Break’s over

Yay, last night we all got to dip a toe into Tomb of Sargeras, and it felt good to be back into a weekly raid schedule after the last few weeks of “What are we going to do tonight” and “cancelled” raid nights. Our approach is usually to run a couple nights of normal for a new raid tier, then start in on heroic progression. So last night we charged into normal ToS.

Stipulating that we are probably overgeared for it, and that we have excellent tanks and healers, I still expected it to be more challenging than it was. Most of us had read one or two summaries of each boss, maybe a couple people had watched a PTR video or two, and before each pull our RL gave us about a 1-minute rundown on the basic mechanics. (We had 16? 17? people.) Strategies were minimal, limited to those bosses that absolutely required splitting the team in two or something obvious. We wiped a couple of times but were 8/9 by the time we reached our raid end time. Some decent tier gear and trinkets dropped for quite a few people, although no one got a new legendary. All in all, it was a fun night.

Some initial observations:

  • The raid is, in my opinion, crazy complicated to navigate — doors, spiral staircases leading to dead end rooms, holes to jump down into, etc. We spent a significant amount of time just running around the place looking for the next boss, often circumnavigating the whole tomb in the process.
  • There are some excessively long runbacks after wipes/deaths. We were saved by having a couple warlocks, and we ended up just summoning people who rezzed and got hopelessly lost — A LOT. Blizz really needs to put in a few portals for getting back to bosses.
  • It is an inside raid, which means there is no opportunity to use (possible exception is the last boss) repair mounts. You engineers out there, start producing auto-hammers, because they are going to be in great demand while this tier is current. (Whatever happened to the practice of stationing repair NPCs just inside raids?)
  • There is heavy use of light/dark motifs throughout the raid. Several bosses require you to be aware of what “color” you are (magic, not race) and react accordingly. Example: there is even one passageway with different colored orbs you have to dodge, except you can hit any of the ones of the same color you originally ran into without damage. (I usually just ended up hitting Aspect of the Turtle and plowing through — too annoying to deal with.)
  • We first thought there was not a lot of trash to deal with — a nice break from Blizz’s recent fixation on mega-trash. However, it turns out this is only the case in the first wing. After that, there is tons of trash, and much of it hits really hard.
  • If you read up on each boss’s mechanics, you will shake your head in despair, because it seems almost impossible to deal with all of them. Don’t worry. When it comes down to it, at least in normal mode, they are actually much easier to deal with than you would think just by reading about them. More complicated to describe than to execute.

No clue how much trouble we will have with the final boss on Thursday, and I am relatively certain it will take us at least a couple of weeks to clear heroic once we start. Still, I suspect this raid tier will get to farm status relatively quickly, and very shortly we will be in the kill-time-before-7.3 mode.

WARNING! RED ALERT! RANT FOLLOWS! 

Speaking of killing time, I am going to go on a small rant here and complain, once again, about the whole ridiculous Legion legendary gear adventure. The latest stupid move is to make us work our tails off to upgrade the legendaries we have, just to get them to the same level as the ones currently dropping. And before I get tons of snarky you-just-want-everything-given-to-you mail, let me say, no, that is not the case. I don’t mind long quest lines or difficult challenges that lead to whatever achievement I am seeking — rather like them, in fact. And I do not think gear should be given out freely like candy. If you are someone doing high level content then you should get higher level gear than someone not doing that content. That seems obvious to me. (But I think you should actually get it, not merely be given the chance to roll the dice for it, but that is another topic.)

But people who have multiple legendaries — useful ones at that — by this time in the game will now have to spend weeks upgrading them to the same level as will fall in 7.2.5. I don’t have a feel for how fast the upgrade currency will fall, but I think an active end game player will probably be able to upgrade maybe one or one and a half per week. Some people (not me) have as many as 15 legendaries or more. To have to grind out the currency to upgrade these just seems petty and stupid. (Not even going to guess at how long it might take a non-raiding non-mythics alt to get an upgrade.)

And as for the inevitable argument of “Well, you can only wear 2 at a time, so in 2 weeks you could upgrade all you need”, no that is actually not the case. Blizz has spent a lot of time blizzsplaining to us that they want us to switch out our legendaries to fit different situations — that, they say, is the whole point of having so many different ones, to give us “choices” and “options”.

Why not, instead of grinding currency (a practice, btw, roundly and often condemned by Ion Hazzikostas), have us do a one-time quest line to get some kind of magic upgrade stone for all our legendaries? That would still have the intended gating effect, but it would reduce, in my opinion, the sheer annoyance of once again having to grind out game time for the “gift” of making your legendaries — which many of us have chased for months — current with the current game level. (In WoD, as I recall, the legendary ring automatically upgraded when there were significant gear upgrades.)

Making us “earn” a current level legendary was not onerous the last time it happened in Legion, because back then most people had only one or two legendaries, and they probably had them only on their main. True, a few had more, but they were the exception. But now, I suspect most active end game players have a lot of them. Blizz clearly took the lazy way out on this, re-using the previous mechanic and not considering how the situation has changed. It is, I feel, yet another cheap easy attempt to inveigle us to spend more time playing the game than we would normally spend, and call it “content”.

Okay, maybe that was not such a small rant. Sorry.

END RANT. WE NOW RETURN YOU TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED BLOG POST.

Anyway, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, I found ToS interesting, and getting back to raiding was a lot of fun. I don’t think the raid will age particularly well, but it is something interesting to spend a few weeks doing this summer. 

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

5 Responses to Break’s over

  1. Marathal says:

    I have resigned myself to the possibility my Legendary pieces will still be at 940 by the end of the expansion. I don’t think I have anything left in me to grind out 100 things to raise the 2 of them up.

    • Fiannor says:

      I am hoping they at least increase the drop from emissary caches. I think last night I was getting 5 per box, which is not awful if it is guaranteed, not RNG, but double that seems more reasonable. That would make it attainable, since I have at most one “real” and one crummy crafted on any of my alts, and several of them have none at all. Seems no real point in upgrading the crafted ones at any rate.

  2. Grumsta says:

    The biggest issue our 7/9N and 1/9H raid group had last night was actually seeing some of the mechanics.

    I genuinely struggled to see the pillars about to come out of the floor on the first boss: a pale grey area against another slightly different shade of grey area is how it looked to me. I was expecting a green swirl to announce their arrival.

    Similarly there were instances where one coloured patch on the floor was obscuring another different coloured patch which caused us issues. That seemed mainly a trash issue so not a terrible problem to overcome.

    The trash was nowhere near as bad as NH’s, especially early in the raid. I’d say the silence debuff they give was the one that got most people howling in frustration (ironically…).

    I’ve seen a few posts about colour-blind people having issues with the green and yellow orbs. Fortunately with a cooperative team they can just stand where the balls won’t hit them and have others do the gathering. [That whole mechanic is the kind of thing I loathe in WoW raids – it’s straight out of an arcade game, and it spoils an otherwise entertaining fight.]

    I’ve always relied on BigWigs and TMW to track raid mechanics, but I’m installing Weak Auras too at the weekend so that we can all use the same mechanic tracking tools. The ongoing arms-race continues.

    Agree about the 940 -> 970 legendary upgrade. The precedent was set earlier with 910 -> 940 when it wasn’t such a big issue. Emissary chests seem the easiest place to get them so I’ll just grind those out until my main ones are done. Hopefully Blizzard can increase the drop rate of the currency so we’re done faster.

    • Fiannor says:

      It does seem possible that color blind players would have a problem with the orbs, and I am kind of surprised Blizz put in such a mechanic. Like you, I hate that dodgeball mechanic, but Blizz has seemed to love it ever since at least Wrath. I am terrible with it, whether it is manifested as glowing orbs, giant snowballs, tornadoes, or marching death soldiers in formation. I finally gave up on Maiden of Vigilance and used the no-orb path, figuring even if it adversely affected my damage output, it wouldn’t affect it as badly as it would if I died.

      I am a big fan of Weakauras, although I have never used it to track boss effects, only my own and pet rotation, buffs, health, etc. It is extremely powerful, even if you do not do any of the code writing but stick to the GUI config options.

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