Yesterday we went ahead and cleared Operation: Mechagon on the live realms with hardmode and it was quite the contrast compared to the PTR experience, feeling somewhat easy even though we had the hardmode active which we didn’t for the most part on the PTR.
The biggest change I noticed was by King Gobbamak where the damage from the quake he does had been heavily reduced, not really even needing healing to keep anyone from dying as long as nobody got hit—still a good idea to top up the group but not nearly as intensive as on the PTR. The trash before King Mechagon had a similar nerf, where it still does significant damage but is much more surivable without instant reaction from the healer or using the absorb shields from the other adds.
Another interesting thing was the hardmode on K.U.-J.0., where you get a stacking slow debuff which ends you at 80% reduced movement speed. Since the fight is rather dependant on being able to spread apart as well as line of sight the boss, this proved somewhat tricky to work around though there was a nice corner to the left of the boss’ spawn—when you are looking at him standing in the room—where it was rather easy to do. With weaker gear or less damage I would think this might still prove somewhat tricky though, we didn’t need to play the movement mechanics overly much since we were able to kill the boss fairly quickly.
Finally, the big challenge came by King Mechagon himself, where the hardmode actually caused us a fair amount of wipes since the timing for it is somewhat brutal. The hardmode activates a instakill mechanic on the boss that charges up (down?) with time, the energy bar of the extra boss serving as a timer and the mechanic firing when the bar gets depleted. This happens fairly quickly, however it can be stalled with the interruption sequence. This flashes on the skulls on the side of the room when the cannon is at 35 energy and the buttons become clickable at 10-15 energy or so giving your group approximately 5 seconds to enter the correct sequence to prevent a wipe.
We solved this by giving each of the buttons a world mark and assiging one of the damage dealers and the healer to one of the buttons, then having them call out their world mark color after they had pressed the button to inform the next one that it was their turn. We also had a dedicated player watch the sequence and call it, so the rest could keep focused on mechanics—in phase one this was the tank since they had a good view of the buttons and didn’t need to focus on the other mechanics as much, in phase two one of the melees was responsible for calling this since they needed to move away from the boss anyway in order to arrive at the button in time. This worked well though it required some practise since the timing was really tight. I’m curious if an addon ends up being developed for this, since communicating it through voice almost felt too slow with very little room for error which I feel might be a bit too punishing on more casual groups which I feel should be able to complete this boss at some point.
Overall, the dungeon was fun and I look forward to seeing it on mythic+ at some point as well as maybe trying for the no-death achievement there apparently is rewarding rank four of the Mechagon essence, which is good since in the meantime I will probably need to run the dungeon a few times in order to unlock the previous ranks of the essenece since I think it could end up being rather good for some fights or mythic+.