Saturday, December 12, 2009

Icecrown Citadel: Lower Spire

I got drafted into a 10-man, so I got a chance to see what all the new bosses are like.

Lord Marrowgar

Lord Marrowgar to me, somehow. The coldfire and bone spikes are fine, but I just don't like the whirlwind phase. Which is kind of odd, because I really liked Leotheras, which featured the same switching between whirlwind and normal.

Perhaps it's because Marrowgar is so large. Leotheras was much smaller, so when he whirlwinded, it felt like you could avoid him if you were clever. For Marrowgar, I just head for the hills. As well, because of his size, everyone goes out of range for healing.

That's actually one of my pet peeves about certain raid fights. I dislike fights where people go in and out of range seemingly at random.

Lady Deathwhisper

Lady Deathwhisper is an okay fight, but nothing really special, at least on 10-man. I think this will be more interesting in 25-mans, as the extra mobs will add more complexity to the fight. Actually, looking at WoWWiki, Mind Control alone will make life interesting.

Icecrown Gunship Battle

The Gunship Battle is simply awesome! Airships, cannons, repelling boarding parties, boarding the opposing ship in turn, jet packs, Muradin Bronzebeard, High Overlord Saurfang! This fight has so many different elements, and yet they all combine beautifully to form an insanely fun fight.

I particularly like the way Saurfang is used as a phase-enrage timer, with his self-stacking buff. It gives the players a chance to engage him in combat, makes it imperative to board the enemy ship, kill the targets, and get out quickly, but also retains Saurfang's essential badass-ness.

Simply a great, great fight.


(Not sure if Deathbringer's identity is considered a spoiler, but I will err on the side of caution. Note that the link to fight reveals his identity.)

Deathbringer is an interesting fight. It's a good fight, with interesting and challenging mechanics.

However, I wonder if Deathbringer will be disproportionately harder for Gentry guilds than it will be for Aristocracy and Royalty guilds.

Basically, Deathbringer stacks Blood Points whenever he deals damage. When he reaches 100 Blood Points, he puts Mark of the Champion on a random raid member, and they take damage whenever Deathbringer deals damage. So the Marks act as a soft enrage for the fight.

The thing is that some of the abilities which grant Deathbringer Blood Points are avoidable. So Gentry guilds will be hit with a double penalty. First, Gentry DPS is lower than Royalty/Aristocracy DPS, so more Marks will be handed out. Second, Gentry are more likely to make small mistakes when it comes to the avoidable Blood Points. People won't be far enough apart for Blood Boil, or they'll get hit by Blood Beasts. So not only will the Gentry get more Marks because their fight will be longer, they will accumulate those Marks at a faster rate.

I think that combination, that double penalty, might make the fight harder than expected for lower level guilds. If any of the available fights gets nerfed in Icecrown, I expect this one to be the first. And the vast majority of Aristocracy and Royalty guilds won't understand why.


So far, the first few bosses are pretty good. I loved Gunship Battle and Deathbringer, and enjoyed Lady Deathwhisper. Only Marrowgar didn't seem that fun to me.


  1. I am not positive, but I believe that Marrowgar's whirl does not deal any cleave-type damage like Leotheras' did. He just spins and five trails of coldfire spread outward from directly below him. I tanked the fight, and I too tried to avoid the spinning. However, on my warlock, I noticed he wasn't hitting me when I was right next to him, so I decided to just not worry about the whirl, and as best I can tell, I took no extra damage. I am not sure if he moves to players or to random locations to output fire, but if it's the latter, it is entirely possible that players have no need to spread out at all, aside from the very end of the whirl when he stops, drops aggro, and tanks need to pick him up whilst he's immune to taunt.

  2. i have picks of some of the bosses on my website the first post

  3. Marrowgar's whirlwind does almost insignificant damage, because he is essentially unavoidable because of his size. Bone Storm phase might as well be a raid-wide DoT that deals ~3000 damage every 3 seconds.

    The dangerous part of the phase is the coldfire crosses he puts down.

    You might be better off telling the raid to only dodge the coldfire during that phase, instead of trying to avoid Marrowgar himself.

  4. what everyone said about Marrowgar. its easier to heal through the negligible damage his whirl does then have people go out of range at inconvenient moments and have them die. Even on 25 man.

    Gunship battle....Flame leviathan 2.0 First time I did it on 10 man? I was in whack a mole a healing bar/avoid the circles mode. the phases went kid of in a blurr and then the ship left O-O Very underwhelming. on 25 man, I've gotten a little bit more of a battle, but honestly? if you get past lady Deathwhisper, who by the way is ridiculous hectic fun on 25 man, Gunship battle seems more like an interlude of now that you did the hard fight? here's you epics and jetpack fun - enjoy!

    Saurand on 15 man...ouch. the biggest issue is the fact that that balcony is just so tiny. its very hard to spread out and kite and those blood beasts move at about your run speed (at least that's what it seemed like to me) so if our snares are on CD and they are on you? they WILL take a bite out of you. the fun part about this fight is that the more healers you get - the harder it becomes, simply becasue it lasts longer, so its actually easier with less healers and more dps. not sure where my guild fits on your scale since we managed a hardmode here and there, but for the most part, they are still too much, but so far, our best attempt at Saurfang resulted in 10% and then people just start dying, healing him back up :/. it becomes hard to impossible to manage adds at that point and since his marks are coming faster and faster? Ugg.

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  6. Oops, accidentally spoiled Deathbringer's identity in my last comment. Deleted it, and here it is without the spoiler:

    I think the double-dip on Deathbringer is intentional. Remember that ICC will be self-nerfing, in that a few weeks after the Lich King comes out, we'll start getting a stacking aura that mimics Luck of the Draw with +%healing, +%health, and +%damage. So it won't really bother Blizzard if bad guilds wind up being 3/12 ICC for a while, since they'll eventually get to see the content, and it'll give "hardcore raiders" some epeen if they can see the other wings before the casuals can get in.

    Also, 25-man Deathbringer is way, way harder than 10-man. Our 2 10-man groups one-shot or two-shot Deathbringer, but it took half a night of learning to get him on 25-man, even with 15-17 people having seen the fight already. We're only a two-night/week "semi-casual" guild, ranking about 6th on a middle-of-the-road server. Given our success, probably any guild that can clear ToC25 will have Saurfang down before the next gate opens on Jan. 5th.

    Yeah, gunship battle is a cakewalk, but being on the assault team is just so much fun! Just playing with the jetpacks is fun.

    Note: 25-man Deathbringer drops a tier token. They're class-specific but not slot specific.

  7. I basically spend 3 days relearning how to tank, based on the mob pathing bug introduced in 3.3. Basically, mobs perception of where you are is off, and they have a tendency of running through you or flanking you. This is a big issue with Deathwhisper, since some of her adds cleaves quit hard.

    Deathbringer is just to control the blood points he builds up. This is significantly easier in 10 man than 25 man, since there's far less target and more room to spread out.

  8. Generally, we've found it can be a larger issue if you range your healers and then eat some coldflame damage, maybe even some WW damage too. We found it almost better to stay a little bit closer together increasing WW damage, but also upping HPS and making sure that the tanks don't get gibbed when getting back into position.

  9. There is one particular mechanic in the final fight that is almost completely neutralized by a priest using power-word-shield. One priest is enough in a 10 man to make the encounter easy, very easy if the priest knows when he should use it. (most priests use it pretty heavily so they accidentally help things along a bit) I think 25 man raids struggle because they haven't figured this out yet.

  10. The gunship battle is probably THE highlight! Maybe it's my preferance for guns and airships and this certain steampunk-fantasy feeling, but imo it's one of the best ideas Blizzard implemented!

  11. Yeah i have to agree with you, the marrowgar is a little boring but the gunship battle is awesome!