It’s wing 3 in Castle Nathria LFR, and it’s new bosses to review.
Now I see the reason behind the LFR layout: Shriekwing, Sludgefist and Stone Generals are really one step from each other, with almost non-existent trash. Yet I still think that lorewise it’s not too great. Shriekwing is the first boss – the first room as you enter, and Denathrius offers the overall raid introduction scene here. So putting Shriekwing and Sludgefist bosses to raid wing 3 feels off the grid.
I would put Shriekwing, Sludgefist and Huntsman Altimor into wing 1 by all means. Huntsman is a complex and hard enough boss to finalize the wing, while the first too are really not that hard to serve as a raid intro. Kael, Xy’mox and Court of Blood could stay in the same wing 2, then we could start with a pretty easy Devourer, continue with Lady Inerva and finalize with Stone Generals leading to Denathrius himself. There is no trouble with logistics, as we have perfectly lore-justified mirrors, mirrors all over and could literally put them everywhere without worrying about the convenient pathways.
Shriekwing is an interesting encounter where Blizzard managed to fully make use of its animal essence! This is simply amazing how they turned the ‘blind as a bat’ and echolocation features into encounter mechanics – totally logical, easy comprehended and fun to follow! I liked the ‘hunting phase’ so much, it’s super exciting to run away and not get caught. Raid-wiping mechanic is careless puddles left in random places, especially behind the columns where you’re supposed to hide. The ranged DPS/healers shoud stick together and drop them by the edge, so the grounds do not turn into a mess.
Sludgefist is another mess encounter – it’s also easy to flood the field. The highlight is of course not new, but always fun idea of boss rage-running and hurting itself when crushing into the pillars. It’s also always awesome when the same area is used for another boss and in another manner – it’s very rarely Blizzard does that (off the top of my head I could remember only the first encounters of Hellfire Citadel in WoD), I wish they did that more often! Sludgefist is also a DPS-check – it should die by the 4th pillar crashed, but nothing a few stacks of determination won’t cope with if DPS is really low (and it’s not).
Stone Legion Generals are finally some lore guys we’ve met before – which is strange, granted how well developed and rich Revendreth’s story was during leveling. Technically it’s not a council fight, at least not completely, as you do them one by one until 50%, and then just check your target so they died together. I saw literally nothing hard about this encounter, as long as people remember to bring anima orbs to Renathal. Yet, by the end of the encounter the field also turns into a messy mess – I wonder if they picked and grouped the bosses based on this feature?
All in all Blood from Stone is a very fun and easy wing with interesting encounters. After wing 2 with its enormous corridors and stairs, tons of deadly raid-wiping trash and complex encounters this feels like a breath of fresh air. And we finally hear from Denathrius what he thinks about our raid :)
But like I said in the intro paragraph, the boss layout could be different, more logical and better. Probably it’s the weirdest LFR wing design so far. And by all means, due to Denathrius’ scene, Shriekwing should be the first boss of raid wing 1 no matter what.