7/8 and holding.

I never got around to picking up a T6 helm.  At first it was a better upgrade for the hunters and shaman than it would have been for me so I passed on it.  Then it stopped dropping altogether.  Then I got the helm from Illidan so I really didn’t need the T6 helm and I passed on it to other people for offspec.  But now I have gotten the other T6 stuff out of Sunwell and I feel incomplete since I only have 7/8 T6 now.  But here is the real problem: Hyjal sucks.  Its a terrible instance and I hope I never go back to it again.  It is fun the first couple times you do it, but after 3-4 times, it goes downhill fast.  And now they buffed the hell out of the Archimonde encounter.  For the life of me I don’t know why.  A guild that has been killing him for months will still occasionally go in there and wipe over and over and over because the fight is totally unforgiving and it has the super-fun randomness that comes with AoE fear. (Super-fun randomness is not actually super-fun).

The Archimonde encounter has gone through a bunch of revisions.  I think the current version is the 3rd distinctly different version of the fight.  Before I go into what is different and why it sucks, I will run through the basic mechanics of the fight.  There is an ability called Doomfire and Archimonde uses it liberally.  A spot of fire spawns on the ground and picks someone at random and chase them until they make an abrupt turn at which point it will pick a new random person.  If the Doomfire touches anyone they get a DoT on them that deals ridiculous amounts of fire damage over 45 seconds.  The strategy for Doomfire is to run in a straight line away from the boss when it is targetting you and just keep running until the fire stops.  What you don’t want to have happen is the fire to target a new person and loop all over the place cutting people off and running through the tank/melee.  If done perfectly there will be a bunch of straight lines of fire running radially away from the boss which makes them a lot easier to avoid.  There is also an ability called Grip of the Legion which is a curse that Archimonde puts on people that does ridiculous amounts of shadow damage and needs to be decursed.  Air Burst is a super fun mechanic that targets one person and hits everyone within a couple yards of that person and shoots them up and back.  Like way up and maybe 30-40 yards back.  The only way to survive the fall is to click on an item that you get before the encounter starts that acts like a mage’s slowfall but only lasts for 3 seconds so you need to time it just right.  There is also an AOE fear which hits everyone and it can make you run straight through a Doomfire.

So, between Doomfire and Grip of the Legion, there is a lot of burst raid damage and with AoE fear it can sometimes be very hard for healers to keep up with the damage and/or be in range to heal a person.  And here is the rub: everytime someone dies, Archimonde gains an ability called Soul Charge.  Depending on the class of the person who died, Soul Charge acts differently, it can be a DoT, a silence or increases damage taken by the raid by 50% and all three different version of Soul Charge have a direct damage component when they are first applied.  When your raid is new to the encounter, a single person dying usually leads to a chain reaction of Soul Charges killing people and you wipe.  When you are comfortably farming the encounter, a Soul Charge is probably 50/50 for causing a chain reaction and wiping the raid.  In short, having a single person die has a pretty good chance of leading to a wipe.

There were a couple of things that made the encounter manageable.  The Doomfire targetting people meant that you could run it away from the raid.  That meant that it would act relatively predictable and it would be relatively easy to stay far away from so you wouldn’t go into it during a fear.  But they took that away.  Now it will just be completely random in where it goes.  There was a deadzone around the boss where fire wouldn’t spawn which meant that melee would never get terribly screwed by Doomfire appearing directly on top of them.  They took away the deadzone, now melee are screwed.  And you used to be able to do the fight with relatively stable positioning.  The range people would be running all over the place avoiding Doomfire, but the tank would never have to move.  But now, the tank is targettable by Air Burst which means that it is entirely possible for the tank to be getting knocked around map forcing the entire raid to reset its positioning.

Basically, Blizzard took one of the most random and difficult encounters in the game and made it harder and more random.  And to boot, it is at the end of a poorly designed and entirely unfun instance.  So I sit here, with 7/8 T6 and I don’t think I will ever go back and get the helm.  Hyjal, and especially Archimonde, are so bad that even my obsessive compulsive desire to be complete won’t overcome it.

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