We haven’t seen Sylvanas encounter yet in LFR, but Shackles of Fate appeared to be That One Level so far as classified by TV Tropes.
While the first two wings quickly changed into no-brainer cleans after people learned a couple of important things, Shackles of Fate by the end of the second week live still poses a great challenge due to multiple unforgiving mechanics and strict requirements for tanks, healers and DPS alike. Even now, by the end of week two, every run would consist of wipes with every boss, many people leaving immediately, and waiting for new players.
This takes a toll on my raiding time too – the queue time! Your normal queue previously would take around 15-30 minutes as you wait for people to clean wing 1-2, but with the addition of wing 3 the queue time is now doubled – exactly because you wait for people to finish wing 3.
If multiple, mechanics are not that hard to comprehend and execute. But I still think that the bosses are overtuned – in terms of their health pools. A month-and-a-half in the raid and gearing up should suffice for the majority of players not to struggle through boss health bar, and yet it is often the issue in wing 3 runs. I understand that DPS check is part of the challenge on Guardian, but Fatescribe and Kel’Thuzad could be thinner, especially Fatescribe.
Guardian of the First Ones – yes, a DPS check, but other than that – quite an easy boss. Tanks have a simple job to swap for shattering hits and moving the boss to a pillar once he starts casting Purging Protocol (an LFR raid normally survives one cast without hiccup). DPS need to avoid stuff, stack by the pillar when boss recharges energy, and mash buttons frantically, cause when all pillars are destroyed, you have until boss energy runs out before wipe. The boss is extremely interesting from healer perspective, as you need to cope with sudden damage peaks, provide sufficient AoE and manage your big cooldowns – tha’s exactly the encounter my Holy Priest shines and feels super important!
Due to DPS check, the boss is super exciting in a good way. One of the coolest kills was when we almost burned him, no pillars left, he casts two Purging Protocols which we barely survived, and he went down on the third cast which would wipe the raid – 3 seconds before wipe!
Fatescribe Roh-Kalo is the boss I hate because it’s so fat. Enormous health pool and a loads of fat adds to handle with, not to mention the wiping mechanic of the runes. Runes are actually one of the things that I’m always eager to do – in every fight where it’s demanded to go to some portal, carry stuff, mount a gun, or anything like that, I’m always in, especially when I’m playing a fast class like a DH, druid or shaman. The key to success in LFR, as discovered, is not to spawn adds and let tank bump into spawning shade, even if it takes a toll on healers. Otherwise, DPS often does not suffice, and we have adds left when others already spawn.
Kel’Thuzad is an interesting but tiresome boss. Adds to care about are endless – spikes, tank shades, abominations and banshees. When I last ran the wing with my druid, I found out that I barely nuked the boss itself, as I was always on adds. Needless to say, I’m always in portal runs – although slow casters are actually useless there due to they simply don’t have time to cast and have to move all the time. I wish the boss had some “resting” phases where you could just nuke him for a while, not focusing/cleaving adds, but other than that, the fight has juicy, rich and interesting design.
One thing I wanted to praise about Sanctum of Domination boss design as a whole is little flavor things which address the boss lore and/or open world game experience.
Tarragrue is a Torghast boss, and you need to collect anima powers to defeat it. When you come to the Eye of the Jailer platform, killing trash there fills the exact same 5-stars indicator as we had in the Maw! And when it’s full, the Eye’s attention is finally drawn and it comes to fight you. The Nine – 6 val’kyr are dead by the time of the encounter lorewise, so you fight the three remaining, while others are just souls to help them.
Garrosh has always been a piece of bubbling rage in life, and the encounter design builds upon that. Ner’zhul mentions his orc wife as you enter the room. Painsmith could have been done better, as he’s ALL spikes, but the spike traps actually are not that common in Torghast runs – for example, could replace the field-rolling spikes from tanks during unleash the instrument! with flame burner lines.
Fatescribe and Guardian are nods to Korthia, but nothing to be said here. As cool as Korthia is by gameplay, as weak it is in any sufficient lore, so both bosses are a miss here. But Kel’Thuzad makes for the whole wing. Adds are a nod to Naxxramas (god I hated the endless add event on transmog farm), he’s a master of ice magic – as we had experienced even as far as Warcraft III, and phylactery’s trip to his former pre-lich, Dalaran’s mage self as a core of his essence is pure gold if you ask me.
In short, these little things show that Blizzard do care about the game lore and the game design in general, and that’s what super precious about it.
Next stop: Sylvanas Windrunner.