Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Culling of Stratholme got it right, Oculus got it wrong.

The most annoying part of Black Morass in BC was add management. If you didn’t have a pally tank you had to dedicate DPS to taking out the adds so they couldn’t go attack the Mideveh’s shield. Depending on the quality of the group, that could mean you didn’t have enough focused DPS on the main mobs and it was easy to fall behind or worse, run your healer outta mana and not give them a break. This was exacerbated by the separation that inevitably occurred between the add managers and the tank.

The other complaint I had about BM was the clearing before you really got started. It wasted time. Despite all of that BM was my favorite 5 man. The pace once it got started was non stop action.

Stratholme directly addressed those two issues. From the time you zone in, to the time you start can be done in minutes. Mobs worth killing are all in packs and are easily AOE’d down. In my small guild our level 80 DPS is basically all melee, I’d love to see what a good lock could do in there. The pace is non stop just like BM. The faster you burn stuff the more your healer can relax. This allows you to shift pressure off your healer and onto your tank for threat and DPS for speed.

After you’ve cleared the first two bosses and go talk to Arthas the pace doesn’t slack off. You are still constantly on the move heading towards the final two bosses. Every time I’ve been in there I’ve had a blast and the time slips by so quickly. I can easily see this becoming the instance of choice to grab 4 emblems and some rep.

The first time you did the defending Wyrmrest and you climbed aboard a dragon for air to air combat you loved it didn’t you. Tracking mobs in 3 dimensions suddenly added a bit of complexity to the ordinary kill x quests. Other than the easy 250 rep and 13g there is no reason to keep doing it. At the end of the day its cast the dot, hit the direct breath, heal and sprint as required. Got old real fast. Ice crown got it better jumping from dragon to dragon and fighting on their backs, though hunters might have a hard time with that.

The oculus is ruined by the disjointed pacing required by the dragon fights. I have yet to feel that flow from one pull to the next that you get in a dungeon or especially Stratholm. And after the first time you do the fights on the dragons they become more tedious than anything.

By the time you’re working dailies for rep, emblems, and gold I just don’t see the Oculus as a popular run.

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