Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dumbing down has reached a new level

I woke this morning to a new lesson in dumbing down in WoW. In as much as I would love to get my hands on that Blue Drake (I've never killed Malygoes on any of my toons), the new announced changes to "encourage" players to stay and finish Occulus are completely unnecessary.
To encourage players not to shy away from the many invigorating adventures to be had in The Oculus, we have applied a change to enhance the rewards players are provided when selected for this dungeon via the Random Heroic option in the Dungeon Finder. Once Ley-Guardian Eregos is defeated, one loot bag per character will be provided in his chest in addition to the current rewards. Each loot bag will offer players rare gems, two additional Emblems of Triumph, and a chance of being rewarded the Reins of the Blue Drake. These fine treasures could be yours should you honor your fellow party members by besting the challenges contained within The Oculus! Keep in mind, however, that these extra loot bags will only be awarded to each party member if Oculus is selected by the Dungeon Finder when players choose the Random Heroic option.

In light of this change, the Reins of the Azure Drake will now have a chance of dropping in both 10- and 25-player versions of The Eye of Eternity.
People have been complaining bitterly about the Occulus almost since WotLK was released. Complained so bitterly, for so long in fact that Blizzard has nerfed this instance at least three times that I can recall. And yet apparently they're still seeing people who load into it through the random tuck tail and load out immediately.

Listen folks, Occulus is easy. Even more now than it ever was. It just takes a little thought--I know, I know, that's a lot to ask from people--after all, this dungeon is partly fought in 3D, rather than the 2D you are used to every where else. It's that 3D experience that makes this "hard". So let me make this easy for you and explain exactly how to run Occulus. First and foremost, get out of the habit of spreading out. Stick to the tank like glue. Not only does this afford you a little more protection but it also has the benefit of reducing the groups agro radius. You have an individual radius, but taken together the group can do a lot more harm that you probably can by yourself. If everyone is spread out and agroing lots of dragons that is when the group starts to see trouble. Reduce that by staying in a more compact group and flying from one objective to the others directly.

As you kill the first mini-boss and gain your drakes, you need to fly low and directly to the first level inner ring and clear out those mobs. Then as you pass the other platforms fly out to them directly, staying low and only killing the drakes that are directly in your path. You shouldn't have to kill more than 2-3 getting to any of the platforms. After killing the constructs on the second platform, head directly back to the inner ring that you have already cleared and fly through that to the last platform where you can kill the second mini-boss. From there look up and you should see a floating outer ring, where you will have to agro the Mage Lord three times. Kill his adds that spawn, then fly directly into the upper inner ring to actually kill Uram. From there you can either fly out and then up to Ergos, or you can kill all the little drakelings and then fly up to Ergos. It's more expedient if you avoid the drakelings and simply fly directly out from Uram, then up and around the drakelings to the platforms around Ergos.

Ergos is the second of issues that give groups problems, yet he's just as easy to surmount as the drakes that everyone agros when they're clearing the platforms were. If you want to survive Ergos then do two things. First, stay together. Do not under any circumstances spread out. And second, when he phases out, becoming immune to damage and summoning the three glowing balls of doom, fly as a group either clockwise or counter-clockwise around his platform staying clear of those balls that will be following you. When you see the message that the phase shift if ending you can fly back to Ergos as a group and continue to DPS. Throughout the azure drakes need to be putting their rifts up on him and allowing their dot to stack to 10, then firing a shot to detonate that dot. Rinse and repeat throughout the fight. The Green drake needs to keep a 3 stack of poison up on Ergos at all times, and using their own detonate ability for added damage. I forget what it's called, but it's their number 2 button. The loss of health will regenerate from the poison dot they place on Ergos. And of course the red drake needs to simply do tank. Tank better by using the ability to absorb damage from the group either during his enrages (if azure drakes aren't using time stop on those) or when Ergos casts his AOE damage ability.

If you do these two things in Occulus you will finish, and finish without trouble. No need for additional encouragement or bonus loot from Blizzard.