Through the Mist is a regular column from Luke Le Page covering everything World of Warcraft. If you’d like something covered in a future column, drop us a line!
This piece has taken a lot longer to write than I had originally hoped. This is mainly due to the fact that I could not f find a fresh run using the Looking For Raid (LFR) system for most of the first week. It finally happened on Tuesday morning and I decided to push the piece back to preview all six bosses as three more would come out that night. Unfortunately I could only find a group with two bosses down, so the second part of the raid will have to wait until after the weekend.
My initial impression upon zoning in was positive. The environment felt epic and I immediately felt like this was a zone where something big was about to go down. Whether it did or not doesn’t really factor into this column – I just wanted to get across that Blizzard have recaptured some of the epic grandeur of raid zones that we have seen in the past.
I will refrain from describing the boss mechanics; there are dozens of sites out there that can do that for you. This is an opinion column so I will stick to giving you my impressions of the fights.
The first boss, The Stone Guard consists of four stone Quillen, three of which are active each week. The fight on normal 10 and 25 man modes looks to feature some interesting mechanics. Unfortunately as with the LFR bosses we saw in Cataclysm, many of these impressive mechanics can be ignored. The LFR strategy consisted of stacking all 3 mobs together and ignoring everything but dps. I can see this being an excellent test of raid coordination in 10 and 25 man.
The second boss, Feng the Accursed is a fairly intimidating looking Mogu. Unlike the first boss, this required some concentration from players; particularly in the final phase where players had the Arcane Resonance debuff. This caused a wipe in my group due to a player not paying attention and I have to say it is nice to see some consequences for ignoring mechanics in LFR. The rest of the fight was relatively straightforward from a melee perspective – dodge bad things on the ground and stay behind the boss.
The final boss of this portion of the zone was quite a surprise. As some of you know I skipped a lot of the Townlong Steppes zone as I chased a quest chain while levelling and apparently I missed some interesting happenings with the Zandalari Trolls. I was quite surprised and excited to see Gara’jal the Spiritbinder in the zone. The fight lived up to many of my memories of previous troll bosses from the ZG and ZA raid days. Gara’jal reminded me of the original Jindo the Hexxer encounter in the Zul Gurub raid zone. DPS primarily focused on the boss – whilst this was occurring invisible spirits would attack and neutralise players. Players are required to enter the spirit world (through the use of a totem dropped by the boss) and kill these spirits before they take out the raid. This was a relatively simple encounter on this difficulty level but I can see the spirits becoming quite a handful in 10 and 25 man versions as well as in less skilled LFR teams.
Overall I quite enjoyed the zone. The fights, whilst straightforward required players for the most part to pay attention to what was going on around them. It’s a nice start to an expansion and I hope that as LFR progresses through the tiers the encounters continue to build on this foundation and increase in difficulty.
Finally, I just wanted to vent about the Elder Charm of Good Fortune. I have now used seven of these charms, one on each boss in the LFR raids as well as on Sha of Anger and received no items. I understand that they offer players a ‘chance’ at extra loot, however given the time put into getting them (a minimum of 45 dailies, if you do the ones that give two of the lower ones) per three Elder Charms, it is not beyond the realms of expectation that players would receive something out of 7 uses.
What’s your take?