Thursday, 20 January 2011

Lost: One City of the Tol’vir, if found, please return to…

My most popular post by far, to date, has been my recount of my first heroic journey into Stonecore; so in an attempt to push my readership firmly into the double figures mark on the way to achieving world dominance I thought I'd write a review of another instance. You never know I might even make it a weekly feature.

Into the instance and over the, pretty pointless, bridge you go. General convention seems to be to head to the right round to General Husam. I'm not sure why this is and it strikes me as being pretty leftyist, but I digress. The trash mobs generally come in small groups which can be crowd controlled, don't be lazy, if your group can CC them, then do CC them, they're still capable of wiping you if you get sloppy. Make sure you clear a little past Husam's cubby-hole as you'll need to be moving him around while fighting and you don't want uninvited guests crashing the party.

General Husam

Let me state upfront, this fight is really, really, easy if your party has mastered the use of the W,S,A & D keys (with the possible addition of Q & E) combined with a little bit of awareness of what's going on around you. Sadly it seems that a large proportion of the population of WoW is deficient in at least one of these qualities so the fight can become a bit of a drag.

The main crux of this fight is a modification of my first rule of Cata Heroics "don't stand in the crap on the floor or you'll die". Husam shows complete contempt for the Ottawa Treaty and not only continues to stockpile landmines, but also deploys them at regular intervals. He places these mines at reasonably regular intervals around the area he's being tanked, you're safe to stand near these mines (for the moment) but if you stand on them they go bang. Now this has a couple of effects; firstly, as you might expect, it hurts; secondly it hurls you into the air generally causing you to detonate several other mines not only hurting yourself but also any of your team mates who were stood close to the said mine happily minding their own business; thirdly it really hacks off the healer. Now the second caveat to the rule is that after a number of these mines have been placed they will all explode together. They give you a nice little warning that they are about to explode by illuminating the blast radius in yellow on the floor around them. Make sure you're not stood in this.

The second ability to be aware of is the shockwave where he cracks the ground in a straight line outwards from his position; it's pretty slow moving and easily avoidable at the range a cloth wearing squishy should be (what do you mean you like the Tanks hand during a boss fight?). Just be careful you don't jump out of the frying pan into the, errr, mine, when doing so.

The real killer in this fight is the Bad Intentions ability, this will randomly pick a player (usually me) which he will charge, pick up, and throw against a nearby wall. This in itself isn't generally fatal, unless you're already low on health. However if you're unlucky (or me) there will be a mine at the bottom of this wall, as you slide down and land on it you're back to jumping between the yellow flashing things shouting ouch lots. If / when Husam decides he doesn't like you try and do whatever you can to mitigate damage through Dispersion, Power Word Shield, etc. don't just expect the healer to keep you up automatically. If you are the healer and someone else gets nailed shove some heals their way as a matter of urgency. Be careful not to sacrifice the tank, the final ability, Hammer Fist, can dish out the damage pretty quickly; Guardian Spirit is your friend here.

In quick summary; gear levels don't really matter here, it's all about positioning and awareness. People who are new to the place and have a bit of the grey matter will pick it up after a few attempts, perceiver with them till they get it. If you find yourselves continually wiping here with no improvement you'll struggle with the two final encounters in the instance.

Lockmaw and Aug

These two come as a pair but not together, it's Lockmaw first up, then Aug pop's in to say hi (technically Aug comes first but scarpers before you can tip him upside down and rinse him of his loot). This is a pretty easy encounter for priests and healing in my view, the only problems you'll have as a healer are if the DPS are stooped. As a shadow priest you're never stooped are you? No, good.

Rule 3 all the way here folks,"kill the adds please" randomly a player gets a scent of blood debuff which attracts tiny crocks. Pretty easy to deal with, but if your healer cops it you need to look out for them. Don't stand too close to each other, there's a poison debuff which I handy if someone can remove. If you're stupid enough to stand close enough to his rear end to be tail swiped please stop reading now, turn your computer off, and take it back to the shop.

Aug is a bit more involved so sit down and drink up, stick a new Lightwell down etc. His main threat to us squishies is the dragons breath which will disorient the dank for a few seconds causing him to jump to the second in the threat meter, combined with a spinny-whirly-gig thing he does slapping anything in his path. If you're lucky enough to have a portable vending machine in the group, especially one spec'd fire, he'll almost certainly be higher in the agro stakes than you so will soon be smeared across the floor – just don't stand too close to him. As an aside he does a nasty poison debuff too which you should encourage people to remove if possible – the damage is nasty enough but more importantly it cripples the recipients haste.

Neither the croc nor the pigmy should pose you too much trouble.

High Prophet Barim

This, in my view, is the hardest boss in here. Make sure you've buffed shadow protection before the fight. As DPS it's all about following my rules of engagement… do that and you're on to a winner. As a healer it's highly mana intensive, the Tank is going to get spanked hard, if one or both of you are under geared have a chat beforehand an agree how to utilise your cooldowns for the 50 lashings ability. There's a nasty disease that should be dispelled if at all possible especially if you're shadow and not struggling for mana or trying to keep the Tank alive. Keep out of the swirly vortex jobby, it hurts. There's also a golden phoenix spawns, kill it please.

At 50% health phase 2 starts, be prepared to crack out an AOE heal or two. Forget Barim, he's immune to damage. The tank needs to kite the purple phoenix away from the shards which spawn; ideally you don't want any to come into contact with the phoenix at all. Whether you're healing or DPSing watch out for the circles of crap on the floor and move out of them, they hurt. Once the phoenix is dead its back to the phase 1 abilities, make sure the tanks HP is topped up if you're healing, if you get a lashing early on it'll kill him.

The difficulty in this fight is all in the mechanics, there's so much going on for all of the classes; it's easy to panic and get things wrong. Stupidity = lots of damage = healer oom = squashed tank. Do what you can to avoid damage, help mitigate damage by curing disease where possible), keep away from the adds. You'll generally find you wipe lots here to start with, and lots if you have one or two inexperienced party members. If you have a good group it's quite an enjoyable fight.

Top tip: if it's looking like you'll need to pop Hymn of Hope. Do it early so it's not still on cooldown for the next boss.


This is a pretty straight forward fight, pay attention to the adds, the ones which are top priority are the Servants, the others can be 'kited' (more ignored than kited but someone needs to keep interrupting them) or killed, I prefer the latter. Keep a reasonable distance to avoid the chain lightning and stay out of the whirly crap.

While the servants are still up Siamat has a shield which absorbs a high proportion of damage, so the auto-shooting hunter really does need to swap to the adds or his precious dps figures will dwindle… When the shield drops ignore the Minions completely and blast away. If you're DPSing here you should save your cooldowns for this part. Healing you'll need to employ AOE as there's a lot of party damage.

Job Done. Have a biscuit!

Mystic's black book says:

HusamDon't stand on mines

Move to safety before detonate
AOE heals after detonate

Big heal on player who gets grabbed

Shield yourself if you get grabbed
Disperse / shield yourself if grabbed
LockmawKeep distance from party membersEasy healing

Look after player with debuff

Fade to avoid adds
DPS adds
AugAvoid spinning AOEAOE heal after boss spinStraight DPS
BarimMove out of fire

Move out of Light

Avoid Purple Phoenix
Heavy healing on tank

Needs Big AOE heals

On phase change

Mana intensive – conserve mana where possible
DPS Adds
SiamatSpread out a little

Avoid winds
AOE Heals to top up groupDPS Servants first

Don't dps him with shield up


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