3.3 Impressions, ICC: Impressive

19 01 2010

With a new patch, there’s a new raid, and this time we’ve got the finale for the expansion, Icecrown Citadel. And man, is it good. It makes ToC feel like filler (which it was). Gone is that horrid one room, five boss instance. Back are the trash pulls, epic fights, epic locations, and variety. There are now eleven bosses, spread across four different wings, and nary a Jormungar Worm in sight. What I’m trying to say is, this is good instance design. ToC felt lazy and bland, and a bit pointless (whoever doesn’t die gets to go to Icecrown? That’s the plan?!). This is much more direct: we’re taking the fight to Arthas himself, and we’re going to smash anything in our way. The only epic moment of ToC was dropping into Anub’arak’s pit for the first time. Thus far in Icecrown, I’ve taken out the Skybreaker, saved a Scourge-ified Saurfang, battled high above on pathways built around a towering glacier… and there’s more to come. From what I’ve seen so far, I’d say that on first pass, Ulduar was better, but not by a ton. ICC is definitely above what Naxx or ToC could hope to be.

As far as the fights go, they’ve been solid thus far. Marrowgar and Deathwhisper were the standard “is your raid competent?” style fights that seem to greet players in WoTLK raids. My guild cleared those on our first night of raiding without too much trouble, and they’re pretty fun. The real excitement from the first quarter, though, comes from the Gunship Battle and Deathbringer Saurfang. The Gunship Battle is easy, admittedly, but it’s an extremely unique fight. Rocketing over to the other ship to burn down the sorcerer before the tank dies, then flying back is fun, and doing damage to the ship instead of an actual NPC is a nice twist too. The music, too, adds a great deal to the fight; this and the Bronze Jam are probably my two favorite tunes in recent memory. Saurfang, for me at least, is a fight that requires a bit more coordination. Myself and one other guildie are always tasked with kiting and killing the adds, and it can get a little hectic towards the end. Add to this the fact that death or a big mistake will result in a wipe, and I’m a bit stressed during this fight. On our first attempts this fight was somewhat ridiculous, but now that we’ve geared up and practiced we’re consistently one-shotting it.

The Plague Quarter, thus far, has been a blast. Plentiful trash has meant lots of rep, and I’m approaching revered with the Ashen Verdict. Both of the Gluth-esque dog fights were nice throwbacks as well, and probably tougher than the boss in Naxx. No joke. As for Festergut, Rotface and Prof. Putricide, well, they’ve made the first quarter look easy. Festergut’s coordinated DPS burn wasn’t too bad, and the mechanics of the fight aren’t exactly hard. However, Rotface gave us trouble for hours before we got him down (our first kill was last night). I got the role of kiting/cleansing, and promptly strapped on some PvP gear and went into my PvP spec. Then, my nightmare began. What starts off as a slow-paced kiting increases in its frenzy until “chaos” is an understatement. Juggling keeping my distance with holding aggro, doing some damage to the boss, cleansing, and staying alive was made all the more difficult by trying to kite the ooze blobs together. Difficult because they can be buggy, and because other raiders don’t always put them into ideal positions for me. I got the fight down eventually, but it didn’t make it any easier, and our need for increased DPS meant we ended up two-healing the fight, creating even less margin for error. On our final attempt, we got the kill, and the last thirty seconds were absolutely nuts. People were running towards me from different directions as I kited the ooze, and I cleansed each of them… blobs were forming, I was going through slime and taking damage. In all of this, I saw my health hit 2k. I popped off a stoneclaw totem. My health held steady, then exploded upwards a second later as heals hit me. The totem had saved my life, and I continued doing my job. Just as I was getting overwhelmed and losing control trying to kite it to a few smaller blobs, I saw Rotface go down. Holy hell. What an absolutely challenging, ridiculous, and utterly satisfying fight.

We only put in two attempts on Putricide, but it looked to be an easier fight than Rotface’s craziness. I can only hope so, since the only piece in ICC 10 that’s itemized for me drops off of him. I’m looking forward to the rest of Icecrown, though… I can only hope that defeating Arthas is as epic as the picture I have in my head.

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6 responses

23 01 2010
Metarrific « Planet of the Hats

[…] from raiding shamans, and how that influences glyph and talent choice etc.  I also really enjoyed this post on Bloodlust about an elemental shaman’s experiences in […]

24 01 2010
Crimsín

Very interesting post. I love the new fights just as much as you. But, are you a shaman? Why in the world would you be kiting the slimes…? In the attempts that we did, we had our off tank kite the slimes. Seriously , it is so much easier. We two shot this boss.

24 01 2010
sayis

Yeah, I’m an Elemental Shaman. The problem we ran into was that our off-tank was having trouble holding aggro. I’ve read that DK tanks are ideal for this fight since they can generate threat from a distance; alas, we only have a Paladin and a Warrior. Hence, I get to go to my PvP spec for the extra health and threat I pull, strap on some PvP gear and do work. We’ve gotten him twice now doing this, and it seems to work pretty well.

25 01 2010
Charles

We got our first two kills using a hunter to kite the adds (the first a one-shot), as our warrior tank just couldn’t grab and hold threat easily enough. Paladins should in theory be able to manage very well indeed if they spec for Pursuit of Justice, thanks to Avenger’s Shield, the ability to consecrate in the kite path, and the range of judgements … except as they’re not hitting anything to keep up divine plea, mana becomes an issue.

If our hunter wasn’t in the raid I’d be next choice to kite, again playing an elemental shaman! I’d quite like to try it, but I also have bad memories of Illidan phase 2 on my feral tank 🙂

30 01 2010
Zodde

Actually, the judgement would refresh the plea, if I’m not mistaken.

24 01 2010
Rich

My 10man group and I have only had maybe 3 nights in ICC so far (due to people being hacked and on holiday) and I’ve loved every minute of it.

So far only downed Marrowgar but we’ve pretty much sorted out Deathwhisper so she should be coming down next time we get there.

Looking forward to having a go with the Gunship Battle. All accounts I’ve read so far is that it’s so much fun.

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