind. I don’t think that Azshara would greet her soldiers back demon-corrupted – she has bonds with the Old Gods, who are the ultimate nemesis of the Legion and vice versa. Maybe those ones in the surface were left as a supporting base camp, and the main forces went into the Tomb? So the bored soldiers got corrupted :) If Sassz’ine retrieved the Tidestone successfully, I guess she wiould beat all the shit out of the renegades then.
  • Third, it’s a direct link to the flooded, naga-filled tube we were passing through in the original Tomb of Sargeras in Frozen Throne expansion for Warcraft 3. Remember?

Tomb-of-Sargeras-Warcraft-3-Frozen-Throne

I conclude that the room in Warcraft 3, where we learned about that naga were elves once, is the same room where we fight the naga lady Sassz’ine. On my next trip there I’ll run around after the raid ends – for exploring and matching both maps in my mind.

The raid design is beautiful – I don’t even mind the darkness. Since Warcraft 3, the levels above water were cleared of seaweed and everything.

Goroth is a fun encounter. He is relying on AoE attacks, and following the mechanics is easy and comprehensible.

Harjatan. I’m not a fan of the fight, it’s basically his thick skin to address and some adds to be switched to.

Sassz’ine is cool. There’s lots of stuff to do, the field is tight enough to make avoiding multiple void zones an interesting problem. The only thing that I don’t understand is ink clouds. I know how to get this debuff by stepping in violet pools, but I’m completely unaware of where to carry it and at which moments.

In general the raid encounters design somewhat elusively reminds me of old arcade games, like it was the case with Blackrock Foundry. It’s like the best things were borrowed from them, but not a single annoying one. If the other bosses and wings will be as interesting, it’s gonna be my favorite raid in Legion.

Everything’s good with The Gates of Hell. Well, maybe except a wing name :) Tomb is not exactly hell, and naga wing is about Tidestone and water, not about Legion troops guarding the entrance.

Plans and Tomb of Sargeras Schedule

So, the Tomb of Sargeras raid schedule is up!

Tomb-of-Sargers-bosses

  • June 20 – Normal and Heroic
  • June 27 – Mythic and LFR Wing 1: Gates of Hell (Goroth, Demonic Inquisition, Harjartan)
  • July 11 – LFR Wing 2: Wailing Halls (Mistress Sass’zine, Sisters of the Moon, Desolate Host)
  • July 25 – LFR Wing 3: Chamber of the Avatar (Maiden of Vigilance, Avatar of Sargeras)
  • August 8 – LFR Wing 4: Deceiver’s Fall (Kil’Jaeden)

My personal thoughts:

  • Of course I am interested in Raid Finder only.
  • This means that I will see Kil’Jaeden in August. But I’m somehow not anticipating it with eager – like Archimonde or Gul’dan. I know all his story of course, but he somehow doesn’t feel like a guy we want to kill (although we need to). You really need to grow a big bad before you set him as a raid boss. Kil’Jaeden now feels… like a technical foe, like the Legion mobs in Broken Shore. He sits in the farthest corner in Tomb of Sargeras and does nothing. He’s not present as a nemesis in Broken Shore – well, at least he could comment something during invasions and questing. He’s not seen as a threat now.
  • This also means that I have almost a full month to clear up the Legionfall campaign for all toons, and get my class mounts
  • In a week every reputation for every toon will be Exalted, and I will enter a relaxed mode of four emissaries per day to earn the faction mounts (which is not tiresome at all and very fun)
  • Relaxed mode means that I will have time for Chromie scenarios and maybe earning invasion mogs
  • Other raid mogs as well, current and old

In other words, Summer is rolling out to be a major lull time despite the new raid. I would clear all the loose ends.

The next step of Legionfall campaign is completing 3 missions for Broken Shore in your Order Hall. It seems bugged, because I’ve completed an ordinary and and elite mission, and I’m still at 0/3. My best guess is that only elite missions count, and the ones you start AFTER taking the quest. As long as elite missions take 3 days for the followers to complete, it needs to be checked yet.

I see the light in the end of the tunnel :)

The Nighthold: A Peep into Royal Athenaeum

star-augur-etraeus-royal-ahenaeum

This weekend I’ve obviously queued for a Royal Athenaeum quarter – and ran it with few toons.

My first run on a Horde toon was awful: rage quits, wipes, insults and all the pleasures of an LFR run which is not on farm yet, and people expect the bosses to pop like balloons while they still lack some tactics knowledge and better gear for this to happen.

The second run on an Alliance toon went smooth, and people went joking they would like to form a proper raid group out of this LFR one – that’s how good we were.

The further runs (I guess I did a pair more during weekend) were somewhere in the middle: occasional wipes, but all in all we beat the wing.

What I’m saying is that I saw all the range of group skills during the weekend, so I can be more or less objective.

I’m not fond of Royal Athenaeum.

First, it’s the trash mobs. They are extremely dangerous, and the other time you don’t even know what hit you. When we fought some trash on our way to Tel’arn’s site, there happened some spell which went BOOM – and ALL the raid group was dead in an  instant. Worse, the shal’dorei guards are small, wear camouflage, and you never know how many mobs are there left and whom to kill. I don’t even start with the thing that trash mobs are wandering, and also the raid design suggests that you don’t kill every of them. An unexperienced player would easily bring a pair of extra trash packs into skirmish from behind, and neither tanks nor healers would pull it off.

Yes, the raid environment design. It’s as the least logical as possible.

You don’t feel like you secure passages here. Yes, the raid lore is that we are too small of a group to conduct a proper assault, so the united elven army and us are just a desperate group to reach Elisande and Gul’dan with the least effort possible. Aqueducts worked this way, because it’s our secret passage, and elves secure the grounds after we beat the bosses. Athenaeum – no. Yes, the first boss is a guard commander we need to kill and leave many guards to live if they are not in our way, but why the fel should we get bothered with Tel’arn and Etraeus which are perfectly fine in their playgrounds? They are not even bothering about what’s happening outside of their rooms!

Now, bosses.

Spellblade Aluriel wanders like a common trash mob, and your actual encounter happens in a corridor. Thus, it doesn’t feel any special at all, but neither it feels like a very fat trash mob due to multiple mechanics to follow. So, it’s not a boss, it’s an annoyance.

Star Augur Etraeus is sitting in a tower. It’s perfectly okay, but you will never guess which passage to him you would have to choose. And when you leave the encounter site, you could easily run into another tower just following the corridor, and that’s where the unnecessary mobs attack you, bringing extra pain to the raid group.  The encounter itself is possibly the only one in this wing that I like in full: very beautiful and also interesting. Bad thing is: you should never be in front of his face as a melee dps which is hard to follow due to the boss model design. If a tank turns him to melee camp, and you don’t react in a second, you’re dead. In my opinion, it’s not the kind of challenge we need – especially when ranged fighters don’t even bother. Also I feel kinda claustrophobic in this room – I would prefer some bigger space of course.

High Botanist Tel’arn is pretty cool, I like the inventive mechanics which require much movement and positioning, and the encounter is also your cleave test which was an exciting game for my warlock. The drawback of the encounter is that it is TOO LONG. Seriously, I get severely bored by the last 30%, and 10-20% feel like a torture. Could be better when people dress up a bit, but it’s quite a tiresome marathon now.

I’m not sure if drop rates were fixed a bit, but I get one or two items for each wing. Too bad my toons only got rings, trinkets or necks – in other words, no tier items yet.

Royal Athenaeum will not be my favorite quarter, and definitely not the one I would remember with any good feelings when we’re a pair of expansions away from Legion.