Behold the Rage of the Firelands

Behold the Rage of the Firelands:

Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that I haven’t had much luck with raids in Cataclysm. In fact, I’d given up on ever killing a Firelands boss before the next expansion.

But that didn’t stop me from trying, and I was able to get into a raid on my rogue a few days ago. They were on the firehawk boss, Alysrazor, by the time I got there. What followed was one of the most brutally difficult and soul-crushing experiences in my entire World of Warcraft career.The broken bodies of my fellow raidersTo make a long story short, I did okay on phase one, but was instakilled every time the phase with the fire tornadoes came around, and the group ultimately failed due to a lack of DPS due to me being dead. I’ve caused wipes before, but this may have been the first time an entire raid failed because of me.

This upset me so badly I just about gave up on raiding permanently. But soon after, I did get into a Blackwing Descent raid on my holy paladin, in which I was basically carried to a free Nefarian kill by some Firelands-geared superheroes.

Maybe BWD gave me courage, or maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment, but I joined another Firelands run on my paladin last night. I expected to maybe get Shannox before we were beaten to a pulp, and maybe have more to rant about on this here blog.

I went 6/7 with only three wipes.

They kept going, but I left because I was about to fall asleep at my keyboard.

I couldn’t believe how smooth it went. I suppose it’s because it was largely a guild group, but even I managed not to screw up. I even lived through Alysrazor — though I’m not sure how. My only guess is that it was because I had two feathers this time instead of one. Maybe the other group forgot to mention you need two to live? Truth be told, I had no clue what I was supposed to do through a good chunk of the raid.

So now I’m not sure what to make of the difficulty of Firelands. I still say whoever designed Alysrazor needs a punch in the jaw, but on the other hand, Baleroc was actually too easy. I had this nice, neat rant and narrative about how Blizzard was out to get the casual players after my first attempt, but after the second raid, now I don’t know what to say.

There are two things I’m sure of, though.

One is that Firelands, Alysra aside, is awesome. I really haven’t enjoyed the Cataclysm raids very much so far. They’re aesthetically bland, lacking in lore, and generally have dull mechanics — with the notable exception of Cho’gall. Firelands, on the other hand, is beautiful and features awe-inspiring music and very fun boss fights.Lord Rhyolith in the Firelands raid.Staghelm was probably my favourite. It was just the perfect level of difficulty to get my blood pumping without causing a panic attack. The mechanics were unique without being bizarre or incomprehensible. He was a character with a good backstory I’d been looking forward to killing. And his animal forms were fantastic-looking.

Rhyolith was damn fun, too.

The only one I can’t say I enjoyed was Shannox. It managed to be hard to heal despite its bland, basic mechanics, and I felt bad for killing his dogs.

The other thing I’m sure of is that one (amazingly fun) raid doesn’t change my opinion on the state of raiding in this game. I got incredibly lucky. It doesn’t change the fact that it took months for me to even attempt to kill a boss in Firelands, or the fact that it might be weeks or months more before I get to go again. It doesn’t change the fact that people less experienced with raiding than I would be lost in most of these fights. I still think raiding is a poor system, bordering on the broken, and I still hope and pray the Raid Finder will change things for the better.

I will say one good thing about the Cataclysm raid model, though: shorter raids are much better. It’s a much greater sense of accomplishment to clear most or all of an instance in a night than just a small part of it. And let’s be honest with ourselves here; Ulduar did not need fourteen bosses.

4 thoughts on “Behold the Rage of the Firelands

  1. Congrats on your pally performance!

    As for the rogue… well… there are two issues. Firstly, FL is very coordination intensive. If your group isn’t meshing well then you’re going to have issues. The second group being mostly guilded was probably your biggest advantage here.

    Secondly: cata hates melee DPS. It really, really does. Had you made it to Majordomo you would have found that positional requirements for your DPS vs positional requirements for the raid make it almost impossible to do decent DPS and still execute the mechanics properly. Had you gone as far as Rag you would have experienced the joy that is a boss that only has one facing.

    Disagree completely with you on Alys, btw. I never died to tornadoes, even prenerf. You just need to get the rythm. As a healer it’s my favourite fight ever because of two things: free mana during burnout, and I can heal while running! At double speed no less! THERE IS NOTHING BETTER AND I WILL HEAR NO ARGUMENT ON THIS MATTER


    • Yes, I am aware of Cata’s hatred for MDPS. It’s even true in five mans. Corla, Glubtok, Ozumat…

      On the plus side, I’m combat, so at least I don’t have to rely on being behind enemies quite so much.

      As for Alys’s tornadoes, well, maybe I just suck. All I know is I could never seem to run fast enough on the rogue. If I get a second chance, I’ll try to get two feathers or at least pop sprint.

      And I heal on a paladin, so I don’t see any advantage to Alys. I can always heal while moving thanks to my huge numbers of instant casts, and I have an infinite mana potion on an eight second cooldown. I didn’t even realize she had those mechanics.

  2. Gratz on your kills.

    If Baleroc was too easy for you there were probably 3 things happening in your favor: tank appropriately (or over) geared for the fight, good luck on decimation blade not coming up constantly, and your DPS handling shards properly. If any one of those things are out of place, it becomes exponentially difficult to heal with every mistake they make. Pre-nerf and tank gear with enough avoidance, this was one of the most stressful fights in the raid to heal. Nothing like Decimation blade coming out first and insta-gibbing your tank because your holy pally only had a handful of stacks and your tank couldn’t dodge shit.

    Agree with Leit on Alysrazor. My first time in, I died a few times to the tornadoes, mostly because I was trying to follow everyone else’s advice. I finally just ignored them, watched the damn tornadoes, and learned the pattern for myself. Haven’t died to them since. To me, they are a tad bit more difficult after the nerf because it messes with the timing I learned before.

    • Good point on the decimation blade. I did find that it came up much less often than I expected it to. Only twice in the entire fight, I think.

      And yeah, I think a lot of the ease stemmed from it being a very good group.

      I still don’t quite get what the issue was with Alys. I thought I had the pattern down — I did nothing differently the time I survived versus the time I died. But on my rogue, I just couldn’t seem to move fast enough. The tornadoes kept coming up from behind and one-shoting me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.