My WoW guild Hit it with a Brick is trucking along in raiding, attendance be damned, and can now at least claim Mogu’shan Vaults as a trophy. Usually after Elegon we’d go to Heart of Fear to learn the place more, but why not just beat Will of the Emperor? What much more was there to learn since we all knew it pretty well by now from LFR? And so what was keeping us from just doing it so everyone could at least have that achievement before 5.2 hits? And so we did.
Now while we throw ourselves at Blade Lord Ta’yak in the Heart of Fear (and beyond), I’ll take this moment to compile our encounters of the Vaults…
(I mention hunter stuff in the PoV of being Beast Mastery, but since most of my musing has to do with Talents, which are available to all, or otherwise non-spec-specific things, everyone can follow along! Hooray.)
The Stone Guard: Where tanks disconnect and wild parties are had. The tank swap method is our favored one even now that the fight is long on farm. I still can’t decide if I dislike Jasper Chains or Cobalt Bombs more. Cobalt Bombs may stink but during Cobalt petrifies it is fun as a Hunter to blow Deterrence and fly through as many bombs as possible, preferably to clear room for tanks moreso than anyone else. But with Jasper Chains I have to predict someone else’s movement along with my own and that is not always easy. When you have chains AND landmines, things get four times more fun!
Feng the Accursed: I still enjoy watching this for a gross display of “The Beast Mastery Hunter Opener”. Sadly, Lynx Rush isn’t quite the same now as it was then. I can still manage impressive numbers on pulls without it. We like to call this fight “the one where boss timers start being wrong in phase 3 and we have to just always assume a Resonance is going to go out right before a Velocity, regardless of what the timers say.”
Gara’jal the Spiritbinder: We had so many 1% wipes to this guy before we got him down. There is nothing more frustrating than that. After you get past the somewhat kooky mechanics of the spirit realm, things aren’t so bad.
I have to say, of all of the videos, it was this one and the Stone Guard videos that I had music planned out for months in advance. That’s probably why they’re also the two I sped up to fit the songs used, because I wanted them no other way.
The Spirit Kings: These kings gained a fixed spawn order by the time we got to them, but by “fixed” apparently the devs meant “the last two like to swap places a lot. Even now, it’s a total toss up whether Meng or Zian pops out after Subetai is down. And if we have a durr moment and need to do a second attempt in the night, it can change even then! Also, if Meng is third, every Maddening Shout will coincide with a Flanking Orders. Every single one for the rest of the fight. I suppose it’s to make up for the fact that as a guild raid group we’re not blasting slows and stuns all over each other like you’re apt to see on an average LFR run. Flanking Orders also has been shown to have a very screwy hit box, clipping people who run behind them, for example.
Thinking about it, but never tested myself, a Survival Hunter probably is not well-liked during Maddening Shout. One Multi Shot and you’ve just dotted up your entire raid. Explosive Trap works just fine, though. But I can imagine it’s very hard not to hit Multi Shot when there’s all those targets… Oh… I love speccing Survival for Heart of Fear’s Trash, and on Wind Lord in LFR. It’s the greatest AoE… I digress.
Elegon: Very nearly the bane of my existence. How this wasn’t the final boss I have no clue. There is a lot of information being flung at every player and a lot of micromanagement going down. The Fervor talent for Hunters became my best friend here, and swift direction of my pet was key for Draw Power sparks.
finally, Will of the Emperor: I boggle at how the normal version is a carbon copy of the LFR version, where everything hits harder. That’s basically it. Can your tanks skillfully maneuver most (if not all) of the Devastating Combos? Same with melee if you have any? (We didn’t.) Are your ranged on top of killing adds in varying priorities? Are you CCing the Emperor’s Rages like no tomorrow? This is in the bag. I wonder, how would this have gone without LFR to have practiced dancing on…? Probably would have been a lot like Nefarian was back in tier 11… as our GM/MT Liedel would bring up, tanking the adds and kiting them from Shadowflame in Phase 3 was a very frustrating concept in that he could only practice it during the encounter itself. Notice on the video how both tanks are very high on the meters by the end due to Opportunistic Strikes damage. That’s how much LFR practice they’ve gotten to do! I’d mark that as a positive for LFR, really.
As far as hunter things go: Binding Shot is fantastic here for Rage adds. Murder of Crows makes for a very fun opener with Readiness to have it up on both boss statues once they’re in place. I kept my pet on a boss unless an Emperor’s Courage was nearby to chew on. I mostly just wanted the least downtime for my pet (too much time moving around otherwise).
By the way, the guild is recruiting. We’re obviously not hardcore-progressive raiding, but we raid and we clear content. On good attendance streaks we’ve cleared tiers while current and done a few Heroic modes before nerfs, but this time around we’re probably not going to quite make it… because of attendance. If you DPS (or heal, could use an extra heal I guess), are usually around between 8pm and 11pm Eastern time, and like relaxed environments, we are Horde-side, US realm Shu’halo, <Hit it with a Brick>.