Last night we cleared Blackrock Caverns, Throne of the Tides, and Stonecore. It was totally fun! Especially since we didn't have to mess with randoms from the pool of RDF moon-people. Just five like-minded people having fun exploring the new instances.
Blackrock Caverns (possibly to be jargonized as "BRC" in the future?) was pretty straightforward, but almost every boss had something you had to take note of. You had to pop the chains the first ogre put on you, you had to play Netherspite beam-blocker with Corla, Steelbender had to get dunked in the fire, and Obsidius' friends had to get kited. Those guys actually were something of a problem for us, since we went in thinking they were CCable when in fact they were not. That meant that I had to try to start kiting them even though my super-easy kiting ability, frost trap, was on cooldown because a freezing trap had just been wasted on an immune target. Woops. We still killed him without a wipe, but it'll be a lot smoother next time. I'm not sure what heroic groups without a competent kiter are going to do, though.
Throne of the Tides ("TotT"?) was almost certainly my favorite in terms of visual design. The wobbly and gelatinous water-forcefield walls mobs were jumping in through were very cool, and the architectural aesthetic living somewhere between high elf and earthen was exactly perfect. The bosses here were pretty straightforward, too. I was honestly pretty surprised to see Lady Naz'jar: I was expecting her to at least be living in a raid somewhere, instead of dispatched in a five-person dungeon. I suppose we killed Loken in a dungeon, though, and he was just as prominent in the Storm Peaks questlines.
I was going to wowhead and reading the boss abilities before each boss we pulled, but that did not necessarily mean I understood things correctly. For example, I was thinking we'd have to interrupt Ms. Naz'jar's "waterspout" ability, so it was a surprise when she instead summoned in some adds. In retrospect I should have realized that spell probably meant adds, but enh! We did alright. The tank picked up the melee one, while our ranged pointed the chain-lightning casters away from the party (as well as had everyone spread out). I'm not sure if having the casters on non-tanks will work in heroic, but as I'm writing this it occurs to me that there's almost certainly no reason not to trap or sheep one of them.
We also screwed up on the mind control boss a little bit. I'm used to CCing raid members that get MCed, but it turns out you just have to damage them to 50% without killing them. I'm sure the last clause in that sentence is going to result in numerous wipes ("way to kill the healer, guys"), but other than that it's not too tough. Oh yeah, and the tank has to tank the octopus. Neptulon does not look quite as ridiculous as his name would imply, which is all I have to say about him.
Stonecore was the one instance where we did a lot of crowd controlling of trash, especially in the corridor leading up to Ozruk. I think it's a pretty hilarious commentary on Wrath that I had no idea that freezing trap lasts an entire minute now. Holy god! I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for traps to break and they just... never did. They are infinite now. Survival hunters are now insane monsters of crowd control. Wyvern sting sleeps a target for thirty seconds and freezing trap can keep a mob locked up infinitely without even the miniscule chance of damage taken that we lived with in BC. And we can purge the enrage off of things that enrage! Just absolutely nuts.
High Priestess Azil was our one wipe of the night. I think we were all surprised by the sheer volume of adds, and we just mis-managed them to the extent that my boyfriend's little holydin was cut down by religious fanatics. Isn't that how it always is? We ran back and changed the way we positioned the boss and the party and had a much easier time of it, as most of the fanatics ran right into the little black holes. Whee!
Tonight we'll start with Vortex Pinnacle, the only one of the initial dungeons we didn't run last night, then see which ones people want to repeat. You can definitely tell, running these low-level non-heroics, that there's going to be an accountin' once people are running heroics. All the sinners that have spent the past couple years just ignorin' everything the bosses been doin', they'll be all burnt up to ashes and scattered on the wind 'till they mend their sinful ways. Make sure you can count yourself amongst the righteous now and you won't have to share their torment with them.
Up next on the blog, probably later today: the Cataclysm pre-raid gear list! Every nerd has to have a spreadsheet for something, and for me it's my endlessly updated and tweaked gear wishlists.