Friday, February 4, 2011

Magmaw and Halfus

Well, as you would expect from the first two bosses of the first raid tier of an expansion, the normal difficulty version of these guys is not too complicated. Well, sort of - the fact that how you do Halfus is going to change from week to week is interesting. And we actually wiped a few times on the two trash mobs before Magmaw, but I think a lot of that was people needing to get back into the raiding mindset. Cataclysm heroics are tougher than Wrath heroics were, but they still don't have too many trash mobs with a whirlwind that will gib melee like that.

But! Mostly I want to talk briefly about these first two bosses from a hunter perspective. Magmaw is, of course, the most interesting: as a ranged player with excellent snares, it's going to be our duty to deal with the stupid bugs. This was even more awful for our raid, since no one in our guild likes playing ranged DPS (although I've hopefully converted one person to playing his warlock eventually). We have four melee and me, which I'll talk about a little more in a second. The basics of huntering for Magmaw are pretty simple, though. The fight starts and the ranged and healers stack up in one spot so you know where flame pillar will be. Start DPS on magmaw, but don't use your black arrow cooldown on black arrow after the first one.

Instead, when that cooldown comes available for the first time, you want to place a frost trap and an explosive trap. That way, when flame pillar happens, you can just skip a few steps to the side and the bugs will set off both the flame and the frost traps and give you a free lock and load proc as a little perk. Multi shot will pick up aggro on the whole pack, then you just kite them in circles around the patch of frost and explosive trap. The best way to do this is to circle in an ellipse away from melee and towards the entrance to the platform. The first couple of attempts, for some reason I kited the parasites into the vicinity of melee and there's just no reason to take that risk.

Luckily, I've had a lot of practice kiting pve mobs recently for the Ascendant Descending achievement. I've now got it to the point where I can reliably solo-kite all three shadows and get the achievement for the party, which feels good. I feel like that achievement is one of the sort of hunter skill benchmark ones, since you have to use a pretty broad sample of your abilities and maintain pretty good awareness of where things are if you want to solo-kite and get it.

But getting back to Magmaw: hilariously, since I was the only ranged player, we had the two rogues helping me kill the bugs, since they could give me tricks of the trade and hopefully keep themselves from being targeted. That's honestly one of the parts of casual, 10-person raiding I find the most fun, though: making the boss work for you even though you don't have an ideal raid composition.

Halfus is a pretty boring fight for a hunter, to be honest. Kill whatever you're killing besides halfus, then kill halfus. Don't stand in fire. As the raid leader it did take me a depressing number of wipes to figure out that, if you've got the whelps and the time warden and the slate dragon, release the whelps and the time warden. I mean, really dude? You could see the raid damage happening. Why would you keep trying to do the slate dragon even after you saw that his stun on halfus was totally useless, insufficient to do so much as let the mortal strike stacks fall off of the tank. Derp.

We were very close on both V&T and Omnotron. V&T I think we've got down and just need a little more practice to get the raid accordioning correctly so we don't have people dying. Omnotron we've also mostly got figured out, with the exception of poison bombs. In the general chaos of that encounter they're not getting seen, snared, and killed correctly, which means we'll have to adjust raid positioning when Toxitron pops up. That should also make it easier for people to see and use the blue circles of awesome from Arcanotron.

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