We took a poke at Operation: Mechagon yesterday on the PTR and it was a surpising amount of fun—especially since the tuning on some of the abilities is a bit extreme yet. We didn’t get to start quite from the beginnging since some people in the run had already killed the first couple of bosses and we also had the small extra challenge of doing the third and fourth boss on hard mode since they had begun that sequence—this made the encounters a bit more interesting though the hard mode mechanic didn’t seem that bad though it did mean I needed to play my druid instead of my priest which made the healing requirement at times more challenging since I have less experience healing with the druid and timers aren’t available yet so it was rather difficult to try to predict when the damage would come.
The first boss we fought was King Gobbamak. The boss fight seems to normally be fairly straightforward with some players needing to stand in the tank hit to split the damage as well as get charged so they can run to the pylons that stand around the boss area and charge them so that they kill the adds that the boss continually spawns. What made this fight more interesting for us was partially the hard mode—additional adds get spawned that follow the players and leave goop on the ground that kills you very quickly. These adds were also the reason we wanted a druid with mass entanglement. But the really difficult part was the area damage that the boss periodically does, stomping the ground and dealing heavy damage to the group along with rocks that fall one-shotting players. We actually two healed this boss at least for those damage phases since they ended up being just too much for my druid without the ability to predict them accurately.
That kind of was the whole fight though, kite the boss around the room due to the bots and activate the pylons. Somewhat simple but a relatively hard healing check at the moment—I’m guessing that will be nerfed before the dungeon goes live, but on the other hand it will be much easier to manage with proper timers so maybe it isn’t necessary.
HK-8 Aerial Oppression Unit
Next came the Aerial Oppression Unit, the boss that activates the hardmode on the three previous bosses and killing them on hard mode makes this one activate its hardmode as well. Though now that I think about it, I’m not sure if we played this one on hardmode or not, since I don’t actually know if they played all the three previous bosses on hardmode or not and I did not pay attention to the name of the add.
Anyway, this boss begins with just an add on the ground being attackable and you can’t leave a circle around this add or you get ported back in. During this phase the bots describe by King Gobbamak spawn again and follow players as well as bombardements going through the middle of the circle. The phase was rather trivial for the most part with not overly much going on as long as one managed the bots well—again, this is why I was on my druid.
After this add gets killed, the Aerial Oppression Unit starts channeling and a tesla coil activates on one of the platforms on either side of the entrance. This tesla coil needs to be activated to interrupt the channel from the Unit however the way to there is trapped and you still have the bots that should not be kited up there so I rooted the bots one last time before we went up.
There are three types of traps: smaller bots that teleport you to the beginning of the maze; vents that electrify and stun you for five seconds as well as a rotating thingymajigg that also teleports you to the beginning. This part is fairly straightforward though you do have to try to be as quick as possible and the vents aren’t always overly clear as to when it is safe to go over them—recommend waiting until they activate and then going over quickly. We did also find that it was actually possible to avoid the first set of traps by just going around the edge but this was very fragile and somewhat risky so not sure I recommend that though it does cut down on the time significantly—I’m also expecting this be patched away before the dungeon goes live but you never know.
After the tesla coil is activated the Unit stops channeling and falls down to the ground and takes double damage for 20 maybe 30 seconds—didn’t look at the time of the debufff that exactly. After the debuff expires it flys up and you start from phase one again with the add on the ground. We needed two activations of the tesla coil to kill the boss and more than that might put undue stress on either healer mana or just the risk that more mistakes get made since the intermissions are somewhat dangerous if they take too long. Still, it was a fun fight and was fun to see more mechanics and phases on a dungeon boss again.
After that you start going into the actual Mechagon complex and are met with the Tussle Tonks. This fight consists of two bosses, a big bot and a tank. The tank follows a random player, occasionally charges another random player and knocks them back as well as rarely doing very heavy area damage made worse by the arena actually being rather large and us being somewhat spread out so it was at times difficult to have everyone in range of area heals.
The bot on the other hand starts with three stacks of extra armour reducing damage taken by 99%. The tank needs to kite the bot to one of the hammers that are around the arena in order to remove one of the stacks—it bugged out for us though and the first hammer immediately removed two stacks which was convenient. The bot also occasionally does a whirvelwind attack which the melees need to watch out for as well as spawning mines.
The third enemy in this fight is actually the arena which occasionally spawns sawblades in a few different patterns as well as those hammers mentioned earlier—I belive they can also hit players if you are positioned poorly.
All in all the fight was relatively trivial outside of the area damage of the tank since few abilities did significant damage and the arena was probably a bit too big to make dodging some of the mechanics difficult as it was rather easy to spread out or simply stand so that you never got hit by the sawblades. The idea is neat but probably still needs some tuning.
After defeating the Tonks you get thrown down into the garbage disposal of Mechagon—some reward for winning the fight. Here was some rather nasty trash that had a rather significant area explosion on death that can be avoided through line of sight—would recommend this since we did have some deaths due to these explosions.
After the trash you finde a cute mechanical dog by the name of K.U.-J.0. and it is the next boss. The fight was actually even more simple than the previous one unfortunately. The boss has four main mechanics: a very heavy damage over time effect on the tank that needs to be dispelled immediately since the damage it does is completely overtuned—luckily it comes seldom enough that you always have dispel ready; secondly crates fall on players at increasingly frequent intervalls, these simply need to be dodged; the boss also heats up and does heavy area damage which needs to be avoided through line of sight—in other words, hide behind the crates though move away from them afterwards since they will explode; and finally the boss charges random players and does moderate damage.
And that’s the fight. We had one wipe because I underestimated the damage from the tank debuff and didn’t dispel it immediately—at the time I also didn’t know how often it stacked so I wanted to see if the tank survives until the second stack—but after that we killed the boss easily. Not every boss can be difficult but it felt a bit strange to have two easy bosses after two hard ones.
This is were the dungeon gets a bit annoying and puzzle-y. First there is a loading belt pushing you back while you need to dodge flame jets, not really difficult but a bit annoying especially since the belt isn’t that wide—here again you could avoid the pushback through going right on the edge but I did not even end up trying that since the belt was already narrow enough.
Second comes a stealth section where you instantly get teleported to the beginning if you fail and if you wipe on the next boss—Machinist’s Garden—you have to both of these again though you can disable the flame jets. Now neither of these two sections were difficult just something that you needed to do calmly which can be annoying after a wipe—luckily we didn’t have many of those on the next boss. However, these will be very annoying once the dungeon gets turned into a mythic+ dungeon since you are under time pressure to do them quickly however this makes you much more likely to fail and the whole group suffers from individual fails in the sense that they need to wait for individual players. It is cool that Blizzard at times does something different with dungeons but these sections just don’t really fit into mythic+ unfortunately.
The boss however was, again, not overly interesting—I’m getting the feeling that only the overtuned/hardmode bosses really were interesting for us. Was mostly just dodge the flamethrowers that spawn in the middle and go around the room, kill the small plants that shoot at random players before they kill the player. I actually can’t recall any other mechanics though I’m pretty sure there were others—we did kill the boss with two dead players so it wasn’t exactly trivial just felt a bit uninspired from a mechanics point of view somehow. Though I guess having a mechanical garden that turns out to be deadly is as a concept interesting but it might just be more difficult to turn that into memorable mechanics.
Now, the final boss King Mechagon. This was actually a rather cool proper two phase fight with a decent duration.
The boss flies on a small machine reminiscent of something like Mimiron’s Head. During this phase the boss regularily targets one player with a Giga-Zap which does heavy damage and leaves a nasty dot. For this players need to be a bit spread out so that two players don’t get hit—getting hit a second time from the zap is deadly since the debuff also doubles the damage received.
There are also small stationary bots around the room that deal ticking damage to players around them, the boss regularily recalibrates these causing them to move to a new position as well as dealing damage to players on their way there.
Finally, the boss occasionally flies into the air and stars bombarding the ground with a laser following one player. This deals deadly damage if you stand in the laser and moderate-heavy damage to the whole group—as a healer, pay special attention to the player that still has the debuff from the zap since they will die quickly if not healed.
After the boss mocks you for only disposing of a piece of furniture—his flying machine—he jumps into a big robot suit on the far side of the room from the entrance. As the flying machine is broken he will no longer fly into the air but the two other abilities from phase one are empowered, the small bots now constantly fly to new positions and the Giga-Zap is now considerably wider and is cast three times in a row each time on a new player.
The boss also periodically throws a magnet into the room, which sucks all the small bots into one spot, dealing area damage to the whole group which gets reduce the farther away you are.
The King jumps out of the big mecha suit and melee attacks the tank. No mechanics, just kill him—a bit like the last boss of The MOTHERLODE!!!.
All in all, this fight doesn’t have that many mechanics however the tuning of those mechanics—especially the Giga-Zap in combination with the area damage—still makes it rather challenging to heal. This also made it for me at least the most mechanically interesting fight in the dungeon, since it was all healable without timers but you still needed to be on your toes the whole time and anticipate potential sources of damage the whole time. The intervals of the mechanics was also fast paced enough to keep the fight interesting the whole time—a fitting end to the dungeon.
I find the dungeon to be rather fun, though there are some parts I already see being very annoying once it becomes available on mythic+. Still, as it is it does give something of that raid feeling in a five player group and as such I think Blizzard has succeeded with their goal and I’m sure the few tuning issues there were will be fixed before the dungeon gets released on live realms. It was also really fun going in and poking on a dungeon beforehand, getting a early look at the abilities similar to how it felt doing the raid on the PTR. Learning by doing is afterall much more fun than just watching guides of other people doing it.
So, go do the dungeon once it comes out, seemed fun!