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TrlstanC

4.03 Raid Mechanics and testing

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A thread to test and document boss mechanics, that are either not well described elsewhere or not completely understood, from the first four raids in Cataclysm.

Please focus on tested mechanics as opposed to theories of how they may work, and note any areas that aren't fully understood. From my experience so far it seems that some boss mechanics are more complicated than have been described, and some strats may be working for un-intended (or at least, poorly understood/described) reasons. For example, Magmaw’s Magma Spit ability (10-man):

  • Hits for approximately 36k damage

  • Cast at 3 targets each time

  • Prioritizes targets out of melee range, but will target melee if there’s no one at range. (we found that either having 1 player at range, or lots of players at range works best, having only 2 or 3 was difficult on our healers).

  • Cast anywhere from every 5 seconds to every 20 seconds (ignoring impale phases). This appears to be a random time between casts, and can be a problem before the first impale if you get some bad luck as this can easily be the #1 source of damage for the raid if it's cast as often as possible. Subsequent impales come much more often, and so the DTPS from all abilities, including this, drops significantly in the 2nd half of the encounter.

A Warrior tank can spell reflect this ability and it will count as a deflect. I imagine a hunter as well could use deterrence to prevent some damage from this. You do have to completely guess, but if you have the excess rage or are running very low on health as a hunter this is definitely something to think about.

I'm sorry if this is a new aspect of Spell Reflection and I'm saying something everyone already knows.

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After the first two encounters in BWD there are a lot of options for where to go next, especially depending on your groups combination of gear and co-ordination skills. From what I've seen I would rate the next 3 BWD encounters in this order: Maloriak, Atramedes, Chimaerion, with Halfus falling somewhere in that range depending on drakes are up, and the Counclave of Wind being pretty much a co-ordination test that seems to be much more tightly tuned in 10man than 25.

For Maloriak, pretty much the only mechanic that needs to be talked about is what amount of Aberrations to kill, and when. We tried the fairly obvious releasing and killing 9 for 2 green phases, which was doable, but right at the limit of how much damage the off tank could deal with, so it never felt like it was going smoothly (and often it wouldn't). Has anyone tried other strats that worked more consistently? I've heard interrupt everything and deal with 18 at the end, and use 2 off tanks in the first phase to split 12.

For Halfus, I'd say that any combo that doesn't include the green whelp is going to be harder than one that doesn't, and any that includes slate will be harder than the rest. We have Storm, Time, Slate up this week, and decided on a release and kill Storm+Slate, than release Storm and burn Halfus strat. We had the DPS to down him before the enrage, but had a lot of trouble getting past the 2 minutes consistently due to the combo of high aoe, tank debuff and having 2 drakes up.

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Are you talking about 10man or 25man?

For Maloriak on 10man, the standard tactics we use on 25man to just tank 9 adds didn't quite work for us (it was an alt/friend run, so only pre-raid gear).

Instead, we had one plate wearer (my DK alt) taunt 2 adds of the first wave one by one, which was then nuked down by the ranged. The add tank thus only had to deal with 6 adds to take into the green phase, which was manageable for our setup.

Also note that Maloriak has a 6min enrage timer on 10man, which he doesn't have in 25 (if he has one, it's considerable longer, I haven't seen it yet).

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Two things we've noticed during raids. I hardly think these mechanics are intended and will probably be fixed in the future but here goes:

Valiona & Theralion

Blackout can be ignored if you use Grounding Totems. Yes, it absorbs the effect and it makes Valiona even easier then she already is. Remember though that in order for this to work, you need to have a totem for every group.

Cho'gall

100 Corruption results in transforming into a Faceless One: increasing damage, everything is instant cast but you cannot be healed. However, if you play Demonology and use Metamorphosis to turn into a demon (i.e. you are in demon form) when you reach 100, you won't be transformed. Instead, after Metamorphosis has run out, you'll return to normal form, still having 100 corruption, but you still will not be transformed, meaning you can still be healed (casts are not instants also, I didn't notice any difference in increased damage so I assume that's not applied as well).

EDIT: Avoiding Blackout with Grounding Totem has now been fixed.

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Nefarian 10s:

We are having some real difficulty controlling adds in P1 due to Ony's tail swipe stunning the mage-kiter. What I'm wondering is whether anyone has had any success using the Line-of-Sight mechanics (source) on Ony's Lightning Discharge? Would Ony need to be positioned with her Lightning Orb humping the pillar or her head, or is it just not possible to position her so that the raid is out of LOS?

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Nefarian 10s:

We are having some real difficulty controlling adds in P1 due to Ony's tail swipe stunning the mage-kiter. What I'm wondering is whether anyone has had any success using the Line-of-Sight mechanics (source) on Ony's Lightning Discharge? Would Ony need to be positioned with her Lightning Orb humping the pillar or her head, or is it just not possible to position her so that the raid is out of LOS?

We had extremely limited success with LOS mechanics for Onyxia's discharge ability. Some of our players reported that standing very close to a pillar and having that pillar block LOS to the centre of her body enabled them to avoid discharge while others standing in similar spots could not avoid. On the whole, we ditched the strategy as unreliable and went back to a more standard "turn the dragon" for our kill.

My personal opinion is that the LOS effects are probably more to do with the notorious pathing issues which exist in that room and are similar to the issue where sometimes Priest POH will not hit players in Chimaeron's room who are standing on the slightly lower section of the floor or on the other side of a crack.

On the subject of LOS issues for the Nefarian encounter, has anyone found positions where the dragons are not affected by them? We have had numerous issues with Nef landing during P1, tank rapidly getting a massive (130k) threat lead then the dragon simply turning to someone else.

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Nefarian 10s:

We are having some real difficulty controlling adds in P1 due to Ony's tail swipe stunning the mage-kiter. What I'm wondering is whether anyone has had any success using the Line-of-Sight mechanics (source) on Ony's Lightning Discharge? Would Ony need to be positioned with her Lightning Orb humping the pillar or her head, or is it just not possible to position her so that the raid is out of LOS?

LOSign Onyxia never showed any signs of success when we tried it.

You don't need to kite the adds, by the way. They are fully susceptible to most CC's (polymorphs being the only exception I am aware of. Yes, you can warlock fear them, even though they are undead). We usually CC 3 of them and have our ret tank/kite them until the first 3 die.

The adds on Maloriak can be warlock feared as well, despite being undead.

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On the subject of LOS issues for the Nefarian encounter, has anyone found positions where the dragons are not affected by them? We have had numerous issues with Nef landing during P1, tank rapidly getting a massive (130k) threat lead then the dragon simply turning to someone else.

We found that Nefarian's threat isn't active until he lands. Also Onyxia's threat will reset if people don't jump down at the same time. This is due to the platform being a moving object: the lava doesn't raise, the platform sinks. It's pretty much the same thing that happened during the Gunship battle when people jumped to the oposing sheep and Saurfang/Muradin would keep resetting his threat. Also, the platform being a moving object is the same reason why mages can't use ring of frost in it.

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There is (or at least there was) a bug on Onyxia's threat when a DK used path of frost to reduce his falling damage. Onyxia would turn to a random enemy (which could include pets) and hit them a few times if the tank went to far away from her. The solution is simple, just don't use path of frost.

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There is (or at least there was) a bug on Onyxia's threat when a DK used path of frost to reduce his falling damage. Onyxia would turn to a random enemy (which could include pets) and hit them a few times if the tank went to far away from her. The solution is simple, just don't use path of frost.

I had no idea that bug existed (which I'll be sure to test out tonight). What I wrote was the only logical explanation we had for the threat resets after going through the logs and making sure that no one was in fact using Blessing of Sacrifice on the tank. The Path of Frost bug however does indeed seems likely since the aggro reset weren't happening on our early attempts and I know I kept forgetting to use it, and we didn't have any threat issues. As it started happening I assumed people were getting paranoid with aggro and jumping down later to ensure they wouldn't turn Onyxia and that's how I got to the moving platform theory.

One thing I don't get though, is why using Path of Frost would have any impact what so ever on threat.

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We had Nefarian attacking random targets on almost all of our attempts so far.

Howerver, last week I think we didn't have these issues, and we also had no DK in our line up that time.

We'll be there again tonight, maybe we can validate this further.

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The adds on Maloriak can be warlock feared as well, despite being undead.

I believe the previous week the adds on Maloriak were undead. This last week we found the adds were not undead, which adds tools to many classes but removed them from our Paladin tank (Holy Wrath would no longer stun them).

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There is (or at least there was) a bug on Onyxia's threat when a DK used path of frost to reduce his falling damage. Onyxia would turn to a random enemy (which could include pets) and hit them a few times if the tank went to far away from her. The solution is simple, just don't use path of frost.

Still seems to be the case. Just had two engages, the first one without Path of Frost and no random targetting, the second with, and she instantly showed the usual behaviour of randomly targetting someone in the raid, not depending on aggro.

// Edit

Only one attempt out of 6 showed the erratic behaviour. Exactly the one where Path of Frost was active.

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We have done a couple of attempts at the achievement Double Dragon and noticed some odd occurrences with the Twiilight Corrupters. Our DPS team goes down during the first Dazzling Destruction and has noticed that the Corrupters spawn in an apparently random location, that they run for a portal which spawns in an apparently random location and that the first corrupter targeted despawns (before running through a portal) about 4 seconds after it is first attacked.

We were wondering if anyone has observed different effects on this fight or is the above entirely normal? If it is normal, any hints on how to get the achievement would be greatly appreciated.

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We had another issue with Valiona/Theralion heroic, was wondering if anyone else had issues with that. In the second Valiona phase the devouring flames went mental on us here and there. It didn't happen all that often but frequently enough and wiped two or three attempts on 3x% with 25 people alive, which was rather frustrating.

I cannot pin it down but twice someone managed to call it ahead of it bugging out, it seemed her casting animation was different, the black spikes around her missing or something like that.

We definitley had people inside the twilight realm at that point, possible that she's 'targeting' (I know she's not actually targeting somene, but might be some script to determine where she turns towards) someone inside the realm and that causes it?

@valiona achievement:

It looked to me like they spawned on one end of the room and ran to a portal on the other side. They are fast and immediatly despawn once they reach it. You can stun and freeze them however. Shadow fury, hammer of justice etc and frost mages can deep freeze/shatter them (whateve that stuff is called). They have about 120k hp, which isn't a lot. Let some people with good burst zone in, set up someone as assist who spams a targeting macro and then stun/root and kill them.

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We experienced the issue with Valiona's breath as well and from what (little) I could gather, it indeed appears to be caused by her targetting the breath on someone in the twilight realm. It only happened once or twice though.

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An issue with group healing on Chimaeron, I've seen it mentioned before that there were some issues with LOS, or some similiar issue in his room:

Using Prayer of Healing I would have some players that consistently weren't getting the heal in the target group for a number of attempts in a row, single target healing still worked fine. Having players move away from the back corners of the room (where the stairs come in) and not stand in, or on the other side of any depressions fixed the problem. It's one of those problems that makes me think I'm paranoid, but can also cause a wipe.

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