Friday, January 30, 2009


The best fight in Naxxramas is Thaddius.

There are so many reasons this fight is great. First is the atmosphere. It's all about constructs and electricity, strongly evoking Frankenstein's Monster. Polarity, splitting into two, positive and negative, so much great flavor. The layout of the room even reminds me of a MOSFET.

Second is the introduction to the fight with Stalagg and Fuegen. It's beautifully designed to split your raid in half, allowing a seamless transition to Thaddius. Simultaneous kills are always a fun mechanic. The swapping of tanks is hilarious. It reinforces the whole shifting sides flavor of the fight.

Third is the jump to Thaddius' ledge. Why is there a jump? There doesn't need to be one. But it's there, and it's just a little bit of extra challenge. It's also something that lends itself to memorable fights. A lot of people talk about the jump and it probably generates more chatter than any of the other elements.

Fourth is the polarity shift mechanic on Thaddius himself. I just find watching for polarity shifts and running around Thaddius to be fun. It's a mechanic that also beautifully reinforces the primary flavor theme of the fight.

Lastly, I really like the strategies available to defeat Thaddius. I've only killed him with the two-point strategy. But the four-point strategy is elegant. It's one of the few strategies that have really impressed me with its cleverness.

(Four-point is to form a square around Thaddius with the two groups on diagonally opposite points. On a polarity shift, if your charge changes, run to the point on your right. If your charge stays the same, run to the point on your left.)

Thaddius is the best fight in Naxxramas. It has great flavor, and elegant mechanics which serve to strongly reinforce that flavor, while still providing a challenge for the raid.


  1. Thaddius is my favorite fight too. but, I didn't think about all the stuff you mentioned. I just really like it because it's melee friendly.

  2. I personally like Heigan. But then again, I'm a masochist. Dancing is probably the most fun thing one can do in naxxramas.

  3. Couple weeks ago on 10-man, the only wipe we had was on Thaddius. We had discussed before the fight that left was for negative, right was for positive, and then right as we got the first electrical charges, the raid leader says over vent "negative right, positive left."

    He felt pretty stupid afterwards and was pretty quiet over vent until we were done with the fight.

  4. I also like the Thaddius fight, but it's the only boss in Naxx that cannot be bruteforced if you have few members in the raid. We're usually 17-18 in a raid, and it makes Thaddius almost impossible. The reason is obviously the 10% damageincrease you get for each member, so no matter how good your DPS is, you're still in trouble unless you are over 20. We did get our Dedicated Few achievement the other day, not by actually trying, but simply by having too few members.

    A 2-point strategy is just so much easier. Since it's very important to keep everyone alive for the damagebuffs, it makes mistakes less frequent, and people usually don't die. We used a 4point strategy at first, and while it is indeed elegant, it forces everyone to focus much more on what polarity they have, and less on DPS.

  5. The mini-bosses before Thaddius make me jealous of non-tanks. I don't know why, but getting thrown across the room is FUN.

    As for the positioning, I don't understand 4-point. Why not just use two sides? I suppose it would reduce the distance to run, but then you have to think more about your charge. Brains are limited, increasing the complexity is asking for trouble.

    What I like about Thaddius is that it's a fake DPS fight like Gruul. Fake? Yea, it's not a DPS fight. It's a standing in the right place fight. Your personal DPS can vary a lot and it won't matter nearly as much as the 10% you're giving to everyone near you. Similar to Gruul, stand in the right spot or you're killing everyone, and killing three people is a lot worse than being low on the meters.

  6. From a healing perspective, I think Loatheb is the most interesting fight. (Or maybe just a druid healer's perspective.)

  7. We got world first on Thaddius (60) and we tried the 4 point and failed. We also tried healers on the ledge. It was impossible at the time given it's gear level. The fight was intended to be 2 point.

  8. Thaddius is also one of my favorite fight to tank. It's really fun getting tossed across the room, and pray that your healers are smart enough to change target.

  9. The four point strategy requires more concentration and better play from raiders, but is not any more demanding gear-wise than the two point strat. From what I can tell, the main purpose of it is to help lessen the liklihood of deaths due to lag or short-term disconnects.

    I think it's more likely that Blizzard had the two point strat in mind when they designed the fight, but the four point is just as valid. Both methods are kind of cool looking when you consider an overhead view of the fight being executed properly. I like to imagine little particles. :)

  10. It would indeed be awesome if it wouldn't lag so much. Think we gave up 2-3 nights (when it was close to the end) just because on every first polarity shift, up to 5-6 people were dead every time before they saw any polarity icon. Lag ftl.

  11. The entire value of 4 points is as a lag workaround...
    And personally I have a love-hate relationship with the fight : the mechanic is great but if the server is lagging it's utterly impossible to defeat the encounter.

    "We got world first on Thaddius (60) and we tried the 4 point and failed. We also tried healers on the ledge. It was impossible at the time given it's gear level. The fight was intended to be 2 point."
    Seeing how you misunderstand the 4 point strat I very much doubt you were part of any world first :)

  12. I love this fight as well and for all the same reasons you state here. I HATE the corpse run(frogger + stat slime + poison tunnel + roaming shades FTL). My guild uses the 4-camp strat and it's worked well for us. We use a simple macro to help the directionally challenged (like myself):

    <--- positi negative --->
    <--- change nochange --->

    Also, one of our guildies created a 3-part gregorian chant that chimes "Change left, no change right" with "positive, negative" in the background an octave or so lower.

  13. I have not done many fights in Naxx but this one is amazing.

    The jump is a killer and wiped us more than the polaris.

    Only ever used the 2 point tactic would like to try the 4 just to see if it is any good.

  14. Mokhtar, that's Azreal of Death & Taxes. He isn't exaggerating about world firsts. Please don't insinuate that other commenters are lying.

    Second, I think that "healers on the ledge" refers to a different potential (failed) strategy, not 4-point.

  15. Meh, I don't find the layout of Thaddius that much fun or even Gluth. It is extremely annoying to have to jump down from the ledges and then re-summon your demons. At least on Gluth it's not a terrible lost of DPS as you generally move him towards the door to tank him anyway but on Thaddius, I usually get fluster as I have to either form up and then summon or summon then book it over to Thaddius but by then I could be on the wrong side with a charge that kills me.