Monday, March 16, 2015

Blackrock Foundry: Blast Furnace

Have I mentioned that I like challenges? So far one of the most pleasant ones has been the fact that in our guild there is a paladin who is my worthy adversary in healing. We both have our strong fights and weak fights, but in general we're rather even. (I'm higher in the overall healing though, and my HPS is higher. Nyah.)
Still, he is quite cool.
So, as promised, here is the awaited entry on Blackrock Foundry, from the POV of a discipline priest. Let us start from the Slagworks, the first fourth of the Foundry, and the first boss - Gruul.

Gruul is the most favorable fight I could imagine. I always know (well, should know) where the damage is hitting, it comes evenly from the Inferno slice, and people don't take any unexpected damage (well, shouldn't take) from standing in shit. The shit in this fight is the easiest ever to dodge. So basically my rotation consists of "PWS the groups which will take Inferno slice, Solace your mana up, and use Empowered Archangel for extra healing points after the slice. Take a break during enrage. Rinse and repeat."

Gruul's notable toolkit consists of Petrify, Overhead smash, Inferno Slice and Cave in. Inferno slice is the mechanic which allows my healwhoring, as explained above. Overhead smash and Cave in are pretty much irrelevant to my healing, because these are really easy to avoid and people should never, ever take any damage from these. (To emphasize this point, our raid leader has now the habit of giving minus-ep to anyone who dies because of Overhead smash. Ever since this habit got introduced, nobody has died because of it.)

Petrify is a thing which I could arguably focus more on. Then again, it does not cause notable damage if people are not standing in the raid, which they should not do. It's the same thing as with the smash, except that this is less notable. If you're having difficulties with noticing when you are afflicted by Petrify, you might want to tinker with your DBM (or Bigwigs, or whatever addon it is you are using for the boss) to make it give you a shoutout about it. It may not hurt you badly, but it certainly will hurt anyone within 8 yds of you.

Since I can automatically get a full healing from my shields, it's easy for me to go on the healwhore mood and top the meters. This fight is easy and anyone struggling with it is doing something incoherent. The only role which requires more than one brain cell is here is that of the tank's. It's kind of like Butcher from Highmaul, easy as Pacman.

Oh, and speaking of Pacman, the next boss up is Oregorger.

This fight is all kinds of guhh. The best part of it is that as a disc priest I get to feel needed because my shields are needed for damage nullification of Acid - the more damage nullification there is, the less raid-wide damage there is - but I don't think there is anyone who genuinely enjoys this fight. You see, you have to move. And I'm not talking about the Ko'ragh kind of "move and soak"-thing, not even the Imperator's "move from the mines"-thing.

No, this boss is very much like playing Pacman in WoW mode.

You have a labyrinth in which he occasionally rolls around. If he hits you, you take a crapload of damage and get stunned. If you're not at full health, there is a possibility of getting one-shotted. The camera views are bad at their best and utter crap at their worst. For me it's moderately easy because most of my casts are instant or channelable while running, but I can see anyone with cast time having hard time here.

There was a very short moment when we first started this fight when people were not interrupting Explosive shard which caused our melee to have troubles. Fortunately our raid leader was quick to call the interrupters out on this, after which our largest difficulties remained in the movement.

"It is not a difficult concept", our raid leader said. Yes, the concept is not difficult, but looking around took some time to get used to, at least for me. Man, it was so much easier to just move from the mines...

Of course, now that I said that, it is only fitting that the last of the three bosses in Slagworks is Blast Furnace. If you like movement and like to dodge stuff, this is your kind of fight. There is a lot going on at all times and you need to memorize different stuff. This is the first boss which required me to tinker a bit with DBM settings - ever since I started to use WeakAuras I've relied a lot on my all five instincts, hearing being one of them, and tweaking DBM mods to have different sound warnings in each phase helped me quite a lot.

The first phase is quite nice for me, because there is a steady flow of damage which I can even out with steady PWS spam. Second and third phase are admittedly harder ones for me; while the Blast keeps the steady spikey damage coming, I prefer to save some of my mana for the last phase where I may need to use the Empowered Archangel for tanks (I usually save that for the DPS groups).

Another thing which does affect my willingness to stop experimenting with different tactics here and just settle on one is the fact that we are taking a lot of needless damage in this fight. Volatile fires are still exploding within the raid, bombs are not taken to heat regulators, et cetera. One of our largest issues is people who keep dropping Melt in the wrong place in the last phase.

Still, our current progress is 10/10 NM and 9/10 HC. Blackhand is proving to be rather stubborn, but if we managed to down Blast Furnace on Heroic moce, we will take him down as well!

Oh, another thing I want to note, something we noticed immediately when we entered the instance: the trash in here is not to be toyed with. We've wiped more times on trash than Gruul, and while we no longer have scheduled Normal runs now that the progress is done, we have a "Normal Monday" for alts and people who need runes, gear etc.

And yes, we, even with all the heroic gear and people with main specs, did manage to wipe on Oregorger trash on last Monday's run. To our defense: I was very ill (to the point where I actually had to leave prematurely), one of our tanks was a beginner, and our Guild Leader/Raid Leader disconnected before we pulled the trash.

The expression in our Guild Leader's voice when he came back online was pretty much this.
"Why are you guys running out from there --- DID YOU GUYS JUST WIPE?"



Do not toy with BRF trash. Not even on off-days.

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