Monday, February 28, 2011

TyL: About NHL Trade Deadline Coverage...

... which, I think, is uniquely Canadian in how the local media empires have gone completely apeshit mad in how they deal with it. It started a couple years back when one party decided, and I forget who fired this shot, that they were going to start covering the "event" from like 11 in the morning with a dedicated crew of "analysts", then the other responded with "screw that, we're going at 8 AM!", which was quickly matched and pushed to 7 as people just lost all sense of perspective in their collective houses.

So, now we've got two sports networks tying up an entire day with talking heads sitting behind a desk waiting for something to happen in an effort to be "first". Admittedly, this is probably quite profitable - it's all shot single camera on existing sets with folks they're already paying to be there - but it's just overkill and there's not enough to talk about as evidenced by the fact that TSN is currently sitting around debating who's going to be on the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team from the NHL in 2014... With three years worth of player collapses, rookie draft stars, and injuries, I'll place a safe bet right now that they're blowing hot air on at least half the names.

Meanwhile, over on Sportsnet we're going to double up on the advertising stream by having everything be sponsored on large LCD monitors beneath their experts - hey there Molsons, Gatorade and that infamous long term supporter of Hockey and sports in Canada: Boston Pizza...

Flipping back to TSN a bit we're treated to playback of a clip show from last year in an effort to make these things look like they're actually eventful, "action packed" live video footage of people doing laps at a free skate practice in Edmonton and we're about to hold a telephone interview with Scott Niedermayer on how awesome it was to win a gold medal last year!. And you thought Anime filler episodes were bad.

Throughout this both networks maintain a Countdown clock running on your ticker bar at the bottom of the screen. In a perfect world, that would indicate both the passing of the deadline and the end of this slog. In reality, it's going to signal the point where the next set of analysts is going to be added in and we're going to spend another 2-3 hours summarizing everything we've just heard said for the last 8.

Oh, how cute... Sportsnet has a webcam in the Leafs "Situation Room". We get to periodically see 5 "important people" sit around a table staring at AIM on their laptops while keeping them facing away from us so we can't see which porn sites they're browsing on the side. This is exactly as informative and entertaining as it sounds.

TSN Sportscaster James Duthie, semi-joking, to Peter Chiarelli, Boston GM: "I'll try not to let myself be bitter that all your trades the last couple weeks have left us with nothing big to talk about today". Yes, because it's the GM's Job to give you good TV.

Anyways, I think I'm done here because this level of network coverage has long since crawled up it's own arse seeking to make itself feel like it's important when the reality is that it's just drawn out and pointless. 90% of it could be solved entirely with the Ticker Bar and we could easily go back to the deadline roundup shows that existed before and no one would notice. Mostly, I think it exists because we've spent a good part of the last couple decades drowning ourselves in the idea that Hockey is our national sport despite the reality that, for financial reasons, parental and bureaucratic bullshit, and the simple reality the fewer kids want to get up at 5AM to practice before school anymore, it's been declining in participation for that entire time.

Maybe we need to start defining ourselves more broadly and stop pigeonholing ourselves into doing stereotypical bullshit like this.

Friday, February 25, 2011

WoW: 4.1 - Oooooohhhh.... More Trolls....

Sooo... 4.1 sees Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman become 5 Man Heroics and return their respective mounts, including the War Bear, with slightly modified models to differentiate from the originals. Time to get your gear in order if you want to chase them because you're gonna need a 346 average iLvL to get in.

This is part of their effort to give non-raiders something... raid-ish to do and, assuming they keep the boss counts of their original forms, definitely stands to give folks a decent little time sink when they pop. Also, Epics. Finally, a Maelstrom Crystal farm.

On a more personal note, this:
Fire Nova has been redesigned and decoupled from shaman Fire totems. Instead, it now pulses that same area-of-effect from each target that is afflicted by the shaman's own Flame Shock debuff. It now damages all enemies except the target hit by Flame Shock. The ability's cooldown has been reduced from 4 seconds, down from 10.
makes me very happy inside.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

FiM: Yeah... Because this is Going to Happen...

Watch this video, which is... well... not pornographic but probably of questionable Work Safeness depending on who comes in the room.



Now, I know the game is apparently a European Only release... and I know Europeans are stereotypically "liberal" when it comes to sex... but... really? Someone thought it was going to be profitable to make a make-out/sexually flirtatious party game for the Wii? This either speaks to the enormous baseline cost/profit ratio of the "Party Game" genre... or... someone's really desperate to get laid.

Dirty Minds amongst a group of mutual friends is one thing but I'm honestly not sure exactly where you'd find enough guys with girlfriends who want to get together and play a spanking mini-game outside of a BDSM convention and they'd probably find this too tame. Meanwhile, the "choose your own adventure" closing pitch that you're all gonna head off to an orgy/wife swap/stand around lonely while the girls go Lez afterwards is just... wow... dreamland would be an understatement.

This is the type of game someone brings out in a Revenge of the Nerds movie, the guys go "yeah!", and the girls look at each other like: "why the fuck are we dating these idiots?", while heading out of the room. Or, in a more recent genre, the point where Alyson Hannigan interjects and wonders why you're not just cracking open her collection of Japanese Se... err... "Dating Simulators".

I say this because the whole thing, as presented in the video, is otherwise so innocuous, graphically non-pornographic and dumb enough to have originally been a 12 year old's first mixed gender "kissing closet" party game repackaged as something fun to do for "Adults". Why? Because some idiot somehow decided stuffing a Wii controller into your butt-crack and spanking it would be a fun game mechanic so it has to be or else someone will scream about what's being sold to kids. So, we get this bullshit ad campaign as a "It's intended for Adults, and parents should control their kids", cover to hide behind when it gets into kids hands anyways.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not remotely a "all video games are for kids" guy. But, when you're attempting to game the system this poorly, I'm not gonna get in line to call a spade a rake either.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

TotD: You know it's getting late when...

... you're sitting in front of the computer trying to decide which enchant you should put on your weapons - hmm... should I splurge on Landslide or just roll double Avalanche... why isn't EJ offering me any advice on this?

For a Death Knight.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

TotD: Ok, you got me AdSense

I totally would date an Asian girl. I'm not, however, interested in importing one. Plz adjust your filters accordingly. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

RftP: Spring Movie List

Yeah, this has been kinda quiet lately - mostly because there's been very little I've been absolutely sold on seeing. Sooo, quick rundowns on things I probably will see in the next 3 months... and some stuff I'm gonna avoid like the plague. Note that since it's essentially a list of things I'm interested in, it's not remotely all-inclusive.

Starting on the 4th, I'm totally catching Rango and The Adjustment Bureau; the former because the trailers have been awesome and the later 'cause it's Matt Damon in a sci-fi action/thriller which tends to be a good mix.

The 11th brings us Battle: Los Angeles which I might see simply to contrast it against Skyline, the movie accused to have ripped off the premise from and paid for itself by doing the CGI work for the former. Disney's next CGI flick, Mars Needs Moms, might grab my attention too.

On the 18th, Limitless looks like good fun, though my gut tells me I can run off the plot points right now. Paul, featuring Simon Peg and Nick Frost on the run with an Area 51 Alien might be more down my path.

The end of the month, 25th, brings Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch to screens and, given the dearth of anything else of note looking to play that week, is probably what I'll see if I go for anything.

Opens up on the 1st with Source Code staring Jake Gyllenhaal but, more importantly, directed by Duncan Jones who brought us the hugely under-seen sci-fi psychological thriller Moon. I'll be seeing this and probably nothing else this week because the rest of the sched outside of maybe Super looks dire.

The following weeks, 8th and 15th, looks like a dumping ground - there's an Arthur remake starring Russell Brand here and an attempt to resurrect the Scream franchise with a 4th instalment... While Hanna might be interesting this will likely be time off.

April 22 at least brings a film with an interesting premise, though I probably still won't see it. Apollo 18 jumps into the "found footage" horror genre with the idea that the mission actually happened, but what we found up there wasn't just rocks. I'd see it simply 'cause I like the concept, but I'm not really a shakey-cam scary movie guy.

Finally, the 29th brings us the 5th Fast and Furious movie which adds Dwayne Johnson to the cast and I'll probably see because I likes me a good car chase.

The 6th opens up the month, and kicks off the "Summer" with Thor. Yeah. Going. Because this is either going to be awesome or a clusterfuck of glorious proportions and I'm sure as hell not going to miss the chance at partaking in either.

Things look kinda dire until the 20th when we get the 4th Pirates movie: On Stranger Tides which, having finally shed the love story screen time Bloom and Knightley's characters demanded, promises us pure un-interrupted Captain Jack Sparrow; which may either be awesome or an overdose. Gonna see it and find out.

Next week, the 27th, brings The Hangover Part II which I'll probably see despite the reality that I'm not sure it's gonna hit as hard the second time through. Gonna find out though.

Monday, February 14, 2011

TyL: I Think my Wedding's Gonna be Small...

... should I ever get around to it.

I mean, really.... budgeting $25000 and spending $60000? Yeah, you know what? I'd rather put a downpayment on a nice house with that money to celebrate and hold a little pot-luck family and friends wedding in the back yard.

More importantly, how does one "budget" $25K for the event and then simply not notice they spent $35K, including lump sums like $6K on the wedding dress and $3K on the tux, on top of that? That's not exactly chump money, that's mid-tier luxury car money. The thing about the story is that it's still so outrageously over the top in terms of the money that went out and was shrugged at that, even in comparison to the billionaire weddings the writer tries to counter-balance with, I honestly can't see that union being that of a box packer and cashier. More like Doctor and Lawyer maybe.

When the media tries to set the bar of "perfection" or "normalcy" this high, you begin to see why more folks are happily living common-law these days.

TLU: Daddy Dearest (Vol. 2)

Dad: Just know that if you hurt my daughter, I'll kill you...
Me: But... she likes it when I hurt her. I mean, you should see this girls collection of whips and paddles... The cat-o-nine-tails is a bit much though...

For the record, I'd have to really dislike the dude to fuck with his mind like that...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

TLU: Daddy Dearest (Vol. 1)

Dad: Just know that if you hurt my daughter, I'll kill you...
Me: Ok, but that means my Mom gets to kill her if she hurts me. I'm a firm believer in equal rights after all.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

TyL: OK, Outsourcing is Getting a Bit Out of Hand....

There is a company that will take over all aspects of your online dating life. It'll doctor you up a profile, Photoshopping your photo if deemed necessary, handle all your winks/invites/"conversations" on up to 3 sites, and then let you know when and where to actually show up for the date they've lined you up.

Preferably, also with whom.

Because you won't "know" this person but they'll "know" you, unless you're willing to upgrade from the $360/month package to the ~$1440/month "Executive" package which, amongst other things, entitles you to an actual update as to how the hell they've been selling "you".

Now, people have been using intermediaries, most notably in the form of matchmakers, to line up dates/relationships going back forever. Where, to me, this service is particularly different is that the matchmaker doesn't traditionally pretend to be you during the process which, to be blunt, is really creepy. If you're this desperate for/incapable of getting a date, I suggest a more prudent employment of the cash be on a psychologist to resolve your issues.

Given how people react when they find out they've been deceived, that's far less likely to end up resulting in a regular stream of drinks towards your face in the long run.

Source: CNET

Thursday, February 10, 2011

TLU: Hard(core) Sell

Mall Canvasser: Excuse me Sir, do you have a minute for women's rights?
Me: Well... that's not a loaded question at all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

DGtCDB: H. Deadmines

Our last Heroic, and the second "revamp", Heroic Deadmines is the longest instance; consisting of six bosses and a mini-event.

Starting off, you'll come to Glubtok. This ogre boss is a two phase fight. In the first phase, he will periodically use Blink, dropping all threat - so be sure to let the Tank pick him back up, and cast Fists of Flame/Frost in rotating sequence causing him to deal damage and slow or knock back anyone who gets too close to the Tank. Melee should try and stay in Glubs direct rear at maximum melee distance to avoid taking unnecessary damage.

At 50%, Glubtok will port to the centre of the room and begin arcing fire, frost, and lightning bolts to his side. Stay to his immediate front/rear to avoid this. At this point, he will also begin summoning Fire Wall. This will become a room wide rotating wall of fire, initially indicated by a moving line of gleaming fire dots before they ignite - get clear, that you will spend the remaining part of the fight moving in a clockwise manor to avoid. Complicating this a bit, Glubthok will summon small Fire and Ice Elementals the Tank can pick up and kill with their AoE abilities solo and launch Fire and Frost Blossoms around the room that can be avoided by moving out of the warning circles that will be placed where they will land. Keep dodging all this until the Boss dies.

Next you will come to Helix Gearbreaker. He'll be riding on a Lumbering Oaf you'll need to kill before you can attack Helix himself. While you're fighting them below, on the log above the room there will be goblins raining bombs down around the area you should avoid coming into contact with. Meanwhile, these two execute two main abilities. The Lumbering Oaf will periodically pick up a random player, move to the exit doorway, and run down the centre of the room to ram them into the logpile at the end. The Healer should be prepared to patch this person up after this attack. Meanwhile, Gearbreaker will periodically jump onto random players, melee them, and attach bombs to their chests. These people should move away from the party to avoid causing collateral damage and be patched up after the bomb goes off. Manage these two attacks and, once you kill the Oaf, Gearbreaker will jump off and begin using his Chest Bombs a bit more frequently while jumping from player to player. Simply burn him down while remembering to move away when you get the bomb on you and move on.

Our third boss is the Foe Reaper 5000. This boss will require a party member to use the Prototype Reaper at the top of the room - it has a melee strike to build up energy, a charge/stun, and a knockback ability mapped from 1 to 3 respectively - to control the Molten Slags that will spawn periodically from the forge throughout the fight. While you can use this to attack the boss, you must treat the Slags as priority because they do massive AoE damage to anything in their proximity. You do not want these to get to the group.

While that party member is controlling the Slags and keeping them from killing the rest of the party, the Tank should take the Foe Reaper, with everyone remembering that he Cleaves, up towards the top of the ramp for a couple reasons. First, it creates the longest path for the Slags to follow to get to the party. Secondly, the boss periodically casts an ability called Overdrive that causes it to whirlwind around like a ping-pong ball doing AoE damage and the ramp does a good job of controlling this move by keeping it contained while allowing everyone to get out of its way.

The party killer on this fight is Harvest. This is a one-shot attack with a 5 second cast time that will target a specific player and place a circle on the ground where they were standing when it finishes. At this point, he will charge that point and deal immense cleave damage to anything in it's path between where he started and there. Get out of the way. Depending on who the target is, Healers and Ranged should run "up" the ramp while Melee and the Tank should run "down", relatively speaking, to avoid this to minimize the number of people moving during this phase. Note: when he casts this on the Tank he has a nasty habit of doing the short hop to hit the circle and then spinning around to return to the Tank while still in the phase and/or cleaving. Everyone on the boss should back off more than you think you need to just to be safe.

At 30% (40% as of 4.0.6), the Foe Reaver will take his Safety Restrictions Offline to enrage and deal extra damage. Now's the time to pop cooldowns to end this phase as quickly as possible. You'll also want to take extra care to avoid damage from things like Overdrive and Harvest which hit much harder once you enter this phase. Don't wipe because you're close and are tempted to try and eat an Overdrive.

Moving on, we come to the top of the boat and Admiral Ripsnarl. This is a two phase fight with an active and an away phase. During the active phase the Tank will tank Ripsnarl in the middle of the boat while Ranged and Heals should maintain their distance to avoid the Swipes he will be using that deal damage to the tank and up to 3 nearby targets. Ripsnarl will also periodically Go For The Throat and charge a random ranged party member.

At 75%, and repeating every 25% thereafter, Ripsnarl will vanish from the room, entering the away phase, and begin summoning Vapours. These mobs should be killed ASAP because the longer they're up the bigger they get and the bigger they get the more health they have and damage they do. If you allow them to become full sized Condensed Vapours, they will begin casting Coalesce; a Frost damage AoE with a knockback component. You want to avoid this. After a few waves of these ads, Ripsnarl will return and the active phase will begin again only, from here on out, you'll also get Vapours that spawn. They still need to die, so don't forget them. At roughly 10%, Ripsnarl will summon three of these vapours and begin summoning faster; this is now a burn phase and you should concentrate all the firepower on the boss while forgetting the adds.

With Ripsnarl down, you should move away from the door and take time to replenish mana/eat for you now face the master of this ship, Captain Cookie! Cookie doesn't need a Tank per-se, but they're still handy to help deal with the primary mechanic here: the good (yellow and glowing) and bad (green, and with a whirly vortex) food he will throw at random players. Eating "Good" food provides a stack of Satiated, a 30% stacking haste buff, while "Bad" food makes you Nauseated, applying a stacking nature DoT, and both these buffs can each be cancelled out by eating the opposing kind of food. Note, also, that "bad" food does AoE damage to anyone standing within it's green vortex so simply letting it stack up will shortly find yourself with no room to work; especially true for melee heavy parties where the food tends to end up piling up around the pot.

So, the fight becomes more about managing your stacks of these buffs and the easiest, but longest, way to do it is to reserve all food for the Tank and have them moving around eating opposing foodstuffs in order (bad, good, bad, good...). But, this denies the DPS a chance to access a substantial haste buff because Satiated can theoretically hit 99 stacks. Realistically though, 3-4 stacks of that is more probable but means your Tank will need to carry an equivalent amount of "bad" stacks for each DPS that has that. This will allow you to finish the fight much quicker. Ranged heavy parties gain a lot more flexibility to abuse this because they can avoid the "pot stacking" for bad food melee face and leave more up by taking advantage of the entire deck space.

Burn your way through Cookie, and you'll see a note fall to the floor in front of the cabin door. This is your next chance to rest up and get ready to face the "final" boss of this instance, and true master here, Vanessa VanCleef; the daughter of the original boss of this instance.

But, before you can fight her, she's going to gloat like any true villain, poison you, and toss you into a deathtrap to be disposed of with to begin a gauntlet you must complete to face her. In order:

1) You will initially find yourself chained above and being lowered into the molten forge from earlier in the instance. Your party must click on the three valves around the edge to open them; causing a steam blast to knock you out of the forge and onto the ledge above the forge room.

2) Once you get on the ledge, you'll begin the nightmare of Glubtok and have to work your way down the ramp into the forge room towards the exit door while staying out of blazing fire and dodging falling iceblocks as indicated by the usual warning circles. Don't be in too much of a hurry to get moving because it will take a couple seconds for the fire to phase in and this is a good way to find yourself in it right from the start. When everyone reaches the door, the Tank will need to pick up Glubtok and move him around while avoiding the Ice Block zones that will continue to pop up in the limited space.

3) When Glubtok dies, the fires will phase out and you'll get find out Helix Gearbreaker is deathly afraid of spiders. It's a good idea to pick him up during this transition because he can be hard to find once they start spawning en-masse. This is a straight up burn and your goal is to kill him before being overwhelmed.

4) With Gearbreakers death, the Forge Room door will open and you'll enter the Foereapers nightmare which is apparently the spinning lightning gates from Mario Brothers. Your job here is to take your time and weave through these spinning walls of death - they hit for 50K a tick and you can not jump over them - to make your way to the far end of the tunnel. There are a couple safe spots at the far end where you can stop and group up so that the tank can then pick up the Foereaper with the entire group instead of all of you running like lambs to the slaughter piecemeal. So, take your time to get through the maze, group up, wait for an opening in the last gate and then take him down.

5) Now, you'll enter Ripsnarl's nightmare; the death of his family members at the hands of werewolves. This phase consists of three fights in which you must prevent the deaths of each family member by killing the werewolves assaulting them and healing the family members in question so they don't die. So, the Tanks should try and keep agro away from the NPC's while DPS takes the werewolve(s) attacking each family member down as quick as you can and the Healer keeps the family member alive before moving on to the next. To speed from family member to family member you'll have a substantial speed buff so be careful not to run yourself off the docks or ship accidentally. Save all three family members and you'll find yourself free of the nightmare.


All that done, you can now return to the deck of the ship to face Vanessa herself. This is a three phase fight with 3 interludes (2 in 4.0.6). In the first phase, the Tank should pick up Vanessa and keep her controlled. Periodically she will cast Deflection, which will block all attacks in the same manor as Hunter's Deterance, Deadly Blades, similar to a Combat Rogue's Shadowstep attack in that she will jump around the room striking random targets, and Backslash, a physical DoT that hits for ~10K every 2 seconds for 10 seconds and will need to be healed through. Throughout this phase, adds will join the fight from the cabin one at a time consisting of the Enforcer, Shadowguard and Blood Wizard (abuse it's Rage Zone as you can), mobs, in that order, from earlier in the instance with all the same abilities they had then.

It's a good idea to tank Vanessa on the far side of the ship for two reasons, the first being that this acts as a natural LoS tactic to bring the Blood Wizard out of the cabin and the second being the "rope" mechanic you will need to use to survive the phase transitions at 50% and 25%. During these transitions, Vanessa will jump out of combat and there will be an announcement that she's going to Detonate Explosives on the ship. To survive this, there will be five ropes available on the edge of the far side of the ship you can take to swing off and back on by clicking on the coils upon the deck. Line up 5 deep and enjoy your swing ride.

When you land back on the deck the first time you'll enter the second phase of the fight and Vanessa will rejoin combat while the adds will shortly spawn again as a group of three. Be prepared to manage these accordingly depending on your DPS situation, CC'ing if necessary so you don't get overwhelmed. They'll continue to spawn in packs of three throughout this phase until you bring her down to 25%; at which point she'll jump away, any adds that remain will despawn, and you'll need to grab a rope and swing off the deck again.

Now, when you next land on the deck and Vanessa will cast Vengeance of VanCleef upon herself to increase attack speed by 75% and damage output significantly from all attacks. This is being changed to instead being a stacking buff in patch 4.0.6 that, presumably, will start lower and become increasingly dangerous the longer it takes you to exit this phase. Even now, though, this is a pure burn phase to 0% and a good time to use your haste cooldown to end the phase as soon as possible. For now, when she hits 1%, you'll need to rope off the ship again as she dies but this will be removed entirely in 4.0.6.

4.0.6 Update: In place of the final swing out, the game will now emote that Vanessa has dropped a final charge when she's about to die and everyone should back off. Anyone in close proximity to her as she stands will die from the AoE damage.

And, that's it, we're done all the instances. For now...

DGtCDB: H. Shadowfang Keep

Annnnndddd now we near the finish line with the first of the two "revamped" instances, Heroic Shadowfang Keep (although, if you do poke through back around level 20, you'll find these new folks here too). We've 5 new bosses here replacing the old.

First up, will be Baron Ashbury who's currently a rather solid roadblock for PuG's because your success or failure is entirely dependent on your group's willingness to effectively interrupt. He currently has two abilities he will use in standard combat that should be interrupted as much as possible: Mend Rotten Flesh (gone in 4.0.6), a self heal for 10% that will lengthen the fight and has first priority, and Pain and Suffering, a Shadow DoT for significant damage that could - and should - be dispelled quickly if it does get off. Adding to this, Ashbury will also cast Wracking Pain on the party which adds a stacking 20% Shadow Damage buff and deals a base 10K damage to each member. This spell needs to be taken into consideration with the remaining two mechanics by the Healer.

Periodically, Ashbury will engage in what effectively amounts to a "Decimate" mechanic to those familiar with Naxx or the two puppies guarding the halls of the Plague Wing in ICC; casting Asphyxiate on the party and crushing the life out of you until you reach 1 HP. Luckily, he's going to follow this attack with a channeled ability called Stay of Execution that will heal you for up to 50% of your health but on heroic it also heals him for each tick. If you let this run too long, he can heal to full and you will never kill him so it's very important that he does not get more than 1/2 ticks of this before you interrupt it. That number can eventually be 0, but starting out should be weighed against how quickly your Healer can get you all back to at least 15 to 20K health in order to survive the next Wracking Pain when it's cast. Using self heals, if you've got them, coming out of that phase to help your healer won't hurt.

Now, the main reason you're going want to rein in his self heals and keep this fight as short as possible is because the stacking Shadow Damage buff from Wracking Pain will become a serious concern once you reach 20% health on Ashbury. At this point, he will adopt his Dark Archangel form and begin using Calamity on the entire party. This is a channelled Shadow AoE that deals ~5.5K/tick and essentially puts you into a burn phase in which you're either going to kill Ashbury or he's going to wipe you. Too many stacks of the Shadow Buff here, and the Healer is simply not going to be able to keep up for long, so get your interrupts down and manage his self healing to get here quick.

The second boss in here will be Baron Silverlaine and he's a pretty straightforward tank and spank. His first ability is to Summon Worgen Spirit's, which will be cast roughly 3 times a fight and periodically bring the ghosts of the old SFK bosses to fight at his side one by one. The Tank need merely pick these up and the DPS burn them down to keep things manageable. Secondly, he'll cast Cursed Veil which deals ~25K Shadow Damage and reduces healing taken by 75% for 8 seconds. As long as the Tank effectively picks up the spawned adds, he's the only target a Healer needs to prioritize removing this debuff from as there is otherwise no immediate damage that will come into play to take out DPS from lack of healing on this fight. So, Tank pick up adds, DPS burn everything down, Healer keep Tank up and debuff off him, and you'll be moving on in short order.

The third boss, Commander Springvale, is both the hardest boss in here to do "properly" and, luckily completely optional if he's giving you headaches or you're "too honourable" to cheese his mechanics; more on that in a bit. First, how you're "supposed" to do this fight.

Initially standing with one Tormented Officer and a Wailing Guardsman, the task for DPS is to burn these down and keep them from casting Unholy Empowerment on Springvale; this will heal him and grant him a charge of Unholy Power, more on that in a sec. These adds are Undead, so any forms of CC that will work on that type of mob can be used to keep them manageable if you're having problems burning them down. Once they're dead, move to DPS'ing the boss until he calls out "for aid", at which point you one of each type of add will enter the room again individually from the right and left hallway doors. Repeat your kill phase.

Now, Unholy Power, also generated by the primary special attack he will attack the Tank with so you can't eliminate it entirely, is used by Springvale to execute two specials; Word of Shame, a single target DoT that is persistent until death and takes 5% of the targets health every 3 seconds - keep the target up or lose them, and Shield of the Perfidious, a frontal half moon holy fire AoE that puts heavy weight on the Tank to keep Springvale pointed away from the party and everyone else to stay behind the boss. Complicating this in the tight confines of this room is that Springvale will periodically Desecrate and his doesn't just slow but also acts as a void zone so the Tank will need to move him out of it to stop taking damage and allow the Melee to work. It is during these adjustments where the reality of being in a tiny box, the tendency for Springvale to end up at odd angles, and that DPS needs to go where the adds are combines such that Shield of the Perfidious tends to end up doing much more collateral damage than it would otherwise.

Soooo, folks realized that the best way to simplify this is to get him the hell out of the box. Here's where you can, currently, cheese the mechanics of the fight by having the Tank kite Springvale out to the Courtyard and give yourselves room to work. What this also does is eliminate all but the initial set of adds because, again currently, the ones that spawn aren't smart enough to try and come find him. Having your Tank and Healer take off with Springvale while your three DPS lock down his two adds with CC and/or interrupts in the pull room long enough for them to get clear, blowing those adds up before following them, is currently the easiest way to nerf this fight... To The Ground!. 4.0.6 Update: I'm told Springvale will now one shot you if you take him out of the room. Deal with the box or move on.

The remaining two bosses are comparatively simple. Starting with Lord Walden, his primary mechanic is to channel three "mysterious mixtures" - you'll know he's starting this phase if you've cast bars on and you see him casting a ? to "choose" - each of which have different effects and, conveniently, colours when they're active. Toxic Coagulant is the "green" phase and causes him to cast a poison DoT on everyone in the room which does instant damage and then stacks to fatal levels of damage the longer you stay stationary. So, as long as it's green, you stay "moving"; circle strafing/jumping/whatever works best for you. Ice Shards is the "blue" phase and does frost damage in the room while adding additional damage to areas where the shards themselves land. Look for white dots on the ground and avoid them. Finally, Toxic Catalyst is the "red" phase during which a DoT will be applied to the party which will make all their attacks crit but will increase in damage the more you move. So, for this phase, stand still.

Wash, rinse, repeat a few times while staying spread as ranged/heals to avoid and/or dodge picking up the debuffs/damage from the Poison and Frost mixtures he will periodically throw at party members and this fight will be over shortly.

Finally, you will come to Lord Godfrey. This fight is currently a preposterously simple tank and spank as Godfrey does only three easily controllable attacks. Firstly, he will cast Cursed Bullet on random raid members, a curse that can be easily dispelled or healed through. Next, he will periodically Summon Bloodthirsty Ghouls that the tank will need to pick up and can be safely AoE'd down or held temporarily until Godfrey casts his final major attack: Pistol Barrage. This currently deals significant frontal cone damage and the Tank should step out of it to make life easier on the Healer. With sufficient healing on the Tank, you can also run the Ghouls through this to have Godfrey kill them for you and there's an achievement for doing so. In 4.0.6 this attack will begin targeting random players so it will become necessary for everyone to be more aware when it is cast or, though I can't test this yet, try to take advantage of things like standing atop the staircase to heal/cast/shoot from as ranged and heals to mitigate the attack if it still can not shoot "upwards", just in a direction on the current plane.

Other than that, he will also stack a healing debuff and DoT on the Tank but this will fall off during Pistol Barrage before stacking to unsafe levels. So, simply burn the sucker down and head on your merry way...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

DGtCDB: Throne of Tides

The last of our "new to Cataclysm" instances, Throne of Tides is an instance on the easy side of things whose greatest threat once you learn the boss mechanics are actually the trash pulls in the hallways to the last two bosses. 4.0.6 and the nerf to initial damage from the Gilgoblin Hunters can't come soon enough for the tanks I know... Oh, and while I don't usually do trash tips: Mages, Tainted Sentries + Swell + Spellsteal is very much your friend.

Anyways, the first boss you will face in here is Lady Naz'jar and she has two phases she will swap between during this fight; an active phase and a shielded phase. During the active phase she will need to be tanked and has two main attacks you need to worry about: Shock Blast, an interruptible spell that absolutely should be because it will hit the Tank for ~150K - making short work of those in early gear, and Geyser, a water void zone that will appear under a random player and, on heroic, must be moved out of because it will hit for 120K+ and instagib anyone. This phase is largely down to keeping that that cast from going off and avoiding those zones, but you will also want to avoid the patches of Fungal Spores which is a traditional DoT void zone mechanic you can easily get away from or dispell the debuff off if you're hit by it.

Twice in the fight she will run to the middle of the room and cast Waterspout which will place her in a shield that reflects magic damage, deflects ranged attack, and throws away any melee that try to get to her. During this phase three adds will spawn, two Tempest Witch casters and one Honor Guard melee mob. The traditional means of dealing with these is to CC the two casters while the Tank picks up the Honor Guard and you burn him down first before taking out the other two one at a time. The main reason to CC the casters is that they Chain Lightning (interruptible), to keep you from concentrating melee on the other mobs but you can CC any of these mobs. If you want the achievement, the easiest way to get it is to leave the melee mob CC'd for last, lower him to just below 100K, and then have your Tank move him into a Geyser during the "active" phase. The casters quite simply don't kite as easily with all that silly "casting" they do. Also, during this phase on heroic Cyclones will spawn from the Waterspout and move outwards towards random players in intervals. You want to prioritize avoiding these because they will pick you up and keep doing damage as long as you're trapped in them while also keeping you stunned so you can't heal, DPS or Tank until they drop you at the outer wall. Getting carried away from your Healer or, worse, finding yourself having agro on a mob who keeps attacking you while you're in the Cyclone is a good way to end up dead.

After 1 minute, Lady Naz'jar will rejoin the fight regardless of whether or not you've killed the adds so be prepared to pick her up and return to the active phase.

After killing her, and watching a short cutscene, you'll move straight to Commander Ulthok. His primary mechanic is very simple and, as such, he should be a quick kill. Basically, Ulthok will periodically wind up and cast Dark Fissure - the tank should back off when he does this - to pound the floor in front of him and create a void zone. On heroic, these void zones will expand indefinitely so the key to winning this fight is all about controlling these void spawns. The best way for the Tank to do this to work him around the outer edge of the room, only moving him forward as he drops each Fissure to keep enough space for the melee to work. For the moment, you can also cheat the mechanic by taking Ulthok out through the doors of the room for extra space to work with.

Other than that, he will place Curse of Fatigue on random people to slow their attack and movement speed and hinder their ability to dodge the void zones. Take it off when possible. Periodically, he will pick up and "Squeeze" someone and you'll simply need to heal them through it. Finally, he periodically enrages and this can be taken off with classes that can remove the buff.

Get your kite path down and this is a brutally short and simple fight.

Next up, you have a choice between killing two remaining bosses or just one.

The optional boss is Erunak Stonespeaker & Mindbender Ghur'sha. This is pretty much a two phase fight. In the first phase you'll be fighting Erunak Stonespeaker until he reaches 50% health. During this phase, the boss will cast a forward arc flame breath called Magma Splash so keep him pointed away from the party/stay out of his frontal arc depending on your role. He will also cast Earth Shards at random players which is easy to dodge for ranged - there will be an earthquake style split out towards the person it's cast at - but melee will need to be quick moving to get out of the area because it will create a rapid storm of earth spikes in the area where the person was standing that will eat through your health pool in short order. The last two abilities he will use, Lava Bolt at a random player and Emberstorm on the Tank, should be interrupted and dispelled, respectively, as quickly as possible.

At 50% Mindbender Ghur'sha will jump off Erunak and the second phase will begin in which you will kill him. Complicating this, Mindbender will periodically jump onto other players and Enslave them, gaining access to their abilities and giving them enhanced health as well. You'll need to burn them down to 50% as well to get him to jump off but, be careful with DoT usage because they can persist on the player outside this hold. Other than that, the primary source of damage to the party will be Unrelenting Agony, a channeled energy AoE on all players I'm told can be LoS'ed with the pillars but haven't had a chance to test myself.

The rest of his mechanics are more annoying than necessarily dangerous. Mind Fog creates a large green gas cloud in 10 yards proximity to Mindbender. This does mild DoT damage but, more importantly, Silences and Pacifies anyone in it preventing them from casting or doing damage. It's a good idea for healers and ranged to maintain distance to avoid this. Finally. he will periodically cast Absorb Magic - a self shield that heals him for 3X the amount of damage he would have taken from any spells. Wait 5 seconds for this to fade or spellsteal/purge it to remove it from play.

The last fight here is a three phase battle to assist Neptulon in freeing himself from Ozumat the giant "brother" squid of the Mindbender. Just so you're comfortable with his position, when you enter this room look up and to the right side of the dome. That's where Ozumat will make his appearance in phase 3.

In the first phase multiple adds will spawn and run in to try and kill Neptulon. It's the Tank's job to pick these up to both keep them off the boss and enable the DPS to burn them down. The first adds you'll see will be waves of non-elite Deep Murloc Invader's that are easy to burn down by DPS with AoE and a low priority to be tanked. Next up, you will see either an Unyielding Behemoth or one of three Vicious Mindlashers next as these mobs will slowly spawn into the room. The Unyielding Behemoth is a melee mob and must be Tanked or it will eat other classes whole in short order. It will also periodically rise up into the air and start pounding the ground to do an AoE, you should get out of this and avoid the frontal cone attack he will cast immediately upon ending the cast. The Mindlashers, on the other hand, don't hurt to be tanked but can be safely handled by DPS; especially those who can lock down their their Shadowbolt and Mana Burns with interrupts.

Once you kill the three Mindlashers, the second phase will start and three Faceless Sappers will spawn in around the room. The goal here is to focus fire these three down one at a time and end the phase as quickly as possible while the Tank picks up the Blight Beasts that will start spawning and kites them around the room and risks being overwhelmed if killing the Sappers takes too long. Complicating your efforts to do this, Ozumat will periodically spew black puddles at targets in the room. You should stay out of these and melee should simply move to the next Faceless Sapper if they can't find room to work anymore at the one they're on while leaving Ranged to finish that one off. Heroism/Bloodlust/Timewarp can be used here if DPS is tight to help push this phase over as quick as possible.

When the last Sapper falls Neptulon will buff the party increasing health, mana, damage done, healing and size so you can reach Ozumat to attack him while Ozumat will flood the room with his Blight, dealing stacking damage the longer it takes you to kill him. So, your goal here is to fight off Ozumat before your healer runs out of mana and everyone dies. The Blight Beasts from the prior phase will remain in the room so you can choose to finish them off now fairly quickly or simply just have all the DPS go to Ozumat and ignore them. If you haven't used your haste cooldown yet, once everyone's on Ozumat is the time to do so. Note that health regeneration tools like Frenzied Regeneration are currently immensely powerful here, especially as the Blight stacks start to build on the party, so it's a good idea to break them out to see to it you outlast the Boss.

Apply sufficient DPS and good heals, he will fall and you'll be done another run...

DGtCDB: Halls of Origination

Halls of Origination fluctuates between the shortest and longest heroic instance because, despite being seven bosses deep, four of those are optional, the three you have to kill are fairly basic tank and spanks, and the amount of trash is low. A two level instance, I'm going to break this down floor by floor.

First Floor

Upon entering the Instance, the first boss you will come across will be Temple Guardian Anhuur. This is a pretty basic fight - the primary ability to worry about for the party will be Searing Light, a laser beam down from the ceiling leaving a patch of holy fire on the floor you should avoid - with the only real complication coming during a phase in which he will shield and become impervious to all damage until you flip two switches in the literal viper pit below him. You need to drop this shield so you can interrupt Reverberating Hymn, a channeled spell that will slowly build up a stacking holy damage DoT that will overwhelm the healer if allowed to run indefinitely.

On normal flipping these switches is instant but on heroic they have a 10 second cast time which is interrupted by any bite from the vipers. This means you can no longer just send a couple people down to tap the switches and run back up. Instead, you'll likely (at this point), need to move as a group from one switch to the the other assigning one person to flip the switch while the remaining DPS and Tank manage the Pit Vipers. It's a good idea for the person flipping the switch to communicate to the others to begin moving to the next when there's only 1 or 2 seconds left on the cast timer so everyone's moving instead of following you as you take off for the next switch and picking up vipers by being in front that will need to be pulled off so you can start flipping the next.

Soon as the shield's down, someone needs to interrupt the cast and you can either have someone take off to do so while you're flipping the second switch or have a class with a speed boost take off to do so when it's down, your call. Repeat this twice and you'll be moving on.

Take the left passage in the elevator chamber and you'll come to Anraphet. His chamber is full of non-elite respawning Trogg packs that can be AoE'd down and 4 mini elemental bosses that must be killed to release him. Their mechanics can be summarized pretty shortly:

Flame Warden: Casts an AoE called Raging Inferno below himself. Melee should run out when they see him start casting to avoid it entirely because it does significant AoE damage and, more importantly, stacks a fire damage buff on anyone it hits which doesn't play nice with the Lava Eruption's he'll be casting on random party members. You'll blow up real good if you mix those.

Air Warden: Casts Cyclones that chase random targets. Avoid.

Earth Warden: Casts Rockwave at random targets. If he turns to face you, time to practice your "waggle" skills and respond accordingly.

Water Warden: Bubbles random people, including the Tank, preventing them from taking any actions: break them out quick because there's no cap on his ability to do this and you'll quickly find yourself without anyone free if you don't. Also, water void zones, avoid.

Once you defeat these four, Anraphet will enter the room and execute a room wide AoE to obliterate the Trogg packs permanently so make sure everyone's at at least half health to be safe. His fight is pretty straight forward and consists of basically two phases, dodge the void zone and stress test the Healer.

Shortly after pulling, he'll start casting Alpha Beams four consecutive times at four random targets. This doesn't seem to hit the same target twice consecutively IME but it can target the same person again within the span of the sequence. This will leave a void zone where the person was standing that's persistent on heroic and should be gotten out of ASAP. Note: with each cast of this the prior set(s) tend to go a lighter shade of purple - they still hurt. The Tank needs to keep track of these void zones and move the boss so that melee continues to have room to work.

A few seconds after the Alpha Beam phase he'll break into Omega Stance and start channelling AoE damage across the entire room. This is a good time to pop defensive cooldowns to help your Healer though the phase. When this phase is over, a few seconds will pass and then the Alpha Beam phase will start the cycle all over again.

There is a soft enrage on this fight - the boss is stacking a health pool debuff on the party as the battle goes on so eventually he's just going to start squashing people - but you should be able to avoid it with good DPS.

Taking the teleporter behind Anraphet will return you to the elevator room and you've now the option to take the elevator up or go down the right tunnel to Earthrager Ptah where you've the option to fight on Camel Back. This absorbs some attacks and lets Caster classes cast while moving as if they were on a Siege Vehicle from the BG's - handy for Healers - but causes problems for pet classes or those that rely on pets as cooldowns: you'll have to forsake your pet for the Camel.

With an above and below ground phase, his core mechanics in the first are pretty simple. He'll cast Earth Spike on random players; watch for shifting earth below your feet and move to avoid or, at best, you're losing your Camel. Secondly, he'll occasionally "Turtle" and execute a fire AoE that can be safely healed through.

At 50% he'll dive below ground and spawn multiple scarabs and two Dustbane Horrors. The tank will want to pick these mobs up and everyone can just AoE them down while dodging Quicksand, a void zone on the ground with a "dusty" effect indicating its location. Once you kill these, he'll emerge and you'll finish him off as per the first ground phase.

Floor Two

Here we find four bosses in close proximity with one to two trash pulls between you and your kill. I'm going to go through these in order of difficulty.

Luckily for us, the easiest of the four is also the "last" boss you need to complete your Random. Rajh is a really straight forward fight with simple mechanics. There will be Cyclones creating fire paths in the room, avoid. Rajh will periodically cast Inferno Leap, if not interrupted, and jump towards a random Ranged target. If a flaming circle appears below you you will get a speed buff to help you dodge: take advantage of this and move. Summon Sun Orb brings an AoE bomb into the room, interrupt this cast or avoid the bomb if you fail to do so.

As he executes these, he's burning through "Sun Energy". When he hits 0 he's going to move to the middle of the room and begin channelling Blessing of the Sun to recharge; dealing AoE damage to everyone but taking 100% more damage during this phase. Everyone should stack on Rajh to make it easy to AoE heal and blow cooldowns during this phase to maximize damage. With sufficient DPS, you should only see one, maybe two, of these at most and be collecting loot.

You now have the option to take your Valour Points and scram, or step up to the remaining challenges.

It's really a toss up between which of the next two bosses is "easier", but lets go with Ammunae. This is a pretty straight forward tank and spank with a couple key complications.

Firstly, Ammunae will be spawning Seedling Pod's throughout the fight. These add a stacking HoT to the boss as they "grow" and will spawn additional adds if allowed to grow to fruition. They should be killed quickly because they get also gain increased health pools the longer they're allowed to grow; making them harder to kill. They can be hard to spot initially, but keep an eye out for a green dot hitting the floor, target it, and make it explode. She will hinder your ability to do this by casting Wither on random targets to reduce their attack/casting and movement speeds by 60%; this cast should be interrupted or dispelled.

Secondly, she'll occasionally spawn a Spore like the ones you killed in her trash. Kill them to eliminate their AoE proximity damage but remember to not stand in the void zone they create when they die. If you do get any Bloodpetal Blossoms, you can kite them through these patches to kill them quickly.

Keep up with the add spawns and you should find this boss to be no problem.

Next up is Isiset. She starts the fight with four abilities: Supernova, an announced AoE attack that works like the Radiance attack from Eadric in ToC in that it will stun you if you don't face away from the boss, Astral Rain, a constant cast similar to the Boomkin's Starfall, Veil of Sky, a damage absorbing shield that should be dispelled, and Celestial Call, which will summon 1-3 Star Shard adds that should be burnt down.

At 60% and 30% health Isiset will despawn and split into 3/2 mini-bosses: conveniently also named Astral Rain, Celestial Call, and Veil of Sky. You need to kill one of these bosses to exit the phase and, doing so, does two things. First, it eliminates the ability of the boss you kill from her repertoire and, secondly, it strengthens the remaining two abilities.

The safest kill order is Astral Rain (this gets seriously healing intensive if you leave it for last) -> Celestial Call -> Kill Isiset while dispelling the shield. Do this, and you should have no problems with the fight.

The last boss here is a straight up hardcore DPS execution test and there's no point in trying it unless you've got 3 competent DPS in the 8K range at least. Setesh is an odd fight whereby no one actually Tanks the boss. Instead, shortly after pulling he will begin moving around the room and opening portals through which adds will begin spawning and the responsibility falls upon the Tank to pick these adds up and the DPS to kill the boss before he, and the Healer, get overwhelmed.

Complicating this on Heroic, the Portals must be destroyed to stop mobs from spawning like the Lord Jaraxus fight in Trial of the Crusader Heroic. The quicker the better because, while you'll likely always get a Void Sentinel to be tanked, you really want to avoid the portals being open long enough for Void Seekers to spawn because they can negate any and all magic effects (ie: healing), through a channeled spell called Anti-Magic Prison. Cast this on a tank with multiple Sentinels and Void Wyrms on him and he's going to die fast so, if one of these does get through, kill it. Thus, the fight becomes a DPS priority test along the lines of Portal > Void Seeker > Boss and the DPS requirements aren't low so it's a pretty legitimate one.

Helping with this somewhat is the other primary mechanic you need to juggle appropriately. Setesh will periodically pause and cast Seed of Chaos to begin channeling purple/green Void Mines against anyone within 15 yards like those on the Krick + Ick fight in Pit Of Saron. Instinctively, you're going to want to get out of these but, getting hit by one gives you a buff that increases your damage from all attacks by 15K for the next 15 seconds. So, you're going to want to balance getting that buff and staying in range of the boss to attack with awareness of the damage that will come in if you sit in too many of them while also remembering your healer is kinda occupied with the tank and his ever increasing number of adds. Don't be the jerk that gets all huffy if you sit in too long and die from lack of heals when that number gets high. Juggling some defensive cooldowns is the best way to get you through this while staying on Satesh.

Other than that, Satesh will cast Chaos Bolts at random targets so there's another reason to not let your health situation get out of hand. This is the most challenging boss for DPS in the instance, and probably of the entire Dungeon Tier short of the execution mastery required for the last boss of Grim Batol, so if you can get him down you're getting to the point where you're introductory raid boss worthy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

DGtCDB: Blackrock Caverns

Fun, Fun, Fun instance with a variety of fight mechanics at play.

Starting off, we've Rom'ogg Bonecrusher whose primary mechanic is to suck everyone towards him, lock them up in Summoned Chains and then execute an instant kill attack called Skullcracker to anyone who stays in close. The key here is to target and break these chains ASAP and then run away. As long as you can manage this, the fight basically cycles through you DPS'ing the boss and executing the break phase to escape that attack. Other than that, he will periodically execute an AoE attack called Quake which, on heroic, also summons multiple non-elite earth elementals for the tank to pick up and everyone to AoE down.

It's worth noting though that Skullcracker can also hit these mobs so it's just as viable to leave them alone and then have someone execute a root on them during the Chains phase to make Rom'ogg kill them for you.

Next up is Corla, Herald of Twilight and you'll find her standing amongst three Twilight Zealot's. The primary gimmick on this fight is that these Zealot's will start getting hit by beams once you pull the boss and, if left to their own devices, will eventually stack a buff to 100 and turn into one of the Evolved Twilight Zealots you've fought earlier in the instance as trash. You really don't want this to happen so what you need to do is have three people, at least, alternate in and out of these beams to prevent them from landing on the Zealots long enough to change. But, and here's the gotcha, these beams work on you too so you don't want to stack to 100 either. Instead you want to let your stacks roll to ~80+, get out of the beam, stay out until your stacks fall off, and then cycle back in. You don't want to let them get much higher than that because the beam effect stacks faster as the stacks increase and, above 90, you're going to be playing with latency fire.

Corla will try to complicate this for you by casting Dark Command and making her target run away in fear: interrupt this. Especially once 4.0.6 hits and you won't have the potential luxury of a constant Tremor Totem to otherwise negate it as that Shaman ability will now be on a 1 minute cooldown with only 6 seconds of use while it's active. If someone does get feared, one of the two people not executing beams should be quick to step in for the person who's running or this should be dispelled quickly. It is possible to have two melee execute as the blockers on this phase as long as the tank positions Corla slightly in front of and inbetween two of the Zealots but, should you find yourself with three melee somehow, the Healer is going to have to step up or one will have to sit out to manage the stacks on the most distant Zealot.

All that said, getting one Evolved Twilight Zealot is survivable with a good tank and healer as long as you make sure to interrupt it's Shadow Step cast which is likely instant death for anyone else in the room. More than that though, and you're going to be boned in short order. Also, if things are going tits up and you're already stacking the debuff, just let it run to full: you'll get released when everyone else is dead and, if you can res, will save everyone the nasty run back to this place. Just be sure to remember to pull back before res'ing... and recall your totems... not that I've ever forgotten to do this... *cough*

Anyways, next up is Karsh Steelbender where your success is entirely determinable by how quickly your Tank can pick up the debuff mechanic. I'll be perfectly blunt: if, as the Tank, you just aren't getting it then loop around the room and move on after a few attempts if you're ready to throw your mouse through the monitor

Ok, Mr Tank, here's your job for this fight. In the middle of this chamber is a large falling pillar of molten lava. You will need to kite Karsh into this pillar and out of it as quickly as possible because doing so is both how you make him vulnerable (in his default state, his armour reduces damage by 99%), and how he damages the party. How? Well, for every two seconds the boss spends in the lava pillar he gains one stack of Superheated Quicksilver Armor but each time he gains a stack he'll pulse a fire wave through the room dealing 1000 damage to the party per stack. So, to make life easy for your healer you want to have him in and out of there as quick as possible - preferably with him gaining only one to two stacks - so that you don't end up with massive bursts of AoE quickly burning down the party. I've seen a few different ways to do this, and you can certainly finesse it if you get used to clipping him in and out of the pillar, but the easiest one is to just turn and run through the lava pillar full bore, not stopping until he comes out the other side and is no longer pulsing.

These stacks stay on the boss for 17 seconds (the tooltip says 12, but this was hotfixed without a client update until 4.0.6), and your goal is take advantage of this spare time to let you have breaks between building the stacks as high as possible without overwhelming your healer by constantly AoE'ing the party. While, with gear and practice, you will find it quite easy to just build stacks slowly to 15 you may need to let the stacks fall off earlier with lower gear levels. Here's where the second mechanic on this fight will come into play.

First, everyone should note the grilled ring around the centre circle; if the stacks fall of this will erupt with lava and anyone standing there will die so it's a good idea to make sure you're always on solid ground. Secondly, as that lava eruption ends three fire elementals will spawn and charge the party. Here's where Tanks tend to make two mistakes:

1: They instinctively pick up the adds; that's their job, right? Wrong. These are non-elites and can be safely tanked by DPS so have them pick them up and kite them to the side to kill. I say this because, when these adds die, they'll spawn persistent lava pools that both impact your ability to move around that middle ring and, more importantly, will also apply the quicksilver buff to the boss if he's in them. You don't want this because the second mistake is to...

2: Panic. "I lost the stacks.... we need stacks... must go get stacks!!!!"

No. The entire purpose of applying the stacks is to let the DPS actually be able to damage the boss but the DPS are currently busy killing adds so having any stacks on the boss right now is pointless. Just hold the boss and wait, let the DPS do their thing and come back to Karsh when the adds are dealt with and then start the process all over again. Doing this does two things: keeps you from adding AoE damage to any melee damage the DPS is taking from the mobs and, secondly, prevents you from having to worry about accidentally losing the stacks again and throwing more adds into the mix. Keep it Simple folks.

All that said, as long as you can manage the stacks this is a pure burn fight.

Our second last encounter is with Beauty the core hound and her pups. The difficulty of this encounter on heroic is directly proportional to how much "Beast" enabled CC you have in the party (and this will get less restrictive somewhat in 4.0.6 when one of Beauty's three current pups will be adopted by: "a wonderful, if not insane family"), and the availability of Tremor totem to mitigate her fear.

With three Beast enabled CC's - assign one to each pup, keep them locked down the entire fight - this fight is a straight up tank and spank with the caveat that, without a Tremor Totem (again, this benefit goes away somewhat with the ability change in 4.0.6), you want to keep towards the entrance of this chamber to avoid people running into Beauty's fourth pup in the back of the room: Runty. Runty's nothing special, but with three dogs already in the room you really don't want to add a fourth. Otherwise, any pups you can't CC will need to be off-tanked and killed before you can get around to killing Beauty because they drop lava pools all over the place that add to the damage being done by the boss herself.

This damage will come from three primary abilities, Beauty will charge and knockback the farthest target from her (do be sure to keep positioned such that you're not going to be tossed at the aforementioned Runty), and will cast Magma Spit and Flame Shock with the first being a fire DoT that will explode upon people around the target when dispelled - move away - and the latter being a proximity knockback primarily hitting those in melee range of Beauty.

So, to summarize, control pups, don't add Runty to the mix, kill Beauty, collect loot.

Coming to the end of the instance we arrive at Ascendant Lord Obsidius and his three Shadow of Obsidius. Here's where success falls on having a decent kiter because this is otherwise largely a tank and spank as well.

What your kiter needs to do is grab these three Shadows and keep them from agro'ing onto the Tank because they will each channel a stacking 24% healing debuff on the person in range who gains agro on them. The good, or bad news depending on how you want to look at it, is that these mobs are "Twitchy", meaning their agro table is set by not by traditional threat build mechanics but, instead, upon the last person who's hit them with a damaging attack. This makes it very easy to get their attention but you can also lose it very quickly if anyone else, particularly the tank, does anything at all to hurt them. So, it's a good idea to keep them at a distance while kiting. Complicating this a bit, Obsidius will "swap places" roughly twice a fight with one of his adds so you'll need to be prepared to pull your two remaining adds out again and pick up the add now standing where the boss was. Note: Searing Totem is bad for picking up this add and sending it running off towards the Shaman that owns it. It's a good idea to recall on the switches. Also, Tanks should be aware of the "Twitchy" mechanic and avoid breaking out AoE abilities during the switch; especially remember your glyph situation WRT things like Maul...

While your kiter is dealing with the Shadows, your Tank need merely hold the boss in place while everyone else burns him down. Obsidius will periodically Thunderclap and cast a DoT called Twilight Corruption on random party members which should be dispelled.

As long as your Kiter keeps the adds off the Tank, you'll be done in short order and moving on...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

DGtCDB: The Vortex Pinnacle

Vortex Pinnacle is currently considered the easiest Heroic once you get used to its mechanics because, Altairus being the sole exemption, they are currently very simple. So simple, in fact, this place is seeing several buffs in 4.0.6 to try and make people actually pay attention.

Our first challenge is Grand Vizier Ertan. Currently this is a complete snorefest because all of his mechanics can be ignored simply by having everyone stack directly underneath the boss to negate the attack speed debuff that would otherwise be applied by his Cyclone Shields as they move in and out. Stack up, stand still, and run through your rotation for 3 minutes to watch him die.

4.0.6 changes this substantially by adding some new mechanics to the fight. First, Etran will now throw everyone away from him as he retracts the shield to negate your ability to stack. Secondly, those Cyclone Shields are going to start doing damage as well as applying a debuff. So, when this patch hits the fight will likely work more as intended; with everyone expected to find a gap between in the shields as they close in and clear out from the boss. Just remember that you're all being hit with electrical blasts during this phase either way so don't get too far from your Healer whilst running out.

Next up is Altairus. This storm dragon has two primary mechanics that take some getting used to at first, but really aren't that complex. Firstly, upon pull on Heroic the room is going to fill with Cyclones. These currently throw you up and away from them, dealing fall damage when you land, as they move around the room. This makes it very important to avoid getting hit because, currently, it's quite possible to get chained from one to the next (or, worse, out of the room causing Altairus to hit you with a one shot ability for "cowardice"). In 4.0.6 the Cyclones will throw you straight up instead and you'll also obtain a short term debuff preventing this chaining.

Complicating your ability to dodge these will be the necessity to adjust your position within the room to take advantage of the primary mechanic on this fight: periodic changes in "wind direction". Throughout the fight Altairus will change the way winds are blowing through the room which creates a buff (100% attack speed, 30% increased movement speed) if you are "Upwind" from him (ie, in the direction the wind is blowing from) or an equivalent debuff if you are "Downwind" of him. The former is indicated by a Green Foot on your buff bar, the later by a Yellow Skull Staff that looks kinda like a Shaman totem. So, as he shifts the wind you'll want to look at your debuff and the way the wind is blowing to adjust accordingly to get it; especially if you're the Healer.

The last abilty he will use to make your life miserable is Chilling Breath, a frontal cone AoE cast towards a random target. While it likely won't kill you on its own, it does do decent damage so getting out of this, if possible without chaining yourself into Cyclones, is in your best interests. It's also an incentive for the party to not to bunch up too much or stray too far from the dragon so as to make it easy to get out of simply my moving to his side or rear.

Our last boss here is Asaad. While he casts Chain Lightning, making it a good idea to spread out a bit as Ranged/Heals, right now there are really only two key mechanics to this fight: Static Cling and Unstable Grounding Shield. Static Cling is an uninterruptible one second cast (currently, to be 1.25 seconds in 4.0.6), that applies a root to anyone standing on the ground when completed. To negate this, try to time a jump about half way through the cast so you're not on the floor when he finishes casting.

Anyone who fails to dodge this cast should have it dispelled off (or use class mechanics like Shifting Forms for Druids), as Asaad begins channelling Unstable Grounding Field later in the fight. This ability creates a lightning triangle similar to those seen earlier in the instence that will cancel out all damage from the channeled AoE he will cast as soon as he completes forming it. Getting into this triangle takes priority over everything else because this AoE will make short work of anyone left out in it. So, don't wait when he starts casting it, move.

4.0.6 has the potential to complicate this a little more because Asaad will also now begin summoning some Skyfall Stars as adds. So, where you used to be able to wait to remove Static Cling, it will likely now become much more important to dodge (likely why the cast time is increasing), and remove this effect earlier so that people can get to those adds and burn them down. But, we'll have to wait and see.

4.0.6 Update: Having seen the Asaad change in action now, the Skyfall Stars spawn around the outer walls of the room. Because of the requirement to get to the Grounding Field, it's best to have ranged tackle these to keep melee from finding themselves way out of position.

DGtCDB: Stonecore

After Grim Batol, Stonecore is probably the second least welcome Heroic to pop up in peoples Random Queue. The thing with this instance is that all the bosses are deceptively simple mechanics wise, in that what you need to do is fairly obvious, but are completely unforgiving within the scope of how they work. If you screw up execution here, you will very likely die quick and messy as each boss has one ability, at least, that will one shot.

Starting off with Corborus, this giant shale worm consists of an above ground and below ground phase. During his above ground phase, he executes two abilities. The first is Dampening Wave, a functionally room wide AoE that does shadow damage and applies a healing absorption effect on everyone in the room. Healers will want to either heal this off each player or dispell it depending on what their abilities lean towards so that they can continue to heal the party effectively. The second is Crystal Barrage, a targeted AoE attack in which Corborus is going to spit shards at the person in question: move out of this. On heroic, Crystal Shards will also spawn quickly upon completion of the "spit". DPS should use ranged means of AoE'ing these down immediately once they solidify because each of them are proximity bombs that will chase anyone they have threat on; exploding for 20K and placing a 25% increased damage debuff on anyone they hit. Because of this, letting these run rampant or trying to melee AoE them will likely result in deaths so killing them with while they're bunched on the spawn zone (hopefully) with everyone clear will maximize your AoE potential and eliminate them in short order.

Periodically Corborus will dive into the ground and his second phase will begin. During this phase you'll need your Tank to scoop up multiple Shale Spider adds that will spawn from small dust clouds so you can effectively burn them down and to keep them from raping DPS and Heals. Complicating this, Corborus will periodically leap out of the ground - the area in which he does so indicated by a large rectangular dust cloud - and insta-gib anyone unfortunate enough to still be standing there. This phase is all about effective mob control by the Tank while everyone avoids the kill zone so you can burn these adds down quickly and, preferably, not have any up when Corborus resurfaces.

From here on out it's just repeating those two phases until Corborus is dead or you've all screwed up; whichever comes first :) One thing I will note as warning though: Corborus is bad for going straight into either Crystal Barrage or Dampening Wave immediately upon surfacing from the ground phase. As a healer, you'd best have everyone with reasonable health coming into that transition - especially if there are adds still up - or you will frequently see people fall.

Moving on, we come to Slabhide. This Slate Dragon will breathe, so don't stand in front of it unless you're tanking, but not tail swipe so you can stand behind it and has three main mechanics you otherwise need to worry about as you go through the phases. As you pull him, the first you need to worry about will be a targeted void zone cast at random party members indicated by a dust cloud "quaking" at their feet. Clear this zone quickly because because lava is going to erupt here dealing damage from the explosion as well as creating a lava pool which will continue to tick off your life points and leave you dead in short order.

Shortly after pulling him, Slabhide will take to the air and begin dropping Stalactites on the raid whose strike points will be indicated by, as you'll see in the hallway before him, dark black circles on the ground. Don't stand in the circles or you die, simple as that. From now on, these Stalactites are both a LoS PITA you want to remain aware of for heals and serve a second purpose tied to the Crystal Barrage ability he will begin executing: they're your shields. Whenever he casts that spell, you want to immediately get one of these between you and the boss to block the attack. Note to Melee and Tanks: none of the Stalactites within his hit box, as indicated by the nice red circle around him, will be effective at doing this so plan to have one outside this to run to.

Much like Corborus, repeat this ground/air cycle a few times and you're moving on.

To where, you ask? Why, Ozruk of course, your next welcoming bundle of one shot abilites!

The first of these is Ground Slam, an announced massive frontal cone attack that will kill anyone in front of him when cast. The Tank should always endeavour to keep Ozruk pointed away from the party until this is announced and then immediately run to Ozruk's rear or side as he raises his fist and prepares to deliver this attack towards where the Tank used to be standing. Failure to clear his frontal cone means the Tank dies and the party wipes. While this is primarily a Tank killer, the rest of the party should remain aware of this ability and move appropriately if, for whatever reason, they find themselves looking face to face with the boss when this is announced.

The second ability that will gib Melee or Tanks is Shatter, a 15 yard AoE that will hit anyone in range for 150K damage - enough to kill any DPS, healer, and most tanks. This will be executed in conjunction with his Paralyze ability. Paralyze does exactly what it says but also applies a DoT that does substantial arcane damage if allowed to run its full cycle. There's only one way to clear this debuff and run out of Shatter without letting this happen and that's through taking damage. You're probably wondering: "How do I take damage if I'm paralyzed Mr Blogger?"... Well, here's where it becomes necessary to get abusive with the boss mechanics folks!. Throughout the fight, Ozruk will execute two self buffs: Elementium Spike Shield and Elementium Bulwark. The Spike Shield primarily places a stacking DoT on Melee and Tanks (although, in theory, anyone could run in and get it), as they attack which will break them out of the spell by default while doing periodic damage (do try to not let this stack too high), so, in theory, as long as your Ranged DPS and Healers stay at 16 yards +, they never need to worry about the Shatter... but then you take full Paralyze damage which also starts to add up... This is where Elementium Bulwark comes in - casters of both the DPS and Healy varieties can take advantage of this spell reflect to cast one of their own (softly hitting), DoTs on themselves to break the Paralyze and mitigate the damage. This is especially handy for Healers because now they can keep healing through the Paralyze instead of watching everyone slowly tick down from the various DoTs that are eating away at them.

The mechanics now covered a bit, this is the sequence you're going to see on heroic: Paralyze (a big green cloud from the boss) -> Casting Shatter (everyone within 15 yards needs to get out now). The Tank needs to execute this while remembering two things: running wildly away from Healers is going to end badly when they're Paralyzed so they can't follow quickly and, secondly, when they pick the boss back up they need to have him facing such that he's not risking a Ground Slam at the party.

As such, properly controlling Ozruk's positioning makes this a very Tank dependent fight; doubly so once you hit 25% health and Ozruk enrages to gain a 50% damage buff. That's a good time to Hero/BL/TW and try to end that phase as quick as possible although don't get cocky - sitting in for a shatter because you're "almost there" is a good way to wipe if you miss the goal posts.

With Ozruk down, your final loving caresses of death will come from High Priestess Azil.

As you pull Azil, you'll enter the first phase of this fight during which there are three mechanics you primarily need to pay attention too. Firstly, small packs of Devout Followers will run in during her ground phase but these are easily managed by the tank and AoE splash damage off the boss if you don't simply run them through Gravity Wells. That is her second ability and is cast on a specific player with a very "traditional" circular purple glowing void zone mechanic; these circles should be cleared before they form into the Wells in question. Unlike other void zones, these can be used to kill these adds and it can be a good idea to have people stand such that you end up building a "wall" of them to eat the much larger packs of Devout Followers that will spawn in her second phase. Her last ability in this phase is Force Grip which she will channel cast on a specific player and does up to 100K damage if allowed to run it's full course. This spell is completely interruptible so this should be done ASAP when cast to minimize damage done.

At the end of each ground phase, Azil will cast Energy Shield, knocking back and dealing 15K damage to anyone within 5 yards, and proceed to fly back up over her alter. Now, two large packs of ~13 Devout Followers will begin charging the room and your "wall" of gravity circles should be abused as much as possible to eat these and keep them manageable. Otherwise, pick them up and burn them down. While you do this, Azil will begin throwing boulders at you with Seismic Shard. Targeting the area where a player was standing, you'll see a dust cloud start rising from the earth where this stone will be thrown and everyone should clear this area or... guess what? You're dead.... As such, dodging those stones takes priority here. After up to 3 waves of adds, Azil will rejoin the fight and you'll return to phase one. Be prepared to interrupt Force Grip as she has a tendency to cast this shortly upon return.

Cycle through ground, air, ground, air, ground and you should be done here... hopefully without too much of a repair bill.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DGtCDB: Lost City of Tol'Vir

Here's my favourite instance. It's short and sweet while the bosses are interesting enough that you can't really fall asleep on it.

We begin our trip at General Husam who has three main fight mechanics. Firstly, he will periodically pick up random players and toss them at the nearest of two pillars in the room. Healers will need to be aware of this and throw some quick heals at the target of this attack because they will be taking damage from the hit and then subsequent fall damage. This is the only non-avoidable source of damage for DPS and Heals on the fight and the ability of these two roles and the Tank to manage Husam's next two abilities will determine whether you're going to kill this boss or run your Healer out of mana in short order.

The simplest of the two remaining abilities is Husam's Shockwave attack. Similar to the Frost Giant from Nexus in LK, Husam will announce this attack, stand stationary and send out ground waves that shake the earth and spread away from him in the form of an X centred on himself. Don't remain standing on this ground - moving into the gaps between the X - because a few seconds later it's going to erupt in waves of spikes.

The one you need to be more careful of are the traps he will be periodically throwing down around the room. These Mystic Traps are brown circles with pulsing yellow centres - looking kinda like, and henceforth refered to as, Lemon Fruit Cremes - you want to avoid standing on these whenever possible, particularly as melee, because they will knockback anyone in their blast radius (which, like the mine field in Storm Peaks, can have really bad chaining side effects if you're unlucky), and do noticeable damage. Occasionally Husam will cast Detonate Traps and these Lemon Fruit Cremes will start emitting large yellow circles around themselves. At this point, you need to clear yourself from these circles - quickly - because they're going to explode and hit anything within their radius. While one is survivable if you're at good health, finding yourself in two or more of these Traps blast radius will basically one shot you and eating even one is going to consume a decent amount of healer mana to patch you up. So, when these start glowing you should be looking for a safe place to stand and getting there.

A couple further notes for the tank on this fight:

1: Somehow the idea got out there that it's a good idea to try and "pillar hump", as they say in Arenas, with this boss. This is a bad idea because it does two things that make the fight much more difficult than it need be; frequently Line of Sights your healer so they can't patch you up easily or efficiently while chasing you around and, even worse, ends up dropping Lemon Fruit Centres all around the pillar you're humping. That last one quickly becomes fatal once the boss starts throwing people at the pillar and they begin landing.... on a pile of mines. Don't do this and, in fact, considering that point you should maintain some distance between the boss and pillar instead.

2: Once you're comfortable with the fight, you really don't need to kite him constantly nor, really, all over the place. Learn to watch for how heavy the mine concentration around you is getting, whether or not the melee have room to work around him, and whether you can exit during the detonate phase without having to run through a ton of mine zones yourself. By moving with judgement and keeping the boss more stationary, your caster DPS and Healers will be able to work more efficiently (from both a DPS and Mana standpoint), because they're not forced to chase you around casting instants.

Next on this adventure is Lockjaw and Augh. On Heroic this is a two part fight but on either mode you can cheese the mechanics for the Lockjaw part (for the moment at least), by having everyone standing atop the two Crocodile statues at the far end of the room. This completely mitigates Lockjaw's primary mechanic Scent of Blood which places a bleed DoT upon a player and causes periodic spawns of little crocodiles to seek out that player and start chomping on them; doing both bite damage and increasing the strength of the DoT. While you'd traditionally have the target of that attack move to the tank so he can pull all these adds off them, by standing on the Crocodiles the adds will simply stand at their spawn points and twiddle their thumbs and can be completely ignored. That said, standing up there until 20 spawn and having melee drop down to pull the adds over for everyone to AoE down is also the easiest way to get Acrocalypse Now done if you're chasing achieves.

During the Lockjaw part, Augh will periodically throw a poison dart at a random player and whirlwind through the room. Dispel the poison DoT from the dart ASAP if possible 'cause this is cheaper than healing through it and, as usual, don't stand in the Whirlwinds. If you're fighting Lockjaw on the ground, Melee should also be aware of his Dust Flail ability that throws up dust to his rear, doing both damage and reducing your chance to hit while in it.

At 25%, Lockjaw will enrage. Tanks/Healers should be prepared to use cooldowns here to keep up with the damage but Druids can Soothe this enrage off and should do so where possible to make this phase more manageable; especially if you're juggling the adds. Presumably other classes that can cancel enrages can do so as well.

Once you kill Lockjaw on Heroic, back away from the Temple entrance towards the stairs down into the area because now you're going to have to fight Augh and backing off will give you time to heal up and drink before pulling him. This is essentially just a tank and spank phase as Augh is really simple. He will periodically start whirlwinding towards a random target: run away. He'll keep throwing Poison Darts at people: handle as within the first phase. Finally, he'll periodically smoke bomb, stunning the melee and making him harder to hit while in it: move him out. Wash, rinse, repeat steps, collect loot.

Our third participant at this party is High Prophet Barim. He's mechanically simple but is a pretty solid Healer and DPS test because of his second phase. To open, you're going to Tank Barim while he executes two primary mechanics. Firstly, he's going to pick a target and cast Sun Fire on them. Don't stand in the flashing light. Secondly, he's going to spawn a Phoenix that does AoE damage to anything in proximity as long as it's up. Because of this, it's best to have Ranged kite and "kill" this mob. I say "kill" because what will happen is that that the Phoenix will return to it's egg and keep healing. At this point, you can either damage the egg to keep it from hatching again or go back to the boss. To be honest? Just go back to the boss. His final minor mechanic is Plague of Ages, a disease DoT that will hop around the party if not dispelled away from everyone.

At 50% Barim's going to start his second phase by stunning everyone, spawning a huge white circle, sucking everyone into it, and then throwing everyone away from him (and out of the circle), into a Shadow World. Note one: this huge white circle is now a void zone; don't go back into it. Note two: Barim is now no longer attackable until you kill the Harbinger of Darkness shadow Phoenix that will spawn to exit the phase. Sounds simple, right? Well... it is as long as you're geared well enough to manage the rest of the mechanics here.

Firstly, as long as you're in this phase you're taking AoE shadow damage so you want to kill the Harbinger as quickly as possible (the DPS check), to keep your healer from running dry (the Healing Check). Complicating this is everyone's favourite mechanic from the first boss in Forge of Souls: people spawning shadow images of themselves that empower/heal the boss if they get to them. This time called Soul Sever, the target of this will get a nice purple V arrow on their head and will shortly spawn the add. If these adds reach the Harbinger they increase it's damage output by 20% each time which will quickly overwhelm the healer if you allow too many to reach the Phoenix. There are two ways to deal with this, either kiting the boss away from these or nuking them quick, and how you attack it is really up to you. Although, if you're finding that phase is taking too long you may find that you've no choice but to kite and keep DPS on the boss as long as possible. This phase is also a good time to Hero/Bloodlust/Timewarp if you're having problems getting through it. Although, you should be aware that you'll be either waiting or denying yourself the ability for the last phase of Siamat if you do. Finally, the Harbinger will periodically spawn ground fire. Don't stand in fire.

If you can successfully clear this phase by killing the Harbinger, you'll be pulled back into the "Real World" by Barim and can finish him off in what essentially amounts to a repeat of Phase 1.

With Barim down, you move directly to the final boss of this instance: Siamat. An even larger DPS and Healing check than Barim, Siamat is a two phase fight as well.

To open, Siamat will shield and spawn three waves of adds consisting of one to two caster adds (Minion) and one melee add (Servant). Tanks should prioritize picking up the Servant as quickly as it spawns because it hits hard. DPS can pick up the Minions, who don't melee for much, and kill them quick while staying spread out because they will chain lightning the party; this cast can and should be interrupted as much as possible to minimize incoming damage. You should also try and kill Minions off to the side because they will spawn green whirling void zones where they die. Servants are interesting on heroic because they cast an ability called Lightning Charge as they die. This ability does moderate damage to any one it hits and places a buff on them that increases their damage done by 10% and haste by 10% but also increases their damage taken by 33% and can stack 3 times. While this can make life on this fight much easier from a DPS standpoint, it's going to make life hell for the Healer in phase 2 because Siamat is going to start chaining energy streams on everyone. How many stacks of this you want to pick up, if any, largely depends on your Healer's ability to get through the increased damage taken in phase 2 and whether or not your DPS can compensate regardless.

Once you get through the three waves, Siamat will drop his shield and the final phase will begin. this is a straight up burn phase with a couple things too consider. First, as mentioned, Siamat will begin casting Palpatine-esque lightning at everyone in the room which establishes the soft enrage for this boss - you must kill him before your Healer can't heal anymore. Bunching up for AoE healing would be optimal but, complicating this, is that Minions will continue to be spawned throughout this phase and their Chain Lightning will add to the damage output. Kill them, remembering to do so away from the boss and/or to move the boss away from the void zone that will spawn when the Minion dies as well as to interrupt that cast as much as possible. If you let these Minions run wild, the combination of their damage and Siamat's will run the Healer dry very quickly so, as much as a priority killing him is, don't forget them; especially early into the phase and definitely so if you've let the Servant buff stack to 3. You don't want to be getting chained from Siamat and the Minion with a 100% damage taken buff on yourself.

All that said, execute appropriately, and you'll quickly find Siamat lying before you with sexy loot for you to wear as you head for the door.