Posted in Battle for Azeroth

The Eternal Palace

Ominous entrance

On Sunday we ended up killing Azshara first try after some rough sub-one-percent wipes on Thursday and it was a very nice feeling even though it would’ve been even nicer to kill her already on Thursday since I think we would have ended around top 10 world at that point.

This kill was immediately followed by clearing The Eternal Palace on normal as well as reclearing once again Battle of Dazar’alor for the mount from Jaina, all in all a rather impressive set of farm achieved on one raid evening which took me somewhat by surprise but I guess should have been expected with our quick progress in the “pleb”-raid on Friday where we managed to clear normal as well as several bosses on heroic with alts as well as the greatly increased damage from the essences.

Arakkoa tanking in the alt raid

The raid in general is rather fun, though the last two bosses, Za’qul and Azshara, have me worrying somewhat for the more casual players since they again seem to be somewhat complex fights with several phases and a ton to learn. That said, they will now have the advantage of a big item level increase through the new raid that they did not receive in Crucible of Storms which might prove enough to make this raiding experience smoother as well as my perspective on the whole thing being rather far away from their experiences so such troubles are hard for me to predict.

That aside, I did find the Azshara fight rather fun though somewhat boring as a healer until the last phase with not much damage coming in before that. There are a decent amount of mechanics to think about, among them the decrees and mind control which I think nicely show some of the personality of Azshara—being so certain in her position as a queen as to commandeer people who are not her subjects, as well as being able to charm almost anyone to do her bidding—as well as the wards which we need to maintan in order to keep the water from killing us. With how the tuning was on heroic however, it does make me curious how many wipes we will end up seeing on mythic since I think we had much less trouble with Jaina on heroic than Azshara and Jaina was 300+ pulls—on the other hand, for Uu’nat we went in on heroic without any idea what to do while almost completely ignoring mechanics and killed him on the first try, and yet on mythic he was 300+ pulls as well, so maybe that’s no indication.

As for the rest of the bosses, my thoughts from the PTR mostly stand, with the exception of Orgozoa who proved much easier on live than there as well as Za’qul who didn’t have quite the one-shot potential with his fears on live as he did on the PTR making the fight much more manageable—of course, that is partially down to our gear level on live as compared to the PTR, so this might be much more difficult with less gear. Also, the Blackwater Behemoth is still a poorly executed environment, with not being able to eat under water preventing the group from properly recovering from a wipe as well as buffing up, that really needs to be fixed in some sensible manner though the fight itself seems fine now.

Cabal, take two

This reset we ended up taking a poke at the Restless Cabal on mythic again, since apparently there is some desire to kill the bosses in Crucible of Storms again even though the original plan was to only kill them once each—the changed plan seems to have to do with some nice tank trinkets among other things.

Now going back was really interesting, since while the encounter is somewhat simple on the surface, there were still a ton of details that we had collectively forgotten not having played the boss since our first kill probably a month or so ago. Small things like exact timings of abilities, when to use which cooldowns and who needs some extra attention when the explosions come and they have the stacking debuff, when to dispel the debuffs in order to keep everyone alive while optimising the amount of damage they can do. So there was a lot more detail to the fight than I even considered during progress that kind of just came naturally at the time but needed to be quickly relearned now in “farm”.

It was actually really fun to see how much complexity was actually in the fight that had been forgotten, especially since once we did have the boss down and the few trys before that it had all become so routine as to feel trivial. That actually meant that even though we “wasted” almost three ours of farm on killing just the one boss, I actually still had a decent amount of time that evening even though that ended up being all we did. It was just nice to have some change from Battle of Dazar’alor since while sure, we have been doing a lot more Crucible than Battle lately we have still farmed Battle a lot more.

Still, we are only killing Cabal this reset and extending next reset in order to rekill Uu’nat, probably because they don’t want to risk us not finishing Battle for Dazar’alor—even though we managed that today and we still had plenty of time over in addition to an extra raid day—as well as probably keeping with tradition of shorter raid weeks during farm so they don’t want us to spend all of our raid days in Crucible of Storms. It’ll be interesting to see Uu’nat again next week, it’ll be a shorter time difference from the first kill but it will still be a good three weeks or so in between since the plan seems to be to try to do him on Sunday instead of earlier in the reset.

On a separate note, with 8.2 being a Release Candidate on the PTR I’m curious to see how long it’ll be until the next content release, rumour has it Patch 8.2 will be dropping on the 26th of June and with there being a two week off-season it stands to reason that the raid will become available two weeks after the patch which would give us only three weeks of farm remaining before the raid. It also means that it is rather unlikely that the Hall of Fame will end up being filled on Alliance side, for Crucible that is. I’m curious to see how Blizzard will handle that, simply having less than 100 guilds in there since I’m assuming Cutting Edge is going away with the release of the new raid and so far that has been a prerequisite to earn the tile from participating in a Hall of Fame kill. It also would make little sense to be able to still earn the title with potentially much more gear available from the new raid so interesting to see where that goes.

If the Hall of Fame doesn’t end up being filled, that will both definitely show the poor state Alliance PVE is—outside of the MDI at least, but those are premade characters—as well as the brutal difficulty of this raid with so few guilds managing to get Cutting Edge. It’s strange really, personally the fights don’t seem that difficult anymore but to be fair we had a pretty decent learning curve on them with over 300 wipes on each boss so maybe a lot of guilds just don’t have the time to do that because they might still be progressing in Battle of Dazar’alor? It’s a strange circumstance, but kind of cool to see some more limited content again even though it does unfortunately mean that fewer people can participate. I’m looking forward to seeing the final numbers on all of that, could it even end up being the raid with the fewest Cutting Edge guilds so far?