The Oculus

The Oculus is not your standard instance in any way. There are several elements not found in other places that make it a very interesting instance.

Once you enter the portal to the instance, you’re confronted with a long, circular hallway. The trash needs to be cleared entirely up until reaching a portal on the other side. Crossing that portal leads to the first boss.

Drakos the Interrogator

Drakos might remind you of the first boss in Mechanar (non-heroic). He constantly spawns little mines that need to be avoided. Sometimes he pulls the entire raid to himself and spawns lots of mines. When he does that the boss needs to be kited away immediately into a safe zone. The rest of the group should do the same. It doesn’t sound hard on paper, but, well… it isn’t that hard in practice either. The only other ability that he has is a sort of bomb debuff like the one Murmur did at the end of Shadow Labs. He does this after a pull, which is why each member should look for his/her own safe zone.

With Drakos dead, the real fun begins. Three cages open, each with an NPC. Talking to an NPC grants you an item that allows you to summon a dragon to ride inside the instance (in case you want another one there’s an option to exchange the one you have for the one you want).

Flight school – part one

The options are:

Emerald: healing drake. Has a poison attack that stacks up to 3 times, DoTs and heals the drake for the damage it does.

Ruby: tank drake. Has a chain-fire breath attack (think of chain lightning). Gains charges every time it gets hit by an enemy; these charges are then unleashed with a special evasion skill, which causes the next few attacks to miss (and consume a charge). Think of getting rage to activate shield block, and shield block charges protecting you from attacks but being consumed until you have none, and until you finished all your charges you’re not getting any rage.

Bronze: DPS drake. Has a normal ranged attack (single target, uninteresting attack) and time stop. The latter does exactly what you might think, and also adds charges to enemies that will be affected by time stop. The charges for a Bronze drake are quite different in that they act like bombs, when you attack a target with charges the charges detonate, causing tons of damage.

Once the group is set up (ideal set up is one Ruby, two Emerald and two Bronze) you have to kill 10 centrifuge constructs. These are big robots like the ones in Mechanar and Botanica. You’ll find three on a platform directly left of you, three on a platform directly right of you, and the other four in four different groups on the central platform. Those on the central platform are each surrounded by three to four casters, so watch out. Getting them nice and clumped up for easy AE tanking may be difficult, so you might want to CC some of those that are far away.

With all the constructs down, you just pulled down the shield around Varos Cloudstrider.

Varos Cloudstrider

Varos is standing on a platform directly opposite of where you first got your drakes. Clear ALL the trash around his platform (you don’t want them to add during the fight..) Unlike Drakos, Varos actually can wipe you if you don’t know what’s going on.

The platform on which Varos stands is surrounded by a bunch of vortexes. After a while, he’s going to start shooting beams that connect to tese vortexes (they come instantly and they are nice and straight, easily recognizable). If you stand in one of those beams you immediately need to get out. After a few seconds he starts to charge the vortexes, which means anyone in between him and the vortex he’s connected to will get a nice smack in the face. Note that you won’t avoid the damage just by not standing “directly” in the beam, you will only avoid it by going in an area not occupied by one. If you see two beams in close proximity, then the area in between is a no-go zone. If you see a nice space in between two, then you’ll be safe there in between. Varos also summons drakes that do a sort of eye beam. These drakes can’t be targeted (as far as I know) so just get out of the eye beams. You’ll be dodging the other types of beams anyway, so it’s just another thing to watch out when you’re moving around.

Killing Varos immediately unlocks the third boss encounter.

Mage-Lord Urom

The self-titled mage lord is no different from his predecessor. He requires movement from the entire group, else you’re toast. You can see him channeling some sort of spell if you look up and to the left from the platform where Varos was standing. If you go there and attack him, he’ll run away and summon a bunch of adds. Grab them, tank them, nuke them down, and repeat another 2 times, at which point he’ll go to the central pillar.

Now, Urom may not be as tricky as Varos, but he has his own abilities that can cause a headache. He periodically throws frost bombs at the tank, causing the entire area to turn white and DoT anyone standing on it. So, you guessed it, it’s kiting time again. He also throws time bombs at random people, doing initial damage and then doing more damage after a while equal to the health deficit of the bombed target (so if he has 16k hp out of 20k, the bomb will do 4k damage.

The last thing he can do is teleport to the middle and cast an arcane explosion (Shade of Aran wannabe?). Instead of outranging it, however, you hide behind one of the pillars so you’re out of line of sight. Rinse and repeat until he’s dead.

Flight School – part two

Urom’s death unlocks additional abilities for each dragon.

Ruby: can now misdirect damage done to another drake to itself. Think of a permanent intervene on a certain target.

Emerald: can now transfer own hitpoints to another drake. This establishes the emerald drake as the healer drake: it steals HP from an enemy and transfers the HP to its own health pool, and then further transfers those HP to another drake that needs healing.

Bronze: can now channel a beam that increases damage done to the beamed target. Also generates those funny charges that do a billion damage after a certain amount of damage has been done. This can start stacking up very fast, so be careful when you unleash the charges.

These abilities are absolutely necessary for the final encounter.

Ley-Guardian Eregos

As you might have already guessed, Eregos isn’t fought conventionally, but rather on those funny drakes you’ve been using all the time until now.

Clear all the welps surrounding the upper central platform. Be careful not to venture too near the middle, else you may add the boss.

Eregos is a really simple encounter if you can manage the following:

The ruby drake needs to hold aggro at ALL times. Meaning the bronze drakes can NOT channel their beams, get 10 charges, unleash the 10 charges, and then go get more charges to do the same. They will get aggro and eventually die or cause the healers to drain themselves dry. So bronze drakes are mostly keeping their beams up and unleashing the charges very occasionally (about every 20 seconds).

Eregos summons welps every now and then; these need to be killed by the ruby drake. Some spawn close enough to be hit by the chain attack, others need to be targeted individually. Don’t ignore the adds, they won’t go away, and their damage isn’t insignificant.

Eregos will periodically enrage; to counter this, the bronze drakes need to hit Time Stop. One time stop will cover one enrage phase, but the Time Stop cooldown allows it to be used only every two enrage phases, so set up a rotation.

And that’s about it! The emerald drakes keep the red drake up and dot the boss to keep themselves up in the process, the red drake holds aggro and hits the evasion button to try and minimize the damage, and also kills the welps, while the bronze drakes channel their beam and hit time stop whenever an enrage comes.

On heroic difficulty, there is one more important twist. Eregos will sometimes fade, become invulnerable, and summon a bunch of globes. These globes will start to follow someone, and will explode after a while. When this happens, fly clockwise around Eregos (hold a little distance from the rim of the platform) and wait on the other side. Keep away from the globes – they will explode eventually. When this happens, Eregos will become active again and the fight continues.

When Eregos dies, you might wonder “Hey, how do I loot him now?!” No worries, his death unlocks a special chest on one of the smaller platforms surrounding the upper centra one (there’s a beam of light shining on it, it’s easy to see). Enjoy the loot

Comments

  1. Really loved this instance! I’d rate it #3 of the ones I’ve seen so far behind Old Kingdom and Old Stratholme. The dragon element and the absolute freedom you have to move around the “dungeon” area really gives this place a very unique, wide-open feel. It’s about average length, too. Our guild first non-heroic run of it took about 45 min. wire to wire, which is pretty good. I bet it could be done in closer to 30 min. Mage Lord was the only fight that gave us any trouble on non-heroic, and that was mostly due to not keeping off the frost long enough. If you have a paladin, use the anti-frost aura instead of Devotion Aura. Ulom melees like.. well.. like a Mage, surprisingly enough. And yeah, when he teleports to the middle, it’s the Talon King Ikiss drill all over again. Get behind one of the chunks of rubble near the interior ring of the combat area and wait him out. You might even have time to slap some bandage goodness on yourself to help your healer out. His casting is pretty long, so even with the slow effect of the frost, you should be able to get to safety as long as you know where you’re going as soon as he teleports. It’s really a fun fight once you have the basics in mind.

    We ran w/ 1 Ruby Drake, 1 Emerald Drake and 3 Amber Drakes, which is a metric ton of DPS. They had a great Time Stop rotation working on Eregos and dropped him very very fast. I had no problems keeping aggro with the Flame Chain attack, and the Emerald Dragon didn’t have any apparent problem keeping me alive (though, 3 Time Stops every ~2 min MIGHT have contributed to that! :D )

    On the Ring of Acceleration, where you have to dismount to kill the 10 Curator bots, Warriors and Paladins should have no trouble making the casters group up assuming you have Heroic Throw/Avenger’s Shield. DK’s also totally win here w/ Death Grip, so the only real issue for AoE tanking here might be Bears, but they can easily drag the entire mob cluster over to the caster rather than making the caster come to them. The only ones that stay at range and cast are the Ring-Lord Sorceresses. The Ring-Lord Conjurers, ironically enough, prefer to melee. They aren’t particularly good at it but they do have a damage shield buff so watch that.

    Great write up, Shal!

  2. To this day I have not beaten Eregos with a ‘normal’ (2 green, 2 amber, 1 red) setup. The first time I was there it was late and we wiped a couple times with a normal setup and then people had to go sleep. Every time since then I have been with a group going for the achievements –
    http://www.wowhead.com/?achievement=2044
    http://www.wowhead.com/?achievement=2045
    http://www.wowhead.com/?achievement=2046

    And once the group understood the plan, it always seemed much easier than the first night I tried it with the ‘Normal’ setup.

  3. imho the hardest heroic instance of all. wiped there like 30 times with several groups untill i recently cleared it with a good bit of luck, but didnt even get the achievement because i was ported out of the instance when i died just 10 seconds before the boss went down >.< argh! apart from the usual dragon stuff which is just boring and slow (except for the endboss – dam good fight) though, this is how i like my heroic instances. not like utgard keep or nexus where you fall asleep somewhere between boss 2 and 3, entering this instance always scares me and wiping is part of the process, decent!

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