ShadowCraft Engine web frontend AKA Cata spreadsheet
This post is long overdue. I’ve been meaning to write about this for about a month now but every time I did so the result just didn’t feel right. It’s like I can’t write about my departure from WoW without mentioning something I wasn’t comfortable sharing. So what’s going to be here are carefully written words from someone who’s had a change of perspective with WoW. While this will likely not sit well with certain people, believe me when I say that it was the only way I could get back into the game with any semblance of sanity.
I left because I was burned out. That’s the plain and simple reason. I felt good about leaving the game. Immersing myself in Assassin’s Creed 2 and then moving on to Demon’s Souls and Uncharted 2 were experiences that I enjoyed immensely. The only thing I regret about leaving the game is that there were items in my mailboxes that I have now lost forever. All of them are replaceable, of course, but losing them is a waste nonetheless.
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I should be raiding, but I have no power at home due to a nearby blown transformer. Some birthday week this is turning out to be. Anyway, moving on.
You’ve all heard about the Cataclysm raiding changes by now. The most glaring one is the loot and lockout integration of the 10- and 25-man content. This means that the 10-man version of Cataclysm raids will drop the same items from the 25-man. And once you commit yourself to the 10-man, you can’t do it again on the 25 due to the shared lockout. Blizz says that the 25-man version will simply drop more loot.
This begs the question: what is the incentive for 25-man raiding? I can think of two things: better loot and “easier” fights. The first one is self-explanatory so we’ll skip that. What I mean with fights being easier is that there’s more room for error. If you lose one or two DPS during a Festergut-25 fight, it doesn’t automatically mean a wipe. If the same thing happens with the 10-man version then you can say hello to a higher repair bill.
The upcoming changes just removed the first incentive. The loot is going to be the same, which leaves us with the second. I don’t think potentially easier fights are strong enough reasons to still do the 25. It then takes us to the incentive that Blizz presented. They say that more loot will drop in the 25, so the next question is how much more is “more”? ICC 25 bosses currently drop 3-4 items. Given the current itemization scheme, you’re not really fighting against 24 people for them. If you’re a tank, your chances of getting a drop are 50%, because your only rolling against the other tank. If you’re a healer, it’s you versus 4-5 other players. The chances to win are lower if you’re DPS since there’s more of us in the group, but that also varies per class. If you’re cloth, well, I tend to laugh in your general direction when it comes to winning rolls. Trying to win against 5-6 people? Seriously, good luck with that.
Now, compare those numbers with the 10-man. There are 2 drops per boss. For tanks, it’s still 50% since you’re only rolling against the other tank. For healers, it’s you against two other people, maybe. For DPS, the chances are definitely a lot better. The point here is obvious, and has blatantly been from the moment the changes were announced: given the way things are right now, no one is going to run the 25-man raids when Cataclysm hits. With that said, what’s your guild going to do?
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Festergut is a DPS race. He’s got a 5-minute enrage timer that you have to beat.
Again, for melee DPS this is mostly a tank and spank fight. Stand behind the boss and hack away.
Aside from the 5-minute timer, the other gimmick to the fight is Pungent Blight, an AOE spell that will one-shot everyone in the room. Surviving the ability will depend on how many stacks of Inoculated you have on you.
Festergut will put Gas Spores on random raid members (2 on 10-man, 3 on 25) prior to casting Pungent Blight. The spores cause a 12-second debuff and then explode. Anyone nearby will get Inoculated eventually (it causes another debuff first). He will cast the spores three times, which means you can get Inoculated three times, before casting Pungent Blight.
As you can tell by now, spreading the spores is vital to the raid. On 10-man, you’ll have a ranged group and a melee group. DBM will mark the two members who get the spores with skull and X. Your raid leader will likely designate which mark stays with melee and which mark runs to ranged. Pay attention to that part because you want to know when you’ll be running to ranged if you get the spore on you. For example, if your RL says X goes to ranged and you get marked X, then you’ll have to stop DPS, get to the ranged group and stay there until the spore explodes. You have 12 seconds to do all that. On 25, it’s the same, except that there are 3 spores and DBM marks the third raid member with square.
Still on the spores, the last thing to remember is that a tank can get a Gas Spore as well. This can screw up your assignments. Imagine the same scenario above where X runs to ranged. What if the tank is marked X? Obviously, he can’t go to the ranged group since he’s tanking the boss. Be ready to adjust accordingly.
Finally, Feint is your friend. When the boss starts casting Pungent Blight, get Feint up before he finishes and you’ll get hit with less damage. It’s even possible to survive with only two stacks of Inoculated because of it. And no, Cloak doesn’t work. Not in my experience anyway.
Get 3 stacks of Inoculated. Bring the spores to the correct group when you get them. Use Feint to minimize the damage from Pungent Blight.
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Saurfang is a tank and spank affair for melee DPS. Just stand behind him and DPS away.
All of his skills and abilities need not be your concern. Yes, even the dreaded mark. They’re things that your healers have to address.
What you have to watch out for is what not to do when the adds spawn, and that involves not AoEing (see how I just turned that into a verb? You get it, right?). Since Fan of Knives has no place in the fight I doubt that you’ll be casting that and hitting the Blood Beasts by accident. Time Killing Spree and Blade Flurry carefully so that you’re only hitting the boss when they’re up.
2 Blood Beasts spawn on 10-man while 5 appear on 25. They don’t do much damage and therefore don’t need to be tanked, but when they hit a raid member they return blood points to Saurfang. This is the reason why they’re usually assigned to ranged DPS. If your raid leader wants you to help DPS them down, then hit hard and fast. Bring them down quickly so that they die before you get aggro.
I’m probably over-simplifying the fight at this point since the boss has more abilities than I mentioned here, but none of them should be of any concern to you as melee DPS.