Friday, July 1, 2011

More thoughts on Beth'tilac

My computer seemed to be able to handle video capture during the Beth'tilac encounter just fine, so maybe next week I'll have hunter POV video of a Beth kill. We were close this week - 15% - but didn't quite get there.

It's a troublesome encounter as a hunter. Having entrapment and reduced cooldowns on traps is really, really, really nice during phase 1, as is having serpent spread.

I guess I should maybe back up and explain the encounter for the folks that haven't necessarily had a look at it. There are a couple phases, with phase 1 being all about controlling and killing a lot of adds very fast. There are drone, which are big hard-hitting melee mobs the tank has to pick up. There are spinners the hang from the roof on threads - you taunt them with distracting shot to get them to fall down, creating the threads that other raid members can climb up on (the roof is a web that Beth'tilac stands on, and you need at least a tank and a healer up there with her). Finally there are spiderlings that have to be slowed and killed before they can reach the drones (and the drones, of course, should be kited away from them). Beth herself will periodically use an ability that kills anyone that stays upstairs with her, causing those people to jump down, let her cast it, and then climb back up. Once she's cast that three times, she hops downstairs and gives herself a stacking buff to her own damage, so you have to kill her before she wipes the raid with unhealable amounts of damage.

Guilds that had cleared 13/13 T11 are laughing at her and calling her undertuned, but for an appropriately geared guild (i.e.: 359 stuff), she's tough. I feel like she's also perhaps more difficult for a 10-person raiding guild, as it's harder for us to distribute enough people around the encounter space. In order to feel really comfortable with our control of the adds downstairs, we haven't had any DPS upstairs, which means we're trying to bring her from about 95% (or 100% if she eats a spiderling when she lands, which can happen if some happen to be right under her when she jumps down) to zero, and that's just not happening.

So I'm not sure where the issue lies. If our people killing drones were doing a little more damage, maybe drones would die faster freeing those people to help me clean up the crowd of spinners that accumulates on the ground. Or maybe we should be two-healing it? Or maybe I should be sending the rogue instead of the warlock upstairs.

I think that last option is going to be the one I'll try next Wednesday. I also think that Shannox isn't going to be as difficult to get down, since the apportioning of DPS will be a little more traditional. The up/down split really makes it sort of difficult to guess at the right places to put everything.

Personally, I think that with the rogue going upstairs I'll stick with survival for the encounter. It gives me really great control on the spiderlings and means I almost always have a trap available. I'm doing less damage during the burn phase, but if my being survival lets me have a rogue upstairs the entire time, then that should more than make up for the personal DPS loss. I think I'll also change DPS priorities - I think all of the downstairs DPS are going to be concentrating on killing drones ASAP, and having bigger time windows where 0 drones are alive should make it easier to clear up and kill the accumulated spinners, who after all only melee for under 3,000 damage.


Talking this through in a blog post has been helpful. It can be difficult in the middle of attempts to step back and see what needs to be changed, but I'm feeling pretty good about this plan. Beth'tilac and Shannox will die next week for sure! And hey, maybe I'll even have a video of it to post.

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