Still 2/7N

We hit highmaul again Tuesday night, having reset Kargath and Butcher. They were dispatched swiftly, with only the one wipe on each (including Kargath fixating on me and me not having to move as the fire pillar spawns in front of me… #likeaboss). Both these fights feel really easy right now, as I know what I need to do and the DPS requirements are… forgiving (even on Butcher).

Tectus is another matter. Man does that fight feel chaotic! And by chaotic I mean chaotic if people stare at their action bars and don’t notice they are being targeted until DBM shouts at them and they have already dragged the crystalline aoe into the ranged pack. Chaotic if people can’t DPS through the tectonic upheaval quickly enough to kill the bugger. I’m left wondering how to progress when 5/11 DPS can’t break the 14k number on Butcher, let alone 10k when they have to move.

I have a plan for healing cooldowns and such to deal with the later phases, but there’s no way to test unless we can get there, and right now DPS is a barrier. We’ll see what happens next week.

Highmaul (2/7N)

Tonight was the first official raid night for Red Shift and we jumped into Highmaul with 15. Players (up to 16 later on). To our slight surprise (and joy) we managed to down Kargath on the first pull and Butcher after only 3 wipes (one of which doesn’t really count as I accidentally pulled the boss preemptively). We spent the rest of the evening working on Brackenspore, which is a fight filled with orders of magnitude more stuff than either of the previous two. It was great fun to be raiding again and now it’s time to dig into the stats to find out how to improve!

Healing all three encounters felt very different, Kargath felt really relaxed, with only a bit of panic when two of our three healers ended up in the chain whirl, leaving me all by my lonesome. I ran my mana pretty short because of some spamming AOEs during that section of the fight, but apart from that it was fine.

Butcher was pretty brutal at first, not gonna lie. But some nice use of cooldowns and the ability to chain Amp Magic into our druid’s Tranq meant the 30% burn wasn’t the spamfest it could have been.

Brackenspore was a bit of an information overload to be honest for many players, including myself, even if we had completed the LFR encounter (three sets of new boss mechanics in one evening is tough!). And my god it this waaaay more fun than LFR, since you actually have to care about the mushrooms and the horrific creeping moss.

I was disappointed we went to Brackenspore over Tectus, because I think that fight might require more of our time in the end, and it’s just hilarious chaos but it was a nice challenge to end the evening on.

Healing is fun 😀

Proving Grounds Silver

It’s a double edged sword for sure. I mean, I get the idea behind it; here’s a solo scenario that shows you can complete basic tasks that you might be asked to do in a Heroic Dungeon. But the tasks you’re asked to do, for me, don’t always match up with what goes on. I picked an example from each of something you are asked to do (or not asked to do) that make me feel like I’m playing a different game just to play the game I want to.

Tanking Silver

The fact that I need to tank a mob in something that hurts us both if we are in it seems alien – and I’ve yet to find an ability in a dungeon or raid that has asked me to do that. The fact that the NPC puts out poor healing and only mediocre damage leaves me feeling like this is less about whether I can hold aggro, use my mitigation and move correctly and more about whether I can carry a group that isn’t doing its job properly.

DPS Silver

Totally imbalanced for class for a start; this was orders of magnitude more difficult on my shadow priest than on the paladin. But more importantly the damn thing never once asked me to move, and never did anything damaging. How often do DPS players die in fire under their feet because they didn’t notice? Yet this simple to add function isn’t present in the challenge, only a simple positioning puzzle that once you solve, makes the fight trivial. Once I was in the right location, I never had to move, I was never targeted by a relevant ability and I never had to use a personal cooldown to survive unavoidable damage. This is completely different to a dungeon or raid environment and still leaves me running heroics with DPS who don’t pay attention and stand (and die) in the fire.

Healing Silver

Of all the proving grounds this felt the closest to a real fight. The tank took steady damage and there was raid damage to heal through. Dispels are needed and if you don’t plan, you can go OOM. It was also the challenge I found the easiest precisely because of this; It was like healing a bad PUG, complete with tanks whining and DPS standing in the fire. However it felt once again like the challenge was about carrying incompetent players.

Future versions

For me the idea of a skill test before running heroics is a great plan; but the challenge should reflect the dungeons more. People should be expected to move out of void zones in all the challenges, not just the Tank and Healer. The tasks should be balanced more for classes and think about including similar mechanics to actual fights.