My favorite WoW boss

Even though Vael is at 30% when you walk into room, you still have a long way to go. The tanks have infinite rage, but threat can still be an issue since rogues and dps warriors have infinite energy/rage too. Casters generally didn’t have a problem with threat because more mana for them does not correlate to a huge dps increase like it does for druids/rogues/warriors. The key was having the dpsers stay below all the tanks, not just the current tank. Once Vael was below 20% though, the OTs could go to Battle stance and start dropping full rage bar executes on the boss which would generate plenty of threat.

This fight was THE dps race on vanilla wow. Everyone loved being able to put out huge numbers. Burning Adrenaline was a great mechanic that was gauranteed to kill the person it was cast on but it gave you the consolation of a HUGE damage burst before you died. The “enrage” timer was basically the 3 minute duration of Essence of the Red and it was pretty tightly tuned. A guild that had been clearing MC and was playing well would beat the enrage timer, but if your dps was off their game or healers were letting people die, then you were going wipe no matter how good your gear was. It was a gear check and a skill check at the same time. Lots and lots of guilds shattered on Vael. He was the guild killer of vanilla WoW.

A lot of people hated the Vael fight and I never really understood why. If was definately one of the hardest fights in BWL and its placement as the second encounter of the instance meant it was a major stumbling block. But the hard fights are the fun ones IMO. And Vael was very hard. The mechanics were unique, especially after Molten Core, it was a dps race and a skill check. It was a relatively short fight and was very intense the whole time. It was just a great fight.

Fun fact: when BWL was first released, if you didn’t kill Vael within an hour of the first time you engaged him he would automatically despawn for 12 hours and iirc, you couldn’t move on to the next boss without killing Vael so if you didn’t get him within that hour then you were screwed.

The attunement for BWL is very very easy by modern standards. When you head up to the doorway for UBRS, if you keep going past down the hallway there are some mid-50s elite mobs. One of them is called Blackrock Quartermaster (or something close to that). You kill him and he drops an item that starts a quest. The quest is to go kill General Drakkisath in UBRS and touch the orb behind him. Once you do that you are attuned to BWL. Get yourself back outside the UBRS portal and head all the way to the end of that hallway and you will see the Orb of Command and you can put your hand on it and you will be teleported into BWL.

The only hard part of the attunement is finding someone with an UBRS key. With 10 people you can clear UBRS in about 20 minutes. If there is someone who has done the fights before and can explain them, then you can do everything in BWL with 15 people. You will need Onyxia Scale Cloaks for your tanks if you want to do the three drakes and your whole raid will need those cloaks if you want to do Nefarian, but those are easy enough to get since Ony can be killed with 5-10 people (less is possible but it takes a while).

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7 comments on this post.
  1. sevve:

    Couldn’t agree more on that one.

  2. sevve:

    After a few healers-didnt-heal wipes, you had the random-dpser-agro wipes, which led to the someguy-goes-too-close-and-gets-the-raid-chaincleaved wipes. In between all these you obviously had the random-guy-blows-up-raid wipes and some-rogue-forgot-to-vanish wipes. After the last couple of 1% wipes, everything was perfect and he was down. You knew you were sailing away from the other guilds deep into BWL.

    Still, one thing makes me think. How hard could this fight be with threat meters?
    Raiding had a lot more charm back then.

  3. Rochelle:

    Don’t forget the hunter-accidentally-shot-the-boss-while-everyone-was-still-getting-buffed wipe

  4. Dryn:

    Unfortunately, KTM was around when I was doing this fight, and the raid leader insisted that everyone used it. Still fun, though. Vael felt like a fast-paced panic fight, which you simply don’t see in TBC; everything is all about endurance and being careful. Vael was WoW on the edge. ;)

    I’d have to say that next to possibly Buru in AQ20 (lolkite!) Vael was one of my favourites, even though I wasn’t playing a tank back then. I’d love to go back there sometime. Gonna try to force some guildies to get attuned and spend a whole night wiping on Razorgore again. :D Good times!

  5. Dryn:

    “But then he went all emo and started listening to Thursday and My Chemical Romance and he probably got some tatoos of a rose with a tear or something and he changed his name to Deathwing.”

    Epic rendition of WoW lore there. :D

  6. sevve:

    “Don’t forget the hunter-accidentally-shot-the-boss-while-everyone-was-still-getting-buffed wipe”

    Hehe yes I forgot that one, we actually had a hunter do that with a target-dummy though.

  7. cat tablets web log » Blog Archive » My favorite WoW boss:

    [...] Tank Hard! always has something good to say. I like this one posted earlier today. Follow the link for the whole thing. Allow me to introduce my dear friend, the second boss of Blackwing Lair, Vaelstrasz the Corrupt. Vael pops up a couple other places in the game (LBRS and UBRS) where he is friendly and helps you out, but when you see him in BWL it’s a different story. First, a quick rundown of BWL lore. BWL is the home of Nefarian, son of Neltharion. Netharion was the leader of the Black Dragonflight and, like most of the dragons in WoW lore was a pretty cool dude. But then he went all emo and started listeni [...]

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