Thursday, July 01, 2021

Sire Denathrius and the Lack of Titanforging

As one raid tier ends and we look forward to the next one, I've been thinking about the end boss of Castle Nathria, Sire Denathrius.

I think Sire Denathrius was an excellent end boss for a raid. He was a difficult fight, which took us many attempts to learn and master. But at the same time, Denathrius was a predictable fight. Abilities happened on schedule, and there were definite marks the raid aimed for and tried to hit. Once we killed him once, and knew we could kill him, we repeated the kill every week. If we failed to kill him on an attempt, it was always because we made a mistake somewhere in the fight.

At the same time, though, Sire Denathrius never really became easier to kill. Killing him every week felt as difficult as killing him the first time. We would always switch from alts to mains and make sure we had the full complement of healers. Heck, one of our tanks switched classes after the first kill to take less damage and make repeating the kill easier! We couldn't really carry anyone on the kill. We only got AOTC for our two casual raiders (who don't come for progression night) in the second-last week, even though they had been faithfully attending every week.

I think the primary cause of this was the lack of titanforging. As a raid group, we killed Sire Denathrius near the peak of our gear level. Obviously we got some better gear from Denathrius and filled out holes, but we didn't improve enough to really put him on farm. In the two previous expansions, titanforged pieces or corrupted items would continue to drop. The raid's power level continued to increasing, making farming the end boss easier and easier.

I think that aspect of titanforging was useful. It made farming less stressful and more casual. People could bring alts, or we could carry friends, or take non-optimal compositions. I'm pretty sure we were two-healing an 18-person heroic N'Zoth by the end of the tier.

Maybe taking advantage of the Vault would work. For example, if you killed Sire Denathrius, your vault would guarantee one piece of gear from the next tier. So if you killed Heroic Sire Denathrius, you would get a Mythic item in the Vault next week. A Normal kill guarantees a Heroic piece. I think that would be enough to preserve the challenge of the first kill, but still allow the raid to improve enough in three to four weeks to make farming the end boss more relaxing and allow for more slack.


  1. Maybe you're right and lack of titanforging is making many players raiding lives harder, but I personally think that HC Sire was really overtuned, that's why you only got him near your maximum ilvl. Maybe he was tuned with titanforging in mind for some reason.
    We'll see really soon if the trend continues in 9.1!
    Really enjoying your blog, thank you for posting :)

    1. Thanks for the kind words!

      Well, I have a preference for difficult end bosses which require many attempts, and I thought Sire Denathrius hit that mark perfectly. But he never really got easier. We always got him every week, but he never truly felt on farm status. And he didn't really have much randomness either, which is the usual case where that feeling happens.

      For example, we had a lot of trouble with Sludgefist as well, but farming Sludgefist wasn't too bad.

      Like there's two phases to raiding: progression and farming. I thought Castle Nathria progression was near-perfect. But Castle Nathria farming was fine for the first 9 bosses, but felt odd for the last one.

  2. Denathrius phase 3 is unusually hard on heroic, requiring near perfect execution, with difficult ability overlaps (like 2 set of orbs one right after another, or cutting swords plus orbs, or one occurense when you raid has to quickly move from one side of the room to another right before he does knockback).

    We struggled on Denathrius as much even with half the raid having higher item levels from Mythic plus Valut row (almost full 226).

    1. Yeah, P3 is difficult. But it's also predictable and gets more hectic as it goes on. Improving DPS would shorten that phase significantly and make it much easier. Historically, we improve DPS on farming both by DPS gearing up and healers gearing up and then switching a couple to DPS.

      For some reason, we were unable to do this on Sire. Even at the end we were running our full complement of 4-5 healers and finishing P3 at roughly the same time every attempt.