12 January 2010 § Leave a comment
This week the second wing of Icecrown Citadel opened up, to the joy of 95% of the raiding population who was chafing at the bit four weeks ago already (the fact that the Lower Spire is puggable is awesome on one side, as we can do alt raids – pretty bad on the other, because there really is very little challenge). The Plagueworks is, in fact, a sizeable jump up in difficulty. My raid killed Rotface and Festergut in our first night. We came back once more, and exhausted our Putricide attempts without killing him (we got him to phase 2, though I wouldn’t be able to say how far into phase 2 precisely). All in all, I liked the fights: they are fun, and even the trash is correctly paced: the two doggies are a lot of fun, and it’s really amusing to see Gluth, a boss in Naxx (though admittedly an easy one), turned into a trash mob three tiers of raiding later (Gluth had 2.7M health – Stinky and Precious are around the 3M mark…).
Festergut was an interesting fight. I like the “reverse build-up” mechanic, which forced us to do some weird use of healing cooldowns and of assignments. Stacking up on the gas spores was also a nice counter to 4 years of raiding – and again required a modicum of coordination to get everyone covered.
Rotface was a lot harder: we did it pre-nerf, so we apparently got the 25-man infection rate. This one required a lot of work – handling the oozes was the main sticking point, and after several tries we decided to still have a paladin tank on them, and keep Ezma, our DK, on the boss. We tried to do it with one tank only, and have the oozes kited by a warlock. This will probably work if you have some practice and a really good warlock, but you have little to no margin of error (whereas the paladin tank can survive a few hits from the oozes here and there).
Putricide is freaking hard. Between the movement, figuring out the Abomination abilities well, the switching of targets, and the bugginess of the encounter (hello bugged oozes who keep switching targets), I think we really started learning the encounter after 5 tries of insta-deaths. We got to phase 2, and we had one really good try where we kept going for a long time. Various blues have mentioned that the encounter is “slightly overtuned” and in fact it got a nerf today, with the acid pools not growing anymore during phase changes. I think if we didn’t have the limited attempts gating, we would have had it – so I’m quite happy, and sure we will get them down this week (or my raid will, as I won’t be able to join them this week).
All in all, two considerations stand out. The first is, bravo Blizzard, because this wing is fun and challenging. The second is a marginal correction on the first. This is not the first time that the 10-man version happen to be VERY badly tuned: Marrowgar was doing 25-man damage when released, and now we have Rotface for sure and possibly Putricide that are out of tune. I realise that Blizzard cannot test all the bosses on 25 and 10 on the PTR – but I don’t understand why we’re testing them all on 25, and not have some on 10 and some on 25. This way, maybe the mistakes will be spread over the two types of raids, instead of having the 10-man be the second-class citizens that we already feel we are in other ways.