Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My thoughts on ICC-10

As I mentioned in my last post, I got into a PUG ICC-10 run which was successful and I managed to down all 4 bosses in one run (but didn't one-shot them).

My opinion on the fights, all from the perspective of a tank:

Lord Marrowgar: The coldfire during the BONESTOOOOOOORM! phase makes it very hectic. I would imagine that it's just as hectic in 10-man as 25-man but for different reasons. In 10-man there are few healers which means you have to be careful of the fire and being too far from a healer, lest you nom on too much of the chilly burns. I would imagine that in 25-man, since (as I understand it) he moves from person to person, if you stack up, you or others will die, while if you spread out you get burnt.

But it's a fun fight, overall. Some movement, spacial awareness, plus the tanks need to move in tandem which gives an additional challenge.

Lady Deathwhisper: Phase one is a mad house. Both myself and Thornir would be on the same side wiping out the adds, then run over to the other side. We had little time to rest. When we finally got to phase two we made a few mistakes with early threat generation, but we got her down in one try (mostly because we didn't want to do phase one again).

Deathwhisper has an interesting twist on the semi-standard "tank until you get X amount of debuffs, then other tank taunts off you until the debuff wears off, back and forth" during Phase two. Thinking about the fights where this concept shows up, in most cases it takes the form of a DoT, so if the other tank doesn't taunt the target off you, you'll take too much damage and the healers can't keep you alive. Instead, this one either decreases your total threat by a set percent as long as the debuff is on you, or decreases the threat you create by a set percent. Either way, if you let the debuff get too big, the DPS will overtake you in terms of threat generation and they'll start dying. A very innovative way of using this concept, also meaning that this fight will always require a second tank since you can't overgear it and just heal your way through it.

The Gunship fight: Even without being the one that goes over to the other ship, this is a fantastically fun fight. There's a semi-frequent stream of mobs that portal over to your ship and you need to gather them up while tanking them all and avoiding the hail of rockets randomly hitting your ship. And you can't just keep rounding them up and letting them be, or they will become too powerful and squish you flat.

If you are the one who goes over to the other ship it's even better. You learn to be cognizant of the sound of your opponent calling for a mage to freeze the turrets, then you need to quickly hop over to the other side ahead of your DPS (and healers... at the time wasn't aware of the strat of pulling the leader to the edge of the boat so you can be healed from yours), hold threat on a boss that hits harder and harder, then get away before you become dead meat! Then get in a little extra DPS on the adds that the first tank is keeping before jumping back over! Wow! This is a technically challenging fight that I really really want to do again. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face.

Deathbringer Saurfang: This is a technically challenging fight, but it's very different. It felt, very much, like I was almost completely divorced from most of the fight. I just had to keep Saurfang on myself and my co-tank, swapping back and forth between as one of us got a the debuff. The challenging part was being aware of when the beasts would spawn then making sure not to use any sort of AOEs. This made it hard as I needed to not fall into the pattern of the 969 rotation, and to cut out HotR and Consecration at key times (in fact I found myself rarely using Consecration, just to be safe).

I'm sure a bunch of stuff was happening over to my right, but it was off screen and there was little I could do to impact it beyond maybe cheering people on. I couldn't afford to do anything to the beasts lest I get aggro, so I just focused on the boss. Next time I'll rotate the boss so that my back is to the door he enters so I can see what's going on (plus it will make it so that the Blood Beasts don't run through me, decreasing the chance for an AOE to hit them).


Final assessment: Other than the Gunship fight, the encounters in ICC10 are fairly reactionary. You move out of the cold fire/death and decay, taunt off the other tank when you're supposed to, DPS these adds, don't DPS those adds, etc. OTOH, the Gunship fight is thrilling! High mobility, thinking on your feet, reacting to a situation as needed. Whew! Fantastic! Yet, despite my complaints about the other encounters in ICC, I still find the fights fun... I just think that the Gunship fight stands out in my mind so much that the others seem to pale in comparison.

And now with the next wing open, next time I go back to ICC, I'll go even further!