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 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.
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.
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