The new wing is the first raid wing in WoW history where players try on skins of opposite faction. For now it’s the Horde in Alliance skins, and in two weeks it will be the time of the Alliance to try on red colors.
Obviously the raid is given from the Alliance point of view, so I’ll speak first about Empire’s Fall, and then mention its differences from Death Bargain.
We pick up from the Grong platform, and fight our way to the pyramid itself where Mekkatorque’s mecha blasts a hole. Few enforcers on the way are suppressed easily, and we delve into the royal treasury to meet our first boss – Opulence.
The encounter is simple enough. The two guardian constructs lure the players through identical passages – make sure to divide in roughly equal groups. Anyways, the guardians share health, so it’s not that vital to have equal DPS. On guardian phase just make sure to follow them into the next room at the same moment it becomes possible and don’t stand in the bad.
There are also buffing gems in the room before last – make sure you know which to take beforehand, because in-game description doesn’t tell this. Micromantica grabbed shadow resistance – I guess it’s something for tanks, Kargash was lucky to get a 2% damage buff – this one is definitely a DPS one.
Guardians defeated, we fight Opulence straight away. The only thing worth mentioning is adds which spawn by the boss in the middle and start crawling to the sides. Pick your AoE and have fun!
The design is great, and the encounter is quite fun. Oh! Also Opulence shatters after defeat, and in addition to normal loot you get to loot the gold piles for expensive straight-to-vendor treasures! As a bonus, you get Gallywix’ whining about how Alliance doesn’t appreciate gold.
The next part is ascending towards the loa sanctuary where you fight a Klaxxi-Paragon-style boss, the loa priests. Like with Klaxxi in SoO, you fight several guys at once, but you should beat only one of them, because after a kill the other replennishes full health. The loa’s nasty abilities stay until the end of the fight, so when only fourth remains, you deal with four mechanics from different loa.
There was nothing complex about the boss – all the abilities are simple enough to avoid and cope with even without reading the manual. Just make sure you run TO pterrordax ghost to avoid AoE damage, not away.
We then ascend to Rastakhan’s throne room which we haven’t seen in-game yet. His golden seat in open world is obviously a thing for visitors, an outdoor residence, while this one is a proper throne room, a great and majestic hall.
The encounter starts with defeating his bodyguard, a berserk troll. A properly skilled group may even manage to do it before Rastakhan even joins the fight. Then Rastakhan calls in Bwonsamdi. Bwonsamdi should be tanked away, as he is invincible, and all the rest pour their damage into the king. By the middle of the fight Bwonsamdi drags random players to the spirit world where we must take off half of Bwonsamdi’s health, avoiding multiple rolling death balls – the most annoying thing if you’re a caster. I can’t tell what happens in real world, because both of my runs I was dragged there. And then… Bwonsamdi just gets tired. He throws the players into the real world, and sits on the throne, just observing how we finish the king.
It’s a betrayal right away! The loa is sneaky, he thinks that dealing with Talanji will be more fun, so he just lets the king to be killed – no matter he helped him first.
I’ve expected the fight to be hard, but really it’s a mannequin with minor positioning issues.
The Alliance doesn’t get any cinematic (because they obviously run for their lives by the time when Talanji arrives). But they have their final campaign quest completed, and participate in the council by Proudmoore Keep.
They hope to end the war in a matter of weeks – with Rastakhan dead, and most of Zandalari fleet destroyed, they could be no match for Kul Tirans. It’s a sad victory though, Mekkatorque lost in action (at least no one knows how to bring him back from stasis coma), Jaina severely wounded, many lives lost (all the Nazmir war party), and all of the participants are very somber.
There are no flags or celebrations. They acknowledge that the Banshee is the only reason for the war, and they want it to end asap to gain peace. Not even Genn or Jaina are voting bloodshed – as logical as it may be to press the attack with the full might of untouched Kul Tiran fleet now, all the Alliance leaders agree that it would be dishonorable to interrupt Zandalari mourning their fallen king.
The final hint to further events is Jaina asking Anduin about Calia Menethil and events at Arathi (described in the novel Before the Storm). They leave to discuss the matter in private.
Death Bargain: Horde’s Propaganda
The Horde’s version has minor but important tweaks. Essentially it’s an excellent example of war propaganda!
The players are clad in 7th Legion uniform – we don’t keep our transmogs. My demon hunter even kept one glaive, and in the other hand was some ugly axe. So they don’t come as heroes, but a regular army in the eyes of the defenders.
Second, the briefing Zandalari which tells the story, has her own comments in addition to the events, and they paint the Alliance black. Opulence is not a convenient way to the throne room, but apparently the Alliance couldn’t refuse themselves a pleasure to plunder the treasury – out of sheer greed. Next, they went to desecrate the loa sanctuary on purpose (not because it was blocking the way). And finally, they called the king savage, and offered him humiliating surrender conditions.
Whom to believe? The Alliance’s mild and heroic version, of course.
It is simple and obvious: the Alliance players are witnessing the events with their own eyes and participate in them. The Horde gets a bitter retelling of the story, by an enraged Zandalari, they do not participate in the events themselves. Genn’s behavior and words are simply out of character in the Horde’s version. And the Alliance’s council in the aftermath clearly says that they actually care for what had to be done and regret it.
Now I cannot wait to see the Alliance’s retreat and see the differences of the third wing!
It’s being only the third week of the raid, and my cloth toons are almost…
The cape is a world drop only , so with acquiring the shoes I will consider the set complete! But wait, there are also weapons…
All in all the first two raid wings appear to be quite easy – in fact, may be too easy even for LFR.
If you manage to cope with certain dangerous trash, and your tanks are not brain challenged during the encounters, it’s a training dummy roll. I would not say whether it’s good or bad… it speeds up farming on alts for sure.
And the lore is probably one of the richest, as every next encounter is significant and adds up to the lore and faction knowledge. It’s the vital story told in raid, not just killing the climax big bad through nameless mooks. In fact, there are no big bads in the raid narrative… and I think it’s the first time we expereience it.
I quite like it so far.