Archive for August, 2010
Heroic Lich King 25 is the hardest fight in this expansion. It’s not even close. I’m not going to try to compare its difficulty to the level 60 and 70 endgame, but suffice to say that the people who are peering over their rose-tinted glasses and complaining that the game is too easy these days should probably give this encounter a whirl. There are still challenges to be found, and hard ones at that.
If your only experience with the fight is watching kill movies then it probably looks simple enough. It’s just stabbing the Lich King for a bit, occasionally stabbing something else or running away from some black stuff on the ground, and finally watching an RP cutscene after whittling him down to the “kill” at 10%. Right? Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that. It’s close to 20 minutes of near-perfect execution by 25 people, execution that is built brick-by-brick as you master one mechanic only to get whipped by the next.
Arthas hits like a truck so the first step is dealing with his tank damage. Then your whole raid has to learn how to dodge shadow traps and getting the plague to the shambling horror. Your disc priests need to figure out how to shield the entire raid for every infest and your hunters have to find a way to dispel every shambling horror enrage.
In the transition phases the damage dealers have to find the balance between dps’ing aggressively enough to take down the raging spirits quickly but not enough to snatch aggro and get gibbed. You also have to make sure you kill all the ice spheres before they reach the raid and bounce people off the platform.
Then there’s phase 2 and this is the real cock-block of the encounter. Here you have to figure out a way to handle both major mechanics; the val’kyrs, which forces everyone to stack on top of each other, and the defiles, for which you would much rather be spread out. The stacking is necessary to make the valkyrs follow the same path so that you can hit them all with cleave and AoE damage and then you have to have a specific 3-stun rotation on every valkyr in order to slow them down long enough to get them to 50% health and make them drop their target on the platform rather than off it. This sounds easier than it is given that stuns are on strict diminishing returns and a single random stun can mess things up, and the fact that you can easily find yourselves in trouble if the val’kyr targets happen to be your infest-shielding priests or your designated stunners.
Then there’s defile. Oh, defile. How thine cruel nature dost vex me. Bearing a passing resemblance to a BP oil spill, it’s a black blob of ick that spawns under a random raid member and then keeps expanding in diameter if anyone is standing in it. On heroic mode it is very unforgiving and you can’t really overcome one dropped on top of the raid.
Once you actually start to master phase 2 and its defiles, though, the battle is won for all intents and purposes. You still have to learn how to dodge explosions in the Frostmourne room after the Lich King attempts to harvest your souls, how to soak the vile spirits, and let’s not forget that you still have to deal with defiles although they are easier to manage without the val’kyr spawns. But as long as your raid dps is good enough to beat Lich King’s enrage timer, the last phase is a formality compared to the preceding phase.
THC LK 25 heroic first kill HD stream [ PoV: Jinjiro, rogue ]
(If you’re wondering why it ends so abruptly and doesn’t show the RP stuff and 10% victory lap nuke, it’s because Jin ran out of hard drive space while frapsing which made his computer crash right at the start of the RP bit. ^^)
This kill was not cheaply gained. The cost was great and the currency was blood, sweat, tears and time. Lots of time. Summer isn’t a great time for raid progress as holidays and other activites take priority and this fact combined with some core raiders taking breaks slowed our march to victory. But it could not stop it.
*wipes away proud guild leader tear*
Well done and congratulations, THC. You deserved it.
Blood, sweat, tears and a well-deserved Lich King 25 heroic kill at 23:57 on the last attempt of the night. Game over, man, game over!
Kill movie will be up once Jinjiro gets around to editing it.
I’d write more but it will have to wait because right now I’m going to rest on my laurels. I’ll let Ricky Gervais elaborate: