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.

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