With Hellfire Citadel already breathing in our face, let’s see what we were doing in raids for the latest months. I’m willing to talk about Blackrock Foundry.
While Highmaul was very diverse and many forces collided there, Blackrock Foundry can boast its unity. Blackhand doesn’t let you forget that it’s his domain, shouting orders or at least mentioned in each and every wing. It’s the true plant facility, where victory (lol) is forged and all the wings work in unison.
This unity may have easily been a drawback, cause the design is also unique. All you meet is different variations of red, fiery and black armor clad orcs and bloodred magnarons in hot tight caves. To our surprise, it doesn’t feel boring even a single time, and the reason is the perfect design of encounters.
Which reminds of…
Many encounters do NOT resemble the ordinary “massive fire breath/scream raid AoE” and “pile up to divide the damage”. What is unique about Foundry is that you must constantly move, and many abilities depend on how YOU! personally YOU cope with them.
In fact, Blizzard managed to make the boss encounters feel like massive beat-em up games, only it’s 24 friends playing, not two.Those of us old enough to remember NES and Sega consoles easily recall this or that moments:
- A rolling boss you must avoid
- Incoming trains with next pack of
Footsoldiers you must defeat
- Something you must blow with bombs to release a boss
- Goddamn conveyor belts!
…and many more.
What adds to the feeling is that most bosses are hardly bigger than the players – like bosses in old console games too. The heavy bulk of Kromog is as rare exception as some never-moving Mother Alien which will take half of screen. And the amount of soldier packs feels like beat em ups as well.
My favourite bosses from BRF
- Iron Maidens – for the sake of flying to the ship (always do) and flawless avoiding of other abilities.
- Kromog – I like the “hand” mechanics and mastered it, although I don’t like the restof the fight.
- Ka’graz – just like everything from the boss.
- Blackhand – the second phase. The rest are too uneasy for my melee fighters, but cool for the ranged.
- Blast Furnace – is amazing with all the correct target selection.
- Tho’gar – is a mess, but with my good ranged AoEers it’s a mere pleasure.
With all the mistakes made by Blizzard throughout the expansion, we must admit that raids were done top notch. I liked Highmaul and I’m positively surprised how same, damn hot, claustrophobic caves with orcs and magnarons only feel fun and different to run and run the raid over and over again with alt toons.
The only drawback is music: it’s chaotic during the raid and never refers to what’s going on. Why did they do that? Couldn’t they compose a special raid theme?.. That destroys the involvement like hell.
Obivously Hellfire Citadel is gonna be more like “normal” Warcraft raids – the mechanics sound interesting and I crave to try it. But I still have many runs through BRF to complete Epic Rings from my toons – and frankly, I would have 4 more weeks of raiding it now :)