A couple of weeks back, I finished T15. Since this is the first tier I’ve completed this expansion, I thought perhaps I’d go ahead and do a resto retrospective on how I felt about the encounters and their respective heroics this tier. Something I think it’s important to keep in mind in doing this is that about halfway through the tier, resto druids got a pretty big bump in both tranquility and wild mushrooms that significantly improved their healing and Quality of Life through the tier. While there are differing opinions on if the right things were buffed with regards to resto, I don’t think there can be any argument that both changes helped resto significantly in a world of dominating mitigation healing.
But I’m not here to talk/debate wild mushrooms and tranquility, or those pesky priests and paladins, I’m here to talk about how I felt Tier Fifteen fared to a veteran raider who has seen every raid tier in wow – or in other words, to me!
Without thinking too much about the healing the content, or each individual boss fight, and just looking at the content as a whole, I have to say that I think this has been one of my favorite raid tiers. I don’t know if it’s because I came into after taking a few months off, if I’ve got rose colored glasses from some other things, or what, but I really enjoyed this tier of content. While I was a little disappointed that the Thunder Forge didn’t actually do anything, I thought the story was compelling enough and I absolutely love troll instances.
The bosses were pretty fresh, and the content wasn’t bad either. The only complaint that I really have is that a linear instance for one this long doesn’t really work so well. I think if they had broken it up some so that you had an entry, then a few “gates”/options on what to approach next, with maybe the last couple of bosses at the end, it would have worked out better and made for smoother progression overall with less “wasted” time.
Where would I place this amongst my favorite zones? Somewhere with Black Temple, Blackwing Lair and Ulduar. And which of those was/is my favorite changes depending on the day that you ask me! But it’s safe to say that I really enjoyed Throne of Thunder and thought it was some of the best WoW raiding I’ve seen.
But enough of that! Let’s talk about what I thought about each encounter, or more specifically, which ones I thought were fun to heal!
I’m not entirely sure what I feel about Jin’Rokh. I came into the encounter post-progression, and to this day the number one thing I try to focus on is not blowing up the raid. I’m…not really sure what that says for the encounter! I’ve long gone on record as saying that I’m not a huge fan of encounters where one person failing means that your raid wipes, but I also think that this wipe mechanic is more forgiving in the sense that the only randomness to it is who is targeted any given night, and that people can move out of the giant puddle at the right time.
As for healing it, I think the “fun” factor if it really depends on your strategy during the lightning storm. The more dangerous your strategy, the more challenging it is to heal! The safer your strategy, well, it’s not quite as exhilarating. That being said, I don’t mind healing this encounter. It’s not one of my favorites for the zone, but it’s also not one of my least favorites. It just sort of is. Once mushrooms and tranquility were buffed with 5.3, it was easier to be a competitive healer on the encounter, regardless of strategy, if you used good planning for your shrooms.
I think it was Vixsin that pointed out that roughly 4/5 of this encounter is basically trash. Very, very nasty trash with all kinds of little tricks and traps to wipe your raid. And the most ridiculous raid mechanic ever: the Pink Dino. I mean, seriously?! It’s not as if this encounter didn’t have enough happening, we had to add a PINK DINOSAUR that chases you around the room and that you have to knock back the rest of the encounter? Ugh. I hate the dinosaur. There just doesn’t seem to be any point to it being there. Other than to annoy you and force you to hit is with fairie fire every three casts.
As for healing this encounter, it was probably my least favorite. For me, I raided with two disc priests who were mini gods on this fight. And many times I sat there healing my little heart out…for no real good reason! I mean, at the end of the night I’d look through the logs and see 80%+ overhealing and just sigh. It didn’t really matter what I did, the lion’s share was going to be fairly ineffective. And then that $)#(*#$ing dinosaur. I just. ARGH. I really didn’t like this encounter that much. We’ll just leave it at that.
As a council fight, I thought this one wasn’t bad! I liked the way that each bosses mechanic played with the encounter, and how you controlled which boss was “on deck”. I liked that to beat the fight you needed teamwork from every role in the raid, and good communication. I also really liked the voice work of the trolls, and their quirky quips! (Winter iz comin’!).
As far as healing goes, this was one of my favorites this tier. It played really well to the resto druid tool kit, with the constant damage and the grouped up melee with some burst needed. I liked that there was both raid damage and single target healing required, and that both were pretty important to the encounter. Of all of the encounters, I really feel that this one made me use the most from my toolkit for success, and required me to think on my feet since the damage patterns could change based on what was occurring in the fight.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Tortos. Mostly because I kicked the turtles on heroic. I hate those turtles. I have a whole laundry list of things wrong with the turtles, and why it’s a stupid mechanic in the fight. But we don’t really have the time to get into it! So let’s just leave my impression of this encounter at “I really hate turtles”.
Unless I don’t have to kick turtles and get to heal.
Then I like this encounter alright! The times where I get the opportunity to just heal this encounter are really a lot of fun for druids, because of how well things like Rejuv and Wild Growth are for filling up crystal shields. Even mushrooms, despite the fact that they don’t charge for a darn, are pretty handy. It reminds me a little bit of a throwback to, oh, let’s say Steelbreaker. Where you just rejuv the world! (Well, and wild growth and swiftmend and lifebloom, and, well you get the point!). Healing this encounter really can be a lot of fun. So…love healing, hate turtles!
What to say about Megeara. There are a lot of moving parts in this encounter and is another one, like Jin’Rokh, where one person doing the wrong thing at the wrong time has the potential to wipe out the raid. But I like coordination and play between the frost and the ice. I like the danger factor each rampage brings and that by the final rampage on your first kill everyone is sitting at the edge of their seats wondering if you are going to stay alive. I guess, overall, I kind of really enjoy this encounter.
As for healing it, it’s another one that I really enjoy. I think what I like most about it is that there are two distinct phases: one where the raid is in danger, and one where the tanks are in danger. This means that you need to pull out lots of pieces of your toolkit to be successful. I also like that there is a good opportunity for preplanning with your mushrooms, and that some pre-hotting going into those rampages has some benefit. All in all, I really enjoy the challenges of this encounter.
I don’t really have much to say about Ji-Kun. It didn’t leave a huge impression on me either as an encounter or as a healer. I don’t know. I mean it’s cool enough in the idea behind it, but for me it was relatively un-exciting as a raid encounter. Maybe it’s because I (gratefully!) had a boring nest. I just never really got the “thrill” for the fight.
As a healer, I don’t think there is much to say if this encounter is executed properly. Quills are really the only dangerous part of the fight, and cooldowns offset those pretty well. I think what made me feel the most useful was one of our shadow priests asking me to stand in the middle of the nest eggs so he could mindsear off of me…and being sad one day because I didn’t have my mushroom under him. For me, I just found this fight to be somewhat unengaging.
I’m not really sure what I think about Durumu. Eyebeams of death have caused raid leaders consternation since C’thun one shot your whole raid running in. I thought that the purple floor was not well done, and was something that should have been caught during testing and never gone live. I kind of like the hidden adds that you have to reveal with the lights. And I guess I never really figured out why Durumu would just randomly be like “Hey! Have an ice wall!”. I mean, most of his other mechanics are shadow related. It just seems so…out of place. (What do I know?! Maybe he’s still using that shadow frost gear from TBC!). But alright. The other thing that I don’t really get on that fight is the dispel mechanic. Both the dispel and the eye adds it spawns seem like unnecessary busy work for the raid.
As for healing the fight, it was okay. While druids are pretty strong for healing in the maze, I’m not going to lie, I spent more time worried about finding the path myself and saving someone else was secondary to making sure that I stayed alive. The encounter goes from times of no damage, to times of lots of damage and there doesn’t really seem to be an in between and the high damage periods are short lived. As far as healing excitement goes, I rate it kind of “meh”, with periods of “fun”.
I kind of liked this encounter, and in sitting here thinking about it right now, I can’t quite pinpoint why. I dunno, I guess I just kind of like the idea of an ever evolving boss and slimes. I like that at any given time the majority of the raid has been transmuted into…mini primordius’ and that Primoridus himself becomes more dangerous as the fight continues if he’s allowed to ingest enough slime. Okay, and when I think about slime all I can think about is that scene from Ghostbusters where they all get slimed in the dining room of that hotel. OKAY FINE! I may also admit that the Ghostbusters theme song goes through my head when we get to this encounter. Don’t judge.
As for healing this fight as a druid it’s both fun and frustrating. It’s another encounter where there is pretty steady raid damage so rejuv gets to be a workhorse, but there is nothing more frustrating that planting mushrooms…and everyone moving out of them before you get to detonate. I’ve take to just putting them in three places around the room figuring that one or two are bound to hit SOMEONE when it matters. I also like that this is an encounter where both the raid and the tank are in danger, so it’s important to give a little love to both, which opens up the toolkit some (and lets you be a little creative with at least one mushroom!). While I don’t think it’s my favorite encounter to heal, I do really enjoy healing this encounter!
This was, hands down, my least favorite encounter this tier. I mean, I guess the idea of a room full of robots coming to life is a cool idea. Just…ugh. Somebody took a step left, wipe. Somebody took a step right, wipe. Somebody coughed on the pull, wipe. Oh, but don’t stand in the bad! Just make sure that you don’t move your robot too close to someone else’s while avoiding it! Oh, and don’t kill that robot too close to that other robot, or you will wipe. Maybe I just had hyper-organized fights, I don’t know. I just know that this encounter didn’t really do it for me.
That being said…I actually think the encounter is kind of fun to heal. Whatever, I can hate something and still like it at the same time. It’s my blog, I make the rules! I thought it was fun being creative with Mushrooms and sitting on the edge of your seat hoping the tanks don’t die. I really liked the amount of planning you needed to do for each step of the encounter, and timing things like swiftmend to happen right before or right after a jolt to keep the tanks stabilized. Or planting a mushroom under the tanks and along the raid. I liked the hectic nature of the start of the encounter where you never really knew what was going to happen. I liked the hectic nature of the end of the encounter where you are trying to get the raid ready for the next jolt. I just liked healing this fight!
I thought Iron Qon was a pretty cool encounter. I liked the way the Quillen played a part. I liked that there were different things each phase to watch out for. I liked that I could take a warlock portal and not have to navigate those horrible tornados…er, I mean oh look! More tornados the raid has to run through! Mostly I just really like how each phase of the encounter had different things to master, and that it was always just the same boss, just slightly different, and I liked how they chose to make those interactions occur.
I also really liked healing this encounter. I felt that it was almost custom tailored to wild mushrooms – which only made them that much better in 5.3. I know that I’ve kvetched about how much I hate those mushroom since Beta, but I really got into a groove with them on this encounter. I liked that you could opt how much to charge them in between bursts. I liked that I could plant them in advance for upcoming damage and watch the raid go from half health to full when I detonated them. I liked that I could pre-hot for the smashes at the end of the encounter and feel like one of those rejuv ticks just might have saved someone’s life. I thought that this encounter had a lot to offer the 5.3 druid toolkit, and made resto druids quite strong for the encounter.
I thought that this encounter was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the interaction between the two consorts, and thought it added a lot of flavor to the encounter. I liked the healing debuff that went out and made healers stop and think about what they were doing, which is a little bit of a rarity in this environment dominated by smart heals. I thought that calling on the aspects for help was kind of cool – but that Blizzard missed an opportunity for a multi-tier hard mode boss based on if you asked the aspects for help. All in all, I really enjoyed this fight.
As for healing this encounter…well, I think it is one of the more boring encounters to heal. A lot of the danger can be mitigated by pairing up the celestials with the right boss abilities, and, well, the first 2/3 of the encounter there isn’t ever a whole ton of healing required. The last 1/3 of the encounter can be a little sketchy and a little more hectic to heal, but even that is tamed down as your raid starts to outgear the fight. I definitely have fun placing mushrooms for stars in phase 1. And trying to get them set up with the correct comet in phase 2. But I feel that a lot of this fight is a lot of down time, while waiting for that brief moment of strong burst damage, followed by a lot more down time. So, while I really think this is a very cool encounter, it’s probably on the bottom of my list of “fun healing encounters” for the zone.
Say what you want about this encounter, but I really loved it! I liked the different phases of the encounter. I liked how the raid determined what was going to be a factor for each phase. I liked how the encounter required team work from both the entire raid and pockets of groups within the raid. I loved that I got to know members of my raid team better because I was in a quadrant with them and that we got to joke around. I liked that when learning the fight there were definite phases of progress that you would hit, and then it was time to focus on the next one. I liked that each phase had different dangerous parts, and that it was a little bit like a science trying to figure out the best way to heal each one. I just thought it was a fantastic end boss for the zone.
As for healing it, I also found it a lot of fun! I really feel like you have the opportunity to be a little creative with how you heal it for much of the encounter. I liked solving the best place to drop mushrooms and the best times to detonate them. I liked working with the other druid in our group to tweak where we were tranqing as we learned the most dangerous times for the raid. I liked working out healing during the transitions for my quadrant, and being able to think on my feet when something didn’t go quite as planned in our quadrant. I just really found the encounter a lot of fun, and while it does take a lot of time to learn, I always looked forward to trying to figure out a better way to heal different aspects of it from pull to pull. And for me that is what really makes an encounter fantastic.
I am not really sure what to feel about Ra-Den. After Lei Shen, he sort of seems like the cookie you got after finishing your dinner. He was a limited attempt boss, so each pull was important. But once you sort of worked out the main mechanics of the fight it was just a matter of making sure they were executed and you got the kill. It was, I think, a touch anti-climatic. I really feel like Lei Shen was the crown jewel of the tier, and that Ra-Den was a little more of an afterthought. Although, I guess I’m not sure what I expected. I don’t know that it would have been fantastic flow to have Lei Shen be as challenging as he was, and then have Ra-Den be almost as hard. So maybe this is just how it had to be.
As far as healing it, the first 60% or so of the fight is kind of droll. A few bursts that need to be tended to, making sure the tank doesn’t die. But the last 40% or so of the is a lot of fun. It’s very hectic, there is a lot of healing needed and a lot of opportunity for smart spell usage. While I’m not entirely sure it would be in my top encounters to heal in this tier, it’s probably in the upper half of the encounters I healed.
I really enjoyed this tier of content. I think resto druids ended in a decent spot at the end of the tier, even if we are very heavily reliant on mushrooms and tranquility. I am really looking forward to Tier 16, and some of the changes that we have coming our way. Based on how we finished this tier, and those upcoming changes, I think that resto druids are looking fairly strong heading into the Siege. And I am excited!